PARK FOREST – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) joins Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White to invite students in grades 4-12 to enter a statewide reading and writing competition known as “Letters About Literature in Illinois,” offered by the Illinois State Library’s Illinois Center for the Book.

“Literature is a powerful tool, and this is a wonderful opportunity for students to share their love for reading,” said Joyce. “I encourage students to participate in the competition and submit an entry.”

To participate, students must read a book of their choice and write a letter to the author about how the work changed their life or view of the world.

There are three levels of participation: Level 1 for grades 4-6, Level 2 for grades 7-8 and Level 3 for grades 9-12. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Students can enter on their own or through their school, local library or other youth organization.

One winner will be selected from each group to receive a cash award and a plaque signed by Secretary White. Teachers of the winning students will receive a certificate and a cash award for their school to purchase books for the library.

Read more: Joyce invites student readers to enter “Letters About Literature in Illinois” competition

Category: Information

All in for women FB

PARK FOREST – In recognition of National Women’s Small Business Month and to help navigate the application process for Business Interruption Grants (BIG) offered by the state, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is inviting female small business owners to sign up for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s “All in for Women: BIG Webinars.”

“During the pandemic, BIG grants have equipped business with the resources they need to survive this crisis and come out stronger on the other side,” Joyce said. “Small businesses that are facing COVID-19 disruptions and are in need of financial assistance should sign up for an upcoming seminar.” 
During the month of October, the department will offer webinars focusing on women-owned businesses, helping owners navigate eligibility requirements and the application process for the BIG program.
The BIG program is a $636 million program created to provide economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. The program uses federal funds provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19-related losses for Illinois small businesses.
In the second round of grants, $220 million will be allocated to provide relief for all types of small businesses, including women-owned small businesses. Funding can be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent, utilities and other operational costs.
The webinar will be presented in four sessions, and technical assistance support will be provided for the last 30 minutes of every session. The date and time of each webinar is listed below, along with links to register.

  • Saturday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m. Register HERE
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2 p.m. Register HERE
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2 p.m. Register HERE

More information about the second round of BIG grants can be found here.

Category: Information

Fire Prevention Week FB

PARK FOREST – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is drawing attention to the leading cause of home fires and is urging people to become familiar with the safety guidelines suggested by the Illinois State Fire Marshal during National Fire Prevention Week.

“Cooking continues to be a main contributor to home fires,” Joyce said. “During this year’s National Fire Prevention Week, take a moment to consider where potential cooking hazards exist, along with basic but critical ways to prevent them.”

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the U.S. Almost half of reported home fires start in the kitchen, and in 2019, Illinois fire departments responded to nearly 6,500 fires that were either caused by cooking or originated in the kitchen, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System.

Keep these fire safety tips in mind when cooking:

  • Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen, and if you must leave the room, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain at home and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • Don’t cook if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or have consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when cooking. Should a small grease fire start, don’t pour water on it—slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

To learn more about National Fire Prevention Week, visit the NFPA website.

Category: Information

O 12301561253 DriveSoberorGetPulledOverthumbKANKAKEE – This Labor Day weekend, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is echoing law enforcement to spread the word of the dangers of drinking and driving.

“There is no excuse to drive under the influence,” Joyce said. “This Labor Day holiday, and every day, I would encourage you to think twice before getting behind the wheel. Please make it a point to drive sober, use a rideshare service or call a designated driver.” 

The high-visibility “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign runs from Aug. 20 through the early morning hours of Sept. 8. During this period, motorists in Kankakee, Chicago Heights and across the state can expect to see stepped-up impaired driving patrols and seat belt enforcement, particularly at night, when seat belt usage rates are at their lowest. Speeders and distracted drivers should also be aware.

“Impaired driving is illegal, and it puts lives at risk,” Joyce said. “Our community is counting on you to keep our roads safe this holiday weekend by wearing a seatbelt, watching your speed and never driving under the influence.”

The Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is made possible by federal highway safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Category: Information

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