The Learning Center receives grant

July 5, 2011
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from left to right: Ana Romero, student, The Learning Center; Mary Beth McIntosh, VP and River Forest Branch Manager, Community Bank; Sr. Monice Kavanaugh O.P., Executive Director, The Learning Center; Bernard D. Healey II, Community Lending Specialist, Community Bank; Angela Carter, student, The Learning Center

Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest is pleased to announce that The Learning Center is the recipient of a $2,000 Champion Grant.

The Learning Center, located at 2153 S. Millard Ave., offers free education to women and men in North Lawndale and Little Village. Students acquire knowledge and skills in reading, writing, math, English as a Second Language, and related subjects, as well as prepare for the GED test.

The Learning Center has its roots at St. Luke’s Church in River Forest, and was started by parishioners and Dominican Sisters with the desire to provide justice for the poor.

Ana Romero (far left) and Angela Carter (far right), students at The Learning Center, help accept a $2,000 grant Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest donated to the organization. Others pictured are: Mary Beth McIntosh, VP and River Forest branch manager (second from left); Sr. Monice Kavanaugh O.P., Learning Center's executive director (center); and Bernard D. Healey II, community lending specialist (second from right)

“The Learning Center provides a vital service to the Lawndale and Little Village communities,” said Martin J. Noll, chairman of the board and CEO of Community Bank. “Their work epitomizes what the Champion Grant is truly about, which is providing education and training for those in need.”

In May, the Columbus Park Food Pantry, located at 5701 W. Jackson blvd., received a $300 grant from Community Bank. Marjorie Cobbs, director and founder, started the pantry 17 years ago. It operates on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Through the Champion Grant, Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest encourages growth and support in economically challenged communities by assisting organizations providing community outreach programs for low- or moderate-income individuals.

Champion Grants will be awarded to qualifying organizations throughout the year; the Champion Grant application is available on Community Bank’s web site.

During its 14-year history, Community Bank has donated over $2 million to various local civic and charitable organizations. Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest was organized in 1996 as a locally owned bank focused on creating financial solutions for individuals, professionals, owners of closely held businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park communities.

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