Around the Town

Around the Town

The Jacksonville Police Department

offers Citizen’s Police Academy: The Jacksonville Police Department is offering the Citizen’s Police Academy to residents or employees within our community or Morgan County.

The goal of the Citizens Police Academy is to not only help local residents better understand police work in their community, but also to develop stronger ties between the community and their police agencies in an effort to better address crime and other law enforcement issues. It is through community cooperation and planning that we can best ensure quality police services in an organized and crime prevention program.

We will re-start the 27th offering of the Citizens Police Academy program; that was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

The academy is a thirteen-week program with the classes being held on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and one, optional Saturday range training. Classes will be held at the Jacksonville Police Department, 200 West Douglas Ave, Jacksonville IL with the Saturday course being held at the Jacksonville Regional Training Facility, 940 Hoagland Road. Each evening of instruction will cover different aspects of the law enforcement profession.

Local area law enforcement personnel will present the instruction during the Citizens Police Academy with an occasional outside speaker. Students must attend ten out of the thirteen weekly classes for successful completion of the program. There is no cost to applicants to participate in the Citizens Police Academy.

Applications can be picked up at the Jacksonville Police Department or online at The 27th Citizens Police Academy will start on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 and finish with Graduation on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Applications must be received no later than Friday, January 13, 2023.

Inquiries regarding the Citizens Police Academy should be addressed to:

Citizens Police Academy
200 West Douglas Ave.
Jacksonville, Illinois 62650

Any questions concerning the academy may be directed to class coordinators Lt. Mark Lonergan, Ptl. Phillip Warren, or PCSA Loren Hamilton Phone: 479-4630

Local group promotes Raise a Reader Project:
Exposure to books at a young age provides children important foundational skills that are needed for early success in reading. Knowing how to read sets a child on the right path for continued success in school and in life.

That is why members of the Literacy Committee of the Alpha Phi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International have worked tirelessly on their “Raise a Reader” project for more than thirty years. These active and retired teachers know the value of reading and want to provide books and literacy information to as many families as possible. Would you like to help provide books and literacy information to local families?

The committee partners with the health departments in Cass, Morgan, and Scott counties to provide a book for each child who is a client. Books chosen for this project are age appropriate and quite colorful.  Parents are also given suggestions about how to integrate various language and math concepts into daily life. Both the books and the literacy suggestions are available in English, Spanish, and French. Books in the home also provide parents and children an opportunity to spend quality time together such as when reading a bedtime story.

Each baby born at Jacksonville Memorial Hospital is welcomed with a packet containing a book for the newborn and a calendar filled with information about child development. Parents are encouraged to use this calendar to follow their baby’s development. The calendars are published in cooperation with the hospital.

Information is available at local OB offices, pre-natal clinics, and OB departments about the importance of reading to babies. Research is showing that reading and sharing books and music in utero as well as after births is important since babies can hear as early as the fifth month. After birth babies can be soothed by gentle music and by a book that they heard while they were in the womb.

These three literacy projects which focus on language and math proficiency throughout the early life of children touched thousands of children in the three counties in 2022. This “Raise a Reader” project is funded through a stipend from the Lambda State Foundation for Educational Studies along with donations and gifts from businesses and individuals in Cass, Morgan, and Scott counties. Recent contributors include: Bank of Bluffs, Mark Bicknell, Centenary United Methodist Church Fox Trust, Jeffrey and Susan Clark, First Presbyterian Church Mission Committee, Grace United Methodist Church Fox Trust, Hart Foundation, Individual Alpha Phi Chapter Members, Jean Harlow-Truesdell Memorial, Jacksonville Memorial Hospital, Trinity Episcopal Church Mission Committee, Morgan/Scott Retired Teachers, Phyllis Rhodes Memorial, Dr. Margaret Wilson, and Anonymous Donors

Anyone can be a part of this award-winning project by mailing a contribution Alpha Phi Literacy Project, 411 Delaney Drive, Jacksonville, IL 62650.  All donors will be recognized in the calendar and at the health departments.

Prairieland United Way
to hold informational pre-allocation meeting for prospective agency partners: Prairieland United Way has announced that a pre-allocation informational meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 19, 2023, at 9 a.m. in the second floor Commission Room of the Municipal Building at 200 W. Douglas, Jacksonville, Illinois.

This is a meeting for IL 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations in Morgan, Scott, Cass and northern Greene counties who are interested in applying for FY2024 United Way funding.

Application requirements, procedures and deadlines will be reviewed at that time. The following documents must be received from your organization to be considered eligible to apply for a United Way grant:

• IRS Tax Exempt Letter

• Copy of Constitution/By-Laws

• Copy of Non-Discrimination Policies specific to employment services

• Copy of Corporate Charter including Amendments

Additionally, the following documents are required for your annual file:

• Current Board list including addresses, Officers and Meeting schedule with location

• Annual Report

• Audit

• IRS 990 and AG990-IL

For more information, please contact Karen Walker at Prairieland United Way at 217/245-4557.

Young Explorers Club
begins new season: The Young Explorers Club (YEC) is back for its FIFTH season! Students of all ages are welcome to join and participate in YEC programs and all activities are absolutely free and pre-registration is not required. YEC meets from 11:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. one Saturday a month (December-March). Students are invited to attend all or some of the YEC meetings.

December 17, 2022: I Wonder… About Birds. Have YOU ever wondered how birds sleep? Or, how does a woodpecker pound a tree without getting a headache? This program will answer these questions and provide many more facts about our amazing avian friends. Location: Jacksonville Public Library, 201 West College Avenue, in the activity room.

January 21, 2023: (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.): Skulls and Bones. Can YOU tell the difference between a raccoon’s skull and an opossum’s skull? Do you know how many teeth a skunk has? Professor Bryan Arnold and his students at Illinois College will introduce students to the college’s vertebrate skull collection. Students will learn to identify the skulls of various mammals and to appreciate the anatomical differences between species. Location: Parker Science Center (Room 141) on the Illinois College Campus.

February 25, 2023: Astronomy 101. Come learn about the solar system, the Milky Way, black holes and much more while sitting in the Jacksonville High School planetarium! This promises to be an out of this world experience. Location: JHS, 1211 N. Diamond Street.

March 18, 2023: Owls. This program will explore the secret lives of owls and why they are the masters of the night. By dissecting owl pellets, students will discover what prey these super birds hunt at night. Location: Jacksonville Public Library, 201 West College Avenue, in the activity room.

Thursday, April 6: (6:00 p.m.): Adventures in Stargazing. Using inexpensive and simple tools, from computer software to binoculars, Professor Bernd Estabrook will demonstrate how students can explore the night sky. Location: Western Illinois Youth Camp, 2244 4-H Club Ln, Jacksonville. RAIN DATE: April 13.

To learn more, please contact Allen Yow at (217) 243-8457.

The Young Explorers Club is sponsored by the Morgan County Audubon Society, a Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society, and the Jacksonville Public Library.

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