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Columnist
Pop musical theater focuses on counteracting teen violence at CHS
By Kerry Lester | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 4/2/2010 12:02 AM

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A free performance focusing on counteracting teen violence, bullying, negative self image and drug use will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 6 at Central High School, 44 W. Plato Road in Hampshire.

The show, put on by the Reach, Educate and Inspire Arts and Education Foundation and Burlington 301 School Board President Rose Diaz, uses pop musical theater to urge teens to reject peer pressure and act responsibly.

According to the Web site, the show is composed of several original sketches and based on true stories.

The cast features a number of local students, including Anastasia Arnold, a senior at Marian Central Catholic in Woodstock; Larkin High School junior Chantel George; and Wheaton North seniors Emily Delaney and Taylor Myers.

Diaz said she decided to help bring the show to District 301 after watching an "absolutely incredible" performance several months ago.

The show will last roughly 50 minutes. To reserve a spot, call (630) 876-0100 e-mail info@redifoundation.org

Alcohol awareness forum: In observance with Alcohol Awareness Month in April, residents are invited to attend Renz Addiction Counseling Center's Parent Awareness Forum from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. April 29 at Ellis Middle School, 225 S. Liberty Street, Elgin.

Hosted by Renz Center's Prevention Services, attendees will hear representatives from the Elgin Police Department, the Illinois Alcohol Drug Dependence Association, and Linden Oaks at Edward as they discuss what can be done to keep drugs and alcohol out of children's lives; how to prevent adolescent depression and self-injury; and how to protect families from violent youths.

A question and answer forum will follow the presentations. For more information, contact Ricardo Gasca at 847-697-1221 extension 264.

U-46 'Principal for a Day': On Thursday, 70 community leaders served as principals for a day in Elgin Area School District U-46, an annual event that was of virtually no cost to the cash-strapped district.

Among the acting principals, Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod was at Timber Trails Elementary; Bartlett Chief of Police Dan Palmer was at Tefft Middle School in Streamwood; and Elgin Symphony Director Dale Lonis led Highland Elementary in Elgin for a few hours.

The day capped off with a luncheon, sponsored by NEXUS Office Systems, Inc.

Communications spokesman Tony Sanders' father, Ted Sanders, a former state superintendent of education; U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, and President of Southern Illinois University, served as the keynote speaker. He flew in from Texas on his own dime.

Kerry Lester coverers school districts U-46, 301 and private schools in Elgin, along with the village of Sleepy Hollow. E-mail her at klester@dailyherald.com.