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Contact: Dan Leary
ARLINGTON, ITHA PARTNER WITH DISTRICT 214 COMMUNITY EDUCATION TO PROVIDE INSTRUCTION FOR BACKSTRETCH CHILDREN
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (April 4, 2005) -- District 214 Community Education, in conjunction with Arlington Park and the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA), announced today that Community Education's Family Literacy department will provide the educational component of the children's summer backstretch program at the racetrack.
Eight weeks of educational camp will be conducted under the coordination of Alba Pride, Bilingual Services Coordinator for District 214 Community Education. In addition to providing the staff and coordinating materials for the camp experience, Community Education will develop and implement the summer camp curricula as well as the recruitment, training and oversight of volunteers. The camp will begin on Monday, June 13 and serve the families of the many workers that call Arlington Park's backstretch home over the summer.
Community Education Executive Director Mike Field is excited about this partnership. "We've played a role in the backstretch camp for years, but to be able to take the lead in providing the curriculum and staff ensures this program will meet the high standards that District 214 Community Education has for all its programs," he stated. "Arlington Park's support in providing a newly constructed room in the Stable Kitchen and new restroom facilities shows us that the racetrack is also committed to making this the best possible experience for the children in the program."
"District 214 Community Education's reputation in the Read to Learn program, Family Literacy and ESL programs of the area led me to believe they are the right organization to be taking the lead on this camp," said Arlington Park President Cliff Goodrich. "All of us at Arlington Park want this to be the best possible experience for these young people and we are choosing program partners who will provide that kind of an experience."
"We are pleased to continue our relationship with District 214 Community Education and to increase their role in our backstretch educational programs," added ITHA Executive Director Justin Cassity. "Their leadership will assure the highest quality of instruction for the children who live at Arlington Park."
Many community organizations will also be partnering with District 214 to make this camp a success. The Arlington Heights Noon Rotary Club has offered to provide a generous amount of supplies, materials, and sports equipment for the summer camp; the Arlington Heights Memorial Library will provide the Bookmobile for onsite visits every week; CEDA Northwest Self-Help Center will provide T-shirts and coordinate the feeding of the children through the Illinois Hunger Coalition; and the Boy Scouts of America will provide an organized soccer program complete with coaches and uniforms.
Arlington Park -- the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- will run a 94-day meet in 2005 from Friday, May 13 through Sunday, Sept. 18. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Lucky's featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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