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Young teens will be urged to choose vision over violence

Updated: March 8, 2013 1:15AM

It is hoped that eighth-graders invited to attend the first-ever Dreamer’s Breakfast on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Central Middle School in Zion will be inspired to choose vision over violence.

Students, their families, and school officials including Central principal Joe Kent, and Zion schools superintendent John Ahlgrim are to enjoy a southern-style breakfast prepared and dished up by Soul 4 Real in Zion which opened last year in a defunct Taco Bell on Sheridan Road.

Influential speakers, including Tio Hardiman who is the director of CeaseFire, and Lake County States Attorney Mike Nerheim, are slated to talk to the crowd.

Zion eighth-graders were asked to write essays on the topic “What is Justice and how does it affect me?” The writers of the top 100 essays were invited to the breakfast, and one will be selected to win a new Apple i-Pad purchased with donated funds from the Illinois Beach Sunrise Rotary Club.

The event is jointly sponsored by Zion city commissioner Shantal Taylor, the Zion Grade School District, and the Illinois Beach Sunrise Rotary Club.

The Illinois Beach Sunrise Rotary Club is a big proponent of literacy, and members work tirelessly for the cause, said Taylor who is a member of the club. Recently ,the club donated two new i-Pads for an annual fifth-grade essay competition in Zion.

Taylor said she organized the breakfast event with one goal in mind: “To get Zion eighth-graders ready for life.”

Taylor added that as a city commissioner, she feels it is her duty to help the kids, “in case they are not getting this message at home.”

“Unfortunately, the statistics right now set in place with these eighth-graders is that only three out of five will actually go on to finish high school,” said Taylor. “I am hopeful this helps detour the students from a life of bad decision-making. Poverty, crime, premarital sex and drugs are at an all-time high in my community and I see this program to be a major life-impacting one.”

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