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January 11, 2004

One of several bold education initiatives the Governor will outline during his 2004 State of the State address

SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to bolster parental and community involvement in a child’s education, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich proposes today bringing back a state program called Project SuccessProject Success will ensure that children and families receive the services they need to succeed in school. 
“The more parents are involved in their childrens’ education, the better their kids will do in school,” Governor Blagojevich said.  “Project Success will link problems to services, giving parents somewhere to turn for help.”
Project Success was created in 1991 under Former Governor Jim Edgar.  The program served 200,000 families, with children in more than 1,000 schools, in 98 counties.  Reading and math scores improved and parental involvement increased at Project Success schools.  But, Former Governor George Ryan eliminated the program in 2002.
Project Success was a success in Illinois,” said Governor Blagojevich.  “I know how hard it is to balance the budget.  But, eliminating it was the wrong choice.  Project Success works.” 
Project Success will provide a comprehensive, systematic delivery system that responds to the needs of children and their families, using the school as the hub of service delivery.  There are six core components of service delivery.
·        Basic preventative health care for children and families
·        Proper nutrition and nutrition education
·        Prevention and rehabilitative mental health services for children and families
·        Services that will protect children and promote the stability of the family
·        Substance abuse prevention, intervention and treatment for children and their families
·        Social activities to enhance positive interaction within families
Governor Blagojevich’s initiative will create local governing boards, made up of parents, community-based service providers, faith-based organizations, school representatives and local leaders to identify the needs of children and develop a plan to meet those specific needs.
Local coordinators will ensure Project Success is effectively reaching the maximum number of schools.  Anticipating the program will begin July 1, 2004, it will cost $5 million to fund the local coordinators.  Reviving Project Success does not require legislation.
Governor Blagojevich will explain Project Success and other forward-thinking education initiatives during his State of the State address at the State Capitol on Thursday, January 15, at 12 noon.


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