Gloria Jean’s Coffees partners with Homewood Science Center on learning projects

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Gloria Jean’s Coffees partners with Homewood Science Center on learning projects

July 03, 2020 - 17:22
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The Homewood Science Center has launched a series of short videos with tips for parents on supporting their children’s curiosity and learning while it continues its PopUpSCIENCE work virtually.

The short videos, underwritten by Gloria Jean’s Coffees in Homewood, appear on the science center’s website at homewoodsciencecenter.org and as rotating ads on the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle home page at hfchronicle.com.

Summer volunteers Lauren Matthews, left, a senior at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, and her sister, Kaylin, a sophomore at H-F, gave their time to pack PopUpSCIENCE@Home kits. (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)

Summer volunteers Lauren Matthews, left, a senior at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, and her sister, Kaylin, a sophomore at H-F, gave their time to pack [email protected] kits. (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)

The videos are introduced by Patti Messersmith, senior educator at the Museum of Science and Industry, and an HSC board member. Gloria Jean’s hired Homewood documentary filmmaker Anne Colton to produce the videos.

HSC Executive Director Edie Dobrez said the series offers tips on how parents can boost a child’s confidence, encourage collaboration, support curiosity and help a child think through problems to reach a solution. 

Dobrez said since the coronavirus pandemic, parents have been meeting the challenge of teaching their children at home. It can be a daunting task for some, but the videos can stimulate discussion and instruction.

“Some of the video messaging is especially impactful for parents who have trepidations about trying to teach their own children,” Dobrez said. “One of the videospoints out to parents that it’s okay to say you don’t know the answer. That in itself is very powerful for a child and parent.” 

Gloria Jean’s, located in the Cherry Creek Plaza at 183rd and Governors Highway, is also helping the Homewood Science Center hand out free [email protected] kits. Anyone asking for a kit will get a free Chiller drink, while supplies last.

Before the COVID-19 virus, HSC hosted monthly science sessions for kids to introduce them to basic science concepts through hands-on learning and projects.

That work hasn’t stopped, it’s just taken on a new form, said Holly Kelsven, HSC project manager. HSC has kept to its monthly calendar for PopUpSCIENCE. Sessions are set for July 25, Aug. 22 and Sept. 26. The kits can be reserved through the HSC website.

Kelsven said since March more than 8,500 kits have been given away to students and families in the immediate South Suburbs through the provided school lunch programs. 

“For summer distribution, we are still working with schools and organizations. To make this work, we have turned to our partners,” Kelsven said. “We have worked with Illinois Action for Children under a U.S. Census grant to partner PopUp [email protected] kits with messages urging families to complete their Census 2020 online, by phone or by mailing in their Census form. 

“We have also partnered with the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association to increase the municipalities involved, either by taking kits that they distribute directly or by connecting HSC with community organizations in their towns,” Kelsven explained.