Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR1108
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Full Text of HR1108  97th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, It is incumbent upon the Illinois House of
3Representatives to acknowledge the significant achievements of
4Illinois' most distinguished citizens; and
5    WHEREAS, Family Focus is a non-profit organization that
6serves low-income families in the Chicago area, helping
7families give their children the best possible start in life
8and strengthening families by encouraging self-reliance,
9advocacy, and community participation; and
10    WHEREAS, Bernice Weissbourd, a leading scholar, educator
11and practitioner in child development, working with a small
12group of colleagues in the 1970s, recognized that the first 3
13years of life are critical to long-term success, and that
14support for families is key to building a healthy and nurturing
15environment for the developing child; and
16    WHEREAS, Bernice Weissbourd led the founding of Family
17Focus in 1976 at Miller School in Evanston; and
18    WHEREAS, Family Focus works side-by-side with families and
19communities based upon the Principles of Family Support, which
20promote respect for families and their cultures, and today
21provide child development education and skills training for



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1teen and adult parents, support for grandparents raising
2grandchildren, counseling for young children and families
3exposed to violence, developmental health screenings, early
4intervention services, early literacy, home visiting,
5after-school programming, health and fitness education for
6parents and children, ESL and GED courses, citizenship and
7computer literacy classes for adults, and help for families
8that need to connect with community services and health care
9providers; and
10    WHEREAS, Under Bernice Weissbourd's leadership and
11guidance, Family Focus has grown to serve over 37,000 children
12and parents each year at facilities in Cook, DuPage, Kane, and
13Lake counties, with 8 community-based centers in Aurora,
14Cicero, Bensenville, Evanston, and Highland Park, and the
15Chicago neighborhoods of Englewood, Hermosa, and North
16Lawndale; and
17    WHEREAS, Bernice Weissbourd is credited with focusing
18national attention on the critical importance of a child's
19first 3 years of life, and with leading the family support
20movement, including through being a founder of the Family
21Resource Coalition and Zero to Three; she is a member of the
22President's Commission on Children; a columnist for Parent
23magazine; an author of 2 highly regarded books, America's
24Family Support Programs: Perspectives and Prospects and



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1Putting Families First: America's Family Support Movement and
2the Challenge of Change, as well as many academic articles; and
3a leader in numerous other national, State, and local
4organizations; and
5    WHEREAS, Bernice Weissbourd is a life-long resident of
6Chicago and graduate of the University of Chicago, where she
7met her late husband, Bernard, who co-founded Family Focus and
8who was a prominent civic and business leader; they became the
9proud parents of Burt, Robert, Ruth (Grant), and Richard, and
10grandparents of Ben, Emily, Jenny, Joe, Laura, Anna, Cora,
11Brady, Jake, David, and Sophie; and
12    WHEREAS, Bernice Weissbourd's insights and accomplishments
13with respect to families of young children flow from her
14passions for justice and progress, and she has been similarly
15active in civil rights, labor, and other progressive movements
16throughout her life; and
17    WHEREAS, Bernice Weissbourd is renowned for being
18nurturing, energetic, and good company; her home has always
19been a gathering place for friends and neighbors; she is an
20advisor and mentor to scores of people of all ages; and she was
21a concert pianist, trained at The Juilliard School, with a
22passion for music; therefore, be it



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3we, along with her friends, colleagues, and the countless
4children and families she has helped, honor the marvelous
5achievements and leadership of Family Focus founder Bernice
6Weissbourd on the occasion of the 35th Anniversary Gala of
7Family Focus on May 31, 2012; and be it further
8    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
9presented to Bernice Weissbourd and Family Focus as a symbol of
10our utmost respect and great esteem.