-A New Day for Clemente-

International Baccalaureate to serve as framework for the 

Community as a Campus Concept 

Tech Five-Minute Film Festival: Learn to Use Web 2.0 Tools


Super Storytelling with StoryBird
Super Storytelling with StoryBird

From Edutopia.com

While many of you may be heading for the beach this week, it won't be long before you're ready to start exploring some new tools to help your students be better creators and collaborators when you go back to school in the fall. This week we published a new video on Nicole Dalesio, a fifth-grade teacher who uses all kinds of free technology tools in her class to keep her kids engaged, and it inspired me to go hunt down the best tutorials for all these great, free Web 2.0 tools. Did I mention most of them are free?


While screen-cast tutorials may not be the most edge-of-your-seat viewing, once you've got the basics, you can start digging in to the tool itself. And the best part is, learning to use these tools is as fun for you as it is for your students. What are you waiting for? Try something new in ten minutes or less!

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Puerto Rican Cultural Center (Over 30,000 pictures!)

Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos HS
(Over 13,000 pics!)

Guided tours of IPRAC and the surrounding Paseo Boricua community will be available at IPRAC with Eduardo Arocho serving as a docent.  If you're interested in arranging a tour for your organization, school or church, please contact IPRAC at 773-486-8345. 

Puerto Rican Cultural Center
2739-41 W. Division St
Chicago, Illinois 60622
P 773-342-8023
F 773-342-6609

Tito Kayak's Caribbean Sojourn for Oscars Freedom Featured by TeleSur


Telesur, South America's TV network on Tuesday June 26, featured the efforts by renowned Puerto Rican Human Rights advocate and noted civil disobedient, Tito Kayak, as he Kayaks among the Caribbean islands, following the route of the ancient Tainos from island to island calling the attention of the world to the demand for the release of Puerto Rican political prisoner, Oscar López Rivera. Among those highlighted in the TeleSur program were Salvador Tio, a spokesperson for Human Rights and for the Kayaking campaign and Oscar López's brother, Jose E. López. 


A new blog "TRAVESIA LIBRE" has gone up to support the kayaking journey of Tito Kayak. Read the latest on his journey and route here.

On June 20, Puerto Rican environmental activist Alberto De Jesus "Tito Kayak" rowed through the Caribbean Antilles from Venezuela to Puerto Rico to generate support for the release of political prisoner Oscar Lopez-Rivera, who has spent 31 years in the American prison system. Oscar was convicted for "seditious conspiracy". Convicted rapists and murderers in the USA generally serve much briefer sentences than Oscar, who was not convicted of any violent act. The US government intends to keep him imprisoned for fifteen more years, until July 2027. Oscar is currently 69 years old.
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PRCC Updates

A New Day for Clemente 

Historic Transformation Framed Within International Baccalaureate Wall-to-Wall School  

IB to serve as framework for the Community as a Campus Concept


On Thursday June 21, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was joined by State Representative Cynthia Soto, Alderman Joe Moreno, State Senator WIlliam Delgado, Clemente Principal Marcey Sorensen and PRCC Executive Director Jose E. López in a press conference to announce that Roberto Clemente Community Academy will become the third, wall-to-wall International Baccalaureate (IB) school in Chicago.

This announcement is the high mark of over 40 years of work to turn Clemente High School into a school of choice, one that will provide all the families of this community the opportunity to become transformational agents in Humboldt Park.


Mr. López further added the Community as a Campus vision is to create a unique cradle to post-secondary pathway what will provide meaningful educational opportunities and wrap around social services to generate educational success for all learners in the Humboldt Park community. To that end, all residents can fully participate in a learning process where they are engaging in creating self-sufficiency within a collective and democratic community building experience that honors both cultural and linguistic identities.

In a wall-to-wall IB school, every freshman and sophomore student will participate in what is called the Middle Years Programme (MYP). At the completion of sophomore year, students can proceed to either the full Diploma Programme, opt for an IB certificate where students can take one or more IB classes, opt for an IB career related certificate of fulfill an IB core requirement. Ultimately, every student at Clemente will touch the IB Programme in some way.

"The Mayor's initiative to make Clemente High School a wall-to-wall IB school - which will ensure access to every student - is indeed a major milestone for this community," added Representative Cynthia Soto. "It will help to frame, content-wise, our Community as a Campus concept, which we have been working on for most of the schools in my 4th state legislative district." 


Watch the complete 26 minute video here. Read Ald. Moreno's Huffington Post piece here.


Day of Corporate Caring 



The Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (IPRAC) was the site of selfless volunteerism on Friday, June 22, 2012 when over 100 volunteers from Grant Thornton lent their considerable energy and skill to assist in preparing the Institute for the next phase of renovation.  IPRAC was the beneficiary of Grant Thornton's Day of Caring, in which associates from its various national locations come together to volunteer for a worthy cause.  Not only did Grant Thornton provide the person power, it also provided the funding for most of the supplies and materials that were used through the day.


Grant Thornton, a highly regarded, international tax, audit, and corporate advisory firm, is a leading corporate sponsor of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago (UWMC). Gwen Sims, UWMC Director of Volunteer Services, and her colleague, linked Grant Thornton with IPRAC and coordinated the event.  Members of the IPRAC Board of Directors were on hand to lead the various teams of volunteers.


Among the tasks accomplished, in a relatively short amount of time, were:

  • Clearing out, cleaning and preparing the historic Jens Jensen office and the second floor of IPRAC for rehabbed;  
  • Cleaning out and repairing the gutters;
  • Painting the art classroom;
  • Repairing and painting the perimeter wrought iron fence;
  • CClearing and reorganizing the storage shed; and
  • Constructing an aesthetic barrier for the driveway by painting and placing cinder blocks and planting beautiful flowers within them.
  • The Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture is highly appreciative of Grant Thornton and its associates, and to United Way of Metropolitan Chicago for the outpouring of support and goodwill, and looks forward to future collaboration with both.

Grammy Award Winning Mariachi Divas at Humboldt Park Boathouse

Mariachi Diva at Humboldt Park Boathouse
Mariachi Diva at Humboldt Park Boathouse

Through its membership in the Chicago Cultural Alliance (CCA), the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture was proud to partner with the Ravinia Festival to bring the Mariachi Divas to the Humboldt Park Boat House last Friday night! Directed and founded by trumpet player Cindy Shea in 1999, the Grammy Award winning Mariachi Divas have made big waves on the national and international music scene. Mariachi Divas are a unique, multi-cultural, all female ensemble, imbued with the true flavor of Los Angeles and have been represented by women of Mexican, Cuban, Samoan, Argentinean, Colombian, Panamanian, Puerto Rican, Swiss, Japanese, Honduran, Salvadorian, Peruvian, Tongan and Anglo descents. Cindy Shea states, "Music is a way of uniting our cultural backgrounds," a value deeply held by IPRAC as it collaborates with 26 other ethnic museums and cultural centers through the CCA. A crowd of families and park visitors gathered under the stars on a beautiful night to dance and sing the night away! Thank you for joining us! View more pictures here!

Carlos Alberto Torres at the United Nations


Two years after his release from prison, Carlos Alberto Torres testified at the United Nations Decolonization Headings on Puerto Rico. He was received with a standing ovation and he spoke about what it means to be a Puerto Rican political prisoner for 30 years in the US. Referring to Oscar López Rivera. Carlos said he would be forever indebted for Oscar's solidarity in refusing to accept  President Clintons offer of clemency, because it did not include him. His presence inspired a new level of understanding of the need for Oscar to be released.

Carlos Alberto Torres @UN June 18, 2012
Carlos Alberto Torres @UN June 18, 2012

OLR@Pride Parade


The Vida/SIDA contingent was led by a young woman dancing in peacock feathers, and our contingent all wore bright orange t-shirts, which read "Libertad para Oscar," followed and chanted for his freedom. Thousands were in the crowd and many asked who he was, after we explained, they also joined our cry to "Bring him home." We danced, marched and paraded to the sound of Bomba and Plena, to free Oscar at Pride. 
Our Queen danced and saluted people along the way. Youth jumped over the fence to join us, because they knew us from Humboldt Park, and felt free to express their pride in both their heritage and their identity. They recognized our work as building awareness and respect for LGBTQ youth in Paseo Boricua. For two miles we sang to Oscar and it felt like he was with us.

Available at  IPRAC
"Don Oscar" Coffee, Paseo Boricua Edition 


Café Don Oscar can be purchased for $5.99 at:


IPRAC: 3015 W. Division St., 773-486-8345