Category Archives: Events

Mental Health Initiative Week Resources Available in IRC

079The Student Council’s annual Mental Health Initiative Week is November 28 – December 2, 2016, and books and dvds addressing mental health issues are on display in the IRC and available for checkout.

078Madison Dong, Student Council President, sent out an email with a schedule of the week’s events, which includes activities and seminars that can help students identify mental health issues. The books and dvds on display in the reference area of the IRC can supplement these activities. If any of the weekly activities spark an interest, please stop by the IRC to check out resources that can help you explore mental health issues.

080The following are the events listed in Madison Dong’s email:

Today (Monday) at midday in the Old Caf we will be giving out wristbands
and explaining the purpose of the week. After school from 4:30 – 5:30 in
E121 will be therapy dogs and a school counselor meet and greet.

Tuesday at midday will be an activity for people to mark how stressed they
are, what their stressors are, and how they can relieve stress. From 6-7
in IN2, there will also be a presentation by a clinical psychologist on
performance and perfectionism.

Wednesday, from 4 – 5:30 in IN2, there will be a presentation by the
National Alliance for Mental Illness, and from 4:15 – 5:15 in the TV pit,
there will be a writing workshop by some of the English faculty.

Thursday from 7-8 in the Old Caf will be a forum with 2 IMSA alumni in
mental health professions. They will answer questions on depression and
anxiety and discuss their own IMSA experiences as well.

Finally, on Friday, we encourage everyone to wear green! At midday, anyone
can come to make an origami crane and write a wish on it. We will collect
cranes and put them up for display after the week.

Ms. Mary Myers will also be running a pilates session from 11 – 11:30 on
Tuesday, as well as yoga sessions from 12 – 12:45 on Wednesday and 12:20 –
12:50 on Thursday. These will all be in the multipurpose room, which is in
the main gym.

Please ask any IRC staffer for help if you have questions.



Two Artists Celebrated in the IRC

In support of National Poetry Month, the Writing Center and IMSA student group, Alma Latina, have invited poet and social activist Michael Reyes to return to IMSA.

Last year Michael performed his poetry in a rousing Read-In, and he returns to the IRC for an event on Monday, April 11, 2016 at 4:30 pm. Michael’s mission is to “provide a participatory educational environment through poetry and hip-hop to address issues of social justice and cultural identity.”

028The event also features the mixed media artwork of  IMSA alum Aldo Quintana, class of 1997. “Station to Station” is now hung on the walls of the IRC, and it is hoped that the artist will be able to stop by the event on Monday afternoon.

Lunar New Year Celebrated with Read-In in IRC

DragonConnie James-Jenkin, IMSA IRC Development Collection and Reference Librarian, wrote the following recap of the Lunar New Year Read-In, which was held yesterday, February 2, 2016, in the IRC:

Lunar New Year Celebrated with Read-In at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy celebrated Lunar New Year by the Library (IRC) hosting a Lunar New Year Read-In on Tuesday, February 2, 2016. IRC staff collaborated with various student groups, including PME (Peer Multicultural Educators) and ASIA (Asian Students in America), in conjunction with Adrienne Coleman, Multicultural Education Specialist, and the History and English Departments.

To prepare for the Read-In, IRC staff pulled a variety of works by Asian authors, including poetry, non-fiction, and fiction works. These items were made available ahead of time for students to select for their readings.

At the Read-In, an introduction to the history and influence of Asian literature was given by Dr. Kitty Lam, History Faculty. Students and staff then had a chance to read selections of meaningful works from their favorite Asian authors.

DancingStudent groups also performed a variety of Asian-themed dances. Refreshments were served.

Lunar New Year Celebrated with Read-In

003Various IMSA school groups have coordinated a Read-In for tomorrow, Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. The Read-In is tied to the Lunar New Year and will celebrate Asian authors. Students and staff will read original work or a passage from a favorite author. Food and drink will be served.

004Connie James-Jenkin, IMSA Collection Development and Reference Librarian, and Jeanette Clark, Circulation Clerk, have put together a display of books that features Asian authors. There are poetry books, as well as fiction and non-fiction works. All the items on display are available for check-out.



An Overview of the eBooks Available Through the IRC

001Just in time for the winter break, Connie James-Jenkin, the Collection Development and Reference Librarian in the IRC, held an overview session to explain how easy it is to download eBooks and audio books from the Magic Wall, which is on the IRC’s website.

Anyone who missed Connie’s presentation on Thursday, December 17, 2015, can get the directions from Connie or visit Connie in the IRC and she’ll answer any questions. The IRC’s collection of eBooks is easy to get to. Just click “eBook collection” in the first column on the website and then click “Magic Wall.”

“There are 27,000 items in the collection,” said Connie. “There is an excellent selection of fiction, nonfiction and audio books.”

002To access the collection, users will need to download an app onto newer devices. Connie can help those with older devices, and she has a handy sheet of directions and one of FAQs available for anyone who would like one.

There are current best sellers, classics and audio books in children, teen and adult fiction and nonfiction titles. Users can browse through the titles and if something appeals, just click on the title to see a synopsis. The IRC is a member of a consortium of over 100 libraries in the eRead Illinois program, which provides access to the eBook collection.

A click on the options listed on the left side of the screen brings users to very specific categories or genres. A click on the “Language” selection lets users know if the title is available in a language other than English. Currently, there are many items written in Spanish.

During the overview, Connie mentioned that users can borrow five titles at a time, and check out each item for a three week period. To return an item before it is due, just hover over the title and click “return.”

When users are browsing titles, they may notice an item that is shaded in gray. This item is checked out, and a user can put the item on reserve. An email notice will be sent to let the user know when the item is available for download.

Stop by the IRC before it closes for winter break on Wed., December 23, 2015, and ask Connie for assistance in downloading the app that will allow you to check out any item in the Magic Wall. If you’ve already downloaded the app, happy reading!



LGBTQA Display and Read-In

001Gay Pride month is June, but IMSA students are done with school at the beginning of June, so Spectrum and PME have claimed December as LGBTQA month. They are tying this recognition to Worlds AIDS Day, which is December 1st.  (Spectrum is the IMSA LGBTQ student group and PME is Peer Multicultural Educators at the school. LGBTQA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Androgynous.)

002Spectrum, PME and IRC staff have created a display of fiction, nonfiction books and DVDs for LGBTQA month. Classic and contemporary fiction and non-fiction written by authors Virginia Woolf, Rita Mae Brown, Jennifer Finney and Drew Ferguson, among others, are part of the display. Memoirs, featuring stories of growing up gay and lesbian, and anthologies are also included in the display. All the items in the display can be checked out.

003On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, there will be a Read-In in the IRC at 4:20 p.m. IMSA students, faculty and staff will read from their favorite authors’ works or their personal writing, and refreshments will be served.

Tenth Annual Family Reading Night will be held on November 19, 2015

2015 FRN Posteremail-1The tenth annual IMSA Community Family Reading Night will be held on Thursday, November 19, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. The theme for this year’s event is, “Read, Think and Go Green @ IMSA!”

Students from Aurora school districts 129 and 131, and children of IMSA employees, will be in attendance to enjoy an evening that includes a scientific demonstration by the SciTech Hands on Museum, which is located in Aurora. During the evening the children will participate in crafts, science activities and book readings held during the IMSA staff story time. Parents can take a tour of the school led by IMSA student volunteers.

A raffle will be held and prizes include puzzles of the rain forest and the ocean, movie tickets from Cinemark Tinseltown movie theater in Aurora, and coupons for a local Pizza Hut in Aurora. Back packs filled with goodies and a t-shirt will be handed out to every child who attends.

Oberweis Dairy will provide ice cream treats during the evening.

Dart Container is this year’s event sponsor. Student volunteers from the IRC, Admissions and Allies departments of IMSA will help prepare and oversee crafts for the event, painted faces and other activities throughout the night.

For more information, please contact Angela Richardson at or 630 907-5075.

The IRC Holds a Women’s History Month Literature Read-In

A celebration of Women’s History Month will take place in the IRC today, beginning at noon with readings of original stories and published literature by IMSA students, faculty and staff. The Read-In features IMSA groups the Bellas and the Fellas, and IMSA staff Leah Kind, Ph. D., Bonny Sucherman and Chris Whitehead.

Blogging live from the event:

003Leah Kind, Ph. D. opened the Read-In by noting that it hasn’t always been easy for women to write and publish their work, and today there are women all over the world who are still writing under the shadow of fear and punishment. Kind went on to mention noted women writer’s throughout history and their contributions, and mentioned IMSA’s English teachers reminiscences about women writers.

004The first reading was Sylvia Plath’s poem, “Lady Lazarus,” which contains what one reviewer called Plath’s “aggressive mythopoetic claim.” The line the reviewer referred to is, “Out of the ash/ I rise with my red hair/ and I eat men like air.”

The second reading was “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou. During the Read-In students read other works by Plath and well known writers, including Alice Walker and Sandra Cisneros. Only one student read her original writing – a poem she had written in Creative Writing class. the poem is “Never Again” and refers to violence against the author and what she does to end the abuse.

001Tea was served during and after the Read-In.





African American Read-In Held in IRC

Blogging live from the African American Read-In, which is being held in the IRC from noon until 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 19, 2015.

065IMSA Principal, Branson Lawrence, Ph. D., welcomed everyone and read a poem before turning the floor over to Adam Kotlarczyk, Ph.D., a teacher at IMSA who spoke about the history of African American writers and the challenges they faced to get their writing published.

066Mama SheShe, a mother of an IMSA student, the student’s sister and the student’s “community sister”, danced and sang their way into the circle.

069The three women sang, drummed and danced. The first song they performed, as they danced their way into the circle, was a tribute to the ancestors, then the women danced two celebration dances.

071After they performed, Mama SheShe explained the dances and said that the celebration dances were used in weddings and naming ceremonies.

Attendees were then invited to read from African American literature, and the first reader, a student, chose a poem by Langston Hughes, “Dreams,” as her selection. Students and faculty members read for the crowd.


Poet Walkin Contradiction, who travels the country exposing people to poetry and inspiring others to realize their purpose and potential, strode into the circle and performed his first poem which touched on many current events.

061 (2)Walkin Contradiction started a call and response of “Please stop the violence,” which the crowd participated in, softly at first and then with more verve and confidence.

062 (2)Soul food okra, fried green tomatoes, gumbo, and cookies were served to all who attended.

059 The African American Read In was organized by the President’s Office, Peer Mulicultural Educators, the English Department and the IRC.

Ninth Annual Family Reading Night was Out of This World!

The ninth annual IMSA Community Family Reading Night was held on Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., and more than 200 participants, including elementary age students and their parents attended. The theme for this year’s event was, “Reading is Out of This World!”

Students from Aurora school districts 129 and 131, and children of IMSA employees, enjoyed a fun filled evening that began with a scientific demonstration put on by the SciTech Hands on Museum, which is located in Aurora. During the evening the children were entertained with crafts, science activities and book readings held during the IMSA staff story time, while their parents were invited on tours of the school led by IMSA student volunteers.

A raffle was held and prizes included puzzles of the solar system, craft packages with various crayon selections, movie tickets from Cinemark Tinseltown movie theater in Aurora, and coupons for a local Pizza Hut in Aurora. Nobody went home empty handed, though, because back packs filled with goodies and t-shirts were handed out to every child who attended.

Oberweis Dairy provided the ice cream treats that were available during the evening, and the Junior League of Kane and DuPage Counties provided a free book for each child who attended.

Dart Container was this year’s event sponsor. Student volunteers from the IRC, Admissions and Allies departments of IMSA helped prepare and oversee crafts for the event, painted faces and assisted in other activities during the night.

Thanks to all who helped make this year’s event a success!