Friday, August 29, 2014

Fall Programming!

Fall Programming at the MKC – Call Program Director, Amy Eckhouse if you are interested in any of these opportunities.  773-925-8686 ex 5001
4th Graders  A FUN/CREATIVE OPPORTUNITY Cost:  $5.00
Fourth Graders are invited to sign up for a fun, creative after school program sponsored by the Maria Kaupas Center (MKC)…facilitated by Monica Pletz,  artist and entrepreneur in the community.
Scholars will explore their imagination through this 8 week ART course that meets on Thursdays from 3:45- 5:00.   Each lesson reflects different types of art in fun, interactive ways. Our course will use materials that range from commonly used household objects to items found in nature. We will look at methods of mastering perspective, dimensions, color theory, and elements of design. The participants' creations will illuminate and decorate our center to inspire others.
 By signing up for this activity, your son/daughter is making a commitment to attend all sessions for 8 weeks.  Sept. 18, Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13, and 20.
4th and 5th Graders
Attention ALL MUSIC lovers! – Scholars will explore different aspects of music as a way of self-expression.  Musical activities will include singing, drumming, chiming and playing the recorder. 
Fourth and Fifth graders are invited to sign up for a fantastic after-school program sponsored by the Maria Kaupas Center (MKC)…facilitated by Harmony, Hope and Healing.  This project will teach scholars how to use their voices, drums and recorders.  At the end of the program in November, scholars will possibly perform a concert for the Sisters of St. Casimir, family and friends.  This 8 week group will meet on Tuesdays at 3:30 in the Maria Kaupas Center beginning on September 16, 2014.  Because the The program is, primarily grant funded, the cost is only $5.00.
Due to limited space, we can ONLY accommodate the participants – no siblings.
By signing up for these musical activities, your son/daughter is making a commitment to attend all sessions for 8 weeks.  Sept. 16, 23, 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, 30 ( THURS) and Nov. 4 (concert) – Space is limited to the 50 participants. Don’t miss this fun opportunity!  J
6th and 7th Graders
 A fantastic sewing opportunity! Cost:  $5.00 – Covers the patterns and some of the snacks.
I Hope you had a good summer and maybe even spent some time sewing. :)  Because you excelled in the after school class last year, you are being invited to be part of the new class of experienced 6th and 7th grade seamstresses.  This class will focus on laying out a pattern for pajama pants, pinning and cutting them out, and using the skills you learned last year to sew them.  In keeping with the MKC tradition, we will also make a hat/scarf for the homeless and a pillow for the Ronald McDonald House.
The group will meet on Wednesdays from 4:15-6:00 in the Maria Kaupas Center (MKC) Sewing Studio. September 17, 24, October 1, 15, 22, 30 (Thursday), Nov. 5, 12, and 19.
6th Graders
Basic guitar lessons
No need to own a guitar to participate in this activity.
Facilitated by Maria Sandoval, this group will learn the basics about the guitar.  You will learn the parts of the guitar and how to play different chords.  By the end of the 7 week session, you will be able to play at least 5 different songs.  This group will meet on Mondays from 4:15-5:15  - September 15, 22, 29,October 6, October 20, October 27, and November 3.

Catalyst Maria 5th Graders
Dance! – Trained instructor from Lindas Dance Studio, Vanessa Rivera, will get your blood pumping! She will teach Salsa, Marengue and Vachata.   Cost: only $5.00
The Dance classes will meet on Thursdays from 4:10-5:25- September 18, 25, Oct.2,  9, 16, 23, 30 and Nov. 6,  – the group will meet in the Maria Kaupas Center, located at the south end of the 2nd floor, next to the elevator – (Look for the door with the spiral).

The Art(ist) in You – Maria High School alum, Suzy Etsch leads inquisitive artists as they explore and create multi-cultural art & crafts projects.  Cost:  only $5.00
The Art classes also meet on Thursdays from 4:10-5:25 – September 18, 25 Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30 and Nov. 6, 13 – the group will meet in the Maria Kaupas Center.

Catalyst Maria 7th Grader    
Welcome to Cooking with Maria.  Experienced Cook, Maria Milan will be teaching your daughters/sons how to prepare and cook something themselves. They'll be learning how to make cookies, appetizers, desserts, and entrees.

Cooking classes will meet at 4:15-5:30 on Fridays September 19, October 3, October 10, October 17, October 24 and family night – Nov. 7.
The group will meet in the Maria Kaupas Center, located at the south end of the 2nd floor, next to the elevator – (Look for the door with the spiral).

Catalyst Maria 7th GRADERS
Tweens Talk
Facilitated by Program director, Spiritual Advisor, Amy Eckhouse, this group plans to make sure these fourteen-year-olds having left the security of elementary school and facing the new and sometimes frightening world of high school, keep God in their lives so that He can help them make this exciting but often challenging transition.
Topics  include:
Open/honest conversations about daily issues…
If the shutters are closed, the sunlight will not get in…
I am only as happy as my relationships are happy
If I want peace in my life, I have to BE peace
If only I had changed myself first, then by example, I would have changed my family/friends/mom/dad…
How we are in our relationships affects how we hear God
This group will meet from 4:15-5:15 September 12, 19, October 10, 17, 24, Nov. 7, and 14.

Creative Writing – 7th Graders
Facilitated by Villanova graduate, former English teacher, Cheryl Tolish, the 7th and 9th Graders are invited to enroll in an eight week creative writing workshop sponsored by the Maria Kaupas Center.  Participants will have the opportunity to experiment with language and explore a variety of literary genres, including poetry, short stories and skits.  Writers will learn the importance of characters and settings, sensory detail, figurative language, strong word choice, illustrations and interesting conflicts as they progress through the class.  Students will share their writing with each other and with the instructor and will choose their best work to be included in an end of class anthology.  Class is limited to 8 scholars, so register now!  J
The group will meet on Tuesdays for 8 weeks.  Sept. 16, 23, 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, and Nov. 4.  Scholars in this program will come directly to the Maria Kaupas Center, located at the south end of the 2nd floor, next to the elevator (look for the blue door with the spiral), at dismissal.  At 5:15, the 7th graders will be escorted out to the parking lot.  The 9th graders may stay in the center until it closes at 6:00.

Catalyst Maria grades 6-12
Dance Movement

Erin Bell is a paraprofessional at Catalyst-Maria High School working with students with special needs.  She is a graduate student at Lesley University studying Dance Movement Therapy and Counseling.  She received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Bradley University.  Erin has 20 years of dance experience and presently choreographs and teaches dance to both youth and adults at St. James A.M.E. Church.
     The Maria Kaupas Center is very excited to offer a class in Dance Movement.  A fairly recent therapeutic approach, which has been recognized as a highly effective modality with the special needs population, is dance movement therapy. Dance movement therapy allows for creativity and self-expression. It develops the ability to organize thoughts and feelings verbally while meeting the child at their own functional level. Other therapies, such as art and music, are also beneficial to this population; however, dance movement therapy involves the body as a whole (including the mind) resulting in a greater development of self and sense of belonging. This practice uses movement and rhythm to address functional disabilities such as:
·         Visual and Auditory Sequencing and Memory
·         Personal Space of Others, Spatial Orientation and Directionality
·         Social Skills
·         Body Image
·         Body Awareness
·         Coordination and Rhythm
·         Motor Skills
·         And many more…
Overall, dance movement is a great way to aid in the removal of social barriers and to overcome interpersonal contact by offering movement as a tool for communication helping these children grow into their own identity.
Dance Movement Therapy will meet from 4:15-6:00 three times a week for eight weeks.  The group will begin on September 15 in the Maria Kaupas Center and end on November 24. Meeting dates are as follows:  September 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 29, Oct. 1, 6, 10, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, Nov., 3, 5, 7, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, and Nov. 24
Catalyst Maria 9th Graders
Cooking with Mary Prete -  “Pretey” - Good Food! 
Learn how to cook favorite meals from breakfast to lunch to dinner.  We will make pancakes, omelets, homemade spaghetti and lots more.  Be the best cook in your house; it’s easier than you think.

Cooking classes will meet on Mondays September 15, 22, 29 October 6 and have a family night on October 20. (4:15-6:00). The group will meet in the Maria Kaupas Center, located at the south end of the 2nd floor, next to the elevator – (Look for the door with the spiral).


You are invited to sign up for an adult sewing class where you will learn how to run a sewing machine, practice stitches, make a shoulder bag for yourself and pillows for the Ronald McDonald House.  There might be time to make some pillows for yourself. 
The group will meet on Mondays from 1:30-3:00 in the Maria Kaupas Center.  You can enter the building under the blue awning at the south end of the parking lot. 
September 15, 22, 29 – Mondays
October – 6, 14 (Tuesday), 20, 27
November 3
PLEASE CALL Amy Eckhouse 773-925-8686 x 5001 to reserve your spot

Adult Diabetes Education Class- (partnering with Holy Cross Hospital) held at the Maria Kaupas Center on Thursdays from 1-3

English Language Learning (ELL) – Held at the Maria Kaupas Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays
Sept. 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, 30, Oct. 2, 7, and 9.  From 12:00- 2:00.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Check out our new video!


. . . that several intrepid MKC’ers braved the high temperatures and heavy humidity on Saturday, August 23rd to do their part to
make our community a little greener?


The MKC Green Team included Catalyst students, Maria Kaupas Center staff, 15th Ward aldermanic candidate Raul Reyes, and other guests. The team spent a couple of hours picking up trash on the northeast side ofMarquette Park where they were greeted with appreciative responses from regular park-goers.

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After gathering trash, some of the team, including MKC staffer Matt Whalen, found the energy to run a foot-race despite the heat!


Upon returning to the MKC, the team pledged in a prayer circle to maintain this effort by making a conscious effort to keep our green spaces clean.


“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world.
Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

MKC's Open House!!

Please come to our Open House
A faith-based community center serving the children, teens and adults of the Marquette Park community and surrounding neighborhoods

Thursday, September 25, 2014
The Maria Kaupas Center
2740 West 68th Street
Chicago, IL 60629
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Meet the MKC staff, tour the Center, listen to teen leader testimonials, and learn more about

Our history . . .
  Our challenges . . .
  Our solutions . . .
  Our results . . .
  Our future . . .
 Evening’s schedule: 
          6:00 PM - casual mingling & tours
6:30 PM - brief presentation
7:00 PM - questions, more mingling & tours

If possible, RSVP by September 23rd to Executive Director Carmen Ontiveros or 773.925.8686 ext. 5002, but feel free to stop in to join us!
Adults only, please; appetizers and refreshments will be served.
“MKC, Chicago’s newest up-and-coming non-profit”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Did You Know....

. . . that there will be NEW FACES around the MKC this year?

WE are SO thrilled to welcome Matt Whalen, a Capuchin Corp volunteer, to the MKC.


Matt, a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida with extensive community service experience, including working with youth, will be working with us for the next year.
He is excited to be joining our team, but not nearly as excited as we are to have him!
Please stop by and introduce yourself to Matt.
The MKC opened its doors to Catalyst-Maria students and parents during orientation


Staff and student leaders offered tours of the Center and answered questions. Registration forms were handed out and based on everyone’s enthusiastic reactionto the Center, we anticipate student participation to increase sharply.
Ms. Eckhouse is putting the final touches on the new fall schedule
of activities which will be announced soon.
Keep your eyes open for some exciting new opportunities for both elementary and high school students.

Here are some highlights from our first year!


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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Green for the CLEAN!

The Maria Kaupas Center
GREEN for the CLEAN!
Help us clean up
Marquette Park
Saturday, August 23, 2014
9:45 - assemble MKC parking lot
10:00 till Noon - clean up the park
Noon till 1:00 – pizza at the MKC
This activity is sponsored by
the Maria Kaupas Center as part of the City of Chicago’s
Community Engagement Day
For information, call Carmen Ontiveros
The Maria Kaupas Center is a 501(c)(3) faith-based community center that joyfully serves all members of the Marquette Park community, regardless of race, religion, culture or ethnicity. We offer after school programming for elementary and high school students as well as adult workshops and classes.
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The Maria Kaupas Center
2740 West 68th Street
Chicago, IL 60629

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Did You Know....

. . . that there are NO dog days of summer at the MKC?

Nope; we’re finishing the summer strong and heading into fall
energized and inspired!

Here's what you have been missing:


The Kaupas Krusaders finished their softball tournament undefeated!
But more important than the scores of the game were the
friendships and fellowship that grew as a result.
The tournament wrapped up on August 8th with Mass in theMKC chapel,
community pizza dinner, and more softball!
Many of our kids had never played softball before,
and they enjoyed learning something new and winning as a team.
They also enjoyed interacting with the teens from
St. Nick, St. Gall, and St. Turibius.
Kudos to Cooky Eraci-Perez and Amy Eckhouse for organizing this event.
We hope it becomes a new summer tradition.

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Wednesday's Teen Activity Nights
continue to grow in popularity and creativity.
Last week, with Ms, Eckhouse's help, Lnk Bacani (MHS ‘06) and Steven Willis sponsored a

Poetry Slam.
Talented teens and young adults gave voice to their

hopes and their dreams, as well as their anger and disappointments
as an appreciative audience watched.

This is sure to become a regular event at the MKC.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Our final softball outing..

The MKC was happy to host the final softball outing with, St. Nicks, St. Turibius and St. Gall. We celebrated mass and then had a great meal. Thank you all for sharing your spirit and love with us. You are always welcome at the Maria Kaupas Center. Special thanks to Cooky Perez-Eraci and Fr. Jacob. 

We asked the MKCers to write something about the activity filled day on Friday...

"The mass was nice a great way to end off a good game"

"The softball tournament was a great experience. I had fun playing games and meeting new people. Hopefully I have the opportunity to do it again. The tournament ended great with a very peaceful mass and fantastic pizza party"

"I really liked playing softball and meeting new people and starting friendships. The pizza was good too!"

"I like how we had a mini tournament, met new people, and the mass, it was all so much fun. Thanks for everything."

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wednesday's Activity

This past Wednesday at the MKC we had a poetry slam, we couldn't have been more blessed and inspired by the young artist who joined us.

 Lnk Bacani preforming one of her songs.
All the MKCers who joined us.

Just hanging out
Lnk Bacani and Steven before they begin.

We asked the students to write one thing about how they felt, here are some things they had to say.

-Today was truly an inspiration. It made me want to start writing again- A

-Your words are very powerful. You're a great performer, thank you for coming to perform for us.

-You're an amazing singer!! Why haven't you gotten yourself on the radio yet!!? I loved your songs, thanks for coming tonight.

Thank you once more Lnk Bacani and Steven for joining us, we hope to see you soon!