Be a Star

Be a Star is an afterschool group program designed to help African American students from ages 5-12. The core value of this promising practice is to improve the mental well-being of African American children. During the day, the program is divided into three segments: physical activity, discussion and skill development, and craft or snack time. The discussion and skill development section touches on improving decision-making, expanding interpersonal competence, heightening cultural awareness and self-esteem, and learning about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. 

Our team felt that this promising practice was a strong choice for our community because of its commitment to reducing substance use within the African American community. The most recent version of McLean County's Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), as well as the data we collected from social media highlighted the importance of this issue within the African American community. The CHIP Report also reflected the need for early intervention programs that could decrease behavioral health-related hospitalizations in our county. We felt that Be a Star was a great program addressing these two areas of interest. 

What are the numbers?

  • Approximately 800 people were served between 1994-1995
  • This program served elementary school children at five different locations
  • Expected cost: $194,000 between 1994-1995

This is a map of the Bloomington-Normal community with the points of the non-profit organizations and the different bus routes and bus stops leading to each organization that could potentially take more of a lead on the Be a Star Promising Practice.

Creator: Alex Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Below is a list of resources that could potentially take more of a lead on this Promising Practice:

  • District 87 Education #17 - School district within the Bloomington-Normal community. 
  • Chestnut Health Systems - Provides a wide range of behavioral health and human services.  
  • Project Oz - Provides counseling, education and career planning, student support services, safety planning, and healthy living strategies to students and families in Unit 5 and District 87.
  • Heartland Community College - Community College located in Normal, IL. 
  • Illinois Wesleyan University - Liberal Arts university located in Bloomington, IL.
  • Illinois State University - Public University located in Normal, IL.
  • Children's Home and Aid - A child and family service agency in Illinois that has reach within the community, classroom and home. Dedicated to recovering children’s health.
  • WBRP - Led by residents that are dedicated to helping improve West Bloomington. 
  • BN Parents - An organization of parents that supports the development of healthy alcohol and drug free youth.
  • McLean County Public Libraries -  Public Library located in Bloomington-Normal  with outreach services that travel throughout the county providing programs to those in the Bloomington-Normal community. 
  • Advocate Medical Group Behavioral Health - Offers psychological services to help people of all ages cope with life's challenges. Behavioral health experts provide assessment, testing, medication, counseling for children, and more.