istockphoto 534200826 612x612MARYVILLE – With flu season approaching, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) and Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) urge older Illinoisans to get their flu shot as an added layer of protection during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“It’s important for all Illinois residents to get their flu shot, but especially our older adults,” Belt said. “Older adults are at greater risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus and influenza, so getting the flu shot is critical to protecting their health this winter season.” 

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, older adults and people with chronic health issues are more likely to develop serious complications resulting from the flu. While flu seasons are variable in their severity, people 65 years and older tend to be the most vulnerable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 70-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in adults 65 years and older. 

“Health experts insist getting a flu shot is an easy but vitally important way to avoid getting sick,” Crowe said. “With many concerns surrounding hospitals and our aging population due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I encourage residents to take recommendations from their healthcare professionals to keep themselves healthy.”

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover one flu shot per flu season. It is always advisable to consult a health care provider before seeking medical treatment. Find a flu vaccine provider near you with Vaccine Finder.

Category: Press Releases

MARYVILLE - The Illinois State Board of Education has chosen two teachers at schools in the 56th District to recognize as exemplary educators, and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is congratulating both women on the prestigious honor.

“As educators find new methods to connect with students, it’s important for me to express my appreciation for their time, sacrifice and commitment to provide stability for our Metro East communities,” Crowesaid. “Especially in the age of e-learning, dedicated teachers are one of our best hopes to protect our students from falling behind.” 

ISBE selected Jennifer Bhooshan as Regional Teacher of the Year in the state’s Southwest area. Bhooshan is an elementary music teacher at Maryville Elementary School in Collinsville Community Unit School District 10.

Additionally, ISBE officials have named Kimberly Engelman of Eunice Smith Elementary in Alton Community School District 11 as its first-ever Early Childhood Teacher of the Year for the state of Illinois.

During the board’s virtual meeting on Oct. 21, ISBE will recognize all its Teacher of the Year awardees and select one of the 10 Regional Teachers of the Year to receive the 2021 Illinois Teacher of the Year award.

The Teacher of the Year program was created to celebrate the teachers who serve an exceptional role in achieving educational equity for Illinois students.

Photos and bios of the 2021 Illinois Teacher of the Year finalists are available at

Kim Engleman

Kimberly Engelman

Jennifer Bhooshan

Jennifer Bhooshan


Category: Press Releases

Webinar Flyer DCEO Central CroweMARYVILLE— To assist business owners with the application process for the Business Interruption Grant program, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) are cohosting a free webinar with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for businesses in central and southwestern Illinois on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 2 p.m.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, which is why I am encouraging local business owners to participate in the BIG webinar this week,” Belt said. “The pandemic was devastating for many businesses, so it’s imperative that they make the most of this opportunity to receive some aid from the second round of the BIG program.”

“To provide stability to the communities struggling most during the pandemic, the second round of BIG grants gives priority to downstate small businesses affected by mitigation efforts,” Crowe said. “I urge business owners to join the webinar to get answers to their most pressing questions about eligibility and how to apply.”

Registration is required. Click here to register.

Applications for Round 2 of the BIG program were launched last week. The latest round has allocated $220 million in assistance for movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues and other hard-hit businesses to help them stay afloat through this time of crisis and ensure they have the resources to open safely in the coming months.

The intention of the second round is to provide relief for all types of small businesses, with a focus on businesses located downstate and heavily distressed industries. Of the total funding, $70 million has been set aside for businesses in economically distressed communities that have been the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Applications to the BIG program are open and can be found on the Illinois DCEO website. Belt and Crowe urge business owners who are unable to attend the Sept. 30 webinar to visit DCEO’s website to sign up for another webinar or view a prerecorded version. 

Category: Press Releases

E LearningMARYVILLE – To help provide much-needed resources to students learning remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts in the 56th Illinois Senate District are set to receive more than $1.1 million in government funding to improve students’ access to e-learning technology.

“As teachers and students adjust to e-learning, many school districts are struggling with the cost of ensuring all students have access to a computer and an internet connection,” Crowe said. “I’m pleased to see the state is committed to relieving taxpayers of these additional costs.”

The Digital Equity Formula Grants, funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, are intended to help schools bridge the digital divide. School districts can use the funds to expand connectivity and provide students with devices like computers or tablets.

School districts in the 56th District receiving funds include:

· Bethalto CUSD #8 - $165,087

· Collinsville CUSD #10 - $378,231

· Alton CUSD #11 - $368,590

· East Alton Sd #13 - $67,916

· East Alton-Wood River CHSD #14 - $61,869

· Wood River-Hartford ESD #15 - $65,436

Funding was allocated using a need-based formula. The full list of school grantees can be found on the Illinois State Board of Education website.

Category: Press Releases

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District Offices
35 Executive Plaza Court
Maryville, IL 62062
(618) 251-9840 P

111 N. Wood River Ave., Suite A
Wood River, IL 62095
(By appointment only)
(618) 251-9840 P

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311B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5247 P

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