In the communities of the Cardunal area, an array of festivals highlights the calendar of family pleasures, and a unique theme park conjures up fun and fantasies for youngsters.

The Cardunal Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Jamboree Days, a community family festival, is the biggest event of summer. The festivities are held over a five-day period in August in Carpenter Park in Carpentersville. Family fun is the main fare of the event that includes live entertainment, popular children's activities and games, events for seniors, pet show, an international food fair, arts and crafts fair, carnival, and a beer and wine garden.

Every other year on the last Saturday in June, Americana Days occurs, sponsored by the Dundee Township Historical Society. Americana Days celebrates local history and features arts and crafts, period musical entertainment, storytelling, and demonstrations such as sheep shearing and wool spinning. Food vendors offer 19th century fare and the event concludes with a band concert and fireworks.

Dickens in Dundee is the area's winter festival. Sponsored by several Cardunal area civic and social groups Dickens in Dundee is held the first weekend in December. It features an ice carving competition, arts and crafts, and a parade that brings Father Christmas to the area. Horse and carriage transportation takes participants on tours of West Dundee's historic areas. Free horse-drawn wagons take others for tours of East Dundee's historic section.

In February, the Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual Sweetheart Ball, which, for 17 years, has been a major social event in Cardunal country. The ball is a black tie optional affair with music played by a noteworthy dance band.

Algonquin's Founders Days in July has been a mainstay of the area's festival calendar for decades. There's always a big parade and plenty of food and beverages. An arts and crafts show is a highlight of the annual event.

September's Fine Arts Festival is the product of the Dundee Township Fine Arts Council, which meets at the Dundee Township Tourist Center. The festival provides a mix of gallery exhibitions, art sales, and hands-on experiences for youngsters and their families.

West Dundee Bridgefest, held in the fall, showcases new improvements and enhancements in the historic downtown area. Among the newest is Riverwalk, a million dollar addition to the riverfront providing a brick walkway that winds along the beautifully landscaped river bank.

Cardunal area libraries are popular among all residents. The Dundee Township Public Library, in East Dundee, shelves more than 100,000 books, periodicals, audio media, and video cassettes. The Algonquin Area Public Library, in Algonquin, has a total collection of more than 67,000 pieces. Both offer many interesting and educational programs for all ages.

Those who enjoy an evening of fine dining are right at home in the Cardunal area. More than 20 full service restaurants feature such delights as ethnic cuisine, steaks and chops, and seafood, plus dinner theater and riverboat dining. Many more area eateries offer casual family dining and still more specialize in fast food service and take-out.

Santa's Village Theme Park and Racing Rapids Action Park on Highway 25 combine to provide a day of happy family entertainment. Nearby attractions include the Illinois Railway Museum and Wild West Town at Union, the Antique Village Museum at Volo, South Elgin's Fox River Trolley Museum, and Lords Park Children's Zoo.

The Grand Victorian Riverboat Casino, in Elgin's City Center, offers gaming with the look and feel of Las Vegas. It draws approximately 10,000 visitors each day. The boat's 85,000 square foot pavilion welcomes guests and provides three movie screens, restaurants, and other amenities. The success of the riverboat continues to attract new business to downtown Elgin and to the Cardunal area, including hotels like the new Holiday Inn and the newer Marriott Suites.

Elgin Community College's impressive Visual and Performing Arts Center draws as many as 35,000 people each season. Among the performers who have appeared at the center are the Hubbards Street Dancers, the Ladysmith Black Mambazo singers, and the talented area artists. The Hemmens Auditorium, located in Elgin's downtown Civic Center is also a cultural focal point for the area. The award-winning Elgin Symphony Orchestra performs here. The facility seats more than 1,200.

Proximity to I-90 and Chicago assures Cardunal area residents quick access to the full scope of the city's arts and entertainment from world class theatre to performances by the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera and professional sports team.

A single public school district serves the seven communities of the Cardunal area. Community Unit School District 300 is one of the 12 largest districts in Illinois, and continues to grow. Current enrollment is more than 14,600 and the district projects an enrollment of more than 16,000 by 2004. The district serves an area of 118 square miles which include the seven Cardunal area communities and small portions of Elgin, Hoffman Estates, Barrington Hills, Cary, and Fox River Grove.

In 1996, the district was one of two in the state to receive the prestigious Lincoln Award for Exemplary Practice for its site-based improvement process. At the same time, Jacobs High School was honored by the Illinois State Board of Education for Exemplary Partnerships with local businesses. Several of the districtÕs teachers also received awards and recognitions.

In the fall of 1997, all District 300 high schools begin block scheduling. Tested at Dundee Crown High School, block scheduling is a means of intensifying study by arranging the school day into four 90-minute classes. Eight 50-minute classes is the traditional norm. Increasing class lengths to 90 minutes allows instructors to cover subject matter in more detail and bring specifics into greater focus.

There are 19 education centers in the District 300 system Ñ two high schools, a combined middle school/high school, three middle schools, 11 K-5 elementary schools, Westfield Ñ a new K-8 elementary school, and a family education center. The new 172,000 square-foot Westfield Community school is unique in the district, combining elementary and middle school in the same building.

The elementary curriculum focuses on language arts, math, and citizenship. In the fourth and fifth grades, science and social studies increase in emphasis. All grades receive the benefits of physical education, general music instruction, and career awareness. There is also an extensive program for gifted and talented students. The curriculum of middle schools includes language arts, math, science, social studies, and physical or health education. Electives enter the educational framework in the sixth grade and include band or orchestra. In seventh and eighth grades, the variety of electives and extracurricular activities increases. Interscholastic sports also become available in these grades.

The high schools offer more than 220 different academic and career courses. Several are advanced courses and there are advanced placement courses in English, U.S. history, biology, chemistry, and calculus - each a college level course that can award college credit.

District 300 high schools also offer a Middle College Program in cooperation with Elgin Community College (ECC). The program enables select college-bound students to take college level courses during the regular high school day. Academically talented students who participate in the Middle College Program meet the districtÕs graduation requirements and earn transferrable ECC credit at the same time.

The district's high schools provide four years of technical training for students who desire to enter the job market after high school graduation. Introductory courses are taught at the high school level and advanced technology courses are taught at Elgin Community College. More than 70 occupational courses are offered, including such skills as accounting, office technology, computer aided design and drafting, construction technology, business law, advertising and sales, and welding. While gaining the skills needed for entry level employment, students also earn Elgin Community College credit.

Human services is another four-year cooperative program with ECC. Like the technology program, introductory courses in child care are taught at the high school and advanced child care courses are taught at ECC. College credit is earned and entry level employment skills are acquired. The high schools of District 300 field a full roster of boys and girls sport teams and a variety of extracurricular clubs and organizations.

In addition to the schools and programs of District 300, parents have access to Summit School for Exceptional Children, located in East Dundee. Working parents have access to nearly 30 private and parochial daycare and preschools in and around the Cardunal area. For parents seeking alternatives to public education, three churches operate kindergarten through eighth grade schools. Each offers a solid, religious-based educational program. More parochial schools are located in nearby Elgin.

Cardunal area students have easy access to several top quality colleges Ñ Elgin Community College, Judson College, and National-Louis University in Elgin; McHenry County College, Crystal Lake; and Harper CommunityCollege, Palatine.

Nearby Elgin Community College (ECC) serves more than 20,000 students with an average age of 29. The college continues to grow in facilities and services. In recent years, ECC has invested $22 million in a Visual and Performing Arts Instructional Center, $8 million in a Business and Industry Instructional Center, and $13 million in a General Classroom Building and a Math/Science addition.

The Visual and Performing Arts Center contains two theaters, studios, galleries, general classrooms, offices, and rehearsal rooms. The center's main stage theater seats 600; a studio theater accommodates an audience of 150; and there's also an outdoor theater.

ECC provides the first two years of a university education in everything from agriculture and architectural studies to pre-law and pre-medicine. Its career training includes more than 100 certificate programs and 40 occupational degrees. In all, the college offers more than 1,000 academic, occupational, liberal arts, and professional/personal development classes.

The Judson College campus is located at I-90 and Route 31 on the north edge of Elgin. A Christian coeducational, four-year institution founded in 1963, it offers numerous degree programs. Its internships, teaching practice, and hands-on experience in Judson's art studios and science and computer labs prepare students for employment or graduate study.

National-Louis University has a branch campus at I-90 and Rt. 31 in Elgin. Its College of Arts and Sciences offers several bachelor's and master's degree programs, as does its College of Management and Business.

The university's main campus is in Evanston. McHenry County College is located at the northwestern edge of Crystal Lake, a few minutes north of Lake In The Hills, and serves more than 15,000 students annually. A wide variety of credit and non-credit classes are offered to meet the needs of all ages. The college is the home of the Business Training Center where customized programs are designed for business and industry.

The college offers 50 associate degree programs that provide the first two years of a four-year college curriculum. The college also offers more than 15 certificate programs and applied science degrees which prepare students for careers in numerous fields from child care to criminal justice. A cooperative arrangement with other community colleges in the vicinity permits students to take vocational courses which are not offered locally.

Harper Community College is located in the southwestern corner of Palatine, a short drive from Algonquin on Route 62. It offers programs and courses through the divisions of Academic Enrichment and Language Studies; Business and Social Science; Liberal Arts; Life Science and Human Services; Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation; and Technology, Mathematics, and Physical Science.

A new branch campus of Northern Illinois University is located in the Sears Prairie Stone Center, only minutes from East Dundee on Route 72. The programs and courses offered have a strong emphasis on business and engineering.

The Keller Graduate School of Management offers evening classes at facilities in Elgin. National-Louis University, with its main campus in Evanston, offers classes at its Elgin Center on the city's far north side.

Chicago's institutions of higher education are an easy commute for Cardunal area students. Among them are Loyola University, DePaul University, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois-Chicago, and Illinois Institute of Technology. Northern Illinois University, at DeKalb, is also within easy commuting distance.

Residents of the Cardunal area are surrounded by four highly respected hospitals, giving easy access to professional medical attention and care when needed.

Two of the medical centers are located on the north and west sides of Elgin, one is just north of Barrington, and the other is only minutes away in Hoffman Estates.

Elgin's Sherman Hospital and Saint Joseph Hospital each provide exceptional, cost-effective medical services. Besides maintaining the best in full-service facilities, the hospitals also provide convenient off-site facilities to render easy access to services.

Sherman Hospital is the area's largest medical facility and renowned for its cardiac care expertise. As the regional heart center, Sherman offers a chest pain emergency center, the Simon Cardiac Diagnostic Center, a cardiac arrhythmia center, and a cardiac rehabilitation program.

With 353 beds, Sherman offers an expert staff plus surgical procedures and technology usually associated with metropolitan medical centers. Specially trained physicians perform cancer, cardiovascular, laser, plastic, ophthalmic, neurological and orthopedic surgeries. Sherman Hospitals diagnostic equipment encompasses the most sophisticated technologies available, including MRI.

Sherman is also a leader in trauma and emergency services, and its maternity center provides Level II neonatal intensive care and prenatal services. The hospital also offers a diabetes center, laboratory services, home health care, occupational health services, physical therapy, dialysis and a physician referral service. Preventive care through community education is a priority. The hospital offers classes to help people of all ages live healthier lives. For patients needing long-term or rehabilitative care, Sherman West Court, provides a continuation of care in a homelike setting.

On Randall Road in Algonquin, Sherman Family HealthCare, an affiliate of Sherman Health Systems, provides a wide array of outpatient services, along with offering physician's offices. An immediate care facility is also housed in the large two-story building.

Saint Joseph Hospital, on Elgin's west side, is a 280-bed community hospital and part of the Franciscan Sisters Health Care Corporation. A Level II Trauma Center, the hospital offers emergency/trauma services performed by physicians and nurses specially trained in emergency medicine.

Saint Joseph Hospital is the leading Regional Cancer Care Center in the Cardunal area. As such, it provides the most comprehensive and advanced cancer fighting therapies in the area.

The hospital offers advanced diagnostic services, including MRI and CT scans. Its special procedures suite performs arterial diagnostics and cardiac catheterization and its vascular lab offers in-depth vascular testing.

Other facilities within Saint Joseph Hospital include the Family Birthplace with a Level II nursery, the Psychiatry Center, the Advanced Surgery and Laser Institute, the Transitional Care Unit, and the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit. The hospital's Home and Hospice unit provides a full array of services.

The Lake In The Hills Medical Center, an affiliate of Saint Joseph Hospital just east of Randall Road, offers immediate care and a wide variety of support and diagnostic services, plus the offices of numerous physicians.

The Lake In The Hills Medical Center, an affiliate of Saint Joseph Hospital just east of Randall Road, offers immediate care and a wide variety of support and diagnostic services, plus the offices of numerous physicians.

Several medical and dental clinics and a host of physicians, surgeon, dentists, and chiropractors have offices in the Cardunal area. Skilled care nursing homes are available throughout the area for long-term care.

Throughout the Northwest suburbs, Good Shepherd Hospital has a strong reputation for keeping individuals and families healthy. For over 15 years, Good Shepherd Hospital has been a rich community resource - one that is dedicated to listening to you and responding with programs and services that meet your health care needs.

And today, a team of nearly 400 physicians, representing 35 medical specialties, experienced nurses and other health care professionals, provides a comprehensive service: state-of-the-art surgical and emergency services, including a Level II Trauma Center and pediatric treatment area; a Level II Plus prenatal Center; a nationally recognized cancer program; adult and adolescent mental health services; an extensive, advanced range of outpatient services and much more.

These are just a few of the many ways that Good Shepherd has grown with its community, constantly finding new ways to expand and improve its services to better meet its residents' needs:

Newly remodeled Birth Center offering advanced pre- and postnatal care in a more comfortable environment for moms and newborns.

Newly remodeled and expanded nursery, with a Level II Plus prenatal Center designation making it one of the most comprehensive obstetrical and newborn facilities in the Northwest suburbs.

Round-the-clock care for high risk mothers and newborns.

Enlarged acute care area for treating critically ill and trauma patients.

Pediatric treatment area specially designed to meet the unique needs of critically injured and ill children.

Skilled pediatric medical staff with more than 35 pediatricians, child psychiatrists and neonatologists.

Additional pediatric specialists from Lutheran General Children's Hospital, another member of the Advocate family, provide advanced pediatric care and support services close to home.

Cancer program is recognized by the American College of Surgeon's Commission of Cancer

Wide range of inpatient and outpatient oncology services, trained personnel, support groups and education programs to treat patients with many different types of cancer

Good Shepherd Hospital also draws on the resources of its parent company, Advocate Health Care, one of the largest health care systems in the Chicago area with over 3,800 physicians and 180 locations, including eight respected teaching and community hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, nursing homes, home healthcare and others. Advocate Health Care also participates in the majority of health plans offered in Chicagoland.

Advocate is dedicated to serving the emotional and spiritual, as well as physical needs of its communities. As part of Advocate, Good Shepherd shares in this mission to provide wholistic care.

To learn more about Good Shepherd's physicians call for a free copy of the Good Shepherd Hospital Physicians Directory.

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