History of the Program

owl-tutorThe Parkside Elementary School after-school tutoring program was organized in 1997 and began as Best of Kids. The program was K-12 and had over 40 community volunteers, teachers, and peer-tutors tutoring Lawrenceville Unit 20 youth. Volunteers came from local businesses, churches, retired teachers’ association, and civic clubs & organizations. The program was funded by IL DCFS Family Centered Services grant, IDHS Substance Abuse Prevention, Project Success and private donations. The program was managed by Project Success.

In 2004, CUSD #20 assumed financial and administrative responsibility of the program and re-named the program, the Night Owls program. At the end of 2014 school year, the program ended due to lack of funds to support the program. In the Summer of 2015, Cra-Wa-La approached the school district to inquire about the program in an attempt to understand what happened to this much needed program and determine if there was something the organization could do to help to re-instate the program. The school board approved Cra-Wa-La as the program sponsor and administrator. Mrs. West, the program Coordinator sat with Executive Director Marie Goff and re-structured the program, once again relying on community volunteers. The Parkside Elementary School PTO, also concerned for the program and needs of the children, contributed $5,000 to operate the tutoring program.

In January 2016, with the support of CUSD#20 (Lawrenceville, IL), Parkside Elementary School Administration, and Cra-Wa-La at the helm, hosting the program, and Rosemary West Coordinating, the Night Owls Tutoring Program launched once again. Teachers and Para-professionals facilitate each class, and community volunteers along with LHS students (peer-tutors) provide tutoring assistance.
The program operates 2-days a week, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. Future plans with financial support it is planned that the program will operate 5 days a week.

Download a 2016-17 Night Owls Information Sheet here.

You can find us on Facebook at ( and Rosemary writes a Night Owls Blog ( filled with fun activities and great information.
Donations – Make checks to CraWaLa Night Owls Program. Mail to PO Box 635, Lawrenceville, IL 62439 or donate through Paypal using the button below.