Afternoon Edition: Program helps girls cope post-pandemic

Participants look at their plates during GLOW club at the Club One, an after-school program hosted by Union League Boys & Girls Clubs.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Good afternoon, Chicago. ✶

In today’s newsletter, we’re looking into an after-school program that aims to connect with girls in Chicago and provide them with a safe community and tools to cope with trauma and everyday stressors. 

“This club is the only one we can express ourselves in,” a 9-year-old participant told our reporter Mariah Rush.

Plus we’ve got reporting on how Cubs pitcher Shota Imanaga is adjusting to life in Chicago, the start of street festival season, a Lincoln Square restaurant you should try and more community news you need to know below. 👇

⏱️: A 7-minute read

— Matt Moore, newsletter reporter (@MattKenMoore)


Pilsen group encourages positive self-talk, coping skills in young girls: ‘It’s OK to say you have problems’

Reporting by Mariah Rush

Resources for Chicago kids: At a Pilsen-based after-school group — GLOW: Trauma-Informed Mentoring for Girls — young participants work through traumatic experiences, friend problems, anxiety and negative self-talk. Any frustration is welcome in the GLOW meetings, and this quarter they’re focused on social and emotional wellness.

Teaching coping skills: Alice Perez, the group’s trained trauma-informed mentor, says the program aims to teach girls positive coping skills and prioritize self-healing and emotional intelligence. “The sooner we get to them, the better, because then they already have those skills to become successful adults.”

Who can join? While anyone can join the group, kids exhibiting worrisome behaviors at the Union League Boys & Girls Clubs may be approached specifically about joining the group. “They’re a little wild, but the main thing is that they want to feel safe, that everyone is friends and they want to feel peaceful,” Perez said.

Key context: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 in 5 teen girls in the United States felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021 — double that of boys, representing a nearly 60% increase and the highest level reported over the last decade. “We’re also looking at post-COVID, and a lot of what we’re seeing is anxiety,” Perez said. “A lot of what we’re seeing is depression, self-isolation, very poor, negative views about themselves.”

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‘It’s OK’: Nicole, 10, used to be hesitant to share her feelings with the group. “But I thought if they could do it, I could do it,” she said. “After school, I get really stressed. I like to be able to share my problems and hear what my friends are going through. It’s OK to say you have problems.”



A former 7-Eleven that is now vacant in Lake View may become the next location for Access Contemporary Music’s school and venue.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Oh, thank heaven? A long-shuttered 7-Eleven in Lake View may get a second act, courtesy of Access Contemporary Music. The nonprofit wants to open a fourth music school that would double as a venue with a bar. While ACM has big plans for the property, there’s still a lot that needs to happen before it can come to life.
Capone’s sidearm pulled from auction: Al Capone’s personal sidearm was taken off the auction block after bidding fell short of the estimated $3 million expected in South Carolina Saturday.
Metra seeking feedback: Through June 19, the commuter rail service is asking for input on train schedules in an effort to provide more off-peak service.
 Shota the Chicagoan: Since joining the Cubs and moving to Chicago from Japan, Shota Imanaga, 30, has become a key member of the team. Imanaga makes success look so simple, it’s easy to forget to ask him how he’s handling life alone in a new city halfway around the world. So Sun-Times sports columnist Steve Greenberg asked him.
 Hot Girl Tour gets tepid review: Megan Thee Stallion brought her Hot Girl Summer Tour to the United Center for a two-night stint. While entertaining, the show was hampered by technical glitches and basic production that made things feel rather lukewarm, writes Selena Fragassi in a review for the Sun-Times.


Eat at El Xangarrito

Today’s Sun-Times staff recommendation comes from Assistant City Editor Dorothy Hernandez

A native Chicagoan, Dorothy tells me she loves trying new restaurants and discovering restaurants where she’s never been — like El Xangarrito in Lincoln Square, one of her new favorites.

Follow the crowd: Dorothy says she discovered El Xangarrito while walking home from the Brown Line. “I would walk by this cozy-looking restaurant on my way home from work and would always see this place packed, so I would make a mental note to make a reservation. Unfortunately, I slept on it, and they closed last year. Luckily for me, the closure was brief and so when they reopened, I didn’t waste time making a reservation. Now that it’s nicer outside, I can’t wait to sit on the patio!”

What to order: “You can’t go wrong with the queso fundido or guacamole, which are always a good idea, but El Xangarrito quickly became one of my new favorite Mexican spots after one bite of the enchiladas morita, which are stuffed with shrimp and provolone cheese and served with a creamy morita sauce, a recommendation from the server. By the way, the servers here are so hospitable and sweet, making you feel right at home.”

Don’t forget: El Xangaritto is BYOB. Pick up a six-pack of your favorite beer or bottle of your go-to wine to enjoy with your meal.

What’s your favorite? Dorothy’s always taking recommendations for Dishin’ on the Dish, our monthly feature that focuses on an interesting dish at a local restaurant — so feel free to email her (via with your favorites!

📍El Xangarrito, 4811 N. Rockwell St.


Scenes from the the Lincoln Roscoe Art and Craft Fair in Lake View Saturday.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Lincoln Roscoe Art & Craft Fair helps kick off Chicago’s street fest season

Reporting by Erica Thompson

At the Lincoln Roscoe Art & Craft Fair, patrons will see work from artists indulging their creativity outside of their day jobs.

There’s one architect who sketches people’s homes, another who designs digital collages, an electrical engineer who creates ink pens from pine cones, pressed pennies and playing cards — and more.

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Stretching across Lincoln Avenue between Roscoe and School Streets, the free Lincoln Roscoe Art & Craft Fair ran through Sunday, offering live music, food, beer from Bitter Pops, a Kid’s Art Zone and art and crafts from more than 75 artists.

The goal of the fair is to support local artists and businesses while fostering community in the area — especially along Lincoln Avenue, said Alyssa Lombardo, events and managing director for the Lakeview Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce. 

Among the patrons from other neighborhoods was Brittany Walczak, 34, and A.J. Lacourse, 37, of Buena Park.

“I try not to buy too much, because I want it all,” said Walczak, who purchased a cross-stitching book and pattern from one of her favorite vendors, Stephanie Rohr.

The event also draws out-of-towners, including Allie Santistevan, 20, and Fenner Lamm, 26, who traveled from St. Louis to attend the Megan Thee Stallion concert at the United Center Friday night.

“If I see a craft fair, I’m going to go,” said Lamm. “I just love handmade things. I make things myself, so I love to give my money to small businesses.”



What Chicago street festival are you most looking forward to this year?

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Editor: Satchel Price
Newsletter reporter: Matt Moore
Copy editor: Angie Myers

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