Throughout her tenure in the Illinois Senate, Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford has been a champion for education, working tirelessly in Springfield for increased educational opportunities. And through her Saturday University program, she's working just as tirelessly in the 4th District for local students.

Partnering with The Black Star Foundation, Lightford's KAL Saturday University provides instruction in math, reading and writing for students in fifth through eighth grade. Begun last fall, Saturday University opened its second semester in February with 90 students, who met with instructors every Saturday morning for 10 weeks. The free, community-based tutoring program is aimed at helping students improve their grades.

At the end of the semester on May 5, students received certificates of accomplishment and celebrated with a pizza party. Lightford attributed Saturday University's success to the teachers, volunteers and parents for their dedication, as well as the students for their hard work.

Plans already are in motion for the 2013-14 semesters as well as a possible program this summer.

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