Pirates of CIFAgain this year, Los Angeles-based Story Pirates sailed into Evanston. Story Pirates is an educational improv troupe that comes to Evanston to celebrate the words and ideas of children of all abilities. Last month the Story Pirates worked in classrooms in several District 65 schools to create group stories with the children in their classes. The collaboration between Story Pirates and District 65, facilitated by  Center for Independent Futures, culminated in two performances at SPACE, where the Pirates transformed the stories into sketches. Photo by Evanston Photographic Studios

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Center for Independent Futures held an open house for its expansive new quarters at 1015 Davis St. The not-for-profit organization that helps individuals with disabilities and their families develop the “skills and opportunities to realize full lives” moved recently from its prior location at 734 Main St.

CIF offers training both to teachers and to families, said Executive Director Jane Doyle. “We train family groups to be able to create a ‘Community Living’ option in their own community. That means housing along with support services,” she said.

In addition, the organization works with schools in Evanston, Chicago and Waukegan, training teachers to teach students eight aspects of quality of life, such as processes for problem-solving, life skills, action-planning and resource-identification, Dr. Doyle said.

CIF wrote the curriculum for Evanston Township High School’s Transition House, a small house on the northwest end of the school property (near the stadium and the nature center).

The Transition House is the day home for students who for the most part have enough credits to graduate but want to acquire life-skills to be able to live independently. They plan meals, cook and shop; they take trips and prepare for employment. The curriculum is built around independence, said Dr. Doyle: living, working and participating.