Age 13, Illinois
Favorite Subject: Social Studies, History
Book: Eldest, by Christopher Paolini
Music: pop, rock, show tunes
Extracurricular Activities: the Drama Group of Chicago Heights, the Grande Prairie Children's Choir, student council, yearbook committee, soccer, tennis, swimming, and golf
Hobbies: science fiction, politics, world events, reading, drama, and chess
Joe is interested in politics and hopes to have a career in politics or law some day.
In his spare time, he likes to read newspapers and fantasy or science-fiction books. He also likes to play computer games like Sid Meier's Civilization or just hang out with his brother and friends.
Joe has one brother.
Check out Joe's articles:
Joe reports from the King Tut exhibit at the Feld Museum in Chicago, Illinois.
Italy takes gold, while favored Norway comes in fifth in Men's Cross-Country Relay.
Bode Miller misses out in the Alpine Men's Downhill event.
Italian men and German women first in team pursuit speed skating.
• Where Gospel Music Was Born
Joe reports about the destruction of a historic church in Chicago, Illinois.
Park Forest and the State of Illinois
By Joe Wlos
Scholastic Kids Press Corps
My town of Park Forest, Illinois, is a special town because it represents mainstream America. Fifty-five years ago it was built for veterans of World War II and their families. It was the first postwar housing development that was affordable. It was also family friendly, with stores, schools, many parks, a library, a tennis and health club, an 18-hole golf course, and a swimming facility.
Many of the veterans who first moved to Park Forest and their children are still living here today, giving our town a diverse mix of age groups.
Another unique attribute of Park Forest is that it is a culturally and racially diverse area. The residents appreciate and celebrate this diversity among their neighbors and friends.
Park Forest hosts an annual 10-mile race that attracts people from all around the world. Our town has received two All-American City Awards for successfully meeting the needs of its residents. The town's founder imagined it as "a castle in the sky of America." The All-American City Awards program says Park Forest has met that expectation.
The state I live in is Illinois. It is special, too, because it is so diverse. It has big cities, small towns, farms, big business, and industry.
Illinois is also racially and culturally diverse. Many African Americans moved to Illinois after being freed from slavery. Many Eastern Europeans immigrated to the Chicago area during the early 1900s and late 1800s.
Because of the state's location, it is a major transportation center with many people coming and going through the area. Even in the early days, when it was under French control, it was a transportation center for furs, which were taken down the Illinois River and then down the Mississippi River to New Orleans.
In Illinois, there are many different types of people doing different type of things and living different types of lives, which makes it a special place.