Brooklyn Bridges: Literature, Research and Collaboration
by Lower and Intermediate School Library and Information Services Specialist Mary Catherine Coleman
Learn More >
Robotics Team Wins Inspire Award and Advances to State!
by Co-Captain Nathan Satterfield ’19
Parker Introduces New Middle and Upper School Director of Studies
We are thrilled to report that Parker has successfully completed its nationwide leadership search for the position of Middle and Upper School Director of Studies.
Making a Difference in the Lives of Children With Allergies
Parker in the News!
Community Shines at Presidents’ Day Morning Ex
The Parker community enjoyed a special Presidents’ Day Morning Ex
True Crime Expert Visits Parker
Two Upper School classes welcomed a special visitor to the Harris Center this week
A Musical Celebration of Black History
A quartet of musicians from Chicago Sinfonietta recently visited the school
A Celebration of Science at Parker
February 2017 marked the 10th anniversary of the Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist • Inventor • Engineer in Residence program
Tibetan Lama Spreads Peace and Joy During Morning Ex
Tibetan Lama Lobsang Palden came to speak to our students during a special Morning Ex
Women in Music Morning Ex
Music teacher Kingsley Tang recently answered a 5th grader’s question with a responsive educational experience
Kids are Climbing the Walls!
Students in Junior Kindergarten through 8th grade have recently begun a new experience
Parker Welcomes New Head of Upper School
We are thrilled to report that Parker has completed its nationwide leadership search for our next Head of Upper School
Parker and the American Mathematics Competition
A record number of Upper School students participated in the 2017 American Mathematics Competition
Revisiting the Underground Railroad with Colson Whitehead
Please join us for a reading and discussion with Colson Whitehead on Tuesday, February 28!
Vaudeville Entertainment in the 8th Grade
Eighth graders shared original acts created as the culmination of their recent study of vaudeville
Uke Can Make It in 7th Grade Shop!
Visual Arts Department Chair and Shop teacher Chis Turner led his 7th graders in creating ukuleles
Disability Rights Morning Ex
Parker students recently took part in a Morning Ex focusing on disability rights and awareness
Middle School French Club C'est Magnifique!
The Middle School has its first-ever French Club
Principal’s Vantage Point Report
As we face the serious challenges presented by the current political crisis in our nation, Parker sees this moment as an opportunity to affirm our commitment to educate our students as growing citizens in a climate of care and respect where all are valued and welcome.
Egyptologists in the 4th Grade
Fourth grade students recently opened the annual Egyptian Museum
Elephant and Piggie Open House
First grade students in Sarah Weitz’s class shared their emerging talents as writers and illustrators
Responding to Reptiles in the JK
JK teacher Johanna Davis led her young charges on a responsive exploration of snakes.
Ambiguous Euphoria Competes in State Tournament
The 7th grade robotics team represented Parker at the First LEGO League (FLL) Northern Illinois Championship.
Youth Activists from Lincoln Park head to Women’s March on Washington
Math for Meaning
Please enjoy the Winter 2017 issue of The Live Creature: Math for Meaning.
Registration for 2017 Summer Programs at Parker is Open!
Register before Wednesday, March 15 and receive an early-bird discount!
Help Spread the Word as Parker Hosts the Diversity Job Fair!
Saturday, February 25 | 9 a.m.–12 noon
2017 Cooke & the Colonel Dinners
We are excited to officially introduce this year’s theme, which we think reflects what the evening and Parker are all about.
Pioneers in the 3rd Grade
Students from Parker’s 3rd grade recently immersed themselves in the 1800s for this year’s annual Pioneer Activity Day.
Eighth Grade Game Designers Transform Science Classroom into an Arcade for a Day
This past week, 3rd and 4th graders visited the 8th grade science classroom for a fun-filled game-playing session. Eighth graders had a chance to evaluate and gather feedback on the video games that they had created.
Parker Robotics is Second in its Division!
by Olivia Garg ’19
On January 7, Parker’s Upper School robotics team went to St. Patrick’s High School for their third and final league meet.
Civil Disobedience Speaker Visits Parker
by Director of Civic Engagement Shanti Elliott
Prior to December Recess, 11th grade students gathered in the Harris Center to hear from Kelly Hayes of Lifted Voices at the 12th annual Henry David Thoreau Civil Disobedience Speaker Event.
Chicago Youth Organize Delegation to Attend Women’s March on Washington
Parker students coordinated a group of teens from the Chicagoland area to travel to Washington to attend the Women’s March on Washington.
“When Silence Is a Sword: How Patterns of Silence Impact Equity Interventions”
US English teacher Stacey Gibson’s article published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Express was voted one of the Best of 2016!
Social Media Usage Morning Ex
Upper School freshmen and sophomores recently attended a Morning Ex focusing on the ins and outs of social media usage with Parker’s school attorney, Jennifer Hansen, from the firm Whitted+Takiff+Hansen.
Explore The Size and Age of the Universe with Professor Wendy Freedman
All members of the Parker community and the public at large are welcome to join us for the 10th Anniversary of the Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist•Inventor•Engineer in Residence.
Have a Happy December Recess!
Wishing you a happy and healthy December Recess, from our Model Home to yours!
Make No Little Plans
by 7th grade English teacher Kate Tabor
Read from 7th grade English teacher Kate Tabor on the 7th Grade Interdisciplinary Design Project.
Middle School Robotics Season Wrap-Up
by IS and MS STEM and Coding teacher Adam Colestock
The regular season for the MS Robotics First LEGO League (FLL) teams wrapped up during the past two weekends. Enjoy a brief summary of the work they’ve been doing and the results of their tournaments.
Las Posadas in the Lower School
Students in SK through 3rd grade recently took turns visiting the small gym to share in the ceremonial breaking of a piñata as a culminating activity associated with their recent study of Las Posadas in Spanish class.
Deck the Halls with Student Artwork
The Art Department adorned our halls with a range of student work to brighten the school.
See Art >
Winter Music Resounds Through Parker
The community was treated to a number of musical performances this week.
“12 Days” Morning Ex
The class of 2017 performed its rendition of the traditional “12 Days” Morning Ex for the entire Parker community..
Shop Class as Santa’s Workshop
In the weeks leading up to the December Recess, Woodshop teacher Nick Rupard led a section of his Upper School students in using the skills they have been developing in class to benefit less fortunate children in the city with gifts of handmade toys this holiday season.
Upper School Robotics in First Place
The Upper School Robotics team recently competed in our second Chicago League North meet and performed quite well.
The 9th Grade Visits the Chicago Botanic Garden
by Anjali Chandel ’20 and Anna Fuder ’20
Last Thursday, all the 9th grade Biology classes took a field trip to the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe. The students spent their day learning about different types of plants and their habitats or biomes.
Professor Wendy Freedman Visits Parker
University of Chicago Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Wendy Freedman recently spent a full day engaged with students and faculty as Parker’s 2016–17 Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist•Inventor• Engineer in Residence.
Visiting Professor Rocks the 4th Grade
Extending his vacation, Parker grandfather and Wittenberg University Emeritus Professor and former Chair of Geology Robert Morris, Ph.D., discussed with 4th grade students his work in geology, specifically his experiences and knowledge of rocks and minerals.
Parker Represents at Model Arab League Conference
A number of Upper School students enrolled in Kevin Conlon’s sophomore Modern World History course recently represented the school at Chicago’s annual Model Arab League conference at Northwestern University.
Stolen People On Stolen Land: Standing Rock and Black Liberation
Sixth grade history teacher Keedra Gibba recently published an article for Kalamazoo College’s Praxis Center.
When Silence Is a Sword: How Patterns of Silence Impact Equity Interventions
Upper School English teacher Stacey Gibson recently had an article published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Computer Science Week in the Lower School
Lower School and Intermediate School students participated in the Hour of Code in honor of Computer Science Week (Dec. 5–11) for the third consecutive year. Additionally, 3rd graders recently enjoyed hearing a presentation from Google employee and Parker parent Jennifer Wesley about some of the innovative things Google is working on, including Google Glass, self-driving cars and some of the thoughtful and innovative things students across the country are doing with code to help improve the lives of others.
Interactive Story Maps in 3rd Grade
Third grade students recently created interactive story maps to illustrate the Native American legend stories they read for a literacy project. This week, the students shared their impressive designs with all of the 3rd grade teachers, the entire group of 3rd grade students, Lower School Head Kimeri Swanson-Beck and TIDES and Cross-Curricular Pedagogy Director Marty Moran.
Check out Cecilia Sheppard’s Portfolio Exhibition
Senior Cecilia Sheppard has recently installed a range of pieces from her art portfolio within the 4th Floor Gallery space for the community to enjoy.
Ninth Grade Windows Welcome the December Holidays
Ninth grade students and their families gathered at the school on the eve of their return from Thanksgiving Recess to participate in the tradition of painting windows throughout the campus with a wide range of artwork and sentiments, welcoming the December holiday season.
We Are Able at Parker
In the days leading up to thes observation of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, more than 40 of Parker’s Middle and Upper School students worked together to educate the school community about disabilities in general and disability etiquette in particular as part of a citywide awareness campaign orchestrated by We Are Able.
Democracy Scholars: Students Serve at the Polls on Election Day
For Parker students, the experience of Election Day was not only about who won the presidency and more local offices; it was also about direct engagement in participatory democracy. On November 8, from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., 30 Parker juniors and seniors, mostly students in Andy Bigelow’s Upper School Elections class, helped steward the democratic process, participating not only as voters but as election jJudges, election monitors and campaign volunteers.
Civil Liberties Beyond the Classroom
Nineteen seniors in the Civil Liberties and the American State course and teacher Jeanne Barr visited with Judge Ann Claire Williams at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and Jamie Kalven at the Invisible Institute.
Support Your Favorite Charity This Holiday Season Through AmazonSmile
As we head into the holiday season, we know many of you are beginning to purchase gifts for loved ones and we hope you will consider supporting your favorite charitable organization each time you shop, at no cost to you.
Refugees Share Their Stories
As a culminating activity tied to their study of refugees in our Intermediate and Middle School classrooms, 4th–8th grade students recently gathered for a special Morning Ex to hear the stories of some Chicago refugees and people who work to assist refugees to help students appreciate the humanity behind what they had been studying in class.
Poetic Classroom Connections
by 1st grade teacher Bev “Greenie” Greenberg
Hear from 1st grade teacher Bev “Greenie” Greenberg about a recent enriching learning experience her 1st grade students had when connecting with Upper School English teacher Mike Mahany’s students about Poetry. “Kids teaching kids across the grades—thinking that is very natural for all Parker teachers and easily embraced by a school that fosters forward thinking in education.”
Third Grade Spreads the Thanks to the Community
The 3rd graders presented their annual Thanksgiving Morning Ex this week. Each year, the students plan presentations that reflect their studies and remind us of the importance of being thankful.
See Photos >
Of Helicopters and Snowplows: the Parent-Teacher Partnership
Read the newest Beyond the Buzz blog post from Head of Intermediate and Middle School John Novick Jr.
Read Here >
Important Dates for the 2016–17 Academic Year
To assist families with planning, we have developed a preliminary list of important dates.
Shop the Holiday New Book Sale Early Online
This year, the Parker community can purchase books online in advance of the event at the school and then pick them up at the Holiday New Book Sale Tuesday, December 6 through Friday, December 9.
Learn How >
Students Learn from Scientists
A group of Upper School Physics students recently visited the University of Chicago to learn more about a typical day in the life of a working scientist.
Rocket Launches Make Physics a Blast!
To get some direct experience with the physics principle of energy conversion and to reinforce Newton’s Laws and Equations of Motion along with Momentum Conservation, science teacher George Austin led his Upper School Physics classes in launching a series of model rockets from the mid-point of the Turf Field.
Geometry, Books and 2nd Grade
Parker’s Integrated Learning and Information Science (ILIS) teachers are always looking for more ways to connect their activities with the Kovler Family Library and technology time with classroom time.
Otro Martes Social Fabuloso
What do you get when you combine 60 avocados, 20 onions, 30 tomatoes, 10 jalapeños, 20 limes, 3 bunches of cilantro and 45 4th and 5th graders? A recipe for success! Students tested their culinary and Spanish language skills at our Intermediate School ¡Martes Social! on Tuesday, November 15.
A Report from Parker’s First Ever Thank-a-thon!
Our school is fortunate to have such a generous and thoughtful community, and for this reason, we wanted to make sure we took the time to personally thank and show our gratitude to all of the volunteers, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, grandparents, former parents and friends that have shown their support of Parker both philanthropically and with their time during the last year.
JK Visits Chemistry of Cooking Class
Parker PM serves students in grades JK–5 after school, but begins at mid-day for our youngest community members. Many Junior and Senior Kindergarten students join Parker PM staff for theme weeks and activities that make afternoons fun and enriching.
First Grade Elects a President of Children’s Literature
First grade teacher Bev “Greenie” Greenberg has never viewed the age of a student as a barrier to learning. Rather, she views early exposure to ideas and concepts as the perfect way to establish an understanding of the people, places and things all around them on a daily basis.
SK Coral Reef Study in the Library
Senior Kindergarten students have been studying coral reefs with Parker’s Integrated Learning and Information Science team during their library Ex days.
In Parker’s Chemistry of Cooking course, students spend the semester examining the connection between the macromolecules we eat and how cooking changes them chemically.
Fourth Grade Visits the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
by Lower and Intermediate School Music Teacher Maria Foustalieraki
The theme of the concert was “Symphonic Superheroes!” and included compositions by famous European composers, such as Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, and Americans Aaron Copland and Cindy McTee.
US Robotics Team Hosts and Competes in Chicago League: Meet 1
Saturday was not a day for the robotics kids to sleep in until noon. Instead they got to school at 7 in the morning to make sure that the big gym was set up for the Chicago League Robotics Competition: Meet 1.
Lower and Intermediate School Halloween Parade
Share in a sampling of photos from this year's Halloween Parade!
Paleobiologist Visits Parker
University of Chicago paleobiologist Dr. Mark Webster recently visited Parker to share his love of field work and trilobites as inspiration for 9th grade biology students.
Little Red Design Challenge in SK
Members of our Integrated Learning and Information Science Department team recently engaged our Senior Kindergarten students in a Little Red Riding Hood design challenge.
Middle School Fall Season Recaps
Congratulations to all of the Middle School student-athletes who competed on our teams during the fall season. Below, coaches share recaps of their team’s season.
Upper School Fall Athletic Excellence
Our Upper School student-athletes and teams have achieved some awesome successes as the fall 2016 season wraps up.
The Chicago Humanities Festival Returns to Parker!
For the eighth consecutive year, Parker will be a site for the Chicago Humanities Festival.
¡Martes Social fue un suceso!
Our 4th and 5th grade students participated in our third annual Intermediate School Spanish Language and Culture enrichment club, ¡Martes Social!
Food Service Fun at Morning Ex
Parker parent and Executive Chef of Parker’s Food Service team Zac Maness recently brought his culinary crew to the Heller Auditorium for a Morning Ex to introduce his team, tout some recent renovations in the cafeteria area and orchestrate a pizza dough tossing competition.
Fifth Grade Unearths Rome
Recently, Parker’s 5th grade students had a lesson in slow looking, discovery and the fine art of archaeology as members of the 5th grade team transformed the garden plot behind the JK classrooms into a distinct site archaeological dig!
First Annual Upper School ClubFair a Success
More than 20 Upper School student club leaders recently conducted Parker’s first annual ClubFair as a way of promoting the myriad opportunities for students to pursue their passions beyond the school’s formal academic offerings.
The Global Cardboard Challenge
We had about ten families attend and create some amazing projects, including a cat entertainment center, ghost-catching unit, foosball table, dollhouse, Whack-a-Mole game, pet friends and many more!
Go Beyond the Buzz with Intermediate and Middle School Head John Novick
“With Early Adolescence, the Forecast Calls for Pain. And That’s Okay.”
Dot Day Celebration in the 1st Grade
In celebration of International Dot Day, 1st graders read the story The Dot by Peter Reynolds.
Winter Clothing and School Supplies Drives for Refugee Children in Chicago
Wednesday, October 19–Friday, October 28
From Wednesday, October 19 through Friday, October 28 the Intermediate and Middle Schools are collecting gently-used winter clothing and school supplies for donation to refugee children living in Chicago.
Participatory Democracy in the Upper School
While the country watches presidential debates and follows trails of sound bytes, Upper School students in Andy Bigelow’s Elections class are digging deep into the political analysis and civic engagement of participatory democracy.
Woodland Activity Day in the 3rd Grade
During the annual Woodland Activity Day, teachers and parent volunteers transformed the school’s courtyard into an interactive learning environment for 3rd grade students. On this special occasion, students rotated through a series of experiential learning stations featuring activities like corn-grinding, spear-throwing and pumpkin-carving, to name a few. The hands-on nature of these activities allowed our students to explore what life was like for the native culture in this area more than 200 years ago.
Parker PM Decorates Clark Street for Halloween
Each year Clark Street in Lincoln Park hosts two Halloween celebrations, Scarecrows on Parade and Spooktacular. The purpose of Scarecrows on Parade is to “dress up” our neighborhood Clark Street shopping corridor by placing scarecrows made by local businesses in storefronts along Clark Street.
Contribute to a Halloween Costume Drive!
Donations accepted through Friday, October 21
Do you have any outgrown or unneeded kids' Halloween costumes? If so, please consider donating them to families in need! Your used costumes can bring joy and smiles to the faces of over 100 homeless children who are currently living at Cornerstone Community Outreach shelters in the Chicago area. Last year Parker families helped contribute over 150 costumes, bringing an amazing and grateful response!
Obstacles Are No Problem
What is faster than a speeding soccer ball? More agile than a Lower Schooler? Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? During the last two weeks, the students in 7th grade have looked to unleash the superheroes in the school as they took up the challenge of creating a new activity for County Fair. As part of the team’s interdisciplinary design project, the class designed elements for an obstacle course, creating something to challenge students in all divisions of the school.
Group Brings Extra Watts to Gym Class
by Physical Education teacher Kara Turpin
On Thursday, September 29, Lower, Intermediate and Middle School gym classes encountered an extra jolt of excitement from 1000 Watts Sports. With music pumping and emcee Brandon Watts leading the fun, our students participated in a series of activities similar to what happens at the NFL combine.
Varsity Boys’ Golfers Advance to Sectionals
Three of our Varsity Boys’ golfers are seeing success this postseason! Ben Gershuny ’17 golfed a 90, Nathan Satterfield ’19 a 91 and Ryan Skok ’18 scored a 90 at the 1A Regional at Seneca, which qualified them to advance to the Sectional Tournament taking place on Monday, October 10. We are very proud of our student-athletes and wish them all the best!
Let’s All Go Back to the Fair!
Since County Fair’s inception in 1902, this fall celebration has been an opportunity for students to make products and share them with the community. This event required group cooperation and organization at every grade level and built a sense of responsibility and ownership, giving each child the chance to contribute to the community through his or her efforts.
Join the Kovler Family Library in the Global Cardboard Challenge
Saturday, October 15
Based on the short documentary “Caine’s Arcade” about a young boy in East Los Angeles who builds an elaborate cardboard arcade in his free time, the Global Cardboard Challenge gives children an opportunity to collaborate, learn and build the things they imagine through creative play. The Challenge lets children explore their interests and passions; teaches critical thinking, perseverance, teamwork and other 21st century skills; and brings communities together to foster and celebrate child creativity!
Thanks to Our Facebook Friends for Our 1,500th Like!
Thank you to everyone who has helped reach this milestone for our virtual community. As our community grows, our Facebook page will continue to offer up-to-the-minute announcements, event reminders, school news and weekly photo recaps. If you have not joined us, we invite you to check out our page and get a glimpse into life at Parker!
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Mock Admissions Event in Review
The College Counseling team, seniors and parents met last week for Parker’s 19th annual Mock Admissions evening. Eleven admissions professionals from across the country participated, leading students and parents in this hands-on admissions committee review of applications.
Learn more >
Enjoy Photos of Homecoming Athletics at Parker!
Parker’s fall teams took center stage last weekend in two days full of Homecoming athletics. Enjoy this sampling of photos from our turf field shared by Parker parent Ivan Boone. Got some shots of your own to share? Send them to Nick Saracino at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add them to this gallery.
Parker Hosts Chicago Area Kickoff for the FLL Animal Allies Season
This past Saturday, young designers and engineers from the Chicago area gathered at Parker to celebrate the kickoff of this year’s FLL season. FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is a team competition in which students engineer and program a robot using the LEGO Mindstorms to complete a series of missions on a table with other LEGO models.
Multiplication, Division and Confection in 4th Grade
The study of mathematics in 4th grade got a touch sweeter this week when current parent and Veruca Chocolates head chocolatier Heather Johnston, made a special visit to talk about how she uses math in her work every day.
Faculty Summer Professional Development
As students look to the summer recess to take a break from formal academic studies, a number of our faculty look to the months of June through August as a chance to focus on their own studies and immerse themselves in professional development experiences. Brief recaps of some of these recent experiences are available here for all to share in.
Maker Wednesdays in the Kovler Family Library
In its ongoing efforts to host collaborative projects that encourage creativity, collaboration and adaptability, Parker’s library team invites 1st–8th grade students and their families to participate in Maker Wednesday events this semester.
Enjoy a Photo Gallery from the 7th Grade Retreat
The 7th grade began their school year with an all-class retreat to a camp in Michigan. Here students broke up by advisories and spent three days and two nights bonding and growing together as classmates and friends. Students worked on activities designed to foster cooperation, self-reflection and trust with their peers, such as a high ropes course where students learned to overcome their fears and rely on their partners. However, no camping trip would be complete without tents, yurts, campfires and sing-alongs!
Enjoy Photos of the Homecoming Spirit Morning Ex!
In a new take on the annual Homecoming Pep Rally, Athletics Director Bobby Starks and the Student Athletics Council organized a Spirit Parade! The student-athletes began on the field and worked their way through the Lower School, bringing spirit for all to cheer.
Big Brothers and Sisters Morning Exercise
The tradition of Big Brothers and Sisters is almost as old as Morning Exercise. The seniors entered to the strains of bagpipes and sat facing the rest of the school. Principal Frank then called the seniors forward to serve as the elder “siblings” for each class in Junior Kindergarten through 8th grade. During the rest of the year, it is not uncommon to observe a senior with a younger “brother” or “sister” listening to a story, reading, tutoring or assisting on a class trip.
Civil Liberties Students Attend an Interview with Justice Ginsburg
Seniors in the Civil Liberties and Elections courses had the extraordinary opportunity to see Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speak at Notre Dame University on Monday, September 12.
Corinthians Morning Exercise
Since the school’s founding in 1901, Parker has begun our academic year with the Corinthians Morning Ex. Students gathered in the Heller Auditorium, where Principal Daniel Frank spoke about how all individuals in our school community matter. Upper School Coordinator Rolanda Shepard read from Corinthians 12:14-26, reminding the assembly of Parker's commitment to each individual in our community. Following the reading, faculty members led the school in singing “Piece of the House” while representatives from each grade, as well as faculty and alumni, rose to place their pieces of the puzzle in the model home mosaic.
Summer Math Video Series
Summer at Parker is always fun, and this summer was no exception. With the help of Dr. Eugenia Cheng, we used an oscilloscope to create a sine wave with our voices, played a game with some odd-shaped dice, discovered that just about anything can be graphed, fried up a one-sided tortilla and took a bunch of selfies—all in the spirit of math exploration. If you haven’t had a chance to view Parker’s five part math video series yet, click below; they’re worth a watch.
Watch Videos >
The 2016–17 Blue Calendar is Available Online
The 2016–17 Blue Calendar is available to review, print and sync to a range of personal devices. You can subscribe to the complete academic calendar or divisional ports of the calendar via the link below. We will update all digital calendars throughout the year as new events and activities emerge. Hard copies of this document are also available.
Great Parker Garage Sale Drop-Off Begins Tuesday!
Tuesday, September 13 8 a.m.–12 noon | Coach House
The Great Parker Garage Sale needs your donations! Volunteers are available to accept your gently used items every Tuesday morning from 8 a.m. to 12 noon in the Coach House on Grant Place.
Click here for an archive of News from the 2015–16 School year.
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