Education & Schools
October 15th Deadline to Submit Military Academy Nomination Applications PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Amanda Bowman   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 13:49

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today announced that he is accepting applications from high school students for nominations to the United States armed services academies from Iowa’s 1st District for the class entering in fall 2013.

“I am looking for highly motivated and qualified students to nominate to our country’s service academies,” said Braley. “The academies provide a world-class education that helps grow our nation’s next generation of leaders. I encourage Iowa’s best and brightest young people to apply.”

Interested students should contact Braley’s district office in Waterloo to request an application packet to be considered for a service academy nomination.  The application packet includes specific instructions on the accompanying forms and required documents, including an application form, an essay, high school transcript, ACT/SAT scores, and letters of recommendation.  These materials take time to compile, so interested students are strongly encouraged to start obtaining the materials needed for the packet as soon as possible.

The deadline for submitting a completed nomination packet to Braley’s office is Monday, October 15th.

Braley nominates up to 10 candidates from Iowa’s First Congressional District for each available vacancy at the four service academies: the US Military Academy, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, and the Merchant Marine Academy.  Applicants are judged on the basis of character, scholarship, physical aptitude, medical fitness, and motivation.

For further information as well as an application packet, contact the Waterloo office at (319) 287-3233.

More information can also be found at


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Illinois launches new ‘STEM’ learning exchanges to prepare students for 21st Century workforce PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 13:37

$10.3 million public-private partnership to boost careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) 


CHICAGO – September 14, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today unveiled a unique $10.3 million public-private partnership that will better prepare thousands of Illinois students for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. Joined by Illinois business, high-tech and education leaders at the innovative “1871” digital start-up center in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, Governor Quinn announced that eight organizations will be awarded contracts to develop “STEM Learning Exchanges” that link educational opportunities with business resources to prepare students to compete in the global economy. The partnership is part the governor’s commitment to improve education in Illinois.

“Our mission is to prepare our students for the 21st Century workforce,” Governor Quinn said. “These new Learning Exchanges will provide students with real-world experience and advanced educational opportunities to ensure they are ready to compete for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The funding package is comprised of $2.3 million in federal Race to the Top (RTTT) funds, which leveraged another $8 million in business resources. The eight STEM Learning Exchanges, coordinated through multiple state agencies in partnership with the Illinois Business Roundtable, will be established through contracts with the Illinois State Board of Education. Applicants were required to commit cash or in-kind donations, bringing more than $10.3 million of business resources and cash to this unique public-private partnership.

The eight learning exchange organizations were selected by an expert review committee that considered each applicant’s plan and experience in coordinating statewide public-private partnerships, and the matching or in-kind matching contribution. These statewide Learning Exchanges will work together with regional, educational and business networks to aggregate curricular resources, assessment tools, professional development systems, work-based learning opportunities and problem-based learning challenges. They will support performance evaluation across the P-20 education and workforce system, and result in better prepared students for a 21st century workforce. For the complete list, see attached document.

“This exemplifies a great public-private partnership as education and business forces work together to pave the way for a brighter future in Illinois,’’ said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Giving students access to professionals and showing them how knowledge can be applied on the job is a proven strategy for keeping students engaged in high school and mindful of their future.”

A 2011 report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that Illinois will have an estimated 319,000 STEM-related job openings by 2018. About 93 percent of those jobs will require post-secondary education or training.

“The true wealth of our nation is produced by manufacturing things that people throughout the world wish to purchase because of our advanced technology and reputation for quality. That technology and quality can only be sustained with a pipeline of young people who are stimulated by such innovative approaches as these learning exchanges,” said Fred Young, CEO of Forest City Gears which made 75 gears for NASA’s Curiosity Rover mission to Mars.

“STEM occupations are critical to bolstering our state’s competitive edge and ability to be successful in the global economy,” said Jeff Mays, President of the Illinois Business Roundtable. “We not only need more professional scientists and mathematicians, but also qualified technicians and skilled workers in manufacturing and other technology-driven industries. By participating in the STEM Learning Exchanges, business is stepping up to better coordinate programs and investments that connect students to careers.”

The RTTT funds supporting the STEM Learning Exchanges are drawn from the nearly $43 million awarded to Illinois last year to implement education reform initiatives across the state.

Last year, Gov. Quinn launched Illinois Pathways, an education initiative to support college and career readiness. Coordinated through a partnership between the State’s education and economic development agencies, Illinois Pathways supports local programs that empower youth and adults to explore academic and career interests in STEM fields while supporting Learning Exchanges that coordinate investments, resources and planning for those programs. To learn more about Illinois Pathways, please visit:


USDA Announces Grants to Support Schools in Meeting New School Meal Requirements PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 13:12

WASHINGTON, September 14, 2012—Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced new grants to support schools as they strive to serve healthy food, provide nutrition education, and create an environment focused on healthy eating and physical activity.

"When we serve our children healthy school meals, we're making a critical investment in their academic performance, their physical health, and their future," said Merrigan. "Today's announcement reflects our ongoing commitment to provide States with the tools they need to build a healthy school environment. Providing nutrition education resources, extending training and technical assistance to foodservice professionals, and building community support helps ensure that every child in America has a chance to succeed."

Funded in support of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the Team Nutrition training grants will assist schools in meeting the new school meal requirements, encourage HealthierUS School Challenge participation, support students' nutritious choices by structuring the cafeteria environment in a way that encourages the selection of healthy foods, and promote healthier environments to align with the Local Wellness Policy requirements established in the Act.

USDA is awarding approximately $5.2 million in 18 States and one territory including:

  • Alaska, $242,847.00
  • Arizona, $319,772.00
  • Florida, $311,500.00
  • Guam, $330,344.00
  • Hawaii, $233,016.00
  • Idaho, $245,120.00
  • Illinois, $50,000.00
  • Iowa, $348,335.00
  • Kansas, $349,715.00
  • Michigan, $333,420.00
  • Missouri, $342,609.00
  • Montana, $349,924.00
  • New Jersey, $324,151.00
  • North Dakota, $247,580.00
  • Ohio, $345,849.00
  • Utah, $41,540.00
  • Washington, $222,508.00
  • Washington, $46,772.00
  • West Virginia, $346,515.00
  • Wisconsin, $203,056.00

Funding will be made available for the period of September 30, 2012 through September 30, 2014, to assist State agencies in achieving the Team Nutrition goals. States must apply Team Nutrition's three behavior-focused strategies:

  • Provide training and technical assistance to child nutrition foodservice professionals to enable them to prepare and serve nutritious meals that appeal to children.
  • Provide fun and interactive nutrition education for children, teachers, parents, and other caregivers.
  • Build school and community support for creating healthy school environments that are conducive to healthy eating and physical activity.

This school year, 32 million students across the country are benefiting from new meal standards for the National School Lunch Program for the first time in more than fifteen years. The healthier school meals are a key component of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was championed by the First Lady as part of her Let's Move! campaign and signed into law by President Obama. To learn about the new meal standards, go to

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including school meals programs, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work together to form a national safety net against hunger. Visit for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs.

# logo USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


Why is White-Collar Crime on the Rise? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 12:43
COO Advocates Values-in-Action Courses for All Students

Barclays, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan – it seems every time we turn around, another financial giant is accused of lying, cheating and stealing.

It’s not your imagination, says Rakesh Malhotra, a longtime COO who has worked in Asia, East Europe and United States and led cross-cultural diverse teams.

“White-collar crime convictions in the United States alone have increased 17.8 percent in the last five years alone,” he says. “Last year, the Securities Exchange Commission filed a record 735 enforcement actions.”

And it’s not just hedge fund operators and money traders. White-collar crimes include identity theft, cheating on taxes, health-care fraud – crimes as readily committed by employees at the local big-box store as suits in penthouse offices.

“The problem is one of values,” says Malhotra, author of Adventures of Tornado Kid: Whirling Back Home Towards Timeless Values ( “I have worked in several countries, recruiting, hiring, training and retaining employees. I found that in every culture, the same core values play a key role in the success of both employees and the corporation.

“Unfortunately, they are not taught in school – not in grade school or in most business schools. While we would benefit from having values taught at all age levels, for now they are learned mostly from parents, mentors, inspiring teachers and others who shape young lives.”

It’s as important for the business to have what Malhotra has identified as five essential global values as it is for the employees, he says.

“The business has to show that these ethics are implemented and acted upon. Otherwise, the employee with values, the one instructed to, say, lie about a product, will feel secure about reporting such conduct without being fired.”

What are these values and how can they be taught?

• Responsibility: There is nothing more fundamental to being an adult in our society than accountability. Parents can create cause-and-effect circumstances, such as letting a teen borrow the car provided they put gas in it. Breaking such a pact though, because of a bad grade in school, creates a mixed message. When children learn responsibility, they know that happiness comes from doing the right thing.

• Compassion: It’s not just a term for being nice; compassion is a form of intelligence – an empathetic ability to see a situation through another’s eyes and to feel what another person feels. When adults are compassionate, they reach out to help others because they can feel others’ pain – and the relief and gratitude of help, sympathy or encouragement.

• Integrity: Integrity is the glue that holds together all of the values. When given an option to stray from our values, such as lying for the sake of convenience, integrity is there to hold us accountable.

• Peace: Our ability to manage conflicts amicably is a direct result of a peaceful mind and attitude. Those who value peace view anger, jealousy and hostility as the barriers to communication that they are. In all settings, business and domestic, conflicts will arise – it is inevitable. We must work through these peacefully if we are to move forward.

• Love: You must love what you do, passionately. Do your work and your organization in some way contribute to the welfare of people? That is the reason for your passion. With love, you contribute to the greater good and feel gratified.

About Rakesh Malhotra

Rakesh Malhotra has worked in, lived in or traveled to more than 40 countries. During this time, he studied human behavior in relation to core values as a means hire, promote and manage effectively. He has focused on what influences performance and what makes some employees perform at a higher level than others. Malhotra holds a master’s in Public Administration and several diplomas in business education.

News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Camp Courageous   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 12:35
MONTICELLO, IOWA – The 24th Annual Back-To-School Festival will be held at Camp Courageous Tuesday September 18 from 10:00 am to 2:00. Camp Courageous is a year- round recreational and respite care facility for individuals with disabilities. The Back-To-School Festival has become an annual celebration of the new school year for dozens of special education classes throughout the area.

Special education classes are invited to attend this free event and enjoy Rock & Prevention, games, balloon artist Crescentia, prizes, hayride, wobble buggies, swimming, miniature golf, a helicopter, face painting, bounce house, train, horse drawn wagon rides, a dance and more.

Lunch is provided for free to the special education students, teachers, volunteers, staff & campers. Camp Courageous traditionally expects about 1000 participants.

For more information contact Jeanne Muellerleile, E-mail: or Camp Courageous, Box 418, Monticello, Iowa 52310-0418. or (319) 465-5916 ext. 2300 or Fax: 319-465-5919.

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