Education & Schools
WQPT has a national winner in the PBS Kids Writers Contest PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Lora Adams   
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 08:42




ARLINGTON, VA/MOLINE, IL – Twelve children in grades K-3 were selected as winners by an acclaimed panel of judges in the PBS KIDS Writers Contest this year. The winning entries in the Contest were chosen from thousands of submissions from 62 participating PBS stations across the country. Paul Schwartz, a third grader from Bettendorf, IA, who partnered with WQPT- Quad Cities PBS, won third place in this grade category.

“This is the third time that one of our local winners has gone on to win on the national level,” said WQPT General Manager Mary Pruess. “We are very proud Paul Schwartz of Bettendorf and his story ‘If I Were An Engineer’ and of all of the 450 entries we received. A special thanks to all of the parents, caregivers and teachers who encouraged the creativity of our young writers.”

“We were thrilled to see another impressive batch of submissions for the annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Programming, PBS. “PBS KIDS and our local stations always enjoy encouraging children to use their imaginations to create memorable stories. We look forward to supporting the next generation of creative thinkers as they develop important writing skills that will lay the foundation of success in both school and life.”

PBS stations throughout the country collaborated with schools, public libraries and other community-based organizations to present the PBS KIDS Writers Contest in local communities. Local winners were entered into the national contest, where a panel of esteemed judges ranked the top 12 entries. The national winners and their winning stories are featured on

The national winners will receive prizes courtesy of national prizing sponsor, LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. Winners will receive a prize package that will include LeapFrog’s award-winning LeapReader Reading and Writing System along with educator-developed LeapReader books, maps and more to help children on every step of their reading and writing journey.

The 2014 national winners include:  



1st place: “Grandpa Pig’s Pizza” by Nikolai Nawrocki, Wayne, PA – WQED

2nd place: “Bill’s Hat is Very Stuck” by Karsten Eckhoff, Stover, MO – KMOS

3rd place: “The Secret Alligator Key” by Inaaya Sethi, Binghamton, NY – WSKG

First Grade

1st place: “Once Upon a Pencil” by Ethan Mattocks, Guys Mills, PA – WQLN

2nd place: “A Survival Guide to South Dakota” by Samuel Ellenbecker, Cascade, WI – MPTV

3rd place: “The Colors I Feel” by Joshua Kafumbe, Middlebury, VT – Vermont Public Television

Second Grade

1st place: “Eric’s Job” by Oniana Boulware, Las Vegas, NV – Vegas PBS

2nd place: “Rosy Helps Kathy Catch Her Bus” by Michelle Kang, Annandale, VA – Community Idea Stations

3rd place: “Seeds from Space” by Connor Smith, Pittsburgh, PA – WQED

Third Grade

1st place: “A Humble Book of Poems” by Jishnu Dey, Dover, NH – New Hampshire Public Television

2nd place: “My Special Granddaddy” by Mollie Hensley, Mebane, NC – UNC-TV

3rd place: “If I Were An Engineer…” by Paul Schwartz, Bettendorf, IA – WQPT, Quad Cities PBS


PBS KIDS Writers Contest Honorary Judges

A panel of America’s leading children’s writers, producers, and media creators served as honorary judges for the PBS KIDS Writers Contest this year. The 2014 honorary judges include:


  • Billy Aronson, creator, PEG + CAT
  • Jeff Kinney, author (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series), online game developer and designer
  • Martin Kratt, creator and co-executive producer, WILD KRATTS
  • Chris Kratt, creator and co-executive producer, WILD KRATTS
  • Joseph Mazzarino, head writer, director and puppeteer, SESAME STREET
  • Jennifer Oxley, creator, PEG + CAT
  • Bob Staake, author (THE DONUT CHEF, HELLO ROBOTS)
  • Vince Vawter, author (PAPERBOY)


The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is made possible through national promotional support from Highlights for Children. The Contest is produced by PBS and based on the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, a concept developed by WNED-TV, Buffalo.


WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University.



UPDATE: Boys and Girls Clubs to Launch Great Futures Literary Challenge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Mark McLaughlin   
Monday, 28 July 2014 13:08
UPDATE: members of the community can start dropping off their donations of new or gently used books for young people at Boys & Girls Club locations and at Lagomarcino's in Moline. The Book Rack in Davenport has agreed to donate a big box of books, and more from the community would certainly be welcome.
IA/IL QUAD-CITIES – On Thursday, July 31, Boys and Girls Clubs across the country will celebrate the launch of the Great Futures Campaign to mobilize the community in support of today’s young people. As part of that campaign, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley has issued a community literary challenge, encouraging Quad-Citians to donate in support of young people, their reading habits, and the future of the community.
At 3 p.m., July 31, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley (BGCMV) will introduce the Great Futures Literary Challenge at their Davenport Club, located at First Presbyterian Church, 1702 Iowa Street, Davenport, IA.
“The community is invited to the event,” said Tim Tolliver, Chief Executive Officer of the BGCMV. “Quad-Citians will be asked to support literacy by donating new or gently used age-appropriate books for young people, ages 6 to 18. Each of our Clubs will conduct a reading contest from July 31 to December 12, with the winners of each club announced at our Holiday Ball event on December 13. Community members, companies and organizations are also welcome to donate to the general funds of the Boys and Girls Clubs, to help support our day-to-day operations.”
To prepare for the event, Quad-Citians are asked to drop off books before July 31 at any Boys & Girls Club location:
  • Moline Club, 406 - 7th Street, Moline, IL
  • Teen Center, 1122 - 5th Avenue, Moline, IL
  • Davenport Club, First Presbyterian Church, 1702 Iowa Street, Davenport, IA
  • Administrative Office, 338 - 6th Street, Moline, IL
  • Lagomarcino's, 1422 - 5th Ave, Moline IL
  • The Book Rack, 4764 Elmore Ave, Davenport
At the July 31 event, the books that have been donated so far will be given to members of the Boys and Girls Clubs in attendance. People can continue to support the Great Futures Literary Challenge by dropping off books at the above locations until December 12.
Tolliver added that the BGCMV has started a Wish List on their account for donations of books, e-books, e-magazine subscriptions and gift cards. To locate the Wish List, go to, click on the Wish List tab in the upper right-hand corner and choose ‘Find a wish list or registry.’ On the next screen, enter BGCMV in the space provided to reach the page.
“At the Holiday Ball, we will reveal how many books were donated and read by Club members, and we will also share this information with the media,” Tolliver said.
The Needs of Today’s Children
Through the Great Futures Campaign, the BGCMV is joining Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide in bringing attention to the needs of today’s children. According to Tolliver, the BGCMV has multiple goals for the campaign, including:
  • Increase membership and access to Clubs for young people who need a safe place to go after school and during the summer.
  • Encourage regular reading habits and increase access to age-appropriate reading material.
  • Motivate kids to be healthy through better nutrition and health education, more access to healthy foods, avoidance of risky behaviors, and a lifelong commitment to fitness.
  • Ensure successful transitions to middle and high school, and foster college- or career-readiness with 21st century skills.
  • Engage youth in taking action in their community.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, one out of three children nationwide leave school every day with no place to go, putting them at risk of being unsupervised, unguided and unsafe. Statistics from the Afterschool Alliance show that during the summer, three out of four children in America lack access to summer learning programs, increasing their risk of learning loss and putting them at a disadvantage before the school year starts.

Statistics from other sources show that today’s children also face additional problems:
  • The U.S. Census Bureau has found that one in five American kids live in poverty.
  • National Center for Health Statistics has revealed that three out of 10 kids nationwide are obese or overweight.
  • According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, our nation’s graduation rate ranks 22nd among 28 countries.
Tolliver is asking the public to help the BGCMV to reach more kids and put them on the path to a great future. “At the Boys & Girls Clubs, we’ve seen the positive impact that occurs when young people have access to a safe place with caring adult mentors and enriching programs during out-of-school time,” he said. “We want today’s generation to be successful in every aspect of their lives, so they can become future leaders for our country.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley, as a chartered member of Boys and Girls Clubs of America, is a tax-exempt organization, duly qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with Federal law.
For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley, call (309) 757-5777 or visit
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Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Improve Charter School Fairness and Accountability PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Katie Hickey   
Friday, 25 July 2014 15:21

New Law Makes Lottery Process Transparent and Helps Prevent Conflicts of Interest

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to improve fairness and accountability in the student selection process, governance and funding of charter schools throughout Illinois. The reform legislation sets new standards of transparency for charter schools, which receive public funds but operate independently. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to give every child the opportunity for a high quality education and also make Illinois’ government more accountable, transparent and effective.

“Every child deserves access to a good school,” Governor Quinn said. “With this new law, the public will now have more information and more say in how charter schools operate and spend public funds.”

House Bill 3232, sponsored by State Representative Emanuel Chris Welch (D-Hillside) and State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago), helps to improve transparency and accountability in Illinois’ charter schools. Under the new law, when more students apply to a charter school than the school has available spots, a lottery will be held to select which students may enroll. The new law requires the lottery process to be videotaped and made publicly available. It also requires the local governing body, usually the school district, to be involved in the process to strengthen accountability. Charter schools must also now submit quarterly financial statements and their waiting lists of students hoping to enroll.

The bill also requires that a governing board, independent of the organization that manages the school, be established to oversee each charter school. This provision is intended to prevent any potential conflicts of interest in the operation of the charter school. The law also includes new protections of public funds, including the return of any unspent funds and remaining property to the local school district or the State Board of Education if a charter school closes. In addition, charter and traditional schools must now include a disclaimer when public funds are used for marketing purposes. The new law is effective for the 2015-2016 school year.

"I am glad we were able to bring the proponents and opponents of the bill to the table and strike an agreement in order to provide a better educational environment for parents, students and taxpayers,” Representative Welch said. "This legislation is about accountability and ensuring that public resources are used in a responsible manner. This bill helps to guarantee that the state resources earmarked for the classroom are protected and spent in the classroom, so our investments are best serving education in Illinois."

“Inaccessible procedures, ethically questionable activities and policies that limit families’ fair access to taxpayer-funded schools have no place in public education,” Senator Collins said. “Innovation in education does not require secrecy. I am pleased to stand with those in the charter school movement who understand and embrace their responsibility to the public.”

In 2011, Governor Quinn signed legislation that established an independent charter school commission that is dedicated to school reform and has the power to authorize, regulate and increase academic and financial accountability of charter schools throughout the state. Also in 2011, the Governor worked to pass a landmark education reform package that has made Illinois a model for the nation. In 2012, Governor Quinn signed a law that empowers parents by providing them with a detailed report card on their children's school and school district.


Brooke Morales awarded APSU Provost's Out-of-State Scholarship PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Charles Booth   
Friday, 25 July 2014 15:11

CLARKSVILLE, TN (07/24/2014)(readMedia)-- Austin Peay State University is pleased to announce that Brooke Morales of Davenport has been awarded the APSU Provost's Out-of-State Scholarship.

Academic scholarships to APSU are awarded for scholarly achievement, high class rank and qualifying scores on national assessment testing.

The application for admissions to APSU is the application for these awards. To receive priority consideration for these renewable scholarships, high school students should apply for admission at by Nov. 15.

Dean's List announced for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by UW-Platteville Public Relations   
Friday, 25 July 2014 13:23

PLATTEVILLE, WI (07/24/2014)(readMedia)-- University of Wisconsin-Platteville announced its 2014 spring semester Dean's List. Students receive this academic honor in the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture and the College of Liberal Arts and Education must achieve a 3.5 grade point average and students in the College of Engineering, Math and Science must earn a 3.5 grade point average.

Among those who made the Dean's List were:

Melissa Dunlavy from Bettendorf, IA

Kyle Gambon from Coal Valley, IL

Brandon Lane from Donahue, IA

Amy Meyer from Eldridge, IA

Stephen Owings from Eldridge, IA

Karen Newlon from Hampton, IL

Erin Litterst from Milan, IL

Chelsea Levesque from Moline, IL

Allison Wells from Moline, IL

Stacy Clark from Riverdale, IA

UW-Platteville, founded in 1846, is located in the southwestern corner of Wisconsin, near the Iowa and Illinois borders. The University, the fastest-growing four-year school in the 13-college University of Wisconsin System, enrolls more than 8,000 undergraduate students.

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