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News Releases - General Info
Written by Courtney Wade   
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 10:39

World Heritage Student Exchange Programs is now looking for American families to host high school students from Eurasia. All these exceptional students have received scholarships through the U.S. State Department sponsored Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) Program and will spend an academic year in the U.S. This historic program seeks to foster democracy and values inherent in a free market economy. Your support of these students and this program reinforces the United States’ commitment to education and opportunity throughout the world.

World Heritage is currently seeking host families for these well-qualified, bright, motivated and well-screened students coming from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan. By living with local host families and attending local high schools, FLEX scholarship students acquire an understanding of American values and build on leadership skills. From the beginning of this program, FLEX scholarship students’ work together after returning home to share what they have learned while in America and are making a significant difference in their home countries!

, via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit World Heritage looks forward to welcoming you to the ranks of host families nationwide contributing to world peace and understanding through student exchange programs.


Community Action Youth Scholarships PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ron Summers   
Monday, 18 March 2013 15:18
Davenport, Iowa, March 18, 2013 – Community Action of Eastern Iowa and Davenport Parks and Recreation are partnering to provide need based scholarships for summer activities for Iowa youth. Community Action of Eastern Iowa has setup a scholarship fund of $10,000 for low income families provided by the Iowa Department of Human Rights, through the Community Services Block Grant.

Scholarships are being provided to Iowa families with households at or below 125% of the Federal poverty line. These scholarships will provide healthy, active, engaging recreational activities to youth from families that would be unable to afford such opportunities on their own. Youth from our community will have the opportunity to explore nature, dance, athletics, and theatre regardless of income.

Davenport Parks and Recreation offers a wide range of quality programming which maximizes the range of opportunities available to match the interests of children. Because Davenport Parks and Recreation was willing to provide a discount for these families, and because the two organizations worked together to streamline the process, the funding will reach more families than would otherwise be the case. A child enrolling in a ten week course will receive a summertime full of learning and memories.

“Initially Community Action of Eastern Iowa approached Davenport Junior Theatre about setting up a potential scholarship,” according to Daniel Sheridan, Performing Arts Director for Davenport Parks and Recreation. “We soon shifted the idea to span the whole scope of Davenport Parks and Recreation, realizing that this would allow kids more opportunities. The goal is to keep kids learning and playing all summer long to help combat
summer learning loss. So more options seemed like a good thing.”

The process to obtain the scholarship is by voucher. All applicants must apply in person at the office of Community Action of Eastern Iowa (500 East 59th Street, Davenport) and bring the most recent tax return or 90 days proof of income. Social Security Cards for all household members are also required. Community Action of Eastern Iowa will determine income eligibility of the household utilizing 125% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL), in accordance with the rules of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). All applicants must have Iowa household residency.

Community Action of Eastern Iowa will complete the Scholarship Voucher for qualifying households and will give the voucher to the qualifying parent. The qualifying parent will take the completed voucher to Davenport Parks and Recreation at their River’s Edge office, 700 West River Drive, to enroll in one approved multi-week course up to the amount indicated on the voucher. The voucher is only good for multi-week summer course offerings.

Funding is limited. When all funds are exhausted the program will end.

Poison Prevention Means Keep Out of Reach for Pets too PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by James Judge   
Monday, 18 March 2013 15:15
MINNEAPOLIS – Doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners referral medicine hospitals here are encouraging people to also remember their pets during National Poison Prevention Week.

National Poison Prevention Week started Sunday and runs through Saturday. The purpose is to create awareness and prevent injury or death due to poisoning.

“While many precautions are taken to prevent humans from being exposed to poisons, it is equally important to remember to take precautions for pets,” said Dr. Annie Wright, a board-certified specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care medicine with BluePearl here. “A good way to do this is to know what types of items can be toxic to pets.”

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the top 10 pet toxins of 2012 were:

1.      Prescription human medications
2.      Insecticides
3.      Over-the-counter human medications
4.      Veterinary products and medications
5.      Household products
6.      People food
7.      Chocolate
8.      Plants
9.      Rodenticides
10.     Lawn and garden products

Additionally, garlic, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, raisins, the sugar substitute xylitol, and raw or undercooked food can create major problems for pets.

While rodenticides may not be intended for pets, they are designed to attract animals. Should pets encounter these indiscriminate poisons, the condition is life-threatening and the pet must be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Furthermore, with Easter just around the corner, it’s important to recognize that lilies are deadly to cats.

Antifreeze is another toxic substance pets are often attracted to. If ingested, pets can almost certainly die if the condition is left untreated.

If a pet does ingest something that may be toxic, make sure to bring the label or packaging of the substance with you to your veterinarian. For example, there are two different types of rodenticides with two different forms of treatment. It’s important for veterinarians to know what substance they are treating for.

“Most importantly, if you believe your pet has gotten into something that may be poisonous, get him or her to your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian immediately,” said Wright. “Time can ultimately be the difference between life and death.”

About BluePearl Veterinary Partners
Formed in 2008, BluePearl Veterinary Partners is headquartered in Tampa, Fla., and employs more than 1,200 people including approximately 250 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals are referral-only and don’t provide primary care. BluePearl is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship educational programs. BluePearl also participates in and conducts clinical trials to study the effectiveness of new drugs and treatments, which give clients access to cutting-edge medicine not yet commercially available and improves the quality of care delivered to our patients.


Iowa State Fair Parade Applications Available Now PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Lori Chappell   
Monday, 18 March 2013 15:14

DES MOINES, IA (03/18/2013)(readMedia)-- The Iowa State Fair invites all community and youth groups, special interest clubs and businesses to join the fun and enter the State Fair Parade, Iowa's largest parade and the kick-off to the Fair. The parade is set for Wednesday, August 7. "Nothing Compares" to the 2013 Fair, which runs August 8-18.

Applications are available at or by contacting Tonya Cook at 515/262-3111 ext. 215 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . There is a $25 fee for each parade entry. Entries postmarked later than July 1 must include a $15 late fee. No entries will be accepted after July 15.

Entries will be judged and winners will receive plaques in each of the following categories: best use of Fair theme, best specialty group, most creative/original, Governor's Cup (best overall marching band), marching band (by class), best performance, best horses and best drum line.

The parade will begin at 6:15 p.m. in downtown Des Moines. Spectators will be able to watch an estimated 200 floats, animals, vehicles, novelty and performing units. Staging will take place at the State Capitol Complex. Parade entrants will then travel west on Grand Avenue to 13th Street. Dispersion will take place between 13th and 18th Streets.

Highlights of the gala event will be re-broadcast on parade night throughout central Iowa on KDSM FOX 17 beginning at 10 p.m. To be considered for television coverage, the description information on the application must be completed and returned. Due to the length of the parade, it is not possible for all entries to be televised.

Nothing Compares to the 2013 Iowa State Fair August 8-18. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or check out

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Maximize Your Disabled Child’s Government Aid PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Steve Burke   
Monday, 18 March 2013 07:30

By Jason Alderman

Parents of special needs children have enough on their plates just tending to the health, educational and emotional needs of their kids – not to mention often having to cope with drastically lowered income because of reduced work hours or having to pay someone else for childcare. So it's not surprising that many of these parents haven't had time to hatch a long-term financial plan in case their kids need care after they're not around.

Fortunately, many government programs and community resources are available to help relieve the financial burden of parenting special needs children. But eligibility criteria are complicated and the application process time-consuming. Plus, if you're not careful, you or well-meaning relatives could inadvertently disqualify your kids for future benefits by not structuring their inheritances correctly.

Here's a brief overview of key government assistance programs:

The Social Security Administration provides two types of disability coverage: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). Rules and eligibility requirements differ between the two programs – and benefits differ for children and adults.

In a nutshell, SSI is a needs-based, cash-assistance program for disabled people of any age in low-income families with limited resources. Children qualify for SSI benefits if they meet certain strict criteria outlined in SSA Publication 05-11000 (

SSDI is a separate program funded by payroll deductions (part of FICA). Although children sometimes receive SSDI payments if their parents are disabled, their eligibility is based on their parents' disability status, not on their own. However, after turning 22, already disabled children may qualify for SSDI on their own if at least one parent qualifies for Social Security benefits.

Eligibility rules and definitions for SSI and SSDI are complex. To see if your child qualifies, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, or search the Disability and SSI tabs at One particularly helpful resource is "Benefits for Children with Disabilities," SSA Publication No. 05-10026.

Many families inadvertently jeopardize their disabled child's eligibility for government-provided benefits by opening accounts in the child's name or designating them as beneficiaries. Unfortunately, federal law dictates that recipients of SSI, Medicaid and many state assistance programs will be disqualified if they have resources worth over $2,000. So, if Uncle Jerry leaves your daughter $10,000 in his will, she could lose her benefits.

One good alternative is to create a special needs trust, whose assets can be used by its trustee to manage the finances and personal effects of a disabled person. Trusts are governed by state laws and should only be drafted by an attorney familiar with this area of law.

Some parents name the trust as beneficiary of life insurance policies to ensure a source of funding if they die before their child. (Stay current on your premiums.) Other possible funding sources include cash, stocks and other investments, retirement plan death benefits, home sale proceeds and inheritances from other relatives and friends. Just make sure that the trust –not the child – is named beneficiary.

Preparing a special needs trust can be expensive – possibly several thousand dollars, depending on your situation. But weigh that against the prospect of your child losing out on a lifetime of government-provided benefits because of an accidental inheritance – speaking of which, be sure to let any well-meaning relatives or friends know about the trust.

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