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Teaching the Whole Child: Longfellow-Augustana Partnership Brings the Liberal Arts to Primary Education PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Tushar Rae   
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 15:13

A classroom in the 'new' Longfellow

Students stepping into Longfellow Elementary in Rock Island this school year will notice physical changes: a new media center and library, a new cafeteria, and a renovation that has added four new classrooms. But a more important change will be the school's new formal partnership with Augustana College.

The relationship will bring a liberal-arts-based curriculum to Longfellow - a contrast to the No Child Left Behind-forced shift in primary education that emphasizes reading and math skills to the exclusion of other subjects. Though the content of the curriculum will still conform to district standards, the way that content is presented will change: The focus will move to collaboration among students, small-group and individualized instruction, interdisciplinary learning, thematic teaching that attempts to make the coursework relevant, and the fine arts.

A No Child Left Behind-influenced curriculum "doesn't have anything to do with creative problem-solving, imagination, collaboration - all of these skills we need to survive in the next millennium," said Pat Shea, an assistant professor of education at Augustana who was part of the planning team for Longfellow. "If we don't get those things taught, it doesn't matter how many facts we know. ... We are so off-target about what it means to be an educated person, and I think we as educators have the first line of responsibility to start speaking to that."

 
"Holocaust by Bullets" Researcher/Author to Speak at St. Ambrose PDF Print E-mail
City Shorts
Written by Joe Collins   
Tuesday, 28 July 2009 10:09

Father Patrick DesboisIn the early 1940s, mobile Nazi killing squads traveled across Ukraine executing an estimated 1.5 million Ukrainian Jews. The locations of some of the estimated 2,000 mass graves may well have remained undiscovered if not for the research of Roman Catholic priest Father Patrick Desbois, author of The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest's Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews. On Thursday, August 27, at 7 p.m., Desbois will be at St. Ambrose University to discuss his work. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place at the Rogalski Center, located at the corner of Ripley and Lombard streets in Davenport. A book-signing will follow, and donations in support of Desbois' work will be accepted.

Modern Woodmen of America has agreed to incorporate the parking lot east of its office building into the design of a new riverfront park. The agreement will also provide some additional parking that will be used by the organization during office hours and by park users evenings and weekends. Armory Park will cost $12.35 million and will be funded through the Downtown Tax Increment Finance District. The new park should be complete in 2010.

Dean Klinkenberg virtually lived in the Quad Cities in the summers of 2007 and 2008, exploring any place that might interest visitors. He then wrote The Quad Cities Travel Guide. The book can be purchased online at MississippiValleyTraveler.com and at tourist-oriented retail outlets.

The Figge Art Museum and Blick Art Materials have created a one-year artist-in-residence pilot program at the museum for emerging student artists at the master's level and above. Two participants began their residencies earlier this month. Included in the program are free studio space in downtown Davenport overlooking Second Street, free housing two miles away from the studio space, a flexible job at one of the sponsoring organizations, free art supplies provided by Blick Art Materials, the opportunity to exhibit on a monthly basis in downtown Davenport, free limited health insurance, and free marketing of the artists' work and exhibitions in printed material and online sources. For more information about the Figge Art Museum, visit FiggeArt.org.

The Iowa Whitewater Coalition has announced the Clean Rivers Team Stewardship Program -- a mini-grant program to help fund local river cleanup activities across Iowa. Any community group or organization in Iowa may apply for a grant of up to $500 for expenses related to river cleanup. Grants are limited to a maximum of $500. Details are available at IowaWhitewater.org. Questions can be addressed to Peter Komendowski at (319)269-8493.

Seniors are invited to the Davenport Public Library's Fairmount Street location on Wednesday, July 29, at 1 p.m. for the fourth-annual ice-cream social. The free event's featured entertainment will be the two-part PBS documentary Pioneers of Television. For more information, call (563)888-3371 or visit DavenportLibrary.com.

Susan Uthoff, Iowa State University Program Assistant, will discuss current food-preservation techniques at the program "Why Grandma's Canning Methods Won't Work." Call (563)359-7577 to register for the morning or afternoon session. This workshop is free and will be held on August 10 from 10 to 11 a.m. or 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Scott County Extension Office (875 Tanglefoot Lane in Bettendorf).

Local not-for-profit organizations are invited to participate in a fundraising opportunity with local Younkers stores. The company's Community Day Event will be held on Saturday, November 14. Not-for-profit organizations can sign up at CommunityDayEvent.com. This event provides an opportunity for local organizations to gather the donations needed to support their missions.

 
The Quad Cities' New Economic-Development Model: Audio, Coverage, and Background PDF Print E-mail
Local News
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Friday, 24 July 2009 09:01

On Thursday, July 23, business leaders announced the realignment of Quad Cities economic-development organizations. This will mean the end of DavenportOne and the Quad City Development Group, and the beginning of the Iowa Quad City Chamber of Commerce and Quad Cities First.

Download Embed Embed this video on your site mp3 file of the announcement event (33 minutes)

Effectively, this shifts control of external marketing and business-attraction efforts from the Quad City Development Group and its board to two chambers of commerce: the Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce and the Iowa Quad City Chamber of Commerce (the successor to DavenportOne, whose staff and resources will be merged into the new entity).

The two chambers' chief executives will run Quad Cities First -- a new organization, taking over the role of the Quad City Development Group -- and the chambers will together nominate 10 of its 17 board members. (Seven city and county governments will each appoint one member.)

Economic development organizational chart

589 cover

Dissatisfaction with the effectiveness and fragmentation of regional economic-development efforts has been brewing for a long time. Three years ago, the Reader published "Note to Self: Why Is the Business Community Threatening Itself About Regional Economic Development?" about a letter that clearly set the stage for this shift.

The Bettendorf Chamber of Commerce has "endorsed" the new economic-development model but will not merge into the Iowa Quad City Chamber of Commerce.

Other resources:

DavenportOne releases about the Iowa Quad City Chamber of Commerce (1, 2) and the economic-development model.

Argus/Dispatch coverage.

Quad-City Times coverage.


 
The Business of Blood: How the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center Prepares for the Future PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 08:25

David R. GreenWhen he got started in blood banks almost 20 years ago, David R. Green's understanding of the blood-transfusion process wasn't very sophisticated. Green, now the president and CEO of the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, had a background in finance.

"I thought they simply took that bag of blood after they tested it and made sure that it was hanging above the patient, and it just flowed back in the patient," Green said last week. "I really didn't know."

Now Green runs an organization that last year collected more than 133,000 units of blood products, serves 53 hospitals in four states, and had more than $38 million in revenue in 2008. The organization's 72,000-square-foot building off 53rd Street in northeastern Davenport suggests a big operation, but few people realize just how large, or the complexity of the issues the blood-donation community deals with.

"The core of it is making sure the donors are safe, and that the product that goes out the back door is safe for recipients," said Dr. Louis Katz, the center's executive vice president for medical affairs.

The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is trying to optimize - and therefore drive down - blood usage by hospitals; it is working to help identify heretofore poorly understood risks associated with blood transfusion; and Katz is among those preparing for the next disease threat to the blood supply. And the organization's size has the key benefit of keeping costs lower for local hospitals.

So it's not just bags of blood.

 
Help Name the Putnam’s Egyptian Gallery PDF Print E-mail
City Shorts
Written by Joe Collins   
Tuesday, 21 July 2009 08:20

The Putnam Museum's Egyptian Gallery is undergoing a renovation - and the museum is looking for a new gallery name to go with its new look. The gallery has housed two mummies since the 1960s and is slated to reopen August 22 with several updated components, including new flooring, new lighting, new mummy cases, and a touch-screen video monitor that features results from the CT scans performed at Genesis two years ago. Name suggestions should be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by July 30. The winner will be notified in August, will receive a lifetime membership to the Putnam, and will be invited to the gallery's VIP premiere on August 21.

 
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