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Teaching the Whole Child: Longfellow-Augustana Partnership Brings the Liberal Arts to Primary Education PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - 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."

 
The Business of Blood: How the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center Prepares for the Future PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - 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.

 
Riders Go Cross-Country for Cancer PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Tushar Rae   
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 05:38

Drew Wessels and Danny LeonardThe two men came to the cross-country bike ride in different ways.

For Danny Leonard, a cancer survivor in his late 60s, the idea for a second cross-country ride arose from a conversation he had two years ago while running on a treadmill next to a young man preparing for a marathon. As the men ran next to each other for almost two hours, the young man explained to Leonard that running the marathon would be his way to raise awareness for leukemia and lymphoma research. The conversation left Leonard wondering what he could do to advocate screening for and raise awareness about the disease he had battled -- non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He decided to place an advertisement on Craigslist looking for a Christian who was interested in riding across the United States to raise awareness of the importance of early detection.

For Drew Wessels, an Augustana College graduate and Bettendorf native in his early 20s who stumbled across the listing while looking for a job, it was an opportunity to honor the grandfather he lost to leukemia three years ago.

But for both men it was the right time for the ride. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Leonard being cancer-free, and of his first ride across the country. Wessels, whose summers were usually consumed by basketball or school, found himself with a rare free summer. "The one time I actually had the opportunity, that something like this came by is pretty neat," Wessels said. 2009 also marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

 
Deserters or War Resisters?: “Breaking Ranks,” June 29 at the Bettendorf Library PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 06:00

Some people call them "deserters," while others choose the nobler-sounding words "war resisters." The term you use almost certainly betrays how you feel.

But the issue is more complicated than it was 40 years ago. The political climate in Canada has changed since the Vietnam war, and American soldiers who move to Canada today are in legal limbo - and appear increasingly likely to be deported. And with no draft now, those who serve in the United States military volunteered; a decision to renege on that commitment strikes many people as cowardly.

 
Summer’s Hottest Wines: Tapping the Trends for Your Warm-Weather Pleasure PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Nancy Rosetti   
Monday, 22 June 2009 10:56

Though wine-making has been around for thousands of years, it is still susceptible (much like fashion) to trends, often driven by marketing and buzz. Remember the movie Sideways and the mad rush to a quiet little varietal known as Pinot Noir?

To get a better sense of where people's palettes are lately, it was helpful to attend the International Wine & Spirits event at the National Restaurant Association show held in May. The show is considered to be the most comprehensive of its kind, and is open only to people in the trade. It showcases both existing and emerging wine labels and is a great place to get a sense of what's hot.

 
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