Some United Township high schoolers are spending one of their spring break days on a bus learning about the "cool" history of the Quad Cities

(East Moline, IL)  While on spring intersession, approximately 65 United Township students will be on a Quad Cities tour of "cool and historic" places led by their history teacher, Heather Monson.

The Lights ON for Learning students will board a bus Friday (March 15th) morning and tour such local landmarks as the Deere/ Wieman house, Lagomarcinos,  Ross's restaurant, Campbell's Island, the Looney House, etc.  Monson says she wants the students to realize the cultural history of the area and develop an interest in local history.  "As a history teacher, I find history dazzling and think when people know the background of their area they can appreciate it more and become more interested in the current events of our area".

***The media is invited to visit with Monson and the students at any of their stops along the tour?see schedule below***

The Rock Island County Regional Office of Education and the 21st CCLC grant funds the "Lights ON For Learning" program at UT.

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Itinerary for 2013 Cool QC History Tour

8:50 am  Meeting the UTHS parking lot
9:00am Load the bus/take lunch orders/Call Ross's
9:10am Head out/first stop Campbell's Island
9:20am  Arrive at Campbell's Island Monument
9:30am Debrief about Battle/Monument/Resort discuss the prison
9:40am  Load Bus Head to Deere/Wieman House
10am Arrive at Deere Wieman House for 1 hour tour
11am  Head to Ross's Restaurant for lunch
11:20am Arrive at Ross's for Lunch
12:3pm0 Finish Lunch Head to Arsenal Bridge/Bucktown/LeClaire Park Bix
12:45pm Bucktown area/ On bus begin background of Bucktown and the start of Citadal of Sin
1:10pm  Head to Rock Island for driving House tour
Downtown: Market Square/Argus Building
Begin with Looney House on Hill/20th then to 16th then Bel Air
Business tour: Van Dale and her businesses/Barber shop
2:20pm Lagomarcinos for drinks/green river and history of Lagos (tentative)
3:00pm head to school Wrap up with other historical events and places for next time
3:30pm arrive back at UTHS

With a cast of 80 and a complete orchestra, Moline High School students are putting on the ever-popular Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

(Moline, IL)  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat] is a popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical with lyrics by Tim Rice. The story is based on the "coat of many colors" story of Joseph from the Bible's Book of Genesis. The show has little spoken dialogue; it is completely sung-through. Its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music have resulted in numerous productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  This month, 42 Moline High School student actors along with 38 elementary and middle school students, a supporting crew of dozens of students, and an orchestra of 15 will produce four shows for local audiences.  Dates of the show are March 14, 15 and 16 and the media will get a sneak preview of the show this week.

WHO:  Moline High School Students and the children's choir
WHAT:  Media Preview of the MHS spring musical
WHEN:  Tuesday, March 12,  7:00 pm
WHERE: MHS Auditorium

There will be 4 performances-- Thursday, March 14 @ 7:30 PM; Friday, March 15 @ 7:30 PM; Saturday, March 16 @ 2 PM and 7:30 PM.   $6.00 for students; $8.00 for adults. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at the MHS bookstore. 309-743-8833
This show was the first Lloyd Webber and Rice musical to be performed publicly. Joseph was first presented as a 15-minute pop cantata at Colet Court School in London in 1968 and was recorded as a concept album in 1969. After the success of the next Lloyd Webber and Rice piece, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph received stage productions beginning in 1970 and expanded recordings in 1971 and 1972. While still undergoing various transformations and expansions, the musical was produced in the West End in 1973, and in its full format was recorded in 1974 and opened on Broadway in 1982. Several major revivals and a 1999 straight-to-video film, starring Donny Osmond, followed.

Musical Theatre Productions by the Moline High School Music Department

1961    Pajama Game
1962    Bells Are Ringing
1963    My Fair Lady
1964    Bye, Bye Birdie
1965    South Pacific
1966    The Music Man
1967    The Sound of Music
1968    How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
1969    Carousel
1970    Li'l Abner
1971    Guys & Dolls
1972    Pajama Game
1973    Hello Dolly
1974    No, No Nanette
1975    The Music Man
1976    Mame
1977    How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
1978    The King & I
1979    Hello Dolly
1980    Oklahoma
1981    Irene
1982    Li'l Abner
1983    Funny Girl
1984    Little Mary Sunshine
1985    The Sound of Music
1986    Hello Dolly
1987    The Music Man
1988    South Pacific
1989    Guys & Dolls
1990    How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
1991    Bye, Bye Birdie
1992    Oklahoma
1993    Cabaret
1994    West Side Story
1995    Mame
1996    Damn Yankees
1997    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
1998    The Sound of Music
1999    Bye, Bye Birdie
2000    Once Upon A Mattress
2001    Grease
2002    Godspell
2003    Phantom
2005        Oliver
2006        A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum
2007        King And I
2008        Cabaret
2009        Beauty and the Beast
2010        The Music Man
2011        Bye Bye Birdie
2012        The Sound of Music
2013        Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Joseph Director, Ron May, has been involved in musical theatre for more than 40 years.  His experience began upon the recommendation of his college advisor.  May was urged to become more knowledgeable about musical theatre if he wanted to be a high school choral director.  Immediately after college, May was cast as Thomas Jefferson in the Quad City Music Guild's production of "1776" and since then has performed additional leading roles in "Damn Yankees", "Cabaret", "Evita", "Godspell", among others.  As an educator, he has directed/produced more than 50 productions.  In addition to educational and community theatre settings, he has served as musical director for professional productions of "Hairspray", "Legally Blonde-the musical", "Whodunit? The musical" (world premiere at Circa 21), "The World Goes Round", and countless other reviews and industrial musical shows.

It was doing a community theatre production of "The Sound of Music" where May met his wife of 36 years.  He and Cindy (a freelance choreographer) have collaborated in nearly all of his educational musical theatre productions.  They are both collaborating on this production.
Students of Mr. May have gone on to successful careers in professional theatre.   Former students have performed in "Miss Saigon", "The Full Monty", and "The Drowsy Chaperone" on Broadway and in national tours of "Peter Pan".  Many former students are currently pursuing a career in musical theatre across the country.   Some current seniors are exploring acting, musical theatre and/or directing in part because of Mr. May's influence.

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(East Moline, IL) You always hear about football and basketball players making it to state....well, now a United Township High School senior is going to state for her poetry recitation skills. Brianna Gray won the UT "Poetry Out Loud" competition earlier this month and won the Regional competition last Saturday.   She will compete at the State competition on Friday, March 8th, in Springfield for a slot in the 2013 Poetry Out Loud:  National Recitation Contest in Washington, D. C., in late April. This is her second trip to state finals for Poetry out Loud.

Brianna says to competing at the state level has boosted her confidence level because you have to believe in yourself when you are standing in front of hundreds of people.  "I love poetry Out Loud because it has taught me how be confident in myself and that I am capable of great things. It has also taught me how to better understand poetry and to figure out what the poets were thinking when they wrote."

Brianna says her quest for state was helped along by UT staffers.  "I have my school librarians who are always willing to lend me their ear and help me understand what that poem is actually about, I have other teachers who are able to listen and critique my performance so it can be the best version when I preform, and I also have my family who listens through countless run-throughs and makes sure I am accurate in my poems."

Students study, memorize, and recite renowned classic and contemporary poetry at each level of competition, and a panel of writers, teachers, and performers judges the recitations.  Each state champion will receive a trip to the nation's capital to join a field of fifty-three students vying for the top prize, a $20,000 scholarship award.

"UT is very excited to be taking poetry to the next level and representing the Western Illinois region at state finals. This is our 3rd year participating and going to state finals in this program and we've seen many positive things come from this experience for our students." says UT's Poetry Out Loud coordinator, Lisa Carroll.

The Springfield Area Arts Council will host sixteen high school students from eight regions spanning Illinois.  They are the winners and runners-up from competitions held this month, starting in their own classrooms.  Contest organizer, Sheila Walk, "This program gives teenagers a way to compete, just as school athletes do, and the competition at the state level is intense.  Participating students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.  Plus, they meet students from urban, suburban, and rural schools and interact with the judges who are language arts professionals.  It's a great event."
Poetry Out Loud is backed by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.  Now in its eighth year, the contest is designed to encourage interest in poetry at the high school level.  Last year, almost 6,000 students from 57 Illinois public and private high schools participated.

UT's Poetry Outloud is an afterschool enrichment class which is part of a "Lights ON" grant funded by the 21st CCLC grant, a partnership between the Rock Island County Regional Office of Education and UTHS.

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encore.jpg
For the second time in two years Moline High School's Encore! acting troupe/speech team got first place in the Illinois High School Association State Finals held this weekend in Peoria for its PIR--Performance in the Round.  The name of the performace was "The Starcatcher".

Cast members include : Alejandro Raya , Christian Frieden , Clare Van Echaute , Jennie White , JJ Schrick , Josef Pautsch, Matthew Hayes, Micah SantAmor Bernas, Peter Condit, Sadie Buckles, Taylor Romeo

The award winning team will be performing this Friday at the MHS cafeteria at 7:30 pm.  The high school's "Dessert Theatre" will also showcase other acts--both sectional and state performers.

The "Leadership Squad" is back at Edison Junior High and its teaching other Rock Island middle school students how to be leaders...

(Rock Island, IL)  It began last fall when Diane Baker, with the University of Illinois Extension Service, taught a core group of students leadership and problem solving skills.  Now the group is back and they are going teach 25  new students what it takes to be a leaders?students teaching students.  Edison's "Leadership Squad" is part of the 21st Century Lights ON For Learning federal grant.

The students will become teachers for the next four Mondays from 2:45 - 4:30 pm.  Baker works with the "teen teachers" to plan a sequential leadership development curriculum.  Participants learn more about their own leadership styles, develop their communication skills, and are challenged to a variety of teambuilding experiences.  The program taps into each individual's leadership potential. "The Leadership Squad helps students realize that they can be leaders through group interaction and gives them the confidence to express themselves in a positive manner to their peers."

***The media is invited to see the Leadership Squad in action on Monday, February 4th between 3:00 pm and 4:00 p.m. in room 103 at Edison Junior High in Rock Island (4141 9th Street).   The students, teachers and site coordinator will be available for interviews.

A Rock Island Elementary School will begin offering afterschool programs beginning today (Monday) thanks to a new federal grant

(Rock Island, IL)  Earl Hanson has been given a $138,000 annual federal grant to provide educational and enrichment activities for struggling students after school.  The school will receive $138,000 each year for five years.

Earl Hanson joins the long list of Lights ON for Learning Community Learning Centers (CLCs) that have received grants over the past eleven years and will now be hanging a bright yellow Lights ON banner in their entrance.    The RIROE is the fiscal agent and project manager.  This is the eleventh 21st CCLC grant the Rock Island School District has received over the years for seven different RI schools.  Judy Hipskind will be the Lights ON Site Coordinator for Earl Hanson.  Hipskind, an experienced 21st CCLC grant coordinator, has worked with the former Lincoln School program and is currently with the RI Academy.  Programming begins January 14th.

The money is part of a $14 million dollar 21st Century Community Learning Center grant the Illinois State Board of Education recently announced.  These programs are expected to serve more than 13,600 students from 110 Illinois schools state-wide.
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The 21st CCLC grant program provides academic interventions to help students meet Illinois state standards. The program also offers a variety of enrichment opportunities for students and their families, including life skills, art, music, recreation, technology classes, and character education.

"After-school programs keep students active and engaged in learning outside school hours," said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch said in a news release. "But those positive afterschool experiences ? new opportunities or time with mentors ? often inspire new and continued motivation in the classroom."

Illinois receives funds for the program based on a formula from the U.S. Department of Education. A total of $14 million was available for Fiscal Year 2013 awards through a competitive grant process. The agency received 104 proposals, totaling more than $33 million from 29 school districts, 50 community- and faith-based organizations, two universities and six regional offices of education. Thirty-seven 21st CCLC grants on behalf of 110 schools were awarded while 67 proposals were not recommended for funding. The 2013 grantees can be renewed for four years but subsequent fiscal years depend upon a sufficient appropriation for the program and satisfactory progress in the previous grant period.

Organizer, Sheila Burns, reports the group received an additional $10,000 since the bike give away earlier this month so there were able to buy more bikes!!!

"Because of the generosity of our donors, we were able to gift 21 additional children this year.  That makes the 2012 total number of bikes and helmets given a whopping 133! Thank you to our faithful donors," said Burns.

For more information contact Sheila at 736-1111.

36 adults and 23 children from Mexico, Togo Africa and Asia are going to learn about American Christmas traditions this week.

The Community Resource and Learning Center at Bethel Wesley Church will have a Christmas party on Thursday, December 13th. The families will enjoy a book called "Pete the Cat Saves Christmas" and then make gingerbread houses with frosting and candy. The children will receive Christmas presents from the Church members. A luncheon provided by the Rock Island Regional Office of Education will be served.

The family literacy program is a cooperative effort among Black Hawk College, the Secretary of State, Rock Island School District, the Regional Office of Education Lights ON and Bethel Wesley Church.  The program is part of the 21st Century Lights ON For Learning grant which provides English as a second language classes for immigrants who have children in Rock Island Lights ON schools.

The goals: learning about American traditions about Christmas, and parents doing and making things with their children. Parents are the children's first teachers!

WHO:  Rock Island County Immigants
WHAT:  Learning about how Americans celebrate Christmas
WHERE:  The Community Resource and Learning Center at Bethel Wesley United Methodist Church (1201 13th Street, Moline)
WHEN:  Thursday, December 13th at 10:30 am/lunch at 11:15 am

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The annual "Bikes for Brains" bike give away is scheduled for Monday, December 10th at the Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island

Organizers of the annual bike giveaway met their fundraising goal and more than 100 children will receive their Christmas wish--their first bike and helmet.  The children and their parents will be able to pick up their bikes beginning at noon at the Martin Luther King Center (639 9th Street Rock Island).  The media is invited to attend this joyous event and interview children as they get their first-ever bike, helmet, gently used books, as well as watch a puppet show explaining the importance of wearing a helmet and preventing brain injuries.  Volunteers with The Pilot Club of Moline will do their popular the puppet shows.

Available for interviews are the project leadership team:  Steve Depron with Bike 'N Hike, Sandy Seeley-Copley with Queens Parlour,  Sheila Burns with the ROE and Mary Maland with the Pilot Club of Moline.

WHO:  "Bikes for Brains" leadership team and recipients
WHAT:  Bike give away
WHERE:  Martin Luther King Center (639 9th Street  Rock Island)
WHEN:  Monday, December 10th at noon until 5:30 pm

The annual "Bikes for Brains" bike give away is scheduled for Monday, December 10th at the Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island

Organizers of the annual bike giveaway met their fundraising goal and more than 100 children will receive their Christmas wish--their first bike and helmet.  The children and their parents will be able to pick up their bikes beginning at noon at the Martin Luther King Center (639 9th Street Rock Island).  The media is invited to attend this joyous event and interview children as they get their first-ever bike, helmet, gently used books, as well as watch a puppet show explaining the importance of wearing a helmet and preventing brain injuries.  Volunteers with The Pilot Club of Moline will do their popular the puppet shows.

Available for interviews are the project leadership team:  Steve Depron with Bike 'N Hike, Sandy Seeley-Copley with Queens Parlour,  Sheila Burns with the ROE and Mary Maland with the Pilot Club of Moline.

WHO:  "Bikes for Brains" leadership team and recipients
WHAT:  Bike give away
WHERE:  Martin Luther King Center (639 9th Street  Rock Island)
WHEN:  Monday, December 10th at  noon until 5:30 pm

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