Congratulations to members of Encore!, Moline High School's Speech Team & Acting Troupe, got first in the state this weekend in Peoria for its Performance in the Round.  Members include :
Rowan Crow
Mariah Logan
Abbey Lasek
Britta Engstrom
Autumn Loose
Kaitlyn Wehr
Ellen Wells
Katy Deadmond
Sadie Buckles
Allison Condit
Jennie White
Micah SantAmour Bernas
Alejandro Raya

Receiving second place was senior Jenna Pautsch in the Original Oratory category.

Peter David McNaught & Alex Haifa received 6th place in the Humurous Duet Acting.

These acts will be performed this Friday as part of the school's Dessert Theatre.  The actors will perform in the round at the school's cafe at 7:30 pm.  $5.00 tickets at the door...the ticket price includes dessert.  Show begins at 7:30pm.

(Rock Island, IL) Every day, approximately 51 immigrants attend "English as a second language" class at the Church of Peace in Rock Island.  The program is a cooperative effort among Black Hawk College, the Secretary of State, Rock Island School District, the Regional Office of Education Lights ON, Rock Island Library, and the Church of Peace.

Tomorrow (December 15, 2011) at 11:00am the ESL teachers are providing a traditional Christmas luncheon for the students complete with gifts of badly needed socks, stuffed animals and treat bags.  Santa will do the honors of handing out the gifts.

The media is invited to attend the event and interview teachers, staff and immigrants.  The students are from many countries with the majority being from Myanmar (used to be called Burma), Iraq, and Africa (Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania).

WHO:  Quad City Immigrants
WHAT:  Christmas Luncheon
WHEN:  December 15, at 11:00 am
WHERE:  Church of Peace, 1114 - 12th Street, Rock Island

The annual Bikes for Brains campaign is officially underway.  Organizers say this year they want to raise $7,500 to buy 150 bicycles and helmets for needy children.  66 bikes will go to children in the ROE's 33 Early Childhood Classrooms and the bulk of the remaining to Rock Island Head Start families.  Some of those families are recent immigrants and refugees from war torn nations.  Children in those families tend to be slightly older and need bigger and more expensive bikes.  The group will also be gifting qualified children identified by the Children's Therapy Center, Youth Hope, Winnie's Place, and The Project.

Mark your calendar for Monday, Dec 19th for the give away from 10:30 to 5:30 PM at the Martin Luther King Center located @ 630-9th Street in Rock Island.  Anderson's Bookfair Company in Aurora, Illinois has agreed once again to provide several gently used books for each of the children.  And the Quad City Pilot Club will provide helmets and safety lessons via a puppet show throughout the bike giveaway day.

Each year Bike 'N Hike, Queen's Parlour, and the Rock Island County Regional Office of Education (ROE) team up for this special campaign.  According to Sheila Burns, with the ROE, local donors continue to make this fund drive very successful every year.  "More than one thousand children have received their first bike because of this project. We have a loyal group of folks who donate every year. We want to thank each and every contributor no matter what the contribution!"

A bike with training wheels costs about $50. Donors can contribute any amount toward a bike.  Donations can be dropped off or mailed to:

Queen's Parlour
171-19th Avenue
Moline, IL 61265

Donors can make check payable to: Bikes for Brains

Rock Island Junior High afterschool students are going to try and figure out if Colonel Davenport's home is really haunted

JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN--Students in the Lights on for Learning program at Edison Junior High are performing the play entitled, "IS THE JOINT HAUNTED?", this Friday, October 28th at 1:45 pm in the school gym.

On July 4, 1845, Colonel George Davenport of Rock Island was murdered in his home by robbers looking for gold and paper money. The Davenport Mansion was the first fine home built in the area.  In the years that followed, it fell into disrepair. Eventually the home was saved by a not-for-profit group, the Col. Davenport Historical Foundation, a group founded to save and restore the historic house. Because Davenport died a violent death, many have long wondered whether the house might be haunted. Recently, a local paranormal society decided to investigate.
This play is the story of how that investigation went and is written by local playwright, John O'Shea, a former Assistant States Attorney for Rock Island County and as Corporation Counsel for the City of Moline, IL. O'Shea is the author of thirteen published plays.  He retired in January of 2000 after serving twenty six years on the bench. Don has been active in Community Theater since 1967, as an actor, singer, director, producer and playwright.

Since retirement from the bench, he has directed plays at Edison Jr. High School, and Alleman High School in Rock Island, IL; Seton Jr. High in Moline, IL; and at Sherrard High School, in Sherrard.  He has also directed community theater at the Quad City Music Guild, and for the Riversong Players.  Don is also a paid political op ed writer for the Moline Dispatch and Rock Island Argus newspapers, where his opinion pieces appear twice each month.

The media is invited to attend the play and interview O'Shea, the Lights ON students who participate in the after school drama club and their teachers.

WHO:  Edison Junior High Lights ON Drama Club
WHAT:  O'Shea play, "Is The Joint Haunted?"
WHEN: , Friday October 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm
WHERE:  Edison Junior High 4141 9th Street    Rock Island
54 immigrants in the Quad Cities will be receiving trick or treat bags this month...but they are not going to be stuffed with candy and popcorn.  These "special care" bags are going to be filled with essentials like shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.

These treat bags are the brainchild of some graduate students in the Occupational Therapy program at St. Ambrose University.  Professor, Christine Urish, says the Black Hawk College program at the Church of Peace in Rock Island is the perfect place to help her students learn how to teach functional living skills.  Every day, approximately 54 immigrants attend "English as a second language" class at the church.  The program is a cooperative effort among Black Hawk College, the Secretary of State, Rock Island School District, the Regional Office of Education Lights ON, Rock Island Library, and the Church of Peace.

Dr. Terry Schlabach and Dr. Urish say their students are teaching the refugees such skills as reading a recipe, writing a check, using a phonebook, understanding clothing sizes, and using US currency.  Since this is the Halloween season, the students decided to do a self-care drive and collect items such as shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes to put in a bag to give to each of the refugees.  Kelsey Nolan, a first year student in the St. Ambrose Master of Occupational Therapy program, sent emails to family and friends seeking money to buy the toiletries.  "I felt personally compelled to do.  I admire the determination with which the family literacy program participants work to better their own lives and the lives of their loved ones.  I figure the least I can do is help to provide for some of their basic needs".

The "treat bags" will be handed out to the students on October 25th at 11:00.  The media is invited to attend the event and interview teachers, students and the immigrants.  The students are from many countries with the majority being from Myanmar (used to be called Burma), Iraq, and Africa (Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania).

WHO:  Quad City Immigrants
WHAT:  "Special Care" treat bags distribution
WHEN:  October 25, 2011 at 11:00 am
WHERE:  Church of Peace  1114 12 Street    Rock Island, IL  61201

Louie Bellson Run

This Saturday, Oct 22nd, at 9:00 a.m. the 2nd Annual Louie Bellson 5K Run will be held.  The starting time will be 9:00 a.m. in the west parking lot of Moline Senior High School.

Race Director Rob Moon encourages all QC-area runners to show up to run for a good cause.  "Proceeds from this 5K race will go to music education in the Moline Public School system -- a fitting honor for Louie Bellson's life and legacy here in Moline."

Charlotte's Web

The Moline High School Theatre Department is producing the popular children's story, Charlotte's Web, at the end of this month.  But, this is not the typical Charlotte's Web high school production.

Members of the cast are taking weekend lessons at the Actors Gymnasium in Evanston, Illinois (Noyes Cultural Arts Center), a school for circus and performing arts (, in order to learn aerial movement on hanging silks.  This acrobatic endeavor is very much like Cirque du Soleil style-movement, with moments of storytelling in the production that are communicated solely through this "dance in the sky."  Students will also incorporate other circus elements, including silk scarves, juggling, bike riding, and dancing. Charlotte, the spider, will be move on a lyra?a suspended hula hoop in the middle of the stage?throughout the show while the play's four narrators will help her 'spin her webs' through imaginative dances on the hanging silks.   The other animals will each have their own circus flair, including Templeton, the rat, who will be making his entrances on wheels?skateboards, scooters, and various bikes.

Moline High School Theatre's 2011-2012 season, titled The Soaring Imagination, is off to a skyrocketing start with this Fall production.  The students are learning to fly?physically, emotionally, intellectually and creatively.


Veteran attorney, John McGehee, will today announce his candidacy for States Attorney of Rock Island County in the 2012 Democratic primary.

He will make his announcement at 12 noon today in the Rock Island County Building (Second floor, committee board room), 1504-3rd Avenue, Rock Island.  McGehee, Moline, has been an attorney for 21 years in the Quad Cities.


Just Kids Commemorates Anniversary with Sports-Themed Celebration

April 26, 2011 - Just Kids Early Care & Education Centers in Milan, IL is celebrating 35 years of providing high-quality early education services to the Quad Cities community.

Just Kids is a non-profit, United Way partner that has been providing services in Milan since the organization's inception. They operate 4 child development centers and serve over 250 families annually. Just Kids has over 50 early childhood professionals working together to educate young children, build public support for high-quality programs, improve professional practice and support area families.

"All young children deserve high-quality early learning experiences that will prepare them for life. Just Kids has had a great opportunity to contribute to this need for the past 35 years," said Vera Hinrichsen, Executive Director of Just Kids. "I am honored that parents have continued to turn to us to help give their children a positive start."

The organization is inviting the community, particularly current and former Just Kids families, to celebrate their 35th anniversary at their "High Five for 35" event on May 11, 2011 from 5:30-7:30 at the Milan Community Center, 2701 1st Street East, Milan. This sports-themed event will feature free family activities, crafts, raffle baskets and dinner for $1. Kids can also meet Mo Mallard and Monkey Joe. Blackhawk Bank & Trust, a loyal supporter of Just Kids, is serving as the principal sponsor of this celebration.

For more information on Just Kids Early Care & Education Centers, please visit

On Tuesday, April 12th at 3:00 pm "Lights ON" after school students will be making paper cranes.  Why? According to the Lights ON Site Coordinator at Washington Junior High, Kristie Sullivan, for every paper crane the school donates the OshKosh clothing company will give an article of clothing to a child affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The program is called "Cranes for KIDS".

In Japanese culture, cranes are a powerful symbol of health and well-wishes. In fact, the Japanese people believe that anyone who makes 1,000 origami cranes will have a wish granted.

Through April 25th, OshKosh will be collecting the paper cranes and sending them to the OshKosh stores in Japan to show them the support and caring of their friends in the United States. OshKosh will donate up to 50,000 articles of clothing. Sullivan says not only is it fun for the kids to make cranes...they are learning a valuable lesson to help others in need.  "This project is a perfect opportunity to teach students aboutcompassion and give them a desire to help people in need.   They are very excited to make the cranes and to help make a difference".