Despite the passing of MHS English teacher and director, K.C. Griesenbeck, the school's fall play will go on as scheduled.  Griesenbeck suffered a brain aneurysm October 11th and was airlifted to Iowa City for treatment. She was taken off life support the following Tuesday morning.  Practice for the play had already been underway so the assistant Director, Calvin Vo, took over the job.  "It's a big project for us but it will get done.  We will honor her vision for the show."

The play, Almost, Maine, runs next Thursday, October 29th, Friday the 30th and Saturday the 31st at 7pm each night in the school's auditorium.  The play consists of 9 separate vignettes that deal with the different stages of love and laughter.  In keeping with the love theme students, friends and alumni who were knew Griesenbeck are being asked to bring any pictures they of her to put on the auditorium wall--a so called wall of love.

The media is invited to a preview night of Almost, Maine on Tuesday, October 27th at 4:30 pm.   Available for interviews are the students, the director and the assistant director.  Student Director, Quinn Daley, said her sudden death at the age of 44 shocked the community but the students came together and are more serious about the production.  "They want the stow to be a good one--it is being dedicated to  her".

(Rock Island County)  It's that time of the year again....

Each year a coalition of caring community leaders comes together for a cause as worthy as they come:  handing out bikes to the youngest and the neediest among us.  Teaming up this year is the Rock Island County Regional Office of Education, Bike N'Hike and Queen's Parlour.

This initiative, called "Bikes for Brains," seeks to give out 150 bikes (with helmets and training wheels) to qualified QC-area children deemed eligible by Rock Island Head Start,  Children's Therapy Center, The Project and Youth Hope.  The average cost of a bike with training wheels is about $50. The Pilot Club of Moline has pledged to donate helmets for all of the new young bikers and will fit the children with the helmets properly at the giveaway day.
The goal is to raise a total of $6,000 between now and December 14th which is the happy day we give away the bikes.  On that day, from 11 am-5 pm at the Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island, we help the young children pick out their new bikes.

Organizer Sandy Seeley loves to help with this program.  "This initiative provides bicycles, helmets, and books to young children who would not be provided the opportunity to own and ride a bicycle, if it were not for the generous donations provided for by our community. Children who are recipients of this initiative will use their gross motor skills every time they ride their bike which, in turn, promotes brain development."

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Pink PJ Party!!!

Get your pink on!!!  Plans are in the works for the 5TH ANNUAL PINK PAJAMA PARTY Dinner Benefit in support of Breast Cancer Awareness

(Davenport, IA ) A Pink Pajama Party benefit will be held at Hotel Blackhawk on Friday October 2, 2015, featuring cocktails, dinner and raffles. Proceeds from the benefit will go to support breast cancer awareness.

The event will begin at 5pm with registration and cash bar social time; a sit-down dinner will be served at 7pm; the evening will include a silent auction, raffles (including a pink quilt raffle), a bake sale, prizes and much more. To show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness, attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite pajamas (pink pajamas preferred). The cost for this benefit is $40. Seating will be limited.

The event location will be the Gold Room at Hotel Blackhawk, 200 E. 3rd Street, Downtown Davenport, Iowa Checks can be made payable to "Pink Pajama Party" and sent c/o Kathleen Eshelman, 2812 Davenport Ave, Davenport, IA 52803.

For questions or reservations, call Kathleen at 563-508-7983; final reservations are needed by September 15. For Room accommodations, call Hotel Blackhawk at 563-322-5000.

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(Rock Island, IL)  The concept of  A BOOK BY ME allows children to interview Holocaust victims, World War 11 survivors  and other heroes and write about them.  The Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities and the Holocaust Education Committee of the Greater Quad City Area will be celebrating their work at a Red Carpet event today,  Sunday August 23 from 2:00 - 3:00 at the Tri-City Jewish Center in Rock Island. In attendance will be the young authors, the illustrators and two "heroes" who are the subject of two of the newly published books.

One hero in attendance is World War II veteran Casimer "Casey" Celske who is one of the few surviving members of the celebrated World War II Special Forces unit known as The Devil's Brigade or The Black Devils. While part of the Special Service Force, Casey was wounded twice. The first wound came from shrapnel that hit his head, face and ears, splitting his helmet in two and knocking him unconscious. It killed the soldier next to him in the foxhole. Then in Anzio, Italy he was wounded in the leg when a bullet from a machine gun struck him as he crawled on his belly across a wheat field. "I was lucky," he insists. "I was wounded twice but I just kept quiet because I'd seen so many dead kids or ones with legs blown off. It was horrible."

It was during the attack at Anzio that the brigade got their nickname. Some say the diary of a dead Nazi soldier was found saying "The black devils are all around us every time we come into the line. We never hear them coming." Another German prisoner stated "They are treacherous, unmerciful and clever. You cannot afford to relax." The Black Devils were immortalized years later in Hollywood in a 1968 movie titled "The Devil's Brigade" starring William Holden. The film portrays the first mission of the Italian campaign, the seemingly impossible task of capturing an impregnable Nazi mountain stronghold called Monte La Difensa. Casey knew how to handle mules from life on the farm back in Wisconsin. He volunteered to bring a pack of four with supplies up the mountain in Italy. The plan was to lead one and have the other three follow but that plan didn't work all the time because mules can be stubborn. It was an extremely cold and tedious journey up the mountain.

A great victory was won when Monte la Difensa was in Allied hands and eventually the Allies took the other mountain peaks nearby. Afterward, they tried to catch up to Patton's Army who were at the Battle of the Bulge. They never did find them and Casey's unit was near the Czech border in the spring of 1945 when the news came that the Allies had won the war in the European theater. Today Casey is a decorated war veteran with a bronze star and two purple hearts. In 2013, the United States Congress passed a bill to award the First Special Service Force members the highly prestigious Congressional Gold Medal. By his side will be young author Halie Parkinson of Aledo, Illinois. She is proud to tell his story for young readers.

Another "subject" for the A BOOK by ME Human Rights Series in attendance will be Father Marvin Mottet of Davenport. Father Mottet worked tirelessly on civil rights issues and brought Reverend Martin Luther King Jr to the Quad Cities to speak. In addition, he had Mother Teresa come for an event. He is a social justice champion and his story will be documented by Sophie Jackson of Moline. She is the newest young author in the A BOOK by ME series.

Many young writers and artists will be attending to receive L'dor Vador awards. A major component of Judaism is passing traditions from generation to generation. In Hebrew this is known as L'dor Vador. The young people involved in the A BOOK by ME writing process have assured that important stories of the Holocaust, Human Rights and Heroes will be told to the next generation.

The celebration will include praise for the Scott County Regional Authority as the Jewish Federation received a spring grant allowing the Holocaust Education Committee to donate 2,900 copies of children's books about local subjects from the Holocaust Series. In addition, the celebration will include a number of smaller grants and the fact that over two dozen books in the series are now available on Amazon. To see those available, visitwww.abookbyme.com and see the link on the right hand corner. 

WHAT:  Red carpet event to celebrate young writers
WHERE: Tri-City Jewish Center Rock Island
WHEN:  Sunday, August 234rd 2 pm

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Some Glenview Middle School students have been spending part of their of summer vacation at school.

According to the Lights ON For Learning site coordinator, Teresa Dothard-Campbell, the summer enrichment program has been a huge success!!  Classes ranging from African drumming to sign language to cheerleading ran from June 8 - July 2 from 12:00-2:30 p.m.--with a free lunch everyday-and the students loved it.  "The purpose of the program is two fold. The first objective is to provide students an opportunity to be engaged in enriching experiences that will open their eyes to different cultures, along with providing them a chance to be involved with activities they may not normally have the opportunity to do. Second, by inviting incoming 5th graders, it allows them a chance to meet new friends, some of the staff they will be working with at Glenview and get used to the school before the first day in August."

Students participated in the following this year:

African Drumming and making of Shakarees through Hand and Heart Drumming
Sign Language through the ASL Source
Zula Shields through Art on the Go
Scavenger Hunt through HyVee
Cheerleading and basketball camp
Canvas painting
Field trips every week
Cooked dinner for the East Moline Fire Dept
Made blankets to donate to an area nursing home

The T-Birds and Pink ladies will be out in force this week when the Moline High School Theatre Department puts on Grease!!!

(Moline, IL)   The Moline High School stage is turning into Rydell High School.  The popular musical is being put on this year with the help of a community member who is well known to local theatre goers-- Erin Platt,  She is directing the show and has handpicked a choreographer.  It's been 23 years since MHS has done the production.

The show runs Thursday (March 19), Friday (March 20) and Saturday the 21st at 7:30 pm in the school auditorium.  Tickets are $6.00 for students, $8.00 for adults.

Any publicity for the show is appreciated.  If you would like to interview Erin or a student please contact me at the above number

A night of Glassblowing Demonstrations, Blown Glass Pumpkins, Food, and Drinks!

When: Saturday, Oct.25th from 6 PM-10 PM

Where: Hot Glass Inc.

104 Western Ave.

Davenport, IA 52801

*Park in the Modern Woodmen Ballpark Lot across the street.

Proceeds from all sales help a support glassblowing classes for at-risk youth.

Hot Glass provides an opportunity for at-risk and under served youth in the Quad Cities (tuition free) to engage in a unique art experience while learning leadership and job skills that will encourage them to stay in and finish school. We also offer a variety of fee based classes to the public to sustain our mission of offering tuition free classes for youth.

Hot Glass uniquely uses art - specifically glass blowing - to provide youth with a life changing experience. Working with glass, students develop essential skills such as teamwork, communication, planning and decision-making, as well as job-related applications.  Most importantly, they learn that they have the responsibility and power to shape their futures. Some may find their passion in glassblowing and a future career. For others, Hot Glass offers a place to meet other teens with a similar interest and an opportunity to engage in a positive activity. Art provides a unique opportunity for teens to experience the success of creating something beautiful without the competition inherent in sports, academics, and other activities. A National Endowment for the Arts report found that at-risk students who have access to the arts in or out of school tend to have better academic results, better workforce opportunities, and more civic engagement.

We also offer an opportunity for interested students to join our Glass Team. These teens complete projects for commission, to sell to organizations (on special order for awards, for example), and possibly sell at the Farmers Market or the  Riverssance Festival. Glass Team members develop and exercise leadership and business skills while creating revenue to sustain Hot Glass' operations. Mentors - professional artists and business leaders - further these students' skills. We may ask some who truly excel on the Glass Team to teach future classes or mentor other youth.

Joel Ryser, Executive Director
104 Western Ave. Davenport, IA 52801
www.hotglassart.org hotglassdavenport@gmail.com 309.236.9223

(East Moline, IL)  All this week a handful of United Township High schoolers are spending time in the classroom with robotic arms trying to program them and get ready for the fall robotics season.  It's part of a national engineering program that provides competition among the kids and their robots as a way to teach kids about engineering.  UT Teacher, Mike Ricke, says the Lights ON afterschool students will be competing against each other all week and then on Friday they will visit the new STEM exhibit at the Putnam Museum.

***The media is invited to see the robotics competition first hand this Thursday, July 10th at 10:00 am to 10:45 am.  The event is the school's "cafeteria 2"room located next to the main café in the school.  Students and Ricke (pronounced ricky) will be available for interviews and pictures***

Rickey says the FTC program (First Technology Challenge) team will begin its second year of competition this September, but this summer camp is an attempt to get a head start on the season as well as interest other "campers" to join the UT team this fall.

WHO:  UT STUDENTS
WHERE:  UT Cafeteria 2 (1275 Avenue of the Cities, East Moline)
WHEN:  Thursday, July 10th at 10:00 am-10:45 am
WHY:  Learn about engineering through robots

The "Leadership Squad" at Edison Jr High is spending a few days on a college campus to learn how to be effective leaders....

(Rock Island, IL)  There are 7 eighth grade students from Edison Junior High school going to the University of Illinois Extension Summer Illini Academy in Leadership later this month.   They will be living and easting in the dorm for four days.  They will be learning about different leadership styles and attending Leadership training with about 300 to 400 students from around the state.   The Leadership Squad at Edison Junior High School is funded through the 21st CCLC "Lights  ON" for Learning program which partners with the University of Illinois Extension and Mrs. Diane Baker.

Site Coordinator, Susan Witmer, says the learning that will take place there is unmeasurable.   "Without this great community partnership, our students would not have this opportunity to see what it is like to live on a college campus, participate in community service projects in the Champaign area and see some of what college life is like."

Students will be on the University of Illinois campus from June 22 through June 25.  The students attending include Man Lun, Paw Ka Ku, Dakota Tello-Goossens, Mykeisha Wells, Rashawn Overton, Patience Mutoni and Ethan Wiley.  All total there are 20 Quad Citian attending the academy.

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