Thanks to the combined efforts of the St. Ambrose University Occupational Therapy and Physician’s Assistant students and faculty, as well as the staff and volunteers at Spring Forward, more than 50 adults and children from all walks of life will share a meal and celebrate diversity.  The traditional Thanksgiving feast is being held on Thursday, November 15th at 6:00 pm at the Church of Peace in Rock Island. 

Adult students at Spring Forward’s Family Literacy Program speak seven different languages and come from several countries, including Burma (Myanmar), Iraq, Burundi, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They gather four days a week at Church of Peace to take classes and improve their English skills. St. Ambrose students from both the Occupational Therapy and Physician’s Assistant programs have volunteered throughout the semester with Spring Forward, sharing their knowledge and learning about other cultures as well.

Stephanie Hasakis, Director of Communications and Family Programming, says this program is needed in the community.  “There is so much that we can learn from one another if we take the time to stop and talk. This meal provides a great opportunity to get to know our neighbors and share in the joy of our common experiences.”

Spring Forward’s Executive Director, Dan McNeil, says Spring Forward’s mission is to provide free educational opportunities to individuals in Rock Island. “This program has helped so many of our community’s newest members adjust to life in the Quad Cities and we are proud to be a part of it.”

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