DAVENPORT, IA (06/02/2010)(readMedia)-- Local youth leader Chantell Lamont, Davenport, received an award recently for making a difference in the Quad Cities. The QC (Quality and Commitment) Award, given by the Council on Community Services of the Quad Cities (CCSQC), recognized Lamont's work with foster youth through Children & Families of Iowa's Elevate program.

The CCSQC is a coalition of nonprofit organizations operating throughout the Quad Cities Area. Elevate is a support group for foster youth, ages 13 and up, that meets regularly to improve the lives of youth in state care.

CCSQC selection committee chair Kathryn Griffith, R.N, M.S., explains why Lamont's nomination drew the committee's attention and ultimately won her the award, "The nomination was very well done. It was obvious that she [Lamont] goes above and beyond. She is committed to making better citizens out of these youth who've had some really tough brakes and that's great for our community."

Lamont was nominated in the Outstanding Individual category by Amy Hartog and Libbet Brooke, health educators at the Edgerton Women's Health Center, located in Davenport. Hartog, a frequent guest speaker at Elevate meetings, educates youth on a variety of health-related topics. "We nominated Chantell for providing quality and commitment to the children in the Elevate program in the Quad Cities area, and she won. We are ecstatic! She is very deserving. We saw firsthand how well she interacts and communicates with these kids. She is a great mentor and role model and helps them make better choices for their futures. Chantell is someone who has been through the system [state foster care], has thrived and has been successful at making a great life for herself," says Hartog.

The majority of youth who reach adulthood while in foster care do not get the chance to develop critical life skills - skills that enable others their age to succeed. Without consistent role models to demonstrate financial management, job preparedness or the basics of personal health, these teens have had to focus on surviving, rather than thriving. According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, a little more than half of those who "age out" will graduate from high school within four years of release from care. By this same four-year mark, fewer than 20 percent will be able to support themselves financially.

In light of these alarming odds, Children & Families of Iowa and the Department of Human Services began Elevate in 2005. The program's mission is to transition foster youth into independent adults and self-advocates who can successfully educate others about the child welfare system.

"We think Elevate is an awesome and much-needed program, and we hope to see more chapters open up across the state," adds Hartog.

Lamont echoes that sentiment. "I'm truly honored and grateful for this award. I view this as a great opportunity to gain exposure and connections in the community for Elevate. I hope that Elevate keeps growing and gains the support needed to open chapters in more communities, reach more youth and continue to make a difference the way we have been.'"

There are currently 10 chapters of Elevate located in the following communities: Ames, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Mason City, Storm Lake and Waterloo. The Davenport Elevate group meets from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of month at the Annie Wittenmyer Complex, 2800 Eastern Ave., Cottage 13. For more information or to volunteer, you can contact Chantell Lamont at 563-381-3741 or chantell.elevate@hotmail.com.

Children & Families of Iowa is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring hope, building futures and changing lives throughout Iowa. With offices in Ankeny, Centerville, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown and Osceola, Children & Families of Iowa is restoring hope for victims of domestic violence, helping teens find their futures, creating safe homes for children, preparing children to succeed and helping people reshape their lives. Last year, Children & Families of Iowa served more than 21,000 individuals in all of Iowa's 99 counties.


Play it safe on the road!

3 Easy and Practical Steps to take to be safe on your motorcycle this summer!

1. Make sure you are wearing proper gear. Many people choose to skip their helmets and other basic safety gear. This can be a fatal mistake. Make sure your helmet is properly rated. Leather jackets also help and look cool at the same time.

2. Confirm all your lights are working and you have other reflective striping on your bike. Cars have a harder time seeing bikes and you want to take every advantage you can to ensure they can catch a glimpse, especially during the night.

3. Drive Passively - although fun to zip in and out of traffic and especially when in a hurry, it's easy to forget the basics. Please don't. It's better to arrive a few minutes late and yield your right away to a car or truck - eventhough it's really frustratin. Give them the benefit of the doubt and don't assume that they are out to cut you off. Remember - you're the one on the Harley enjoying life properly. They are couped up in a the vehicle and it's no wonder they are stressed out.

ROCK ISLAND, IL (06/01/2010)(readMedia)-- Neil Friberg of Rock Island, Ill., will be one of two Augustana students to perform the play, "A Prairie Planting," commemorating the 150th anniversary of the formation of the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod. The free and public event will take place Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 3 p.m. at Jefferson Prairie Lutheran Church in Poplar Grove, Ill.

The short play gives a glimpse into the meeting that led to the signing of the synod's constitution. It includes the perspective of a college student conducting a practice run on a senior research project about ethnicity in 19th-century Protestantism while Lars Esbjorn, Augustana's first president, looks on to help her with the facts. Friberg, a sophomore general studies major, will perform the role of Esbjorn. Dorothy Williams, a sophomore general studies major from Melrose Park, Ill., will play the role of the college student.

The observation of the founding will include the play as well as a signing of the sesquicentennial compact by President Steven Bahls, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois; President Rob Oliver, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and ELCA Director of Colleges and Universities Rev. Mark Wilhelm. The three will sign sesquicentennial compact at the same table used to sign the original constitution creating the Augustana Synod.

"One of our chief aims in planning for the observance of the Augustana sesquicentennial was to celebrate and teach the history of the college," said Steven Bahls, president of Augustana College in Rock Island. "As we've done so, we have gained a rich appreciation for the courage and vision of the founders of the school, and for the firm foundation that they left us. We are humbled by the opportunity to return to Jefferson Prairie 150 years later, to honor our founders and the hundreds of faculty and staff members over the years who advanced Augustana to become one of the nation's top liberal arts colleges."

The Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod was established in North America in 1860. A group of Swedish Lutheran pastors-Jonas Swensson, Lars Paul Esbjorn, Tuve Hasselquist, Eric Norelius and Erland Carlsson-developed the Augustana Synod during a meeting from June 5-8 at the Jefferson Prairie Settlement near Clinton, Wisconsin.

The synod consisted of Swedish, Norwegian and Danish members. The Norwegian and Danish left ten years later to form their own church bodies. In 1894 the name was changed to Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod in North America and then again in 1948 to the name Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church. The synod is credited with founding seven liberal arts colleges, including Augustana College in Rock Island, and today is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Jefferson Prairie Lutheran Church is located about seven miles east of Interstate 90's Beloit exit.

About Augustana: Founded in 1860 and situated on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River, Augustana College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The college enrolls 2,500 students from diverse geographic, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds and offers more than 70 majors and related areas of study. Augustana employs 287 faculty and has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. Augustana continues to do what it has always done: challenge and prepare students for lives of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.

Auditions at WQPT

MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT will be holding auditions for a special taped project on June 14 at the WQPT offices at 3400 Avenue of the Cities, Suite 101, Moline, Illinois. The auditions will take place on June 14th. WQPT is looking for a Hispanic girl between the ages of 11 and 14. This project will tape during the week of June 21st.  To schedule your audition appointment, please call WQPT at 309-764-2400.  This is a paid role.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University.

MOLINE, Illinois (June 1, 2010) - Grab your lawn chair and bring the family down to West Music in Moline for an old-fashioned neighborhood barbecue with a twist!  Join families from all over the Quad Cities as West Music students and local musicians once again take the stage for the 6th annual West Music Parking Lot Jam. This free family-friendly outdoor concert will be held Sunday, June 13 at 3pm in the West Music parking lot - just one mile East of I74 on John Deere Rd in Moline.  You and your family can register for giveaways and enjoy fresh sandwiches, pulled pork and cold drinks from Smoken JOEZ Lazy Dog Bar-B-Q. Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

Cheer on dozens of aspiring young musicians as they take the stage live - many for the very first time - with their instructors. The Parking Lot Jam highlights the musical bond that spans generations as local musicians of all ages perform together. West Music instructors and local musicians will also perform.

West Music is one of the Midwest's leading musical instrument retailers and is ranked in the top 25 nationally. Since 1941, West Music's mission has been to enrich peoples' lives through participation in music by supplying quality musical instruments, lessons and repair services. Its repair team is the largest and most experienced of its kind in the Midwest. West Music 's lesson programs reach over 4,000 students every month and have achieved national recognition with the Music, Inc. Magazine Retailing Excellence Award. West Music has six retail locations in Iowa and western Illinois, as well as a nationally distributed product catalog focusing on childhood instruments and teaching tools..

Help your child cope with the "agony of defeat"

MADISON, Wis. - Summer sports competitions mean lots of children will have to wrestle with the disappointment of defeat in sports.

Parents can help by acknowledging the child's feelings.

That's the advice of Dr. Claudia Reardon of the department of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

"Saying something as simple as, 'I understand you're feeling upset that you didn't win the race' can open up a discussion and let them know you're there to listen," says Reardon, an expert on sports psychiatry.

Focus on the things that went right on the playing field.

"Then you can examine whatever went wrong as an opportunity for the child to improve his or her skills," Reardon says.

Look at the big picture.

"I find it useful to ask children if they think their favorite athletes ever make a bad play or lose a race, and then decide to quit," she says.

Reardon urges parents to make sure that sports disappointment doesn't slide into bad sportsmanship.

(Contact: Aaron R. Conklin at (608) 263-5561 or aconklin@uwhealth.org.)

Tongue drops effective for ragweed allergies?

MADISON, Wis. -- Oral allergy drops delivered under the tongue could be a safe and effective alternative to controlling ragweed pollen allergies, according to a recent study.

"While the drops haven't been subjected to rigorous clinical trials in the United States yet, the early results are quite encouraging," says Dr. Robert Bush, professor emeritus of medicine at the School of Medicine and Public Health and one of the investigators on the multi-site study involving 115 patients.

Europeans have been using the therapy for years, but in the U.S. it has been approved only for research and clinical trials so far.

Study results showed that symptom frequency decreased for those who were given high doses of the medication, as did the need to take additional medication.

The therapy seemed to work best in patients who react to a single allergen - such as ragweed pollen - rather than several.

"We don't know how long people would need to be treated or the proper dose levels yet," says Bush. "But it's clear there's a lot of interest in this therapy."

(Contact: Aaron R. Conklin at (608) 263-5561 or aconklin@uwhealth.org.)

Calorie listings at your favorite drive-through?

MADISON, Wis. -- Americans can soon expect to see more restaurants posting nutrition information.

Since New York City's menu law went into effect in July 2008, California and Massachusetts have passed similar bills. Wisconsin has one in the pipeline and a federal version appears in the new health-care law.

"Providing accurate information to help people choose healthier diets is a small but constructive step that government leaders are likely to try out before more controversial strategies such as taxes or bans on particular foods and beverages," says Dr. Tom Oliver, of the UW Population Health Institute.

Such policies are driven by ballooning obesity rates - 26.6 percent of Americans were obese in 2008, up from 15.9 percent in 1995. They're also a response to the fact that the percentage of meals eaten in restaurants has nearly doubled since 1978.

"Doing a better job at preventing obesity and cardiovascular disease is good fiscal policy as well," says Oliver. "We need to keep people healthier to slow the growth of health care costs to individuals, employers and government programs."

(Contact: Susan Lampert Smith at (608) 262-7335 or ssmith5@uwhealth.org.)

IOWA, June 1 ? To reach its goal of educating 1 million Americans about CPR during CPR Week (June 1-7), the American Heart Association is calling on a new audience -- teens.

"We are reaching out to teens to create the next generation of lifesavers," said Michael Sayre, M.D., chairman of the American Heart Association's Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee. "Teens can learn how to save lives and play an important role by setting an example for their friends, families and neighbors about the need for CPR and AED training -- and they can encourage the adults in their lives to learn CPR."

During CPR Week, the association will increase awareness about CPR and automated external defibrillators (AEDs) so more people will know the simple steps to save a life if someone suddenly collapses from cardiac arrest.

Anyone - teen or adult - can help the association reach its goal by:

· Playing the "Be the Beat" educational game or watching the Hands-Only CPR video at cprweek.org

· Taking a classroom-based course. To find a course, go to americanheart.org/cpr and click on the ECC Class Connector.

· Training on CPR Anytime, a self-directed, at-home CPR kit.  Kits can be ordered at cpranytime.org

Once people have learned about CPR via traditional instructor-led training or a CPR Anytime kit, they can log their experience at CPRweek.org. People who play the educational game or watch the Hands-Only video on the CPR Week site will be automatically counted toward the goal. A real-time heat map will track the number of people who have taken action in communities nationwide.

The association recently expanded its outreach to teens with Be the Beat, a program that encourages teens to learn what to do when someone collapses from cardiac arrest. Visitors to BeTheBeat.heart.org learn the basics of CPR and how to use an AED through a series of video games and interactive quizzes. There's also a playlist of 100-beat-per-minute songs to set the right pace for chest compressions.

Sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone, anywhere. And when it does, a victim's survival depends on the people around them.  Skilled emergency personnel treat about 300,000 victims of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest in the United States, but more than 92 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital die from it.

Training more people to perform CPR - in its 50th year as a lifesaving measure -- increases survival by enabling more possible bystanders to handle an emergency.  Less than one-third of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from a bystander.  Without immediate CPR, the chance of surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest drops up to 10 percent for each minute that passes without defibrillation.  This means that by the time EMS personnel arrive on the scene it could be too late.

"CPR and AED training are critical to saving lives," Sayre said. "CPR Week is one way we hope to increase awareness about cardiac arrest as a significant health problem and get teens and adults to take action so more lives can be saved."

For more information about CPR Week, visit CPRweek.org.

Legendary entertainer Bob Hope once quipped, "I love to go to Washington, if only to be near my money."  Hope's political humor, his relationship with U.S. presidents, and the interplay among the worlds of comedy, politics and civic activism are showcased in the new public exhibition, "Hope for America: Performers, Politics & Pop Culture," opening at the Library of Congress on Friday, June 11, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  The exhibition will be located in the Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., S.E. in Washington, D.C.  

Focusing on the careers of Hope and other prominent entertainers, the "Hope for America" exhibit will explore the dynamics of political and social satire and will provide a unique window into the evolution of satirical humor. "This new exhibition differs significantly from the previous one, that celebrated vaudeville, because it explores the time-honored tradition of American comedians commenting on the political scene in satires that have entertained and rattled the political establishment," said William Jacobs, chief of the Library's Interpretive Programs Office.  

"Hope for America" will draw from the treasured Bob Hope Collection, which was donated to the Library by the Hope family in 1998.  On display will be Hope's personal papers, joke files, films and radio and television broadcasts, along with other materials from the Library's vast collections.

The exhibition will examine entertainers' involvement in a wide range of causes and campaigns, especially as leaders in supporting and entertaining American troops abroad.   Hope's commitment to public service for nearly 50 years on behalf of the men and women in the armed forces earned him many honors, including the U. S. Congressional Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

"Bob Hope has been an inspiration to the many comedians who came after him who do topical, political humor," said contemporary satirist Stephen Colbert.  Reminiscent of his popular television show, Colbert sets up the visitors experience in an introductory video presentation that highlights Hope's USO, television and film performances, and features clips of such notables as Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Al Franken, Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Stewart, Groucho Marx, Sean Penn and Richard Pryor.

Colbert's presentation examines the reasons why Hope was a favorite of 11 presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton.  While Colbert has actually considered a bid for the presidency, Hope?perhaps tongue-in-cheek?tells Johnny Carson in the presentation that his wife "wouldn't want to move to a smaller house."

By tracing the multiple facets of political humor through a wide range of photographs, film clips and original source materials that represent an array of viewpoints, the exhibition will challenge visitors to draw their own conclusions regarding the synergy between politics and entertainment in American society and its consequences for the nation's political culture.  

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library's rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.

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Madison, Wis. (May 26, 2010) - With graduation season in full swing and summer just around the corner, it's important to know a few alarming statistics: Car crashes are the number one cause of teen fatalities. One in six teens is in an accident during the first year of driving. Nearly half of all fatal car crashes involving teen drivers are single-car crashes.

It's this sobering reality that steers the Teen Safe Driver ProgramSM from American Family Insurance and the newest elements of the program - seven consumer education videos.
The timely videos link to the popular YouTube website from the program's website www.teensafedriver.com and cover a broad range of subjects related to teen driving. As part of the Teen Safe Driver Program, they underscore the company's commitment to helping teens learn safe driving habits and encouraging dialogue between teens and parents.

The new video titles and topics include :

"Two's good company, three's a crowd" - Talks about how more passengers greatly increases the crash risk for teen drivers

"The benefits of graduated licensing" - Explains why graduated driving license programs work to keep teens safer behind the wheel

"Protect yourself from erratic drivers" - Demonstrates how teen drivers can't control other drivers but can learn to protect themselves from other erratic behavior on the road

"Is your teen ready to drive?" - Asks the questions that can help determine if teens have the necessary maturity to get a driver's license; meant to be viewed together by teens and their parents

"Don't drive mad" - Talks about how to keep anger from causing a crash

"Always focusing on the road" - Explains how multi-tasking is a popular notion these days, but turns out it's not such an effective way of doing things, particularly when it comes to driving

"Advice for new drivers and their siblings" - Discusses waiting for a teen driver to have siblings as passengers, since the first few months after a teen gets a license are the most dangerous

The Teen Safe Driver Program was introduced in 2007 and uses an innovative combination of technology (via an in-vehicle video and audio unit) and parental involvement (via the special website www.teensafedriver.com) to help educate and guide parents and the new young drivers in their households to learning and practicing responsible driving habits.

When American Family customers with a beginning teen driver voluntarily sign up for Teen Safe Driver (at no cost for the one-year program), an in-vehicle video and audio unit is installed that captures risky driving behaviors such as excessive speed, sharp turns and hard braking. Parents log in to www.teensafedriver.com to view the driving report card, video events and coaching tips, including objective, third-party assessment of the teen driver's driving performance compared with other teens.

"Balancing the freedom teens experience when they get the keys to the family car with the hard discussions parents want to have with them about being safe can be difficult," says Kevin Piette, American Family product portfolio director. "The Teen Safe Driver program provides the opportunity to have those conversations and learn from real experiences."

Julie Rupert, auto lines director, notes the impressive results of the program to date. "By week 18 we see an increase in seat belt usage to 100 percent and a greater than 70 percent reduction in the frequency and severity of risky driving events among new drivers," she says. "Our goal is to give teens and their parents an educational tool for preventing accidents and promoting good driving behavior. Hopefully both can then feel more secure when teens get behind the wheel."

And to remind the teens in your life to drive safe this summer, check out American Family's Celebrations application on Facebook where they can send a seatbelt safety reminder gift and remind their friends of the importance of always buckling up.

The following local students were named to the Dean's List at Clarke College, Dubuque, for the spring 2010 semester.

  • Sarah E. Christison of Bettendorf
  • Megan M. Chitty of Davenport
  • Kirk D. Garrison of Moline
  • Kaitlyn L. Tipsword of Moline
  • Lauren E. Murga of Rock Island

Jay Wagoner of Bettendorf was named to the Midwest Collegiate Conference Academic All-Conference list.  Jay is a student at Clarke College, Dubuque.

Sarah Dooley of Bettendorf was named to the Dean's List of Emory College, the undergraduate, liberal arts college of Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., for the 2010 spring semester.

Peter David Arnould Wood, a 2006 graduate of Assumption High School, was named to the Dean's List at Oklahoma State University for the Spring of 2010.

The following students were named to the William Penn University Spring 2010 President's List:

  • Etaf Elkhatib of Bettendorf
  • Sophia Farooqui of Bettendorf
  • Lisa Lacy of Davenport
  • Ivy Rostenbach of Davenport.

Maria Elena Ontiveros, Bettendorf, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison's School of Human Ecology, has earned the Dean's High Honors for the Spring of 2010.