Inspired by children's attentions, Papa Rolly offers a new guide to long-haul trucking

THORSBY, Alberta - In the endearing new children's book Sam The Semi Goes to Chicago (published by Trafford Publishing), author and longtime trucker Papa Rolly offers young readers a glimpse into the often unseen world of long-haul trucking.


"I was on a dedicated run from Edmonton, Alberta to Chicago, Illinois, and was inspired by children's fascination with my truck," Rolly writes. "It didn't matter if they were in their parent's car, waiting for the school bus or in the schoolyard playing games, they would give me the signal to honk my air horn. It was then that I believed children needed a semi truck storybook."


Rolly asks readers to share in the world of Sam the Semi, who demonstrates good work ethic and obeys the laws of the highway. He encourages parents to draw their children into the world of the unknown as Sam explores new towns, cities and countryside locations with this friends - Pete the Puller, who thrives on trouble, and Pug, a follower. Between the two of them, they keep Denture the Deputy busy!


Rolly wants to entertain young readers, but he also hopes that they learn an interesting lesson. He wants to "... entertain and educate children about products and where they are produced; to emphasize the importance of semi trucks in the everyday lives of everyone, including the children and their families."


About the Author

Papa Rolly has been driving truck for forty years. "At any point in my career," he says, "you may have passed me on the road hauling hay, lumber, logs, milk, oil, or even the clothes you are wearing right now."


Rolly loves the highway, and is excited to share his trucking experience.

Bright yellow Lights ON for Learning Center banners have been raised at Glenview Middle and
United Township High School in East Moline. The Rock Island County Regional Office of
Education (RIROE) has received two new 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC)
federal grants. These are highly competitive grants administered through the Illinois State
Board of Education (ISBE) to provide students with academic enrichment opportunities and activities

in "Lights ON" Community Learning Centers offered beyond regular school hours.

Glenview Middle School and United Township High School in East Moline are the recipients of
the two new grants of $250,000 each year over the next three years. These will fund Lights ON
academic, artistic, and cultural enrichment opportunities to students and their families during non-school
hours (before or after school) or periods when school is not in session (including holidays, weekends,
or summer recess). Glenview and UTHS will work with community partners to offer students a broad
array of additional services, programs, and activities designed to reinforce and complement the regular
academic programs of participating students.

For Glenview Middle, activities include youth development activities, drug and violence prevention
programs, counseling programs, art, music, and recreation programs, technology education programs, and
character education programs; and literacy and related educational services to the families of participating
children. Jeff Fairweather, Glenview principal, is excited about the grant money and says the program is
sorely needed. "The CCLC Grant and the Lights ON program have provided desperately needed funding
and a system of support for our students that did not exist previously. It has allowed us to provide our
students with needed academic support as well as develop programs to meet the social/emotional needs
of our middle school students." Glenview will receive $130,000 each year for three years of the program.

Teresa Dothard-Campbell is Glenview's Lights ON Site Coordinator. She says the program is very
popular with the students. "We currently have 407 students enrolled in the program and see an average
of 120 students each evening. Students who attend on a regular basis are making great strides in their
academic achievement and the proof is in their grades. Our students are enjoying the partnerships we have
established with Two Rivers YMCA, the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center and Red Cross; along
with enrichment activities through Q.C. Social Dancing. "

Principal of United Township High School, Carl Johnson, oversees their program with Anthony Ragona,
Assistant Principal. Mr. Johnson said the program is already having a positive impact on students. "We
currently have students participating in English, Math, Science and Reading enrichment and support
programs. During our 1st week of spring intercession alone we were able to provide academic help for
more than 200 students. We anticipate strong participation in the spring Advanced Placement exams due
to several of these programs. The activities offered at UTHS are opportunities students would not have
were it not for this grant!"

Glenview and UTHS will join the network of Lights ON CLCs developed by the RIROE and local Rock
Island County school districts in 2001. Over the past ten (10) years, twenty (20) Rock Island County
schools have received 21st CCLC grant funds to establish Lights ON Community Learning Centers
in their schools. The programs are collaborative ventures that engage community organizations and
agencies contributing programs and services. The CLCs are to serve the families of participating

students by offering literacy and related educational development activities. Black Hawk College

Adult Education Program is the partner who provides the family programming offering family

literacy, English As a Second Language, and GED preparation classes. The Lights ON CLCs established
under the 21st CCLC program must provide a safe environment for students when school is not in session
including safe travel accommodations to and from the center and home.


Author and teaching major Courtney Jefferson pens new book on popular and important  issue in today's school systems

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - According to the National Education Association, it is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. With staggering statistics such as these, it isn't hard to see a growing problem for today's youth. To help those being bullied, or even those who are bullies themselves, Courtney Jefferson has penned her new book Shoo, Bobby Don't Bother Me! (published by AuthorHouse).


Shoo, Bobby Don't Bother Me! tells the story of Billy Bubbles, a youngster who is being bullied at school by Bobby Mitchell, the biggest boy in class. Through his trials and tribulations, readers will learn important tactics on the proper way to deal with a bully and that it is okay to speak up for themselves.


Jefferson was inspired to write her book when she met a little girl who was being bullied her first year in school. "She was in kindergarten and was already having problems with a bully," she explains. "I then began to think about all the other children out there who are being bullied, have been bullied, or are bullies themselves. I wanted to address this issue head on."


"Bullying is starting younger and younger and my book addresses it on an elementary level."


About the Author

Courtney Jefferson was born October 18, 1988 in Kansas City, Missouri. Jefferson recently attended Northwest Missouri State University, majoring in elementary education with a minor in early childhood education. Teaching has been one of her lifelong goals, though, ultimately, she would like to open her own preschool.


. For the latest, follow @authorhouse on Twitter.

ATLANTA, GA (03/08/2012)(readMedia)-- Sarah Dooley of Bettendorf, Iowa (52722), daughter of Dr. John Dooley and Karen Dooley, was named to the Dean's List of Emory College, the undergraduate, liberal arts college of Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., for the 2011 fall semester.

Students must be in the top 20 percent of Emory College or have approximately a 3.81 grade point average or higher to be named to the Dean's List.

Emory University is known for its demanding academics, outstanding undergraduate experience, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities. Emory encompasses nine academic divisions as well as the Carlos Museum, The Carter Center, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Emory Healthcare, Georgia's largest and most comprehensive health care system.

WQPT Assists Efforts to Increase the Quad Cities Graduation Rate 

New Public Media Programming and Public Engagement Initiatives to Help Students and Teachers

WQPT Quad Cities PBS has initiated a series of broadcast, online and community activities as part of "American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen," a national public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to help the Quad Cities and other communities across America to address the high school dropout crisis.


Every year 1 million kids drop out of high school nationwide. In the Quad Cities, over 700 students fail to graduate each year, according to Achieve Quad Cities. The estimated economic impact on the Quad Cities is a loss of $2.3 million per student over a lifetime in revenues and earnings, according to the Alliance for Excellence in Education.


WQPT Quad Cities PBS is one of more than 60 public media and television stations around the country that are working directly with their communities to address the dropout crisis. WQPT Quad Cities PBS and "American Graduate" project partners, Achieve Quad Cities, area public schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Putnam Museum and the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce have developed a blend of media across several platforms - TV, radio, online - and community engagement efforts designed to raise public awareness and offer solutions to increase Quad City high school graduation rates.


"Education has always been at the center of public broadcasting," said Rick Best, WQPT General Manager. "That's why we are proud to be a part of this important national initiative and are honored to work with the local community to make sure Quad City students stay in school and graduate.  We cannot allow a generation of our young people to fall through the cracks."


"Every year, one million of our nation's young people make the life altering decision to drop out of school resulting in severe consequences for their future and our country," said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB.  "Through the 'American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen' initiative, America's public radio and television stations - locally owned and operated - are engaging local  non-profit partners, business leaders, parents and teachers to help young people stay on the path to a high school diploma."


WQPT's "American Graduate" initiative began in July with awareness PSA's to encourage community members to volunteer as career mentors to area youth.  These are still airing today on WQPT and other area broadcast channels. In addition to increasing the number of adult mentors in the community, WQPT created local programming that educated viewers about the drop out crisis in the Quad Cities and how they could be a part of the community-wide effort to increase the high school graduation rate.


Roundtable "The Drop Out Crisis"

In December and January, WQPT aired a one-hour special featuring experts from the area who talked about the drop-out rate, the steps being taken to identify mentors, to inspire and encourage students to stay in school and to drive awareness about the economic impact to our community.


"I was deeply moved and truly surprised by what I learned in WQPT's Achieve Quad Cities special The Drop-Out Crisis. I've always known how much a personal tragedy it is when a student fails to complete high school. I had no idea of the scope of the impact on our community. Thank you WQPT, for shining light on this very challenging problem facing the QC and for motivating others, as it did me, to be a part of the solution," Deanna Jensen, WQPT viewer.

Visit to see episodes of WQPT's "The Cities with Jim Mertens" featuring Achieve Quad Cities partners in action. You'll also find the special roundtable "Tackling the Drop Out Crisis" featuring area education leaders.


About WQPT

WQPT is a public media service of Western Illinois University.


About American Graduate 

The public media initiative, American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, is helping communities across America identify and implement solutions to address the high school dropout crisis. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the multi-year campaign is designed to raise awareness and dialogue through national and local multiplatform programming.  Targeting communities with highest dropout rates, the initiative also increases local engagement and action through collaborations and partnerships, and increases student engagement through teacher professional development and classroom curricula. Public radio and television stations - locally owned and operated - reach 99% of the country over the air, have built models for successful intervention in early learning, and have deep connections in the communities they serve. Nearly 300 partnerships have been formed locally through American Graduate and CPB is partnering with America's Promise Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Visit American Graduate on Facebook, Twitter or


About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services. 


Regional Math Bee held at the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency


200 area sixth grade students participated in the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency's 34th annual Regional Math Bee held at the Mississippi Bend AEA in Bettendorf, Iowa March 6, 2012.

47 enthusiastic teams of students worked individually and as a team to solve problems and demonstrate their math skills.  The top five teams as well as the top 3 individuals will represent our region at the State Math Bee in Fort Dodge on April 27, 2012

The top five teams of the 2012 Regional 6th Grade Math Bee:

1st Place Team: Pleasant View Elementary, Pleasant Valley School District

Students: Ethan Good, Jack Lynn, Konnor Sommer, Keshav Wagle

Coach: Zachary Day

2nd Place Team:         Hopewell Elementary, Pleasant Valley School District

Students: Caleb Arnold, Jacob Fuhrmeister, Austin Halupnik, Tyler Helmers

Coach: Marci Furlong

3rd Place Team: Riverdale Heights Elementary, Pleasant Valley School District

Students:  Mark Kessler, Roshni Nair, Abinaya Paravasthuramesh, Vishwajit Subramanian

Coach:  David Barber

4th Place Team: Cody Elementary, Pleasant Valley School District

Students: Alec Gelande, Ashlyn Haack, Max Royer, Caroline Sharis

Coach: Cathi Betts

5th Place Team:         Rivermont Collegiate, Bettendorf, Iowa

Students: Kenton Fee, Naina Ninan, Collin Smith, Sophia Xiao

Coach: Chae Hee Porubcin


The top three individuals of the 2010 Regional 6th Grade Math Bee:

1st Place Individual:   Abinaya Paravasthuramesh, Riverdale Heights Elementary, Pleasant Valley

Coach: David Barber

2nd Place Individual:   Tyler Helmers, Hopewell Elementary, Pleasant Valley

Coach: Marci Furlong

3rd Place Individual:   Konnor Sommer, Pleasant View Elementary, Pleasant Valley

Coach: Zachary Day

MILWAUKEE, WI (03/06/2012)(readMedia)-- Mikhaila Norton of Bettendorf, IA has been inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, a prestigious international Jesuit honor society, at Marquette University. Norton is a senior in the College of Business Administration majoring in accounting and human resources.

Alpha Sigma Nu is a worldwide honor society for students at Jesuit colleges and universities who distinguish themselves in scholarship, loyalty, and service. Alpha Sigma Nu members exemplify and demonstrate a commitment to the Jesuit ideals of higher education, which are intellectual, social, moral, and religious in nature. Induction to Alpha Sigma Nu is one of the highest honors a student can receive on a Jesuit campus.

Alpha Sigma Nu applicants go through a rigorous application process. For eligibility, Alpha Sigma Nu candidates must rank in the top fifteen percent of their class, and no more than four percent of the junior and senior class is inducted. Nominees are chosen first by a student selection committee, and then approved by the students' respective college deans and Marquette University President Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J.

Alpha Sigma Nu was founded in 1915 by Fr. John Danihy, S.J. at Marquette University. Danihy was the university's first athletic director and first dean of journalism.

An induction banquet to honor new members will take place on Saturday, April 14, in the AMU Ballrooms.

Des Moines, March 5, 2012 ? On Thursday, March 8, members of the Iowa Supreme Court will visit seven Council Bluffs area high schools and also classes at Iowa Western Community College to talk with students about the role of the courts. In Council Bluffs, the justices will visit with students at Jefferson, Lincoln, and St. Albert High Schools and the Iowa School for the Deaf. Justices will also visit Glenwood High School and Treynor High School.


In addition to the school visits, the court will hold a special session in Council Bluffs on the evening of Wednesday, March 7. The court will hear oral arguments in two cases at the Iowa Western Community College Arts Center. This session begins at 7 p.m. As always, oral arguments are open to the public. A public reception with the justices, sponsored by the Pottawattamie County Bar Association, will follow the oral arguments.


High school visit schedule March 8, 2012:

8:30 a.m.?Chief Justice Mark Cady will visit The Iowa School for the Deaf

8:30 a.m.?Justice Daryl Hecht will visit Council Bluffs Lincoln High School

8:40 a.m.?Justice Thomas Waterman will visit Council Bluffs Lewis Central High School

9:00 a.m.?Justice David Wiggins will visit Council Bluffs Jefferson High School

8:50 a.m.?Justice Edward Mansfield will visit Glenwood High School

9:30 a.m.?Justice Brent Appel will visit St. Albert High School

10:30 a.m.?Justices Wiggins and Waterman will visit Iowa Western Community College

1:00 p.m.?Justice Mansfield will visit Treynor High School


Special session:

Wednesday, March 7 at 7 p.m.

Iowa Western Community College Arts Center

2700 College Road

Council Bluffs, Iowa


The court will hear attorneys argue in two cases:

Mall Real Estate v. City of Hamburg

Plaintiff, Mall Real Estate, asked the Iowa District Court for Fremont County to declare that the City of Hamburg's "sexually-oriented business" ordinance either did not apply to plaintiff's business or that it was an unconstitutional regulation and could not be enforced against plaintiff's business. The district court found the ordinance did apply to plaintiff's business and that it was a constitutional regulation. Plaintiff appeals the district court determination.


The lawyers for Mall Real Estate are: Brian B. Vakulskas and Daniel P. Vakulskas, Sioux City, and W. Andrew McCullough, Utah. The lawyer for the City of Hamburg is Raymond R. Aranza, Cedar Rapids.


American Civil Liberties Union v. Atlantic School District

Petitioner, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), seeks additional information regarding discipline imposed on two school district employees after a "locker room strip search" of five female students. The Atlantic School District claims Iowa law does not require public disclosure of such job performance documents. The ACLU argues the Iowa Court of Appeals incorrectly interpreted a recent legislative amendment that should have permitted disclosure of the disciplinary action.


The lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union is: Randall C. Wilson, Des Moines. The lawyers for the Atlantic Community School District are: Brett S. Nitzschke, and Emily K. Ellingson, Cedar Rapids.

Frontline Professionals Are a Good Resource for What's Going on in the Classroom

DES MOINES, IA (03/05/2012)(readMedia)-- Iowa educators are expected to come out in force for Monday night's public hearing on House File 2380. Public school teachers will give their ideas about what makes good sense in the classroom.

"We need more decisions, not fewer, to be made at the local level with the educators who are in the classrooms, the administrators in the schools, and the parents working together. All of us are accountable for our students' success, so let's include all of us in the decision making, " said Chris Bern, president, Iowa State Education Association during his prepared remarks.

Teachers commented on controversial aspects of the Governor's education reform bill including third grade retention, online learning, and too many changes.

"Holding an eight-year-old back based on a test score determined at the state level completely undermines a decision which should be made at the local level in coordination with the parent, teacher, and administrator of the student. How can a test score possibly take the place of a determination by those most in-the-know at the local level?" said Josh Wager, Des Moines middle school teacher.

"In a rush to develop exclusionary online programs, we run the risk of eliminating some of the most valuable input and feedback a student can have for development: the human element. While online content can provide rigor; it is essential that human interaction be maintained, one-on-one," said Timm Pilcher, Des Moines high school teacher.

"My biggest concern is that we continue to jump from one education reform idea to the next. We don't finish anything, thus we can't even know if these reforms could be effective." said Ann Swenson, Waukee music teacher.

Eight educators will give remarks at tonight's hearing. Their remarks can be found on the ISEA website.

The ISEA is a professional association made up of nearly 34,000 educators who are dedicated to supporting and protecting a quality public education for all Iowa students. Great Education. It's an Iowa Basic!

DES MOINES, IA (03/05/2012)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald met with the family of a lucky Grinnell Kindergartner on Friday to present a $200 College Savings Iowa account plus a Paul Rhodes autographed football. Nolan Andersen, age six, was chosen to receive the award after his grandfather, Don, entered him for the giveaway on the College Savings Iowa's website.

"With college tuition rates rising faster than inflation, saving for college is not an easy task these days," Fitzgerald said. "As the saying goes, your best defense is a good offense. And what better offense is there than saving early? It is one of the most significant things a family can do to help make college a reality for their child. It can reduce a parent's need to borrow to cover educational expenses, which can help them - and their child - get through college with less debt."

College Savings Iowa offers a convenient, affordable, tax-advantaged way for families to start saving for their children's education. It takes just $25 to open a College Savings Iowa account, and anyone - parents, grandparents, friends and relatives - can invest on behalf of a child. Participants who are Iowa taxpayers can deduct contributions up to $2,975 per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income in 2012 and there are no income or residency restrictions.*

Investors do not need to be a state resident and can withdraw their investment federally tax-free to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books, supplies and certain room and board costs at any eligible college, university, community college or technical training school in the United States or abroad. To learn more about College Savings Iowa, go to or call 1-888-672-9116.

*Adjusted annually for inflation if withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income. The earnings portion of nonqualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.