(Kansas City, Kan., March 3, 2011) - Through May 2, EPA Region 7 will accept proposals from eligible applicant schools and entities for the Agency's 2011 Environmental Education grants to develop new programs promoting environmental stewardship in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska communities.   

In previous years, EPA issued Environmental Education grants from its headquarters in Washington, D.C.  This year, EPA regional offices, including the Region 7 office in Kansas City, Kan., will directly award grants between $15,000 and $100,000.

Proposals for 2011 grants should be mailed to Denise Morrison, Environmental Education Coordinator, Office of Public Affairs, EPA, Region 7, 901 North 5th Street, Kansas City, Kan., 66101. Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. (CDT) May 2, 2011; those received after the due date will not be considered.

A solicitation notice announcing the grants program is available online at
www.epa.gov/enviroed/grants.html.  For additional information, contact Denise Morrison at morrison.denise@epa.gov.  

Environmental Education grants provide funding to local education agencies, state education and environmental agencies; colleges and universities; not-for-profit organizations; and non-commercial broadcasting entities. Tribal education agencies controlled by an Indian tribe, band or nation, including schools and community colleges, may also apply.  

Proposed projects should involve designing, demonstrating or developing innovative education tools and materials. Projects also should involve environmental education activities that go beyond disseminating information.

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Learn more about EPA's Environmental Education grants:

Des Moines- February 16th, 2011 - Under the watchful eyes of more than 100 veterinarians and veterinary students, Governor Branstad signed a proclamation recognizing 2011 as World Veterinary Year and the 250th birthday of the veterinary profession.  In addition, the declaration acknowledged the importance of veterinarians to the people and animals of the state of Iowa.

Members and officers of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA) along with many Iowa State University veterinary students spent the morning in the capitol, listening to speeches on the House of Representatives floor before witnessing the signing.  Governor Branstad then joined the group for lunch, fielding questions from many veterinary association members and students.

"Beyond vaccinating and neutering pets, people often forget the important role veterinarians play in our public health and food safety," says Dr. Tom Johnson, executive director of the IVMA.  "All across this state and the country, veterinarians are directly responsible for maintaining the health of our livestock, protecting our food supply and identifying threats to human health."

In 1761, Claude Bourgelat established the very first veterinary school in Lyon, France.  Like today, farmers, as well as the government, were concerned about how to control diseases in livestock and protect their food sources.  In December, the United States Senate also designated 2011 as World Veterinary Year.

Brown Mackie College - Quad Cities will host Education Day on Saturday, March 12, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Grow Your Life. Evolve Your Mind. Become Your Vision.  Learn about targeted education for future careers and convenient "one course a month" day and evening schedules. They can also meet the president, faculty, staff, students, and have the opportunity to tour classrooms and labs.  Flavor Flav's delicious chicken will be featured during the event.

Education Day is open to the public and there is no charge to attend. To register online, visit brownmackie.edu/EducationDay.

EVENT:  Brown Mackie College Education Day
'Grow Your Life. Evolve Your Mind. Become Your Vision.'

DATE:    Saturday, March 12, 2011

TIME:     10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Where:   Brown Mackie College - Quad Cities
2119 E. Kimberly Road
Bettendorf, IA 52722
Des Moines -- U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) announced today that he is accepting applications for nomination to the United States' military academies for the class entering in the summer of 2012.  Senator Harkin will nominate up to ten Iowans for every opening he has at each academy, with final selection for admission made by the individual academy form that group of ten. 

"Each year I look forward to recommending so many outstanding young Iowans to the service academies.  It is a genuine honor," Harkin said.

Our nation's military academies offer Iowans outstanding educational opportunities for young people interested in military service.  Students can specialize in a variety of fields at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs and the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.

Harkin enjoyed a successful military career. He joined the Navy and served as a jet pilot after graduating from Iowa State University in 1962.

Most of the state's high school guidance counselors should have information about the application procedures prospective candidates must follow.  Senator Harkin uses a competitive method to screen applicants, including the evaluation of ACT or SAT scores, high school grade point average, leadership abilities, and physical aptitude.  Harkin has also appointed an academy selection committee that conducts personal interviews with academy finalists.

Interested individuals should complete Senator Harkin's Service Academy Nomination application which can be found on his website http://harkin.senate.gov.   Any additional questions should be directed to his Academy Nomination Coordinator, Tom Larkin, at 319-365-4504.
Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Illinois, has released the dean's list for the recently completed fall 2010 semester. To qualify for inclusion, a student must have been enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student and must have attained a semester grade point average of 3.50 or higher on a 4.00 grading scale. The following area residents were named to the dean's list:

Heidi Behal of Bettendorf

Keri Cannon of Moline

Jenna Crookshanks of Port Byron

Erica Engelbrecht of Moline

Katelyn Flynn of Davenport

Miranda Geever of Moline

Rebekah Harrison of East Moline

Michelle Imig of Moline

Lucas Mellinger of Moline

Nicholas Mizeur of Moline

John Quandt of East Moline

Sarah Quinlin of Milan

Jacob Ridenour of Bettendorf

Hannah Rowen of East Moline

Michael Tuttle of Orion

Kelsey Warp of Parnell

Olivet Nazarene University is an accredited Christian, liberal arts university offering over 120 areas of study. It is centrally located in the historic village of Bourbonnais, Illinois - just 50 miles south of Chicago's loop - with additional School of Graduate and Continuing Studies locations in Rolling Meadows, Ill. and throughout Chicagoland.


Discover a unique style of learning!  Rivermont Collegiate will host a No Erasers! First Grade Open House Wednesday, March 2nd at 6:30 p.m. Interested families are invited to a presentation and conversation with First Grade Teacher Kathy Topalian about Rivermont's "No Erasers" approach, where students learn from their errors.  This informal setting is the perfect opportunity to watch your child interact with "Mrs. T" and learn more about the Rivermont philosophy!  Families are also invited to tour the Rivermont campus with Cindy Murray, Director of Admissions, who will be on hand to answer questions about Rivermont's philosophy, values, programs, and facilities.

Rivermont Collegiate provides an academically rigorous yet nurturing environment, where students develop skills and attitudes that provide the foundation for future learning.  Our gifted faculty provides students with the tools to pursue knowledge independently and take intellectual and artistic risks, while small class sizes ensure each child receives direction and feedback.  Come explore our approach!

For additional information on Rivermont Collegiate or Tuesday's No Erasers! First Grade Open House, contact Cindy Murray at (563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or murray@rvmt.org.  This event is free and open to the public.

Losing sleep over selecting a college major?  For many students preparing for college, this is a daunting task.  How can one be sure to make the right decision?  How does a student balance their interests, strengths, and dreams?  What resources are available for guidance?  Rivermont Collegiate invites all Quad City students and their families to attend College Night at Rivermont on Thursday, March 3rd from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Guest speaker Eric Rowell, Director of Career Development at Augustana College, will provide advice to students preparing for college.  Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to get professional recommendations and feedback on selecting a college major and minor, charting your college path, and discovering resources available for guidance.  Bring questions!  This event is free and open to the public.

Rivermont Collegiate is the Quad Cities' only independent, nonsectarian, multicultural college prep school for students in preschool through twelfth grade.  At Rivermont, college counseling begins in the ninth grade and encourages students to explore a variety of college opportunities.  Counseling is custom built to each student and limitless, offering specialized attention throughout the often complicated application process.  100% of Rivermont graduates are accepted to 4 year colleges and universities and over 90% earn renewable college merit scholarships.

This event will be held in the Joseph Bettendorf Mansion on the Rivermont campus, located at 1821 Sunset Drive, directly off 18th Street behind K&K Hardware in Bettendorf.

For additional information on Rivermont Collegiate or Thursday's College Night, contact Cindy Murray at (563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or murray@rvmt.org.

Qualify for scholarships.  Earn college credit and stand out in the college admissions process.  Be more likely to graduate from college in four years, while still having the time and flexibility to double major or study abroad.  With these benefits, it's no wonder AP (Advanced Placement) courses and exams have won praise and popularity, allowing students to earn college credit while still in high school.  AP has spread to more than 30 subjects, with 1.8 million students taking 3.2 million tests last year.  But many AP courses, particularly in the sciences and history, have been criticized for the overwhelming amount of material and rote memorization needed to prepare for the exam.  That is all about to change.

The College Board, the nonprofit organization that owns the AP exams, is revamping courses and exams, reducing the amount of material students need to know for exams and focusing on large concepts and exploring topics in more depth.  Revisions are aimed at reducing memorization and fostering analytical thinking.  In AP Biology, for example, a host of creative, hands-on experiments are replacing the predictable "dirty dozen" - a nickname for the basic lab exercises recommend by the College Board.  In addition, the new AP Biology exam cut the number of multiple-choice questions nearly in half and more than doubled the number of free-response questions.  The idea behind this new direction is that quality learning takes place when students spend more time going into greater depth on fewer topics, increasing critical thinking and knowledge application.  "We really believe that the new AP needs to be anchored in a curriculum that focuses on what students need to be able to do with their knowledge," says Trevor Packer, Vice President of the College Board.   AP will implement revised courses in AP French Language and Culture, AP German Language and Culture, and AP World History in the 2011-12 academic year, and revised courses in AP Biology, AP Latin, and AP Spanish Literature and Culture in the 2012-13 academic year.  AP U.S. History will follow in 2013-14.

Rivermont Collegiate, the Quad Cities' only private, independent, nonsectarian college prep school, offers the highest availability of AP classes for its students in the state of Iowa.  From preschool through twelfth grade, Rivermont strives to prepare students who are grounded in the basics, yet able to think analytically and creatively.  Rivermont believes students learn by doing, and faculty bring the world into the classroom through hands-on project learning and stimulating class settings, where curiosity and critical thinking are encouraged.

What are you waiting for?  Explore the Rivermont approach to learning!  Join us for Open Tours the first Tuesday of every month.  The next Open Tour will be held Tuesday, March 1st from 8:30-10:00 a.m.  No appointment necessary!  Drop in to explore our philosophy and curriculum, take a tour of campus, and see our teachers in action.  Rivermont Collegiate is located at 1821 Sunset Drive, directly off 18th Street behind K&K Hardware in Bettendorf.

For additional information on AP course and exam revisions, visit http://advancesinap.collegeboard.org

For additional information on Rivermont Collegiate or Tuesday's Open Tours, contact Cindy Murray at (563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or murray@rvmt.org


WEST POINT, N.Y. (02/18/2011)(readMedia)-- Situated along the Hudson River 50 miles north of New York City sits the oldest of the United States five service academies. The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy.

In the fall of 2010 four Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers entered the academy as freshmen or fourth class cadets. On Reception Day the freshman, plebes, start cadet basic training also known as Beast Barracks, or simply Beast.

Most cadets consider Beast to be their most difficult time at the academy because of the strenuous transition from civilian to military life. However for the Soldiers from Illinois it was somewhat familiar. As Soldiers entering West Point, one of the requirements is that they have already completed basic training.

"It was very rewarding to be able to assist some of the other cadets who had never experienced military life like this," said Cadet John Jordan Leskera of Edwardsville. "In turn, since we have started classes some of those I helped during Beast have in turn helped me with the academic side of things."

As members of the Illinois National Guard, these four Soldiers recently sat down with Maj. Gen. William Enyart of Belleville, the Adjutant General of Illinois, during his visit to West Point Feb. 16. Enyart fielded question from the four cadets after having lunch with more than 4,000 cadets in the academy's dining facility.

The questions centered on the well being of Illinois National Guard Soldiers, more specifically the ones serving overseas in Egypt. Enyart said that while the situation in Egypt has been over the past several weeks, all of the Soldiers serving on the Sinai Peninsula are accounted for and safe.

Cadets Anthony Mendez and Jeffery Perez both of Chicago, told Enyart how they both went to high school together, joined the National Guard, and are now in the same class at West Point.

"The experience here has taught us all so much in the short amount of time we've been here but most of all I think it has matured us faster than if we had gone to any other college, " said Cadet Joseph Cotton of Wayne.

The Illinois National Guard contributed the most cadets to the fall 2010 class than any other Army National Guard in the country. West Point reserves a number of slots each year for National Guard Soldier.

"Having four Illinois National Guard Soldiers in the same class attending West Point is something I've never seen before," said Enyart. "It's quite an honor and such a great program, we need to get the word out about it. "

West Point believes Soldiers enhance the Corps of Cadets, and values the life experiences they have earned as a Soldier, said Maj. Brian Easley, Soldiers admissions officer at West Point. For a Soldier wanting to be an officer in the U.S. Army, West Point will give an excellent education and the training they need to lead Soldiers as they continue to serve, he said.

Soldiers who are serving in an Active Duty, Reserve or National Guard capacity are encouraged to apply to West Point to further their education. West Point is committed to helping qualified Soldiers reach their full potential and secure commissions in the Army, Easley added.

According to Forbes Magazine the United States Military Academy at West Point has repeatedly been one of the nation's top schools, reaching the number one spot in August 2009.

"West Point is again honored and pleased to be selected as one of America's top five best colleges," said West Point Superintendent, Lt. Gen. David Huntoon. "It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our exceptional cadets, faculty and staff operating in world-class facilities.

"This excellence, as recognized by Forbes, is a key element in preparing our cadets for the challenges they will face as future Army officers,"

Upon graduation, cadets will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army and serve for five years on active duty. During their senior year, cadets find out which specialized field, or branch, they will enter. Both the needs of the Army and individual preferences will be considered.

The Soldiers from the Illinois National Guard all expressed an interest in some day returning to Illinois to serve once again in the Illinois National Guard.

DES MOINES, IA (02/18/2011)(readMedia)-- College-bound Iowa youth active in 4-H and/or FFA livestock projects and current undergraduate students may apply for $75,000 in scholarships available from the Iowa Foundation for Agricultural Advancement (IFAA).

The scholarships are available to freshmen entering any Iowa two- or four-year post-secondary institution this fall or current undergraduates attending Iowa State University. Applicants must major in animal science or a curriculum in agriculture or human sciences that is related to the animal industry, according to IFAA spokesman Harold Hodson. The awards include :

• Three $5,500 one-year scholarships

• Two $5,000 one-year scholarships

• One $3,000 one-year scholarship

• One $2,500 one-year scholarships

• Eight $2,000 one-year scholarships

• Six $1,500 one-year scholarships

• Sixteen $1,000 one-year scholarships

• Four $500 one-year scholarships

Applications and additional information are available by visiting the Sale of Champions section of the Iowa State Fair's web site (www.iowastatefair.org), the IFAA web site (www.ifaa.org), or by calling 515/291-3941. Selection will be based on level of 4-H/FFA involvement in livestock project work, livestock exhibition and/or judging, scholarship, leadership and career plans. Applications for current undergraduate students must be postmarked by April 1, 2011 and applications for incoming freshmen must be postmarked by May 1, 2011. All materials should be sent to Winner's Circle Scholarship, c/o SGI, 30805 595th Avenue, Cambridge, IA 50046.

Winners will be announced during the Iowa State Fair's annual 4-H/FFA Sale of Champions on August 20th, an event sponsored by IFAA. The IFAA is a non-profit organization founded in 1988. It is comprised of agricultural enthusiasts dedicated to encouraging 4-H and FFA livestock, poultry and agricultural project members to pursue ag-related careers. IFAA scholarship funds come from a percentage of Sale of Champions proceeds, as well as Winner's Circle Club donations.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2011 Iowa State Fair, celebrating 100 years of the Butter Cow August 11-21. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit www.iowastatefair.org.

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