When the new building for the Rock Island Center for Math & Science (RICMS) opens in August 2010, suddenly there will be a lot more than concrete trucks and contractors headed to 2101 16th Avenue. With the unique situation of placing a new elementary school adjacent to two designated residential historic districts, plus the challenges of terrain, brick streets, arterial streets and new travel patterns for hundreds of families, the Rock Island-Milan School District turned to the Neighborhood Partners' School-Community Task Force for assistance. Together, the two organizations have been working on a draft travel plan that will be rolled out for review and comment on Wednesday, January 27 to parents, neighborhood residents and other interested parties.

The forum will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rock Island Public Library Community Room 401 19th Street, Rock Island. Free childcare for forum attendees will be provided in the Children's Library in the basement of the main library building. Refreshments will be offered.

The RICMS travel plan includes components related to crosswalks, signage, direction and flow of traffic both internal and external to the RICMS campus, walkability due to terrain, car queuing areas, satellite parking, and on-street parking. Strategies to encourage walking, safety education and enforcement of rules and regulations were also identified. Minimizing the influx of automobile traffic into the adjacent neighborhoods was also a key concern.

The forum will include an overview of the process the School District must follow in order to access state and federal funding support to implement travel objectives, then the specific infrastructure strategies for RICMS will be presented. There will also be discussion of specific ideas to encourage children to walk to school and to educate the parents and neighbors about the travel plan. These short presentations will be followed by a Question, Answer & Comment period.

More details at www.rockislandschools.org.


Alliance President Calls for ESEA Reauthorization in 2010 to Attack Dropout Crisis that Claimed More than 7,800 of Iowa's Students in 2009

Washington, DC - Today marks the eighth birthday of the signing of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the most recent version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Reauthorization of the law, which was due in 2007, has yet to occur. For every year that Congress fails to address the unique challenges faced by high schools through a reauthorization of ESEA, approximately 1.3 million students across the nation will drop out of school. In Iowa alone, more than 7,800 students left high school in 2009 prior to earning their diploma.

"In many ways, NCLB is a compact disc in an iPod world," said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. "It's still around, but it is in desperate need of an upgrade.

"The best birthday present for Iowa's students is for the Congress and President Obama to enact a new ESEA. It's time to blow out the candles and bake a new cake.

"NCLB rightly deserves credit for requiring schools to report data that focused attention on educational disparities for various groups of students. Unfortunately, due to shortcomings in the law's design and implementation, most improvements in learning outcomes for the nation's elementary school students have not been echoed by their middle and high school counterparts.

"In their brief tenure, President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have actively recognized the high school crisis, focused on turning around the lowest-performing schools, and called on the nation to graduate all students ready for college and careers. Over the last several years, congressional leaders have held hearings and developed legislative proposals based on research and best practice that demonstrate ways to improve the law. However, until research, discussions, hearings, and legislative proposals are actually turned into an ESEA reauthorization, none of these positive changes will reach the countless high school students and teachers in thousands of classrooms.

"This eighth birthday should be a commitment that 2010 is the year to harness the progress and increase momentum around high school reform into a reauthorized ESEA that strategically addresses the high school crisis and begins turning the more than one million dropouts a year into high school graduates who are ready for college and careers.

"Today, our message to the Congress and President Obama is, 'Don't delay. Reauthorize ESEA.'"


Games, snacks, and new friends - it's all happening at Rivermont Collegiate on Saturdays in January! Open house events for preschool-aged children and their families will take place January 9th, 16th, and 23rd from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Local families are invited to join current Rivermont PreSchool students and families for oodles of fun on Saturday afternoons! Youngsters will enjoy games and playtime in the gymnasium while their parents and families are invited to learn more about Rivermont Collegiate.

From PreSchool through twelfth grade, Rivermont students develop a joy for learning, lead peers in community involvement, and take intellectual and artistic risks. The Early School at Rivermont Collegiate, consisting of PreSchool and Junior Kindergarten, provides children with their first step in formal education, developing skills and attitudes necessary for success. Rivermont provides students with a demanding and comprehensive education, driven by outstanding faculty and small class sizes. These casual Saturday events are designed to introduce local families to the Quad Cities' only private, nonsectarian, independent, multi-cultural college prep school.

Come explore our philosophy, values, and programs, while witnessing our Early School faculty in action! Cindy Murray, Director of Admissions, will be on hand to answer questions and provide one-on-one discussion. These events will be held in the gymnasium on the Rivermont campus, located directly off 18th street in Bettendorf behind K&K Hardware. Visit us online at www.rivermontcollegiate.org!

For additional information about Rivermont Collegiate or the Saturday Open House events, contact Cindy Murray at (563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or murray@rvmt.org.


Below are 6 press announcements regarding the The Moline Foundation scholarship deadlines for the year 2010.  The due date is the same for all of them - February 16, 2010.

    • Applicants are sought for the Moline High School Class of "59" Scholarship through The Moline Foundation.

    • Applicants must:

      1. Be a 2010 Moline High School graduate
      2. Have a GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale
      3. Provide a transcript and proof of class rank
      4. Be involved in at least one community service activity
      5. Submit an essay answer to the questions "What do you anticipate your life to be like in fifty years?" and "What prompts your interest in this scholarship?"
    • Applicants who want to pursue a college, university or trade/technical school education are encouraged to apply for this newly established scholarship.

    • The scholarship funds have been generated by alumni of the Moline High School Class of 1959. They have conducted hog roasts, participated in Birdies for Charity and received other donations. The initiation of this scholarship in 2009 commemorated the MHS Class of 1959's fiftieth reunion and the golden anniversary of the current Moline High School campus located at 3600 Avenue of the Cities, Moline.

        • Applicants are sought for the Maggie Webb Scholarship through The Moline Foundation.

    • To obtain a copy of an application for the Class of "59" scholarship, please contact the counseling department at Moline High School or call Linda Daily at The Moline Foundation, 309-764-4193.


    • Applicants must:

      1. Be a 2009 Moline High School graduate
      2. Have a GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale
      3. Provide a transcript and proof of class rank
      4. Be involved in at least one community service activity
      5. Submit an essay answer to the question "If you were to leave this earth tomorrow, what would be your legacy?"
    • Last year two graduates of Moline were chosen by Maggie's friends and family through the Moline Foundation to receive $3,000 in scholarship funding.

    • Maggie Webb graduated from Moline High School in 2001. As a senior in high school, Maggie began working at the Von Maur department store in Moline. Upon graduating from college, Maggie became a department manager for the Iowa City Von Maur store. She then worked at several other midwestern Von Maur stores earning acclaim for her sparkling personality and commitment to customer service.

    • Maggie's life tragically ended in December, 2007 with the mass shooting at a Omaha Nebraska mall. Maggie had recently moved to Omaha.  She was employed as a Von Maur Store Manager when she was killed along with five other employees and two customers.

    • "Her friends and family wanted to honor Maggie's life with this scholarship. She always had a smile on her face and was such a bright light for so many people,"Kelly Melliere Ryckegham,  Moline High School Class of 2001.


      The Moline Foundation announces February 16, 2010 as the deadline to apply for the Charles Curry SMART Bus Scholarship. Applicant must be a 2010 graduate of a high school in Iowa or Illinois living in Henry, Mercer or Rock Island counties in Illinois or Scott or Muscatine counties in Iowa. Applicant may also be a freshman, sophomore or junior at an Illinois or Iowa college who graduated from a high school in one of the above five counties. Applicant must plan on majoring in or currently majoring in a Natural Resource curriculum or an Education curriculum. Students must enroll on a full-time basis. Students should contact their counseling office at your High School for an application or the Moline Foundation.

      The scholarship award winner will be chosen by a local scholarship selection committee and will receive a scholarship of $500.00.

      Charles E. Curry is the Founder of the Interstate Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) SMART (Sharp Minds Are Reading Thoroughly) Bus. The SMART Bus Program, committed to reducing illiteracy, which began in 2000, has handed out over 36,000 books to children in the Muscatine and Scott Counties in Iowa and Henry, Mercer and Rock Island Counties in Illinois.

      Charles E. Curry is a successful farmer and businessman from Alpha, Illinois and has served his community as a volunteer with many organizations including Interstate RC&D, Inc., the Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District for the past 34 years, the Livestock Feeders Association, the Henry County Board of Education, the Black Hawk Shrine Club, the Ophiem, IL Lutheran Church, and many other civic organizations.

      Mr. Curry is well-respected in the Quad Cities area serving in various capacities with the Interstate RC&D Council. His leadership qualities combined with a passion and a vision for improving our natural resources, promoting community and rural economic development and education has contributed greatly to the success of the RC&D program and to helping improve the quality of life in our area.

      The Charles E. Curry Scholarship Fund was established in November of 2008 by the SMART Bus Committee to honor the hard work and dedication of Mr. Curry.

      The scholarships are also administered through the Moline Foundation founded in 1953 to further the growth and development of citizens living in the Quad Cities region in Iowa and Illinois.

The Moline Foundation announces February 16 as the deadline to apply for the Clem T. Hanson Scholarship.  Residents of Moline School District No. 40 are eligible to apply for the four year college scholarship based on scholarship, financial need and extracurricular activities.  Students should contact their counseling office at Moline High School, Alleman High School or Black Hawk College for an application.   The three Hanson scholarship award winners will be chosen by a local scholarship selection committee and notified of their selection by May 1, 2010.  They will receive $1,500 annually for the next four years with an annual renewal based on satisfactory progress in their post-secondary education.

Since 1985, approximately 100 students have received the Hanson Scholarship Funds as a result of an endowment fund established through the generosity of Clem T. Hanson (1901-1985), a former Moline businessman and community leader.  He was the founder of Hanson Advertising Agency in Moline and was a co-founder of HON Industries in Muscatine.  Mr. Hanson also served as president of Moline Rotary in 1952 and was a volunteer for Boy Scouts, Arrowhead Ranch and United Way. The Clement T. Hanson Memorial Scholarship Fund was established with the Moline Foundation by his family, following the death of Mr. Hanson on July 17, 1985.

The Moline Foundation, founded in 1953, is a community foundation which provides grants to health, human services, education, community development, the arts and other charitable organizations which benefit the citizens of Moline and the surrounding area. For more information, contact Joy Boruff, Executive Director, at (309) 736-3800.  The Moline Foundation receives and administers charitable gifts and has assets of approximately $14 million.


    • The Moline Foundation announces February 16, 2010 as the deadline to apply for the Dolores A. Hulse-DiIulio Scholarship.  Female  seniors at Moline High School going on to pursue a bachelor's degree on a full-time basis with studies in the fields of chemistry, physics, engineering or pre-medicine are eligible to apply. Students should contact their counseling office at Moline High School for an application.

    • The scholarship award winner will be chosen by a local scholarship selection committee and will receive a scholarship of $1,000.

    • Dolores A. Hulse-DiIulio was a chemistry teacher at Moline High School for 36 years.  She retired in 1994.

    • A 1958 graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a major in Chemistry and minors in Math and Physics, Dolores began teaching at Moline when the new   high school opened on 23rd Avenue.   She has always wanted females to believe that the field of science was for them not just for men.  Her hope is that this scholarship may help female students and encourage them in their goals.

    • Founded in 1953, The Moline Foundation is a community foundation which provides grants to health, human services, education, community development, the arts, and other charitable organizations which benefit the citizens of the Quad City region. The Moline Foundation receives and administers charitable gifts and endowments with a current endowment fund of approximately $14 million.  For more information contact Executive Director Joy Boruff at (309) 736-3800 or visit The Moline Foundation web site at www.molinefoundation.org.

The Moline Foundation announces February 16, 2010 as the deadline to apply for the Lee Womack Scholarship. The Lee Womack Scholarship Fund is intended to provide funds to deserving students graduating from Moline High School who plan to obtain a college degree in education or teaching special education. Selected recipients shall use the funds for first year expenses for tuition, room, board, or books at any accredited two-year or four-year institution.  Students should contact the counseling office at Moline High School for an application form.

Lee A. Womack graduated from Moline High School in 1956 and from Arizona State University in 1960.  He taught school for eight years at Central Junior High School in Rock Island, Illinois.  In 1978, he started work for Mr. Quick, Inc. and became President of the corporation in 1975.  He served as President until 1980, when he founded the Lee Womack Insurance Agency.  For 22 years, he owned and operated the insurance agency.  Mr. Womack also served as President of Porkie's Restaurants, Ltd. from 1987 until he died in 2002.

Mr. Womack was highly respected in the Quad City community and had a reputation for providing others with an opportunity to succeed.  By establishing the scholarship fund in his name, his family and friends continue to provide that opportunity for years to come.

The Lee Womack Memorial Scholarship award was established by Mr. Womack's wife, Peggy, and the Lee Womack Memorial Golf Outing Steering Committee. Since his death, a golf outing has been held in Mr. Womack's memory to raise funds for a local charity.   In 2004, a scholarship fund was established and is administered through the Moline Foundation's scholarship program.

The Moline Foundation, founded in 1953, is a community foundation which provides grants to health, human services, education, community development, the arts and other charitable organizations which benefit the citizens of Moline and the surrounding area. For more information, contact Joy Boruff, Executive Director, at (309) 736-3800.  The Moline Foundation receives and administers charitable gifts and has assets of approximately $14 million.



Rivermont Collegiate is ecstatic to announce senior Roshan Babu, son of Dr. and Mrs. Hari Babu of Rock Island, has been named a 2010 Illinois State Scholar!  This prestigious award is given annually by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), based on SAT and/or ACT scores.  Winners ranks in the top ten percent of the state's high school seniors from 752 high schools in all 102 Illinois counties.

Roshan, an aspiring young scientist, participated in the STARS (Student and Teachers as Research Scientists) program over the summer at the University of Missouri - St. Louis and was a Semifinalist in the 2009 Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology.  Roshan, who has attended Rivermont since Kindergarten, is currently researching competitive dental and medical programs at universities throughout the United States.  We look forward to Roshan's future contributions to the world of science and medicine!

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

Rivermont Collegiate is the Quad Cities' only independent, non-sectarian, PS-12 college preparatory school, ranked #1 on Iowa's AP Index.

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Youth For Understanding USA (YFU USA) is seeking local host families to host high school exchange students for the next school year.

Youth For Understanding is one of the world's oldest, largest, and most respected international exchange programs. Since 1951, YFU offices around the world have exchanged approximately 240,000 students. YFU USA is a private, non-profit educational program dedicated to preparing young people for their responsibilities and opportunities in a changing, interdependent world. YFU USA is certified by CSIET standards.

YFU USA will welcome new high school international exchange students this August. Our students come from different countries around the world. They speak English, have their own spending money, health insurance, will attend an American high school and will provide innumerable good memories and experiences to your family!  Open your doors to a new family member this summer and help him/her adapt to the U.S. lifestyle and culture. Hosting will be a wonderful opportunity to learn about other traditions and languages without leaving home.

Our host families are as diverse as our students. They are couples with or without children, empty nesters, single adults and also come from all cultural and economic backgrounds. Hosting an international exchange student can be an enriching experience for the entire family that will last a lifetime. By opening your home and heart to a student from overseas, your family will gain a new global perspective, many memories, and - quite possibly - a new family member!  You can host a student for ten months as a permanent host family, or for only six or twelve weeks as an arrival family.

Our trained YFU staff and volunteers are available to support you every step of the way. If you are interested in hosting a YFU student or would like more information, please call 1-866-493-8872 or apply on-line at www.yfu-usa.org.

This is the theme of the Jordan teen and elementary trees on display at the Festival of Trees. Additionally, Jordan parent Angela Boelens created a gingerbread rendition of St. Ambrose Church, Milan, complete with (Jolly Rancher) candy stained glass windows!

Jennifer Fernandez is very proud of the Jordan Catholic School 5th graders that she has been teaching through the Junior Achievement program. According to Mrs. Fernandez, the program addresses how we earn our money and what we do with it.

Fifth grade teacher Lois Gannon explained that the children learned that we can do three things with our money: spend, save, and give it away. This lesson was timely as we prepare for the holidays. Mrs. Fernandez said, "I had the idea that with Thanksgiving approaching, it was a good time for the children to hold a bakesale. We created a business plan together including advertising and logistics. The children discussed area charities that their earnings might benefit and then voted to contribute their earnings to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I'm very proud of them. It was a great learning experience and they were very proud of the money they raised." The students earned $275. "I was surprised by how all those quarters added up!" said student Molly Hunter.

Additional Student Quotes:

"We liked working for a special cause- one that helps kids our age." -Samantha Sharp

"We all felt good doing it, knowing that it was going to a charity." -Sidney Boelens

"Advertising is important for making money"- Connor Boyd

The  Family Concerns of Churches United is pleased to announce that its first "Love & Logic" class will begin Tuesday, January 26, 2010 and will be held at Broadway Church in Rock Island.  The classes will be for 6 weeks from 9 - 11 am with child care provided.

Since kids don't come with an owner's manual, Love & Logic is here to help!  This class helps reduce parental stress and parents can start having fun with their kids again. The program helps end power struggles and back talk, parents learn to set limits using "thinking" words, allows chores to be done without hassles and ends the arguing and whining with this easier way to parent.  This parenting opportunity is thanks to a grant from the Quality of Life coalition.  The cost of the workbook is $10.  If you have anyone interested in taking the class, call Jo at 309/786-6494.

(Rock Island, IL)  With the recent influx of immigrants, many children and families are struggling to understand the new culture and language.  But thanks to a new federal and state-funded program, help is available.

The Lights ON for Learning Family Literacy Program is the result of a partnership among the Rock Island Regional Office of Education, Black Hawk College, the Church of Peace, the Rock Island Public Library and the Rock Island Public School District #41.  The program is being highlighted with a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 10:30 am at the Church of Peace (1114 12th Street in Rock Island) in the Fellowship Hall.  Details of the federal grant will be announced and then local celebrities will read to the families.

Attending the news conference will be Rock Island Mayor, Dennis Pauley; Rock Island Schools Superintendent, Rick Loy; the Superintendent of the Regional Office of Education, Jim Widdop, as well as representatives from Black Hawk College, the Rock Island Public Library and Church of Peace.  The teachers and the families involved in the program will also be available for interviews.  After the news conference Mayor Pauley and Superintendents Widdop and Loy will read to the families.

The program is from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays at the Church of Peace.  A typical day at the Lights ON for Learning Family Literacy program consists of GED lessons, English as a Second Language tutoring, lunch and activities with their children, parenting and life skills, and computer and library skills training.