Modern Woodmen of America has recently earned the Excellence in Education Award from the Life Office Management Association. Of 1,200 member companies worldwide, only 85 organizations earned the recognition in 2009.

This is the seventh time Modern Woodmen has received the award.

The Excellence in Education Award recognizes companies developing human resources through the use of LOMA's professional education and learning programs.

To be eligible for this award, an organization must be a member of LOMA and enroll in a minimum of 20 examinations during the calendar year. Other criteria include :

· Exceptional pass rates for LOMA examinations (historically an average of 85 percent or higher)

· Growth in LOMA examination enrollments from the previous year

· Ongoing support and promotion of LOMA educational programs

At Modern Woodmen, 48 percent of employees hold the Fellowship Life Management Institute designation, a 10-course, professional development program for the insurance and financial services industry.

Modern Woodmen will be honored during the LOMA Annual Conference Sept. 13-15, 2009. Gerald P. Odean, retired National Secretary of Modern Woodmen, will accept the award.

Founded in 1883, Modern Woodmen of America touches lives and secures futures. The fraternal benefit society offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.



Olivia Grubbs, a sixth-grade student at John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Davenport, will receive a second place award from the national level of Modern Woodmen of America's 2009 School Speech Contest on Friday.

For her achievement in the fraternal organization's annual contest, Grubbs earns a $1,500 savings plan and two award plaques - one for herself and one for her school. Modern Woodmen Representative Ruth Ahnen, Davenport, will present the award. Grubbs is the daughter of Steve and Kelli Grubbs of Davenport.

The topic for this year's nationwide contest was "A person who has touched many lives." Modern Woodmen's tagline reads "Touching Lives. Securing Futures.®" This year Modern Woodmen asked each student speaker to help uncover and tell the story of an individual who embodies the spirit of the tagline.

Grubbs chose to discuss Jerry Galloway, the late doctor and missionary who spent 20 years in the Congo. "He has touched many people through his medical work and his passion to live what he believed," she said. "He is the reason I've been inspired to be a more selfless person." Galloway left behind his family, friends and all possessions to touch lives in Africa. He set up a healthcare system, taught others how to perform surgeries and developed schools. "What defines Jerry Galloway is the contrast between the life he could have lived and the life he chose to live," said Grubbs.

The School Speech Contest, one of six Youth Educational Programs sponsored by Modern Woodmen, is provided to schools across the country at no charge. For more than 60 years, students have gained confidence and improved their communication skills by participating in this contest. More than 100,000 young people competed in 2009, of which 23 advanced to the national judging in June.

Founded in 1883, Modern Woodmen of America touches lives and secures futures. The fraternal benefit society offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.


(Rock Island, IL)?Jacob Lundquist, Moline, has been awarded a $2000, Making A Difference, renewable scholarship by Royal Neighbors of America.

As a non-profit fraternal organization, Royal Neighbors of America exists for the benefit of its members. It offers insurance products to fulfill a variety of needs for growth, savings, and protection. Members also receive valuable member benefits and can participate in volunteer activities through the organization's local chapters to make a difference in their communities. The organization's philanthropic efforts are dedicated to changing women's lives through its national programs and through the Royal Neighbors Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity.

Headquartered in Rock Island, IL, Royal Neighbors serves nearly 220,000 members and is

licensed to do business in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, call (800) 627-4762 or visit


550 Cities are asked to Participate in the Largest Organized Back-to-School Effort in U.S. History.

(Davenport) - "Education has become a matter of national security. Because we cannot control our schools, we cannot control our economy. And because we cannot control our economy, we cannot control and protect our quality of life in America," says Phillip Jackson, Executive Director of the Black Star Project, U.S.A. The Black Star Project is sponsoring the Million Father March 2009 on the first-day-of-school in nearly 300 cities across America.  The Million Father March has become a special day that fathers and men use to make a commitment to their children, their families, their communities and their country with their dynamic presence at a school.  This is a real Fathers Day!

The Million Father March 2009 will play-out at thousands of schools across America and in other parts of the world.  An estimated 600,000 men in 475 cities participated in 2008.  This year, an estimated 800,000 men from 550 cities are expected to participate.  The Million Father March also provides an escort of safety, support and encouragement to children of all ages on their first-day-of-school.  Jackson says, "Gang recruitment, bullying and random violence goes way down on any day that has a group of men at a school."

Participeants in the event include fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, big brothers, cousins, significant male caregivers and friends of the family.  Although the event is created by Black men, women and men of all ethnicities are also encouraged to take their children to school on their first day.  Businesses are asked to give fathers and men two hours off that morning (with pay) to take their children to school.  Participating men will also be encouraged to volunteer at schools throughout the year.  A special effort will be make to coordinate Latino Fathers in La Marcha de Padres.

Since schools across America and the world start the new school year on different days and months, the March will be a rolling event that takes place on the first day of this school year in cities, villages and towns between August 3 and October 2, 2009.  The 2009 Million Father March is managed by The Black Star Project, U.S.A. and sponsored by the Schott Foundation for Public Information and United Neighbors, Inc. in partnership with the National PTA and the National Fatherhood Initiative.

You may email or call 563-322-7363 for more information.


The Rock Island-Milan School District's Building Excellence plan will be celebrating another grand opening on one of the construction projects.  A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at Eugene Field Elementary School, 2099 - 31st Ave, Rock Island) on Thursday, August 20th at 4:30 p.m. The community is invited to attend and tour the school. Refreshments will be served.

Eugene Field broke ground in September 2008. The additions feature a new media center, cafeteria, six additional classrooms and a secure entry and administrative office area.

Rock Island/Milan School District #41 Head Start/Preschool program is now taking applications for the 2009/2010 school year. The program serves children ages 3, 4 and 5 who are not eligible for kindergarten and whose families reside in Rock Island/Milan school area.

Families are provided a comprehensive Early Childhood Program for their children as well as other support services. Transportation is provided. There is no cost to families for these services.

The Head Start program is funded through the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The Preschool program is funded through the Illinois State Board of Education.

Applications are being taken from 7:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M., Mondays through Fridays at the Head Start/Preschool office, 2101 - 6th Avenue, Rock Island.  For more information, or to schedule a different time, call the Head Start/Preschool office at 309-793-5900, ext 272.


Rock Island, IL - The Quad Cities GradCenter is pleased to announce the launching of their new website, including a version specially formatted for Internet-enabled cell phones or smart devices. The new mobile site went "live" as part of a complete GradCenter Website redesign. The new site includes features that make it easy for users to access course information, including class schedules, a comprehensive listing of available degrees and certificates, as well as links to and information about member institutions.

"To our knowledge, we are among the first organizations of our kind to provide a seamless website format for mobile users," says GradCenter Director Marti Clyde. "We're excited to be able to share detailed course and schedule information in a way that is so accessible. We think that making interaction so easy is a definite plus for both prospective and current students as well as member institutions."

To access the site, mobile device users simply enter the existing GradCenter address, The website version formatted specifically for mobile device browsers will appear automatically.

The Quad-Cities Graduate Study Center (GradCenter) is a publicly funded academic consortium of 10 colleges and universities. The GradCenter facilitates graduate degree programs, graduate non-degree courses, and continuing professional education comparable to on-campus programs and courses for the Quad-Cities area. The GradCenter was incorporated in 1969 as a not-for-profit organization and has had the continued support of the Board of Regents-State of Iowa, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and the Quad-Cities community. Member institutions include Drake University, Illinois State University, Iowa State University, Northern Illinois University, Saint Xavier University, Ambrose University, the University of Illinois, the University of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa, and Western Illinois University.


Des Moines, IA., July, 30, 2009 - Today, the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid) released a list of 69 top-ranked Iowa students who were named Robert C. Byrd Scholars. Thomas Harris, high school graduate from Davenport Assumption High School and Austin Laugen, high school graduate from Davenport Central High School in Davenport, Iowa were selected for this prestigious scholarship from among 191 applicants statewide. A comprehensive list of the 2009-2010 Byrd Scholar recipients is available from Iowa College Aid's website at:

The Byrd Scholar program rewards students who demonstrate the highest levels of academic achievement and leadership. Each recipient will receive a $1,500 college scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year. The award is renewable for up to four years, based on federal funding and the student's continued academic performance.

"The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship is one of the most prestigious awards given to college-bound students," said Karen Misjak, executive director of the Iowa College Student Aid Commission. "These are exceptional students who met high standards in education and leadership and all Iowans can be proud of their accomplishments."

In addition to other outstanding credentials, the 2009-2010 Byrd Scholars rank within the top 2% of their graduating class, have an average GPA of 3.99 (based on a 4.0scale) and average 33 on the ACT exam and 2190 on the SAT exam.

About the Robert C. Byrd Scholarship

The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship is a federally-funded program. The Iowa Department of Education is designated to ensure qualified Iowa students receive the scholastic awards and collaborates with the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Commission) for administration assistance. The Commission's working relationship with high school guidance counselors, as well as college and university administrators, provide a supportive framework for the annual Byrd Scholarship competition. Scholars compete for the top honors by submitting applications that support superior academic credentials, leadership qualities, and service records. To apply, an Iowa high school senior must be in the top 10 percent of his or her graduation class, obtain a minimum score of 28 on the ACT or 1860 on the SAT exam, earn a minimum grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale), an must have taken rigorous coursework outlined in the application. Applications are reviewed, and scholars selected, by a panel of academic officials.


About the Iowa College Student Aid Commission

As the state's designated guaranty agency for the Family Federal Education Loan Program (FFELP), Iowa College Aid guarantees more than $696 million annually in student loans from private lenders to support over 77,000 Iowa students and parents.. In addition, Iowa College Aid administers state scholarship, grant, and loan forgiveness programs totaling over $69.5 million, provides borrowers with assistance to avoid the serious consequences of default, conducts research and distributes higher education data, and offers Iowans assistance in obtaining student financial aid and college-related information. More information is available at

Washington, DC - Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) announced that he has secured $400,000 for Clarke College's Doctor of Nurse Practitioner (DNP) Program and $300,000 for St. Ambrose University's Center for Health Sciences Education. The funding was included in the FY 2010 Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations bill, which passed the House this afternoon by a vote of 264-163.

Specifically, the $400,000 for Clarke College's Doctor of Nurse Practitioner (DNP) program in Dubuque will help fund instructor salaries, course development, equipment purchases, and scholarships for students.

The $300,000 for St. Ambrose University in Davenport will help fund construction of the school's new 58,000 square foot Center for Health Sciences Education, which will house occupational therapy, physical therapy, and nursing training programs. Ground was broken on building the Center earlier this year.

"The funding included in this bill will help expand and strengthen healthcare education programs in eastern Iowa," Braley said. "Providing more resources for these programs will help train the healthcare workers of tomorrow and improve the quality of healthcare available in eastern Iowa.  I'm proud to have secured funding for these important programs."

The Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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Annual PBS KIDS Event Fosters Reading, Writing and Creativity.

MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT is pleased to announce that the 15th Annual READING RAINBOW Young Writers & Illustrators Contest has awarded Jayda Brunkan, a first grader from Eldridge, Iowa, a national First Place in the first grade level for her story. The Contest encourages children to use their imagination to author and illustrate their own "book." Jayda is one of only 12 authors selected from more than 35,000 Contest entrants nationwide. This is the second year in a row that Jayda has been a national winner. As a kindergartener at Ed White Elementary she was a Third Place national winner.

For her original story, Jayda wrote, and drew pictures for "Gus and the Garbage Mountain," the tale of a mouse named Gus and his friend, Cuddles who recycle, reduce, reuse and repair in order to save the planet.

"We are thrilled that Jayda has once again placed as a national winner," said WQPT Educational Outreach Director, Ana Kehoe.

Conducted by the acclaimed PBS KIDS television children's series READING RAINBOW with funding from presenting sponsor Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Inc. and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the national Contest is produced by WNED-TV/Buffalo and Smarterville Productions LLC. The Contest is public television's longest running and most successful outreach effort.

WQPT was one of 95 public television stations participating in this year's Contest, with support from the Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House, Figge Art Museum and Family Museum.

Contest entries from Kindergarteners through third graders are first judged at the local level, with local winners advancing to the national competition. There were two rounds of national judging culminating in a final judging by a distinguished panel that included representatives of children's television programming, educators, a literacy expert, a librarian and university professor.

This year's national Grand Prize Contest winners were given flat-panel TVs with DVD players. Each also receives three READING RAINBOW library sets (DVDs and books) for their home, school and library.

The illustrated stories of national Contest winners can be found at In mid August, the newest winners will be posted. The website also features fun, engaging activities and games for kids and information about READING RAINBOW for parents and teachers.

Just as READING RAINBOW generates excitement about reading, the Contest engages children in the process of creating stories that are uniquely their own," said Donald K. Boswell, WNED's President and CEO. "Every child who participates learns what it is like to be an author."

READING RAINBOW airs on WQPT on Saturdays at 10 am and Sundays at 9:30 am. Designed to encourage children to develop a love of reading and books, the series is now in its 26th season, making it the second-longest running PBS KIDS series still in production. The series has been honored with 26 Emmy Awards, including two in 2007 for "Outstanding Children's Series "and "Outstanding Writing In A Children's Series."

WQPT has been the local PBS station for 25 years located in Moline, Illinois.

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