Looking For Positive News Stories In Illinois And Iowa? Here’s The Good News!
It’s our last What’s The Good News column of the year, and we hope you’ve had a terrific year punctuated with a lot of positive news in your own lives. As always, we’ve been happy to present to you the positive things going on in our community throughout the year on QuadCities.com and on KWQC-TV6’s “Paula Sands Live.”
As always, if you’ve got some good news you’d like to share, please email me at Sean@QuadCities.com and I’ll be happy to pass it along! Hope you have a great 2023, and thank you for checking us out in 2022!
Here’s the good news for December:
Davenport Community Schools’ Wins IASB Team Achievement Award
Davenport Community Schools’ board of directors has won an Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) Team Achievement Award for 2021-22. The DCSD board is one of only 15 across the state of Iowa that earned this award this year.
The plaque is presented in recognition of the board’s support and encouragement for individual board member development. Through formal in-service programs, board service and experience, a majority of the board completed the requirements for the 2021-22 Individual Achievement Award.
The Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) presented the 2021–22 Annual Board Awards on Nov. 17 during the IASB Annual Convention in Des Moines. The awards are given each year to board members, board teams and superintendents/AEA chief administrators who dedicate time and effort to learning, advocacy, leadership and service projects to expand their knowledge and skills for better governance.
Applicants must accumulate a specific number of credits to earn these awards.
Individual Achievement Award were presented to 112 board members from 48 PK-12 school boards, four area education agency boards and one community college board. Team Achievement Award plaques were presented to boards from Atlantic, Bettendorf, Davenport, East Marshall, Fairfield, Fort Madison, Independence, Le Mars, Marshalltown, New London, North Polk, Sioux Center, Solon, Spencer and West Delaware County.
IASB is a nonprofit organization representing Iowa’s 327 school districts, nine area education agencies and 15 community colleges.
SAL Community Services Helping People In Need
Individuals and families who are at risk of eviction or homelessness are encouraged to apply for emergency rental assistance through SAL Community Services. Until December 31, 2022, applications for back rent and advance rent are open to qualified residents of Henry, Mercer, or Rock Island Counties.
“Our focus is on stability,” said Loredia Nunn-Dixon, the director of SAL’s Open Door Crisis Assistance program. “When your housing is stable, you can stay focused on everything else, whether that’s education or work or taking care of your health. And if we can keep people where they’re at, that means landlords won’t go without tenants. This program is a win-win for us all.”
At SAL, the need for rental assistance became evident early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people lost income. An earlier rental assistance effort at the organization was focused on immigrants and refugees, a population disproportionately impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic. The current funding—nearly $800,000 through the Illinois Department of Human Services—is open to anyone in the community.
To receive assistance, residents must have qualified for unemployment benefits or lost household income, incurred higher costs, or experienced other financial hardships directly or indirectly due to COVID-19. They must also be able to demonstrate a risk of homelessness or eviction because of their inability to pay rent. Finally, their household income must be at or below 80 percent of the area median income, with priority given to households with income at or below 50 percent of the median. Applicants must provide proof of income, a lease, and other documentation. There is no need to provide proof of immigration status.
Those who qualify may be able to receive up to 15 months of back rent and an additional three months of advance rent. If they have found a new apartment to rent after previously experiencing homelessness, they may be eligible for funds to cover a deposit and advance rent. Utility assistance is also available.
Since securing the latest round of funding this summer, Nunn-Dixon has seen significant interest in rental assistance. The SAL team has connected with local housing authorities for referrals to at-risk tenants, conducted outreach at housing complexes, and added a staff member to help process requests. As of today, funding is still available and must be claimed by the end of the year.
“It’s hard out here—we’re seeing it,” said Nunn-Dixon. “After December, there’s still going to be a need. We want our legislators, our corporations, and our funders to know that their support is critical. We want our community members to know that they matter.”
To learn more or apply, contact Loredia Nunn-Dixon at LNunn-Dixon@salcommunityservices.org or (309) 793-8201.
Western Illinois University Receives Carver Grant Award to Expand Science Laboratories
“We have known for some time that there is an unmet demand in the Quad Cities area for affordable, high-quality, STEM-focused programs that will provide the sort of skilled labor that area businesses are seeking,” said College of Arts and Sciences Assistant Dean Jim Rabchuk. “We are so excited that the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust has offered this support to expand WIU-QC’s ability to provide STEM-related course offerings and experiences to local students, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”
The grant will permit WIU to upgrade an existing lab on campus with safety equipment, storage capacity and laboratory equipment that will enable the Quad Cities campus to offer WIU’s introductory sequence of Chemistry courses. This will expand science-focused General Education offerings at WIU-QC, including prerequisite courses for the majors of Engineering and Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering. In addition, the funds will permit the purchase of equipment in support of the Ph.D. program in Environmental Science.
“WIU is grateful to the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for their generous support of STEM-focused initiatives on the Quad Cities campus. Western’s enhanced science laboratory capabilities will expand course offerings and programming, establish innovative spaces for applied learning and research and create new educational opportunities for WIU students, area high school students who participate in dual enrollment and our Quad Cities community partners,” said Vice President for Quad Cities Campus Operations Kristi Mindrup.
The Quad Cities region has a critical need for STEM-focused college graduates to meet the needs of the expanding economy. In response to this need, WIU-Quad Cities is dedicated to ensuring that campus spaces, programs and curriculum align to maximize student opportunities to gain hands-on experiences that prepare students for industry-based careers throughout the region and beyond. Investment in enhanced science laboratories will expand curriculum and research capabilities within Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Environmental Science programs.
Planning for renovation, scheduling and staffing of the new space is underway.
Davenport’s Creative Arts Academy Holding Information Sessions For Potential Students
Does your child have a passion for the arts?
The Creative Arts Academy is holding information sessions to learn more about their programs and how you can apply.
Tuesday, December 13th at 6:00PM-7:00PM *Virtual Meeting
Visit the Creative Arts Academy website for more information.
New Clinic Offers Easier Access To Healthcare For Illinois Q-C Kids
The Rock Island County Health Department has opened a new clinic to ensure students have easy access to health services. The new School Health Link clinic is located inside Moline High School at 3602 Avenue of the Cities, Moline and is open to All Rock Island County Youth.
“The hope is, with the success of this venture, the groundwork will be set up for us to expand into the other districts in our community,” School Health Link Board Chairperson Scot Meskimen said. “By partnering with Moline High School, we have increased accessibility of care for hundreds of students. This will allow us to better serve our community and allow for a unique care model.”
The School Health Link is a comprehensive school-linked health clinic with the ability to provide convenient preventive medical care (like vaccines), acute medical care (for health concerns like the flu, strep or ear infections), as well as referrals for children, adolescents, and infants.
“It just makes it far more accessible for the family,” Moline Superintendent Rachel Savage said. “Sometimes, it’s very hard to get an appointment with private medical providers, especially this time of year. So having an additional provider in the community helps those families get those appointments.”
School Health Link works with other medical providers, social service agencies, mental health providers, and other programs and organizations to help students be ready to learn physically, emotionally and mentally.
“Our goal is to provide a medical home for children in need,” Meskimen said. “We primarily serve patients who are uninsured, underinsured or on Medicaid, but we also take most insurances and will not deny care for services based on a family’s ability to pay. By entering the school, we increase the accessibility to care for hundreds of kids. Additionally, by increasing our presence in the schools, we will have the ability to be more proactive with our care.”
School Health Link On-Site Care
8 am – 4:30 pm Monday – Friday
24 – hour Emergency Care through Trinity Emergency Rooms
Transportation to the School Health Link is easy with MetroLink. MetroLink is now free
to all students with an ID card. Students can take advantage of MetroLink to quickly and
conveniently visit the School Health Link at Moline High School. The TransLoc app is
available in the App Store and Google Play.
Rejuvenate Rejuvenating Local Homes In Davenport
Rejuvenate Housing, Inc., a nonprofit whose mission is to “rejuvenate neighborhoods and create home ownership opportunities that promote the health and welfare of a community” has completed their second rehabbed home at 514 West 17 th Street, Davenport. This house
was donated to the organization by St. Ambrose University.
The three-bedroom, one bath home has been completely remodeled by Werner Investments Properties and will go on sale starting November 30 through Ruhl & Ruhl. It includes all new mechanicals, a furnished kitchen, large fenced in yard and a large 2-1/2 car garage.
Rejuvenate Housing was the recipient of a grant from the Quad Cities Housing Cluster to promote affordable housing and income requirements will need to be met. Details can be discussed with Ruhl &Ruhl.
“This is our second rehabbed house in “mid-town” as we fondly call this neighborhood,” said board President Gwen Tombergs. “Our goal is to rehab single-family houses that are affordable for first-time homebuyers. Homeowners take pride in their neighborhood which strengthens our community.”
There will be an open house on Thursday, December 1, from 4pm to 6pm at the house. For additional information visit the website at RejuvenateHousing.org or call Gwen Tombergs, 563-343-2058.
Galesburg Meets Fundraising Goals For New Library
After 15 years of dedicated work, community support, and generous donations, the Galesburg Public Library now has the funding needed to complete its new project. The groundbreaking for the new library occurred last April and construction is scheduled to be complete in early 2024.
The Galesburg Public Library received a $15.3 million grant from the State of Illinois which covered 75% of the total cost of the library. The grant was submitted in 2013 and required a significant action plan and will require several years of follow-up actions in accordance with the grant requirements.
“We are so thankful for our capital campaign committee members that put in numerous hours to help us reach our goal. It has been amazing to see our community come together to support this project and the expanded services the new facility will bring to our community,” said Heather Sipes, Galesburg Public Library Foundation’s Executive Director.
The new library will blend with the character of the Galesburg historic district while the interior will feature a bright and welcoming environment for the entire community. Among the new spaces available for public use include a Community Room, Children’s Area, Teen Space, and a Skills Lab for teens and adults equipped with tools, equipment, and training simulators to develop skills for empowerment and independence.
The community can do a few things to continue to support the GPL and GPLF:
Visit: Borrow a book, attend a program, use the Wi-Fi, or pick up a movie at the library.
Advocate: Tell community leaders and lawmakers how important the library is to you. Share with your friends and family the library’s offerings, and attend library board and City council meetings to stay up-to-date on library policies and decisions.
Volunteer: Volunteers contribute greatly to the success of the library. Opportunities include newsletter folding, assisting with programs, checking shelves for damaged or out-of-place items, add more.