It’s a new year and a new decade, and everyone is making resolutions for a more positive life, and we at QuadCities.com are sticking to our resolution to give you the most and best positive news about the Quad-Cities!

So, in partnership with our friends at KWQC-TV6’s “Paula Sands Live,” every month we give you What’s The Good News? A column here on our site written by yours truly, and an on-air segment presented again by your truly on Paula’s show every month. It showcases some of the great things going on in our community, including some great opportunities for young writers in the Quad-Cities!

So, what’s the good news for January 2020? Here’s the rundown:

  

Bettendorf’s Kilcoin Qualifies For Open Water Jr. Nationals

Bettendorf Piranhas Swim Club member, Colin Kilcoin, has qualified for Open Water Jr. Nationals!

Kilcoin qualified by placing 3rd at Open Water Zones in Pleasant Prairie, WI in July. The Zone meet was comprised of over 12 different States that had swimmers represented. Colin is qualified for both the Senior National 5k and Junior National 7.5k.

The Top Finishers will be chosen to represent Team USA at Open Water Jr. Worlds in August. The meet is in Africa. He’ll also compete in the Open Water Olympic Trials/Jr. Nationals April 24-26th in Ft Myers, FL.

The Piranhas Swim Club offers lessons for everyone from beginners to advanced swimmers. For more information, see https://www.teamunify.com/Home.jsp?team=isbpvst.

QuadCities.com Is Seeking Interns!

Have you ever wanted to be a writer?

Here’s your chance!

QuadCities.com is seeking interested and hard-working high school and college students for our internship program. Interns will get professional experience (and potentially college or high school credit, depending on your school’s program) writing, doing videos and podcasting for the fastest-growing media site in the area, your site for fun, free, local entertainment and positive news, QuadCities.com!

Want to find out if it’s right for you? Send an email telling us why you want to be an intern and a couple of samples of your work (any writing work will do, but news stories, reviews, blogs or feature stories are preferred; if it’s video or podcasting you’re into, send us links to your work) to Sean@QuadCities.com or seanleary@seanleary.com.

Midwest Writing Center Offering Young Writers Studio

The Midwest Writing Center will host Young Writers Studio for young writers in the Quad Cities at their offices on the ground floor of the Rock Island Public Library Downtown branch on the third Thursday of each month in 2020, beginning January 16, 2020. Dates are Jan. 16, Feb. 20, March 19, April 16, May 21, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

The Young Emerging Writers (YEW) Studio is a new casual writing workshop/critique group for young writers in and around the Quad City area. The YEW Studio is an extension of MWC’s successful Young Emerging Writers Summer Internship Program, which is currently accepting applications for the summer of 2020.

All young writers (approximate ages 15-19) throughout the Quad Cities are welcome to come and share their poetry, stories, essays, plays, or any other kind of writing they are pursuing, with a group of their peers and receive constructive critical feedback, or they are welcome to listen and join the discussion. YEW Studio will also feature generative writing prompts and other opportunities, such a public readings, in the future.

The Young Emerging Writers Studio will meet at 6:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month, January through May 2020, in the Midwest Writing Center’s offices on the ground floor of the Rock Island Public Library Downtown branch.

Young Writers Studio events are free and open to the public.

If you have any questions about the Young Emerging Writers Studio, please contact Ryan Collins at (309) 732-7330 or email him at mwc@midwestwritingcenter.org.

Rock Island High School Celebrates 15 Illinois State Scholars

Speaking of young people doing great things, Rock Island High School is proud to have 15 students named as Illinois State Scholars by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission! The Board of Education recognized the students at the January 14 Regular Meeting.

The students are Bianca Brown, Logan Conner, Nilis Empen, Jaime Hill, Ashley Johnson, Spencer Mar, Ellie Maranda, Ryan Nickel, Olivia Panegos, Josie Pennington, Larissa Pothoven, Natalia Rosales, Katherine Shewell, Zoe Veasey, and Gwendalyn Waggoner.

The State Scholars are honored annually by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission for exceptional academic achievement. The students represent approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors from 737 high schools across the state of Illinois. Honorees are chosen based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT test scores and sixth-semester class rank.

Rock Island High School Engineer Students Leading The Way

A group of Rocky students are “leading the way” into the future of engineering!

The Engineering Design and Development (EDD) class is a Capstone course comprised of senior students that are part of the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program at the high school.

According to the Rocky website:

The program is a nationwide program that promotes an engineering-based curriculum for students beginning at the elementary level and continuing through High School. Students in the EDD Course have completed prerequisite PLTW courses, including Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) and Principles of Engineering (POE), or have demonstrated strong competency in any of the STEM disciplines.

The Rocky Capstone course is a year-long course, in which students choose a problem to research, brainstorm, develop practical solutions, design a product to address the problem, build and test their product, and then present this solution to a group of stakeholders.

This year there are eight seniors participating on 2 teams. One of the projects includes a wind/solar-generated display panel.

The Engineering Design and Development Red team placed an anemometer on top of the high school to collect wind speed data. Data collected from the anemometer will be used in preparation for their Capstone project to build a wind-powered display monitor. The hope is to use the monitor at the entry door to display daily news for students, staff, and visitors as they enter the building.

Rocky Instructor, Dr. Mark Laingen says the goal is to teach what we have learned to younger students in the RIMSD#41 system to promote a greater interest in the STEM fields.

“We want to emphasize that any student with an interest in the sciences, technology, engineering or math can find successful careers through their education,” said Laingen. “We are very excited about this opportunity for our students.”

Environmental Film Series Coming To Figge

You can help out the environment and see some interesting and entertaining films starting this weekend at the Figge Museum in Davenport!

A new environmental film series is starting thanks to the Singh Foundation, Sierra Club- Eagle View Group, River Action and Nahant Marsh. There is an admission fee and you can get a season pass to all 6 films for $20. Films will be shown at the Figge Art Museum. Go to the River Action website, www.riveraction.org,  to get tickets.

Ride Some Derbies For Veterans

WQPT, PBS for the Quad Cities Region and the QC VET Center will host the 3rd Annual Patriot Derby Challenge on Saturday, February 15th at Western Illinois University – Quad Cities Campus (3300 River Drive, Moline). This unique pinewood derby race allows military veterans to race their service-themed pinewood derby cars against cars that scouts have built in a friendly competition that encourages interaction between the men and women who have served our country, and children who have benefited from their service.

The event is FREE and open to the public. Any Scout (i.e., Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Girl Scout, etc.) and active duty military or veteran is eligible to participate in the race.

Awards will be given to scouts for the most patriotic car, best paint job, most unusually shaped car, and fastest car.  Active duty member and veterans can win awards, as well.

WQPT will have games and activities for children to do while they’re not racing pinewood derby cars or talking to veterans.  Food and refreshments will be available, too.

Weigh-in will start at 10:00am and registration will close at 10:30am.  Racing will begin at 11:00am. To pre-register, people can sign-up at: https://tinyurl.com/PatriotDerby

“WQPT’s Embracing Our Military initiative is in its 7th year, and we’ve hosted or participated in countless military events during that time,” said WQPT Director of Education and Outreach, Michael Carton, “but this is easily one of our favorites!  It’s a great way for children to show their gratitude towards veterans for serving our country while also participating in some friendly competition.”

“Readjustment isn’t always easy for Veterans coming home from deployments.” said Shane Kern, Veterans Outreach Program Specialist for the Quad Cities Vet Center. “Integrating fun things that include family members have been proven to help that process.  Scouts are the future service members of America, so why not integrate the two!”

For more information, visit the WQPT Facebook Event Page ( facebook.com/wqptpbs/events ) or contact the QC Vet Center at 309-755-3260 or shane.kern@va.gov.

Integrating fun things that include family members have been proven to help that process.  Scouts are the future Servicemembers of America, so why not integrate the two!

What Are The Top Stories Of 2019?

Have you checked out our rundown of the top stories of 2019 yet?

Why not???

It’s fun, it’s FREE, and of course it’s local on QuadCities.com, and you can get the rundown of over 40 of the top entertainment, features and positive news stories of the year, as well as a look at some of the best photos and events of the last year here on your site for fun, free, local entertainment and features, www.quadcities.com!

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Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.