Iowa Child Newsletter
A Vision for Iowa’s Future
June 26, 2002
Iowa’s Educational and Environmental Project Develops Youth Design Team
Interested in getting a fresh perspective on our educational and environmental project, the Iowa Child Institute invited area youth to participate in a Youth Design Team (YDT) brainstorming session on May 13. Peter Sollogub, project architect with Chermayeff, Sollogub and Poole, led the roomful of young people in a creative exchange by presenting the project through a PowerPoint presentation and stimulating dialogue through an animal identification exercise. The YDT explored everything from project design, to the project’s name, with lots of ideas flowing. As Sheila Boyd observed, “From young minds come great ideas. They look at things outside of the box and they are very creative.” The creation of the Youth Design Team has spawned other activity among school children, including work by a Lone Tree “problem-solving” team. If you know of any school programs that would welcome a presentation on the project, or of any young people who would be interested in being involved in the project design process, please contact Sheila Boyd at [email protected] or Katie Arnold at [email protected].
The education staff for Iowa’s environmental and educational project continues to move forward on many fronts. Over the last several months, the staff has added task forces to expand the project’s information resource base. They have also conducted more focus groups, hoping to better define the project’s ongoing design process.
Local Education Advisory Council
The Local Education Advisory Council (LEAC) met on May 30 to discuss ways to continue coalition building and the exchange of educational ideas related to the project. With the conclusion of the $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the LEAC will effectively merge with the Community Advisory Council, with Sheila Boyd administering communications and future meetings. At the May 30 meeting, the group also toured the Impressive Van Allen Science Teaching Center (VAST) – a new science resource and staff development center for Grant Wood Area Education Agency. The five focus areas include: curricula, professional development, materials support, administrative and community support, and assessment.
Education Staff Actively Pursuing Ongoing Planning Funds
University of Iowa professor Bob Yager and his staff have been actively pursuing ongoing planning funds for the education component of the project. In addition to a National Science Foundation (NSF) planning grant application which will be submitted in July, Yager and the Institute have submitted several other grants, including:
- A MAGSTEM proposal, submitted to the NSF in collaboration with Arizona State University. The results of this proposal will likely be known in August, 2002.
- USMES, a K-8 curriculum effort to unify science and mathematics, which was also submitted to the NSF.
- An Iowa Chautauqua grant to work with six AEAs over a five year period.
Thank You to Education Staff Members
As the Institute’s planning grant from the U.S. Department of Education is drawing to a close, education staff members are concluding their grant-related responsibilities. While the grant technically extends until December 31, 2002, much of the project-related work will come to an end this summer.
As such, two staff members, Judy Pfohl and Sarah Williams, will leave the project in June. Judy Pfohl will join the West Liberty School District as a full-time teacher in their gifted and talented program. Sarah Williams is currently pursuing new professional opportunities. We greatly appreciate their hard work on our education initiative and wish them the best of success in their new endeavors!
Iowa Child Charter Member of Johnson County Cultural Alliance
The Iowa Child Institute has been named one of the founding members of a new Cultural Alliance in Johnson County. The Johnson County Cultural Alliance will serve as the cultural nexus for Iowa City and Coralville, giving an even greater voice to the artistic, cultural and educational offerings in the area.
The newly-formed Alliance has brought together 44 organizations in the Iowa City/Coralville area. Through networking and collaboration, the groups hope to promote new funding streams, favorable public sector policies and a heightened awareness of arts and cultural activities and their importance to Johnson County.
The Institute looks forward to playing an active role in this new coalition, and to supporting the arts and humanities, by providing creative educational programming and by displaying public art throughout the project.
Institute Board Holds Meeting at Neal Smith Prairie Learning Center
On June 11, 2002, the Iowa Child Institute board held a meeting at the Neal Smith Prairie Learning center. Given the Institute’s commitment to featuring indigenous ecosystems of Iowa, the state’s 5,000-acre National Wildlife Refuge offered an ideal venue for the board to learn more about the prairie. In addition, visitors were treated to a presentation by Jim Patchett, founder and President of Conservation Design Forum, Inc. Patchett’s firm is a multidisciplinary consulting firm that specializes in sustainable community development, natural areas assessment, ecological restoration and environmental research.
Iowa’s Educational and Environmental Project on the Road
Project staff have taken the Iowa Child initiative on the road over the past several months, informing and educating Iowans about the benefits of the project. The organization has given presentations or provided displays at the following events:
- Iowa Academy of Science, April 2002
- Buena Vista University-ACES Program, April 2002
- Ankeny Water Festival, May 2002
- Sertoma Club, May 2002
- Sixth Biennial Wallace National Research Symposium on Talented Development, May 2002
- Iowa Academy of Education, May 2002
- Downtown Kiwanis Club of Cedar Rapids, May 2002
- Muscatine Rotary Club, June 2002
- National Heritage Foundation, June 2002
- Iowa Consortium of Educator Conference, June 2002
If you are a member or know of any organizations that would be interested in hosting a presentation by our staff, please contact Sheila Boyd at [email protected], or call the Iowa Child office at 319-351-4400.
We are continuing to build public support of the project. Here is a partial list of organizations and associations that leant their name to the project:
- Iowa Associations For Lifelong Learning
- Iowa PTA
- Iowa Academy of Science
- Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce
- Iowa City Area Development Group, Inc.
- Iowa City Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Iowa State Buildings and Construction Trades Council
We are looking to add names to our growing list of public supporters. There is strength in numbers and it is helpful when applying for grants, and in speaking with foundations or individual donors. Many of you that receive this newsletter consider yourselves as friends. Please take a minute to reply via e-mail and give us permission to use your name and your public support of this project.
Our goal with this Iowa Child Newsletter is to keep our supporters up-to-date on the latest happenings within the Iowa Child Institute. If there’s something you’d like to see in this newsletter in the coming months, let us know. Please contact Sheila Boyd at [email protected] or Katie Arnold at [email protected].
To read current newspaper articles, visit:
Daily Iowan 1/23/02
“Iowa Child economical, group says”
“Iowa Child study: Project will support 798 new jobs”
For more information, contact:
June 26, 2002 >| March 14, 2002 >| January 25, 2002 >| December 5, 2001 >
November 1, 2001 >| October 8, 2001 >| August 31, 2001 >
The Institute is a non-profit development group established to further the goals of the environmental learning project. The Board of the Institute includes 18 prominent business, civic and educational leaders.
Iowa Child Board Members
Robert D. Ray, Chairman; Steve Alford; Thomas Aller; Robert Burnett; Richard Canella; Ronald S. Fielder; Jolene Franken; Hayden Fry; B.J. Furgerson; Joe Hladky; Dr. Stanley R. Johnson; Dr. Norm Nielson; David Oman; Merlin Plagge; Robert D. Ray; W. Ward Reynoldson; Richard M. Ryan, Jr.; David J. Skorton; Dr. Thomas J. Switzer; Ted Townsend; Paula Vincent.
Iowa Child Staff
David Oman, Vice Chairman
Jane VanVoorhis, Director of Grant Development
Sheila Boyd, Director of Community Relations
Irv Jensen, Communications Consultant
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