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Local Special Olympics Polar Plunge March 24

Taking an oath and making a promise is nothing short of the definition of dedication and commitment. But what you put your energy and commitment into is the key to unlocking a sense of hope and passion. This concept is a significant part of what Special Olympics Illinois sets out to do in their journey to “unleash the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world.”

A non-profit organization, the Special Olympics Illinois chapter has provided opportunities for more than 23,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and nearly 20,000 young athletes, ages 2-7, with and without intellectual disabilities since 1968. Each spring the organization hosts the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Polar Plunge in multiple areas with the intention of raising awareness and funds for the athletes and families involved in Special Olympics.

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Find physical, mental and emotional wellness this March through QC Yoga Classes

The new year and the spring temperatures often start a health and wellness journey for many individuals in the Quad Cities area. Gym memberships are up, the river walkway is flooded with runners, walkers and bikers, and the number of people signing up for the latest cardio revolution class is astronomical. While I love almost all types of exercise that omits the dreaded burpees and planks, there’s an important mental and emotional wellness that should come along with exercise as well. This can be done through whatever form of exercise fits you best, but is most notably famed for being an essential part of Yoga class. During the month of March, the Quad Cities is full of inexpensive and free Yoga opportunities for those looking to find inner peace during their daily exercise routine. Whether you’re a teen, young adult, expecting parent, mother or father of 5, or grandparent, the Quad Cities has Yoga for everyone! Continue reading Find physical, mental and emotional wellness this March through QC Yoga Classes

“Master Chef-like” Battle Cooking on Feb. 24

Gordon Ramsay’s spirit is gracing the Quad Cities with his presence — or should I say, spirit of competition? No, the world-renowned chef and television personality is not coming to our Midwestern town, but the essence of the battles seen on his MasterChef television series will be headed towards Rock Island in late February.

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Over 60 years later, Augustana’s Kaleidoscope program still awesome for kids

When I was a teenager, I took a job as a nanny each summer. The child I looked after has always been really interested in the arts. Even to this day, she loves cooking, clothes, painting, crafts, drama, and other creative disciplines. Her mom and I talked about a couple programs that her daughter could be involved in with other children her own age. She enrolled in Augustana College’s Kaleidoscope program.

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Set sail on word travels and STEM exploration with the Putnam

The world is an enormous place. We begin learning about the world starting with the landscape and history of our own country. Then we move on to learn about countries outside of our own.

In the world population of 7.53 billion individuals, only 325.7 million people reside in the U.S., compared to the nearly 7.2 billion that live in other parts of the word. It’s important to begin culturally competent learning and critical thinking at a young age, something the Putnam Museum strives for in their Explorers and Explorers Junior (Jr.) programs. Whether on a mission exploring the ocean or engaging in the worldly travel that comes with this next program, the museum has children “examine, investigate, create, and invent”.

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Exploring traditions and Dia de Los Muertos

I’ve always seen the Quad Cities as an exquisite blend of culture. From the work done by various organizations, to the wonderful music that graces our town, and the multiple celebrations of culture, it makes me a proud Quad Cities native and local English Language Learner (ELL) teacher. The Dia de Los Muertos event at the Figge at the end of October proved to be a hit, as several of my students and friends commented on the wonderful program put together for the Latin-American celebration of life.

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Geneseo creates nostalgia with Christmas at the Red Barn

It’s a beautiful time of year as we watch snow fall softly. The holiday lights twinkle in the dark skies and Christmas songs play in homes across the Quad Cities’ area. However, in an age of electronic devices, fast-paced lifestyles and brisk temperatures, it seems that many aging holiday traditions have become obsolete. This season Geneseo’s Red Barn recreates the dreams equated with Christmases past to create a winter wonderland perfect for all ages.

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Ho, ho, ho! Catch the Holiday Light Tour before it’s gone!

The hassle of putting up holiday lights can disguise itself as both a blessing and a curse. While the bright lights look beautiful as the twinkle in evening among the layers of Midwestern snow, being able to string the lights on a house with a working GFCI-grounded outlet can be a pain. Even my fiancé and I have settled with solar lights we can throw up quickly for just a bit of bright, cheery light. As an alternate, we’ve traded in the show at our own home for the show others throw around the Quad Cities area. Driving through local neighborhoods and seeing the beautiful lights has become quite a tradition not only in our area, but around the country. AltSTATES Travel has taken this concept to the next level this year with their three-hour Ho Ho Holiday Light Tour on the Iowa side of the Quad Cities.

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After school workout at Elevate Trampoline Park

While most of us want to get in a nap after work, the younger loved ones in our lives are still a bubbling and bursting ball of energy. A trip to the park or playing in the backyard works most of the time, but every so often a special trip is in order to bounce out the energy before and/or after homework and dinner time. Elevate Trampoline Park in Milan has just the right “after school energy burn” special that will delight children and their parents and guardians.

Elevate Trampoline Park is one of the newest additions to popular trampoline park scene in the Quad Cities. Continue reading After school workout at Elevate Trampoline Park

Literary Heroines exhibit at The Putnam

Strong and independent women have graced literature for centuries, leading the way for so many modern-day women, including myself. Of course, my parents raised me to be an intelligent and strong-willed young woman, but Harper Lee’s Scout Finch and Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett only led me to become a more academic, social-justice oriented, and empowered female.

These are the stories the Putnam Museum’s latest exhibit on literary heroines sets out to tell in their new exhibit.

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