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Great Student Programs & Events are Easy to Find!

October 30, 2007

Various activities and events are of great importance to ensure that children are well rounded and exposed to the greater world. With funding cuts going on in schools around the country it has never been more important to have outside education agencies focus on the improvement of children’s minds. While summer may seem the perfect time for children to explore more of the world around them, there are many wonderful opportunities offered to them during the school year, when they have access to teachers’ and classmates’ opinions and recommendations. The Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency (AEA) offers many programs, which can foster new ideas, create new interests, and help children meet new friends with interests similar to their own. One of the programs is Invent Iowa, which focuses on students, age kindergarten through eighth grade. Each school district holds a contest before February 5th to decide which inventors will head off to the regional competition. Eventually, two individuals or teams from each category will go to state to compete. The inventions focus on ways to make life better or solve problems in the world.

Another program offered is Math Bee. It consists of four 6th graders per team. Working against the clock, the teams work individually for six rounds of topics using only paper, pencil and calculators. The top 5 teams and top 5 individuals with the highest scores continue on to the state competition. Math Bee not only encourages students who excel at math and wish to be challenged, but also encourages interest by those students who may not appreciate math in the school setting.

Foreign Languages are now more important than ever due to the world is becoming smaller due to technological advances. The AEA offers after school and weekend FLEX (Foreign Language Exploration) classes. Not only do they offer Spanish, but also French, German and Sign Language. Some schools have afternoon classes and weekend classes are held at Scott County Community College. Classes include eight sessions each lasting from 45 minutes to an hour.

With technology’s prominence in the world most people now know how to use computers, but it has been shown that females are less likely to take real interest in the computer field than males. To encourage the use and exploration of computers, the Mississippi Bend AEA offers a programs called Read n’ Rap. Girls in grades 4 – 6 are paired with girls in grades 10 – 12 and are given a selection of books to read and discuss using email and video conferencing. This not only encourages them to read and use computer skills more frequently, but also gives them an opportunity to talk with someone who as a different background and interests. Participants meet only twice during the school year in an ICN session, but the girls e-mail one another weekly.

A relatively new program to the AEA student services is the Home School Assistance Program. Currently there are 27 students from 17 different families involved. The AEA currently hosts this program for Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley, Wilton, Delwood and North Scott. Other districts may offer their own program, so please contact to verify. The AEA provides assistance with curriculum, free ITBS testing, support and guidance from certified teachers, access to the AEA Media Library and resources and also social activities that include field trips.

The most comprehensive enrichment program the AEA offers is College for Kids. The summer programs are offered in two locations: Davenport North High School, and Pleasant Valley High School. A “Full-Time” student is entitled to 3 different classes, but may pay for extra classes. Classes range from topics such as stock market, chemistry, to rocketing and cartooning. Carpooling and busing are available as transportation alternatives. Registration starts in March, so students must sign up early to ensure the desired classes are available.

For more information about any of these programs or how to sign up for them contact: 

Denise Tatoian 
Student Activities & Events Consultant
Email: dtatoian@aea9.k12.ia.us
Phone: 563-344-6323

With all these wonderful options for children, there is no reason for kids to be bored, or not to be able to try something new, fun, and exciting, while meeting new people. Be sure to look into any activities that get your child interested in learning and keep them engaged in their future.

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