By EDWARD HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Parents, guardians, educators and members of the community can learn how to help students be more successful in school by taking part in a "Quincy Community Education Institute" from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Baldwin Intermediate School and Quincy High School.
Participants will hear about the new "common core" state standards being implemented in Illinois schools and how various learning tools can be used to help children meet the standards.
"Some of these learning tools can be utilized at home," said Marilyn Smith, project manager for an educational campaign being carried out by the Quincy Federation of Teachers.
The QFT this summer received a $76,760 "Innovation Fund" grant from the American Federation of Teachers to continue its education campaign for a second straight year. One major project planned for this year is the educational institute, which is intended to show community members how they can help students reach their full potential.
"Parents and community members will also have an opportunity to engage in dialogue with area educators from the community regarding current student achievement topics," Smith said.
"Our goal is to have many educators -- as presenters and participants -- from the community to come together to engage with parents, community members and other area educators in dialogue about how we can provide new learning activities and increase student achievement," Smith said.
The institute will feature keynote speakers and nearly five dozen breakout sessions involving 46 local, state and national education experts. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments, day care, shuttle services and raffle prizes will be provided.
Sessions geared for grades preK-6 will take place at Baldwin School, while sessions for grades 7-12 will take place at QHS.
The conference will begin at 8 a.m. with registration at both locations. Then at 8:30, keynote speakers with talk to participants at both Baldwin and QHS on the same topic: "Supporting Education in Your Community."
At Baldwin, the keynote speaker will be Lisa Dickinson of the American Federation of Teachers. At QHS, meanwhile, the keynote address will be shared by Amy Alsop and Sharon Teefey, both of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
Then from 9 a.m. to noon, participants at each location will attend four 35-minute breakout sessions of their choice on a variety of topics. At Baldwin, participants will be able to choose from at least nine topics each session. At QHS, at least five topics will be available to choose from during each session.
A 10-minute break will take place between each session. A shuttle service will be available between Baldwin and QHS for those who wish to move back and forth between buildings.
IF YOU GO
People planning to attend Saturday's education institute are asked to register ahead of time by calling 223-8700 or by visiting the website www.qps.org before Saturday. Those registering in advance should provide the names of adults attending and the number of children needing day care. More information about the conference is available at www.committothecore.org.