Tazewell County news briefs

Members of the Smithfield Up and Coming 4-H Club in Fulton County were one of the clubs involved in a unit-wide service learning project called   4-H 10 Gallon Challenge. Service learning takes community service projects to the next level by adding research, collaboration, and reflection to the process.


College expanding tuition-free program

Eureka College is collaborating with a trio of local high schools — Eureka High School, East Peoria Community High School and Washington Community High School —  to give students in financial need an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree tuition-free.

All graduates from these schools who meet the requirements are eligible to apply as a part of Eureka’s growing Uniquely Eureka Promise Program.

This promise scholarship is designed to cover the remaining tuition charge for incoming students who have both graduated from these schools and meet specific academic and financial aid requirements.

The Uniquely Eureka Promise is a promise to assist students in a financial need, who have proven themselves successfully academically. Since 2018, this EC program has provided in-state community college transfer students financial relief, and allowed them to stay focused on their academic achievements without the worry of financing a full-time tuition charge.

The eligibility requirements for the students from these schools are as follows: a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher; current residency in the state of Illinois and U.S. citizenship for at least a year; eligible to receive State of Illinois MAP grant and Federal Pell grant as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have a FAFSA EFC of 1,000 or less; enrollment at EC in a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester; acceptance and use of all federal and state grants each year of the program before Eureka College makes up the difference for tuition cost; and a commitment to volunteer 40 hours with the college over the course of four school years.

Applicants must also meet all deadline dates. To be eligible for the fall semester, admission applications must be submitted by July 1, 2020.

For more information, contact the Eureka College Admissions Office at admissions@eureka.edu or 1-888-438-7352.


 Learning Project fostered leadership and generosity

Throughout 2019, 4-H clubs in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties combined traditional community service with experiential learning for a new focus on “service learning.”

Club members and leaders worked together to plan, organize, and execute what was referred to as the 4-H 10 Gallon Challenge, in which milk or milk vouchers were donated to local food pantries.

The project provided invaluable learning experiences for the members and nutritious dairy products to over 200 families.

According to the USDA National Extension 4-H organization, service learning is defined as a form of experiential learning that combines subject matter learning and critical thinking skill development while addressing a genuine community need.

Youth are involved in every step of the process: inquiry, selection, planning, execution, and reflection.

To facilitate this shift, the four-county unit came together to plan and implement one large, impactful project. Nearly 50 youth and adult volunteers attended trainings led by Emily Schoenfelder, Extension 4-H educator, to better understand how inquiry, planning, action, and reflection all work together in the service learning process.

From here, these newly trained service learning leaders were tasked with helping their clubs explore local needs and submit proposals for projects that could address these issues.

Kassie Haage and the Neighbor Kids Dairy 4-H Club wrote the proposal for the 4-H 10 Gallon Challenge, which was ultimately selected for the unit-wide project.

In the proposal, Kassie explained, “Most, if not all food pantries do not have dairy products available for low income families that visit their facility. There are so many health benefits to adding dairy in the diet that this is a sad situation.”

However, the proposed solution was simple: donate 10 gallons of milk (or other dairy products) to a local food pantry. This would help low income families, local businesses, and farmers.

To help implement this project, a cross-county committee was formed in which youth and adult volunteers assumed responsibility to lead and guide this project.

They contributed to a dozen local food pantries, provided healthy food options to over 200 local families, and gained invaluable life skills.

Visit the website for more information https://extension.illinois.edu/fmpt


LaHood, others ask Air Force to consider Peoria for new C-130Js

Representatives Darin LaHood (IL-18) and Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth sent a letter to the United States Air Force secretary in support of the 182nd Airlift Wing at the Peoria International Airport in Peoria for the current Air National Guard C-130J Recapitalization.

Over the last two budget cycles, Congress has appropriated and authorized the creation of 16 new C-130Js.

“We support our men and women serving at the 182nd and the Illinois National Guard and with a strong military presence in the state of Illinois, we believe the recapitalization of C-130J aircraft will further strengthen the value of the 182nd Airlift Wing to our national security and Illinois’s long-lasting partnership with the United States Air Force,” the letter stated.