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Johnston Community Schools Athletic Director, Gary Ross, spoke to Johnston Rotary this Tuesday. Gary talked about accomplishments and restructuring plans in Johnston athletics.
Johnston athletics had some great success leading into the 2014-15 athletic season. Girls softball was 2014 state champions and boys soccer was state runner-up. One of the players for boys soccer is currently practicing with the U.S. national world cup team.
Fall/Winter of 2014 also saw some very impressive success. The football team made the second round of state playoffs. Girls cross country was team state champion and boys cross country finished third in the state. All six of the fall athletic programs made state. This was the first time in school history that the wrestling team made the dual state competition. Girls bowling achieved both team and individual state championships.
Gary also talked about some of the ongoing changes in the CIML. The league is now on a rotating schedule. Moving forward, Johnston will compete with Urbandale and Dowling every year while the rest of the schedules will change year-to-year. This scheduling structure is expected to continue at least until 2020. Dallas Center-Grimes and Norwalk are both growing communities and could be added to the CIML within the next decade.
One current focus of Johnston athletics is Sixth and Seventh grade sports. A plan approved by the Johnston School Board restructures middle school athletics to an after school, fee based structure. Sixth and Seventh grade athletic programs will, aside from football, not be competing against other schools. The 6-7 football teams will join with a suburban league while volleyball and basketball programs will be community education based. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays will be dedicated to the sport while Wednesdays and Fridays would allow students to participate in other activities such as non-traditional sports & enrichment programs.
Eighth grade programs are to be enhanced by programs being split into two teams, Purple and Gold, each with full competitive schedules.
The athletic department is also looking to add coaches to Eighth grade and High School programs to address growing participation. As an example of the need, Boys cross country currently has over 100 students participating with only two coaches.
Peja Mayor Gazmend Muhaxheri
Twin Sister State Film maker Luke Harwath
The Peja Club is also working to help their community. They worked on a grant with a club from the UK to bring over 20 Fire Trucks and Ambulances to communities in the area that did not have this type of emergency equipment. They have already participated in grants for new Water wells and other community improvement projects. They are very interested in opportunities for education, community improvement and opportunities for exchanges.
Luke Harwath then spoke about a possible film project that is underway to document the sharing of ideas between the two regions and the benefits of such a joint effort. He will be conducting interviews this summer and is looking forward to telling the story.
Both clubs then discussed possible future joint efforts. It seemed like there is a lot of joint interest in areas like education, community improvement and the possible pursuit of a grant through the Rotary Foundation to make this happen. There is also opportunities to pull in other Johnston area clubs to help with matching funds that would be needed to be successful with such a grant request. One of the areas that could be looked into first for a grant is the collection of educational materials for the Agriculture College that is in need of journals and texts books. There is a known source for such materials so that is being looked into. They are also very interested in youth exchange, professional exchanges and opportunity to connect more with Camp Dodge, the City of Johnston and key employers like Dupont/Pioneer.
Peja also updated the group on upcoming events. They are planning a Leaf Festival beginning of October and their club is sponsoring a Rotact Club. Education #1 priority young population and they want to keep the people in the country. They have an exchange program in place in past with clubs in Texas and Nebraska. 20% of the area near Peja is heavily forested. Fighting forest fires is essential. They lack the training needed to fight forest fires.
More follow-up is planned with all the parties involved.
Rotarians team up with youth of Yuth Homes of Mid-America to plant tree on the Johnston Campus.
The following story was provided by Mark Bowden for the Rotary web site. Taking into consideration all the work that we have done as Rotarians to eradicate polio, it is important to remember the risks that are being taken on our behalf to make this happen.
Polio vaccination workers targeted in Pakistan attacks
Published: Jan. 22, 2014 at 7:43 AM
KARACHI, Pakistan, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- KARACHI, Pakistan, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Seven people were killed and nine others injured Wednesday in the latest in a string of attacks in Pakistan against polio vaccination teams.The dead included six policemen and one child, Dawn.com reported.
A van was on its way to provide security to polio immunization workers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Charsadda district at the time of the attack when a four- to five-kilogram device planted on a bicycle near the van was remotely detonated, the website said. The explosion destroyed the van.
The injured were taken to District Hospital Charsadda for treatment.
Meanwhile, in Punjab province's Bhakkar district, a polio vaccination team was attacked while traveling in a vehicle. The driver and one of the health workers were injured, Dawn.com reported.
On Tuesday, three health workers were killed in an attack on a polio vaccination team in Karachi. The provincial polio workers' association said it was halting operations in the Sindh province in response to the attacks.
Vaccination teams have become targets because the United States used one to help gather intelligence leading to the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden.
On Jan 22nd, John Bouslog & Phil Hodgin of the Des Moines Noon Rotary club presented to the Johnston Rotary Club plans for the Rotary Riverwalk Park. During the 100 year anniversary of Rotary, the International President of Rotary asked each club to step out of its comfort zone and do a project fitting for the occasion. The Des Moines Club landed on the idea of creating a Rotary Park as part of the Des Moines River Walk.
They’ve continued to shepherd the idea over the years working through the many levels of private and public interests affiliated with the River Walk. After reviewing many sites, they’ve landed on the west end of the pedestrian bridge next to Wells Fargo Arena. The estimated cost of the project is $500,000. The project would consist of an oversized bobber and fishing pole. The bobber is roughly 12 feet in diameter and the fishing pole is roughly 84 feet long.
The park would be owned and maintained by the City of Des Moines. In exchange for its fund raising efforts and stewardship of the project, the Rotary would have naming rights for 20 years. The cost to renew the naming rights is estimated to be 5 to 10% of the project cost. The Des Moines Club is visiting metro area clubs and asking for their support for the project. They are hoping to begin construction this year.
Below in the Download Section of the home page is a form to start or increase your current contribution to the Rotary Foundation. If you have questions about how to get started or make the change, contact Bob Wiley, Johnston Rotary Club Foundation Chair.
For information on the Rotary Foundation, go to http://www.rotary.org/en/AboutUs/TheRotaryFoundation
THE ROTARY FOUR WAY TEST
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
Will it be BENEFICAL to all concerned?
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