Eureka College hosts Peoria Quest students

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

Approximately 70 eighth-graders from Quest Charter Academy, Peoria, will get an up-close look at the life and presidency of Ronald Reagan Thursday when they visit Reagan’s alma mater, Eureka College.

The field trip will include tours of the Ronald Reagan Museum, the Ronald Reagan Peace Garden, which contains a section of the Berlin Wall, and the Mark R. Shenkman Reagan Research Center, which houses books written about Reagan.  The students also will tour the historic campus.

The trip was organized by Eureka College teacher education instructor Janelle Dies and Mary Ward, a teacher at Quest Charter Academy.  The trip is part of a year-long unit in which Quest students are studying the political, social and historical impact of the four presidents from Illinois:  Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.  The students are compiling research through field trips, photography, letter- writing and Internet research.  The activities are taught in an interdisciplinary approach in collaboration with the language arts, social studies and science teachers at Quest.

“Students are discovering how to compile research through various mediums, examining and reflecting upon the impact the presidents had on society and, finally, creating a digital media project to demonstrate their acquired knowledge,” Dies said.

Eureka College has provided four digital cameras, which will become the property of Quest when the project is complete.  In addition, eight iPads were purchased for use by Quest students to conduct research. The iPads will remain the property of the Teacher Education Department at Eureka College.

Funding for the equipment came from Eureka College President J. David Arnold’s annual Fund for the Advancement of Excellence in Learning, Service and Leadership competition. The fund offers grants to Eureka College faculty and staff members for projects they’ve devised to improve programs and services for students.