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Indiana fourth and eighth graders' reading scores are declining, according to an Issue Alert by The Indiana Youth Institute.\nPresident and CEO of The Indiana Youth Institute Bill Stanczykiewicz said even though students' math scores are increasing, reading score have steadily declined. The Indiana Youth Institute aims at promoting the healthy development of children and youth by serving the institutions and people of Indiana who work on their behalf, according to their Web site.\nStanczykiewicz said the Alert, titled "Can Your Child Read This? For Too Many Hoosier Kids, the Answer is 'No.'" was compiled because of the "remarkable findings." Over a 13 year period, math scores have risen by about 20 percentage points while reading scores have declined by 4 percentage points.\nIndiana is slightly ahead of the national average, but Stanczykiewicz said "that's not much to boast about." He sites the rising popularity of television, video games and the Internet as causes of the problem. Additionally, he said more parents are working and have less time to read to their children.\nStanczykiewicz's first recommendation to combat the problem is for parents to spend more time reading to their children and reading themselves.\n"It really matters how much children see their parents read," Stanczykiewicz said. "Next I would recommend visiting the public library. Every library has a summer reading program and most offer prizes or incentives for children."\nMonroe County Public Library Children's Librarian Mary Frasier said one of the library's goals is to encourage children to read and stay involved in the library over the summer in order to promote literacy. \nAccording to the Issue Alert, children that read as little as 15 minutes every day can improve their reading level. \nFrasier said it's nice to see a study like this released that quantifies the reading problem. \n"I wish the declined reading levels weren't the case though," Frasier said. "Literacy is the key to success in so many issues of a child's life, an adult's life for that matter. It's a big deal."\nThe library partners with all of the schools, both public and private, in Monroe County by providing them with information on the summer reading program for students. \n"We want the students to come in every week," Frasier said. "We want their continued presence in the library throughout the summer."\nThe library offers interactive media, programs and challenges to engage young readers. \n"We want children to come into the library and have fun," Frasier said. "We want the content to be important too. We want to make the learning connection."\nStanczykiewicz suggests that college students interested in combating the reading problem become involved in a mentor program that improves reading.\n"It's important to improve reading," Stanczykiewicz said. "It's also important to be seen reading. Kids are like sponges, and reading is vitally important."\nThe study is available in its entirety at www.iyi.org.
The winner of the 2006 Monroe County Postcard Contest will be announced at 5:30 p.m. Friday at City Hall.\nThe Bloomington Community Arts Commission \nsponsored the contest and selected 30 finalists from 104 entries. \nOf the 30 finalists, 10 winners are selected and their designs will be printed on postcards and sold throughout Monroe County.\n"This type of art reaches people who would normally not visit a gallery," said commission spokeswoman Valda Hillery. "The contest also promotes Bloomington as an arts community."\nWinning artists each receive $200. Winners in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place receive an additional $250, $150 and $100 respectively, according to a press release.\nDesigns from all 30 finalists will be displayed from May 11 to May 31 at City Hall in the Showers Building at 401 North Morton Street .\nHillery said entrants include children, professional illustrators and photographers, and the image depicted must be of the Bloomington or Monroe County area.\nHillery said the Bloomington Community Arts Commission started the contest, held every two years, in 1990 to raise money through postcard sales for the fountain in Showers Plaza.
A smoky speakeasy, an elegant piano bar and women in flapper-style costumes dancing the Charleston will be seen in Bloomington this week.\n"The Gatsby Gala" will be held at 7:30 p.m. on May 12, at the John Waldron Arts Center. It is the Bloomington Area Arts Council's primary fundraiser. The event will feature a fine art auction, along with music, dancing, food, spirits and prizes at an event bringing the roaring '20s back from the past.\nWritten by author F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Great Gatsby" won the "One Book, One Bloomington and Beyond" \ncontest. Its namesake gala lets area residents experience in real-life the world Fitzgerald brought to readers' imaginations in 1925.\nJWAC Director Miah Michaelsen said the book was selected by the community for reading and discussion. \n"It is to encourage literacy and discussion," Michaelsen said. "It's a great American novel and has something to say about the current period."\nMichaelsen said the book discusses ideas of wealth and decadence that are relevant today.\n"A socially conscious community like Bloomington wants to discuss issues like decadence," Michaelsen said. "It's very relevant."\nMichaelsen said the BAAC wanted its fundraiser to be something beyond a dinner and an auction.\n"This will be a fun extension of the book," Michaelsen said. "The John Waldron Arts Center was built in 1915, so it is very appropriate for the era."\nThe IU Swing Dance Club will host a free dance at 6:30 p.m. before the event. Greg and Christine Davenport will teach different variations of the Charleston.\n"The Charleston was really the quintessential dance of the 1920s era," Greg Davenport said. "It will be very basic, and we are aiming it at beginners who don't know any formal dancing."\nFor $50 attendees can purchase a secret password and backdoor admittance to the VIP 4th Street Entrance Speakeasy. The $50 ticket gives attendees full access to free hors d'oeuvres and drinks. For $15, a person can get in through the main entrance and enjoy drinks from the cash bar.\n"We wanted to make it an \nimmersive experience," Michaelsen said. "We're taking it to the next level from the traditional fundraiser"
The Monroe County Community School Corporation will present a wellness plan to MCCSC principals Monday that will outline ways to promote healthy diets in local schools.\nJennifer Staab, healthy schools coordinator for Monroe County, said it is important to promote healthy eating habits as the obesity rate continues to rise. \nAccording to the Brookings Institute study "The Future of Children," 33 percent of children between the age of 10 and 17 are overweight in Indiana.\n"The obesity rate is phenomenal," Staab said. "Kids are playing more video games, watching more movies, doing more sedentary activity and have more junky foods available to them."\nStaab said the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 states that schools receiving public funding must have a wellness plan in place, but the law doesn't specify what the plan should look like.\nThe wellness plan that will be presented Monday will use the Center of Disease Control's eight points of a healthy school as its basis. The eight points of the model consist of health education, physical education, health services, nutrition services, counseling, psychological and social services, healthy school environments, health promotion for staff and family and community involvement.\nOne of the most important points in the plan will be the policing of junk food and sodas in middle and high schools.\n"Some of the schools, like North High School, have voluntarily gotten rid of junk and sodas," Staab said. "Vending companies are also changing what they offer in school environments and are offering healthier foods. They are trying to get ahead of the curve."\nThe Indiana Department of Education sent a memorandum to school superintendents and administrators on April 25 concerning Public Law 54-2006, "School Nutrition and Physical Activity." \nThe memo reminded administrator that by July 1, every school corporation must provide daily physical activity for students in elementary schools, and vending machines at elementary schools that dispense food or beverage items may not be accessible to students. Also by July 1, 35 percent of foods and beverages available for sale to students must meet the "better choice" criteria. This will increase to 50 percent in late 2007. \nThe law says "better choice" drinks are not soft drinks, punch, iced tea, coffee, fruit or vegetable based drinks that contain less than half real juice or have additional caloric sweeteners or drinks that contain caffeine, except for low fat and fat free chocolate milk. \nAdditionally, food items available for sale at a school or on school grounds will have portion limits if they contain more than 210 calories.\nSen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, recently introduced the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act in the U.S. Senate. If passed, this bill would update nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools.\n"Nationwide, these days, only eight percent of elementary schools provide daily physical education or its equivalent for all students," Harkin said at the Healthy Schools summit in Washington in September. "Meanwhile, according to the Government Accountability Office, the vast majority of our schools -- including 83 percent of elementary schools, 97 percent of middle schools and 99 percent of high schools -- allow so called 'competitive food sources,' mostly vending machines selling sugary sodas, candy and junk food."\nHarkin hopes to clearly define what foods are and are not permitted for sale in order to promote healthier eating habits.\nStaab said no vending machines are on during the day at elementary schools in Monroe County and restrictions would mainly concern middle and high schools.\n"There are a variety of things that impact wellness for students," Staab said. "Indiana has one of the highest obesity rates and we want to get that under control"
The Heart Project, a women's heart disease awareness organization, will hold "Untax My Heart," a jewelry sale and fundraiser Saturday. Proceeds from the event will go to support the Women's Heart Foundation.\nThe Heart Project collects unwanted costume jewelry all year long and will sell it at the event, located at the 10th and College Building courtyard. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.\nThe event will also feature heart disease expert speakers and consultants, including Dr. Jennifer Peterson, a cardiologist, and Betty Sturgeon, RN, BSN, CCRN.\nHornbone, a brass ensemble, will provide entertainment starting at 12:30 p.m. \nAt 2 p.m., an auction of jewelry donated by local jewelry stores and designers will take place. The event will also have Aveda mini-facials, chair massages, blood-pressure screenings and food.\nBrea Weil-Hearon is chair of The Heart Project and started the program in 2004. She has made it her life's ambition to help prevent women from suffering a premature death from heart disease. \nThe Heart Project has its roots in Weil-Hearon's mother's will, which stipulated that her jewelry and needlepoint not be divided until Weil-Hearon was 21. When the time came to divide the jewelry between Weil-Hearon and her sister, they were at a loss as to what to do with the jewelry. They eventually decided to sell it.\n"I do this in memory of my mom, who died of a massive heart attack in 1994," Weil-Hearon said. "She was misdiagnosed and was told she was just having panic attacks."\nThe money The Heart Project raises will go to benefit the Women's Heart Foundation. Some of that money will go to help educate nurses about heart disease in women in order to help correctly diagnose women with heart disease.
In a brown warehouse-like building near the railroad tracks on Allen Street, one would hardly expect to find an eclectic mix of thousands of compact discs and diverse musical instruments from all over the world. But that is exactly what is found in suite 137.\nThat office houses Rock Paper Scissors, a company that publicizes and markets world music and reggae labels in the United States for clients around the world. \nDmitri Vietze owns the business and tries to overlap music and culture to help people understand different cultures through the world of music.\nRock Paper Scissors serves a niche market in the music industry. The company caters to journalists who are considering coverage of its clients, clients who are looking for publicity success and music fans looking for new and old sounds from around the globe, according to the company's Web site. It is not uncommon for Vietze and his three employees to talk to clients in France, Germany, Spain and India on any given day.\nRock Paper Scissors serves clients like Auktyon, a Russian band that strives to keep that country's Bohemian past alive while incorporating elements of rock, according to the Rock Paper Scissors Web site.\nVietze decided to call his company Rock Paper Scissors because his business resembles the game of rock paper scissors, a game that is played in all countries around the world. \nIn the game of rock paper scissors, players try to predict what their opponent will do. Vietze said he, similarly, tries to outguess the media. He can use marketing techniques to entice the media about his clients, but he is ultimately trying to guess what story pitches the media will accept.\n"There are strategies you can use dealing with the media," Vietze said. "But you really never know what they will go for."\nVietze's interest in social activism and music started when he was in high school. Vietze was accepted to the Fiorella H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts in New York City, the school portrayed in the 1980 movie "Fame." Vietze said he was the chair of the school's anti-racism organization.\nVietze said his high school did a lot to promote ethnic and racial diversity, such as promoting an exchange program with another local high school. \n"I also participated in anti-apartheid demonstrations," Vietze said. "I worked on creating alliances between whites and blacks."\nAs a result of his social activism and anti-racism, Vietze received a full scholarship to Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. \n"I came in contact with a lot of people who were interested in changing the world," Vietze said. "But they were more of the hippy type."\nVietze thought he could make a greater impact through business.\n"I received my bachelors in business management in 1993," Vietze said. "Others at the school were majoring in areas like photography."\nAfter he left Antioch College, he joined a company that trained volunteers for AmeriCorps, a network of local, state and national service programs that help Americans in the areas of education, public safety, health and the environment.\n"We used music from around the world to help them teach about diversity," Vietze said.\nLater he worked at a record distributor doing publicity in Portland, Ore. He said this was around the time his daughter was born.\n"I wanted to spend more time at home," he said. "My office was in my daughter's bedroom. I was right there with the crib and the changing station."\nBrian Kleber, director of the South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, said Vietze is successful because he knows the industry, provides great customer service and works hard.\n"Dmitri is focused on growing the business and he has determined that he must put processes in place to do so," Kleber said.\nPublicist Jenifer Shepherd has worked at Rock Paper Scissors for a little more than a year and says she enjoys working with Vietze.\n"Dmitri has a great knowledge of the business," Shepherd said. "He has fantastic people skills and tries hard to satisfy the customer."\nShepherd said Vietze is very goal-oriented and puts a lot of work into his business.\n"He's very intelligent, driven and has an entrepreneurial spirit," Shepherd said. "He works hard to deliver the goods."\nAccording to Rock Paper Scissor's Web site, Vietze wants to, in time, make his Web site one of the most in-depth world music resources online.\n"I would like to replicate what we've done with world music in other niche markets over the next year or two," Vietze said. "I would also like to work on some other business ventures like a world music retreat center."\nRock Paper Scissors hopes to hire interns over the summer. Interested applicants can contact Vietze by visiting www.rockpaperscissors.biz.
Matthew Herndon recently received Bloomington's first "Outstanding Black Male Leader of Tomorrow" award. The City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males honored the Bloomington High School North junior with the award.\nThe City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males was created by an ordinance former Mayor John Fernandez signed in February 2001. The Commission develops action committees addressing problems of black males in the areas of education, health, criminal justice and employment, according to the City of Bloomington's Web site.\nCommission on the Status of Black Males Chair David Hummons and Deputy Mayor James McNamara presented the award to Herndon during the Black History Month Gala Feb. 25 at Mayfield's Ballroom.\nHummons said this award was created to recognize positive black male leadership.\n"We are always looking at the ills of society," Hummons said. "We decided to do something positive."\nHummons said the Commission plans to make this a yearly award.\nHerndon, who is 17 years old, plans to be a teacher. He is a member of North's Cougar Leader program and helps freshmen make the transition to the high school during their first year. He also serves on the Cougar Leader Council, is a member of the theater program, mentors children in the Bloomington Playwrights Project Mini-Play Camp and Festival, volunteers at the SRSC's Family Fun Night, is a hurdler for the track team and is in the top fifth of his class. He was also initiated into the National Honor Society last month.\n"We thought that he exercises extraordinary leadership with his academics and extracurricular activities," Hummons said.\nHerndon, who was nominated by his mother, said he was surprised when he received the phone call informing him that he received the award.\n"My parents obviously thought I was well-deserving of the award," Herndon said. "When I got the call, I thought, 'Wow.'"\nSince winning the award, Herndon has gotten to meet IU President Adam Herbert and other University officials. He is considering attending IU and is hoping the award might give his academic career a "boost." \nHerndon also hopes that being the first to win the award will inspire other black males to take leadership roles in their schools and the community.\n"It's kind of a feeling of setting the bar, being the first person," he said. "Looking at what I do, it gives people something to shoot for. It allows other young black males to step up to the challenge, break the stereotype and be a leader in the \ncommunity."\n--City & State Editor Carrie Ritchie contributed to this story.
The IU Art Museum will hold "Horses and Horsemanship" as part of its free Noon Talk series today from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in the museum's Special Exhibition Gallery.\nThis discussion will coincide with the current special exhibition "Horses in Classical Art" that will be on display through July 30. Nancy Klein with IU's Department of Classical Studies will discuss the role of the horse.\n"Each piece tells a story, and the exhibition guide tells that story," IU Art Museum's Manager of External Relations Emily Powell said. "The guide tells where the piece came from and what it symbolized."\nPowell said the talk will reflect on the exhibit and offer insight into horses in ancient times and today.\n"Even today, to own a horse is a status symbol," Powell said. "The horse was very intricate to people's lives then."\nThomas T. Solley, curator of ancient art Adriana Calinescu, put together the "Horses in Classical Art" exhibit. The exhibition is divided into "Horses in Life" and "Horses in Myth." "Horses in Life" showcases "works for ritual, decorative, or practical use," and "Horses in Myth" presents "legendary views of horses in the company of deities, and animals with horse features," according to a press release.\nThe "Horses in Classical Art" exhibit, sponsored by the Thomas T. Solley Endowment for the Curator of Ancient Art and the IU Art Museum's Arc Fund, features more than 100 horses and horse-related images on vases, sculptures, coins, jewelry and engraved gems from the beginning of Greek art to the end of ancient times. An exhibition guide is also available to accompany the exhibit.\nPowell said Calinescu thought this exhibit would appeal to many types of people. \n"Most people can relate to the beauty of the horse," Powell said. "She thought this would be the most appealing to almost everyone."\nAccording to the IU Art Museum's Web site, the horse was a major theme in art throughout the centuries and held a particular mystique for the ancient Greeks and Romans. The "Horses in Classical Art" exhibit explores the horse's legacy in many different representations, stressing vitality and shapely beauty of the horse, from natural to fantastic.\nThe museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. All exhibits are free and open to the public.
Bridgette Z. Savage of Stanford, Ind., recently wrote and illustrated her new book "Fly Like the Wind." \nThe book is based on the true story of a horse, Fly, and her rider George Barrett in the American Civil War. Savage got the idea to write the story from the Working Men's Institute in New Harmony, Ind., where she came across the mare's skeleton, along with a four-page account of the mare's life titled, "The Story of Old Fly." The book tells of Barrett and Fly's experiences in the Civil War in the Union Army's 1st Calvary, 28th Regiment, and how their friendship carried them through the war. \n"The librarian at the museum told me that someone should make the story into the book," Savage said. "So I started thinking about it."\nSavage said she used the oral history passed down through the Barrett family, thanks in large part to Barrett's grandson's wife, Patricia Johnson. \n"The first thing she told me about the horse is that they called her Fly because she was so fast she could fly like the wind, hence the name of the book," Savage said.\nSavage said she used a combination of oral history, regimental histories for Barrett's unit and newspapers to tell her story. \n"I stayed as historically accurate as possible," she said.\nSavage said it is not uncommon for famous Civil War horses to be found in museums, and she said Fly's bones in the museum help to keep the story alive.\n"The story is a living history in Posey County," Savage said. "It's like having a local hero."\nSavage said she received a great response from her first full-length book and plans to continue writing. Savage said this book was very rewarding to write.\n"It's the epitome of what makes a good story," Savage said. "Fly was not affiliated with political ideas, like the Civil War was. She's a mascot of the best of all intentions."\nSavage graduated from IU in 1979 with a degree in fine arts. She has a teaching certification in art education, endorsement in gifted and talented education and a master's degree in counseling with an Indiana Public Schools Counseling license.
Belly dancers with colorful costumes, exotic jewelry, convulsing hip movements and bare midriffs will migrate to Bloomington this weekend. But even though there will be special performances and workshops dedicated to the ancient art form this weekend, students can participate in belly dancing events year-round.\nThe Bloomington Area Arts Council and Different Drummer Belly Dancers will host a Tribal: Pura, a tribal style belly dance workshop and "An Evening of Belly Dance" on Saturday.\nCarolena Nericcio and Megha Gavin, two internationally recognized belly dance artists, will lead the workshop, which will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Phi Delta Kappa Center.\nBAAC Education Director Roger Meridith said the workshop, limited to 75 participants, is sold out.\nNericcio created the concept of American Tribal Style belly dance, a performance art form based on Middle Eastern belly dance that has been stylized and adapted for a contemporary American audience said Meridith. Gavin is the only certified instructor of American Tribal Style. \n"Carolena is the mother of American Tribal Style," Meridith said. \nEven though the workshop is sold out, students still have the opportunity to experience belly dancing in Bloomington and on campus.\n"An Evening of Belly Dance" will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday at the John Waldron Arts Center Auditorium.\n"The evening gala show will include nine individual performers and seven troupes," Meridith said. "There will be 39 performers altogether."\nMeridith said only 11 tickets were left for the performance as of Tuesday morning. Tickets are $15. \n"It's an exciting dance form that a lot of people are involved in across the country," Meridith said. "It's something that a lot of people do."\nBelly dancing is a combination of an art form, dance form, anatomy and physiology, Meridith said. He said many different types of belly dancing exist, such as Middle Eastern, Egyptian and American Tribal Style. \n"Our posters call it alchemy of art and science," Meridith said. "It uses anatomy to communicate."\nMargaret Lion is the director of the Different Drummer Belly Dancers and teaches "Belly Dance for Every Body" at the John Waldron Arts Center. \nShe said belly dance is the oldest recorded dance form on the planet.\n"Christ watched belly dancers," Lion said in an e-mail message. "It is a celebration of the body, regardless of size, shape, sex, color, or age."\nLion said belly dancing is also a good low-impact aerobic exercise. She said the classes she teaches have at least 25 students in each class. Information on classes is available at Bloomington Area Arts Council Web site, www.artlives.org.\n"I love the expression and earthiness of the dance," Lion said. "It is beautiful and can help anyone feel good about their body."\nLion calls belly dancing a dance form. The body must be conditioned and controlled to do the belly dance moves. \nAssistant Director of Fitness at IU Joellan Muyskens said the Middle Eastern belly dancing class offered by Recreational Sports usually has 10 to 30 students per session. Students interested in learning about belly dancing can take the free Middle Eastern Belly Dance sampler session from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Monday nights.\nStudents can also pay to take more in-depth belly dancing classes through Recreational Sports. The beginning Middle Eastern Belly Dance class takes place Thursday nights from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. The intermediate level class is Monday nights from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. All belly dancing classes through Recreational Sports are in the SRSC multi-sport gym three. Prices for these classes range from $35-$60 a session.\n"I think students enjoy having a variety of fitness options," Muyskens said. "Middle Eastern Belly Dancing is a terrific workout, and it's fun."\nMuysken said Belly Dancing is compelling to diverse audiences because of the rich cultural history from which it stems.
Superheroes like Catwoman, Captain Planet, Pizza Express Man and Superwoman made appearances Wednesday and Thursday nights at Suburban Lanes for this year's superhero-themed Bowl for Kids' Sake IU Bowl party.\nThe IU Bowl raised $22,000, and more donations are coming in. The organization had hoped to raise $32,000.\nRevenue from the event will go to support about one-third of the organization's operating budget, said Renee Tetrick, an IU student and Big Brothers Big Sisters intern. \n"Everything went really well," Tetrick said. "Tons of people came out."\nParticipants created teams consisting of five or six members and were encouraged to raise $500, but all donations the team raised were accepted. The teams brought the money they raised to the bowling party on the night they registered to attend. \n"Everyone had a really great time," Tetrick said. "It's a huge party with friends and you can support a great cause."\nParticipants also collected awards, such as trophies and gift certificates, for their spirit and involvement. Graduate Women in Accounting, participating in the event for the first time, won the honor of being the top fundraiser for its $2,804 contribution. The Hoosier Court Specials team from the Apparel Merchandising Organization won overall best group costume for dressing as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.\n"We had everything from Captain Underpants to Joker and Batman," Tetrick said.\nTeams were encouraged to create banners incorporating the superhero theme and the Civic Leadership Development team won the best banner award. \nOn Thursday night, Kilroy's Sports Bar held Bowl for Kids' Sake Night and the $2 cover went to support the event. Tetrick said there were more than 900 people at Kilroy's that night.\nIn addition to IU Bowl, Big Brothers Big Sisters is also holding its annual Community Bowl, which works like the IU Bowl except community teams are encouraged to try and raise $625 apiece. The Community Bowl, which is Academy Award-themed, started Saturday and will conclude March 4. \nLast year, the Community Bowl raised $142,000 and this year organizers hope to raise $176,000, said Beth Hannon, Bowl for Kids' Sake coordinator. She said registration for this year's event is the highest in the event's history. \n"It's the biggest party in Bloomington," she said. "Just with a fairly large cover charge."\nBig Brothers Big Sisters is a youth mentoring organization that serves more than 225,000 young people in 5,000 communities through a network of 470 agencies. Volunteers are paired with a child and spend time with them two to four times a month in order to help provide them with skills to manage everyday challenges.\nBig Brothers Big Sisters Director of Operations Andrea Smith said she hopes people realize the organization needs more than monetary contributions. She said she wants people to know that the organization needs volunteers, too. \n"There's a growing gap between the kids that have access to opportunities in our community," Smith said. "A lot of the kids we help have a single parent, a parent that didn't complete high school or are living in poverty."\nFor more information on the Bloomington chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, visit www.bigsindiana.org.\n"We're not changing the kids," Smith said. "But we're showing them what else is out there"
To commemorate Spay Day USA, the Monroe County Humane Association and Pets ALIVE Spay/Neuter Clinic will partner to provide 360 spay or neuter surgeries for $5 per pet to low-income Monroe County residents.\nSpay Day USA is a spay and neuter campaign that began in 1995 and is now part of the Doris Day Animal Foundation.\nVouchers for surgeries are available for purchase this Saturday and Sunday at Kmart West, and March 4 and 5 at Kmart East. Vouchers can then be redeemed at Pets ALIVE Spay/Neuter Clinic anytime before July 1.\nPets ALIVE Development Director Susan Dabkowski said a household consisting of one or two people who earn less than $25,000 or a household of three who earns less than $35,000 would be eligible for a voucher.\n"Most students would be eligible," Dabkowski said. \nDabkowski said taxpayers in this country spend over $2 billion a year on stray animals. \n"It's really a win - win - win situation to have pets spayed and neutered," Dabkowski said.\nAccording to Pets ALIVE's Web site, an estimated 5 million cats and dogs are killed in shelters each year, and spayed and neutered animals live longer, healthier lives.\nThe MCHA, which funds the program, has in years past allowed pet owners to redeem the vouchers at any area veterinarian. MCHA Executive Director Sarah Hayes said this year the vouchers will only be redeemable at Pets ALIVE Spay/Neuter Clinic because of their low cost spays and neuters.\nAccording to a press release, the MCHA has a long standing commitment to lowering the pet overpopulation issue in the Bloomington area through its Spay/Neuter Assistance Program and the newly launched Litter Relinquishment Program at the Bloomington Animal Shelter. \nThrough the Litter Relinquishment Program, the MCHA will pay for the entire cost of a spay or neuter surgery at the Pets ALIVE Clinic for the parent animals whose litters are being relinquished to the shelter. Last year alone, the MCHA awarded more than $22,000 to lower income Monroe County residents to assist with the cost of having their pets sterilized.\n"It's a way to motivate people," Hayes said. "Too many animals are without homes. It's a lot better for animals if they are spayed or neutered (because) it reduces the risk of many types of cancers."\nPets ALIVE is a local non profit organization dedicated to addressing the problem of pet overpopulation in south-central Indiana. Spay Day USA also coincides with the one-year anniversary of Pets ALIVE.\nIn Pets ALIVE's first year of operation, it performed about 9,000 sterilization surgeries on cats in 18 counties throughout south-central Indiana. The organization plans on adding another veterinarian and expanding its service area to include more rural regions in 2006.\nFor more information on Spay Day USA, visit www.monroehumane.org or www.petsalivespayneuter.org.
IU superheroes will take over Suburban Lanes two nights this week.\nBig Brothers Big Sisters will hold this year's superhero-themed Bowl for Kids' Sake IU Bowl fundraiser the evenings of Feb. 22 and 23. \nRevenue from the event supports about one-third of the organization's operating budget, said Renee Tetrick, an IU student and BBBS intern. Last year, the IU Bowl raised $20,000, and this year the organization's goal is $32,000.\nTo participate, five to six students create a team with a goal to raise $500.The teams then bring the money they raise to the IU Bowl bowling party from 9 to 10:30 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. to midnight on the night they registered to attend. \n"It's a huge party with friends, and you can support a great cause," Tetrick said.\nSince the theme of this year's event is "Superhero," attendees can dress as superheroes, and awards will go out to the best costume, best fundraiser and best banner. Teams are encouraged to create banners incorporating the superhero theme and drop them off at the BBBS office before the event. \nOn the second night of the bowl, Kilroy's Sports Bar will host Bowl for Kids' Sake Night, and the $2 cover will support Bowl for Kids' Sake. Tetrick said she hopes people will attend the bar event after the bowling party.\nIn addition to IU Bowl, BBBS is also holding its annual Community Bowl. \n"The theme of the Community Bowl is 'Academy Awards,'" said Beth Hannon, Bowl for Kids' Sake coordinator. "We're planning on having a red carpet and Oscar statuettes."\nLast year, the Community Bowl raised $142,000, and BBBS hopes the event will raise $176,000 this year, Hannon said. She said registration for this year's event is the highest in the event's history. \n"It's the biggest party in Bloomington," Hannon said. "Just with a fairly large cover charge."\nBBBS is a youth mentoring organization that serves more than 225,000 young people in 5,000 communities through a network of 470 agencies. Volunteers donate their time two to four times a month to provide children between the ages of 5 and 18 with the opportunity to interact with a positive role model. \nBBBS Director of Operations Andrea Smith said there are other ways to contribute to the organization. \n"There's a growing gap between the kids that have access to opportunities in our community," Smith said. "A lot of the kids we help have a single parent, a parent that didn't complete high school or are living in poverty."\nFor more information on the Bloomington chapter of BBBS, visit www.bigsindiana.org.\n"We're not changing the kids," Smith said. "But we're showing them what else is out there"
The Bloomington Community Band, an all-adult volunteer band, has an opening for a percussionist. \nThe band, which has about 50 members, plays about 20 concerts a year at civic events and public gatherings in Monroe County and surrounding areas. \nThe band always welcomes new members, but it particularly needs a percussionist who can read music. No auditions are required and interested musicians can contact the band's director, Tim Moore, at 335-1093 or come to rehearsals, which are held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday nights at the St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Bloomington.\nMoore said the band welcomes IU students. The band's only requirement is that musicians are older than 18 and can read music.\n"Some of our best players over the years have been IU students," Moore said. \nThe band currently has no IU music majors. He said the band does get IU members from departments such as biology and chemistry.\nMoore said the band plays at events like the Third and High Festival, the Farmers Market and the Fourth of July Parade.\nBecky Robbins, personnel manager for the band and IU School of Law graduate, said a number of IU students have been with the band for some time. \n"We have a pretty intense summer program," Robbins said. "If an IU student knows they will be here over the summer, it's a great opportunity to play."\nAccording to the band's Web site, a community band has existed in Bloomington since the 19th century. The current band, however, began in 1978 with sponsorship from the Bloomington JayCees and a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission.\nSmith said the band serves two purposes. She said it provides a service to the community by playing at retirement homes, parks and other venues, and it provides an opportunity for adult musicians to play high-quality music. \n"Our typical musician is someone who played in junior high or high school," Robbins said. "They are usually someone who just missed playing and wants to start again"
The Bloomington Area Arts Council and Monroe County Civic Theater will present "Sleeping Beauty" at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Feb. 25 and 26 at the John Waldron Arts Center Auditorium, 122. S. Walnut St.\nCatherine Wilkerson's version of this well-known fairy tale is part of the 2005-06 Performance Series at the John Waldron Arts Center.\n"We've got a really good cast," Janice Clevenger, the director of "Sleeping Beauty," said. "Developing it and seeing it grow is the joy of directing."\nAccording to a press release, in "Sleeping Beauty," the queen, Eszter Kiss, invites all the good fairies of the kingdom to the christening of Princess Gloria, excluding the bad fairy, Fearinda. Fearinda casts a spell that the princess should die by pricking her finger on a spindle. The good fairy Dearinda mitigates the curse by casting a counter-spell that will cause the princess to sleep for 100 years.\nOn her 16th birthday, the curse comes to pass and the king's court falls asleep. After 100 years, the court wakes and everyone lives happily ever after.\nA short play titled "The Emperor's Daughters," by Cena Christopher Draper, will be featured before "Sleeping Beauty." In this play, the emperor, Jon Clough, wishes to marry off his four daughters to his dearest enemy's four sons. The young people have no interest in matrimony, but all are happy with the outcome.\nBoth "Sleeping Beauty" and "The Emperor's Daughters" are appropriate for children of all ages, Clevenger said. The plays also feature many young actors. Clevenger said the youngest fairy in "Sleeping Beauty" is 8 years old. \nAdmission is $6 for all ages and tickets will be available at the door or in advance at www.bloomingtonarts.info. For more information visit www.artlives.org.
On Tuesday afternoon,graduate students Dan Wolfe and Cesar Kobashikawa hovered over a computer to work out details on their upcoming video game. Kobashikawa clutched his notebook that held the detailed profiles of the game's characters. These students can legitimately claim they are doing their homework.\nWolfe and Kobashikawa are students in the Masters of Immersive Media Environments program. Wolfe is working on his thesis about online game development communities, a combination of online groups, forums, blogs, wikis, tutorials and Web sites where programmers, artists and designers can come together to talk about games.\nWolfe released his first game, Asteroid Run, at the beginning of this school year. Asteroid Run is a 3-D racing game set in an outer space asteroid belt. \n"It is a small game that took about two to three weeks to make," Wolfe said in an e-mail message. "Since its release, it has been downloaded over 120,000 times from my Web site, been the 'Featured Widget' on www.apple.com and won an honorable mention in the Unity Dashboard Widget Challenge."\nWolfe recently created a special version of the game exclusively for Mac Creative magazine, an Apple magazine that has a print-run of approximately 40,000. Asteroid Run is available for download for free from www.newoldskool.com, Wolfe's personal Web site, or on www.apple.com under the software section.\nWolfe and Kobashikawa are working with fellow MIME students Victor Chelaru, Marc Carlton and Don Mitchell on BugWarz, a 2-D fighting game based on bugs with a hip-hop theme and an evolution system that lets players evolve and improve their fighting bugs over time. Wolfe expects BugWarz to be released early this spring.\n"I am also working with Mark Carlton on a maze game set in Ancient Greece," Wolfe said. "It is still in the early stages and is estimated to be completed in summer 2006."\nAccording to its Web site, the MIME program investigates the social and cultural roles of old media and engages in the development of new media for entertainment, learning, commerce and communication. \nWolfe said about 13 students are admitted to the program each year and of those, about seven have a primary focus on games. The others are more interested in areas such as video, animation, Web design or music.\nWolfe said he can't pinpoint how he became interested in developing video games.\n"I've always been interested in all sorts of things. Art, physics, history, philosophy, math -- they're all interesting," Wolfe said. "Making games just seems like a way to bring all these seemingly unrelated things together."\nKobashikawa, who works on the artwork for BugWarz, said he has trouble finding specific classes related to technical aspects of creating video games. For instance, he is unable to take a specific class related to animation. \nStill, he said classes like Intro to 3-D Digital Modeling/Animation and Intro to Interactive Media Design, available through the telecommunications department, might be helpful for students interested in learning about video games. These classes are open to undergraduate students.\n"Classes here are more related to the development of the overall game," Kobashikawa said. "It's hard to find specific classes."\nWolfe said other colleges offer instruction on every specific aspect of video games. He said classes at IU are less technical and have more of an emphasis on creativity and design.\nWolfe received his undergraduate degree in mathematics and received a minor in computer science. He said many different fields of specialty relate to games. \n"Physics and computer science help in the programming aspects of making a game," Wolfe said. "Math helps in balancing game-play and making rules and fine art is obviously helpful in just making a game look good."\nWolfe said he hopes he can make games as his career, though he doesn't want to work for a large company like Microsoft. He said he wants to own his own company.\n"I like having creative control," Wolfe said. "It can be difficult to manage everything, but it keeps things exciting and fresh"
An archeologist who excavates castles built during the Crusades will offer his commentary on Dan Brown's best-selling and controversial book "The Da Vinci Code." Michael Fuller, professor of archaeology at St. Louis Community College-Meramec, is scheduled to discuss his perspective at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures in a free lecture titled "'The Da Vinci Code,' Templars and Archaeology." The event is sponsored by the Central Indiana Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. \nFuller will discuss excavation of castle ruins of the Knights Templar and key characters in Brown's novel throughout Israel, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. He plans to examine the evidence these locations provide about the Knights Templar, who are associated with the myth of the protection of the Holy Grail.\nFuller said he started excavating early Christian castles in the 1980s. He said the castle that provides the most evidence about the Knights Templar is the Castle of Famagusta on Cyprus. \n"I have a piece of evidence the book doesn't have with regards to the Knights Templar," Fuller said. "You'll have to come to the lecture to see what it is."\nFuller said Brown's novel builds on scholarly arguments and touches close to reality on many topics, but is not academically reliable. \n"It stretches things pretty badly," Fuller said. "It's a good murder mystery, though."\nFuller said he is excavating a castle in Eastern Europe, but the current political climate in the Middle East makes it nearly impossible to work in that area.\n"I wish I had a good castle I could safely work on in the Middle East," Fuller said. "If we were there now, we probably couldn't safely stay there."\nJudy Kirk, assistant director of the Mathers Museum, said "The Da Vinci Code" gained popularity because of its intriguing and popular topics.\n"Dan Brown manages to incorporate well-known images, like the painting of 'The Last Supper' and the 'Mona Lisa,'" Kirk said. "These are images people already know. To think there is a hidden message is fairly fascinating."\nKirk said she believes students will be interested in the lecture because it relates to popular culture.\n"I think they'll be interested ... also at a professional level. It's fascinating to hear from someone who travels the world and excavates ancient ruins."\nThe Mathers Museum is located at 416 N. Indiana Ave. Parking will be free during the event on the surrounding streets, and parking for those with IU permits and metered parking will be available at the McCalla School lot on the corner of Ninth Street and Indiana Ave. Special arrangements can be made for people with disabilities who wish to attend by calling the museum at 855-6873.
South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center and inVenture will partner Feb. 8 to present Genius Groups, a 10-part entrepreneurial development series to help small business owners prosper.\nTerri Brown, the center's office manager, said Genius Groups will provide 35 small business owners with information, ideas and support. \n"All small businesses have issues," Brown said. "These sessions will provide information on how to take small businesses to the next level."\nSmall business owners who attend Genius Groups will meet the second Wednesday of each month through December, except for August, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bloomington Convention Center. Brown said attendees will listen to an expert entrepreneur talk about a particular field of business. \nJohn Goode, who owns MSP Aviation, a company that manufactures avionic clamps, is scheduled to serve as the February speaker, and he is to provide attendees with information on how to prepare a small business for sale. After listening to the speaker, attendees will discuss specific problems they have run into while managing their businesses, Brown said.\n"They'll have the opportunity to learn from other attendees," Brown said. "It's going to be the same group of people each month. It will be a great networking opportunity for small business owners."\nInVenture, located in the IU Research Park in downtown Bloomington, has a mission to provide entrepreneurs with business support, to provide a professional facility and to initiate a business venture with limited financial exposure, according to the inVenture Web site.\nBrian Kleber, the director of inVenture, said he hopes Genius Groups will offer entrepreneurs a fresh perspective on real-world problems. \n"Small business owners will be able to discuss their problems with each other and to help each other come up with solutions," Kleber said. "We plan on covering a specific business topic each month."\nKleber said he thinks it is important for small business owners in Bloomington to have a place to go and talk about business. He said he hopes Genius Groups will provide a safe and secure place for Bloomington small business owners to talk about their problems and concerns.\n"The guest speakers will have a chance to tell their story. We'll learn how they succeeded," Kleber said. "But then small business owners will also have the opportunity to learn from each other and to create a support network. This is something Bloomington needs."\nKleber said a limited number of spaces are still available for Genius Groups, and small business owners interested in attending can contact the South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center at 339-8937. IU students who have their own businesses are welcome to apply.
Middle Way House, Inc., a domestic violence and rape crisis center in Bloomington, raised more than $20,000 at a benefit art auction it held Saturday at the IU Foundation. \n"Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time," Middle Way House Legal Advocacy Coordinator Patricia Cummings said. "Things went very smoothly."\nCummings said between 125 and 150 people showed up for the event, which featured about 31 items in the live auction and about 60 pieces in the silent auction.\nThe top-selling item of the event was a Picasso print donated by actor and IU graduate Kevin Kline, which sold for $3,300. A Marc Chagall print sold for $2,200.\n"There were some serious collectors there," Cummings said. "People donated some wonderful pieces."\nFor an admission price of $7.50, attendees received a complimentary glass of wine or beer and hors d'oeuvres prepared by Food Works, Middle Way House's catering business that employs women the center has aided. A jazz quartet provided the music for the evening.\n"This auction was the result of four months of dedicated work," Cummings said. "We'll start work on next year's auction on Monday."\nThe event was co-sponsored by Bloomington Iron and Metal, Inc., and guests were entertained by auctioneer Jimmy Dean Coffey. \nLisa Morrison, media director for the auction, said some of the hot items at the silent auction were a mink coat, jewelry donated by Argentum and Elements Jewelry and a gift basket from Goods.\n"There were also many generous donations at the door," Morrison said. "The event was well-attended and there was a great show of support from the community."\nMiddle Way House serves Bloomington and surrounding areas by providing 24-hour hotline support, legal support, emergency crisis intervention counseling, emergency shelter and emergency child care for women and children. \n"The program has been around for over 20 years," Morrison said. "They have helped thousands of women and children in crisis."\nMiddle Way House's executive director, Toby Strout, said proceeds from the auction will support basic and emergency services the organization provides. \nMiddle Way House is also expanding with a project called New Wings development. It will offer office space, transitional housing and daycare programs in the old Coca-Cola bottling plant on Third Street as part of a historic renovation. The center purchased this property with the help of the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association, the Business Investment Incentive, Housing and Neighborhood Development and Landmark Historic Preservation.\nFor more information on Middle Way House or volunteer opportunities, call 333-7404.
Middle Way House, Inc., a domestic violence and rape crisis center in Bloomington, is holding a benefit art auction at 7 p.m. Saturday the IU Foundation on the 45/46 Bypass. \n"The auction will feature everything from prints to paintings and vases to wall ornaments," said Lisa Morrison, the media director for the auction. \nOne of the feature items that will be auctioned is a Picasso print donated by actor and IU graduate Kevin Kline.\n"There will also be some really interesting African art," Morrison said. "This will be a rare opportunity to pick up some pieces that would be harder to get in larger markets."\nMorrison said she hopes that Bloomington residents who are interested in collecting art or decorating will attend the auction, which will also feature a reception with beverages, wine and hors d'oeuvres. She said buyers will most likely find pieces of art at a fraction of retail prices. \nMiddle Way House serves Bloomington and surrounding areas and provides 24-hour hotline support, legal support, emergency crisis intervention counseling, emergency shelter and emergency child care for women and children. \nAccording to its Web site, Middle Way House's mission is to end violence in the lives of women and children by implementing or sponsoring activities and programs aimed at achieving individual and social change. \n"The program has been around for over 20 years," Morrison said. "They have helped thousands of women and children in crisis."\nExecutive Director of Middle Way House Toby Strout said proceeds from the auction will go to support basic and emergency services the organization provides. \nMiddle Way House is also expanding itself with a project called New Wings development. It will have office space, transitional housing and daycare programs in the old Coca-Cola bottling plant on Third Street as part of a historic renovation. The center purchased this property with the help of the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association, the Business Investment Incentive, Housing and Neighborhood Development and Landmark Historic Preservation.\n"(Middle Way House) is a service we really can't do without if we care about women and children," Strout said. \nIn addition to providing a safe haven for women and children, the center also offers the women it serves jobs in its own business, Middleway Food Works, a service that caters food to various institutional settings. Food Works will be catering the auction.\nStrout said about 90 items will be auctioned. Admission to the event is $7.50.\nFor more information on Middle Way House or for information on volunteer opportunities, call 333-7404.\n"We can never have too many volunteers," Strout said.