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Cheers to the Quad Cities Community Foundation and to the Quad-Citians who already have given generously to its fund to assist area residents who've been affected by floods.

The Dispatch-Argus, Quad-City Times and Muscatine Journal are proud to join in this important effort with fellow sponsors Hilltop Campus Village, Tag Communications, United Way of the Quad-Cities, Quad-City Storm, the TaxSlayer Center, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the Community Foundation.

Your generous donations to the fund will be disbursed by the foundation to local organizations assisting in flood-relief efforts in the Quad-Cities and other communities outside the metro area.

If you haven't already made a donation, we urge you to do so. The fund, which is collecting cash and check donations only, is designed to give established relief agencies and other important local organizations the resources they require to meet the needs of their individual communities.

The Community Foundation will carefully review agency requests for funds to ensure that your dollars go where they need to go to have the maximum impact in our communities. And if you give to the Community Foundation fund, you ensure that every one of your dollars will go to work here in the Q-C region.

So please take a moment to join in helping our friends and neighbors in the Quad-Cities area to recover from the Flood of 2019 by donating generously at qccommunityfoundation.org.

Cheers to great educators everywhere, and to United Township High School for finding a unique way to celebrate veteran teachers and encourage future ones during Teacher Appreciation Week.

On Teacher Appreciation Day Tuesday, the school hosted its first-ever “Letter of Intent Day” for UTHS students entering the teaching field. The signing ceremony, borrowed from National Letter of Intent Days on which young athletes announce their college plans, was a wonderful way to elevate the profile of the young people who will soon be joining the ranks of an essential, noble, and too often underappreciated calling.

The popular slogan, "If you can read this, thank a teacher,"  is certainly true as far as it goes. But, in fact, today's teachers are called on to do and be so much more than that.

As UTHS Principal Mathew Wright put it Tuesday, “There are few jobs on the planet that can have as much influence as being a teacher. Teaching is the profession that makes all other professions possible.”

In fact, the most effective educators don't just teach kids, they inspire them. Like William Butler Yeats, they see education "not as the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire."

Please join us in thanking past, present and future teachers who dedicate their live to teaching, training and inspiring.

Jeers to a recent Illinois auditor general's report that paints a terrible picture of the problems at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The findings in the report aren't news to anyone, including new DCFS Director Marc Smith, the man Gov. J.B. Pritzker has hired to fix a badly broken agency that is charged with protecting vulnerable Illinois children.

“Nothing is more important than getting this work right, and the findings show serious lapses and problems,” Smith said in a statement following the report's release. “While the report covers the period from 2015 to 2017, we believe that the problems plaguing DCFS are deep-seated and have existed for years.”

The fact that 102 children died after having been under DCFS supervision during those three years alone is terrible enough. We shudder to think what the overall number of children who died because they were failed by the child protection agency throughout its history might total.

The report identified the usual suspects for the failures: too few caseworkers chasing too many cases, hotlines too overwhelmed to handle the volume of calls, investigations that began too late and took too long to conclude.

For now, lawmaker are calling for action. But we've been here before. The vulnerable children in DCFS care need action, not rhetoric. Only time will tell if Smith can do what a caravan of past DCFS chief's couldn't: Channel outrage into effective action. Once again, the lives of vulnerable children depend on it.

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