• Stepping Stones
    318 E. 7th Street (Lincoln Community Center)
    Davenport, IA 52803
    (563) 528-0973

  • News, Events, and Announcements

    Local Artist Provides Art Enrichments

    Amie Rogers, local artist and Augustana College graduate, has been serving as an AmeriCorps service member with the Stepping Stones program since August. She provides art enrichment to Stepping Stones youth, teaching students about design elements and art principles, while exploring different materials, media, and techniques. Shaney Ford, Stepping Stones Manager, says, “Art experiences have always been an important part of Out of School Time Programs. They give youth an opportunity to learn skills, practice techniques, experiment, and talk about their work, in a safe environment with caring adults. We do things in Stepping Stones that most of us never got to do at home, because we didn’t have the right materials – or it just made too much of a mess!” Jennifer Best, Stepping Stones evaluator says, “Research shows that participation in art gives youth an opportunity to express feelings, nurture self-efficacy, and encourage engagement with the community. Read more

    The Extensive Training of Stepping Stones Staff

    Stepping Stones staff have extensive training. All staff receive a standardized orientation, complete with training videos upon employment. At the beginning of each school year, staff engage in 20 hours of professional development, and during the school year, staff participate in an additional 12 hours of professional development. Prior to the summer session, staff receive 20 hours of training. In addition, all staff members are required to be certified Iowa Child Abuse Mandatory Reporter. Working together is a key part of a successful Out of School Time Program. At our most recent training, Stepping Stones staff completed a group exercise to practice these skills. Read more

    Japanese Instruction at McKinley Elementary Stepping Stones

    Ana Ito, enrichment instructor from Davenport Parks and Recreation, is continuing to provide a Japanese culture and language program during the 2014-15 school year at various Stepping Stones sites across Davenport. We caught up with her recently at McKinley Elementary, where students were learning to speak basic words and sentences, and also how to sing two songs in Japanese. Check out the photos! Read more

    A Cooking (and Math!) Enrichment at Garfield Elementary

    On Wednesday November 5th, Megan Gilbert from the Pick a Better Snack Program stopped by Stepping Stones at Garfield Elementary to facilitate a really fun enrichment activity. Students worked with Megan to create homemade granola energy bars that consisted of oats, peanut butter, raisins, flaxseed, honey, and vanilla. Everyone involved had a fun time mixing ingredients and enjoying the snack, and there was even a little bit of mathematics integration going on during the activity. Nice going, students! Read more

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    DCS Administrators and Staff are Key Presenters at Statewide Afterschool Workshop

    Iowa’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers recently hosted 50 professionals for a day of workshops at Davenport’s River Center. Afterschool program staff and administrators from across the state attended workshops on everything from engaging students, to budgeting, to STEM and reading intervention in afterschool. Staff from Davenport Community Schools and Stepping Stones presented on the following topics at the workshop:

    The Role of the Principal in Afterschool, presented by T.J. Schneckloth, Steve Mielenhausen, and Tonya Wilkins (DCS Elementary School Principals)

    Engaging Students, presented by Sarah Harris (DCS)

    Hands-On STEM, presented by Jen Best (ISU Extension)

    Summer Reading Intervention Programs, presented by Beth Evans, Tarrah Parrish, and Shaney Ford (DCS and Stepping Stones)

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    2014-15 Registration Forms are Here!

    Stepping Stones registration forms are now available for the 2014-15 school year! To download printable PDFs of these forms, please visit our Brochures and Forms page. Read more


    Japanese Culture and Language Program Enrichment

    Ana Ito, enrichment instructor from Davenport Parks and Recreation, has been providing a Japanese culture and language program for six weeks at various Stepping Stones sites across Davenport. The following video shows Stepping Stones students at Eisenhower Elementary School singing “When You’re Happy and you Know It” in Japanese:


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    Washington Elementary Stepping Stones Students Have Fun “Clowning Around”

    Tomas Miranda from Casa Guanajuato recently stopped by Washington Elementary’s Stepping Stones program to continue a multi-day enrichment on the art of clowning. During the visit, students recapped what they had learned about three different types of clowns in the prior week, and then participated in a craft activity where they made clown hats.  Some students opted to create decorative, patterned hats while others decided to tell a story through a visual narrative. When finished, students voted on their favorite hats, and Tomas handed out prizes to everyone, thanking students for their participation. Thanks to Casa Guanajuato for partnering with Stepping Stones during our out of school time programming!

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    Music Enrichment at Wilson Elementary

    Bret Dale, Programming Assistant at the River Music Experience, recently visited Wilson Elementary School to provide a musical enrichment activity for Stepping Stones students.  Mr. Dale talked about the basic structures that tie all types of music together, including a lesson on the basics of sheet music and how to count to a musical beat.  He also entertained students with fun and informative stories pertaining to musical folklore and the history of blues music. Students greatly enjoyed the culminating sing-along activity that involved a Halloween-themed group performance. During the song, students joined in by naming bugs and monsters that, as the song’s refrain said, “don’t scare me.” Thanks to the River Music Experience for partnering with Stepping Stones to provide quality out of school time programming for our students!

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    Stepping Stones collaboration featured by Iowa Afterschool Alliance!

    Stepping Stones is being showcased at the Iowa Afterschool Alliance’s conference, “Impact After School,” sponsored by the Iowa Afterschool Alliance and the Iowa Department of Education. Program leaders Shaney Ford and DeMetria Isabel traveled to Des Moines to lead a session on community collaboration in after school and summer programming. The conference features best practices and exemplary programs from across the state. Read more