On April 20, over 300 students from Davenport West, North, Central, North Scott, United Township, Moline, Rock Island/Milan, Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley participated in Big Tables at Deere World Headquarters. The students were broken into groups and given the assignment to “Identify a cause or issue in our community that you and your table mates would be willing to rally around to make the Quad Cities not just a better place, but the ideal place.”  

Embracing the true nature of the Quad Cities Big Table, the young leaders had a chance to work alongside and connect with students from other school districts that they didn’t know to discuss issues impacting the future of the community. They were then tasked with presenting their idea to the full group in the auditorium.

A connected region is one of the pillars of the Q2030 Regional Action Plan, stating that we must come together and help one another in new ways to improve efficiencies, attitudes, and perceptions. This was a theme displayed throughout the day as a common issue presented by students was unequal school funding, more specifically between districts. The students brought up the fact that one school has iPads in their weight rooms, while another school doesn’t have air conditioning. The students from the school with the iPads expressed that they would be willing to give that up so other students in the region would have a better environment to learn. We share this with you as a testament to the selflessness and collaborative nature displayed by these incredible Quad Citizen students.

We have been so inspired and humbled by these students and all who participated in the Quad Cities Big Table. In the coming weeks and months, we will have video footage from Dphilms, photography from Fetography Professional Imaging and a report to share with the community. Until then, take a look at some of the images Chamber staff captured showing a snapshot of the students day at Deere World Headquarters  – including most of the causes they championed and presented.

Nate Clark Vice President of the John Deere Foundation and the Associate Director of the Corporate Citizenship for John Deere said of the event, "There is nothing more empowering than bringing people together and hearing their thoughts and allowing them to speak to see how they change people's behavior." And we at the Chamber, we couldn't agree more. 

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