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Adult Literacy Center to host second annual Project Q trivia fundraiser

Drake University students, faculty and community members will put their intellectual chops to the test during the second annual Project Q Trivia Bowl on November 19. The event features exciting prizes from community sponsors and will raise funds for the Drake University Adult Literacy Center.

Each year, more than 100 community members receive one-on-one tutoring from the Adult Literacy Center, whose mission is to improve literacy, resulting in enhanced self-esteem, daily living and lifelong learning.

Some ALC students want to find a job, while some are employed and hope to earn promotions with better literacy. Other students want to gain the ability to read and write independently in order to read to their children or grandchildren. Students come from all walks of life and remain in the program for an average of two years.

The Project Q Trivia Bowl will begin at 10 a.m., Saturday, November 19 in Parents Hall, Olmsted Center, 2875 University Ave. The cost to enter is $20 per person for adults and $10 per person for students. Participants may compete individually or in teams of up to four people.

During two rounds of competition, participants will show what they know about topics ranging from world history and geography to food and beverages, current events, pop culture, music and art. A plethora of prizes donated by Des Moines area businesses will be on the line, including one-night stays at the Embassy Suites on the River and the Marriott Hotel Downtown Des Moines, as well as a $100 gift certificate to popular Beverdale restaurant Chef’s Kitchen.

The Project Q Facebook page continually updates information on additional prizes and sponsorships. Musicians Rob Ankum, David Altemeier and Mike Woods will liven the atmosphere throughout the day as the Project Q Band.

Kerwin Dobbins, administrative assistant for the Drake University School of Education and a former member of the Adult Literacy Center Advisory Board, started Project Q last year. The project was Dobbins’ solution to bolstering funding, which pays for teaching materials including workbooks, new magnet boards and the salary of the Center’s sole staff member, coordinator Ann Murr.

“I’m a trivia nerd,” Dobbins says. He’s found that plenty of other community members share the sentiment. Last year’s teams included high school students, social studies teachers and everyone in between. This year, the contest was consolidated to a one-day event in hopes to increase attendance from 13 teams to approximately 40 and raise more money for the Adult Literacy Center.

According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, as many as 93 million adults don’t read well enough to understand a newspaper story written at an eighth grade level or fill out a job application. Learning basic reading skills helps citizens enormously in achieving their full potential.

— Maria Hanson, Class of 2015