Thumbs up to the Student Hunger Drive, which teaches high school students throughout the Quad-Cities the importance of community involvement.

The annual rite of passage in the Quad-Cities kicked off earlier this month, pitting high schools against each other to collect the most food for the hungry.

The work, in and of itself, is clearly valuable. But the potentially lasting effects on students gets less attention.

Society only functions if its citizens are involved in official and unofficial capacities. Engagement is key. So, too, is understanding the issues that face a community.

The Student Hunger Drive serves as an introduction to dutiful citizenship to countless students. 

Thumbs down to a never-ending presidential cycle.

Democrats who fancy themselves contenders in 2020 are already flooding Iowa. They're slinging burgers at party events and shaking hands in parking lots. Mind you, there are more than 1,100 days before the next presidential election.

Didn't one of these things just happen?

Granted, President Donald Trump's first nine months have ranged from rocky to tragic, depending on who you ask. His disapproval ratings are sky high and his own temperament has undermined the GOP's legislative agenda. 

But c'mon, people. A non-stop election cycle is neither healthy for the national psyche nor actual governance. 

Thumbs up to Dr. Widad Akreyi, recipient of this year's Pacem in Terris Award, presented by the Diocese of Davenport.

Akreyi's relentless documentation of human rights abuses in northern Iraq and throughout the world embody the spirit of a the award. Pacem in Terris translates to "peace on earth."

Akreyi is a Kurd, an ethnic minority that's faced oppression and political discrimination in several Middle Eastern nations. Her activism against the arms trade, violence against women and political oppression are hugely important. 

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