Monday, June 15, 2015

Grants Enable Music Teacher at Speas Elementary School to Offer "Hooked on Strings" Class This Coming Year

Roger Bowen
Roger Bowen, who teaches music at Speas Elementary School, has been awarded a 2015-2016 Ecolab Vision for Learning Grant for $3,000.

He also has received a 2015 Teacher Grant for  $1,500 from the Winston-Salem Foundation.

The Ecolab grant will enable Bowen to start a new program at Speas this coming school year. Called "Hooked on Strings," it will introduce fourth-graders to playing the violin and studying music in a more creative and challenging way.

They will have lessons one day per week for 30 minutes. They will prepare recitals to share with family and fellow students. Parents will be involved in the program as they will have to make sure that the students are practicing at home so that they can progress in class, and be their best.

The program will provide a foundation for joining the orchestra or band in middle school.

The Winston-Salem Foundation grant will enable Bowen to study at Appalachian State University this summer. He will be taking the Level 1 Course for the Orff-Schulwerk method of teaching.

It is a child-centered approach that combines speech, movement, singing and playing recorders and other instruments as part of a creative atmosphere in which students are engaged in the music-making process.

The Ecolab company describes itself as is “an American global provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services to the food, energy, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets."

The Ecolabs grant program for school educators (teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and other licensed staff) was created “to encourage and reward individual educators’ creativity and innovation in classroom learning by providing opportunities that will motivate and challenge students intellectually, raise student achievement, as well as increase their understanding of academic content and the connection between school and life.”

Friday, June 12, 2015

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Students at Hall-Woodward and Speas Elementary Schools Receive Books to Take Home and Keep

Here are some more photos from the story about students at Hall-Woodward and Speas elementary schools receiving books to take home and keep.

To read the story, go to Summer Reading

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Students at Southwest Elementary Sell Lemonade to Fight Childhood Cancer

On Tuesday June 9, students in Exceptional Children (EC) classes at Southwest Elementary School and members of the school’s Student Council held the school’s fourth annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand to raise money to fight childhood cancer. The money raised went to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). 

Superintendent Beverly Emory was there, and, in a thank-you note to her, Maria Vernon, a speech-language pathologist at the school, wrote:

“Thank you so much for coming to Southwest and being a part of our lemonade stand and your generous donation. You look great in yellow!  We sold 925 cups of lemonade and, so far, we have raised over $4,100 to support ALSF, surpassing our goal of $3,000. 

“Most importantly we saw how our school, community and friends came together to support four classes of EC children as they participated in the fourth annual Alex's Lemonade Stand…I love that our school and students had the opportunity to shine by helping others one cup at a time.”

Running the stand had the fringe benefit of giving students the opportunity to work on their academic and communication skills. While organizing the event, they sequenced the steps to make the lemonade, practiced their addition and subtraction skills with money, and learned how to use appropriate social skills while selling the lemonade.

Students sold the lemonade for 50 cents a cup. As part of the activities, members of the student council sold paper lemons for $1 to decorate the hallways of Southwest honoring and remembering those individuals who are fighting or have fought cancer. 

Twelve years ago, Alexandra “Alex” Scott challenged the nation to help her raise $1 million toward finding cures for all kids with cancer, one cup of lemonade at a time.

National Lemonade Days is a three day national event that grew out of Alex's front yard lemonade stand and is held every year during the same weekend in June. During National Lemonade Days, volunteers sponsor thousands of Alex's Lemonade Stands across the country. This year, more 10,000 volunteers organized 2,000 Alex’s Lemonade Stands across the country.

Photos are courtesy of Tracy Krell. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Exceptional People Serving Exceptional Children: Part 4

Chari Fischer
This is the fourth installment from a new series in The Exceptional Times that highlights people in the Exceptional Children Department.

Officially, Chari Fischer is the administrative assistant to the elementary program managers as well as the speech program manager; however, she is much more than that.

She is an integral part of the EC Division and can be counted on for anything and everything. She is dedicated, dependable and delightful. Often co-workers stop by her desk for a dose of her spry wit and entertaining personality.

The EC Division handles a huge amount of paperwork, meetings, schedules, training, materials, and a multitude of miscellaneous. Chari can be counted on to handle whatever comes her way, and does it with a smile on her face.

She is flexible, adaptable and committed. Whether she is driving to a school, helping set up a meeting, taking minutes, making last minute copies, answering endless phone calls or cooking for one of the EC potlucks; Chari handles it all with ease and alacrity.

The EC Division appreciates Chari Fischer.