Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sedge Garden Elementary Holds Exception Children Parent Night

By Gregg Davis
Exceptional Children Teacher
Sedge Garden Elementary School

All parents walk a common path: they experience the joys and frustrations of helping their children develop into healthy, productive adults who have maximized their potential. For parents of children with special needs, the path can be a little different. The joys of parenting are no less but the challenges of helping their children develop can often be tougher and more complex.

Because of that, the teachers of Exceptional Children (EC) at Sedge Garden Elementary School held their first Parent Night on Thursday, May 25. The brain child of first-year EC teacher Zane Gibson, the program focused on two areas — helping children become more independent and helping parents locate community resources that provide support and developmental programs. Dinner and daycare were provided by the school staff so that parents could attend the program. Community resource providers, ranging from sports teams to educational programs to dentists who provide services to special needs children set up booths in the school cafeteria and talked to any interested parents.

Like all children, EC students are often more independent at school than at home.  The school system’s Autism Team gave a presentation showing parents how their children use picture schedules at school to manage their day. The same approach can apply at home and the Autism Team provided parents with schedules that they took to use with their children. The rest of the program was a parent round-table discussion moderated by parents with exceptional children. Through years of trial and error, the parent moderators have developed a list of community services and advice for how to best access them.

An extra benefit to those parents in attendance was the opportunity to talk about common experiences and share common problems.  As one of the parent moderators put it, “Just remember, you are not alone.”

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bolton Elementary and Knollwood Baptist Church

On Monday night, Bolton Elementary and Knollwood Baptist Church celebrated their friendship and partnership at a end-of-year picnic.

You will find the story at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Here are more pictures:

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Festival at Kernersville Elementary to Raise Money to Fight Cancer

On June 2, Kernersville Elementary School will host its first annual Relay for Life/Rock the Block event on the front lawn of the school from 6 to 9 p.m.

“This event is being held as our school continues its effort to bring awareness in the fight against cancer,” said Data Manager Kathi Amrich.

“We will be splitting the donations raised with the American Cancer Society and the Lydia Brinker Education Fund for At Risk Youth. Lydia was a fellow colleague at Kernersville Elementary School when she was diagnosed with brain cancer 12 years ago and recently passed away when it returned.”

“We will be dedicating a butterfly bush in her memory.”

“We will have an official proclamation from the mayor of Kernersville, Dawn Morgan, and the raising of the flag and Pledge Allegiance led by a local Boy Scout troop.”

“There will be games, music, food and an area marked off to walk in honor/memory of those affected by cancer. In culmination of the event, luminaries will be lit in a solemn ceremony at the end of the evening.”

“We are welcoming the entire community and hope to see them there.”

Tickets are 25 cents each to play games or five for $1. If anyone wants to make a donation, checks are to be made to Kernersville Elementary School with Cancer Fund in the memo line.

For more information, send Kathi Amrich and email at kamrich@wsfcs.k12.nc.us or call the school (336) 703-4100. 

Having Fun While Preparing for Exams at Parkland High School

This comes to us from Nichelle C. Carroll, the Family and Community Involvement Coordinator at Parkland High School:

“On May 19, students and teachers at Parkland High School celebrated Parkland Spirit Week to prepare for upcoming exams in the most creative way. During the PEP RALLY, the Parkland Band played to kick off event, and teachers and students participated in activities that included “Are You Smarter than a Mustang?’ and a dance-off between ‘Old School’ and ‘New School,’ where teachers and students exchanged the latest dance trends compared to their teacher’s generation, connecting and building positive relationships in meaningful ways.”

“While Parkland teachers are collaborating to engage students and families, we premiered Parkland's ‘Knock Out’ Exams video to inspire and empower students. With the complete support of our Principal Spencer Hardy, Family and Community Engagement Coordinator Nichelle Carroll, Parkland Translator Keila Gudino, and the members of our testing department, a few committed teachers and students pulled together to engage students, families and teachers. This year Parkland leaders are encouraging teachers, students and parents to share Parkland’s “Knock Out” exam video on social media to spread the word and remind them of the 3 B's to success: Be Rested, Be Prepared and Be On Time!” 

You will find the video on YouTube at Parkland "Knock Out"

Media Center at Northwest Middle Receives $7,000 Grant from Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries

Ronetta Snyder

Northwest Middle School has received a $7,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

“I am so excited to report that Northwest Middle School's Media Center received a $7,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for the 2017-2018 school year,” said Ronetta Snyder, the Media Center Coordinator at Northwest.

“This grant will enable the media center to purchase reference materials, books for high interest/struggling readers, books in Spanish and English, sports books, and graphic literature.”

The grant is part of more than $930,000 being distributed to 160 school libraries in 38 states for 2017.  

“Congratulations to the schools and libraries that have been awarded a 2017 Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries grant!” said Laura Bush said in a press release. “As a former librarian, I know school libraries play an important role in improving student achievement, and with this grant, your librarian will make your library the perfect place for students to fall in love with reading.”

Bush, who was one of the founders of the Texas Book Festival, announced the 2017 grant recipients while participating in the Texas Book Festival’s Reading Rock Stars literacy program.

At the program, Bush read to students and talked about the importance of reading to a child’s success, both in and out of the classroom, and encouraged students to continue to read during the summer months.

“During the summer months to come, I encourage every student to read something every day and for our younger children, to read aloud, too,” she said. “These simple steps will help students build reading skills and keep them ready for the next school year.”

This April, while in Africa, Mrs. Bush announced the first-ever international grants from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries. Therisanyo School in Gaborone, Botswana and Ella Du Plessis High School in Windhoek, Namibia each received $2,500 towards their school libraries.

The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries provides grants of up to $7,000 to our country’s neediest schools so they can extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections in their libraries with the goal of encouraging students to develop a love of reading and learning.

Since its inception in 2002, it has awarded over $14.3 million to more than
2,700 schools across the country.

You will find more information about the grants at Laura Bush Foundation

Friday, May 19, 2017

Graduating Seniors Return to Union Cross Elementary for a Parade

At Union Cross Elementary, school officials invited graduating seniors who once attended Union Cross to participate in a Graduate Parade.

“We've asked the seniors to wear their caps and gowns,” said Nela Hawley, the Instructional Facilitator at Union Cross. 

On Thursday afternoon, graduating seniors came.

“The seniors and our students really enjoyed it,” Hawley said. “We've had Career Day and we wanted to promote the college part of ‘College and Career Ready.’”

“It was nice having former students show our students that hard work and determination pays off. The seniors visited former teachers and took pictures around the campus...very sweet!"

"We had students from Glenn and Atkins attend. We also invited students that went through Union Cross from other high schools.”

“An added bonus was that the students from different high schools were able to see each other and reconnect!  We hope to make this an annual tradition!" 

"Our school safety patrol (fifth-graders) also helped with the parade and felt honored to be a part of it.”

Dancing Classrooms

On Thursday, fifth-graders from seven Winston-Salem/Forsyth County elementary schools and one private school headed to Ward Elementary for a Dancing Classrooms competition.

To read the story, go to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Here are more pictures:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Speas Holds Linguistic Competition with School in Argentina Via Skype

This comes to us from Virginia Spaventa, who teaches Spanish at Speas Global Elementary:

“Mind Workout/Ejercicios Mentales is a linguistic competition we host annually at Speas.”  

“We compete with a bilingual school in Mar del Plata, Argentina via Skype. Second- and third- grade students were nominated by their teachers and had to try out to be the final 6 in the competition.”  

“Each team is given a topic they need to develop and are awarded points for the introduction, body, conclusion, vocabulary and, most importantly, integrity and sportsmanship.”  
“Argentina's topic was ‘Countries in Europe’ and they were asked to talk about Turkey. Speas presented ‘La Evoluci√≥n de la Tecnolog√≠a’ (the Evolution of Technology).”

“Each team had four judges. After much deliberating, the final score given by USA judges was 62 to 62 and 50 to 50 by the Argentine judges making it an ‘empate’ (a tie).”

“We all had a great time and made new international friends.” 

A special thanks to everyone who helped make this competition possible:  

From Speas Elementary: Mr. Ash, principal; Mr. Presley, assistant principal; Ms. Jacober, IB coordinator; Mr. Whittington, technology support;  Mrs. Arora, Ines Rapela, and Sherry Wail, judges: Mrs. Castaneda, Mrs. Benavides, and Mrs. Basurto, 2nd and 3rd grade dual-language teachers.

From Northern Hills Bilingual School in Argentina: Cecilia Silva, Head; Valeria Verna, Head of Elementary School; Nora Barrenechea, Curriculum Coordinator; Miss Marcela, third-grade teacher, and Carolina Graf, technology support. 

To the parents in both USA and Argentina, thank you for supporting your children in so many ways – creating global learners, leaders, and inquisitive minds for a united and loving world community.