Bethel B-mail: June 2019
Kids these days are eager to learn with technology. Watch as Fairfield Elementary School 1st grade teacher Talor Kirk uses Chromebooks every day for engaging and fun learning. It makes all of us look forward to school starting again in September.
OK, this one was…um…different.
Jill Robinson-Wolgamott, the principal at Prairie Mountain School got some double-takes when she first mentioned a Dirty Dash for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. It turns out their PTO fundraiser was a huge mess, and a big success.
Lessons From The Deep End
Here’s a fun, engaging, and rewarding way to keep middle school students interested in Science until the final days of the school year. Shasta Middle School’s annual Cardboard Boat Races is a tradition that kids have anticipated for 19 years.
A decades-old tradition continues at Willamette High School.
The top academic achieving students have been recognized for their all-around high marks on the SAT or ACT, their GPA, and for completing all the state essential skills for graduation.
The 32nd annual Willamette Scholars Award was presented to 23 seniors at a special dinner in their honor.
Many of them have accepted full scholarships to college where they will study music, engineering, physics, chemistry, agriculture, business, special education and more.
Some will also be playing in their school band, or competing in basketball, volleyball, or soccer.
They Have The Beat
Stacie Wicks is tying music to technology because tech is a language students love.
Fairfield’s music teacher has picked up another grant worth nearly $5,000 to continue expanding technology in her music class.
Grant funds from CenturyLink, combined with three other grants (and $1,000 out of her own pocket,) has allowed Wicks to amass 20 iPads. They’re set up with programs for note naming, rhythm recognition, and music composition like beat boxing.
Students just finished learning about drums and sounds to mix and record their own beat boxing creations on the iPads.
It’s a departure from traditional music education, but Wicks is convinced that technology is the way to reach kids, even in music.
Everyone loves a happy ending.
A dozen Willamette students were identified as sophomores as a group of students with academic potential, but with financial obstacles to college.
Two years later, they have now graduated with $6,000 scholarships, courtesy of ECMC, the Educational Credit Management Corporation program.
It was no cakewalk to the scholarships. ECMC students had to maintain their academics, perform community service, attend monthly meetings, connect with mentors, take entrance exams, plan school visits, and get accepted to a college or trade school.
Many of Willamette’s ECMC Scholarship recipients will be the first from their families to seek post-high school education. It’s their happy ending at Willamette, while another group of sophomores has just been identified to continue the story.
A couple of teachers shared some ideas, and their students are the better for it.
John Kreider walked his Willamette Senior Creative Writing students to Malabon Elementary to work with Johnny Deflaminis’ 4th graders.
The seniors were challenged to explain writing at a 4th grade level, which is trickier than they expected because it tested their own understanding of the content.
The fourth graders were challenged by having to defend their written narrative choices in a one-on-one setting.
Their two meetings became more than writing tips. The WHS students were empowered by learning they can play a bigger role in our community than they may have realized. The 4th graders were eager to learn from their older peers and show what they have learned.
The foundation has now been established for similar connections next school year.
Meeting The Solar Challenge
More than 70 teams came and went, and in the end a group of three Meadow View 8th graders remained on top.
The 22nd annual Solar Challenge welcomed 8th grade teams from schools throughout Lane County. Each of them had built solar powered electric cars out of EWEB kits.
The culmination of the classroom science project had kids racing their cars and designing concept cars.
Makayla Gordon, Taylor Marks and Sarah Nyguen’s car was the fastest time and again, earning the Meadow View girls the first place finish.
Another Meadow View team took second in the Design competition, a Cascade team finished third, and a Shasta team was third in the Art Concept Car category.
Walking The Grad Walk
Everyone agrees this is special. What else can get teachers and grads welling up with tears of joy?
For the 4th consecutive year, seniors from Willamette and Kalapuya High Schools caravanned to each of Bethel’s other 9 schools.
Marching through the halls in their caps and gowns, the students on the Bethel Grad Walk greeted former teachers and accepted congratulations from future grads.
The Fairy Fund
Malabon’s youngest students were there to show thanks.
Kindergartners and first graders visited the SongBrook retirement community whose residents have been supporting the school.
The retirees continue to feed the Ginny Iverson Fairy Fund, named for a former longtime Malabon teacher.
The fund is used to purchase necessities, like shoes for Malabon children in need.
As a show of appreciation to Iverson and her SongBrook neighbors, Malabon students sang songs and were generally being incredibly adorable, which was thanks enough.
Sketching A Message
Kira Morrison likes to draw, but she never dreamed her art would get this kind of exposure.
The Shasta 8th grader entered a sketch into a contest, almost on a whim, and now it’s been selected for a calendar that will be distributed statewide.
The Oregon Health Authority’s Problem Gambling Awareness calendar uses student art on each page.
To her delight, Kira’s drawing was chosen for the calendar.
She received an award from the Health Authority, a $25 award, and the knowledge that thousands of calendars carrying important messages will also feature her creation.
As the school year came to a close, this school garden really began to bloom.
Malabon Elementary’s garden became an outdoor classroom for students this spring.
Working with the School Garden Project, some Malabon kids were able to blend science instruction with the hands-on process of growing food and flowers.
Their school garden now features artichokes, beats, broccoli, tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, garlic, sunflowers, blue and Marion berries, pumpkin, watermelon, zucchini, lettuce, radishes and celery.
Teacher Johnny Deflaminis has been particularly active, installing the irrigation and spending many hours of his own time developing this special space as a sunny classroom for Malabon kids.
(Chrome) Book Builders
Community support is incredibly important for students’ academic success. Support came to Meadow View – Bethel’s second largest school – in the form of a $3,000 check.
Insurance agent and Bethel parent Mike Tingue got a matching grant from State Farm Insurance. Combined with PTO funds, the donation will help build the school’s supply of Chromebooks. The small laptops are used throughout the school and now Meadow View will have six carts of Chromebooks.
They are used for a number of purposes (see this month’s first B-mail story) including science, reading, and research.
It has been an identified goal by the school for three years to build its supply of Chromebooks, making technology more available to its students.
The list keeps growing. 641 students have received more than $780,000 in scholarship money from the Eugene Airport Rotary over the last two decades.
Another seven Bethel seniors happily joined that list, accepting $2,000 scholarships. Eight more former winners from Willamette returned for college renewal scholarships.
The Airport Rotary supports students from the north and west areas of Eugene and the surrounding communities. They are all happy to see Rotary continuing its tradition and adding to the list each year.