Bethel B-mail: September 2019
Roots of Empathy
Isn’t he adorable?! Five month old Dylan is a tiny teacher at Fairfield Elementary.
As part of the Roots of Empathy program, Dylan will help to raise levels of empathy in children, resulting in more respectful and caring relationships and reduced levels of bullying and aggression.
Each month, students in Jenni Muzzana’s first grade class will be learning about Dylan’s development and identifying his feelings.
Before and after Dylan’s monthly visit, Roots of Empathy will provide 27 additional sessions of instruction to help children understand their own feelings and the feelings of others.
We are grateful that Roots of Empathy is piloting in Fairfield and Malabon Elementary Schools, but it’s sure to be in demand throughout all Bethel schools soon.
Art At The Farm
An incredible mural is now on permanent display at the Bethel Farm, courtesy of a young, local artist.
Esteban Camacho received funding from the Art Bridges Foundation to create “The Abundant Web.”
The mural shows people above ground and the workings below the surface, and the inter-connectedness of people with the earth.
Camacho had a hand with this piece. Students from Kalapuya High School and families from Huerto de la Familia, who have a community garden plot at the Farm, helped paint some of the base colors.
After being on display at the UO’s Schnitzer Museum of Art all summer, the mural is now a permanent feature of the Bethel Farm, making a wonderful place even more beautiful.
At The Movies
This has become a very popular night, and it’s easy to see why.
Meadow View School’s annual Movie Night took place on a beautiful night, with close to 300 students and parents filling the open area behind the school.
Families brought lawn chairs, blankets, and pillows to watch a full-length cartoon movie on a donated giant screen.
Popcorn, fruit snacks, and juice boxes were available at cost, with some families bringing their own food.
It’s an awesome, fun, family event that Meadow View’s active PTO is happy to put on each September.
Willamette made it clear: the safety of its students and staff is the school’s #1 priority. It’s pretty much impossible to teach and learn without a safe environment.
That’s why the entire school stopped what they were doing last week to review safety expectations and procedures.
All Willamette teachers clarified the messages around Lockdowns and Lockouts, Evacuations and Countering a Threat in their school.
Regular conversations about what to do in emergency situations are valuable reminders of the procedures we hope are never used.
A Second Chance
All they needed was another opportunity, and it paid off. 11 more Bethel seniors earned their diplomas after making up credits during the district’s summer school session. Most just barely missed graduating with their classmates in June.
Nearly 150 Willamette and Kalapuya High School students who had failed classes during the school year had another opportunity to pass summer courses in Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies.
No one likes to spend part of their summer in a classroom. But, judging by the new grads’ smiles and the relief on the faces of their parents, the reward here was worth it.
Goodbye To The Bond
It’s nearly all spent. The $49.5 million Bethel school bond, passed in 2012 with a 73% Yes vote, is down to its final dollars with a few more school improvements still getting attention.
But, with thorough planning, smart spending, and careful management, the District has been able to address nearly 200 other needs. Everything from updated textbooks and computers, to safety improvements, roofs and windows, even restroom renovations.
The list of needs is still long, but thanks to voters Bethel is much better off today than it was seven years ago.
Transitioning In Place
This is a new idea. KITS (Kids in Transition to School) is being embedded right into the kindergarten classrooms at Fairfield Elementary.
Extra educational assistants help in the Fairfield kindergarten rooms, helping to teach about sharing, following instructions, making friends, taking turns, and solving problems in non-aggressive ways.
Kids in Transition to School has been a free supplemental kindergarten readiness program on weekends in the summer and fall for kindergartners and their parents. Moving it into the classroom during the school day is a different approach made possible by a United Way grant.
Fairfield is also using the KITS social/emotional instruction curriculum, and even the KITS reading program, which will transition into the district’s reading curriculum.
KITS is research-based. It was first tested in Bethel seven years ago. Embedding it into the classroom is the next step to teaching critical building blocks for future academic success.
Every year, a handful of Bethel seniors graduate with plans to enter the military. Some are nominated for the service academies, while others enlist and head to boot camp.
That’s why Willamette’s Career Counselor Christi Cameron and Academic Counselor Tara Roddy took part in an abbreviated five-day Marine Corps recruit boot camp in San Diego.
Whether taking on a leadership challenge at Camp Pendleton or straining through the fitness course at Air Station Miramar, Christi and Tara were all-in.
They also learned about some of the available Marine Corps career opportunities. Now, when students ask about options with the armed forces, Willamette’s two boot camp survivors can speak with a little more authority.
Lending A Hand
The plans had been in the works for nearly six months. An arborist visited, projects were identified, teams were set. Then, members of the Joy Church showed up at Shasta Middle School en masse and worked to give the school an extra shine just before the school year started.
More than 60 volunteers went at it, painting walls, doors and the breezeway. They built benches, trimmed trees and bushes. They cleaned out garden beds and filled them with bark.
The Joy Church adopted Shasta three years ago as part of Project Hope, which also has sent church teams to Cascade Middle School and other Bethel schools.
Each year Shasta has been encouraged to think bigger about projects they’d like to see completed, and each year Joy Church volunteers meet the challenge.
Lost and Found
It’s one of the great mysteries of life: what happens to all those lost and found clothes at the end of every school year?
Mystery solved. In Bethel’s case, dozens of bags of lost and found items were picked up at our schools in June by members of the Fairfield Church of the Nazarene.
Over the summer the clothes were laundered, sorted, and then happily given away to members of our community just before the start of the school year.
Along with giving away the free clothes, the church’s back to school event included a free lunch and haircuts.
The Road To Safety Town
If this is what it takes to be safe, then let’s have more of it.
That had to be the thinking of the preschoolers who swarmed Prairie Mountain School during this summer’s Safety Town.
Presented by the Eugene Police Department, Safety Town welcomed 128 kids and dozens of volunteers.
Children learned all about staying safe with skills such as Stop, Look & Listen.
Bethel is always happy to host Safety Town, providing a welcoming environment for this important training.