February 2011 Elementary Griffin Gazette Dear Parent, This month I want to celebrate and share with you the outstanding job our students are doing as they engage in their Giving Without Walls (GWW) projects. We can personally see the positive effects GWW has not only on our children and school community, but the greater global world we all share. Many parents at our last AR Assembly heard what an exciting educational adventure our Second Grade classes are on as they embark on their GWW project, Giving a Voice to Animals. For this extensive service learning they will be raising baby chicks in their classroom and then donating them to a local non-profit zoo. Our 2nd grade children have raised over $1,000, and are funding the entire project themselves. All additional money raised will go to the zoo. They have not only captured our attention, but the attention of Las Vegas! A local television channel will be covering their entire project and we will let you know when it airs. Last year our Middle School students focused on the GWW project, Disaster Prevention and Recovery: Innovatively Serving those who are Impacted. As a result, they made blankets for hospital children in Chile and Argentina and donated new encyclopedias for a library in Dominican Republic. This year, they continue their work by helping a group of young girls in the Dominican start their own soccer team and by partnering with a community who is trying to create a space for afterschool tutoring and extracurricular activities (Magic School Bus). The last two pages of the February newsletter address the impact service learning has: the article “The Whole Child” will touch your head, the story “How Little Lucy got her First Pair of Tennies” will touch your heart. Thank you for your support and giving us the privilege to educate your child. Thank you for being part of the “Power of One”. Sincerely, Ms. Barone February Events Wed. 2/2 Chili Cook-off 6 PM Fri. 2/4 The Pottery Shop Plates Fri. 2/11 Spaghetti Night Fri. 2/11 Re-registration Discount Deadline Wed. 2/16 5th Grade Heritage Night Mon. 2/21 No School: Presidents’ Day Fri. 2/25 Free Jean Day SHPS Spirit Week February 14 – 18 Details to follow! ADMINISTRATIVE NUMBERS (702) 617-6030 Mrs. Sandra Andrews: Office Manager email@example.com Mrs. Theresa Gotay: Assistant Principal firstname.lastname@example.org Ms Tina Barone: Principal email@example.com Visit us at --- www.southernhighlandsprep.com www.nobellearning.com
Uniform InfoSHPS school uniforms can be purchased through Campus Club Uniforms. You may call (702) 360-0555 or order online at www.campusclubuniform.com Our school code is SHPS1084. Deliveries will be made to the Upper School office for K – 8 students.A dress code reminder: students need to wear a plain blue or SHPS hoodie, sweatshirt, or sweater while in school. Other outer apparel may be worn outside school during recess time. Please label all clothing. GRIFFIN SPORTS NEWS GRIFFIN BASKETBALL TEAMS COACHES: Cy Frederick and Robert Moore JV SHPS 1: Simon Silva-Jahn, Seth Payton, Spencer Isley, Jovani Hawkins, Stephanie Magnuson, Chandler Martin, RJ Ayers, Jordyn Smith, Ryan Fain, Deven Aschoff, Kale Aschoff, Natalie Cooper JV SHPS 2: Kyu Kelly, Brennan Berti, Mickey Natole, Michael McKay, Aemal Beria, Dionna D’Orsi, Aaron Douglas, Coleton Klingenmeier, Carmen Cina, Anjelique Persson, Easton Berti, Jurnee Lewis, Jack McMahon VARSITY: Anthony Aceves, Chris Butera, Justin Boblett, Cami Burke, Alan Ewell, Jaylen Hawkins, CJ Iovino, Turner Klingenmeier, Leanna Loza, Rex Marnell, Ben Payton, Danielle Redding and Austin Thewes SHPS BASKETBALL TEAMS LARGEST EVER! Basketball Fever is catching at Southern Highlands Prep and can be seen by the large turnout of young athletes in grades 3 – 8! Our teams are members of the PSAC League and will be playing a total of 27 season games and then tournament play. Games are on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the SHPS gym and all are welcome to attend. Our players are winners on the court and off as they take a pledge to be a Champion of Character upholding the traits of: respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship. Let’s all wish our players the best of luck this basketball season! Go Griffins! Basketball Fundraiser Our basketball players are selling Fun Pasta and Brax Sports Cups to help support their sport’s program. The fundraiser is until February 11. Parents who buy 5 or more items will be eligible for a Nobel Tuition Raffle. Players will be selling in the AM & PM in the upper school lobby. We also have an order form in the US office.
PAC NEWS Activity and Events Committees Now Forming Don’t forget to provide the PAC with your email so you’re informed about all the great PAC activities and events PAC Meeting Wednesday, February 2 @ 9am For information on PAC and how you can volunteer contact firstname.lastname@example.org PAC SPRING GALA This year’s Spring Gala will be held in March. Tickets will be $50 a piece. The event will be help at The Secret Garden. Please look for more information to follow soon! SHPS Preschool number: (702) 617-1184 SHPS Elementary number: (702) 617-6030 VALENTINE’S DAY POTTERY SHOP PLATES The Pottery Shop of Town Square will be here on Friday, February 4th to help students paint plates for Valentine’s Day. Order forms have been handed out to all students. Students may paint their own plate for $15 or have a Handprint Plate made for $20. The plates will be fired and returned in time for Heart’s Day on Friday, February 11th. Additional forms are in the Upper School Office. • OPEN GYM NIGHTS • Want your 2nd – 8th grader to get some extra fun and exercise on Friday and Saturday nights? Sign them up for Open Gym held from 6:00 – 8:30 PM. At Open Gym students may play basketball, table tennis and other gym activities. The cost is $10 per student. • Open Gym is supervised by Mr. Mike Kawata (table tennis coach) and John Anderson. • - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - • # of Children:___________ x $10 = $______ • Name:_________________________________ • Phone #:_______________________________ • - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ! Spring Music Concert Date Set MARCH 30TH : 6:30 pm
The Whole Child: Part 6Each Student is Actively Engaged in Learning: Community EngagementThe Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s “The Whole Child” initiative embraces the notion that a student’s academic performance is affected by elements other than a child’s innate intellectual capacity or a teacher’s expertise. Indeed, other variables—health, safety, engagement, respect, relationships, and support—factor into the equation as well.One of the ASCD Whole Child Tenets states: Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community. The research on the value of student participation in community service and service learning projects is clear: Students who participate in high-quality service learning can be expected to show improved attendance, increased test scores, great problem-solving skills, and better acquisition of skills and knowledge related to language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies (Billig 2004 and Billig, Root, and Jesse 2005). Let’s look at different ways in which students can connect with the broader community: community service, service projects, and service learning. By participating in community service, service is done simply to do a good deed. Students have little or no involvement in deciding what will be done and the activity is primarily teacher directed. A service project generally is short in duration with limited related learning prior to service. Students have limited involvement in deciding what will be done. Finally, service learning starts with content curriculum alignment and prior learning is done before the project. In service learning the students are the leaders who look to identify a need and create an action plan; the teacher coaches and facilitates. Students are actively involved in each step and share responsibility with the teacher for all phases of the projects. Finally, the students reflect on the experience and celebrate their success.The Giving Without Walls projects embrace all of the elements of service learning. Each grade level is assigned a theme—animals, intergenerational, literacy—and the students, with coaching from their teacher, begin the process. The process, led entirely by the students, includes: Phase 1 - Investigation; Phase 2- Planning and Preparation; Phase 3- Action; Phase 4- Reflection; and Phase 5- Celebration. Last year was the first year of GWW. As testimony to the fact that the entire project is student-led, projects from the same grade level but from different schools varied tremendously! While the theme for the grade level may have been animals, one class may have chosen to conduct a pet food drive for the local animal shelter while another decided to make cat toys from felt and catnip.Surely, the skills necessary to conduct the project—research, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, planning, and implementation—will be invaluable in other academic pursuits. We saw firsthand how authentic learning experiences engage students in ways that traditional teaching and learning cannot. Teaching the “whole child” is as important as ever. Giving students the opportunity to grow as citizens in authentic learning experiences represents the best of 21st century learning.
How Little Lucy got her First Pair of Tennies: A true story about the ‘Power of One’By: Gitana Gotay, Peace Corps Volunteer, Dominican RepublicDedicated to: To those special people for always taking action in such a way that it inspires others to follow suit Special thanks to: Southern Highland Preparatory School, Chanelle Cohen, Theresa Gotay, Paul Gotay, Pablo Gotay, Erin Gotay, Sean Murphy, Larry Orton, Dave Anderson, and Chris Atkin – Thanks for teaching me about the “Power of One” It was the picture professional photographers wait their whole career for: little Lucy, too tiny to see over the girls bustling and giggling around her, sitting as quietly as possible on a small wooden chair squeezing a new pair of pink and grey sneakers in a bear hug so tight that a bear himself would not be able to get away. As I stared at this perfect snapshot, it did not occur to me to use the camera in my hand; instead, I just stood there taking in the sight for the remarkable feat that it represented. You see, little Lucy would not have been in that chair with those shoes that day without the care and support of others, and her deep embrace of the sneakers paired with her pensive face was proof she knew that just as much as I did. I am a Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in the Deep South of the Dominican Republic in Batey 7. Bateyes (buh-tays) are communities in the Dominican Republic that were started during the 1920s as temporary housing for Haitians and Dominicans working the seasonal harvests of the sugar cane fields. With time, these temporary communities have become the permanent residence of the sugar cane workers and their families. Over the past 90 years of the bateyes’ existence, there has been a dramatic drop in the value of sugar, machines have taken over much of the work, and the Dominican government has taken a stringent stance against Haitian immigrants by denying citizenship to undeclared mother’s babies. These changes have trapped the residents of bateyes in a cycle of extreme poverty; there is little work to be found in the fields, but people are unable to leave because they do not have the proper documentation. In Batey 7, nearly 50% of the residents are without citizenship, the average monthly household income is equivalent to sixty U.S. dollars, and 25% of the households have no source of income at all. The people of Batey 7 describe their state of living as getting by on “chiripa,” best translated to mean ‘by fluke.’ As a volunteer working in the youth and family development sector, I see and hear everything from who in the batey has leukemia to who goes to bed hungry. Sometimes the weight of these problems is overwhelming, but I try to keep in perspective that my main objective is to strengthen and better the lives of the community’s youths. As part of my objective, two months ago I started a girls’ soccer team. The purpose of the team has less to do with teaching the sport of soccer, and more to do with creating a safe haven in which the girls can build their self-esteem and learn about making good life choices. While I am often left feeling as though my efforts are trivial in the grand scope of the devastating poverty that exists in Batey 7, I recently was touched by an experience that left me feeling fulfilled and reminded me of what one my favorite novels describes as the “Power of One.”
The “Power of One” is better known by some as a “chain reaction” or “paying it forward,” but no matter what you call this phenomenon, it always signifies the same thing: taking action in such a way that it inspires others to follow suit—which brings me back to the story of “little Lucy.”In October 2010, I had received a phone call from my mom,(an assistant principal at Southern Highlands Preparatory School in Las Vegas), asking if there was anything her students could do to help the children of my community. I explained to her that none of the girls on my soccer team had sneakers and they were playing soccer bare foot on the hard gravel. She called me back a month later to let me know the school’s sixth grade class, (taught by Ms. Cohen), was conducting fundraisers to buy each player a pair of sneakers. I was planning on returning to the States for Christmas, so my mom and I decided I would bring the shoes back to the Dominican Republic when I returned. My brother Pablo caught wind of our plan, and set out to create a plan of his own. Upon my arrival to the States, I was surprised to learn that not only would each girl receive their own pair of shoes, but also a complete uniform set. My brother Pablo, his fiancée Erin, and a group of their friends from Utah (Sean, Larry, Dave and Chris) for a month had been secretly planning the purchase of 22 jerseys, 22 pairs of shorts, 22 pairs of soccer socks and 3 soccer balls. During this same time, my dad had even become involved in the giving by helping Ms. Cohen’s sixth grade class research which shoes to buy. Seeing all of the items for the soccer team and knowing that it was made possible by a small army of volunteers stretching across two states, I became overwhelmed with the feeling that I had been touched by the “Power of One.” Before I left for my visit to the States, little Lucy had been begging me for two months to join our soccer team. On several occasions, I had to regretfully explain to Lucy that not only was the team already at maximum capacity, but that she did not meet the minimum age requirement. On my first day back from my Christmas vacation, Lucy came to my house to inform me that while I was away she had turned 11 years old. Now that Lucy was eleven, or so she said, the only thing keeping her from being on the team was there were no open spots.Two days after Lucy’s visit, I learned another piece of news. While I was away, one of my fourteen year old players had gotten married and moved to a neighboring batey. Marriage and pregnancy at a young age are common practices in the bateyes and are some of the life choices I try to use the soccer team to combat. While I was sad about the news, I was happy that little Lucy would become the 20th member of our “Chicas Brillantes Equipo de Fútbol” (Shining and Brilliant Girls Soccer Team). When I handed Lucy the hot pink invitation to a special Chicas Brillantes’ team meeting, her eyes and smile stretched to new lengths and she threw her arms around me in a celebratory hug. Hours before I announced my exciting news about the uniforms and shoes to the team, I received word through the grapevine that Lucy had lied to me about her age. Nevertheless, little Lucy showed up to the meeting and subsequently was present for the special surprise. Leading up to the big reveal, I had been anticipating that the new equipment would incite the girls into chaos; however, as I pulled out the shoes and uniforms, my entire team just sat in a state of disbelief. After I repeatedly reassured the girls the news was true, they all erupted into an enthusiastic cheer, all except Lucy. Lucy has the smallest
foot on the team; she was the first to receive her tennies. As I fitted the other girls for their shoe sizes, Lucy sat with her shoes pressed against her chest and trying her best to become invisible. When I finally dismissed the girls from the meeting, Lucy avoided all eye contact and was the first one out the door. A few days passed and Lucy unexpectedly showed up at my house. Lucy was doing her best to decipher if I knew her secret, and if so, what I was going to do about it. While I could tell Lucy feared I would take her shoes away, it became clear that she was more concerned I was thinking of removing her from the team. I never did ask Lucy her age and I never will. I figure in a community that is living off of “chiripa” it’s only fitting that little Lucy be a part of our Chicas Brillantes Soccer team ‘by fluke.’ And while Lucy being placed on the team may be considered an accident, her having a pair of tennies to call her own is not. Lucy and her teammates will play their first soccer game decked in the nicest of gear because they were touched purposely by the “Power of One.” My brother’s friends were inspired to help because of my brother; my brother and dad were inspired by Ms. Cohen’s sixth grade class, and the sixth grade class was inspired by my mom. Witnessing the “Power of One” firsthand has encouraged me to believe that my biggest success in the Dominican Republic (and life in general for that matter) will not necessarily be something I do, but rather will be the product of a chain reaction I somehow inspired. Now, when I feel as though my efforts are trivial, I can take solace in the image of little Lucy sitting on that wooden chair clutching her tennies—an image that will be forever ingrained in my heart and mind. May the portrait of little Lucy bear-hugging her first pair of sneakers remind each of us that we can be a part of the “Power of One,” and in that great life-role, we too can inspire a picture-perfect moment.