Creativity pays off
Central Middle School and North Campus students soaked in the moment, as they were awarded for their artwork in the 2017 "Clean Drinking Water Starts With Me" Poster Contest. The students designed a creative poster exemplifying the importance of keeping water resources clean and healthy. They were encouraged to portray their answers to why they thought water resources are important and what people can do to ensure clean water in the future. They were able to receive cash prizes and gift cards for their hard work and commitment to the contest, which was presented to the students by H2O for Life. One elementary student also reaped the benefits of his creative work.
Oneka Elementary fifth grader, Isaiah Anderson, and his teacher, Maggie Clark, were recognized at Target Field for the Minnesota Twins "Reading is Powerful" essay contest. In February, the Minnesota Twins had visited Oneka Elementary inspiring Isaiah to submit an essay to the contest. Isaiah's essay was selected to be a winner out of more than 140 entries. He won tickets for his family to attend the game for Jackie Robinson Day at Target Field where the Twins went up against the White Sox. Isaiah was recognized on the field during a special pre-game ceremony.
With spring being here, art is literally in full bloom at South Campus. Art in Bloom is an annual event hosted by the Minneapolis Institute of Art where artists from around the area select a piece of art in MIA's collection to make a "floral" arrangement. Artists choose either to interpret the work of art literally or take a personal response to the piece. Each are unique sculptures using a wide variety of plants and other materials for the creation. High school students have created unique containers for their pieces from ceramics and selected flowers and plants that have both textural and symbolic qualities. The artwork was captured in this Friday's 62.4-second video update
. Their pieces will be displayed on the second floor in the Asian Collection, Gallery 215, right across the gallery from each other. Learn more about Art in Bloom
Middle school students are working on their roar as they prepare to take center stage for their performances of The Lion King, Jr. Audiences can expect to hear a well-coordinated blend of voices in popular songs such as "Hakuna Matata," "Circle of Life" and "I Just Can't Wait to be King." From the choreography to the intricate costumes, students are ready to bring families, friends and community members along on Simba's emotional and action-packed journey to becoming king. There will be shows on April 27, 28 and 29 in White Bear Lake Area Schools' Community Auditorium. Purchase tickets
today. Watch a sneak preview of the performances in last week's 62.4-second video update
. High school students also worked on a special show to reveal the trendy projects they had been working on.
South Campus students hit the runway, as they showcased their garments they created in Fashion Design and Merchandising. The Fashion Show was based on Huichol Yarn Art, where students created outfits by taking a garment and applying yarn over it to create a textile. Photography students did not miss out on the fun, as they lined the runway taking pictures of the show. This was an opportunity for students to bring a lesson in the classroom to life by creating a product and having fun showcasing their hard work. High school students will have another chance to watch their hard work pay off at the Excellence Event on April 26 at Jimmy's Conference and Event Center. The Excellence Event 2017 is a consortium of community and educational organizations dedicated to excellence in education.
From one picture-perfect moment to the next. Wing Young Huie has been working with 2,000 White Bear Lake Area High School students to use photography to develop cultural awareness. Now, the artwork is covering the walls in the 400's hallway at South Campus. Artwork with words such as "kindness is key," "I'm self-conscious" and "crazy" is printed across the black pieces of paper, giving students an outlet to express their culture and self-identity. The next stage of this partnership and collaborative effort, is for the students' work to be displayed at the White Bear Center for the Arts. This activity has been possible through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Visitors from Hangzhou Foreign Language School toured the district and learned about the variety of programs students have the opportunity to embrace. White Bear Lake Area Schools partners with Hangzhou Foreign Language School, which is located in Hangzhou, China. The leaders were able to walk from classroom to classroom asking principals and staff members questions and inquiring more about the curriculum. The visitors explained how they were impressed with the programs available to students. These experiences were captured in last week's 62.4-second video update
Community members, students and families didn't even have to travel far to explore multiple cultures all in one building. Vadnais Heights Elementary hosted a Rice and Beans Cultural Night to celebrate African, Chinese, Hmong, Indian, Latino, Native America dance, folk arts and food. There was even a photo booth for families to capture the moment. Cultural food was available for purchase. Beijing Opera face-painting, Indian henna designs, and Chinese calligraphy were also featured opportunities at the event.
Educators, families, students and staff enjoyed an annual experience, as they gathered in the South Campus Theater for the 2017 Teacher of the Year Extravaganza. Six finalists lined the stage including Katelin Held, Benjamin Kirkham, Rita Leonard, Dawn Maple, Nicholas Marty and Melissa Wickert. Stories were shared about the positive impact all of the finalists and educators throughout the district have on students' lives and development. Lincoln Elementary fifth grade teacher, Nicholas Marty, was named the White Bear Lake Teachers' Association 2017 Teacher of the Year. Congratulations! (Additional photos of the event can be found in the In Photos
section of this issue of the e-newsletter, as well as in this Friday's 62.4-second video update
It was a busy week for the National Honor Society, as they hosted their biannual blood drive. More than 100 students and staff signed up to donate blood. There are four co-chairs from the National Honor Society who help organize and lead the drives during the year, and students' parents volunteer to assist in the canteen recovery area. After participants donated blood, they could enjoy donuts from Grandma's Bakery to replenish their bodies and celebrate their contributions to the success of the drive. The American Red Cross sponsors scholarships for National Honor Society students based on how many pints of blood were collected. They ended up collecting 59 pints of blood. The experience was captured in this Friday's 62.4-second video update
. A band-aid was not necessary at the National Honor Society Banquet and Induction Ceremony held where 70 juniors were inducted into the organization and 30 senior members were recognized. This banquet is held to honor the current members and new inductees. Administrators, school board members, faculty council teachers, current senior officers and parents are invited to attend the event. The current senior members work hard at planning the event, and even selected a "Star Wars" theme this year to add a unique flare to the event.
Student Council students have been focusing their time and energy on helping children with life-threatening medical conditions. The students have a goal to raise $3,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This organization aims to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions. The students are looking forward to supporting a cause they feel passionate about. Donations are being accepted by Joshua Lane at South Campus and Allison McCann at North Campus through Friday, April 28 and can also be made electronically on this fundraising page
While high school students focused on serving children, the Vadnais Heights Student Council coordinated a clean-up of the Bear's Backyard to serve the environment. In honor of Earth Day, the students worked to clean up garbage and work on the buckthorn problem on seven acres of the school's property. Buckthorn is an invasive species that threatens the future of forests, wetlands, prairies and other natural habitats, as it shades out plants that grow on the forest floor. It grows extremely thick, as a result, it out-competes native plants for nutrients, light and moisture. Forty individuals supported this initiative including students, parents, community members and staff who all worked together to positively impact the outdoor classroom. Vadnais Heights Elementary partnered with Tamarack Nature Center and the Vadnais Land and Water Management Organization to maximize the Bear's Backyard for student instruction and environmental awareness.
Quick, queen and quilt were just a few of the fun "q" words kindergarten students at Birch Lake Elementary were learning about. The students were dressed as queens and quarterbacks, as they had a wedding for the letters "q" and "u." The classroom participated in various activities to remind students that "q" and "u" are stuck like glue. They worked on cutting and putting together a book to remind themselves of the different words that are quite fun to recite containing the letters. This experience was captured in this Friday's 62.4-second video update
. Families also recently had the opportunity to attend kindergarten open houses across the district.
High school students were able to embrace new lessons as Coach Cheryl Reeve and the Lynx Basketball Academy Team came to visit their Recreational Games class for a question and answer session and to run drills/skill work with the students. Coach Reeve began the session with a great motivational conversation about determination, sacrifice, selflessness, hard work, communication, body language and what success takes, looks and feels like. After the conversation, the students split into groups and rotated through stations, working on skills and playing games with the Basketball Academy Team. At the end of their time together, each student could get an autograph from Coach Reeve as well as a free student ticket voucher.
62.4-second video updates