February 1, 2013

Make Leukemia Disappear

At Otter Lake Elementary School, students in Jenny Craigan's 4th grade class worked together to plan a "Make Leukemia Disappear" event held earlier this week. Each year, students in Jenny's class are challenged to plan a service project. Past classes have helped a variety of organizations, but this year the students chose a project affecting those in their own classroom. After seeing two of their classmates - Grant and Emily - battle leukemia, the students decided there could be no better project than to show support for their friends.

Students began preparing in December by creating a variety of crafts to sell at the event with all donations going towards an upcoming Otter Lake "Pennies for Patients" drive benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Among the creations were colorful bubble wrap paintings, plants with expressive faces, magnets with a class picture, bookmarks and shiny, tin can robots. Emily also taught her fellow students how to make headbands after learning how to create them during her stays in the hospital.

Over 100 community members attended the event to show their support and help the class raise almost $2,000. The evening concluded with student musical performances on ukulele and piano. One brave student even volunteered to have her hair cut and donated to the Locks for Love program. Many of the guests commented on how committed the students were to the event. On the ride home, some students were even asking, "Can we do this again next year?"

The class would like to thank parent, Stephanie Albin, for helping to coordinate the event, Bell Mortgage and Matt O'Brien for the t-shirts and all parents and community members who participated in the event

Setting the Stage

Fueled by the recent success of theatre programs in the White Bear Lake area, this spring is sure to be a season to remember with upcoming performances at every level. On January 31, members of the White Bear Lake Area High School One Act Play team competed in the Section 4AA finals with their performance of "Antigone" after advancing from the preliminary competition. For the second year in a row, the team walked off stage proudly holding a trophy after receiving first place in 2012 and second place at this year's contest. Members of the high school cast now set their sights on auditions for their April production of Shakespeare's tragedy, "Macbeth" - a story of ambition, fate, deception and treachery.

Also showing in April, the middle school players will be presenting the classic Disney musical, "Beauty and the Beast, Junior" under the direction of Connie Hamilton. The program recently secured a $1,500 grant from the Twin Cities Opera Guild, Inc. for the third consecutive year. The grant will help support the production by allowing for enhanced lighting, stunning costumes and a memorable set design. "The kids deserve the best experience possible," says Connie. "We have a great cast and crew, and this will make them that much more outstanding!"

Elementary students at Otter Lake Elementary, Oneka Elementary and Matoska International IB World School will also team up with Ashland Productions this March to present performances of "Pirates! The Musical". Set sail with the cast for a mighty adventure on the high seas! Tickets are on sale now by visiting the Ashland Productions website. We hope to see you at the shows!




Central Serves

At the end of January, students at Central Middle School rolled up their sleeves and participated in a service project to combat hunger in the Twin Cities. After school, several students and staff members worked together as a team of chefs to whip up and pack 450 sandwiches in just thirty minutes!

The bologna and cheese sandwiches were then delivered to the homeless through the Minneapolis Recreation Development's 363 Days of Food program. The program is dedicated to serving the homeless community, vulnerable individuals, disadvantaged youth and their families throughout the Twin Cities. "I felt really good about helping to provide food for people who can't afford it," said one of the student volunteers.

Central Middle School organizes several volunteer opportunities throughout the year as a way for students to get involved in community service. Up next, students will be helping to pack meals for malnourished children around the world with Feed My Starving Children this February.

Geography, Science and Art... Oh, My!

White Bear Lake area elementary school students have been busy over the past few weeks participating in a variety of fairs to show off their talents in geography, science, and art.

Otter Lake Elementary School hosted a STEM Fair with over 60 unique projects in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math presented by kindergarten through fifth grade students. Students choosing to participate in the fair worked diligently on their projects from initial observations through their final conclusions. Many community members participated as both spectators and volunteer coaches to help the students discuss their projects. Visitors also got a peek at the innovative technologies used within the classroom by experimenting on iPads and Chromebooks, participating in engineering challenges and experiencing the Star Lab.

Over 130 students from Lincoln Elementary School showcased their creative work in the Carlson Art and Science Fair at the end of January. Each exhibit displayed a wide variety of projects ranging from robots and tornados to sculptures and paintings. With such high annual participation, this event highlights how much families embrace the opportunities to involve their child in art and science.

Matoska International also hosted a Science & Geography Fair to give students a chance to inquire, research, experiment and draw conclusions on a topic of their choice. If you missed any of the events, you can still visit the Vadnais Heights Elementary School Science & Art Fair from 6:30-8 p.m. on February 21 in the school gymnasium.

Activities Updates

The Boys Basketball Team has earned recent victories over Park, Coon Rapids and Forest Lake. Girls Basketballplayers have won their last two consecutive games against Forest Lake and East Ridge. Congratulations to the Boys Hockey Team on their recent wins over East Ridge, Stillwater, Mounds View, Lakeville South and Park. Girls Hockey triumphed over Mounds View in a 2-1 game on January 29. A well-deserved round of applause goes out to the One Act Play students who performed at sections on January 31 and took home second place. Shout out to the Boys Swim and Dive Team for their recent victory against Harding. The White Bear Lake Wrestling Team went 2-1 this week with wins over Minneapolis South and Tartan. Congrats to Tommy Longendyke who recently earned his 150th varsity win!

White Bear Lake Area High School Athletics schedules can be found here.

A comprehensive 2012-13 District Activities schedule can be found here.

Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7578) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.

Upcoming meetings

Date Type Time Location
Monday, February 11 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, February 25 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201
Monday, March 11  Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, March 18 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201