Southport’s sixth graders recently enjoyed an engaging, positive, and busy day at their second annual 6th Grade Student Retreat.
Students began the day all together in the gym giving positive affirmations to each other in an unusual twist of musical chairs. They were next split into small groups with adult team leaders and sent out to participate in various team building activities throughout the day.
They played games and had small group discussions where they learned about each others likes and dislikes. They wrote motivational letters to their future selves, which will be returned to each one later on in the year to see their progress. Some students were emotional as they read their Palanca letters, which are letters of encouragement, from teachers, staff, and family members.
Port St. Lucie Mayor Greg Oravec and former Southport Middle School student Carlos Nunez gave inspirational speeches about important topics such as potential, self-respect, self-esteem, and bullying.
At the end of the day everyone came back together to watch each group perform a skit to show the effects of bullying. All students participated and each group put on a great performance.
Those students with permission to stay after school enjoyed a pizza dinner and then went for a “walk a day in a life of a middle school student” blindfolded with an adult around campus and finally were welcomed into the media center to enjoy conversation together. The Retreat was a wonderful opportunity for all students and facilitators to build long lasting relationships with each other.
Saturday, November 5th was a great day for the marching bands of SLPS as they performed in the District 13 Marching Band Music Performance Assessment (MPA)! The MPA is equal to FSA for classroom assessment. Band performances are assessed by critical experts in the field, and bands receive ratings in five categories by six judges. The highest two ratings are Superior (1) and Excellent (2).
SLPS always strives for its bands to score at a 2 or higher. The following ratings were achieved from this year’s Marching MPAs:
Fort Pierce Central High School – 1 – Superior
Fort Pierce Westwood High School – 1 – Superior
Port St. Lucie High School – 2 – Excellent
St. Lucie West Centennial High School – 2 – Excellent
SLW Centennial student, Kyana Munao, qualified and participated in the FHSAA Cross Country State Championship for the second time in her four years as an Eagle runner. Kyana was only one of two athletes from St. Lucie County to qualify for State. Congratulations, Kyana!
On Saturday, November 5th, Gaines Academy AVID students went to the Amway Center, where they spent the day hearing speakers who participated in the AVID program through high school and how AVID prepared them for college and their current roles with the Orlando Magic. In addition to these speakers, co-founder and Magic Executive Pat Williams took the time to speak and answer questions for the students. After which, they participated in a college fair in the arena, and were able to talk to and ask questions of representatives from 16 different Florida schools, including Steston, Full Sail, FAMU, UF and FSU. After a long day of college experience activities, the students attended the Magic v. Wizards game.
Students from White City Elementary in Mrs. Buescher’s kindergarten class were able to observe various types of pumpkins and gourds. Miss Kitty read them a story and students were able to tell the events that happened in the correct order. She then cut a pumpkin open and the students could explore the inside. The students were able to understand the properties of matter and categorize the pumpkin using their five senses.Each student brought a pumpkin home.
The Speakers Bureau Special Guest at Dan McCarty Middle School was Joseph Dillard, a consultant, author, and motivational speaker. Mr. Dillard shared in depth his testimony, and a story of triumph, persistence, tenacity, and willingness. Questions he would ask himself when he was younger included: “How can I survive in a world that’s so cold and lonely?” and “Why me?”
He told the students that, “Life will be tough, challenging, and difficult. But there’s HOPE! Without an education, life becomes complicated; it’s up to you to ask questions. Your current circumstances do not define your accomplishments or ability to succeed.”
He also shared a quote by Muhammad Ali. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Mr. Dillard emphasized to students the need to understand that true success comes from within, and he also stressed that the choices students make will determine their success in life. Mr. Dillard posed a question to the students, “What are you doing to raise the bar?” You must be willing to fail at something, until you get it right, and he pointed out to the students throughout his presentation “I CAN, I WILL, I MUST!”
The students and staff at the Pace Center for Girls welcomed Mrs. Wydee’a Wilson, the Chief Probation Officer for Circuit 19, and radio host for the Pay It Forward show on 104.5 the Flame as a guest speaker in the Speakers Bureau series. Mrs. Wilson used her presentation to educate, motivate, and empower. She opened by delivering Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou.
Mrs. Wilson spoke a lot about her family life growing up in which she was 1 of 5 children. She, being the oldest, came from very humble beginnings. Early on she found herself being bullied often due to being so quiet and shy. She observed a lot in her household growing up, and even though she was athletic and studious, she would often act out because of the dysfunction she witnessed. She recounted on her many experiences of growing up and shared a very personal, yet moving story. Mrs. Wilson left the young ladies with some valuable advice: “Be truthful and real with who you are and what you’re experiencing. Believe in something. You’re unique and special. Fulfill your purpose and be a blessing to other people.” Mrs. Wilson believes success is about how you help and treat one another.
The Speakers Bureau Special Guest at Dale Cassens Educational Complex was Mr. Octavius Robinson, a Teacher on Special Assignment (TSA) for St. Lucie County Public Schools. Mr. Robinson told the students that DCEC was the first school he ever taught at when he became a teacher in 2007. At the time he taught science and social studies and he was also the named the First Year Teacher of the Year at that school. In addition, Mrs. Harden, the students’ principal, was the principal who hired him at Dale Cassens.
However, Mr. Robinson acknowledged that, as a student, he was disruptive due to personal challenges and that although he made a lot of wrong decisions, he learned how to bounce back from those decisions. He stressed to the students that we are in charge of our own destinies. He told the audience, “The instructions that I follow, determine the future I shall have.” He shared the definition of a SMART Goal — S=Sensible, M=Measurable, A=Attainable, R=Realistic, T=Timely. He left the students with this message: “Whatever you put your mind to, you can accomplish. Set your focus, set your mind.”
Those 5th grade students who displayed fluency with their 0-12 division facts were celebrated with an ice cream sundae party! Their hard work and effort was something to be commended. Parents shared in the fun and earned some sweet treats as well. Great job to all of those who earned this privilege!
St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) recently hosted the St. Lucie Soars Take-off Ceremony — an event held at the Treasure Coast International Airport in a BEDE AERO Southeast hanger. The event, supported by community leaders, served to kick-off the kindergarten through third grade early literacy initiative and highlight the importance of reading.
St. Lucie Soars is a SLPS literacy effort that includes a community initiative in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters to recruit volunteers and mentors to help close the gap on third grade literacy. The gift of reading opens the door to the world for students. Consider becoming a volunteer for St. Lucie Soars, and you will be helping a child in become a proficient reader.
St. Lucie Public Schools Superintendent E. Wayne Gent
Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson
Port St. Lucie Mayor Gregory Oravec
Dr. Judi Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters, is presented with a $5,000 donation from
The St. Lucie Education Foundation by Thom Jones and Representative Larry Lee.
Mr. Jim Bede is presented with a certificate of appreciation for donating BEDE AERO Southeast air hanger for the event.
The students of Windmill Point Elementary School participated in a mock presidential election. The students took part in the mock election in their technology class and were able to “vote” for president and senator!
Northport welcomed twelve local veterans into the school media center recently to honor Veterans Day and to teach students about words with very important meanings like service, sacrifice, integrity, grit, and commitment. The group of veterans are an integral part of the fabric of Northport and they bring their very important message to the children of the school regularly. Students in Jennifer Lusardi’s and Kristin Schrader’s second grade classes, Michelle Kemp’s third grade class, and middle grades students from the seventh and eighth grade Stingray and Dolphins team were engaged and asked important questions. Students at Northport are blanketed in lessons about respect, patriotism, and service at an early age. Administrators, teachers, media services personnel, and support staff work diligently to scaffold lessons learned at home about the sacrifices that our veterans make and the love and respect that is offered to those who have served us so selflessly.
Many thanks to our Northport Veteran Partners in Education for once again offering students great lessons on democracy, civics, and community engagement. Students were quick to lavish thanks and shook hands with our veterans as the program wrapped up and each understood the gravity of the day’s lessons.
At Mariposa Elementary’s book fair, many students benefited from a special donation from two brothers, Antonio Delatorre and Alejandro Delatorre. The brothers each donated $10 along with a letter they individually wrote indicating that they would like the money to benefit students who cannot afford a book. It was a very special donation indeed and many students went home with books because of their generous donation!
Also, the book fair hosted a “Books and Bubbly” event for teachers and staff. It included homemade appetizers and sparkling cider with a performance from Mr. Guess’ fifth grade students. This spectacular musical performance revolved around three books: Ghosts, Took, and The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade! which were highlighted at the book fair.
Thank you to all who supported the book fair. It was a huge success. Plus, many thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers.
To help celebrate Fire Safety Month, Smokey Bear came to visit Oak Hammock Kindergartners. Students had the chance to see all of the equipment used to help put out forest fires. Smokey talked to the students about wildfire prevention and ways to be safe around and with fire. After the presentation, students had the chance to read their Scholastic reader on Fire Safety.