October 7, 2014, was an awesome day for St. Lucie Public Schools as fathers/male care givers went back to school! Rather it was “Donuts with Dads,” “A Fathers’ Rally with a march around the school field” or “Game Night with Dad,” father figures pledged their support to the educational growth of students.
The march grew out of recognition of the power of male involvement in the education of all students. A father who actively participates in the educational and social developmental life of a child is invaluable and irreplaceable. Statistics from the National Fatherhood Initiative support findings that show that when fathers and men are regularly and substantially involved in the education and social development of children, those children have higher standardized test scores, higher grade point averages, higher attendance rates and higher graduation rates. Those children also have lower rates of suspension, expulsion and arrest. When you accent and improve the positive, you decrease or eliminate the negative.
While there is no magic bullet to solve the concerns we face in education today, getting fathers highly engaged is a huge step in the right direction. The march was an opportunity for all men to show their commitment to the educational lives of children. It also marks the beginning of a year-long commitment by men to children. For this reason, the march is an influential and celebrated event.
Proclamations of support were presented by the cities of Ft. Pierce, Port St. Lucie and the County Commission. In addition, Representative Larry Lee, Jr.; Congressmen Patrick Murphy; and Commissioners Kim Johnson and Chris Dzadovsky all offer their support of this movement. Further, all three law enforcement agencies supported the movement as they all understand the importance of male involvement to help produce better students, better schools and better communities.
Approximately 2,500 fathers/male caregivers participated in activities at all schools in the district. This special event in honor of dads and their support of the educational process is implemented as a MOVEMENT, not just a MOMENT! Schools will continue to have a series of father centered activities throughout the school year.
The students in Mrs. Traci Lott’s second grade class had a great time reading literature and informational stories about spiders. Students were able to compare and contrast the most important ideas from the two texts on the same topic. At the end of their book study, the students enjoyed making their own “spider treats!” Pictured here from left to right are Ashley Suazo, Josh Banate, Lani’ Chambers, and Heather Wallman.
Sam’s Community Outreach program recently came to honor White City Elementary. Staff was recognized for their compassion and caring not only about their students but also for their families. Everyone enjoyed gift cards, prizes, and dessert all provided by Sam’s.
Instructional Coach, Christine Duane, presents a Pirate Reader lanyard and 25 point button to Ivan Pulido-Hernandez, who the first student at Parkway Elementary School to earn the award! Readers are leaders and Ivan is leading the way.
Mrs. Alicia Miller’s 2nd Grade class performed a lab called “Sink the Boat”. Students experimented with clay to find a shape that floats. Then they estimated how many pennies it would take to sink a boat. Next, students added pennies one by one until their boats sank. Once it sank, they recorded the data. They repeated the experiment using paper clips. Ms. Diane Hanfmann also assisted the students with this lab.
The Fairlawn Elementary students and staff held their second annual “Think Pink” Day to raise money and awareness for cancer on October 2nd. Students enjoyed wearing pink clothing items for $1.00 each while supporting an important cause, raising almost $800. All funds raised by Fairlawn will be presented to local organizations at the Pink Heals Tour event on October 11th in Tradition’s downtown area.
Seventh grade civics students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition invited Representative Larry Lee to speak with them in relation to this year’s Project Citizen class project. Students have selected public policy problems in the community to research, brainstorm alternative policies, design or modify a public policy solution and implement a plan of action. Mr. Lee spoke with students about his experience as a representative of the people and discussed the process of passing state laws.
Northport K-8 School has a reputation for battling for causes of all kinds with our local community, our students, our families and the school staff. Whether it is teaching children respect for veterans and patriotism, teaching kindness for all living creatures through the “Paws For Claws Animal Kindness” club, teaching children to care for the environment by nurturing a campus that has been declared a natural habitat and a butterfly sanctuary, participating in the local Relay For Life to help find a cure for cancer, partnering with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Saint Lucie County to help support students who need mentoring and tutoring, collecting for the elderly, homeless shelters and natural disaster victims, fighting against bullies through our Unity Day efforts, helping families in need through collections and donations and so many other causes to make students aware of their civic duty and their humanity.
This month we are lifting up one of our instructors, Marie Solide. Mrs. Solide lost her daughter Kookie recently to Sickle Cell Disease. On October 8, Northport faculty, students and staff wore red to support Mrs. Solide and her devastating loss. The school community also was invited to purchase bracelets for a dollar to support finding the cure for Sickle Cell disease. All proceeds for bracelet purchases will be forwarded to Howard University Center for Sickle Cell disease in the name of Northport K-8 School. The education of our students in not only the Florida Standards but in partnering with parents and community members to help form well-rounded, loving, caring and kind individuals is tantamount to becoming ready for a full and dynamic life and it is our duty as educators to further enhance every partnership we build with our school community. Pictured are some of the valiant warriors at Northport K-8 School who are helping lift up Marie Solide in her fight against Sickle Cell disease, from left, Roy Thompson, school social worker, Angel Bracero, 7th grade civics instructor, Sandra Tyndale, intensive reading instructor, Lynne Gruszka, Media Specialist, Marie Solide, special education instructor, Lorie Monroe and Brooke Wigginton, assistant principals, Melody Nieves, kindergarten teacher, Sarah Lewis, media clerk and Glenn Rustay, Northport Principal as well as students from the school.
Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition parents and students met recently in the morning morning for a Cultural Heritage Breakfast. Families enjoyed breakfast while the English Speakers of Other Languages (E.S.O.L.) program was explained and questions were answered. Pictured from the left in the back row is Mrs. Sinclair, Mrs. Takata and Mr. Takata. Front row from the left is Tyler Sinclair, Lyla Sinclair and Hinaki Takata.
Northport K-8 School participated in the Saint Lucie County School Board initiative, “Million Father March” recently. Principal, Glenn Rustay and assistant principals, Lorie Monroe and Brooke Wigginton as well as many teachers and staff, welcomed the dads and their children at the parent drop off sites with many waves and smiles. Dads were welcomed with their children in the Media Center by the principal, PTO president, Marcy Waltz and center staff with coffee, juice and snacks. Dads happily filled out compacts with pledges to take their children to school as often as possible, to seek volunteer opportunities at the schools, discuss grades, check reports and support their children with their after school activities. All the fathers who brought their children were so glad for the boost and the opportunity to help out with the school, parent connection. Northport community loves and appreciates our dads! Northport is a Title 1 school and we are definitely going to keep the ball rolling and invite our dads to school for every event. Pictured is principal Rustay with uncle, Terry Scott, dad and Northport alumni, Shawn Norwood and the children, DreShawn Norwood and LeDevon Blackshear. Thanks to Mr. Scott, Mr. Norwood and all the dads, uncles, grandfathers and brothers who attended the “Million Dad March Northport Style!”
October 7, 2014, Weatherbee Elementary asked significant male caregivers to step up and take an active role in the lives of their children. Fathers, grandfathers, uncles and cousins came to join their children for breakfast and to sign a pledge that they would actively participate in the educational and social-emotional development of their child. Featured in the foreground is Taylor Carlin and Dad.
Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition held their very own Million Father March on October 7, 2014 to recognize all male role models. The event consisted of these men signing a pledge, being pinned by our staff and participating in a march, with their children, around the perimeter of Palm Pointe. Mr. Houston Tate, along with his father Bishop Tate and father-in-law, Henry Miller, were our guests of honor as well as our very own Palm Pointe male faculty and staff who shared the Million Father March: Men Bring You Child to School Day Proclamation. Our band honored these male-role models by playing a special tune and our faculty and staff surrounded the perimeter of our school holding signs and cheering as the parade marched on. Pictured is the march around the school with the male role models, administration, staff and students.
White City Elementary had a great turnout for our Million Father March – “Donuts for Dads” this morning. We had close to 70 parents bring their children to school and have donuts with them. We gathered 41 pledges with others pending that were taken home and promised to send back. Attached are some pictures that show our parents and students in the cafeteria with their children.
Dan McCarty participated in the National Million Father March Initiative in recognition of the power of male involvement in the education of all students. The Million Father March is an opportunity for all men to show their commitment to the educational lives of their children throughout the school year.
Over two dozen fathers brought their children to school and walked them to class to show their support of this national initiative. The father s then joined the administrative staff in the media center for some refreshments. What an awesome way to kick off the school year!
Manatee Academy supported the Million Father March with a morning of “Donuts for Dads”. Over 120 fathers and other special guests arrived to enjoy a special morning with our students. Many of our guests also had the opportunity to peruse the BookFair and walk their children to class. We are quite thankful for the amazing support of our families and community!
Northport K-8 School, several years ago, was designated a “Wildlife Sanctuary” after the diligent work of the school administration and several teachers. The school staff, known for its care and kindness towards local wildlife and their natural habitats, have developed a club that can be called on when wildlife emergencies occur or a rescue is needed on campus. The club, known as the “Northport Paws and Claws Kindness Club” is spearheaded by longtime Northport instructor, Mary Toto. The club including, Mrs. Toto, who has been a lifelong supporter of the care of animals, both in school and personally, Melanie Polascak, Judy Fowler, Mirta Cepeda, Kara McNair, Jim Burgoon, Marilyn Rodriguez and Barbara Wiggans have rescued a plethora of creatures including turtles, cats and kittens, birds, possums and squirrels. The club went into action recently when teacher, Melanie Polascak heard the cries of several baby squirrels who had fallen our of their nest. Teacher, James Burgoon rescued one baby hanging from the top of a wall as well as two babies on the ground. Animal Control was called immediately and the babies were then transported to All Creatures Wild Life Sanctuary to be cared for and eventually released. Northport also is the home to a wonderful and colorfully protected Butterfly Sanctuary that is cared for by instructor, Jennifer Carey and many other instructors and students. Northport K-8 School community understands that learning about kindness and actually following through, making sure that each animal is safe helps children become better, more well rounded students and better human beings. It is wonderful to witness teachers and students caring for all creatures, great and small. Special thanks to the Paws and Claws Kindness club at Northport! Pictured from left are Northport staff, Jim Burgoon, Mirta Cepeda, Melanie Polascak, Judy Fowler, Marilin Rodriguez and Barbara Wiggins.
Weatherbee’s PBS/Kids at Hope Bingo for Books event was a smashing success! Over 500 students participated in playing bingo and many won books for their efforts. Thanks to the media center for donating books for the event. Several thanks to our PBS-Events Committee for organizing such a fun activity for our students. Our October event will be an Ice Cream Social. YUM!
Northport K-8 School administrators, teachers, students and parents came together recently to celebrate learning gains made by students on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, better known as the FCAT. Northport K-8 School moved up a complete letter grade and showed tremendous growth thanks to an all out effort by the entire school. Students who excelled in selected criteria in reading, math and science and actually “Navigated” the school to success were rewarded with a celebration including, snow cones, bounce houses, slides and games. The experience demonstrated to all students that hard work and achievement pay off. Pictured are PTO parents who assisted in the celebration, Marcy Waltz, Angela White and Suzi Scott. Special thanks to the Northport PTO for dedicating so much time and effort in helping our community succeed.
Recently at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students were treated to a visit by David Mark Lopez, author of the Maddie’s Magic Marker historical fiction series. Mr. Lopez amazed students by reciting and acting out entire chapters from two of his books and engaged them with a question and answer session. In their Media class, prior to his visit, students learned or reviewed what makes a book fit the genre of historical fiction and cited examples of other series they had read that fit the description. Students and parents were so engaged in Mr. Lopez’s presentation that they broke his record for book purchases at a school – over 600 autographed copies were purchased! Students are now creating emails thanking Mr. Lopez and citing evidence from his visit to rate his books and performance. Pictured are students with their new autographed books and the author David Lopez.
State Rep. Larry Lee Jr. from District 84 took time out of his busy schedule to speak to Mr. Seabury’s Civics class at Lincoln Park Academy on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.
State Rep. Lee shared his personal story with the students from the time he graduated high school until he was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently running for re-election. He went on to discuss how bills are introduced in the Florida legislature and how bills become laws, and provided the students with examples of the bills he himself introduced related to the Indian River Lagoon, Literacy in Florida’s school system and his proposal of another Literacy bill if re-elected.
State Rep. Lee also shared his experience as an insurance agent and explained to the class about basic auto insurance and how policies are written. He answered students’ questions and had them complete an individual path to success.
We thank State Rep. Lee for taking time to visit with the students at Lincoln Park Academy.