Health occupations students savor healthy food choices

Health occupations students savor healthy food choices

Students in Samantha Jackson’s health occupations classes at Fort Pierce Central High School enjoyed a healthy apple slice and peanut butter snack in observance of National Apple Crunch Day recently. Students discussed the nutritional value of apples, including added fiber, vitamin C and potassium, and that when combined with peanut butter, which is full of protein and multiple vitamins, they are a healthy filling low calorie snack! Pictured is Brianna Jennings as she participates in the activity, part of Food Day 2013, a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Employees and students alike in St. Lucie County Schools enjoyed the activities, and teachers planned lessons around it to educate about the nutritional value of apples. Cafeteria managers arranged for apples to be donated to any classroom that wanted to participate.

Palm Pointe students bite into healthy eating

Palm Pointe students bite into healthy eating

The last full week of October, St. Lucie Public Schools celebrated Apple Crunch, where everyone was encouraged to bite into an apple at noon. This activity was part of Food Day 2013, which is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Employees and students alike enjoyed the activities, and teachers planned lessons around it to educate about the nutritional value of apples. Cafeteria managers arranged for apples to be donated to any classroom that wanted to participate. From Mikki Watson’s second grade class at Palm Pointe Educational Research School at Tradition, are pictured, front row from left, Matthew King, Jacob Hadley, Hunter Darville, and Kenzie Kemberson. Middle row, from left, are Emily Clarke, Sara Boulais, Dakota Hawthorne, Bridline Aureline, and Abigail Solari. Back row, from left, are Shelby Kay Sigmon, Christopher Heelan, Joshua Volcin , Christopher Young, Christian Arisi, Jeano Dyer, Alejandro Azcon, and Levi Lobban.

Northport students electrified by powerful lesson

Northport students electrified by powerful lesson

Northport K-8 middle grades students were electrified, enthused and inspired to learn more about the Korean War recently. Northport students paid tribute to the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice by an integration of interactive learning, an informative and moving PowerPoint presentatioin, guest speaker Peter Popolizio, current Commander of local chapter 106 of the Korean War Veterans Association as a primary source, and were also treated to renditions of music of the time period by Northport choral students under the direction of James Kirk. Student Brandt Wrench sang a sweet version of Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet” and the girl’s choral ensemble, the Velvet Bluebirds, dedicated the song, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers to the St. Lucie County School District Senior Volunteer of the Year, Commander Popolizio. Students learned who the power players were during the war, the time period of the war and all about the draft. Students entered the media center that was divided into North and South Korea. Students made flags marking each country, and the Demilitarized Zone was marked for non- admittance. Students each received envelopes upon entering the center, some containing official draft notices, which were opened at the end of the program. Students learned five key vocabulary words: armistice, demilitarized zone, Communism, capitalism and draft. Student surveys and exit slips were utilized to collect learning data. Student comments received after the presentation were very telling. Sixth grader Gianna Ritacco wrote, “I will never,ever forget this program because you guys inspired me to want to learn more!” and sixth grade Jordan Miller wrote, “Thank you so much for teaching us about the Korean War. I have never heard about this before, let alone a war!” and Melanie Giachetti wrote, “You guys put on a spectacular presentation! Those five words are now imbedded in my brain!” Pictured are Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka and students presenting the new vocabulary words.

Science support team provides Hispanic community tips about science studies

Science support team provides Hispanic community tips about science studies

The St. Lucie County School District Science Support team was a guest at the local Spanish language radio station La Gigante 1330 AM to discuss the importance of science in the curriculum. The experts discussed STEM, science projects, the Parent Tips website, and future science brochures in three languages. They also talked about three Hispanic high school students who attended last year’s international science fair, two of whom earned full scholarships, as well as a three-session Science Project Family Night recently at Forest Grove Middle School. The team members provided crucial information to the Spanish-speaking community on science-related academic resources. Pictured, from left, are team members Beth Bonvie, Paul Reif, radio show host Irma Cabriales, support teacher Michelle Baretto, Maria Schwarz-Gilabert, a volunteer from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and science curriculum support specialist Teri Barenborg.

Hispanic Heritage Month recognized at school board meeting

Hispanic Heritage Month recognized at school board meeting

The St. Lucie County School Board approved a resolution recognizing October as Hispanic Heritage Month at their October 22, 2013, school board meeting. The month is set aside in Florida to recognize the proud history and rich culture of Hispanic Americans. This year, 2013, marks the 500th anniversary since Juan Ponce De Leon’s arrival in Florida’s East Coast, a significant milestone unlike any other state in the United States. The resolution encourages all St. Lucie school district students and employees to participate in activities that recognize the Hispanic community’s significant influence in St. Lucie County’s past, present and future. Pictured, from left, are Title l Migrant Coordinator Yvonne Johnson, Superintendent Genelle Yost, Indian River State College student Antonio Chavez, Jr., School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, and Lincoln Park Acadamy students Lizett Chavez and Cinthia Jaramillo.

St. Lucie’s outstanding administrators honored at school board meeting

St. Lucie’s outstanding administrators honored at school board meeting

Frances K. Sweet Elementary School principal Juanita Wright and Treasure Coast High School assistant principal Henry Sanabria were recognized and congratulated at the October 22, 2013, St. Lucie County School Board meeting. The administrators have been selected as the 2013 Outstanding Principal and Outstanding Assistant Principal, respectively, for St. Lucie County Public Schools as part of a Florida Department of Education recognition program. Both of these administrators are applauded for their exemplary contributions to our students, school and our community. Pictured, from left, are Superintendent Genelle Yost, Principal Wright, St. Lucie School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, Assistant Principal Sanabria, and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kevin Perry. These administrators’ applications will be sent on to the state DOE for consideration for the state award.

Southport Middle School student group hosts annual food drive

Southport Middle School student group hosts annual food drive

Members of the Southport Middle School National Junior Honor Society sponsored an annual food drive to collect non-perishable food items for the school’s food pantry. Students were asked to donate an item in exchange for a dress code pass for the day. Due to the enormous response, school staff was able to fill the pantry, which is available anytime for Southport families in need. Pictured, front row, is Hannah Spurr. Standing, from left, are Myrria Roux, Megan Edmunds, Alaura McGonnell, Anastacia Kastis, Fabiola Barco-Garcia, Quinn Tucker, Ryan Downing, Eden Varney, Jade Greco, Brianna Wayne, and Gabrielle White.

Bayshore Elementary families participate in fun learning event

Bayshore Elementary families participate in fun learning event

Bayshore Elementary School recently held a “Minute to Win It” event for students and their families. This was an exciting evening of learning combined with the fun of “Minute to Win It” activities. Families learned many strategies to help their children be successful with reading and math skills. Pictured is fifth grade teacher A.J. Bevacqua monitoring students while they try to keep balloons afloat for one minute, without using their hands!

Mariposa Elementary students investigate their senses

Mariposa Elementary students investigate their senses

Students in Maria Nunez’s fourth grade class at Mariposa Elementary School have been exploring their senses and how to describe what they interpret with them. Pictured, from left, Anthony Serrano, Joshua Pierre, Devon Barbour, Joslyn Patterson and Faith White were presented with four centers:  listening, smelling, touching, and seeing. The students had to describe the objects using ONLY their senses. It was an enthralling activity that will help them both in writing and science. Students were engaged and so excited about tying in science lessons previously taught and applying them to their writing.

Bayshore Elementary students demonstrate positive behavior

Bayshore Elementary students demonstrate positive behavior

Bayshore Elemenary School is a Positive Behavior Support award winning school.  As part of the positive approach to behavior, students have the opportunity to earn jazzy cash by demonstrating their SPOTS.   Pictured, from left, are fifth grade students from Paulette Seay-St. Louis’ class Kaitlyn Carlisle, Paul Comperchio, Kris Simmons and Hannah Friend using their jazzy cash to participate in a school-wide bingo game.

Northport offers dynamic reading mentor program

Northport offers dynamic reading mentor program

Northport K-8’s reading leadership team, consisting of 36 teachers and administrators, is offering students a variety of enrichment programs to extend the classroom learning experiences. One of the opportunities offered to students is a Reading Mentorship program. Students are learning all about the program on the morning announcements and are actively engaging in informal reading mentorships. Media specialist Lynne Gruszka, literacy coach Deb Mock, and math coach Josie Bailey are urging the students to forge ahead and join the mentorships, which meet informally to talk about books that are being offered. For example, Mrs. Gruszka is providing students an opportunity to talk about the book as she does her morning patio duty. Students stop on their way to class to discuss the previous night’s reading! Northport is offering an exciting opportunity for students to read and move forward by becoming involved in the mentorships. Deb Mock is offering the book, “Divergent” by Veronica Roth, Josie Bailey is offering “Eggs” by Jerry Spinelli and Lynne Gruszka is offering “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper. It is an exciting period of growth for the reading leadership team and an excellent opportunity for students to belong to a dynamic and encouraging Reading Mentorship Program. Pictured is Mrs. Gruszka and one of her reading mentor students, sixth grader Jaelen Walters.

Oak Hammock students celebrate special week

Oak Hammock students celebrate special week

Oak Hammock students recently celebrated Red Ribbon Week with support from the local Elks Lodge and Kids at Hope. The theme for the week was “A Healthy Me Is Drug Free.” Students took part in a door decorating contest, participated in presentations from the local Elks Lodge, and wore red each day in creative ways to represent their commitment to a drug-free life. Pictured are sixth graders Katelyn Dorvilus, Jasmin Ramos, Vicenza Giraldo, Giavanna Bolf, and Mya Williams decorating their pod bulletin board for Red Ribbon Week.

Rivers Edge students, staff and parents enjoy Gardening Day

Rivers Edge students, staff and parents enjoy Gardening Day

Gardens are brimming over with blooms at Rivers Edge Elementary School! Students in Denise Ward’s second grade class worked tirelessly in the welcoming entry garden. Generous donations of mulch and new blooms from Lowe’s, along with students and parent contributions, helped spruce up all the beautiful campus and classroom gardens. Gardening day at Rivers Edge was a tree-mendous success! Pictured, from left, are Jacob Emrich, Lance Eaton, Michael Skinner, teacher Denise Ward, and parent Mrs. Skinner.

Families enjoy Southport Middle School’s literacy event

Families enjoy Southport Middle School’s literacy event

Southport Middle School’s recent literacy event was well attended by teachers, parents, and students, including approximately 60 parents and student attendees. In addition to the Scholastic Book Fair, there were eight other wonderful activities for students and parents to participate in, as well as cookie decorating, pizza, popcorn, snow cones, and candy sales. Pictured are sixth grade literacy teachers Andrea Levin, left, and Larry Haynes displaying a fun style of learning called “Reading Rocks.”  Southport seventh grade literacy teacher Jim Saunders created the game to engage students by promoting reading with a fun activity! The event brings families, students, faculty and staff together to promote literacy with a variety of relevant and cool activities for everyone to participate in!

WestGate students build and erupt volcanoes

WestGate students build and erupt volcanoes

Students in Christopher Calvo’s third grade class at WestGate K8 School have been studying the history of Costa Rica for Hispanic Heritage Month. The students’ main focus was the volcanoes of Costa Rica.  Students created volcanoes constructed using cardboard and plastic water bottles, covered with paper mache and painted. Pictured, standing from right, are Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell, WestGate Principal Robert Cranmer, and Mr. Calvo with students watching in awe as the six volcanoes were erupted in the hallway.

Allapattah Flats students learn about energy conservation

Allapattah Flats students learn about energy conservation

Students in grades kindergarten, first, and second grade at Allapattah Flats K-8 School watched a special performance titled “Men in Plaid: The Kilowatt Connection.” The performance was put on by The National Theatre for Children and it was sponsored by Florida Power and Light. The performers conveyed important messages to students about energy conservation in order to make the world a better place. Pictured, from left, are Kaylee Harris from Kylee Dvorak’s second grade class and visiting performers Zack and Nate.

Lakewood Park Elementary fourth grade students make their own glue

Lakewood Park Elementary fourth grade students make their own glue

Lakewood Park Elementary fourth grade students recently participated in a STEM design project called “Make it Stick.” They used common kitchen ingredients like flour, corn starch, baking soda and salt to mix a solution to see which group could make the strongest glue. Students tested their glue using beans and index cards.  After their first glue solution was created, they analyzed and recorded the class results to design a new recipe using a different combination of the same ingredients. Pictured are fourth grade teacher Allison King with students Kathryn Baldwin, left, and Kimberly Temene finding out which homemade glue sticks better.

Local tv personality visits Lakewood Park Elementary

Local tv personality visits Lakewood Park Elementary

Lakewood Park Elementary fourth grade students had the opportunity to participate in the Channel 25 WPBF Weather School Wednesday with meterologist Chris Martinez. The program was fun, interactive and informative for the Lakewood Park Elementary students. The students received information about the local weather, weather forecasting, hurricanes, tornadoes, and many other interesting facts. The students loved visiting the Channel 25 weather truck, viewing the TV cameras, TV monitors which had the students’ photos on it, seeing the live shows in progress, and hearing the interesting facts presented by the Channel 25 WPBF Crew. The highlight for the students was to see themselves on the Channel 25 Weather News that evening.  The web address to view the program is
http://www.wpbf.com/tv/about/are-you-ready-to-be-weatherschooled/-/8790476/22137428/-/lm1mtj/-/index.html, then click on weather on the tool bar at the top and click Chris’s Weather School. Lakewood Park Elementary thanks Chris Martinez and the Channel 25 Weather School Wednesday team.  Pictured, back row left, are Chris Martinez and fourth grade teacher Ashle Henderson with two of her students.

Northport celebrates success for all students

Northport celebrates success for all students

Northport K-8 students participated in a celebration of small increments of success with a focused looked at amounts of Adequate Yearly Progress in a PTO organized AYP celebration recently. Students who achieved progress on the FCAT test last year were treated to several styles of bounce houses and slides, popcorn, hoola hoops and snowcones, as well as the chance to dunk Principal Glenn Rustay and other members of the faculty and staff in the dunk tank. Students also had the opportunity to celebrate PBS, or Positive Behavior Support, gains with a variety of school based activities in classes and on teams on the same day! Student successes no matter how large or small are positively reinforced at Northport K-8 School on a regular basis. Pictured is seventh grade Manatee team student Deontae Yuhas enjoying the slide.

Northport celebrates adult volunteer of the year

Northport celebrates adult volunteer of the year

Northport K-8 School faculty, staff, administration, students and the family community celebrate the selection of Christine Hunsicker as our representative for Northport K-8 School Adult Volunteer of the Year!  Mrs. Hunsicker has volunteered for the school for the last eight years serving as grade mother for several teachers, PTO parent volunteer and School advisory Board member. This year, Mrs. Hunsicker serves as PTO president. She organizes so many fundraiser and student centered activities such as the Holiday Shoppe, Valentine’s dance, Teacher Appreciation lunches, Yankee Candle, and World’s Finest Chocolate sales. Without Mrs. Hunsicker, many school activities would not be nearly as fruitful and students’ achievements would not be celebrated nearly as heartily. Mrs. Hunsicker also organizes the very successful Boxtops for Education and  Campbell’s soup labels and has planned and organized reward parties for students. She has also organized Family Community Night and along with teachers, Shana Cicio and Jennifer Carey, organized and implemented our traditional Family Fun Run and signed on as a team member for the schools Relay For Life events.  Mrs. Hunsicker has also rallied parents and community members to become part of the parent, family, school connection by holding a training to instruct new volunteers in the PTO on how to wade the technology highway and sign up using the new and updated format for volunteerism.   Northport K-8 School is a collaborative team and Mrs. Hunsicker is a huge proponent of the team!  Thanks to Christine Hunsicker for your service and dedication to the students and faculty of Northport K-8 School! Pictured is Christine Hunsicker.