Once again this year, WestGate K8 School celebrated Read Across America by inviting some very special readers. Some of the special guests visiting West Gate included Sheriff Ken Mascara, Joe Smith, the Clerk of County Courts, School Board members Troy Ingersoll and Dr. Donna Mills. Pictured is CTA/CU president Vanessa Tillman who entertained Angela Fish’s fourth grade class with her amazing story-telling.
What could possibly be more fun than reading under the stars? Gazing into them! Floresta’s March Title I Family Learning Event offered both of these opportunities, and much, much more. Families brought their blankets, sleeping bags, and pillows so they could stretch out and enjoy a good book together under the twinkling stars. Members of The Treasure Coast Astronomical Society were on location manning their reflector telescopes, allowing visitors a close up look at the moon, the stars, and the planets Jupiter, Venus, and Mars. Charlie Alonso, from Mrs. Browning’s class was one of the first to get a glimpse of the moon. On display was a real meteorite, one of the oldest items in the universe, with an estimated age of 4.6 billion years. At the energy center, families were encouraged to take the Energy Star Pledge, promising to make energy conscious product changes in their homes and in their everyday behaviors, such as turning out lights when leaving a room. Each child in attendance received their very own book, and a stellar time was had by all. Pictured is Charlie Alonso and his mother looking into a telescope.
Luke Sutherland was recently called to the office at Floresta Elementary School to receive a very special birthday surprise. Luke’s mother, Megan Sutherland currently serves in the military, and is stationed in Afghanistan. In spite of the miles, and numerous procedural and technological barriers, she managed to telephone the school to personally wish her son a very special “Happy Birthday!” After the initial shock and excitement, Luke assured her that he was getting over his recent cold, and that she need not worry. It was a heart-warming moment for everyone.
Bethany DiTullio’s fourth grade students at Allapattah Flats K8 are hatching duck eggs to further cultivate their knowledge for the third nine weeks’ science curriculum on animal reproduction and growth. The class has two different incubators with 33 duck eggs total. They are hatching both Call ducks and Pekin ducks. The students will be responsible for checking the humidity and temperature of both incubators and adjusting them as necessary. They will also “candle” or look inside the eggs using a flashlight to keep track of the growing duck embryos. Pictured, back to front, Latoya Zamor, Victoya Zamor, Kaiya Bullard work on setting eggs up in the incubators after they arrive.
Students Willie Whitehead, Julian Nunez, Kayla Jungjohan, Morgan Busby, Olivia Sperber, Stoney Braynen, James Coriolan, Justin Adrian, and Wes Varn are just a few of the students who earned Star Reader shirts at F.K. Sweet Elementary. Jeanie DuPell, media specialist, awards students who have either grown a hundred points, or, are reading at least one grade level above their current grade. This program is sponsored by Scholastic, Reading Counts.
Students in Linda Auciello’s class at Mariposa Elementary School recently planted lima bean seeds as part of their science lesson. The students first learned about the parts of a plant then planted lima bean seeds to observe the life cycle of the plant. The kindergartners really enjoyed learning about plant growth by watching their lima beans grow. Hopefully, they will be able to eat some of the delicious lima beans as their plants continue to grow. Pictured, from left, Tammiyha Saintard, Kerstin Hayward and Dalton Ricci developed green thumbs as they nurtured their plants to maturity.
Third grade students in Barbara Whellams’ class at F.K. Sweet Elementary were highly entertained by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kevin Perry’s reading of “Follow the Drinking Gourd”, an actual song used by the Underground Railroad to help slaves escape north to Canada. Although February is Black History Month, students learn about the contributions of African Americans throughout the entire year.
First grade students Willdarion Adams, Anaiah Armah, Lorraine Zimmerman, Ariel Major, and Makia Cooper in Deanna Scotto’s class at F.K. Sweet Elementary enjoy working within their small math group. This lesson consisted of using candy hearts to reinforce graphing skills. Edible treats are always a favorite manipulative for young learners.
Students in Tammy Davis’ second grade class at F.K. Sweet Elementary display candy apples they created after observing a hands-on demonstration by a candy company. Students made various colors of red, green, and yellow. Afterwards they wrote a how-to paragraph on making their delicious treats.
Northport K-8 kindergarten students in Nancy Yost, Megan Castiglia, Melody Nieves and student intern Amanda Bean’s classes celebrated the 108th birthday of Dr. Seuss by listening to a dramatic storytelling of the beloved Seuss classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka. Students were thrilled to hear the story of the Grinch’s heart growing three sizes and agreed that Christmas isn’t about the gifts. Students decorated Seuss ornaments and decorated a Christmas tree set up in the Media Center. The Media Center also hosted a theatrical skit by students
in Juliette Thelusma’s fourth grade class by Suess called “Daisy Head Maisie.” Guests included third graders from Linda Beidler’s class, fourth graders from Jennifer Gomez’s class with their parents and grandparents. It was a wonderful
celebration day of that famed reading innovator, Dr. Seuss.
Third grade students at Bayshore Elementary recently visited St. Lucie County’s Oxbow Eco-Center. Students spent the day hiking the trails and making observations about native plants and animals. Pictured is Kyla Higgins from Nancy Fallon’s third grade class discussing the data she collected.
The Parkway Elementary School community enjoyed a remarkable Black History Program that included poems, skits and songs that reflected the contributions of African Americans to society. The program was capped with Dr. Owen Roberts delivering a motivating presentation that encouraged Parkway students to “keep your goal in sight” by overcoming obstacles of misbehavior, skipping school, not completing homework and other behaviors that would prevent them from realizing their goals. Pictured, from left, are students Hannah Troutman, Kiara Chiarolanzio,Logan Feldherr, and Veronica Jean.
Odyssey of the Mind teams from Bayshore Elementary School recently competed in regional competitions. Odyssey of the Mind is an international education program that provides creative problem solving opportunities for students. The Problem 4 Team, led by fifth grade teacher Heather McWilliams and volunteer Gerry Waugh, earned second place. Pictured, from left, are Gerry Waugh, Kara Godown, Camber Adams, Chris Bonilla, Tommy Kormov, Jacob Shane, Kyle Ingleton and Heather McWilliams.
Northport K-8 School recently partipicated in Walk To School Day! The walk started at Sportsman Park in Port St. Lucie at 8:30 AM, and a group of 120 students, parents, instructors, Principal Glenn Rustay and committee members De Green, Northport science instructor, deputy Richard Green, school resource officer and an array of community involvement
personnel joined in the walk to support pedestrian safety awareness and increase childhood activity. The “Walking School Bus” was a terrific success and an active display of community support for the program. Pictured, from right, are
Northport students Shadae Stone, Farrah Dorsainvil, Maria Garcia and Jeverel Robinson.
Students in Toni Baptiste’s first grade class at Mariposa Elementary School researched a zoo animal and made a cereal box report about their animal. Boys and girls were excited to share their animal habitat, diet and fun facts to the class. In addition, students were able to share information they learned about their animal to a chaperone on a field trip to the Palm Beach Zoo.
The St Lucie County Schools Facilities and Maintenance Department has identified seven scholarship winners from 2011 Summer Youth Internship Program. They include John McDonald, Ft. Pierce Westwood, $2,000; Sandra Luxama, Ft. Pierce Central, $1,500; Tedra Turner, Port St. Lucie High, $1,000; Austin Fountain, Ft. Pierce Central, $500; La’Metria Bivens, Ft. Pierce Central, $500; Iman Hall, Ft. Pierce Central, $500; and Rafael Chavez, Ft. Pierce Central, $500. For the past four years the Facilities Department has raised all funds needed to support the Summer Internship Program, primarily through their biggest fundraiser, their Annual Golf Tournament. Through the dollars that are raised, not only are student interns paid wages they also are able to compete for college scholarships from funds raised. Since the inception of the Summer Internship Program, the Facilities Department has partnered with the Career and Technical Education Department to make the internships a reality. Regional workforce board Workforce Solutions has also collaborated allowing even more students who qualify for their services to participate in the internship program. It is a great win-win situation where student interns learn the soft skills necessary for employment. For many students the summer internship is their first job. Students learn the important expectations necessary to keep a job such as being on time, coming to work every day, communicating with a supervisor, communicating with a co-worker, returning from lunch on time, and many more skills that entry-level employees need. Thanks go to maintenance department bookkeeper Cindy Hill, secretary Regina Chester, senior bookkeeper Dainia Breakenridge, and project manager Gary Taylor have spearheaded this student opportunity. Their dedication and partnership with the Career and Technical Education Department has led to a very successful program that has grown, changed and improved each summer allowing more students to participate. Pictured is Austin Fountain as he assists Gary Taylor maintaining sports fields.
Outstanding volunteers were honored recently at Southport Middle School. Pictured is Youth Volunteer of the Year Jervana Graham-Record with her parents Ansel Graham-Record, left, Ann Graham-Record, center, with volunteer coordinator Pat Christian-McFadden. Not pictured are senior Volunteer of the Year Kathy Pritchard, Senior Volunteer of the Year, and Adult Volunteer of the Year Ruth Altvater.
Kaitlyn Deverson, a fifth grade student at Oak Hammock K8 School, came in first in her category at the Braille Challenge, a national program of the Braille Institute® hosted by regional schools and agencies that serve blind and visually impaired children. It is the only national braille literacy competition of its kind in the country, and is specifically designed to challenge and reward blind students for their study of braille, which is essential to their future academic and employment success. There were four regional events throughout Florida; Kaitlyn competed recently in the Ft. Lauderdale event which includes five age levels who compete in catagories such as reading comprehension, speed and accuracy, proofreading and tactile chart and graph reading. Competition spans the US and Canada, from which the top 60 will advance to the national contest in Los Angeles, California. Pictured is Kaitlyn with her Teacher for the Visually Impaired, Marci Marcotte.
The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion Color Guard opened the school baseball team’s first season game, presenting the flags during the National Anthem. The Color Guard was led by cadet Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Jacobson, accompanied by cadet Second Lieutenant Jeremy Dardon, cadet First Sergeant Troy Conover, and cadet Corporal Robert Hobkins. A moment of silence was held during the presentation to honor the late Mr. Mike Picano, one of the original Jaguar teachers, who recently passed away. Following the baseball game, the Color Guard presented the colors during the National Anthem for the Jaguar Softball Team. The cadets performed outstandingly in both events, demonstrating a reason why the Jaguar Battalion has always been a successful unit.
The Port St. Lucie High School Junior ROTC Jaguar Battalion recently held the third Outstanding Cadet Board of the Year. The board is a competition between cadets on two levels. The first consists of junior cadets in their first year of JROTC. The second level contains senior cadets who have been in the program for two to four years. Two winners are selected: one from the junior cadets and one from the senior cadets. Every cadet competed well, but the two that came out on top were cadet Corporal Cole Herndon, right, and cadet Sergeant First Class William Benagh. Congratulations to the winners for their performance in the battalion as outstanding cadets.