A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Education Notes: Back to school rallies outfit students; Tates Creek senior elected Girls Nation VP

Families turned out at 17 Lexington-area sites for the annual Back to School Rallies, which were chock-full of games and outdoor activities, community resources, food, and fun for all ages.

Nearly 6,000 students received free school supplies during the Aug. 5 campaign, organized by the YMCA of Central Kentucky.

“School supplies and backpacks are a symbol of the start of another school year,” FCPS Superintendent Manny Caulk said at Douglass Park. “It’s about showing our community that families are our partners, and it’s about unifying our neighborhoods, our schools, and our families so every student has the tools to succeed.”

The blue drawstring bags contained multicolored folders, spiral notebooks, crayons, pencils, pens, and other basics suitable for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Nearly 6,000 students received free school supplies during the Aug. 5 campaign, organized by the YMCA of Central Kentucky (Photo Provided)

“It’s about equitable education and getting them all started on the same footing,” said Jessica Berry, the YMCA’s vice president of Youth Development. “We just want to help support all our families, and we are excited to send students to school ready.”

The Saturday rallies, which started with one church in 2001, have expanded and have served nearly 42,000 students since the YMCA began coordinating the initiative in 2011. This year’s supporters and sponsors alongside Fayette County Public Schools were Kentucky Utilities, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Anthem Medicaid, Hilliard Lyons, Rotary Club of Lexington, United Way of the Bluegrass, Passport Health, and PNC Bank.

A new rally site in the Bainbridge neighborhood was sponsored by Valvoline, which hosted families on its expansive greenspace off Man o’ War Boulevard and Palumbo Drive. Makinzie Greene, a rising eighth-grader at Crawford Middle, appreciated the extra school supplies.

“Last year I needed better organization, so these folders will help a lot,” she said.

In the elementary line, Lynn Edwards stood with her son, who will start kindergarten at Squires Elementary.

“I saw his (supplies) list, so their willingness to help out is great,” she said of the rally sponsors.

Carla Jackson, the Youth Services Center coordinator at Edythe J. Hayes Middle School, worked closely with the Bainbridge site’s organizers and volunteers.

“Our families in this area had a hard time getting to other locations, and we wanted to make it convenient to walk, so we reached out to Valvoline,” she said.

School board member Daryl Love, who is community relations manager for Valvoline, said the company was glad to step up, particularly for families from nearby Athens-Chilesburg, Squires, and Garrett Morgan elementaries and Hayes Middle.

“This also helps build community among those schools,” Love noted.

Tates Creek senior elected VP at Girls Nation

Danica Moon, a rising senior at Tates Creek High School, was elected vice president of the 71st session of American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation in Washington, D.C.

Danica was chosen by her peers, the 99 other student senators from all 50 states.

She took the oath of office July 27 on Capitol Hill.

Danica Moon

“I think the office of vice president was best suited for me because I wanted to be involved in the Senate, do everything I could to help the Senate get through a lot of legislation, and give all of the senators a voice in debate,” said Danica, who is interested in a political career.

At Tates Creek, Danica is a member of the orchestra, Young Democrats, and the Academic Team.

She also was the featured poet at the February 2016 meeting of Teen Howl, a poetry reading.

ALA Girls Nation is a premier leadership conference that provides practical insight into the workings of government, promotes civic engagement, and creates friendships and memories that last a lifetime.

Each delegate represents her home state as a senator. They caucus at the beginning of the session, organize into committees, elect a president and vice president, and conduct hearings on bills – allowing students to learn the proper legislative procedures according to the U.S. Senate.

Locust Trace’s Ball, BSMS’s Kirby dubbed Agriscience Teacher Ambassadors

Jacob Ball of Locust Trace AgriScience Center and Andrea Kirby of Bryan Station Middle School successfully completed the annual National Agriscience Teachers Ambassador Academy in Phoenix, Ariz. They join nearly 370 other outstanding teachers from across the country who earned that distinction after the highly competitive process.

The academy is a professional development institute sponsored by DuPont and managed by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. It is designed to energize teachers and make them comfortable enriching their classes when they return home. This summer, Ball and Kirby learned more about inquiry-based teaching methods and how to draw out the science already present in many agriculture topics.

Jacob Ball

The academy is a professional development institute sponsored by DuPont and managed by the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

This summer, Ball learned more about inquiry-based teaching methods and how to draw out the science already present in many agriculture topics.

The academy is designed to energize teachers and make them comfortable enriching their classes when they return home.

Ball, who is dually certified in agriculture and biology, teaches food science and animal science courses and advises the FFA chapter at Locust Trace.

He is also active in the Kentucky Association of Agricultural Educators, Kentucky ACTE, Kentucky Master Agriculture Teacher Seminar, and Kentucky Farm Bureau.

Last fall, he was selected by the Association for Career and Technical Education as its national New Teacher of the Year.

Beaumont leads World Fit in Kentucky

Beaumont Middle School paced FCPS participants in the 2017 World Fit competition, finishing first in Kentucky in the six-week, school-based walking and exercise program.

Statewide, Bryan Station Middle was second, and Morton Middle placed third. Nationally, they finished third, fifth, and sixth in their division.

Beaumont averaged 1.5 miles per student per day for some 71,000 miles. Overall, 5,200 students registered for this past spring’s contest, logging more than 466,000 miles.

In this annual competition, students report the number of miles walked (or jogged or run) each day on the World Fit website. Those in sports or other exercise such as swimming are also credited miles accordingly. The national champions are determined by average miles per student in the 40 days of the walk in two categories.

Small schools have up to 500 students, and large school have more than 500. Schools also earn medals: gold for averaging 3.0 miles per day per student, silver for 1.5 to 2.9 miles, or bronze for less than 1.5 miles per day. Beaumont received silver, while Bryan Station and Morton got bronze this year.

World Fit, which is designed for grades 3-8, aims to eradicate childhood obesity and improve children’s health and attitude toward fitness. The program also emphasizes the importance of lifelong fitness and the Olympic values of perseverance, respect, and fair play; Olympians with local ties visit schools to encourage students’ efforts.

World Fit has gained a foothold in Fayette County Public Schools since 2010, when Beaumont and Winburn Middle were part of the national pilot.

From Fayette County Public Schools

Related Posts

Leave a Comment