Last Friday marked one of the favorite days of the year for kids in the Cheney School District curriculum day.
Roughly translated, that meant no school.
But 48 dedicated elementary kids dedicated their entire day to learning.
Learning to dance, that is.
Every year, Cheney High School cheerleaders spend a day with kids from the five Cheney elementary schools, teaching them dance routines and working on craft projects.
“It’s a good thing. It gives them a chance to see all high schoolers aren’t big and bad,” said Devri McMacken, a Cheney senior and cheerleading co-captain.
The kids devoted much of the day mastering moves to the strains of “Lollipop” and “Men in Black.”
A blur of energy and untied shoelaces, they ended the day displaying their newfound skills for parents. The kids will also perform at the Cheney High School football game Friday night at Eastern Washington University.
The camp is more than just a chance to dance, says Vicki Elmore, who teaches Spanish and German at Cheney High and coaches the cheerleading squad.
“This gives them the opportunity to work with the big girls,” she said. “We advertise as a cheerleading camp, but the focus is on leadership.”
“I’ve been thinking of being a cheerleader for a long time,” said Brittany Wolfe, a fifth-grader at Salnave Elementary. “That’s why I came here.”
Of course, there are always those with other ambitions.
Salnave fifth-grader Stephanie Bennett said she was enjoying the camp but thinks she’ll leave the cheerleading to her friend Brittany.
“No, I’m going to be a veterinarian,” she said.
Buddy up mom and pop
The buddy system is a longtime grade school practice: Hold hands to cross the street. Stick with your partner on field trips.
It’s worked so well for generations that now parents at All Saints School are buddying up.
The kindergarten through eighth-grade school began a new project this year called Buddy Families. The concept is the same as for students: New parents are paired up with an old pro who is there to answer questions and act as tour guide.
“We wanted to help new families feel welcome,” said All Saints spokeswoman Janet Dixon.
“Sometimes it can be really confusing at first,” Dixon said. “I didn’t even know what snack to give my kids.”
Tigri Donitch, a new parent at the school, said being paired up with Renee Quintierie saved her sanity as well as saving some face.
“I have so many ding-bat questions that I wouldn’t dream of calling the school to ask,” she said. “But I call my buddy all the time.”
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
MEMO: The Education Notebook is a regular feature of the South Side Voice. Please let us know about interesting programs and activities, and the achievements of students, teachers, administrators, staff and volunteers at schools on Spokane’s South Side and in Cheney, Medical Lake and the Liberty School District. Contact Amy Scribner, South Side Voice, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Or call 459-5439. Fax 459-5482.