November 28, 2009 in Washington Voices

Presenting Opportunity

By The Spokesman-Review

Sendal Hudson and Colton Thiede model raccoon hats that were worn during colonial times in North America. Fifth-graders at Opportunity Elementary School hosted their annual Sail America Expo on Tuesday, where they acted as travel agents and tried to convince parents and visitors to settle in their colony.
(Full-size photo)

Fifth-grade students at Opportunity Elementary donned Colonial-period clothes to participate in the school’s fifth annual Sail America Expo on Tuesday.

Students have been researching the 13 colonies for several weeks. Their task was to prepare brochures and persuasive speeches to convince visitors to sail to the New World and live in their colony. Students circled the gym, making pitches to parents and other adults. The team of Marcus Miller and Tristen Banning had their pitch perfected. They noted that their colony, Georgia, was founded as a haven for debtors who were imprisoned in England. They noted that people were allowed to dance in Georgia, unlike in the New England colonies. And each family moving there would receive a small farm and a house, they promised.

“There are many religious freedoms,” said Banning. “You don’t have to worry about not fitting in there.”

Student Trenton Fleury said he had fun researching the colonies. “We’ve learned a lot – the natural resources, the climate, skills and trades,” he said. “The south, the middle and the north were very different from each other, what they did every day and how they made their living.”

But he confessed that he might not have liked to live back then because everyone had to work hard, even children. There were also slaves and indentured servants. “There was a lot of sickness and wars and stuff,” he said.

The fifth-graders also sang songs from Colonial America and performed a Virginia reel dance. “It’s a great way to get kids engaged in learning,” said Principal Molly Carolan.

Food drive results

Central Valley middle school students had a hugely successful Fill the Bus food drive last week.

Students from each of the five middle schools gathered at Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake grocery stores all day last Saturday collecting donations and cash.

The total collected includes 15,990 pounds of food, 175 turkeys and $2,571. That’s up significantly from 2008 totals, which came to 12,253 pounds of food, 87 turkeys and $1,824.

Volunteers from the Central Valley High School Key Club, the University High School Key Club and the Spokane Valley Kiwanis helped out by hauling the donations to the Spokane Valley Partners Food Bank. The food and turkeys were distributed this week in Thanksgiving baskets for needy families.

Donations needed

The Central Valley High School Key Club is planning a holiday service party on Dec. 8 to make blankets and hot chocolate bags to be distributed to children at local homeless shelters.

Club members are looking for donations of polar fleece material measuring 4 feet by 5 feet or larger. Smaller scraps that can be sewn together will also be accepted. Fabric ribbons to wrap around the blankets are also needed.

Donations can be dropped off at the school at 821 S. Sullivan Road.

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