December 23, 2010 in Washington Voices

Education Notebook: Students work for Uganda

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Southside Christian Middle School students recently invested in the lives of hundreds of Ugandan students, thousands of miles away, through a project organized by their Bible teacher Carli Robinson.

At the beginning of the school year, Robinson gave her 18 students $20 to invest over a three-month period. The project is based on a parable in Matthew 25, where a man gave three servants different amounts of money and waited to see how they would use what they had been given. For the project, Robinson required her students to put together a written plan, with a selected scripture of the Gospel.

The students watched their $20 grow, through their projects. From September to November, they made pillowcases and candles, sold pizza and sandwiches at lunch, baked cookies, designed note cards and raked leaves. At the end of November the students had turned their $20 investments into more than $2,500.

On Dec. 17, the students donated the money to Gift Giving International, a ministry to the children of Ethiopia and Uganda. The money will pay for half of the amount needed for a school and boarding house in Uganda. An anonymous donor matched the students’ gift, making it possible for solar panels to be installed, providing electricity for 600 Uganda students.

In a phone call, Robinson said of her students and the project, “We’re going to give these families in Uganda a whole new life because of 18 students at a small Christian school in Spokane,” Robinson said. “Eighteen is going to affect 600.”

Clauses visit kids at club holiday party

Second-graders from Cooper Elementary School had early visitors from the North Pole on Dec. 14, when Santa and Mrs. Claus stopped by for the 26th annual holiday party, hosted by the Spokane Central Lions Club.

The Christmas festivities included a magic show, lunch and a present from the man in the red suit.

Balletgoers view children’s nutcrackers

Garfield Elementary School students continued their annual holiday tradition with a recent nutcracker building contest.

The Garfield Drosselmeyers chose materials from wood to papier-mâché. The student-made nutcrackers were on display at the INB Performing Arts Center during the past weekend performances of the Tchaikovsky holiday classic ballet, performed by Ballet Memphis.

Although they may not come to life and dance with the Sugar Plum Fairy, 14 of the Garfield students’ nutcrackers will continue to be on display, moving to the Spokane Teachers Credit Union Main Branch, 106 W. Nora Ave., through Friday.

Essay wins student trip to Florida

Rogers High School sophomore Anthony Hampton is a champ – and he won an essay to prove it.

Hampton wrote his composition for a national essay contest through Champ Sports, titled “How I want to be a Champ.” Essays were voted on by online viewers and the top three writers received a $5,000 college scholarship.

Hampton will attend the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, where he’ll receive his award at halftime of the football game with the other scholarship recipients. One of the three essay winners will also be chosen to receive an additional $5,000 award, also announced during halftime.

Art teacher receives professional award

Linda Smith, art teacher at St. George’s School, will live the dream of many artists this summer when she spends 10 days in July at the TASIS Art Institute in Les Tapies, Ardèche, France.

Smith was recently honored with the 2010-’11 Hannah Joss professional development award, totaling $6,000. Smith said receiving the award “provides a unique opportunity for me to travel to France, attend this world-class institute, and tour key historical art sites. As a practicing artist, as a lover of art, and as an art teacher, there can be no spots more sacred than Giverny, Monet’s home, and Arles, Van Gogh’s home. The institute schedule allows for excursions, pilgrimages really, to these phenomenal cultural icons, as well as Musée Calvet, Pont du Gard, and Musée du Petit Palais,” she said.

“Living with 15 other art teachers, painting and creating art 24-7, and comparing both the craft and passion of teaching art for 10 exhilarating days, is the fulfillment and culminating experience of a life’s journey,” she said.


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