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First-graders get new volumes thanks to First Book Spokane

First-grader Prestyn Blount reads “The Cat in the Hat,” one of his seven new books, in class Thursday at Opportunity Elementary. (Jesse Tinsley)
First-grader Prestyn Blount reads “The Cat in the Hat,” one of his seven new books, in class Thursday at Opportunity Elementary. (Jesse Tinsley)

Students in Stephanie Lancaster’s first-grade class at Opportunity Elementary in the Central Valley School District received free books Thursday during a special celebration at the school, 1109 S. Wilbur Road

Each student received seven books to keep after Lancaster applied for and received a $400 grant from First Book Spokane, a nonprofit advisory board that provides new books to children in communities throughout Spokane County.

Arlene Olson, chairperson of First Book, read to students during the celebration which included many parents.

In order to qualify for the grant, schools must have at least 80 percent of the student population on free or reduced lunch programs or be a Title 1 school.

“It is my belief that every child can learn,” Lancaster said. “With that said, I hope to provide my students with the resources they need to support that belief.”

Plant sale

Spokane Valley High School, 2011 N. Hutchinson Road, will offer its annual plant sale Monday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Students have more than 13,000 plants for sale including 200 baskets and planters, bedding plants, and tomatoes – whopper/beefsteak, viva Italia and sweet 100s/Juliet cherry tomatoes.

For more information, call the school at (509) 922-5475.

Tuning out

Students at Trent Elementary in the East Valley School District are participating in “Turn Off Your TV Week” this week.

Each day, the students turned in daily slips signed by their parents that said they didn’t watch television the night before. The school provided the students with a list of 140 things they could do instead of watching television.

The school held a drawing every day for prizes such as books, skateboards, helmets, watches and kites.

Each class also held a competition to see which class had the most participation – the winner gets a root beer float party.

State FBLA winners

The 2010 Washington State FBLA Leadership Conference was April 8-10 in Yakima. Students from throughout the greater Spokane Valley participated.

From Central Valley High School, the team of Cody Bafus and Penny Zhang won first place in Local Chapter Annual Business Report. Zhang also came in fourth place in business communication. Ivvie Shellhorn came in fourth place in impromptu public speaking.

Placing in the top 15 and reaching the finals in their events were: Abby Mansoor in public speaking 1; Shannon Hotchkiss, Beth Hotchkiss and Jordan Jalbert in management decision-making; Rachel Burk and Dallan Wagner in network design.

Danica Beschta, Sophia Dien and Elizabeth Mansoor also competed in the conference.

The Central Valley chapter also received the Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit, which recognized outstanding local chapters that have prepared an annual business report and actively participated in projects and programs that identified with the goals of the FBLA.

Sherry Johnson is the FBLA adviser at Central Valley.

Freeman High School sent 24 students to the conference – several students did well enough to qualify for the national conference in Nashville this summer.

Chelsa Ayers, Danica Cramer and MacKenzie DeRyuter were the state champions in business ethics. Danny Cossey and Hanna Weathers were the state champions in emerging business issues. Andy Coumont, Dalton Fetsch and Josh Grandinetti were the state champions in management information systems. Tyler Hjaltalin was the state champion in the category of help desk.

Cody Dickinson came in second place in introduction to technology concepts and the team of Coumont, Fetsch and Grandinetti came in third place in network design.

The following students made the finals: Grandinetti and Brian Hart in entrepreneurship and DeRuyter, Alex Quinnett and Morgan Romey in emerging business issues.

Also competing at state were Dalton Reilly, Travis Sorensen, Chelsea Grady, Christina Ramelow, Taylar Franz, Shelby Nelson, Tucker Rudy, Steven Sainsbury, Jess Wingett, Zeke Flack and Eric Hjaltalin.

The Freeman chapter of the FBLA also received the “Largest Chapter in the Northeast Region” for the fourth year in a row.

Their adviser is Scott Moore.

East Valley High School sent 11 students to the conference and Emmalee Ohlstrom, a junior took first place in public speaking. The state champion will compete at the national conference this summer. June Mazzone took fifth place in the same category.

The following students placed in the top 15 and reached the finals: Rebecca Crowder in impromptu speaking and Jamie Frucci, Doug Glendenning and Ohlstrom in business management decision-making.

Also competing at the state conference were Courtney Anderson, Alex Talley, Richard Melbrech, Ashley Olson, Jazelle Martinez and Braxton Ball.

The East Valley FBLA chapter advisers are John Twining and Bret Kiefer.

Scholarship winner

Natalie Smith, a senior at East Valley High School, has received a $1,000 Harry Kennedy Memorial Scholarship from the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council.

Smith will present her winning essay at the council’s board of directors meeting June 8.

Applications due

Students interested in applying for the Kiwanis Clubs of Spokane County “Key Leader” conference, at the Chewelah Peaks Learning Center, Oct. 15-17, may begin the application process today.

Students will work in large and small group activities. The camp is staffed with trained adult volunteers, along with a trained facilitator.

Cost for the Key Leader conference is $200. Scholarships will be awarded to pay for camp expenses, although students and parents are asked to pay 30 percent of the cost.

To apply, interested persons must be high school students, between the ages of 14-18. Submit your address, telephone number, age, gender, year in school, the school you attend, and a brief statement on why you would like to receive the scholarship and attend the leadership training by e-mail to Dean Crandell at or Gary Jespersen at garyjespersen@yahoo. com.

Scholarships will be awarded at the conference. Each scholarship awarded is valued at $120.

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