Eighth-graders in the Spokane Public Schools Odyssey Program had the opportunity to get out of the classroom and get up on the stage in their performance of “Beyond the Mountains,” a student-written production by Lewis and Clark High School senior Asyia Gover.
Gover wrote the play for her senior project and presented it to her former Odyssey teacher, Mike Cantlon. Gover and Cantlon worked with the eighth-graders for two months and put on five performances, the last one at North Central High School on Monday night.
Gover said her story was inspired by Irish mythology, and tells a tale of love and friendship and the value of youth and beauty.
Gover spent about six months writing the play. She plans to write two more plays for Odyssey next year.
GU to offer Chinese language classes
A $93,000 grant from Startalk is bringing Chinese language classes to Gonzaga University for area youth.
Startalk is a part of the federal initiative to improve teaching and learning of strategically important world languages, according to the Startalk website.
The language classes will include Chinese cultural activities, such as tai chi, calligraphy, dance and watercolor painting.
Classes for seventh- through 12th-graders run July 2-26 and cost $220. All books, instructional materials and lunches are covered by the grant.
The program for elementary students is full.
Scholarship program needs signed pledge
Spokane Public Schools seventh- and eighth-grade students living in low-income families may be eligible for a College Bound Scholarship, on the condition that the students sign a pledge to work hard in school, stay out of trouble, graduate high school and successfully apply to a higher education institution after graduation. The pledge must be signed by June 30.
District officials said the scholarship program is an important incentive to their students because more than half of the kids in the district qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
For more information about the scholarship program, call (888) 535-0747, email email@example.com. gov or visit www.hecb. wa.gov/ PreparingFor College/ CollegeBound.
Groundbreaking ceremony at Jefferson
There will be a groundbreaking ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday for the new Jefferson Elementary at Manito Boulevard and 37th Avenue, just west of Hart Field.
After many public meetings, one lawsuit challenging the relocation and much community debate, the Spokane Public Schools board unanimously approved building the school in the new location.
The project is being funded by a 2009 school bond passed by voters. The new school is expected to open in the fall of 2013.
Magazine ranks LC, Ferris among best
U.S. News and World Report have ranked Lewis and Clark and Ferris high schools among the best in the country, according to a press release from Spokane Public Schools.
Lewis and Clark was ranked 25th in Washington and took the 908th spot nationally. Ferris was ranked 36th in the state and No. 1,305 on the national list. The two high schools were the only schools in Spokane County to make the list. Schools are ranked by how they serve students, using performance on state proficiency tests as benchmarks, along with how the schools prepare their students for college-level work.
More information can be found at www.usnews. com/education/best- high-schools.
In the Washington Post’s High School Challenge, North Central High School ranked ninth best in Washington and 551st nationally. Lewis and Clark was 17th on the list, 876th nationally and Ferris was ranked 29th in Washington and 1,734th on the national list. No other Spokane County schools were listed.
The Washington Post ranked the schools by dividing the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests a school gave in 2010 by the number of graduating seniors.
For more information, visit apps. washingtonpost.com/local/ highschool challenge.
Student competes in POL nationals
Mead High School junior Langston Ward recently competed in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C., against eight others for the title of National Poetry Out Loud Champion and a $20,000 award. A Mississippi student won the contest.
Ward won the state title in March, along with an all-expenses-paid trip to represent Washington at the national finals.
Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation competition sponsored by the National Arts Endowment and the Poetry Foundation. For more information, visit www. poetryoutloud.org.