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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Students Put Knowledge Of The World On Display

The museum was open for visitors, and the greeting was warm.

“Welcome to the Caribbean Islands,” said Chelsey Bucko. The University Elementary student wore a grass skirt and included practical tips in her travelogue. “We live next to the ocean,” she said. “Watch out for sharks.”

Third-grade teachers David Kaplan, Judy Rasmussen and Mary Naccarato had their classes finish off their study of other countries with a museumstyle presentation of their knowledge.

Chris Ackerman had the fun of explaining, over and over, why the Leaning Tower of Pisa leans. “When they were building it, the ground was soft.”

The Italy exhibit included more than one student. Matthew Winkler hefted a good-sized stick that turned out to be a gondolier’s pole. He pointed out the real thing in a photo of Venice.

To finish off, he touched on religion: “Italians, most of ‘em, are Catholics.”

The students spent two months learning about countries around the world, Rasmussen said.

Giggles and green

Combine a March wind, a class of first graders and Leprechaun hats, and you get giggles.

They just couldn’t help it. The giggles flew out of those kids like sparkles off a sunny lake. March, march, march, they went, ushered by their teacher, Joann Caputo, into the gymnasium at St. Mary’s School.

The St. Patrick’s Day show was full of Irish limericks, dancing and songs.

A bevy of proud parents enjoyed the show, never mind that - or perhaps just because - it was full of those hesitations and near-oopses that make first graders such wonderful performers.

Science sprouts at Keystone

In last week’s science fair at Keystone Elementary, kindergartener Meagan Lee, firstgrader Jeremy Martire and fourthgrader Willy Ray made the best “puffmobiles,” judges decided. What’s a puff-mobile? A toy-sized vehicle with a paper sail powered by the student’s own breath, explained kindergarten teacher Carol Bray.

How did Meagan win? “I don’t know. I think I have too much breath,” said the kindergartner with a giggle.

Fifth- and sixth-graders made bridges, using toothpicks, white glue and paper. The winning two bridges held more than 113 pounds - all the weight judges had available. Students who worked on those bridges were: Anne Daubl, April Hanson, Brook Mann, Joey Beck, Joel Wilson, Kristin Cumbee, Samantha Betts, Isaiah Lujan, Myles Nelson and Megan Johnston.

Dangers of “spit tobacco”

Ninth-grader Chris Clark at North Pines Junior High organized an assembly Tuesday to warn students about chewing tobacco.

Montanan Rick Bender told the crowd in the bleachers about his brush with death. He started using what he calls “spit tobacco” at 12. He quit 14 years later, alarmed at a sore that wouldn’t heal.

Too late. Four major surgeries later, Bender has lost a third of his tongue, nerves that control his right arm, his right jaw. He travels the country talking with students about mouth cancer, a particularly deadly disease. He’s met hundreds of families who have lost someone to mouth cancer, he said, but only a handful of survivors.

“I just met (survivor) number six in Anchorage,” Bender said. “He’s the only other one who can talk.”

North Pines Principal Dave Bouge said he’d never seen the students listen so quietly to an assembly.

Clark said his father, cousin and other relatives have used spit tobacco. “My father quit, but my cousin is using it worse,” he said.

Put Bowdish on your calendar

If you care about the upcoming renovation of Bowdish Junior High School, mark your calendar for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

That evening, school officials will explain the scope of the project and ask the public for specific ideas about what should be included.

Immediately after that discussion at 7:30 p.m., representatives from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department will convene a meeting about gangs and community safety.

We knew her when…

West Valley High School junior Grace Williams learned recently that her research paper on Indian paintbrush will be published by the University of California at Berkeley.

Williams earned national honors last year with research she did in Bob Bohlen’s scientific research class. This year, she is trying to find ways to germinate Indian paintbrush more easily, so the flowering plants could be domesticated.

Her paper will be published in Century 21, a UCB magazine that ordinarily publishes the work of college and graduate-level students.

DECA kids going to nationals

Five DECA students at West Valley High School have qualified for national competition next month in Orlando, Fla. They are:

Ben Giraud, vehicles and petroleum marketing; Jennifer Grizzle, food marketing management; Jan McIntyre, apparel and appearances; David McIvor, business and finances; and Abigail Palmer, quick serve restaurant management.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: If you have news about an interesting program or activity at a Valley school or about the achievements of Valley students, teachers or school staff, please let us know at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175.

If you have news about an interesting program or activity at a Valley school or about the achievements of Valley students, teachers or school staff, please let us know at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175.

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