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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Education Notebook: Cold students, warm hearts

Ferris High School ASB members, left to right, Shale Heidinger, Will Helman, Miri Taylor, Sally Wheldon, Maddie Weigand and Matt Schaffer.
Ferris High School ASB members, left to right, Shale Heidinger, Will Helman, Miri Taylor, Sally Wheldon, Maddie Weigand and Matt Schaffer.

The Ferris High School ASB officers camped out in the cold for a cause earlier this month in their annual “Freezin’ for a Reason” fundraiser, to raise awareness about homelessness and hunger. The students spent three nights and four days huddled around a campfire and slept in tents in the Ferris parking lot. They went without showers and depended on the community for food.

Jennifer Walther, the Ferris ASB leadership adviser, said the students were dedicated to their cause. “They were trying to better understand homelessness in Spokane,” Walther said. The students plan the fundraiser for December because they say it needs to be cold enough, Walther said. “It shows how tough they are,” she said.

Families, friends and even strangers would come by day and night with food for the students. About 950 cans of food were collected for the Second Harvest Food Bank.

A twist on a favorite

Kindergarten students at Jefferson Elementary School recently had holiday fun with the gingerbread man. But their story of the gingerbread man had a twist.

The students started by studying different variations of the story with their teachers. Kindergarten teacher Andrea Sims said in an email that the stories helped the students learn about characters, setting, problems and solutions. The project also incorporated math and science. The students then created gingerbread men with their families and brought them back to school to share.

The kindergartners continued their project by making their own gingerbread man in their classroom, but he ran away as fast as he could – all the way to Principal Mary-Dean Wooley’s office. The students then went on a hunt to take him back to their classroom.

And, as a culminating project, the students and their teachers created their own story and put on a play for their families and friends. Students used Halloween costumes to help determine the play’s characters. The students also chose the ending of their story: Would the gingerbread man get eaten or run far, far away? Sims wrote the play based on the characters, costumes and the kindergartners’ input, as she does each year.

“Every story is different, depending on the characters; it’s absolutely precious. You can bank on a couple of ninjas and a couple of princesses every year,” she said.

To submit news about your school, students and staff to the Education Notebook, send the details to or call (509) 459-5434.
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