Schools fight litter through “No MOre Trash!” contest
The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Transportation invite students in grades kindergarten though eight to help fight litter in the Show-Me State by participating in the 2016 “Yes You CAN Make Missouri Litter-Free” trash can decorating contest.
The annual contest encourages school classes and groups to join in the fight against litter by decorating and displaying a large trash can with the “No MOre Trash!” logo and a litter prevention message using a variety of creative media.
“Missouri’s six million residents produce nearly 26 million pounds of garbage in one day. That’s more than nine billion pounds of trash per year,” said MDC “No MOre Trash” coordinator Joe Jerek. “Much of that trash shows up on our streets and roadsides, natural areas and waterways. Litter harms our fish and water quality, plants, and hurts wildlife. Litter also hurts property values, landscape appearance and our overall quality of life.”
Jerek added that littering is illegal in Missouri and can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and one year in jail.
“In addition to teaching kids about how litter hurts them, their communities, and their environment, the No MOre Trash! contest gives students an opportunity to help prevent littering by creating and providing trash cans with the No MOre Trash! message in their schools and communities,” said MoDOT coordinator Stacy Armstrong.
Schools may submit one entry in three grade-level categories. Entries are judged based on creativity, adherence to contest rules, and the effective use of theme and logo.
First-place schools in each competition category receive $200 and are eligible for the grand prize trophy and an additional $600 award.
There is no entry fee for the contest. Participating school groups must submit a completed entry form online with up to three photos of their can to www.nomoretrash.org by Friday, March 18. Contest rules, entry forms, logo, past contest entries and winners, and educational information also can be found at www.nomoretrash.org.
Local bands prepare for state conference appearance
As the culmination of their Symphony in the Classroom experience, the eighth-grade band from Fort Zumwalt North Middle School worked with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Resident Conductor Steven Jarvi to perfect their performance skills.
Jarvi spent two hours with students and band director Patrick Stewart to finalize preparations for the band’s upcoming performance at the 78th Annual Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA) State Music Conference on Jan. 29.
Also performing at the MMEA Conference will be the Holt High School Symphonic Band on Jan. 30. Over 160 ensembles from across the state submitted recordings last spring, and Holt was one of only six high school bands selected to perform.
“Being selected to perform at the Missouri Educators Conference is the highest honor that any high school band can receive,” said Holt Band Director Jim Cunningham. “I am incredibly proud of the students and their ability as musicians to continually perform at such a high level from year to year.”
The band learned of their selection before school started in August and have been preparing since then for their performance.
“This selection is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our Band Directors, Jim Cunningham and Henry Kappler, as well as all of the band students and their families,” said Superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain. “We take great pride in our long-standing history of excellence with regard to our band program in the Wentzville School District, and it is an honor and a tribute to our students and staff that they were invited to perform.”
Crossroads Elementary named national writing contest finalist
Martha Langston’s second-grade class at Crossroads Elementary in the Wentzville School District was one of five finalists in the 7th annual “Be a Famous Writer” national writing contest.
“The Five Dogs and a Little Bit of Trouble,” a collaborative class project, was submitted by Langston for this year’s contest.
“We had 28 states submit entries, and the quality of the stories this year were amazing. In fact, we even have an honorable mention to give out, because it was so hard to narrow it down to just five stories this year,” said actress Kathy Kinney, perhaps best known for playing Mimi Bobeck on “The Drew Carey Show,” but who also is the face of Mrs. P’s Magic Library, which sponsors the contest.
“This project sparked great conversations and teachable moments in my classroom,” said Langston. “Not only have final copies of writing assignments improved, but I see more of them [the participating students] taking their time to reread, revise and add more. Many of them are now inspired to write their own books in their free time.”
Finalists for the annual Be a Famous Writer contest are selected based on originality, creativity, compelling narrative, humor, sense of adventure and the development of a theme or point of view.
Students donate in support of classmate
When the Forest Park Elementary family heard a classmate was in need, students stepped up to help. Together with their families and the community, the students worked over winter break to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
A pocket full of change here, a few dollars there and soon the school’s third-, fourth- and fifth- graders had raised an incredible $6,049.65.
“We are humbled by the generosity of our community,” administrators posted on the school’s website. “Thank you for making Forest Park an incredible place to be.”
Pheasant Point Elementary fifth-grader Saisrikar Kichili recently won the Fort Zumwalt School District Elementary Spelling Bee.
Kichili won after correctly spelling “hieroglyphics” in the 37th round. He then correctly spelled the championship word, “antonym.”
Second place went to Lewis & Clark fifth-grader Joshua Roodhouse-Hale and third place went to Hawthorn fifth-grader Weston Parks.
Senior citizens to be treated to free dinner theater
The Fort Zumwalt North Student Council and the Panther Players will host a free night of dinner theater for senior citizens on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 5:30-9 p.m. in the commons at Fort Zumwalt North High, 1230 Tom Ginnever Ave. in O’Fallon.
Following dinner, guests will enjoy the school’s production of “Murder’s in the Heir.”
Guests get to play along and help decide who killed Simon Starkweather.
To make reservations, call (636) 542-7022.
Field trip takes students to medical school
DuBray Middle seventh- and eighth-grade students in the Gifted and Talented Education [GATE] program recently attended a Visioneering field trip to Washington University’s School of Medicine.
While there, medical and graduate students talked to them about how the heart, lungs and brain function, and then allowed them the opportunity to investigate real specimens. Students also participated in some neuroscience experiments that showed the brain’s ability to adapt.
A tour of Washington University’s fish facility proved especially interesting as students learned how the zebra fish is used to study embryos and myelin development around nerves. The results of these studies they learned can then be applied to humans.
A question and answer session with a panel of students, seeking pre-med and graduate degrees, helped the students understand that a career in science can take a variety of pathways in higher education.