Monday, September 27, 2010

RASD Receives Grant for a Mobile Agriculture Lab

Through the hard work of Mrs. Raubenstrauch, the students at the elementary school will be able to enjoy a different learning experience. The "mobile ag. lab" is a mobile science lab designed for students in grades K-8. The lab will allow the school district to offer an enriched learning experience for our students. The mobile lab will blend in well with the work that the school district is doing to raise awareness of the importance of agriculture to our society. In addition, both the Middle School and the Elementary School had student run gardens this year. This is a great opportunity for our students. Mrs. Raubenstrauch received a grant for $2,000 which will cover the cost (except for $300.00) for having the lab here for one week. To learn more about the mobile lab, please click here. Be patient while the link loads, it may take awhile.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Farmer's Market Day

Today the elementary school celebrated the second annual farmer’s market day.  This is a day when students learn about local foods and discuss farming with local farmers.  The food that children ate came from local sources, with some of the food originating in the school garden.  The school district was happy to have three local farmers (Cliff and Jeanetter Stump and Ron McMinn) come to the school to talk about different vegetables and other farming related activities.  In addition, the farmers stayed and helped serve the children.  The students ate hamburgers cooked on the grill by Cliff Stump and me.  It was fun cooking over 400 hamburgers!  The school district hopes to raise awareness in the students on the importance of healthy, locally grown food.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the day.  A special thanks goes out to Mrs. Urmann for organizing the day for the students.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Communication System

The school district will be using a new communication tool this year. In an effort to meet one of the school board's non-negotiable goals, the school district is using a company called Global Connect to increase the quality of our communication with parents. This system will be used to help the schools and the district office "get the message out" to parents on issues and concerns of the school district. The one use that immediately comes to mind for this system is for late starts and school closings in the winter. One call from me can be sent within seconds to everyone that is signed up in the system. Beyond this obvious use, each school can send reminders and important announcements to parents of children in their school. For example, if a principal wants to remind parents that a school play will take place, a message can be sent reminding parents to attend the event. You may have seen the signup sheets for this system come home from school within the past week. Please return the required information so the school can help you stay informed!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Fascinating Discussion about Education

I recently came across this talk about the power of facilitating children's interest and education. The video is about 17 minutes long but it is well worth the time spent to watch it. My "takeaway" from this video is that educators, parents and communities cannot underestimate the intellect and drive of children. Teachers will always be necessary, but, as the speaker says, "If the children have interest, education happens". I hope you enjoy the video.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

School Gardens

Today you are viewing the results of the two school gardens in the school district. This year the school gardens received a big boost from Natalie Aiello from PSU Cooperative extension and the Master Gardener program. In the schools, Mrs. Peterson in the high school/middle school and Mrs. Raubenstrauch in the elementary school spearheaded the efforts for the students. The experience for the students was very good. According to Mrs. Raubenstrauch, “this was a great learning opportunity for the children. They were involved from the beginning and we incorporated many different lessons into the garden. The children even got to eat a purple carrot!” I am a firm believer in the power of “hands on” learning and any time a student is getting their hands dirty working in dirt (I feel) is a good thing. Natalie Aiello has been an outstanding proponent of the gardens and has helped the teachers and students immeasurably. In the elementary school some of the extra vegetables will be given to the cafeteria and will be used in student lunches. Enjoy the pictures!
FSG Garden