It’s Been A Long Time Since I Rock And Rolled…

It’s Been A Long Time Since I Rock And Rolled              

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Ahhhh, Led Zeppelin sums it up nicely.  Yes, it has been a long time since I rock and rolled.  It seems this all started right around the time my first child was born in October of 1999.  Is this a coincidence?  Maybe.  It just seems that (while driving in a mini van from my cool Sentra) my music of The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Peter Gabriel, Black Flag, New Order, and Joy Division was quickly replaced by Raffi, Veggy Tales, and Barney sing a longs.  I am not sure if this was a gradual or an immediate thing.  All I know it happened leaving me shell shocked and wondering where my carefree days of Ohio State and John’s Life BC (Before Children) disappeared.  I recently went to the The Ohio State Spring Game.  As we were stuck in traffic going home going through campus I saw many parties.  I longing looked upon the revelers hanging out on porches, and downing adult beverages.  The person I was with said I was being ridiculous. She said I am an old “29” years old, I have a bad knee, can’t stand loud noises, recreationally drink Pepto Bismol, and got to bed at 8pm.  Geeesh, talk about being brutally honest!  Recently, I did get a glimpse of that past life(sort of).  We went to the downtown restaurant Cilantro because I was craving Thai food and some good wine. The food, the amazing Oddbins Wines offered, the people at the restaurant, and the décor made me, for a very short moment, feel “hip” again.  Well, if that’s all it takes…. I will take it because it has been a long time since I rock and rolled.

Line Time Lessons

The Continental Tango, Kookaburra, My Aunt Monica, and What a Small World it is.  Those thoughts and music is still ringing in my ears.  As you know these were the songs sung at the International Festival.  We learned about all the continents and some of the individual countries within the continents.  The students had fun learning about the climates, foods, clothes, and differences of how children attend school. I wanted to thank all of those who came in and talked about different countries.  This adds so much to International Festival month.  All the presentations are fun, informative, and the children and teachers enjoy it.

It never ceases to amaze me how much our students can learn in a short amount of time.  They did a fabulous job with their lines and performing the songs.  Not to mention how colorful the stage was with their costumes.  I cannot give enough thanks to the people who prepared the food!  Who didn’t gain ten pounds that night?

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We returned to normalcy in the classroom the last week in April.  We learned about life cycles and these medical alert reviews.  A life cycle is nothing more than the birth of a creature, the creature grows, reproduces, then dies.  Wow, this is our life in a nutshell?  A humans life cycle is pretty boring compared to the life cycle of frogs/toads and butterflies/moths.  The students now know that a butterfly comes from a chrysalis and a moth comes from a cocoon.  The children learned a really big word called metamorphosis. This is what happens during the butterfly’s life cycle.

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We had three guest readers this month. We had Jade who attends St. Joe’s and is in the second grade.

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Taylor who is in the second grade and attends Preston (C.F.).

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James who is in first grade and attends Dunbar (Tallmadge).

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Kindergarten

In the kindergarten lesson we continued our work with grammar. The students learned the pronoun takes the place of a noun.  We looked at the adjective which describes nouns and pronouns, the adverb which describes the verb and usually ends in “ly”, the conjunction which connects two sentences or thoughts and acts like a bridge.

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Cultural Subjects

My line time and the kindergarten class count to ten in 25 different languages (English, Sign Language, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, Irish, Welsh, Hebrew, Arabic w/the Lebanese dialect, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Swahili, Korean, Serbo-Croation, Hindi, Flemish/Dutch, Malay, Cebuano),

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MUSIC

At our first music class this month Ms. Lisa shared her pictures from her trip to El Salvador. .Ms Lisa traveled there on a medical mission trip entertaining children with her musical skills, while they were waiting in line to see a Doctor.Then she gave each child a Tambourine. They used these while they were dancing in a circle to the Spanish song “I have joy in my heart”, and then to the song “John Jacob Jingle Him-er Smith.” This song was fun for them because they were either singing it real soft or loud,. Our students enjoyed hearing about her trip! This month, Ms Lisa reviewed 4 musical notes with the children. They are the whole note, 1/2 note, 1/4 note,and 1/8 note. The children clapped along to the different speeds the notes make. Next, she gave them rhythm sticks and the used them to march to the song “The Ants Go Marching.” Then they used the rhythm sticks to tap along to fast or slow music. Ms Lisa also taught the children that the musical term for soft is called Staccato. We always have fun a learn in Music class!

SCIENCE

This month is Science Mr. John first did an experiment with an empty clear bottle, Vegetable Oil, Alka-Seltzer and water. He filled up the bottle first with 1/4 water then added red food coloring, filled the rest up with the oil. The oil and water then separate because of the density, then he added the Alka-Seltzer tablets to this it produced carbon dioxide bubbles because of the of the carbon dioxide tablets it brings the bubbles to the top. Oil is lighter and less dense then water. The next class Mr. John filled up two balloon’s. One with air and the other with air and some water. Then he held them both over a lit candle, the balloon filled with only air popped and the one with a small amount of water did not. Why? because water is a substance that soaks up heat therefore the rubber does not get hot and does not pop, the water takes the heat away from the balloon.

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ART

 

This month in Art, Ms. Michele had the children make fish lanterns in celebration of the Children’s Festival in Japan, she told them the different colored lanterns represented or meant different things to the Japanese people. The children really liked picking out their own colored paper for this project. The next art class Ms. Michele did Aborigine pointillism art painting with the students using paint made all from the earth such as clay and dirt.

 


April 2015 Newsletter

Bonjour! Spring is finally here! I love seeing the warm sunshine and the colorful flowers in bloom! This past month has been super busy getting ready for the International Festival and learning about all of the different continents and countries. The children also enjoyed our guest speakers from different backgrounds and cultures.

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The first week I introduced the seven continents to the children by showing them our continents puzzle. We discussed the four main countries in North America, which are The United States of America, Mexico, Canada, and Greenland. The children also learned about our flag, which consists of 13 horizontal stripes, which are red, white, and blue and represent the first colonies and states in the union. The flag also has 50 stars, which represent the 50 states in the Union. The children also learned about Christopher Columbus, the climate, and cultures of North America. We also discussed South America and their famous Andes Mountains, The Amazon, and the Rainforest. The children really liked learning about the four layers, which are the forest floor, the understory, the canopy, and the emergent layer.

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The second week I introduced Africa. I explained to the children that Africa is the second largest continent next to Asia. The children learned about North Africa, South Africa, West and East Africa, and also about Central Africa. We had fun discussing their homes and how their houses are made of dried mud, stones, and sticks and how people in Central America live in villages and tend to only cook over an open fire since they do not have electricity. They also learned that the largest cities in Africa are Cairo, Egypt, Lagos, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Throughout the week the children learned about savannas, deserts, and rainforests that make up Africa. We also talked about how thousands of different kinds of plants grow in the rainforest, and how some of those plants provide food and medicine for people. At the end of our Africa lesson we went over the animals, people, language, music, and housing of Africa.

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The third week we focused on Asia. We discussed how Asia is the largest continent in the world. We mainly focused on China, Japan, and India. The first few days we learned about China. The children were able to see pictures of the largest Buddha, which is carved in the side of a cliff in China. It took workers about 100 years to carve! They also saw pictures of children at school, the beautiful mountains, and their parades that they have when they celebrate the New Year. The children enjoyed learning about the Huang River, which is the third longest river in the world. It is also called the Yellow River because the yellow soil turns the river waters yellow. They also learned about their traditional clothing, families, and how most Chinese people live on farms and work in fields called Paddies. We also went over how they do not have an alphabet, but instead a symbol called a character. And lastly, we went over traditions, schooling, and how reading short stories or folktales are very popular. The second country we talked about was Japan. We discussed the weather and seasons, cultures and traditions, school and family, and also about country and city life in Japan. The children also learn more about their food and how they have fun.

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During the third week we dove into India. The children learned India is a country with seventeen official languages, races, and religions. The children loved learning that India has 45,000 plant species, some of which are not found anywhere else in the world, and that India is divided into 25 states, each with its own governor, members of parliament, and lawmakers. The children also enjoyed learning about their traditional dressings, family life, and education.

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Our last week we were super busy practicing our lines and songs and making special crafts for our festival. Amongst all of the busyness the children learned about France, Spain, and the Netherlands. The children had so much fun learning to say “good day,” “hi,” “thank you,” “thank you very much,” and “goodbye” in French. The children were able to learn about their foods, different cultures and traditions, holidays, work that they do, farming, and things to do when you visit each country. While we were learning about Spain, the children learned the history behind the Running of the Bulls, Flamenco dancing and were able to watch a short video on these. Although this month has been very busy I really enjoyed teaching the children about the different countries. I loved showing them that all countries are different in many ways but also the same. I hope you have learned a little something and see you next time! Au Revoir!

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Ashley’s Corner:

This month we have been full of continental fun. We have traveled the world through books,stories and music. We have been learning about different cultures and how they live. We were able to learn different languages through the form of music. Our many visitors took us on amazing trips through Australia, Hungry and Italy with their great stories and food.

In science class with learned about the Bubble lava experiment. You will need a clean, plastic soda bottle, glass, jar, or baby soda bottle test tub, soda bottle can of vegetable oil (the cheaper the better), Food coloring, Alka-Seltzer tablet or fizzy tablets. Now how does it work? First of all, you confirmed what you already knew… oil and water do not mix. The molecules of water do not like to mix with the molecules of oil. Even if you try to shake up the bottle, the oil breaks up into small little drops, but the oil doesn’t mix with the water. Also, food coloring only mixes with water. It does not color the oil.

When you pour the water into the bottle with the oil, the water sinks to the bottom and the oil floats to the top. This is the same as when oil from a ship spills in the ocean. The oil floats on top of the water. Oil floats on the surface because water is heavier than oil. Scientists say that the water is more dense than the oil.

Here’s the surprising part… The Alka-Seltzer tablet reacts with the water to make tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. These bubbles attach themselves to the blobs of colored water and cause them to float to the surface. When the bubbles pop, the color blobs sink back to the bottom of the bottle. Now that’s a burst of color! Your own homemade lava lamp worth those 15 Groovy lava lamps… Now, go ahead and try this at home with your kids, I promise it will a lava fun!!

Music class has been so much fun. The kids have been exploring music notes. They are learning what they look like and what they mean. They have been going over the musical terms for fast and slow, and loud and soft. The children were able to take their knowledge and apply it to their singing and dancing. Our kids had a chance to use the egg shakers and rhythm sticks as well.They leaned some knew songs and Ms.Lisa introduced the kids to her new puppet friends, moose and puppy.

This month, Ms.Michelle had her art students make Koi Fish for their international festival. The koi fish is a Japanese fish that represent good luck and fortune. They turned out beautiful and they looked amazing at the International Festival. The next art project she did with the kids was all about the natural ingredients found on our earth. She had the children paint with mud, clay, tar, and other natural ingredients. The children used their imagination and their creations were great. The kids thought it was really neat to be able to paint with natural things you can find outside!


May/June 2015 Monthly Overview

Themes of the Week  (in addition to Montessori Work time)

 5/04:       Food Chains

  • 3 and 4 part food chains
  • A food chain shows how each living thing gets food, how nutrients and energy are passed from creature to creature
  • Food chains begin with plant-life, and end with animal-life. Some animals eat plants, some animals eat other animals.

 

5/11: Seasons & Weather

  • 4 Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter
  • Characteristics of each Season/ the first day of each Season

 

5/18:      Solar System

  • Sun, Earth, Moon, Stars
  • Facts on each planet, Asteroids and the Milky Way
  • Constellations, Kennedy Space Station

 

5/25:      Careers

  • Different jobs in the community
  • Doctors, Mail Carriers, Nurses, Accountants, etc.
  • How these workers help us

 

06/01:     Safety

  • Summer safety, water safety
  • Fire Fighters, Police Officers
  • Calling 911

 

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.

5/04: Aa
5/11: Ee
5/18: Ii
5/25: Oo

 

Rhyming Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.

5/04: BIB, dib, fib, rib,
5/11: BIC, kick, lick, nick, pick, nick, sick wick
5/18: BUD, dud, mud,
5/25: BOD, God, mod, nod, sod, Todd, rod, 

 

 

Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes:

  • Look for our sight words when reading a story, point out words you use that begin with the letter of the week. Cut out pictures beginning with the letters of the week.
  • While driving your car, have your child tell you all the items they see that starts with the letter of the week.
  • Take a long walk in your park or neighborhood and point out the seasonal changes to your child. Discuss what you did as a child during each season and share some old and new memories with your son or daughter.  Make special plans for each season.
  • To reinforce our space theme, do some star gazing each night. Have your child pick their favorite, brightest one and share in making a special wish together!

 


Academic Enrichment May/June 2015 | Cuyahoga Falls Campus

Our Academic Enrichment time is daily from 12:00-1:00pm.  This time is specifically designed for our Kindergarten students to join together as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level.

 

05/04:     Introduction to prepositions

  • Rules of the prepositions
  • Worksheets, diagramming sentences

 

05/11:    Introduction to interjections

  • Rules of the interjections
  • Worksheets, diagramming sentences

 

05/18: Introduction to punctuation (end of a sentence)

  • Rules of the punctuation (end of a sentence)
  • Period, question mark, exclamation mark
  • Worksheets, practicing with interjections

 

05/25: Introduction to capitalization

  • Rules of capitalization
  • Worksheets, practicing our capitalization

 

06/01: Review of the year

  • Telling time, landforms
  • Coins, paper money
  • Mathematical operations
  • Geography

 

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.

05/04: word, when
05/11: which, what
05/18: there, their
05/25: way, my

 

Synonyms of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.

05/04: NICE, friendly, courteous, good, pleasant, charming
05/11: SNEAKY, underhanded, dishonest, tricky, secretive, sly
05/18: BRIGHT, shiny, glowing, dazzling, lighted, vivid
05/25: DULL, dark, dreary, somber, boring, tedious

 

Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes:

  • Look for our words of the week when reading a story, cut out pictures beginning with the letters of the week.
  • Practice using the different synonyms of the week in a sentence together.

 

Mr. John will be sending homework home to reinforce these lessons. Please turn homework into the orange box outside of Mr. John’s classroom.  Please email him if you have any questions: jkotradi@thesmarterkids.com.

 


May/June 2015 Monthly Overview

Themes of the Week (In addition to Montessori Work Time)

5/04: Plant and Butterfly Life Cycle
• Exploring a plant and butterfly’s life cycle
• Variety of activities that show a plants growth
• Parts of a plant
• Parts of a butterfly
Afternoon Group Lesson: Variety of fun books, activities and crafts having to do with plant and butterflies.

5/11: Sea Life
• Warm water vs. cold water and types of fish in each environment
• Sea creatures, different types of Fish
• Coral Reef
• Sink and float science experiments
Afternoon Group Lesson: Variety of fun books, activities and crafts having to do with sea life

5/18: Outer Space
• The planets in our Solar System
• Facts about each planet
• What is Gravity?
Afternoon Group Lesson: Variety of fun books, activities and crafts having to do with outer space

5/25: Outer Space
• Constellations, the Sun
• History of the space shuttle, Kennedy Space Center
• Astronauts, Neil Armstrong
Afternoon Group Lesson: Variety of fun books, activities and crafts having to do with outer space

6/01: All About Insects
• What makes an insect?
• How are insects different than spiders?
• All about bees and ladybugs!
Afternoon Group Lesson: Variety of fun books, activities and crafts having to do with insects

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.
5/04- 6/01: Review

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
5/04: there
5/11: your
5/18: what
5/25: now
6/1: each

Things to do at Home this Month to reinforce our themes:
• While reading a book have your child point to all of the letter of the week she/he can find. Have them do this with the sight words as well. Play I‐Spy using things that only start with the letter of the week/ sight words.
• Make fish sugar cookies together! Read Rainbow Fish and create an underwater scene in your child’s bedroom (use blue saran wrap to cover the windows and create fish out of paper).
• Visit the new aquarium in Cleveland. Create a story about all of the Fish and Mammals you saw!
• Make a telescope out of paper towel rolls, tape, markers and crayons. Talk about the constellations you see!


May/June 2015 Monthly Overview

Themes of the Week (in addition to Montessori Work time)

5/4: All About Insects
• Learning the Characteristics of Insects.
• Life Cycle of the Butterfly.
• How Insects are helpful/harmful.
• Where do certain insects live?
• Where do insects get their food?

5/11: Dinosaurs
• Studying Dinosaurs that lived on land, earth, and in the air.
• Learning about the difference between carnivores and herbivores.
• Discuss how Dinosaurs left fossils, which give us “clues” about them.
• Discuss different types of dinosaurs such as T-Rex, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops.
• Discuss how dinosaurs all hatched from eggs.

5/18: All About Reptiles and Amphibians
• The difference between reptiles and amphibians.
• Learning about the Frog Life Cycle
• Learning about snakes, lizards, and alligators.
• Learning about turtles and frogs.
• Making a ven diagram of the differences between reptiles and amphibians.

5/25: All About Mammals
Learning the physical characteristics of mammals.
Learning about bears, monkeys, and lions.
What do certain mammals eat?
Where do certain mammals live?

6/1: All About Summer Fun/Safety
• Learning all about camping.
• Making ice cream.
• Learning about “stranger danger”.
• Learning when to call 9-1-1.

Letters of the Week: Try to find objects that begin with each letter wherever you go with your child.
5/4: Yy
5/11: Ss
5/18: Ii
5/25: Pp

Sight Words of the Week: Try to find each word in books as you read to your child.
4/6: Yet
4/13: Set
4/20: Lip
4/27: Pit
Things to do at Home this Month to reinforce our themes:
• Discuss with your child their favorite types of dinosaur they are learning about.
• Take a trip to the zoo with your child. Discuss the different types of animals you see.
• Play “ I Spy” with your child using the letter sounds of the letter of the week.
• Discuss summer safety with your child (stranger danger, swimming safety, etc)


May/June 2015 Monthly Overview

Themes of the week (In addition to Montessori Work Time)
5/4: Solar System
• The children will learn the positions of the Planets and their relative sizes and distances.
• The children will discover why and how Earth is distinctive.
• The children will learn the role of the Sun.
• The children will learn the terms rotation, revolution, and orbit.
• The children will be able to name the planets in the Solar System and the order they are in.

5/11: Dinosaurs
• The children will be able to identify dinosaurs by name.
• The children will recognize the different physical attributes of dinosaurs.
• The children will demonstrate understanding of herbivores and carnivores.
• The children will compare and contrast dinosaurs to modern animals.
• The children will demonstrate understanding of fossils.
• The children will identify that museums are places in communities where artifacts can be viewed.

5/18: Transportation
• The children will become familiar with what transportation is: to carry things from one place to another.
• The children will learn the different methods of travel.
• The children will learn the safety rules for all methods of transportation.

5/25: Sports
• The children will work on gross motor skills by marching, skipping, galloping etc.
• The children will gain the skills needed to engage in imaginative and creative play indoors and outdoors, involving others.
• The children will develop team work with peers.

6/1: Welcome Summer
• The children will learn some outside summer games and activities.
• The children will experiment with water.
• The children will learn about summer safety.

Letters of the week
5/4: Aa
511: Ee
5/18: Ii
5/25: Oo
6/1: Uu

Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes:
• Visit a local museum.
• Take a walk and see how many different forms of transportation you can spot.
• Go to a baseball game.
• Look at the sky with a telescope at night.


Academic Enrichment May/June 2015 | Tallmadge Campus

Our Academic Enrichment time is daily from 12:00-1:00pm.  This time is specifically designed for our Kindergarten students to join together as a group to work and progress through the advanced materials and lessons in the Montessori primary curriculum. Throughout the school day in their classroom they are still working individually with their classroom teacher on these and other materials at their level.

5/4: Introduction to conjunctions
• Rules of the conjunctions
• Worksheets, diagramming sentences

5/11: Introduction to interjections
• Rules of the interjections
• Worksheets, practicing with interjections

5/18: Introduction to punctuation (end of a Sentence)
• Rules of the punctuation
• Worksheets, diagramming sentences

5/25: Introduction to capitalization
• Rules of capitalization
• Worksheets, practicing our capitalization

6/1: Review of the year
• Telling time, landforms
• Coins, paper money
• Mathematical operations
• Geography

Synonyms of the week
5/4: UNDER, below, beneath, underneath
5/11: QUICK, fast, swift, rapid, speedy, hasty
5/18: NEAT, tidy, clean, arranged, well-ordered
5/25: LOOK, see, glance, stare, gaze
6/1: FUNNY, silly, playful, crazy, foolish

Letter / Sight Words
5/4: Aa / at
5/11: Ee / ET word family book look, I, see, a, big, that, is, in, my, he, down
5/18: Ii / big
5/25: Oo / up
6/1: Uu / UG word family book look, I, see, a, big, that, is, in, my, he, down

Things to do at home this month to reinforce our themes:
• Look for our words of the week when reading a story, cut out pictures beginning with the letters of the week.
• Practice using the different synonyms of the week in a sentence together.
• Practice identifying different parts of speech when reading together.


Brandy and Beth’s Corner

Week 32

Students are self-focused on two major ideas this week: breaking a world record and giving back to others. A group of students attempted and completed a Checkerboard problem that had a multiplicand a little bit over a Googol and a 4-digit Multiplier. The category Googol contains 100 zeros to make its place value. Check out our pictures on Facebook! Also, Charity Sweetz is a fundraiser created by our students to raise money for people living in Mexico who need assistance; such as: food, housing and education.

Another big excitement was our fieldtrip for physical education to Sky Zone. Students jumped and flipped on trampolines. Some students played basketball by shooting hoops and some flew like Micheal Jordan, trying to slam dunk with the aid of trampolines. Dodgeball was the most popular activity with teachers and students taking on some older Sky Zone visitors. The competition was high level with good sportsmanship!

Practice for the International Festival is underway. Students are practicing their songs and their lines. Also, students are creating International art for people to enjoy after the show with the generous helpings of food. The Bells and a choir will be featured as part of our Elementary Music program.


April 2015 weekly newsletter

Week 31 (4/7-4/10)

While the students were very happy to spend time with their families over Spring Break, it was clear how much they loved being back in the classroom! Some students got right back to some of the projects they were working on before Spring Break and some of the students asked for refreshers for the work they aspired to do. Spelling quizzes, the Checkerboard, new Art projects were very popular. Students started checking out their money skills as well.

 

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A small committee of students met this week, finalizing the Elementary performance for our next school event, the International Festival. A group of students have been reading about Clara Barton and the Red Cross this year. Students have been talking about these historical events among each other and have been amazed with her life. This amazement has trickled into our performance and the committee has designed a performance that will remind us all of the impact the Red Cross has in the world.

Friday at Dad with Donuts, everyone who attended had a blast! Each student felt special spending the morning with his or her guest. Also, each guest received a special gift the students made with joy and pride. No one left hungry but all left with a smile. What a way to start your day!