Washburn graduate starts recycling program for used fishing line

Washburn

Ashland Daily Press: There’s more to appreciate along the Washburn Walking Trail this summer than just birds, butterflies and beaches. For instance, Emma Meeker, a 2017 Washburn High School (WHS) graduate has created two Reel In and Recycle monofilament-recycling bins for used/unwanted fishing line.

“My goal is to make life easy for boaters on Lake Superior,” said Michelle Shrider, general manager of the Washburn Marina since 2007.

One way to make life easier has been helping to facilitate Meeker’s project.

 “The primary reason we put those containers up is because one of the biggest hazards to a marine habitat in a heavily used recreational boating environment is fish line, which gets caught up on the fish gills and they die. Also, those fish get caught up in boat props and can do a lot of damage,” Shrider said.

Meeker began her project junior year in 2015 while attending the Conserve School fall semester.

“As part of a Stewardship class, we were asked to create a project that we wanted to bring back to our community to help the environment,” Meeker said.

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Wisconsin’s History Teacher of the Year has Strayed from Using Textbooks

history teacherNorthwest Now: Rhonda Watton has progressively gone away from relying on textbooks to teach her social studies students at Templeton Middle School, relying most on primary accounts of history to teach, a method that has earned her the accolade of Wisconsin’s History Teacher of the Year.

Watton has been a teacher for 25 years, beginning in the Milwaukee Public Schools in 1992 and spending the past 20 years in the Hamilton School District.

Her love of history was sparked by college professors at Carthage College in Kenosha.

“They made history come alive for me; it really was interactive classes and they had different ways of presenting the material,” Watton said. “Some of it was through literature, some was through film and plenty of discussion.”

This teaching style struck Watton so much as a student that she made it her own as a teacher.

“The use of primary source documents in the classroom and not just teaching out of a history book, which is someone’s secondary source interpretation of what went on, is important,” Watton said.

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La Crosse Employees Come Together to Benefit Students

La Crosse

News8000.com: The shelves of a local food pantry are filling up thanks to the efforts of employees of a local business.

Tammy Huntington, an employee of McLoone Metal Graphics of La Crosse, decided to start a fundraiser to benefit local students during the summer. Through donations from fellow employees, the business was able to collect about $450 worth of food for the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse.

Huntington says her donation drive is an example of how easy it is to help those in need.

“It’s no fault of their own that they don’t have the food that they need to survive and I just think it’s sad with where we live and how easy it is to reach into your pocket and donate just a little bit,” said Huntington.

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Milwaukee Public School District To Expand Free Driver’s Education Program

MPS drivers ed

Wisconsin Public Radio: The Milwaukee Public School District is expanding its free driver’s education program to 1,400 students this upcoming school year. All students age 15 ½ to 17 ½ are eligible to participate in the program.

Annie Kubes, coordinator of citywide programs with the district, said today’s students need a valid driver’s license in order to find jobs.

“Seventy-five percent of the job openings in Milwaukee County in 2012 were in the suburbs,” she said. “Most were beyond the bus line so they weren’t necessarily accessible so having a driver’s license is really key in terms of accessing employment.”

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Chippewa Valley Awarded $1 Million to Support Youth Mental Health

WEAU.com: The Eau Claire City-County Health Department released the following news release.

After a year of planning, the Mental Health Matter’s project was awarded funding for the next five years by the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The goal of the grant is to promote youth resilience and mental health in the Chippewa Valley. This funding is part of AHW’s initiative focused on improving community behavioral health. As part of its mission to improve health in Wisconsin, AHW supports community projects that lead to improvements in health at the local level.

Locally, eighteen organizations from Chippewa and Eau Claire counties came together over the last year to form the Mental Health Matters Coalition and complete the first phase of the initiative. They found that 28% of local middle and high school-age youth felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row in the last year. To change this, the coalition looked to strategies to build resilience, or the ability of youth to adapt to difficulties. All youth, including those who have a history with adverse childhood experiences, can be supported by factors that increase resilience.

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Iola-Scandinavia Students Learn from Climbing

Climbing

 

Waupaca County News: A climbing wall at the Iola-Scandinavia Community Fitness & Aquatic Center has been turned into a learning experience for students of all ages.

“The last two years, we had introduced the climbing wall in physical education classes at all levels of the school district,” center director Tim Welch said.

It only seemed natural to add it to the summer school curriculum and Welch said it has been a big hit.

“Climbing is called a Challenge by Choice activity,” he said. “This means students make their own choices how far and high to climb. This way, climbing becomes an individual fun activity not based on fear, but based on what they can do physically and what they feel comfortable doing.”

Students agreed.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Ahnna Check, 8. “I was a little scared at first, but I love it now.”

“It’s much harder than I thought, but I like the challenge,” third-grader Korz Loken said. “Everyone should give it a try. It’s something new and fun to do.”

“I finally made it to the top,” added Jayden Ridge, 7.

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Madison School District celebrates its first class of graduates to earn state’s new Seal of Biliteracy

Madison bilingual

The Capital Times: After 13 years of dual-language instruction, the Madison Metropolitan School District’s first class of graduates walked across the stage this spring with Wisconsin’s new Seal of Biliteracy, certifying their mastery of a foreign language during high school.

Forty-five students from Madison La Follette High School earned the seal of biliteracy in Spanish. All of the students were a part of the first class of 50 kindergartners at Nuestro Mundo Elementary School’s dual-language immersion program. The majority of the cohort continued with the DLI program at Sennett Middle School and followed the required course of study at La Follette to earn the seal.

Starting next school year, students across the district will have the chance to earn the biliteracy seal with their high school diplomas. With the expansion, MMSD expects the number of qualified students to expand exponentially.

The seal of biliteracy was created by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in partnership with several national organizations that champion bilingual education. Wisconsin is one of 27 states to offer the seal to graduating seniors. According to DPI guidelines, the seal certifies that students, “demonstrated achievement in bilingualism, biliteracy and multicultural competence in and through two or more languages.” MMSD is one of three Wisconsin school districts so far, including Verona and Waukesha, to offer the seal of biliteracy to graduates.

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Fall Creek picked as an innovative school district

WEAU.com: The Fall Creek school district was named an innovative district for the second year in a row by the International Center for Leadership in Education.

Fall Creek is one of 12 schools and districts chosen to share best practices at the 25th annual Model Schools conference.

The conference is the nation’s premier event for rapidly improving K-12 schools and districts.

It will take place June 25-28 in Nashville.

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Borsuk: Character counts — and these 6 schools prove it

Rawson

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Sometimes, the kids playing kickball on the playground of Rawson Elementary School in South Milwaukee get into arguments over whether someone was safe or out. Or whether someone did or did not touch a base. They don’t always handle their differences in the nicest way.

Behavior at the school? “It’s not perfect,” one fourth-grader told me when I visited just as the school year was coming to an end.

But I am not here to criticize. In fact, my purpose is to praise Rawson and the other five schools in the 3,200-student South Milwaukee district for the bigger picture of how people treat each other (adults and students both).

South Milwaukee schools have been working for seven years on a broad effort focused on building the character traits of everyone involved in the schools and making school life as conducive as it can be to success both in academics and, in broader terms, daily life.

That led to South Milwaukee being named a “national district of character” this year by Character.org, a Washington-based nonprofit that promotes and assists efforts to make character education part of what schools do. South Milwaukee is one of only four districts nationwide to receive the recognition.

There also were 83 schools named “national schools of character” this year. One was Greenwood Elementary in River Falls.

I like character education for two simple reasons:

One is that there are so many schools where the atmosphere created by the way people treat each other impedes education. This goes not only for how kids act but for how adults in the school sometimes treat kids — and other adults. (I’ve witnessed these things.) So much class time in so many schools is taken up with behavior problems. More broadly, a positive school culture leads to more positive outcomes.

The other is that I am convinced the well-designed efforts around character and conduct can make differences. It is possible to create a more positive atmosphere in a school. Intentional efforts around character education can be a part of that.

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MPS students get a lesson from the pros in cooking, healthy eating

MPS

Fox6Now.com: Milwaukee Public Schools students on Friday, June 9th got a lesson from the pros. It’s all about good cooking and healthy eating.

Tortillas are tasty and nutritious when they’re made from scratch. Making them might even feel like a game.

“That way they don’t have to buy the processed stuff,” said Sam Ek, Sous Chef at Odd Duck.

Sam Ek, the Sous Chef at Odd Duck in Milwaukee, is teaching his ways to students from MPS’ Story Elementary School.

The cooking lesson is thanks to a partnership between MPS and the Hunger Task Force. The Nutrition Education Program teaches grade school students the importance of healthy eating.

“You get to experience new things,” said DoMani Jones, 4th grade student at Story Elementary.

They learn from a dietitian during the school year and a number of local chefs this week.

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