WQOW.com: They say age is meant to bring us wisdom, but students at Osseo-Fairchild Elementary School are growing wise with a little help.
Millie “Grandma Millie” Polinske might not look like a typical first grader, but what she lacks in youth, her spirit surpasses.
“I always thought if I could help with one student it would be worth it,” said Polinske.
Polinske has volunteered as a Foster Grandparent for 24 years, all spent at Osseo-Fairchld Elementary.
“It does just as much for me as it does for the student,” Polinske said.
The program partners grandparents and pupils as they help students over learning hurdles, after already gone over their own.
“The one on one relationship that develops with the older adult is so important to them, someone who notices when they have a haircut or new shoes,” said Mary Jo Hanson, Director of the Foster Grandparents Program.
The Dunn County News: The school board learned of an online physical education course that was offered to Menomonie High School students for the first time this summer.
The course was created and run by Matt Riley, physical education teacher and coach, who explained at Monday’s meeting that participation in the course lays groundwork for a lifetime of physical fitness and teaches students to take responsibility for their health.
In addition to the physical benefits, the course taught students about self-discipline, goal setting, stress management and teamwork.
All students who participated in the 10-week course were required to wear a Polar fitness watch which tracked their activity, heart rate and amount of calories burned. The online portal allowed students to track their activity and include which type of activity they were doing.
“The class really allowed students who wanted to take it to open up their schedule more so they can have more opportunities during the school year,” Riley said.
WQOW.com: With Friday night lights right around the corner, young athletes are checking their cognitive abilities just in case they take a hard hit and end up with brain injuries.
Along with the grass stained shorts and green Gatorade bottles comes the importance of addressing health risks, especially concussions.
“It affects day to day life. They can have memory loss. They can have difficulty computing things. They get sensitivity to light and noise, and it affects their ability to learn,” said Lynn Reuss, the head athletic trainer at Eau Claire Memorial High School.
While not required by the WIAA, Mike Sinz, the head coach of Eau Claire Memorial Football, said he requires his athletes to take a baseline cognitive test before he blows the whistle at the first practice.
“Before we even get into anything physical, they have to watch a video; the athletes and their parents do. They have to take an imPACT test with our training staff,” Sinz said.
The imPACT test stands for “immediate post concussion assessment and cognitive testing” and is used to compare an athlete’s reaction and memory skills, pre and post concussion.
“It gives athletic trainers a better idea of where they are at for their heeling process with their concussion,” Reuss said.
Staff said concussions are no joke. Athletes and their parents should take the right steps if they do get concussed.
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.
WKOW.com: While the weather might have many people opting to stay indoors, the cold weather doesn’t stop school bells from ringing. The Eau Claire School District is making sure kids are properly bundled up during harsh days.
Staff at Lakeshore Elementary said Wednesday that the school has never had to send home a student for not having enough warm gear. That’s because they always have warm clothes available for kids who need it, whether it’s for kids to take home and keep or just to have extras on hand at school. Staff said it’s all possible through donations made by the community and local organizations, giving anything from coats to hats and mittens.
The last two days Eau Claire schools have kept doors closed during recess because of the cold, but school staff said students still need warm clothes to make it to and from school.
“When they have food in their bellies they’re able to learn, and when they have a nice warm coat, mittens to come to school in…” said Lakeshore Elementary Partnership Coordinator. “Not everyone rides the bus a lot of kid walk, so if they’re warm and they’re toasty when they get to school, then they’re ready and they aren’t worried about walking home without any snow pants or boots, that sort of thing.”
WSAW.com: In the past 10 years, Wausau East has seen an increase in diversity among students, and because of those rising numbers, teachers brought back a togetherness program that they used four years ago to promote unity in the school.
The program is called, ‘We are 1,’ and last year’s Wausau East seniors were the last ones to experience it. That’s why teachers thought it was time to bring it back.
The idea is to promote tolerance, and togetherness throughout the school community and show kids that they’re more alike, then they are different.
Students filed into the cafeteria for lunch on Thursday and were greeted with quite the surprise, as music filled the room and sweet treats were handed out to promote the “We are 1,” message.
The school said they hadn’t seen any diversity issues recently, but getting the message of being kind to one another across is still an important task.
“This is every bodies school regardless of who your parents are, or where you live,” explained Wausau East teacher Christy Powell.
The Chippewa Herald: It’s all about student engagement. If the Chippewa Falls teacher could get her students more involved in the learning process, she thought there was a better chance for them to be successful.
Tina Parker is an interventionist at Southview and Hillcrest elementary schools but received recognition for her previous work as a first grade teacher when she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching on Sept. 8 in Washington D.C.
The award is the nation’s highest honor for teachers in those fields, according to the PAEMST website. President Obama announced the winners of the award from every state Aug. 22.
“As the United States continues to lead the way in the innovation that is shaping our future,” Obama said in a press release, “these excellent teachers are preparing students from all corners of the country with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills that help keep us on the cutting-edge.”
The Chippewa Herald:Dr. Heidi Eliopoulos found herself on stage this month at the What’s Right In Education national conference in Chicago. She delivered a key presentation because Chippewa Falls Schools were being honored as the showcase district.
It wasn’t the first time this summer Eliopoulos was in the spotlight. She was also invited to present at the Quality Educator Convention in Madison. Along with Pewaukee Superintendent Dr. JoAnn Sternke and Dr. Melissa Matarazzo of Studer Education, they conducted a joint presentation about continuous improvement processes within schools.
“Heidi presented the story concisely, with excitement, she connected it with the larger picture of public education across the country, she engaged her entire leadership team and was incredibly well received,” said Matarazzo. The Florida-based group works with Chippewa Falls and more than a dozen other school districts in Wisconsin, as well as many others across the country.
Both conferences recognized Chippewa Falls for the success it is having with its strategic plan, and is a direct result of the Community Conversation process the district undertook in February 2014.
New Richmond News: Seventh grade students at Somerset Middle School used patterns provided by Sole Hope to cut old jeans into shoe uppers, which was then sent to Uganda where the material is used to make shoes for children.
A total of 120 seventh-graders, as well as several staff members, took part in the shoe-cutting party.
“The overall reaction by the students was very positive,” Driscoll said. “They liked the idea of using the last day of school to do something worthwhile. They were happy to help children in need and make a difference in the world.”