Monthly Archives: December 2014

Staff Members are “Holiday Helpers” within our community

holiday helpersAllendale Public School staff members give generously during this holiday season to support families and children who might have a difficult Christmas because of unemployment, unexpected bills, or just struggling to make ends meet.  The Holiday Helpers program has been in existence for several years to provide gifts and needed supplies to those in need.

Deb DeLooff, Student Services Coordinator, and Bill Patteuw, Elementary Social Worker, are the program coordinators.  In the first week of November, information is sent home in both English and Spanish to families.  This year a total of 80 families requested help for the holidays.  Of that number, Holiday Helpers were able to adopt 30 families with a total of 75 children.  This was possible through a partnership of Evergreen/Springview/Oakwood staff, Body Language Dance Company, Allendale Township Library, and Allendale Love INC.  The families that could not be served were referred to a Salvation Army program.

Approximately 225 gifts were purchased and donated for this effort.  Today through Thursday, eligible families could “shop” for their children from the donated gifts.  Adopted families will also receive a holiday meal from Love INC.

Another partnership with Grand Valley College of Community & Public Service Undergraduate Advising Center encouraged a collection of items used as gifts given to New Options High School students.  Approximately 130 items ranging from health and beauty items to pajamas were donated.  High school and middle school staff members were encouraged to donate to needy students by Val Sikma, Special Education Instructional Aide, who said, “Often the middle school and high school students don’t speak up for their needs, and they fall through the cracks.”

Thanks to all who partner together to make this season a little more bright for all of our children!

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Thank You Retirees

Mary Edwards

After 26 years of service to Allendale Public Schools, Mary Edwards, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, is retiring at the end of December. Mary has served as the Board of Education Secretary and the Assistant to three Superintendents (Dave Annis, Catherine Ceglarek, and Dan Jonker). An open house has been scheduled for 4-6 PM on Wednesday, December 17 at the Oakwood Board Conference Room to give staff and community members a chance to say good-bye and “thanks”.

Chuck Hammond is retiring and the end of December after 13 years of service as our Delivery Driver. Chuck Hammond
Chuck shuttles interoffice mail, food service supplies, and other items between District buildings as needed on a daily basis. An Open House is scheduled for Monday, December 15 from 4-6 PM in the High School Cafeteria in his honor.

President Jennifer Coffey presenting awards to departing members.
We also say good-bye to two long-serving Board Trustees. Scott MacDonald (12+ years)
and Ron Brouwer (8+ years) have served our school district well with a passion for
quality public education. They were honored at the December 8 Board Meeting and presented with their awards by Board of Education President, Jennifer Coffey.




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Art Partners create “Wild Things” – Revisited

Christian and Max

Christian and Max

If you follow this blog, you may recall a post from October 7 about Art students from Ms. Dehning & Ms. Detter’s Kindergarten class and Ms. Overmeyer’s High School 3D Art class partnering in the creative process. After listening to the story, “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak, Kindergartners were paired with High School students. Ms. Suhy (elementary Art teacher) encouraged the Kindergartners to draw and color their own unique “Wild Thing”. She discussed textures and mixing parts of animals in their drawings.

Kenzie & Destiny

Kenzie and Destiny

The high school students then took those drawings back to the high school, and, over the course of two weeks, turned the kindergartners’ drawings into 3-dimensional soft sculptures. The “wild things” were delivered back to the kindergartners last month.  Pictured are some examples of the collaborative result of Kindergarten and High School artists in creating “wild things”.

Joanna and Tara

Joanna and Tara


Ryan and Alyssa

Ryan and Alyssa

Kayla and Alexis

Kayla and Alexis

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Jr. First Lego League Students Showcase Their Ideas

lego league 2

Mrs. Chapin asks the students about their LEGO model.

The 2nd and 3rd grade Jr. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League teams from Allendale Elementary shined today as they showed off their Lego models for an audience of family members and teachers.  These talented students spent the past 5 weeks learning to work as a team as they explored the engineering process while building with Legos.

The theme for this year’s Jr. FIRST Lego League challenge was learning.  Students brainstormed learning places and learning tools and then as a team they selected a learning place and tool to build for their model.  Simple machines and a movable part were also required to be included in their models, but the rest was up to their creativity! These young engineers definitely used their creativity to build models of places such as a theater with a movable projector and crane to lift an actor, a library with a machine to shelve books, a museum with a chocolate factory exhibit, and a classroom with a moving car used to study forces and motion.  Lego League team members learned valuable lessons in teamwork, designing, and engineering!lego league 4

This Jr. FIRST Lego League is laying the foundation for the FIRST Tech Challenge, a robotics competition for middle and high school students.  Allendale will be hosting a FIRST Tech competition this Saturday at the middle school from 8 am to 5 pm.  You are welcome to stop by to cheer our Allendale teams on and watch the robots go head to head!


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