Posts Tagged With: Evergreen Elementary

Allendale Elementary Students bring Thanksgiving to Local Families

Allendale Public School, Love Inc., Springview Elementary School, Evergreen Elementary School, Thanksgiving Food Drive

With Thanksgiving approaching, many of us take a quiet moment to count our blessings and consider the glass “half full” around tables stacked high with turkey and mashed potatoes.

But we all know that far too many families approach the holiday season with a twinge of worry — or worse. That’s why, for the last ten years, the Allendale Elementary PTO has sponsored and coordinated a season of giving with the students at Springview and Evergreen Elementaries.

Allendale Public School, Love Inc., Springview Elementary School, Evergreen Elementary School, Thanksgiving Food Drive

From October 28 – November 8, students were asked to donate pudding cups, which provide a full serving of dairy and 100% juice boxes, which provide a full serving of fruit. These were given to Manna Meals, a ministry of Allendale parent Diane Westrick. Manna Meals, which is based out of Lighthouse Church, provides healthy meals to a group of over 160 Allendale students on a regular basis.

Allendale Public School, Love Inc., Springview Elementary School, Evergreen Elementary School, Thanksgiving Food Drive

The remainder of the non-perishable food collected, along with personal care and paper products, was offered to Love, Inc., where it will stock the shelves of their food pantry. Love, Inc is well known locally for their outreach in various communities. Of themselves they say:

“We are the link between churches, service agencies and local individuals or families to assist with meeting financial, physical, emotional or spiritual needs. We continue to work with local churches, schools and local service organizations to address needs, fill gaps and help people who are struggling financially, emotionally or spiritually.”

On the day of collection, Springview and Evergreen “3 R Superstar” students (nominated by teachers based on leadership qualities, respectfulness and citizenship) had the opportunity to sort the food and help load the truck. It was in that moment that the impact of their school-wide effort was most felt. Amidst the buzz of busy hands, they remarked:

“It’s important to help people not starve,” and “It’s nice to help people who don’t have as much food. If they don’t get that food, they could die of starvation, so we try to give as much food as we can.”

Allendale Public School, Love Inc., Springview Elementary School, Evergreen Elementary School, Thanksgiving Food Drive

Allendale Public School, Love Inc., Springview Elementary School, Evergreen Elementary School, Thanksgiving Food Drive

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Allendale Public School, Love Inc., Springview Elementary School, Evergreen Elementary School, Thanksgiving Food Drive

Allendale Public School, Love Inc., Springview Elementary School, Evergreen Elementary School, Thanksgiving Food Drive

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Kudos to Springview and Evergreen students for giving more families a reason to be thankful this holiday season!

Categories: Allendale Elementary Schools | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

3rd Graders “Paws” to Help the Kent Humane Society

Allendale Elementary, Kent Humane Society, Allendale Public Schools

This Christmas, third grade students in Springview and Evergreen Elementary Schools are returning the unconditional love their pets give to them each day by offering love to the animals at Kent County’s Humane Society. 

Mrs. Marla Chapin of Springview Elementary introduced the idea to her students before Thanksgiving with the hopes of creating excitement and raising awareness around the needs of animals without families. Instead of spending $3 on a traditional in-class gift exchange, students were invited to buy a gift for an orphaned animal in Kent County. Soon, all third grade classes in Allendale were on board and the project was underway!

“You should have seen the excitement on the children’s faces when we began discussing the idea! It’s a wonderful opportunity to underscore the importance of giving over receiving,” she said.

As items such as food, blankets, towels, and chew toys were collected, students were also able to look forward to a December 13 visit from the Kent Humane Society to learn more about their work as a non-profit organization.

Allendale Elementary, Kent Humane Society, Allendale Public SchoolsDuring the assembly, student educators from the Humane Society presented APS third graders with information about how they are organized and how they care for the animals entrusted to them.

Did you know that:

  • The Kent County Humane Society cares for 3,000 – 7,000 homeless animals each year
  • Over 250 animals were placed in homes last year alone
  • Volunteers contribute over 1,200 hours a month to the care of animals at KCHS
  • The “Kibble Connection” helps low income pet owners better care for their animals
  • The KCHS offers camps for children and teens to come and experience work in the shelter; over 500 West Michigan kids went to a humane society camp in 2012
  • The Kent Humane Society never turns away pets that are stray, neglected, abused, or unwanted, nor do they impose time limits on an animal’s stay.
  • Roughly 6-8 million animals enter shelters across the United States each year, and only 25-35% ever find homes.

Third graders wrapped up their visit with the opportunity to ask questions and pet a bearded gecko and a bunny.

Thank you to those of you who were able to contribute to this project! The animals of Kent County are grateful!

Allendale Elementary, Kent Humane Society, Allendale Public Schools

Categories: Allendale Elementary Schools, Special Projects at APS | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You’re Invited to the Next Allendale Elementary PTO Meeting

Allendale Public Schools, Allendale Elementary PTOHave you ever tried to play on a teeter-totters alone? It’s not much fun, is it? Without a partner to balance your weight on the other side, you’re grounded. Even with the energy that comes from well-timed jumps, the fun doesn’t last long without the presence of another.

The same could be said of young children on swings. Until they learn how to pump their legs, they are left waiting for someone to push them. They are left waiting for the momentum that comes from someone standing nearby to help.

The same can be said of our schools. Yes, our buildings can operate without the momentum that comes from community support, but they probably won’t reach the heights that are possible when a team of people are invested.

Yes, our teachers can do their jobs and make a difference in the lives of children on their own, but just like a one-sided teeter-totter, things are just more difficult.

That’s why we’re invited you to get involved in your child’s school this year.

The Allendale Elementary PTO exists to increase communication between school and home while raising money to support our schools. With attention focused at K-5th grades, the PTO is responsible for planning activities such as mother/son and father/daughter outings, the annual Fitness Frenzy, and organizing the spirit wear sale. A full list of PTO events and other information can be found here.

This Thursday evening the PTO has planned a “Parent Café.” This is not a typical meeting, but is described by President Aaron Haight as being “an educational program that will offer parents education on healthy and wellness, child safety, school success and much more.”

If you’ve thought about getting involved in the PTO but have been uncertain about doing so, Aaron offers some encouragement.

“I was hesitant about the PTO… as a working mom I was worried about being “judged” by the other moms, but I was welcomed right away. This is a chance for you to have a positive influence on your children’s school – you can be involved as much or as little as you like… some parents count labels. Some parents plan events. Some parents support our events. We’ll find a place for you!”

If you’d like to give PTO a try this year, why not start by attending a meeting? We’d love to have you!

  • WHEN? Thursday, November 1
  • WHAT TIME? 6:30 pm
  • WHERE? Oakwood Cafeteria
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Three R’s Superstars!

Last year, Allendale social worker Bill Patteuw and school psychologist Erin Werkman had a brainstorm that would send ripples throughout the Evergreen and Springview buildings beyond what they had hoped or imagined.

Their vision? To create a motto of sorts–a mission statement– that all kids could learn and that would help to guide positive behavior at school. It had to be easy to remember yet something that embodied the type of student and citizen APS strives to help grow. What they came up with is now termed the three R’s: Respectful, Responsible, and Ready to Learn.

What they needed next was a student group to model the new “mission statement” and enlisting their help with the rest of the student body.

So last February a group of then-third graders was selected by teachers as the “Three R’s Superstars,” a group of eight kids who made it their mission to lead by example among their peers.

One part of their legacy is a collection of recorded videos that demonstrate appropriate actions in the hallways, on the playground, and on the bus. Those videos are still used as teaching tools for this years’ student body, housed on a hard drive for staff to access at any time.

This year’s set of exemplary young people (pictured here) were again selected by their teachers and have worked hard to make a difference at school. They are Ryan Blackburn, Kiersten Holleman, Lauren Butterfield, Lorraine Martin, Morgan Dyke, Sabastian Wells, Braydon Vissers, and Ben Bakran. 

Aside from encouraging their classmates, these superstars help with morning announcements and meet once a month during their lunch recess with advisors to discuss ways that they can help to improve their school and to share concerns or problem areas that could be smoothed out with positive behavior modeling.

Another role of the group is to discuss ideas for lunch time raffles based on students who have been “ticketed” in the hallways. “Falcon Tickets” recognize kids who are caught being respectful, responsible, and ready to learn. 

Mr. Patteuw noted that instituting the three R’s has helped “…catch those kids who would’ve otherwise fallen through the cracks. Those kids who perhaps once were sitting on the fence with behavior choices now want to be caught doing good.”

This group of students realizes that they have a special role to play and already feel that they have learned a lot in that role. When asked, here are some of their thoughts:

“I like that we get to discuss what we really need to work on.” (Lorraine)

“I like that we get to be leaders at school.” (Ben)

“If somebody gets hurt or needs help, the three R’s remind me to be a good friend; to treat others the way I want to be treated.” (Ryan)

“It’s important to be nice to others. For example, if they fall, help them up!” (Sebastian)

At the end of our time together I asked these small leaders if any of them would consider running for President one day.

The smiles stretched large and white, and the hands began to raise.

Four of them.

Who knows?

Respectful? Responsible? Ready to Learn?

Sounds like a winning combination to me!

Categories: Students in the Spotlight! | Tags: , , | 12 Comments

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