Parents hear about new PALS program
LAKE WALES – A special group of Polk Avenue parents gathered recently to hear about the school’s new PALS – Polk Avenue Leader Scholars – program. Students are selected based on high benchmark assessment scores.
PALS students meet twice a week with Donna Burns, the Lake Wales Charter Schools system teacher for gifted and talented students. Initially, about 32 students in grades 3-5 will be involved in PALS.
The first PALS project will be a “Wax Museum.” Students will research characters, and use art, drama and public speaking to present museum characters to an audience.
“We are very excited about providing top students with this opportunity,” said Principal Gail Quam.
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LAKE WALES – Polk Avenue Elementary hosted its second annual Leadership Day in May (May 15) and gave visitors a chance to experience “leadership” through the eyes of students.
“The Leader in Me is an innovative, school-wide model that emphasizes a culture of student empowerment. It helps unleash each child’s full potential,” explained Principal Gail Quam. Polk Avenue Elementary has been working for several years to implement The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®. Both teachers and students study and use the leadership principles daily.
Members of the community heard from fourth graders about their St. Jude’s Leadership Project that has raised more than $1,200. Visitors also watched videos created by third graders, viewed the first grade play, and were serenaded by the Cardinal Chorus.
Next, Lighthouse Team students led small groups to different areas of the school. At the Wax Museum, visitors met different historical figures, as recreated by Donna Burns’ students. Then, Melissa Kelly’s reading group transformed into scientists and explained their contributions to our world. Little Cardinal Leadership Academy students paired with fifth graders to demonstrate the Pre-K Pals program where older students read to younger students. Finally, guests saw how second graders track their own progress using data notebooks.
PHOTO #1: Teacher Melissa Kelly and her science students.
PHOTO #2: Student Sebastian Melton represented Sitting Bull as part of the PALS Wax Museum.
PHOTO #3: Members of the Cardinal Chorus.