Garden provides science, math lessons
LAKE WALES – Students in Kristine Shollenberger’s third grade class at Polk Avenue Elementary are using the school garden to study science, math, technology and engineering.
The STEM lessons include learning about plants (science); using tools in the garden (technology); creating a planting grid with string (engineering); and accurately measuring the perimeter to create equal spacing of plants (math).
“Student leaders have roles in the upkeep of our garden, like watering, weeding and eventually harvesting. The class is very proud of their hard work,” said Shollenberger.
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.
LAKE WALES – LAKE WALES – Polk Avenue hosted its first-ever Hispanic Celebration earlier this month (May 3) with food, fashion and fun from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Guatemala.
“As a staff at Polk Avenue, we examined our demographics, and we were inspired to create an event that was targeted toward our largest demographic group,” said Assistant Principal Metta O’Bryant, who helped create the event. Nearly 40 percent of Polk Avenue’s students are Hispanic.
“We knew this would be a great way to reach out to the families at our school,” said Principal Gail Quam. “It was a fun learning experience for everyone.”
To kick off the Celebration, students and adults learned about Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Guatemala from a PowerPoint presentation provided by Julio Acevedo, migrant coordinator for Lake Wales Charter Schools.
Next, students enjoyed a live fashion show with clothing styles from each of the four Hispanic cultures. Students also were introduced to music presented by the Acevedo family. A variety of delicious foods and beverages from the four countries gave students a chance to experience different Hispanic cultures.
“We are thankful for the many community partners, families and staff members who synergized to make this day a great success,” said O’Bryant.
Sponsors and volunteers included: LaBotana Restaurant (food); Julio Acevedo family (food and music); Maria Escobar (costumes); Lee Wroten and Kevin Lee (watermelons); Ernesto Garcia (taqueria paraiso); Amarilys Reyes (arroz congri); Yini Schreiber (food and fundraising); Olga Stafford (arroz con dulce); Dr. Anthony Faro family (flags). Jenny Gilbert, Sandy Altimirano, Debbie Rivera, Jaxy Windish and Naiaris Rivera helped make passports, flowers, and flyers. Nikki Sealey helped decorate.
PHOTO: Middle school visitor Cecilia Escobar shows off her authentic Mexican dress, while Polk Avenue student Daniel Eudave holds the Mexican flag donated by Dr. Anthony Faro. Both students wear “friendship bracelets” made in colors of the Mexican flag.
PHOTO #2: Assistant Principal Metta O’Bryant & Principal Gail Quam get in the celebration spirit!