Second-graders at Churchville Elementary School (CES) have been exchanging letters with special friends at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) throughout this school year.
For 2018, SHS students took a more active role in promoting the message of National Red Ribbon Week — literally. They fielded eight teams for an afternoon of healthy fun on the school’s volleyball courts. Joined by two teams of enthusiastic (but woefully outclassed) teachers, students proved that physical activity and healthy habits work together to create strong, happy lives.
The event was facilitated by a large group of teachers and staff, led by school counselor Tracie Swalbach and physical education teachers Mary Patricia Dewey, Janelle Hernandez and Elizabeth Johnson. Students signed up to participate, and created their own team uniforms and identities, like Got Red? and Hugs Not Drugs. The Red Ribbon volleyball tournament ended a week of drug and alcohol awareness activities at the school.
A library is more than a quiet, book-lined space for reading and research. In addition to a myriad of new media and online resources, libraries are hotspots for experimentation. Certainly, the library at Churchville Elementary School is often at the center of new ideas and stimulating activities. Once a month, for example, the space becomes a bustling video production studio, complete with reporters, cameras and lighting — fourth-graders are recording the Churchville Elementary Show.
Each monthly episode introduces a new set of onscreen correspondents who present regular features on art, music and physical education. School-wide character building initiatives play a big part in the programming, while roving reporters visit classrooms to give other students the opportunity to be part of the fun. Shows have featured digital citizenship and ways to prevent cyberbullying, interviews with kindergarteners, and fun ways to exercise at home.
Presenters learn valuable skills, working with others as a team and learning to think creatively. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that all CES students see what’s happening in other classes and grades. It brings students together and strengthens understanding and school spirit.