Hats off to the Homer Emblem Club No. 350; Sons of the Legion, Post No. 16; The Homer Foundation; Kachemak Bay Lions; and Rotary Club of Homer-Downtown for supporting literacy in our schools each year through the Battle of the Books program! By donating these books to West Homer, and to each area school that participates in the program each year, these sponsors have helped hundreds of Homer area students improve their reading comprehension, speed, fluency, and gain a true love for reading!
national program, Battle of the Books serves all levels of participating readers from elementary through high school. At West Homer, students in grades 3-4 and 5-6 read a list of fiction and nonfiction books, such as mystery, historical fiction, and science. They meet with volunteer teachers at lunch or after school to discuss facts in each book. Eventually, a team of three students represents each combined grade level to “battle” the facts with other area schools. Winners eventually square off at the State level. Audio-conference equipment allows students to battle from their school sites. When we finish with the competitions, the books become part of our school’s library collection, where they continue to be read by other students.
The above sponsors recognize that a child who can read well has the best chance for success in life. Children not only learn to understand written information, but they apply what they learn to new situations every day. Thank you, Linda Etzwiler and Fran McCampbell for ordering and distributing, these important books for our schools!
This year’s West Homer Elementary 5-6 team placed second in the District and the 3-4 team placed first, which enables them to participate in the State Battle of the Books.
Shirlie Gribble (5-6)
Lyn Maslow (3-4)
Lisa Whip (Librarian)
West Homer Elementary
If Gov. Parnell really wants to help increase the profits of Alaska’s extractive industries he needs to be at least a little more subtle than pushing the blatant destruction of salmon streams envisioned by the Chuitna project.
How was the Republican party able to keep the fact that Gov. Sean Parnell was an Exxon lawyer out of the public eye? It makes it pretty easy to see why he wants to give billions of dollars to the oil companies. Fighting the State and the fishermen for 20 plus years and to bring a jury settlement from $10 billion to $500 million, as an Exxon lawyer, is inexcusable, Gov Parnell. I am now ready for the next election.
This year’s Artist in the School project at Paul Banks Elementary was a testament to the possibilities and strengths of an interconnected community. Ruby Haigh, a local artist, teacher, and grandmother in our community has been a respected volunteer at Paul Banks for some time. From the moment she considered being our resident artist, she began brainstorming an idea for a tile mosaic that could be a permanent, beautiful addition to our school. The vision was a mosaic created entirely by the children; something that spoke to the history and philosophy of Paul Banks Elementary, and that would not only be a thing of beauty and pride for the students, but also a lasting statement to the students and the community about our key school values of kindness, hard work, creating art, music, and academic rigor. While we knew from the outset that we were undertaking a once in a lifetime sized goal, the full magnitude of the work this idea would entail only became apparent as the project unfolded.
The project would have been difficult to achieve without the generous funding of the Artist in the Schools program. We thank the Rasmuson Foundation, Bunnell Street Arts Center, and the Alaska State Council on the Arts for their ongoing support of the AIS program in our area. The benefits to our students from this program are tremendous. Thank you also to Chad Dalke of Stone Works Tiling, who donated four long days over spring break and did a beautiful job on the installation of the mural. Surely the project would not have been the same without Grandma Gaye Wolfe, who spent many days helping Ruby and the children. Ruby Haigh, if we could add up all the extra hours I know you put into the project, we would all be blown away. You remained cheerful, enthusiastic, and optimistic—even as the inevitable challenges arose in a project so large. Thank you.
Everyone, please join us for our second annual First Friday Art Show at 5:30 April 6 for the unveiling of the mural, with all the art on display throughout the school from 5-7 p.m. I know you will be as impressed with our young artists as we are.
on behalf of staff and students at PBE
On behalf of the Kachemak Bay Research Reserves Coastal Training Program and the Kachemak Bay Science Conference planning team, we send our sincere thanks to the Homer Foundations KLEPS fund for their support of the March 8 Nancy Baron Communication Workshop: Making Your Science Matter.
With the Homer Foundations support, we were able to bring an internationally renowned communication trainer to Homer and offer this empowering workshop to a diverse range of community participants. This workshop provided skills to identify and communicate the relevancy of any topic to a larger audience. It commenced the beginning of the Kachemak Bay Science Conference, setting the stage for presenters to deliver engaging and clear messages about area research efforts and results to the community attendees. The contribution of four participating media panelists Hal Spence (freelance), Lori Evans (Homer News), Naomi Klouda (Homer Tribune) and Ken Weiss (LA Times) significantly contributed to the participants understanding of the world in which journalists operate and how to reach out to media outlets to better communicate scientific results with a larger audience.
Information from the conference can be accessed at www.kbayscience.org, including an overview of area research efforts. Thanks again to the Homer Foundation KLEPS fund for supporting our efforts to effectively communicate the knowledge we have about this dynamic ecosystem in which we live.
KBRR Coastal Training Prog. Coordinator
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