Villa 4th grade students are quoted on the front page of this issue of the Food Lifeline newsletter. The students were encouraged to commented on their experience as volunteers for the local Northwest food bank. Responses included memories from the ongoing service project, things the students learned, and ways they can help, like this youngster who has big social entrepreneurial plans for the future . . . .
“I think when I grow up, I want to start a business like Food Lifeline. I always have a good feeling when I know I’m doing something that will help.”
Middle School English and drama teacher, Donald Mabbott, was recently featured on The East Portland Blog. The article, written by Mr. Mabbott, is a piece that supports the practice of listening to and extracting a student’s true voice through their writing.
Mr. Mabbott writes,
“For voice-immersed learning to take place among educators and students alike, the hierarchy, and the arbitrary morality of power must give way to a more liberating education—a pluralistic education, unfettered by distinctions of class, race, gender, religion, or ethnicity. Created, from it roots, by an inclusive, unification of voices, from which policy, procedure and curriculum design springs.”
The fall gift wrap (and more) sale is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Villa Academy Parent Association (VPA). Innisbrook is our new vendor (we’ve formerly sold Sally Foster products).
Innisbrook is a GREEN company that believes a sustainable future is possible. Their standard gift wrap is printed on recycled paper and only 100% water-based inks are used. Leftover inks are reformulated and recycled for other designs. The sales packet information you receive is also printed on recycled paper. The online EZ Order Entry system eliminates huge order forms and saves millions of sheets of paper.
Villa Academy receives 50% of all sales which the VPA uses to fund innovative and enriching opportunities for our students via the Faculty and Staff Grant Program. Additionally, funds support the VPA Gift to School Program. Recent grants and gifts include the climbing wall, smart boards, science lab enrichment, weather station, playground equipment, bike racks and many more.
We very much appreciate your support and have GREAT PRIZES to award this year. At the end of each full week of the fundraiser, we will award the top selling grade for that week with a free dress day — so don’t delay in getting your orders submitted! The first free dress day will be awarded on September 18th.
At the end of the fundraiser, we will award the two highest selling families with a reserved parking space for any one week of their choice during the school year and a beautiful Innisbrook gift basket stuffed with goodies. A U-Village gift certificate and very special gift basket will be awarded to the highest selling teacher/staff member.
This fundraiser ends September 23rd.
Thank you for your support!
Jeanne Birmingham and Lendy Vail
Gift Wrap Chairs
Join us for our annual Italian Dinner Carnival
5:30-7:30pm, Friday, September 24th
Ms. Cassario’s 4th graders have the unique opportunity to present an illustrated book to Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea. The class has appropriately titled their book Sixteen Cups of Tea.
Mr. Mortenson’s book is a true story of his mission to build a school for a poor village in Pakistan. He was motivated by a desire to repay the people of the Village for their kindness and assistance when his group became lost while climbing K2.
The book was chosen as a “read aloud” book for 4B because it allows the class to work, as a group, with a novel that may be beyond their reading level. The reading operates much like a book club, with frequent opportunities for class discussion.
After finishing a read aloud novel, students typically draw pictures, discuss the book, and write about their favorite part. Many of the students enjoyed the interview at the end of the book, with Greg Mortenson’s daughter Amira. She talks about what it’s like to share her father, now a philanthropic leader, with the world.
After learning about the reading assignment, one 4th grade parent, a friend of Greg Mortenson, suggested that Mr. Mortenson and his daughter Amira would enjoy seeing the student illustrations. She graciously arranged for a bound compilation of the students illustrations to be sent to Mr. Mortenson.
Author Karen Cushman captured the attention of Villa Academy students this morning with a self-introduction that included a story from her childhood. As a little girl in an ethnic neighborhood of Chicago, Karen loved to tag along with her grandfather, everywhere but the “boogey joint.” Later, she realized that the bookie joint was not where the boogeyman hung out, and that her bookie joint was the library, a favorite spot for a little girl who loved to read and write.
Ms. Cushman told students that despite writing a 5-page novel as a child, she never considered writing as a career, until 20 years ago, when her husband refused to listen to another story she’d likely never write, and insisted that instead, she sit down with pen and get started.
Ms. Cushman shared with the students how her collection of personal experiences combined with historical tidbits she gathers from primary sources aid in the creation of her novels.
Student’s filled the last 15-20 minutes of the presentation with very thoughtful questions about what inspires Ms. Cushman’s stories, her writing process, and her plans for future stories.
One student confessed that she had started writing a story of her own, but was worried it was too short to ever become a novel. To this, Ms. Cushman responded, “Basketball players don’t start by playing in the championship game, they practice their shot for a long time first.”
The Villa Preschool celebrated Splish Splash Day on Tuesday, June 8th. It was a cool, but sunny, 65-degree morning, and the kids were ready for a little end-of-the-year fun. Students donned cute summer swimsuits, slathered on a healthy layer of sunscreen, wrapped up in their beach towels and headed outdoors. Just the sight of the bubble table, sprinkler and squirt guns had the kids squealing with excitement. Off went the towels and Splish Splash Day officially began! Enjoy the short video clip above.