Thursday, November 26, 2009

ALHS publications staffers travel to Washington, D.C.

Eleven Albert Lea publications (Tiger Yearbook, Ahlahasa) staff members attended the national high school journalism convention in Washington, D.C. Nov. 11-15.

The students attended two days worth of sessions about a wide range of journalism issues and topics and plan to bring that knowledge back to their respective staffs to improve the publications.

All 11 students competed in national writing competitions, and three of those students won recognition. A total of 2,267 students from 220 schools in 35 states and England competed.

Senior Ahlahasa editor Jill Jensen, competing in the biggest category, feature writing, earned an excellent award. Senior Ahlahasa design editor Jeff Thorstad earned honorable mention in editorial cartooning and junior Ahlahasa Fever editor Kate Ellertson earned honorable mention in newswriting.

In addition to learning a lot about journalism, the students saw a lot of the nation’s capital. Included were tours of the White House, U.S. Capitol Building, including seeing the House of Representatives floor, the Newseum, numerous branches of the Smithsonian Museum, plus the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and World War II and Vietnam War memorials. The students paid for the trips themselves, with some costs offset by fundraising.

English teacher attains certified journalism educator status

Riley Worth attained certified journalism educator status this fall. The Albert Lea High School English teacher, now in his sixth year at the school, was recognized by the Journalism Education Association at its national convention Nov. 14 in Washington, D.C. at an adviser luncheon at Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

He is now eligible to apply for master journalism educator status, which involves an academic-style project benefitting scholastic journalism and passing a rigorous exam about the journalism field.

Worth has a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and worked as a journalist for years before becoming certified to teach. He is the adviser to three student publications, Ahlahasa newsmagazine, Tiger Yearbook and I-Mag literary magazine.

Southwest honors veterans

Southwest Middle School started the day Nov. 11 with a ceremony honoring veterans. The Color Guard was present, the choir sang and the band played. Superintendent Mike Funk, who is himself a veteran, spoke. The day of honor did not end there for the students in Melodie Miller’s English classes. Eighth grade students took a few moments at the beginning of class to think of ways they could honor veterans. The following are some excerpts taken from the journals of a few of Southwest students.

“It is Veterans Day today. The best way to honor them is to support them and care about them. My brother is joining the National Guard so he is going to be a veteran soon. He will be loved and supported by my family and me as he goes through basic training and other Army things. The best way to honor a veteran is to support them, love them and care for them. That is what I think is the best way to honor a veteran.”

“Today is Veterans Day. I think the best way to respect them is what we did today; we had a school assembly. We honored them at the assembly. We thanked them. Those are my thoughts.”

“Today is Veterans Day. I think the best way to honor our vets is to salute our vets and hold a ceremony for all who have, or are, serving for us. Also, I think we should write thank yous to our vets to let them know that we appreciate what they have done for us. A ceremony like we had at school today is a great way to recognize Veterans Day. Thank you, vets! These are ways to honor our vets.”

“There are many ways to honor veterans. The best way to honor veterans is to just say ‘thank you.’ It does not sound like much but it can mean a whole lot to a veteran. If you see a veteran any day, you should simply just say ‘thank you.’ Saying thank you is the best way to honor a veteran.”

“I think the best way to honor our veterans is to pay respect to them at the assembly or thank them on the streets. If I ran into a veteran I would shake their hand and thank them for their duty. I think the handshake would be the most respectful. That is how I would honor a vet.”

Early childhood screening slated for Dec. 17

The state requires a check of vision, hearing and developmental growth of all 3- to 5-year-olds before starting kindergarten. The Albert Lea School District conducts free screenings each month at Brookside Education Center. If your child has not been screened, call Julie at 379-4843 or e-mail to schedule your child’s 60- to 75-minute appointment. The next screening will be held on Thursday, Dec. 17, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Title I parents learn about gold standards in math

On Nov. 12, more than 100 Title I parents and students from the district came to Hawthorne Elementary and were introduced to gold standards in math. The night began with dinner. Then parents were invited to a classroom to go over gold standards while their child played games in the gymnasium with members of the Albert Lea Thunder Hockey Team. Later, parents and students learned to play a math game that aligned with a gold standard. Each family left at the end of the night with a bag full of math goodies.The next math night will be held in February at Sibley Elementary.

Citizenship committee holds UNICEF fundraiser

The citizenship committee at Hawthorne School headed up the schoolwide fundraiser for UNICEF for the fourth year. Students brought the little orange UNICEF boxes around when they went trick or treating. This year we collected $416.92. This translates to 1,000 meals for hungry children or immunizations for 820 children against polio and other childhood diseases.

Sibley holds food drive

Sibley’s citizenship committee recently conducted a food drive, collecting food for the Salvation Army Food Shelf. They collected over 400 pounds of non-perishable food items. A contest for the classrooms collecting the most food was held, and the winning classes Ashley Coffman’s kindergarten class for the primary grades and Nancy Sorlie’s class for the upper elementary. Members on the Sibley Citizenship Committee are Caleb Baker, Brianna Lee, Logan Petersen and Alana Skarstad. Teachers on the committee are Nancy Sorlie and Cindy Shahan.

Third-graders see ‘Seussical’

On Nov. 18, Albert Lea High School presented its fall musical “Seussical” to an excited group of third-graders from the surrounding Albert Lea elementary schools. This was made possible from the arts partnership grant with Perpich Center for Arts Education. Media specialists re-read Dr. Seuss books with the students in preparation for the performance. It was an excellent opportunity for students to see books come to life and experience the magic of theater at a young age.

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