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National Editorials & Columns

Lots of good things coming in Morris 54

As we begin 2019, I can’t help but reflect on all the great things happening at Morris Elementary School District, and I welcome the future and continued growth for our students. Daily, I see our students work together, and with adults, and mature. My pride in them is overwhelming, and my respect for their contagious effort and joy of school is unparalleled.

Students in grades K-5 have been regularly visiting their “grandfriends” at the Gardens at Park Pointe. This is a new inter-generational STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program led by our instructional coaches, Ashlee Geiss and Molly Kaminski. Together, students read, build crafts, talk, draw and learn. This popular program is greatly looked forward to by both our senior friends and the students. Our coaches have been busy obtaining multiple grants to make this and many other STEM activities available to our students!

Several important four-legged guests have been visiting our second grade classes each month. Area therapy dogs, including our very own Martha, partner with second grade classes for this special event called Sit, Stay, Read! Beginning last fall, two second grade classes each month have had the opportunity to read and enjoy a cuddle with their furry friends in the library. Teachers and staff often eagerly stop for a visit as well! Combined benefits of this program include the promotion of literacy skills, communication, and interpersonal skills.

We extend great thanks to our teacher/therapy dog owner, Mrs. DesLauriers, and our librarian, Mrs. Garcia, for organizing this event, as well as Ede Jankowski of Alliance Therapy Dogs, our staff, and the owners/handlers for making these special events possible. It is their hope to continue this event in the spring with other grade levels.

This summer, we are excited to be hosting our first Camp Invention program at Morris Grade School. The camp will take place June 3-7, 2019, from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.. Through Camp Invention, children build confidence, and learn to collaborate and transform their wild imaginations into epic creations. Campers in grades K-5 will learn creative problem-solving skills while coding and programming futuristic robots, uncovering ancient fossils, designing high-tech superhero gadgets, and exploring radio frequencies. Local educators will lead this action-packed program featuring exhilarating, hands-on STEM activities teaching. We are also looking for volunteers. This is a great way for your child to earn service hours for graduation! For more information, please visit www.invent.org/camp.

Thank you for sharing your children with us each day and allowing us to provide them with an education that not all kids have access to—we have much to be thankful for as we begin 2019.

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