Schools and student news for May 27, 2010

Lee’s Summit student is legislative shadow

Kara Garrett, a junior at Lee’s Summit West, participated in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Legislative Shadowing Project in Jefferson City.

Tours of the Governor’s Mansion and the Missouri State Capitol were provided as well as an evening program at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, highlighted by a presentation by Rep. Mike Lair, of Chillicothe. Garrett also spent time shadowing the Secretary of State Office at the Capitol to see the political process in action.

Missouri FCCLA sponsored the activity to give its members the opportunity to expand their capabilities in understanding and interpreting public policy focusing on family, work and social issues related to building strong communities.

FCCLA is the only in-school student organization with the family as its central focus.

BS South students win volunteer award

Three students from Blue Springs South were presented with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award by the West Central Missouri AHEC after completing more than 100 hours of community service.

All three students – Peter Lazarz, Rylie Odom and Savanna Hughes, participated in the Youth Health Service Corps program offered by the West Central Missouri AHEC in 2008-09.

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation was established in 2003 to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in communities and encourage more people to serve.

The council created the President’s Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.

What parents want? These districts know

The Blue Springs, Independence, Lee’s Summit and Raytown school districts have earned the “What Parents Want” Award from SchoolMatch, a national firm specializing in rating K-12 schools. The four districts are among 28 Missouri districts to receive the award.

SchoolMatch compiled more than 95,000 parent questionnaires to determine what parents look for in school systems.

These include being competitive in academic test scores and academically solid, but not so rigorous as to intimidate their children; accredited; recognized for excellence by a national foundation or by the U.S. Department of Education; competitive teacher salaries; above average instructional expenditures on a national percentile basis; above average expenditures for library/media services on a national percentile basis and known for small class size.

According to SchoolMatch, 16-percent of public school districts in the United States consistently meet the “What Parents Want” expectations.

Earn paperbacks with summer reading

Children and teenagers reading 360 minutes this summer can earn paperback books through the Mid-continent Public Library summer reading programs.

From May 24 to July 31 children can participate in one of two reading programs – “Make a Splash-Read,” which is birth to fifth grade and “Make Waves at your Library,” which is for children sixth to 12th grade. The programs encourage young readers to explore the library’s collection while they maintain their reading skills during the summer. Up to three books can be earned during the 10-week program. Teenagers can review their books online, sharing favorites with friends.

The programs are available at all 29 branches of Mid-Continent Public Library. Completions can be turned in at any branch.

For more information or to register, visit the library’s Web site at

Kids come to aid of cancer patient

Students enrolled in the Lee’s Summit School District Kids Country before and after school program recently completed a fundraiser benefiting a Kids Country employee who is battling cancer.

Jake Cavanaugh, a Kids Country staff member who has worked at Underwood and Summit Pointe elementary schools, has been diagnosed with bone cancer and has been having treatments in Houston, Texas. Funds raised are helping him with medical and travel expenses.

Through the Jake Can Penny War, Kids Country students at all 18 elementary schools, competed to determine which site could raise the most money per child enrolled by bringing change to donate at school. Underwood Elementary School won the competition, raising $6.79 per student. The winning school won a sub sandwich party.

In all, the fundraiser raised $2,177. Also joining the Kids Country schools was Lucy Franklin Elementary’s care program in the Blue Springs School District. The staff and families involved in Kids Country have conducted several fundraisers for Jake during the past year.

Magician visits

Hagerman the Magician recently came to Thomas Hart Benton and used humor and magic to show how science impacts life.

“Chemistry is not just test tubes and beakers. In the world around us, chemistry plays a large role in how we live our lives,” he said.

Hagerman showed the science behind many things in everyday life. Students watched as Hagerman demonstrated laws of motion through bungee slingshots, in-line skates and bicycle tire gyroscopes. Chemistry came alive as water “magically” vanished and Styrofoam cups were melted onto the largest ball of recycled cups.