DRESSED UP: It's homecoming season at area high schools. Among those having homecoming dances tonight are Bellevue East, Bellevue West, Lewis Central, Millard North, Millard South, Omaha Central, Conestoga and Platteview.
DREAMS OF EAGLES: Nearly 4,200 OPS fourth-graders will have the chance to learn about Native American culture during the eighth annual Dreams of Eagles Native American/Indian Education Days. The students will take field trips to the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday event, held at the Metropolitan Community College Fort Omaha Campus. Elders and tribal members from the Ponca, Santee Sioux, Yankton Sioux, Winnebago/Ho Chunk, Omaha, Cheyenne River Sioux and Rosebud Sioux Tribes will provide perspectives on urban and reservation life. Faculty from Sinte Gleska University, one of the oldest tribally controlled colleges in the U.S., also will present information. More than 40 Native American artists and experts will share facts and stories about Native American culture and allow teachers and students to interview them. Learning station displays will include leather, moccasins, jewelry, paintings, clothing, herbs and medicines, dance, language and clothing. Four tepees will also be on display, representing four tribes native to Nebraska: Winnebago, Sioux, Omaha and Ponca.
MONSTER VEGETABLES: Gardening teaches kids where food comes from, how to eat healthfully and environmental consciousness. One way to get kids started in the garden is the National Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program. It's free to any third-grade classroom. Teachers can register at bonniecabbageprogram.com/. Each year, Bonnie trucks more than a million free O.S. Cross cabbage plants to classrooms nationwide. O.S. stands for oversized: These cabbages can grow upward of 40 pounds. Teaches distribute 2-inch plants with instructions, provided by Bonnie, to students to carry home and grow. At the end of the growing season, teachers select a class winner, based on size, appearance and maturity. That submission is entered in a state scholarship drawing. State winners are selected randomly by each state's agriculture secretary, and Bonnie Plants awards a $1,000 scholarship for education to one student in each state.
LET THE BATTLE BEGIN: Student teams of fourth- through sixth-graders from elementary schools in Westside are starting to prepare for the Battle of the Books. During the fall and winter, participants read the selected book titles. The program will culminate March 2, 2013, when teams compete against one another for the championship title. Here is the Battle of the Books Reading List for this school year: “Storm Mountain” by Tom Birdseye, “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, “The Incredible Journey” by Sheila Burnford, “No Talking” by Andrew Clements, “Boy of the Painted Cave” by Justin Denzel, “The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo, “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper, “The Black Stallion” by Walter Farley, “Wildfire Run” by Dee Garretson, “Running Out of Time” by Margaret Peterson Haddix, “Everything for a Dog” by Ann M. Martin, “Shiloh” by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, “The Kite Fighters” by Linda Sue Park, “Soup” by Robert Newton Peck, “Frozen Stiff” by Sherry Shahan, “Walls Within Walls” by Maureen Sherry, “The Trouble With Tuck” by Theodore Taylor, “Lucky: Maris, Mantle, and my Best Summer Ever” by Wes Tooke, “A Crooked Kind of Perfect” by Linda Urban and “Farmer Boy” by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
BUSINESS OWNER: Emily Tonniges, owner of Eileen's Cookies, recently spoke to business students at Papillion-La Vista. During her presentations, Tonniges talked about her experience starting a business, the struggles of running it and her successes.
FREE LESSONS: Don't just watch TV — be TV. The Mildred D. Brown Memorial Study Center Junior Journalist Program, “We Got Next,” is signing up high school students interested in careers in media. Students will create, produce, write, shoot and edit a variety of video productions such as commercials, interviews and mini TV shows, plus tour local media operations and more. The free five-month hands-on program runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (lunch is provided) from Nov. 3 through April 6, 2013 at the Media Services studios of Jim Nelson. Nelson, a 40-plus-year veteran of the media field, and other experts will teach. Application deadline is Oct. 20. For more information and registration, contact Jim Nelson at 402-614-8202 or Jimnelsonmedia@yahoo.com.
BAND COMPETITION: The Millard West Wildcat Band will host the third annual Wildcat classic marching band competition today at Buell Stadium. Preliminaries will begin at 1:30 p.m., with finals starting at 6:30 p.m. Participating bands are Millard North, Papillion-La Vista, Sioux Falls (S.D.) Washington, Bellevue East, Omaha Burke, Columbus, Millard South, Johnson County Central and Sioux Falls (S.D.) O'Gorman. The University of Nebraska at Omaha Marching Mavericks will perform in exhibition at 4:30 p.m. and Millard West will perform in exhibition at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Concessions will be available.
FALL FESTIVAL: From dollars to doughnuts to bacon and bands, the 57th annual Mount Michael Abbey's annual Fall Festival will have it all. The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at 22520 Mount Michael Road. Events are reminiscent of a state fair. Expect a bacon booth, hot dog eating contest, fried cheesecake, kiddie korral, midway games, bounce houses, horseback rides, pumpkin painting, cake walk, live music, farmers market and flea market. There is no admission fee.
FUN FOR ALL: Aldrich Elementary in Millard had a school carnival Friday.
LEARNING BY DOING: Fourth-graders at Joslyn Elementary in OPS will have a field trip Tuesday to Native American Days.
HEALTH BY THE MONTH: The Wellness Committee at Picotte Elementary in OPS has planned a special day each month to heighten student awareness of various health issues. On the third Friday of each month, staff and students are encouraged to wear a specific color in observance. On those Fridays, “Pennies for a Purpose” also will be collected. In May, the coins will be divided among two or three of the community health agencies. Here is Picotte's awareness year at a glance: Friday, leukemia, wear orange; Oct. 19, breast cancer, pink; Nov. 16, juvenile diabetes, gray; Dec. 21, bone marrow, red; Jan. 25, 2013, March of Dimes, light pink or blue; Feb. 15, 2013, Heart Month, red; March 15, 2013, kidney cancer, orange; April 19, 2013, autism, rainbow colors; May 17, 2013, mental health, green.
VISUAL IMPAIRMENT: Prairie Wind Elementary in OPS publishes a monthly newsletter called the Prairie Wind Press. It is accessible from the school's website. The Prairie Wind Press also is available in alternate formats for the visually impaired. Call 402-557-4500 for more information.
‘I AM THE LORAX': The PTO at Standing Bear Elementary in OPS will sponsor family movie night Friday. “Dr. Seuss' The Lorax” will be shown.
TRY TO STAY DRY: Sixth-graders at Sunny Slope Elementary in OPS will have a field trip Friday to Fontenelle Forest Wetlands.
SCHOOL ON THE MOVE: Next week will be a busy one at Hillside Elementary in Westside. Thursday will bring the kindergarten field trip to the Rose Theater to see “Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly.” On Friday, the Big Blast Party will take off after school in the circle drive.
VENDORS SOUGHT: The PTA at Adams Elementary in OPS will sponsor a Nov. 3 craft fair at 7612 Maple St. Vendors may purchase tables for $25 each. Applications are available at the Adams Elementary PTA Facebook page or at ops.org/elementary/adams. Contact Erin Harriman at 402-515-5790 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
GREEN SCHOOL: Lothrop Magnet Elementary has earned its third Green School Award from the Green Omaha Coalition, while becoming the first Omaha school to reach the organization's Gold Leaf Level for the second straight year. The Green Omaha Coalition presented the awards to Lothrop during the school's Monday open house. Lothrop has earned these honors through a range of sustainability initiatives in areas such as water use efficiency, energy efficiency, solid waste management, indoor environmental quality, and grounds and landscaping. Students and staff also take part in an extensive recycling program that includes donating lunch waste compost to area garden clubs. Lothrop recently was awarded a Green Neighborhood Council grant to develop a native prairie grass and flower program to raise plants for distribution throughout the community.
WAY TO COOK! Edison Elementary third-grader Aaron Beckman's culinary talents earned him an invitation to the White House a few weeks ago. Aaron entered and won the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a national recipe contest hosted by first lady Michelle Obama and her Let's Move! Campaign. Aaron's winning recipe, Apple Alien, features an apple with carrot slices for eyes and a cashew for a mouth. Skewers filled with fruits, veggies and wrap slices make up the Apple Alien's antennas. As the Nebraska representative, Aaron was invited to join the other winners to attend the mid-August Kids' State Dinner, hosted by Michelle Obama at the White House. President Barack Obama was a surprise guest. The contest was open to children ages 8 to 12. More than 1,200 recipes were submitted. The winning recipes have been published in a cookbook.
FAMILY TIME: The PTA at Wheeler Elementary in Millard will sponsor Friday's Family Fun Carnival. The school also will have a Tuesday Read-A-Thon Celebration Night.
PART OF NATURE: The PTO at Rohwer Elementary in Millard will sponsor Thursday's Family Nature Night.
SCIENCE LESSONS: Montclair Elementary in Millard will have a Kapow Science program Friday.
FUN FOR ALL: The PTO at Rockwell Elementary in Millard will sponsor a school carnival Friday.
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HOMEWORK POLICY: Ralston Middle School has implemented a homework policy. If a student does not have his/her homework completed at a satisfactory level on the date it is due, the student is expected to make a homework appointment with that teacher. This homework appointment may be made for a time before or after school. Students are expected to honor this appointment and make necessary arrangements if the time cannot be kept. Students will fill out a blue Homework Appointment Slip that will be signed by the teacher. This slip is also to be signed by a parent or guardian and returned to the teacher. This is the student's responsibility. Credit will be given for the homework assignment once it is completed at the arranged appointment time.
GET INVOLVED: The PTA at Ashland Park-Robbins Elementary in OPS will have its first meeting of the year at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
ON THE GO: Fourth-graders at Belle Ryan Elementary in OPS will have a Dreams of Eagles field trip Thursday.
PARENTS, TAKE NOTE: This is from a newsletter at Castelar Elementary in OPS, but the information is valid no matter where your children attend school. Can you be reached in an emergency? Has your phone number changed? Have you changed jobs? Let the office know if any of your phone numbers have changed. When children become ill while at school, it is essential that the office is able to reach a parent or an emergency contact. It can be miserable for a child to sit in the nurse's office with a fever or an upset stomach any longer than necessary. There are other emergencies that arise and require the school to reach a parent. Please help your child by making sure your contact information is updated.
CHECK: All fifth-graders at Whitetail Creek Elementary in Gretna are welcome to participate in the Whitetail Creek elementary chess club. It will be a friendly club at which students can learn the game. All skill levels are welcome. The club meets Thursday mornings before school.
POPS, NANA: Grandparents recently filled the hallways of Rumsey Station Elementary in Papillion. Grandparents took part in “Popcorn With Pops and Bananas With Nana.” Grandparents enjoyed goodies and games with their grandkids. The event is an effort by Rumsey Station PTO to celebrate what grandparents do for the lives of children and to encourage grandparents to participate in their grandchild's education.
LUNCHTIME GUESTS: Students at Carriage Hill Elementary in Papillion hosted their grandparents for lunch this week.
LET'S READ: Grandparents of Bell Elementary students in Papillion were invited to read to their grandchild's class during library time this week.
EATING RIGHT: Students across the Papillion-La Vista School District have begun learning from special guests who present “The Super Adventures of Pyramid Man & Dr. Nutrition,” a fun, interactive play sponsored by the ConAgra Food Foundation. Throughout the school year, program presenters meet with second-graders in the Papillion-La Vista School District to talk about nutrition, healthy eating habits and the food pyramid.
CAMPUS VISIT: High school juniors and seniors and their families are invited to visit Briar Cliff University on Campus Visit Day, which will be Friday. Registration will begin at 9:45 a.m. in the Stark Student Center on the Briar Cliff Campus, 3303 Rebecca St. in Sioux City, Iowa. Events will end at 2 p.m. For more information, call the Office of Admissions at 712-279-5200 cq or email email@example.com.
HOMECOMING: Missouri Valley will celebrate homecoming next week with Thursday events that begin at 5 p.m. and include a tailgate meal, games, coronation and more. The homecoming game will begin at 7 p.m. Friday on the football field in city park. Missouri Valley will host Panora. no mention of a dance on calendar
THE SKYPE'S THE LIMIT: It's not your grandma's geography lesson. In seventh- and eighth-grade social studies classes at Lincoln Lutheran, students are visiting the 50 states through an activity called Mystery Skype. Students are given the opportunity to “meet” multiple people from different parts of the country. The activity begins with the “Mystery Guest” introducing himself or herself and stating the region in which he or she lives. Students then ask a series of “yes” or “no” questions to determine where the person is from. After they guess, there is an open forum to ask questions about what it is like to live and work in that particular area. Climate, culture and landscape are also discussed. So far, students have interviewed people from Illinois, New York, Alaska, Missouri and Texas.
A TRADITION: Lincoln East and Lincoln Southwest will have homecoming dances Friday.
SPECIAL DISPLAY: A Midlands Community Foundation grant will help bring “Remembering Our Fallen” to schools in Sarpy and Cass Counties. The display honors those with Nebraska and western Iowa ties who have been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. “Remembering Our Fallen” was created by Bill and Evonne Williams with help from The World-Herald. The exhibit will be at Weeping Water from Monday through Friday.
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: Lincoln Lutheran will have its homecoming dance tonight. Families of the school's Inspirations Dance Team (Platinum and Sapphire) will have a picnic lunch Sunday afternoon at the Antelope Park Shelter.
WORLD DAY: Fifth-grade choir students at Fredstrom Elementary in Lincoln will sing the national anthem at a World Day event Thursday at Pershing Auditorium. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature cultural and wellness presentations.
SPECIAL EVENING: Lincoln Pius X will have its homecoming dance tonight.
FESTIVUS: Lincoln High's Festivus will be Friday at the school. Clubs and caucuses set up booths and sell items ranging from cookies and candy to funnel cakes and egg rolls. Big events — such as a rock climbing wall, dunk tank, jousting ring, obstacle course and a disk jockey — also will be available.
Compiled by Sue Story Truax with World-Herald News Service