Thursday, December 20, 2012

CTE students bring in close to 600 items for annual food drive

Students in the Clare-Gladwin Career Center’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program collected 594 non-perishable food items during their annual food drive.

Students from the automotive technology class contributed the most items to the effort with close to 300 cans of food.  

"I am very proud and impressed with the students and how they helped their community,” said CTE Auto Tech Instructor Rich Hollister. “This is an outstanding group who has been succeeding and has a fantastic attendance record and work ethic."

The donations will be distributed to the Mid Michigan Community Action Agency in Clare County and the Sacred Heart Mission Food Pantry in Gladwin County.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

RESD and local school districts earn discount on telecommunications and internet services for the fourteenth consecutive year; saving more than $7 million over time

In the late 90s, with the use of technology in schools rapidly evolving, the internet and telecommunications services became increasingly more common and were quickly considered to be valuable tools that enhanced student learning.

Recognizing that full access to these services was a critical piece of student success, the federal government developed the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC); a federal program that gives annual financial support to a select number of public K-12 schools and private libraries across the country to offset a portion of their internet and telecommunications costs. Commonly known as “E-rate”, the program provides entities with discounts of up to 90 percent on these services. The amount of the discount is based on the district’s percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunch.

The Clare-Gladwin RESD, along with Beaverton, Clare, Farwell, Gladwin and Harrison school districts have been applying for and receiving these discounts since 1998. They were recently awarded funding for the fourteenth consecutive year, saving a combined total of more than $7 million in telecommunications costs over time. 

“The overall purpose of the program was to alleviate some of the financial burden schools faced when simply paying for equipment and materials necessary to provide basic technology,” said Clare-Gladwin RESD Director of Technology Ken Chinavare. “The government encouraged the districts who received the discounts to redirect the money they would have normally had to spend on those essentials and invest it in new technology that enhances learning and instruction, such as SMART Boards, laptop carts, and more.”

Specifically, the RESD and the local districts rely on the discounts to help with the cost of the schools’ internet, local and long-distance phone service, cellular phone service, and internal connections, such as basic phone maintenance and data wiring and electronics.

“This funding is crucial for our organization and the local districts,” said Chinavare. “Our budgets are extremely limited, so the E-rate discounts allow us to maintain our current technology required for everyday functions, like phone service and internet. In turn, we are able to invest in some of the developing technology that is necessary for 21st Century learning.”

According to their website, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation created in 1997 to collect universal service contributions from telecommunications carriers and administer universal support mechanisms (programs) designed to help communities across the country secure access to affordable telecommunications services. USAC carries out its functions as the administrator of the federal universal service programs and universal service fund (USF) under the oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Monday, December 17, 2012

Area School class ‘filled the Grinch with love’ this holiday season

Clare-Gladwin Area School teacher Rachel DuMond challenged the students in her class to give the gift of love this holiday season through random acts of kindness. During the month of December, Area School staff members who witnessed a student performing a random act of kindness would write the student’s name on a heart. The heart was then posted to a cutout of the famous character, “The Grinch,” located outside of DuMond’s classroom. 

“The goal was for the students to perform random acts of kindness even when no one was watching,” said DuMond. “Sometimes those are the most important acts of kindness.” 

By Dec. 14, hearts covered the Grinch, filing him with love. The students joined the rest of their peers at the Area School that afternoon to watch the movie, “The Grinch.”

Friday, December 14, 2012

DNR Officer Visits CTE Criminal Justice Class

Clare County DNR Officer Jason Mccollugh spoke to the criminal justice students at the Clare-Gladwin Career Center’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program on Dec. 5. Mccollugh discussed the roles and responsibilities of a DNR officer, as well as the education and training the career requires.

“It’s important for the kids to learn first-hand about the numerous careers they can pursue within the criminal justice field,” said CTE Criminal Justice Instructor DJ Newman. “By bringing in guest speakers, it allows the students to ask questions, helps them decide if this line of work is for them, and hopefully guides them into something that they want to do specifically with their lives once they graduate high school.”

The Criminal Justice program is one of nine career and technical education programs offered to local high school juniors and seniors through the Clare-Gladwin Career Center. Students spend half of their school day at their CTE class and the other half at their local high school.  

To learn more about the CTE Criminal Justice Class, click here:

Area School raises $1,300 for new playground equipment

The Clare-Gladwin Area School collected $1,300 during their annual Wreath Fundraiser this year. The funds will be used toward the purchase of new playground equipment. The school recently held a pizza party for the fundraiser’s top-sellers (pictured right).  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Students practice money-management at S.P.A.R.K.S. Mini Society Auction

Local middle school and junior high students practiced money-management skills during the S.P.A.R.K.S. Mini Society Auction on Nov. 14 at the Clare-Gladwin Area School. The Mini Society, an economics simulation program developed by S.P.A.R.K.S., brought in local auctioneer Aiden Yoder to auction off items donated to the event by the after-school site coordinators.  

The students from Beaverton Middle, Farwell Middle, Gladwin Junior High, and Harrison Middle Schools bid on the variety of stuffed animals, backpacks, and more, using S.P.A.R.K.S. Bucks; a form of money they earned throughout the semester by successfully completing jobs and projects during their regular S.P.A.R.K.S. sessions. The kids also spent S.P.A.R.K.S. Bucks on student-made food for sale at the event. 

“The Mini Society introduces students to financial concepts, including spending and saving,” said S.P.A.R.K.S. Director Joe Trommater. “The Mini Society events, such as the Auction, are fun, hands-on ways the kids can apply what they are learning in a real-world setting.”   

 The Clare-Gladwin RESD’s S.P.A.R.K.S. program (Students Participating in Academics and Recreation for Knowledge and Success) is an after-school and summer-school program for students in Beaverton, Farwell, Gladwin, and Harrison school districts, made possible through grants from the Michigan Department of Education.