Thursday, November 20, 2014

Children in Clare and Gladwin counties celebrate National Food Day

During the last week of October, children in the Clare-Gladwin RESD S.P.A.R.K.S. program at local elementary schools, area Great Start Readiness Program and Head Start preschool classrooms, as well as some local childcare centers celebrated National Food Day; an annual initiative that aims to promote safe, healthful diets, and supports sustainable organic farming.

Made possible by Clare-Gladwin RESD, the Clare-Gladwin Great Start Collaborative, and the Clare-Gladwin Health Improvement Planning Committee (a subgroup of Together We Can), this year’s Food Day focused on food education. Activities and lessons encouraged children to know where their food comes from, how to cook meals, and how doing so will give them a big advantage when it comes to being healthy. 

Children at a number of childcare centers in Clare and Gladwin counties enjoyed apples from the Fruitful Orchard in Gladwin, while the preschool programs throughout the two-county region included a National Food Day lesson into their snack times.

The Farwell Elementary students in the S.P.A.R.K.S. afterschool program made healthy, fun snacks with a Halloween theme, including mummy pizzas, ghost bananas, skeleton mushrooms, and candy corn fruit parfaits. “The students all participated in creating their own snacks and enjoyed trying some new food they had never before had,” said S.P.A.R.K.S. Director Keri Retzloff. “When trying mandarin oranges for the first time, I heard one student surprisingly say, ‘These oranges are great!’”

All participants also took home a National Food Day activity book. 

Local students submit 765 applications during College Application Week

During the week of November 3, the five high schools in Clare and Gladwin counties, along with Coleman High School, joined high schools around the state for Michigan’s annual College Application Week; a campaign committed to increasing the percentage of first-generation and low-income students to pursue a postsecondary education. The Clare-Gladwin Career Center, Mid Michigan Community College, and Educational Talent Search joined efforts to assist the region’s graduating seniors in completing and submitting at least one application to any of Michigan’s community colleges, independent college, and universities in which they were interested in attending. 

As a result, 377 seniors applied to at least one college during College Application Week. A total of 765 applications were submitted to both community colleges and universities across the country. Students also researched and applied to technical and trade schools such as Sullivan University, ITT Technical Institute, AIS Heavy Equipment Training Center.  

“After the success we had last year, we were geared up to host another College Application Week. We saw an increase of more than 150 students who participated this year and an additional 231 applications were sent out,” said Clare-Gladwin Career Center Counselor Margie Dill. “The goal of the program is to give students the tools and guidance they need to successfully apply to college. We hope this process gave the kids additional confidence and drive to continue to submit applications - in turn providing them with more options for their future.”

College Application Week participation per district:
  • Beaverton High School - 93 students sent out 130 applications
  • Clare High School - 116 students sent out 131 applications
  • Coleman High School - 59 students sent out 66 applications
  • Farwell High School - 80 students sent out 121 applications
  • Gladwin High School -100 students sent out 192 applications
  • Harrison High School - 118 students sent out 139 applications

Monday, November 3, 2014

Clare-Gladwin RESD offers CMU poverty simulation to local eduators

As part of a recent professional development opportunity offered by Clare-Gladwin RESD, educators from local school districts participated in a poverty simulation provided by Central Michigan University (CMU).

With the help of trained staff and volunteers from CMU conducting and facilitating the workshop, the 2.5 hour experience took place at Coleman Community Schools and was designed to sensitize participants to the realities low-income people face on a daily and monthly basis. 

In the simulation, participants assumed the roles of different “families” facing poverty with varying circumstances. “Participants experienced four 15-minute weeks with five-minute weekends as they worked through their month of poverty and tried to accomplish their objectives - feeding their family, paying their bills on time, maintaining housing, and maintaining safety,” said Clare-Gladwin RESD Assistant Superintendent for General Education Deb Snyder. “The simulation was conducted in the gymnasium with ‘families’ seated in groups in the center of the room. Around the perimeter of the room were tables representing community resources and services for the families.”

Snyder thanked CMU and its staff for their work in providing the simulation to the region’s educators for the second time this year.