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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Columbia's Rainbow of Learning Opportunities!

During the soggy wet afternoon, the drizzling rain kept coming.  My drive around the country side was on a road surrounded by a green lush valley that seemed to stretch upward towards the sky.  As the sun began to peak out from between the clouds, there was a small rainbow visible between the trees.  The further I drove the more brilliant the rainbow became until it stretched across the valley from side to side.  It was an amazing sight and I wondered just which end held the pot of gold?

 Seeing the beautiful rainbow shining through the gray drizzly sky made me think about how fortunate we are to have such great educational programs supporting our students’ learning environment.  The brilliant rainbow of programs includes many learning activities at all levels.  Recently our students and parents have had the chance to enjoy some of the extended learning opportunities. 

The Science Fair was amazing!  Students used their knowledge of the scientific process to research a topic, perform an experiment, gather data, and present the results to their teachers, parents, community members and peers.  One especially interesting experiment had some of our students making what Mr. Hamilton referred to as “Elephant’s Toothpaste.”  It was an amazing mix of ingredients, topped off with hydrogen peroxide to make a foaming batch of foaming colored paste.  Another fascinating experiment spotlighted the “5 Second Rule.”  The students completing this experiment investigated various locations that one might drop a piece of candy or potato chip and grew various bacterial cultures from those areas. 

Another ray of our science curriculum rainbow of learning activities was the elementary science night.  Our students had a terrific time interacting with teachers, high school students and Principal Powell over scientific experiments and interesting activities.  Mrs. Powell even let the children and their parents hold giant cockroaches!  The hard work and dedication of our teaching staff resulted in an unparalleled opportunity for our students to not only learn academically, but stretch themselves and their understanding and knowledge in science.

As we work closely with the teachers in our child’s school, we find ourselves in an educational rainbow of opportunities for our children that extend far beyond fun science experiments and activities.  This expanding rainbow of learning opportunities will lead our children to develop their talents in art, music, math, reading, social studies and physical education.  By providing the full spectrum of learning to our children, teachers lead them to develop into the leaders of tomorrow.

The rainbow of learning opportunities available to our children in the Columbia School District through our highly qualified teachers will give our children the tenacity to become a jet pilot, the ingenuity to become an automobile designer, or the enthusiasm to become a kindergarten teacher.  Each day I have the opportunity to see children learning at all different levels in our Columbia School District classrooms. 

Each and every day the teachers and members of the Columbia School District family come together to provide educational activities and learning opportunities for our students to brighten our children’s day, just like the rainbow in the valley brightened my day.  If you are interested in learning more about how your child could benefit from the awesome learning environment at the Columbia School District, would like a tour or to have your child shadow one of our terrific students please contact me by email at or call me at 5175926641.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Successful Golden Eagle Cash Bash Raises Funds for Students!

This past Friday, April 17th the Columbia School District Family came together to raise funds through the Inaugural Golden Eagle Cash Bash to support Academics, Arts and Athletics.  The Golden Eagle Cash Bash was planned and organized by a central committee who worked together to raise the funds to support programs in academics, arts and athletics and scholarships for our students.  The committee, made up of the Columbia School District administrative team, board members and volunteers, began meeting late last fall to organize the event to ensure a successful evening full of fun.

Thank you to all of those who supported the Golden Eagle Cash Bash by volunteering on the committee and working the event, donating items to the silent auction, purchasing items from the silent auction, buying tickets to the event and the 50/50 tickets.  The folks of Columbia came together and had fun fellowshipping, laughing and meeting new friends.  The money raised will fund mini-grants for Academics, Arts and Athletics!  Teachers, coaches and administrators will be able to apply for funding for special programs and projects that benefit Columbia students.   Scholarships will also be available to our great students as a result of our generous community members.
The Cash Bash featured cash prizes, a silent auction and a lot of fun with Columbia community members.  Jackson’s Hot Country 101.5 radio personality and Columbia Central High School graduate Scott Clow helped make the evening fun by announcing the winners and opportunities for participants.  The Columbia Kiwanis Club members assisted Columbia School District volunteers by keeping track of the chip board and helping to raise funds at the Cash Bash.  Vandercook Lions’ Club members also helped the Golden Eagle Cash Bash committee in the planning and running of the event.  They allowed our district committee to use their equipment which resulted in a successful event. 

Our generous and fun loving community members donated more than $17,000 during the event.  Winners of the event were Todd Wanty and Justin Shuberg.  The evening of fun and fellowship was so successful that the committee has already scheduled the Second Annual Golden Eagle Cash Bash for Saturday, February 27, 2016 at the Gene Davis Banquet Center.  Make sure to put it on your calendar today!  If you have questions or want to participate in the great programs at Columbia School District, email me at or call me at 5175926641.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Read for Success!

Reading is the foundation for success in school and in life.  The ability to read and write is necessary to master other subjects and to communicate what is learned.  Even more important, children who enjoy reading will continue to learn and grow throughout their lives.  Reading is one of the most inexpensive and readily available forms of education and entertainment. The experts note that literacy is crucial and that children should read more.  They also comment that children should be encouraged to try reading different types of books. 

Stop by your local library!  Whether your child is a beginning reader or an experienced reader, your local librarian will be able to suggest great books and exciting book series for your child.  Many local libraries have summer activities for your child.  The activities may include reading “fairs” and reading clubs through which your child may earn recognition and prizes.

To help direct you and your child as you capitalize on the summer reading time, you may want to check your school’s website or simply search for “what books should children read?”  One website that has a nice list of books categorized by age group is

One of my favorite books for young readers is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle.  It just happens to be first book on the Teachers First list.  This book may be accompanied by various activities to help wake up your child’s understanding and creativity.  Those activities may include talking and writing about food, drawing caterpillars, hunting for caterpillars and butterflies, and phonetic activities tied to the foods in the story.  

Little children love reading, but what how should you tie your teenager’s interests to a deeper understanding of what they are reading?  You may choose to read a book along with them or simply talk to them about the books they are reading, yes, some teens read several books at once.  To encourage your teenager to read you should model reading, so that when they read, you read. 

Another way to encourage your teen to read is to have them use informational reading sources to help plan activities for your vacation or even for short day-trips.  This way the reading will have a reward at the end and your teen will be the expert on the area or attraction you are visiting.  For other ideas about how to encourage your teen to read, check out a website like RIF @

By encouraging your child to read, he or she will increase their level of self-esteem and broaden their world.  Your positive feedback and interest in the books they are reading will encourage them to read more.  Have fun reading with your child!  If you are interested in learning about how your child can grow and experience academic success at Columbia Schools, please email me at or call 5175926641.