The incredible success of the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates re-energized enthusiasm for baseball with the younger generation this summer, and even into the fall. And thanks to a new initiative designed to promote year-round reading, the excitement for literature has also reached a fever pitch at Bon Air Elementary School!
A recent report presented to Burrell School District’s Board of Directors from the Bon Air Elementary RtII/ Title I Team reveals continued progress in reading in all K-3 grades during the 2012-13 school year.
The report tracks percentage gains made by students from the beginning of the school year to the mid-year point, as well as growth achieved by Burrell students over a four-year time period. It examines the percentage of students reading at benchmark, as well as those receiving strategic and intensive interventions as part of the district’s RtII program.
Bon Air Elementary students are getting a taste of a new character education program – through baked goods. While the program isn’t set to officially launch until February, the students are working on the positive character attribute of “Giving” by participating in Cookies for the Troops. First grade teacher Jessi Yates is spearheading the cookie project. A distant relative is serving as a U.S. Army commander in Afghanistan, and asked his family to send cookies to his soldiers.
D.A.R.E. vehicle donated by Hillcrest Volkswagen
Burrell School District students are among the first in the nation to learn about drug resistance with a new D.A.R.E. program. What’s more, what they learn in the classroom will be reinforced in the community, thanks to a brand-new D.A.R.E. vehicle donated to the Lower Burrell Police Department by Hillcrest Volkswagen.
‘What I Need’ Program Continues to Grow and Succeed
Last year, Bon Air Elementary introduced a new literacy program focused on targeted, short-term interventions for K-3 students in reading. The WIN initiative – which is an acronym for “What I Need” – proved to be extraordinarily successful in helping young readers reach benchmarks with skills-based instruction. WIN was also instrumental in providing enrichment opportunities for students already reading at proficient levels, enabling them to continue to advance their skills through an additional 30 minutes of literacy instruction customized to their needs.
Burrell Elementary Fitness Awards
Elementary physical education teachers Steve White and Justin Miller hope that their new program will take students’ focus on fitness out of the school gymnasium and into everyday life.
This year, the teachers will implement the Burrell Elementary Fitness Awards, a substitute for the Presidential Physical Fitness Awards that the schools have taken part of in past years. “Our main goal with the awards is to promote lifelong fitness,” says Mr. White. “We wanted to come up with a program that more kids could be successful at, to plant the idea that they can be successful with fitness even at an early age.”
Bon Air Students Get a Head Start on the New School Year
Making macaroni necklaces and canoeing might be staples of traditional summer camps, but at Bon Air Elementary School’s Superstar Summer Camp, the emphasis is on academics.
For the past four years, the camp – a Title I program – has been available to any Bon Air student in need of extra support when it comes to reading skills. Fifty students in all (10 entering kindergarten, and 20 entering each first and second grades) were invited to take part in the two-week camp, which met for two hours each day.
District Spelling Bee Crowns Champion
Seven weeks of studying and practicing paid off for three elementary students when they were named Burrell’s top spellers on May 31. Thirty students participated in the second-annual Elementary School District Champion Spelling Bee at the Stewart School auditorium before an audience of family, friends, and faculty. After nearly four grueling hours of spelling, second grade student Georgia Brothers took top honors, with third-grader Carson Ley and fifth-grader Lucas Ciesielski placing second and third, respectively.
Magic Show With An Anti-Bullying Message
Many young victims of bullies wish they could wave a magic wand and make their bullies disappear. Magician Dan Kuniak recently taught the students at Bon Air Elementary School that even without a magic wand, they do have the power to help put an end to bullying.