State art award winners announced
WHITTIER — Four high school students from two Southwest-area schools were awarded the top prize in the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards hosted by Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).
Taylor Lindgren and Isaac Pollak of Southwest High School and Caroline Ricard and Zoe Sponsler-Hoehn of The Blake School were to be presented Gold Key Awards in a Feb. 22 ceremony at MCAD. Gold Key Award winners advance to national competition in New York.
This year, the jury for the state competition reviewed 1,147 individual artworks and 121 portfolios submitted by Minnesota students in grades seven though 12. The judges, art educators from around the United States, awarded 54 Gold Key Awards in the individual competition and eight Gold Key Awards in the portfolio competition.
The Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards exhibition at MCAD closed Feb. 22.
Minnesota Reading Corps accepting applications
Minnesota Reading Corps reports the demand for trained reading tutors in schools is on the rise, and announced an effort to recruit 400 members for the 2009–2010 school year.
The statewide initiative places AmeriCorps members and community volunteers in districts across the state, including Minneapolis. Corps members work with children in preschool through third grade to bring their reading skills up to grade level.
This school year, a record 367 members are working with children in 161 Minnesota schools. But there is still a greater need for trained reading tutors, the organization reported.
Minnesota Reading Corps began accepting applications for the 2009–2010 school year in January. There are part- and full-time positions available in elementary schools, preschools, Head Start programs and Early Childhood Family Education programs at locations around the state.
Corps members commit to the program for a year, beginning in August. Benefits are available to AmeriCorps members who join the program, including college tuition or federal student loan assistance.
District resolves to go green
The Board of Education endorsed efforts to green the district at its Feb. 10 meeting.
The Board adopted a resolution directing district administrators to pursue environmental sustainability and energy efficiency in school operations. It also called for the development of performance targets and objectives as the district continues efforts to reduce waste and conserve energy.
Many individual schools and district departments have programs in place to promote sustainability. The resolution aimed to coordinate those efforts, said Meredith Fox, a special assistant to Policy and Operations Director Steve Liss.
"We hope to reduce our carbon footprint as a district, promote awareness on this important topic, and ultimately achieve financial savings for the district, which is timely," Fox said.
That last comment sounded like a reference to the district’s budget shortfall, which is estimated at $28 million for the 2009–2010 school year. The district spends more than $14 million a year on utilities, but is working to reduce those costs.
Fox said the district planned to enter into a new recycling contract this summer and would soon offer mixed recycling district-wide. She also highlighted two Southwest schools that have entered into what she called the "new frontier" of recycling: organics.
Burroughs and Lake Harriet community schools in Southwest compost lunchroom waste, reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in the landfill.
The district aims to expand organics recycling, and other schools appear to be interested.
Free American history courses at Anthony
KENNY — Middle and high school students can apply now for six-week, tuition-free American history courses in March and April at Anthony Middle School, 5757 Irving Ave. S.
And get this, kids: No homework!
Minneapolis Public Schools is joining with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to put on the Saturday Academy enrichment program. Students can choose from six courses covering a variety of topics, from the history of bicycling to the untold stories of World War II.
The classes run 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Saturdays for six weeks beginning March 7. Although there is no cost for the program, students must provide their own transportation.
The application deadline is Feb. 27.
Course descriptions, an online application form and more information on the Saturday Academy can be found on the Anthony website (http://anthony.mpls.k12.mn.us/Saturday_Academy.html/).
The Gilder Lehrman Institute promotes the study of history using primary source documents. Both Anthony and Washburn High School are in its national network of schools.