Friday, February 13, 2009

SLPS Spotlight News February 13, 2009 Weekly Edition

SLPS Spotlight News

February 13, 2009 Weekly Edition

SLPS Spotlight News is a publication from the St. Louis Public School District’s Public Information Office. Each issue offers story ideas and provides media with information about what is going on in the district. If you’re interested in submitting stories, email Julie Linder at


Annual Hearts 4 Hunger Food Drive Underway

The Division of Community Education, in Partnership with Operation Food Search, has kicked off their Hearts 4 Hunger Canned Food Drive. This year’s drive runs February 2 – February 20. Currently there are 45 schools participating.

As of February 12, 2009, the top 3 reporting schools are:

#1. Stix ECC with 9,205 cans

#2. Sigel Elementary CEC with 3,406 cans,

#3. Langston Middle with 3,208 cans.

Overall St. Louis Public Schools have collected 33,055 cans!

It is not too late to participate! Please contact Megan Owens at or 345-4590 for an informational packet. Great job everyone! Keep up the good work.

Important Information for Parents

The Missouri PIRC (Parent Information and Resource Center) serves parents, schools and community organizations throughout the state by providing a wide range of information, training, technical assistance, and resources to help parents promote their children’s achievement in school.

The Missouri PIRC is a collaborative effort of LIFT ( Missouri ’s Literacy Resource Center ), the Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc., ParentLink, Practical Parenting Partnerships, and many other organizations.

The Missouri PIRC 815 Olive St. St. Louis , MO 63101 314-678-4443 800-729-4443

SLPS Looking for Experienced Communicators!

The office of Public Information is developing a Parental Advisory Board for the Strategic Communications Plan to enhance district-wide outreach efforts, and would like your help. If you are a parent of an SLPS student, have a background in communications or marketing, and interested in helping the Office of Public Information draft its 5 year strategic communications plan then please contact Julie Linder 314-345-2367 or

St. Louis Community Credit Union Donates $200 for Student’s Membership Dues and Reactivation of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Organization at Vashon High School

SLPS would like to thank the St. Louis Community Credit Union who made a contribution to assist the business teachers and students in reactivating the Future Business Leaders of America – (FBLA) organization at Vashon High School. The contributions will be used for the membership dues of 20 Vashon High School Students and reactivation fee of one of the premier career and technical student business organizations.

REVISED: 3 SLPS Students to Represent America SCORES St. Louis at the national Poetry Slam in New York

Congratulations are in order for Trinity-Sky Hall, Adams Elementary, Chanel Hess, Ashland Elementary, and Christopher Pulphus, Patrick Henry Elementary, who were selected to represent their America SCORES St. Louis teams and elementary schools at this national event in honor of National Poetry Month. From April 18-20, the two young poets will meet 28 other America SCORES student poets from around the country for a long weekend of sightseeing, teambuilding, and poetry writing workshops.

The 3rd Annual America SCORES National Poetry Slam! will take place on Monday, April 20, 2009, from

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the New York Stock Exchange. The audience will include more than 300 invited government officials, business leaders, educators, and America SCORES board members and supporters. Parents and America SCORES coaches from around the country will also be attending. The event will celebrate the achievements of America SCORES’ youth poets nationwide in honor of National Poetry Month.


Students in grades 3-6 recently participated in Cole eMINTS first-ever spelling bee. The excited contestants had to successfully win their room competition in order to advance to the school finals, which took place in front of all students, staff and several parents. The top three winners are Aaliyah Byrd (grade 5), Tiana Tolen (grade 6) and Vanessa Adams (grade 5).

Mark Twain’s Chess Team Earns 2nd Place Trophy

The Mark Twain Chess Team took home the second place team trophy from the Red Rook Chess Tournament held on the campus of Washington University. Individual trophies were awarded to Rodney Woodson and Montrell Wallace. Placement medals went to Aneenah Smith, Tianna Ballard, Jalen Woods, Donyea Coleman, Lloyd Blount, Dangelo Sands, Ramonta Willey, Travis Pearson, Cameron Mosley, Eric Ledoux and Alexis Bates.

The chess club was started at Mark Twain as a means of helping students improve their thinking, focus and concentration skills. It is the hope of the staff at Mark Twain that the chess program will continue to be a part of students’ lives in years to come and show an improvement in school MAP test scores as a result of the hard work of the teachers who are involved in the chess program. Congratulations to the Mark Twain Chess Team and keep up the good work!

WBMS “For Kids Sake” to perform Central VPA author’s play, Twisted

WBMS “For Kids Sake,” a performing arts academy without walls, will be performing Willie "Sonny" Metcalfe’s play titled “Twisted” at Roosevelt High School , 3230 Hartford St. , February 18th. In addition, the cast will appear on "The Best of The STL" TV 10 on February 18 from 7pm-8pm and again on My 46 UPN on Saturday February 21st at 11:00 pm. Sonny Metcalfe, the author of Twisted, works at Central VPA as an Instructional Care Attendant. The cast is made up of St. Louis Public Schools students as well as community youth and independent artists. The play is a musical comedy about a group of teens in the 60's planning a homecoming dance, and features a lot of singing and dancing as it addresses peer pressure and bullying.

Resource for Teachers:

SLPS would like to remind teachers who are in need of classroom materials to please visit was created to provide an avenue for public teachers to submit project requests for the specific material their students need to learn. Donors choose which projects to support, and once a project is funded, delivers the materials directly to the schools. Thus far, 233 projects have been submitted by SLPS teachers, and SLPS is happy to announce that currently 76% of the projects submitted have received full funding to an amount more than $68,775 and more continue to be funded on a daily basis.

SLPS Middle School Students Invited to enter Black History Essay Contest

The Community NETwork, St. Louis Metro Chapter’s 2009 Black History Essay Contest is open to all St. Louis Metro Public middle school students, and began Monday, February 2, 2009 and ends at 5:00 p.m. on February 20, 2009. For more information, or to participate in the essay contest, please contact Willie May Jr., president of the Community NETwork, St. Louis Metro Chapter, at or Chloe Nave at

Office Professional Support Staff Scholarship Application

Through donors to the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, the Office Professional Support Staff Scholarship will provide a monetary award in the amount of $300 - $1500 for qualified St. Louis Public Schools Office Professional Support Staff. The scholarship is to be used at any accredited college or university in the St. Louis Metropolitan area for tuition and fees. The application is due by February 17, 2009. For more information please contact Nicole Roberts at 345-4413 or via email at

The MetLife Foundation Ambassadors in Education Award for Teachers

Here’s a great opportunity to nominate an outstanding public school middle or high school teacher who has connected the school with the broader community (parents, neighbors, community organizations, and businesses). Winners of the award will have promoted academic excellence, school and community safety, and civic engagement/community service. Ambassadors in Education will be recognized in an awards ceremony, receive a crystal apple and a $5,000 grant for his/her school. Twenty five winners will be selected from around the country. For more information and to download a nomination form, visit or contact the National Civic League at 303-571-4343. The MetLife Foundation Ambassadors in Education Awards is conducted by the National Civic League and is supported by the MetLife Foundation. The program’s goal is to help inspire similar efforts among other educators.

A Win Win Situation

SLPS would like to remind staff, friends and family that is providing a 10% discount on shoes purchased through the website for those that buy on behalf of SLPS. In addition, 5% of every purchase goes directly to SLPS. So if you or someone you know is in need of shoes, take advantage of this offer and save money while helping the district by visiting

10 Lucky Hamilton Students Build-A-Bear with College Bound

On Saturday, March 14th, ten elementary students from Hamilton eMINTS Academy will be paired with ten students participating in the College Bound Program to build graduation bears. These students will have the entire Build-A-Bear store to themselves before the mall opens as they create unique bears, which the elementary students get to keep.

College Bound is a non-profit, college access program designed to provide promising high school students from under-resourced backgrounds with the academic enrichment, life skills, and social supports needed to succeed in four-year colleges. Recruitment begins at the 9th grade level, and students officially begin the program during their 10th grade year. There are currently about 170 students, including 40 freshmen in college. College Bound has a year-round curriculum that includes career exposure, community engagement, test preparation, and academic enrichment.

Beaumont Army JROTC Academy of IT Teaches Students Health Awareness and Etiquette

The Army Instructors have stepped up to help students not only learn lessons in the classroom, but lessons in life, and for that the staff at SLPS would like to recognize their efforts. From January 26-29, Sergeant First Class Lorenzo Harris’ 2nd Year cadets, C/MSG Kanazia Thompson and C/MSG Cortez Watson coordinated a health awareness fair. Eighty-five Beaumont High Schools students participated. Students received free blood pressure screening, dental examinations and cleaning, eye exams, and Body Mass Index (BMI) worksheets completed and presentations about Achieving a Healthy Lifestyle. The supporting community agencies included People’s Health Center , St. Louis City Health department, and Beaumont High School Respiratory Academy .

On February 6th, Army Instructors Sergeant First Class Lorenzo Harris and Sergeant First Class Diane Willis utilized a service learning field experience to teach etiquette. According to both Army Instructors, “by knowing the rules of proper etiquette, cadets will not only make a good impression, but they will be more relaxed and confident in these situations.” After participating in classroom instruction, the field experience assessment process began. Cadets dressed in formal attire displayed proper social conduct and behavior, important elements of character development, while enjoying a fabulous meal. In addition, cadets displayed methods of making introductions, when and how to shake hands, dining etiquette, toasting, appropriate attire for different occasions and much more.

Upcoming Events

Billikens Host George Washington to Raise Funds for Breast Cancer

On February 14, the Saint Louis University Billikens will be hosting a Pink Zone game for Breast Cancer Awareness. All children under the age of 14 wearing pink, a jersey, or a scout uniform will receive free admission. In addition, teachers can get into the game for only $4. Doors open at 1:00pm and the first 500 fans will receive a free pink t-shirt.

Be a Career Spokesperson

Metro High School is looking for volunteer Career Spokespersons for their upcoming Career Day on February 17. The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. with an all-school assembly in the auditorium. Guest spokespersons will give individual, brief presentations to the students. Following the presentations, students will be invited to spend up-close and personal time with the presenters to learn more about their careers. Metro is requesting that participants bring some “tools of the trade” for students to see and investigate. Business cards and giveaways are also welcome. For more information about participating in the Career Day, please contact Metro High School at 314.534.3894.

Parent Assembly Meeting Announced

The Parent Assembly’s next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 18, 2009; 6:30pm


Opening Remarks: Dorris J. Walker-McGahee

Introduction of Parent Assembly Officers


Stacy Clay: Executive Director: College Summit

Linda Riekes: Director: Development SLPS

CET Career Exploration Conferences

8th Graders will continue to visit college and university campuses to learn the importance of preparing for college early. Last fall about 200 8th graders had this opportunity. In the month of February, the following schools will participate in these 8th grade College Exploration Conferences:

February 18 Peabody eMints Washington University

February 20 Carr Lane VPA Harris Stowe State University

February 24 Gateway MS Ranken Technical College

February 27 Stevens MS SLCC @ Meramec

Soldan hosts “Soldan Summit” to kick off UN Competition

Soldan International Studies High School will kick off a week of UN competition by hosting the Third Annual "Soldan Summit" on Thursday, February 19 at 9:00 AM at the Soldan Auditorium. The discussion, part of an ongoing series, will offer students and faculty members the opportunity to learn about global politics and the role of the United Nations in forming US foreign Policy. The keynote speaker will be Jess Baily, the Director of the Office of U.N. Political Affairs, Bureau of International Organization Affairs where he coordinates U.S. policy on political issues before the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly. The program is sponsored by Soldan Model United Nations Club and is open to all. For more information, contact Hamid Azimiaraghi at


Information Seminar Hosted by Fresh Start Program

Fresh Start Academy and the Neighborhood Outreach Center are offering a one day resource/information seminar for all high school juniors and seniors. Although Fresh Start Academy is a non-traditional program, the one-day seminar will serve all students that need resources to attend trade school, college, and the workforce. All students that attend this workshop will walk away with tools to achieve these goals. The seminar will help students become knowledgeable about different programs and network with professionals from the metropolitan area. Date: February 19, 2009 Time: 10:30 Location: Fresh Start Academy & InIt2Win, 2615 N. Billups

Schools United Workshop “Helping Children and Families Weather the Storms of Life”

Saturday, February 21st, from 10:00a.m.-12:00p.m. Gateway Middle, located at 1200 N. Jefferson Ave., will be hosting a workshop to help parents and students work through stress and negative influences to promote a healthy home where families grow stronger. Velva J. Young, MSW from St. Louis Crisis Nursery will be the guest speaker for the Schools United Workshop. This event is open to the public and admission is free. Attendance prizes will be awarded for the first twenty parents and refreshments will be served. For more information or to participate please call 241-2295 or 241-8255.

Schools United is a collaborative effort by Gateway Middle, Carr Lane VPA Middle, Blewett Middle, Columbia Elementary, Vashon High, Jefferson Elementary and Dunbar Elementary schools.

Got Talent??

2009 Muny auditions for children (ages 7-13) will be held on Saturday, February 21, and for teens (ages 14-18) on Sunday, February 22. The auditions will be held at The Performing Arts Center at St. Louis University High School , 4970 Oakland Avenue . Two additional audition opportunities are available on February 18 at Ames VPA beginning at 9:30 a.m. and at Shaw VPA beginning at 1:30 p.m. For more information regarding the season and general audition and rehearsal requirements, visit, or call (314) 361-1900.

February 27, 2009 - Young Entrepreneur Showcase at the Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center

The Showcase is held during National Entrepreneurship Week, which is February 21 – 28th. The purpose of the Young Entrepreneurs Showcase is to provide students with an opportunity to showcase their products and/or services, network with local businesspeople, as well as garner tips and insight from successful entrepreneurs. There will be a competition between the schools for best business concept. This is a collaborative program with YWCA-Young Teens, National Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship, St. Louis University School of Business, and SLPS Division of Career and Technical Education.

Do you know a Huggable Hero®?

The search is on for the next group of great young leaders to join the Build-A-Bear Workshop

Huggable Heroes Hall of Fame. Young people between the ages of seven and 18 who are making positive contributions in their schools, neighborhoods and communities will be honored for their hard work and dedication to make the world a better place. Entries will be accepted from January 16, 2009 through February 27, 2009. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, friends, teachers, organization leaders, or the young people themselves may submit entries.

Each Huggable Hero will receive a prize worth $10,000 ($7,500 in the form of an educational scholarship and $2,500 from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation to be donated to the charity of the hero’s choice and awarded in the winner’s local currency). The 12 winners will also receive a trip for themselves and one adult to a special awards celebration and a 2010 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes calendar photo shoot.

To learn more about the contest, or to download a nomination form, visit or visit any Build-A-Bear Workshop store.

Missouri NEA and the Cat in the Hat’s Read Across America Cat Tracks Tour Stops at Sigel Elementary

Missouri NEA President Chris Guinther and the Cat in the Hat are stopping by Sigel Elementary at 2:00 p.m., Monday, March, 2nd, to teach students about the importance of reading.

The Diversity Awareness Partnership, the St. Louis Public Library and Washington University Present “Native Voices: Unveiling the Myths behind the Headdress, Moccasins and Tipi”

The Diversity Awareness Partnership, the St. Louis Public Library and Washington University are providing a community forum designed to address current issues and stereotypes faced by Native Americans in the United States. This is a professional development opportunity for educators and service providers. The forum will be held Wednesday, March 4, 6:30p.m.-8:30p.m., at Schlafly Branch Library, 225 N. Euclid Ave. For more information please call 314-436-7628

City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen celebrates the Young Authors of Roosevelt High School

Roosevelt High School will host a school and community literacy day in support of "Young Authors." The literacy day celebration will take place on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 9:30 a.m., in the Library Media Center . The mayor, St. Louis Board of Aldermen, area residents, and other community officials are invited to support the recognition of these young published authors. Please R.S.V. P. by Wednesday, March 04, 2009 by contacting Roosevelt High School at 776-6040

St. Louis Metropolitan Area 25th Career Awareness Fair for 8th Grade

The Career Education Office of the St. Louis Public Schools will hold its 25th Annual Career Awareness Fair March 4th and 5th at America ’s Center from 8:00a.m.-2:00p.m. In The Career Awareness Fair will reinforce the Missouri Assessment Program and literacy skill development by showing students how academic skills are applied in the work environment.

Do you know a SLPS student who would like to compete for a Congressional Award?

The Congressional Award is the United States Congress' award for young Americans. It is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. The program is open to all 14- to 23-year-olds. Participants earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas; Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Earning the Award is a fun and interesting way to get more involved in something you already enjoy or something you'd like to try for the first time. You move at your own pace - on your own or with your friends. This is not an award for past accomplishments. Instead, you are honored for achieving your own challenging goals.

The Congressional Award has no minimum grade point average requirements. It accommodates young people with special needs or disabilities who are willing to take the challenge. Nominations are currently being sought. Let's get St. Louis youth recognized. For more information:


Patrick Wallace

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