Fourth graders at Arcola Elementary School participated in a BioBlitz on June 6. During a BioBlitz, students collected and identified as many species of living things in their local ecosystem as possible in 90 minutes. To help with this task, 15 scientists, including professionals from the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Montgomery County Parks, the Audubon Naturalist Society, George Washington University, the University of Maryland and staff from the MCPS Outdoor Environmental Education Program, worked alongside students. Each time a new organism was found, students took a photo and uploaded it to iNaturalist. The next day, students were amazed to learn they had collected more than 50 different species of plants, animals and fungi.
Monitoring the number and kinds of living things in an ecosystem helps scientists monitor the health of that ecosystem. Citizen scientists help with this kind of data collection through events like the BioBlitz. The benefits are numerous for kids: working alongside scientists opens up ideas of career pathways; it also offers them a connection to the environment. Montgomery County Councilman Craig Rice enthusiastically addressed the students, underscoring the importance of caring for the environment.
Glen Haven Hosts Special Olympics Field Day
Thanks to a partnership with the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program, Pre-K to second grade students at Glen Haven Elementary School had the opportunity to work on developing motor and basic sports skills throughout the school year. The partnership culminated with a Special Olympics Field Day where children celebrated together.
The partnership focused on Glen Haven’s K-2 students in the school community based (SCB) special education program, PEP, and students with and without disabilities in K-2 classrooms. The goal was to make school more inclusive for all students. Special Olympics also provided Young Athletes shirts for all K-2 students and staff to wear that day.
LFI, SCB Students Showcase Their Skills in Second Annual Demo Day
Damascus High School held its 2nd Annual Demo(nstration) Day on June 4. The adaptive physical education event is a celebration of health and fitness. Demo Day allowed students in the Learning for Independence (LFI) and School Community-Based (SCB) programs to demonstrate movement and health-related fitness skills they have learned and practiced in P.E. all year. The day includes 15 stations and peer and parent participation is encouraged.
Demo Day is a culminating activity to promote their learning in Adapted PE. Demo Day provides students with physical and/or intellectual disabilities the opportunity to show their competence of motor skills, knowledge of the principles of performance and demonstrate the skills required to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Leading up to the event, students participated in part of the Adapted PE program which exposed them to a variety of different sport units including zumba, soccer, kickball, baseball, badminton, volleyball, disc golf, mini golf, floor hockey, basketball, and track and field. Adapted PE meets the needs of individuals with physical and/or intellectual disabilities who are unable to fully participate in the general PE program. Students were given two weeks in each unit to experience various movement tasks, were provided appropriate instructional supports and assessed on their overall performance of the skills.
Outstanding Safety Patrollers Honored by AAA
Each year, AAA honors the exceptional actions of children who serve in their schools as school safety patrollers. This year, a duo of young AAA School Safety Patrollers from Oakland Terrace Elementary School, Shelby Taft and Sadie Haynes, acted quickly when a kindergarten student broke free from the safety of his mother’s hands and ran towards the road. Both students received the Lifesaving Medal during a June 11 ceremony at the school.
In addition, Summer Smith, a student at Bradley Hills Elementary School, has been designated an Outstanding AAA School Safety Patroller. She was nominated by her school for excelling in her duties and going above and beyond the line of duty on a regular basis.
The Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education, a non-profit charitable organization affiliated with AAA Mid-Atlantic, provided her with a $100 VISA gift card and a plaque recognizing her accomplishments.