If you ask a student at Grass Valley what makes their school special, they’ll tell you that Grass Valley is a Green School! First grade teacher Julie Della Valle is the leader who makes this happen, and Clark County Environmental Services agrees. The organization will honor Mrs. Della Valle with the “Make Every Day Earth Day” award at a ceremony on April 12.
Della Valle has initiated and managed many activities designed to get students and adults focused on the environment. Most noteworthy of these are: the Eco Officers Club, a school-wide Earth Day celebration, and the accomplishment of being a Level II Washington Green School.
Having the Eco Officers club ensures the school’s green efforts start with kids. Mrs. Della Valle hosts weekly meetings and guides students in their efforts to reduce Grass Valley’s trash output and maximize recycling potential. The kids assess each classroom’s effectiveness in recycling through trash audits and award them for their efforts. Eco Officers teach their peers how to decrease trash production and increase their recycling and reusing habits.
“What we have found is that the adults in our building and parents at home are learning right along with the kids,” commented Grass Valley Principal Patricia Erdmann.
For the past two years, the Eco Officers have contributed to the Washington Green School Summit. The efforts of Eco Officers and their leader have spilled over into other Green Team activities, such as the SOS (Save Our Scraps) program in the cafeteria.
A great example of the community coming together in this recycling effort is the Bottle Cap Drive that Della Valle brought to Grass Valley. In cooperation with a local business, Grass Valley students are collecting thousands of threaded bottle caps that would otherwise end up in landfills. The Eco Officers spend hours collecting and sorting the bottle caps (which are recyclable, but need to be separated from the plastic bottles) to help with this effort. Once again, the grownups in these children’s lives have become caught up in the tide of this effort and are eagerly participating.
For the past seven years, Julie Della Valle has organized an annual, school-wide Earth Day celebration. She involves every single student and staff member in the celebration along with many parents. Each year students design and make their own Earth Day flag to decorate the school. They also host a school-wide garden cleanup to help recognize the day and to beautify the school grounds. Additionally, Della Valle created a walking field guide for nearby wetlands and park areas identifying many local species students can find along the way. Many classes have taken advantage of this resource to explore the native plants and animals in the area around the school. This opportunity is something that all Grass Valley zebras look forward to every year.
Beyond Earth Day, Mrs. Della Valle maintains native perennial plantings in the school garden and composts in her classroom.
In 2012, Mrs. Della Valle led the way for Grass Valley Elementary to achieve Level II Washington Green School status. Reaching Level II acknowledges that they sustained our goals to reduce trash and recycle, and are now making strides to conserve energy throughout the building.
Students and staff members at Grass Valley Elementary are proud of their accomplishments in conservation and stewardship of the local environment and recognize that Julie Della Valle has been the catalyst in these efforts. Her commitment to the environment and the passion for sharing her knowledge empower the children to ensure a green future. Thanks to her determination and enthusiasm the entire Grass Valley community is making our world a better place.
Congratulations to several outstanding student musicians from the Camas School District who received top honors by being selected to participate in state and national ensembles this school year.
These auditioned ensembles of only 150 students worked with a nationally known conductor and performed for the All-Northwest Music Educators Conference on February 16 in both Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington. Students who were selected for an All-State ensemble represent a select group of students from the state of Washington. Students who were selected for an All-Northwest ensemble represent a select group of students from the six states who will participate in the music conference.
Also, over 3,600 singers from across the country auditioned for the American Choral Directors Association National Honor Choirs. We have several students representing the Camas School District in the National Honor Choir at the ACDA conference in Dallas, Texas on March 13-16. These students are among 300 students selected to participate from across the country.
Congratulations to the following students:
Dorothy Fox Elementary:
Annie Colvin – Junior All-State, Grade 5, Soprano
Grass Valley Elementary:
Sydney Moses – Junior All-State, Grade 5, Soprano
Sydney Moses – Natl. Youth Choir, Grade 5, Soprano 1
Chase Fossen – Youth Choir, Grade 4, Soprano 2
Prune Hill Elementary:
Abbigale Hayes – Junior All-State Grade 5, Alto
Grant Bane – Natl. Honor Youth Choir, Grade 5, Alto 1
Liberty Middle School:
Abigail Lightfoot – Junior All-State Grade 8, Soprano
Skyridge Middle School:
Tara Larsen – Junior All-State, Grade 6, Soprano
Tara Larsen – Natl. Middle School Choir, Grade 6, Soprano
Hannah Upkes – Junior All-State, Grade 6, Soprano
Janessa Wilson – Junior All-State, Grade 6, Alto
Janessa Wilson – Middle School Choir, Grade 6, Alto
Jacqueline Muri – Junior All-State, Grade 6, Alto
Jacqueline Muri – Middle School Choir, Grade 6, Alto
Camas High School:
Blake Dunn – Washington All-State Mixed Choir, Sophomore, Tenor 2
Erica Abrahamsen – All-Northwest Band, Senior , Alto Saxophone
Isaac Hodapp – Washington All-State Symphony Orchestra, Freshman, Trumpet
Haley Sawyer – All-Northwest Mixed Choir, Senior, Soprano 1
Triton Pitassi – All-Northwest Mixed Choir, Senior, Tenor 2
Matt McCormick – Washington All-State Mixed Choir, Junior, Bass 1
Two Grass Valley Elementary School fifth graders took their strong interest in helping animals to the next step last week by organizing a large-scale donation drive and assembly at their school. Megan Bauer and Lily Thompson, both 11, are part of the Kids Club at the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. They decided to take extra strides toward the cause of aiding animals in need by putting on the week-long drive, where they set up shop in their school and asked for contributions. The girls were helped in their mission by Grass Valley jazz teacher Natalie Wilson, Principal Patricia Erdmann and Humane Society customer service manager Shonda Feathers. The drive kicked off with an assembly held to talk about the girls’ goals of spreading awareness and bringing in needed items and money for the Humane Society. Donations flowed in throughout the week, including cat and dog toys, collars, blankets, pet food and kitty litter. One student dropped off a small bag of collected coins.
Retreived from The Columbian
Grass Valley Elementary students make cactus fly refrigerator magnets out of recycled phone wires, straws and pipe cleaners.
Every year, Mariah Acton meets fourth-graders who have never been on a hike or seen a blue heron.
And every year, the Columbia River Watershed Festival seeks to change that, and give students a new perspective.
Acton, events and volunteer coordinator for the non-profit, helps organize the festival, which is held in a Clark County park every year. This year, it was held in Capt. William Clark Park in Washougal. It also rotates with visits to Klineline Pond, Vancouver Lake and Lewisville State Park.
The goal is to teach as many fourth-graders as possible about environmental stewardship and conservation, and having fun while learning about it.
On Thursday and Friday, approximately 1,000 kids, including those from Camas and Washougal, participated in the event. They made their way through 16 rotating stations, which ranged from environmental storytelling to conservation to searching for evidence of animal activity along the beach.
“They don’t get these kinds of activities anywhere else in school these days,” Acton said. “There have been so many cuts to field trips and outdoor school.
“We really try to reach out to all of the schools.”
Columbia Springs has been organizing the two-day program since 1997, in partnership with the Clark County Department of Environmental Services, City of Vancouver, Clark Public Utilities, and other funding partners.
Local schools do not pay to attend the event.
“Fourth-graders tend to be at a good age to learn about conservation,” Acton said. “We try to get them active in understanding local watersheds.”
Anna Hovanas, who teaches fourth-grade at Prune Hill Elementary, said the students had been very engaged in the event throughout the day, and especially enjoyed going to the beach area to search for clues of animals, industry and human recreation.
Read More at The Post Record
Science Olympiad Team of Educators
Our Camas School District has distinguished itself by involving over 250 students this year in Science Olympiad after-school programs. The following are just a few of the milestones set by the district SO program:
- The CSD is the only district in the state with all of its elementary schools participating in SO;
- For the first time ever, both middle school teams qualified for state competition;
- The CSD was the only district with two middle school teams competing at state; and
- CHS SO won every tournament this year including a first and second place finish in our region and the state high school championship over all WIAA classifications combined;
Additionally, the SO program demonstrated the success of project-based learning at nearly all grade levels across the district. This team also introduced/modeled the “flipped” classroom to many staff members district wide. This engagement in the process of continuous learning qualifies the Science Olympiad team as a CSD Dream Team.
Non-District Coaches & Leads: Rick Grote; Jana Grote; Wendi Billington; Hans Wachlin; Yvonne Bintz; Warren Shoemaker; Ellen Burton
Sponsor Donors: Wafertech; Underwriters Laboratories; VESI; WEA Riverside; Camas-Washougal Rotary; Shin-Etsu; Linear Technology; SeaAlaska Timber; Camas Educational Foundation
Kim illuminates and inspires Grass Valley students to do their best each and every day. In her science classroom, she pushes students out of their comfort zones by engaging them in singing, dancing, chanting, and experiencing science in new ways. She ensures she has a variety of strategies, supplies, and vehicles to deliver information. For example, Kim keeps leveled books on hand so that no matter the reading level, children can study the same subject matter as their peers. She also arranges field trips across multiple grade levels to promote science and get kids excited about the science around them, helping them to see the world differently. She stimulates self-belief and positive thinking—by the end of the year, there is not on child who doesn’t believe they will “kill” the science MSP test. Coincidently, 94 percent of them did!
As the science liaison for Grass Valley, the CSD, and ESD112, Kim offers support and innovating ideas for teachers around her. Her open and friendly demeanor results in a great relationship with staff. They freely come to her for teaching advice and support which cultivates the “can do” attitude Grass Valley has long enjoyed.
Pictured left to right: Laura Teames, Laura Langdale, Janessa Wilson, Aristia McLaughlin, Tara Larsen, and Catherine Lomprey.
Six outstanding music students from the Camas elementary schools received top honors by being selected to participate in the annual WMEA All-State Youth Honor Chorus.
These outstanding vocalists attended the WMEA All-State Youth Honor Chorus on February 18, 2012. They rehearsed together under the direction of a nationally known conductor and presented a final concert that afternoon. The students were selected through auditions to participate in this exciting event, which is sponsored by the Washington Music Educators Association.
The students listed below joined 150 other young performers in Yakima for this gala event.
Dorothy Fox Pack
Laura Teames – 5th Grade, alto voice
Grass Valley VOCAL JAZZ
Laura Langdale -5th Grade, alto voice
Tara Larsen – 5th Grade, alto voice
Catherine Lomprey – 5th Grade, alto voice
Janessa Wilson – 5th Grade, soprano voice
Prune Hill Penguin Choir
Aristia McLaughlin – 5th Grade, soprano voice
The Dorothy Fox Pack, Helen Baller Musiking, and the Prune Hill Penguin Choir performed at the second annual “Music in Our Schools Month Concert” on March 29th at Camas High School. It was a wonderful evening of singing and celebration for the music we make with our students.
Enjoy an ensemble piece below.
More videos of the evening can be found at Ms. Adams’ website.