Youth Corner

Tavares High hosts Poetry Out Loud Contest

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TAVARES — Students at Tavares High School did their best imitations of William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Frost and other great poets as the school hosted for the third consecutive year its Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest.

The winner of the competition was junior Brynna Wright. Senior Shea Callanan was runner-up and finishing third in overall points was senior Rachael Cain. Wright will go on to perform at the state competition in Tallahassee on March 12th. The next stage of the competition is the national competition in Washington D.C.

“All of these students are to be congratulated for their outstanding performances,” said Anita Williams, English Department Chair at Tavares High. “Brynna was also our school winner last year and did compete in the state competition in 2010.”

This national competition is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Tavares High School English Department encourages English teachers and their students to participate, but it is not mandatory. This year four teachers and their classes participated: Anita Williams, AP Lit & Comp classes; Bonnie Watkins, AP Language and English III classes; Don Dickson, English II Honors classes; and Gail Peterson, English I Honors classes.

The first part of the competition is the individual in-class portion; the winner, or in some cases, winners, then move on to the school competition. The school competition was held on Feb. 9 in the school’s auditorium. The students were judged according to the criteria of physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding and overall performance.

Students were allowed to choose the poems they wanted to recite. Each student participant recited two poems, in two separate rounds. This year’s judges were Nancy Velez, Lake County Schools Chief Academic Officer; Skellie Morris, Tavares High Grant Project Manager; Eric Peterson, Tavares High Media Specialist; and Judy Moreland, Tavares High Reading Specialist.

“We are very proud of our winners and all the contestants who participated,” Williams said. “It was a great pleasure to hear these students perform, and all involved in the program from year to year feel it is very beneficial to the students and to the school. We look forward to participating again next year.”


Mount Dora High to host its Annual CANES Expo

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altMOUNT DORA — Mount Dora High School, located at 700 N. Highland Ave., is hosting is Second Annual CANES Expo on Tuesday, March 15th, at 6:30 p.m., in conjunction with the school’s second-term open house.

The event promises to be an evening filled with visual and auditory entertainment. Mount Dora High’s jazz band will be performing, cheerleaders cheering and ROTC is putting on a performance. In the media center, guests will be able to see the positive things that are going on in Mount Dora High’s classrooms by observing unique and breathtaking student displays.

The Expo is being put on by the Positive Behavior Support Committee. While the Expo gives the public a chance to witness the amazing things that are going on inside the school, it will also give parents a chance to meet their students’ teachers. The teachers will be in their classrooms to greet parents. Refreshments will be available.


Treadway Elementary Students Ready to Set Sail on another Reading Adventure

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Staff from Treadway Elementary, including (left to right) Shannon Bass, Marie Roberts, Elizabeth Edmonds, Shaunna Purdy, April Bronson, Melissa Dillon and Allison Hayes, got into the act as they dressed up as pirates for the “Readers of the Caribbean” program.LEESBURG — Treadway Elementary School’s third graders enjoyed sailing through the Caribbean on a reading adventure so much on January 27th, the entire school will get the opportunity to enjoy this unique reading voyage on Tuesday, March 8th, at 5:30 p.m.

Principal Robin Neeld set her sights on saving a few gold coins for the school’s first sailing adventure and decided to put on the “Readers of the Caribbean” specifically for third graders using teachers as her first mates.

Wanda Garcia, Family-School Liaison, and Vina Barr, Literacy Coach, put together the “Readers of the Caribbean” show with the help of third grade teachers: Shannon Bass, April Bronson, Melissa Dillon, Elizabeth Edmonds, Allison Hayes, Shaunna Purdy and Marie Roberts. Stacie Merritt built the set design complete with pirate ship and treasure chest.

“Due to severe weather, the show was rescheduled from Tuesday night to Thursday night,” Neeld said. “Another school had the program that evening, but that didn’t seem to sway the sturdy book-a-neers. Luckily, Treadway still managed a turnout of almost 120 little nippers. The show was a hit!”

Teachers and administrators dressed in pirate attire and empowered students and parents to take the tools and make their own adventure. Students were dared to undergo a 21-day challenge to discover their own reading adventure.

The “Readers of the Caribbean” program demonstrates to parents and students how reading lessons can be extended beyond the classroom. The activities during the program are pirate-themed and revolve around all five components of reading — phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

The show was such a hit; Treadway Elementary is hosting Book-a-neer Bob to conduct the “Readers of the Caribbean” show. All parents and students at Treadway Elementary are invited to the show at Treadway’s Cafeteria at 5:30 p.m. on March 8th.


Reading to the Beat of a Different Drum

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altEUSTIS — Students at Seminole Springs Elementary are singing a different tune when it comes to their reading skills thanks to Teacher Ed Anderson and his innovative approach to music class.

While the normal instruments found in music class adorn nearly every corner of Anderson’s class, a noticeable difference in the classroom decorum is the stack of the books at the front of the room. A former Middle-school band director, Anderson said when he made the switch last year to teaching music in an elementary school he searched for methods and tools he could use in the new setting.

“Reading is very important to me,” Anderson said. “I saw some kids were having a hard time reading and I wanted to be able to help them.”

Using lesson plan ideas from Mallet Madness and Mallet Madness Strikes Again by Dr. Artie Almeida, a Music Teacher at Bear Lake Elementary in Apopka, Anderson has created a music class environment where the world of reading and music unite.

“It’s like trying to use your right side brain where the music is to help your left side,” Anderson said. “Those things that make good readers make good musicians too.”

Reading Fluency is generally determined by five markers: reading rate, accuracy, phrasing, smoothness and expression. According to Anderson,alt music can help to improve these reading traits while making students less afraid and shy about reading aloud.

“The thing is music teaches all these reading markers,” he said. “Sharing that emotion in your reading — that reflection in your voice — music helps teach that.”

Anderson recently read second-grade students Beetle Bop by Denise Fleming. From the book’s rhythmic prose, students created a melody and practiced it on instruments.

“They just played half of a major scale, but what’s really cool is they are learning music and reading at the same time,” Anderson said.


Mount Dora High Senior Selected as Finalist for Coca-Cola Scholarship

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BellamyMOUNT DORA — Amanda Bellamy, a senior from Mount Dora High School, has been selected as a member of the 2011 Class of Coca-Cola Scholars.

Bellamy was selected as a finalist from more than 2,100 semifinalists for having demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and community involvement epitomized by past winners of this scholarship. With the help of the Orlando Coca-Cola Bottling Company and The Coca-Cola Company, Bellamy will begin college next fall at the school of her choice.

Bellamy is one of 252 high school seniors, and the only Lake County student, selected nationwide to compete for a scholarship from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. On April 14th, Bellamy will join other finalists as they travel to Atlanta, the international headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company, to compete for 52 four-year college scholarships of $20,000 and 200 four-year scholarships of $10,000.

Over the four-day weekend, the finalists will interview with a National Selection Committee, tour local landmarks, engage with former Coca-Cola Scholars and participate in a range of activities including a community service project. The 2011 Class of Coca-Cola Scholars will also be the guest of honor at the annual Scholars Banquet which will not only celebrate their great accomplishments, but also celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. Joining in the celebration will be representatives from the Coca-Cola System, educators, local dignitaries and friends of the Scholars Foundation.

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