2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • What do Happy Meals and state Lt. Gov. Garcia have in commmon? (hint: a bookish project))

    Thu, October 31, 2013 by Carol McGraw with no comments

    McDonald’s  and the state of Colorado are offering up some food for thought  in the coming weeks.
    Starting Friday (November 1) which is National Literacy Day, the company will be giving away 20 million books to Happy Meal customers.
    They will also be giving  families free access  to reading a digital book each month through 2014.  The  books can be obtained on the Happy Meal McPlay app, the company announced.
    Reading is Fundamental (RIF.org)  will distribute 100,000 of the Happy Meal Books to children who do not have easy access to books.
    One Book 4 Colorado, a program organized by  Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, is asking everyone to go to onebook4colorado.org  and vote for a book  that every 4-year-old will be receiving and reading next spring. ( The giveaway will be through local libraries and other sites.
    “Learning to read has the power to transform a child’s life and help ensure future success in school,” said  Garcia in a press release.  “Through partnerships with McDonald’s and others, we’re making sure that kids and families get the help they need from One Book 4 Colorado and other early literacy programs.”
    Local McDonald’s owner  Jim Boselli,  said, “We’re excited to invite families to spend time together and celebrate the joy of reading through these fun and original Happy Meal Books. This is the latest step in our ongoing efforts to enrich the lives of families, and inspire more family reading time.”
    Besides the “Goat Who Ate Everything,” the other books include “Deana’s Big Dreams,” “Ant Can’t” and “Doddi the Dodo Goes to Orlando.”

  • Help for School Districts that deal with same sex marriage

    Wed, October 30, 2013 by Carol McGraw with no comments


    Three national  education groups have  developed a set of questions and answers to help districts with  issues related to the Defense of Marriage Act.

    The  document is called  “The Do’s and Don’ts  of  DOMA: FAQs for School Systems and Employees  on the United States Supreme Court ruling on Same Sex-marriage.”

    It delves into how employee benefit plans and policies are affected.  School districts employe 6.2 million people, so the ruling has extensive reach, officials said in a press release.The groups that worked on the project included the  National School Boards Association (NSBA) , National Education Association (NEA) and the American Association of  School Administrators.

    The information can be found at http://www.nsba.org/doma.

    Employees in a same-sex marriage must receive the same benefits provisions as employees in an opposite-sex marriage, regardless of the state in which they live, the officials noted.

    “School districts are collectively the largest employers in the U.S. and they need to be aware of how this pivotal ruling changes employee benefits and benefit administration,” NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentze said in the announcement.

    “This is a major breakthrough in federal employment law, and this document will help clarify the many questions school systems and employees will have as the Court’s ruling is implemented.”

  • How innovative teachers get rid of the yawns

    Tue, October 29, 2013 by Carol McGraw with no comments

    Is your kid’s teacher creating yawns or enthusiasm?

    Stanford University creativity and innovation educator Leticia Britos Cavagnaro , in a press release, provides these tips on how to make a classroom more innovative.

    - During lectures, don’t just show connections between ideas, but also show your students how to arrive at those connections themselves.

    -Ask students  “what if” questions that  change the constraints of the problem in novel ways.

    -  Some students are great at generating ideas quickly and building on the ideas of others, while other people require some incubation time and prefer working on their own.  Create opportunities for broader participation.

    -To engage students who are too shy to raise their hands or contribute ideas on a brainstorming session, use te

    - Because students have different learning  styles, use images, audio or other multimedia to enhance engagement.



  • Sip a beer, get good karma

    Mon, October 28, 2013 by Carol McGraw with no comments

    Tuesday night is  Karma Hour.

    Sip a beer get good vibes, and help out schools.

    Sounds like Nirvana.

    The  Karma Hour event,  a happy hour  reincarnated,  is being held at Bristol Tasting Room  in the refurbished Ivywild Elementary  School,  1604 S. Cascade.

    For every pint purchased, the merchant is donating a dollar to The Foundation for School District 11.

    It’s also a good chance if you haven’t visited before,  to see how the old school has been transformed into a mixed-use commercial and community center.

    The event is 5 to 9 p.m. ,  Oct. 29

  • Air Academy High’s marching band takes state title for the fourth consecutive year

    Mon, October 28, 2013 by Debbie Kelley with no comments

    For the fourth year in a row, Air Academy High School’s marching band won the state Colorado Bandmasters Association’s championship in the 4A division.

    To celebrate, the marching band will perform an encore of its winning numbers during an assembly that starts at 2 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 29) at the high school, which is on the grounds of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Parents, family and community members are invited to attend.

    The band took the title during the finals at the state marching festival in Fort Collins over the weekend.

    Air Academy also scored the highest overall against all participating bands and swept all three award captions: music, visual and general effect.

    In all, marching bands from nine area schools competed in the state championships.

    Quarter finalists: Sand Creek High School (4A), Palmer High School (5A); semi-finalists: Pine Creek High School (4A), Fountain/Fort Carson High School (5A).

    Three other local high schools placed in the 4A finals, in addition to Air Academy capturing first. Liberty High School won third, Rampart High School came in fourth and Mesa Ridge High School took fifth.


  • Ednews website wants pictures of your school

    Wed, October 23, 2013 by Carol McGraw with no comments

    Say Cheese!

    EdNews  Colorado announced on its web site that  it  is starting a new web site i n the next few weeks,  and wants to create s lide show  that illustrates the diversity of Colorado school districts.
    They suggest that teachers, parents and kids submit a a photo of  what makes makes your school special. Also, send us a caption explaining the photo – it can be one word or a full sentence. Drawings are okay, too

    Include  in the email your name, school, what grade you’re in or what classes you teach, and e-mail address. Email photos to photos@ednewscolorado.org by November 11 or tweet or Instagram them with the hashtag #schoolsnapCO.

  • Local student wins award for post-fire remediation science project

    Wed, October 23, 2013 by Carol McGraw with no comments


    Rebecca Bloomfield, a student at Palmer High School in Colorado Springs and Johann Kailey-Steiner from Denver earned top awards at the Broadcom MASTERS competition held recently  in Washington D.C. .

    Broadcom MASTERS is a program of the Society for Science and the Public created to inspire  students who will become the  scientists and engineers of the future, a press release noted.


    Johann was awarded first place in the Mathematics category for his project, Rocket Design Part 3: Exploring How Vortex Generators Affect Boundary Layer Airflow. Rebecca received second place in the Technology category for her project, A Slippery Slope: The Effects of Slope and Remediation Treatments on Post-Fire Sedimentation.

    They were among 30 finalists selected from  from 1,695 applicants. The 30 finalists received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. to present their projects and to compete in a series of STEM (Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering) challenges.  They also toured the White House and by President Obama gave them a tour of the Oval Office.

  • Pikes Peak Prep adds a robotics team

    Tue, October 22, 2013 by Debbie Kelley with no comments

    Pikes Peak Prep, a K-12 charter school in Colorado Springs, has launched a robotics program as part of its goal to incorporate science, technology, engineering and math into its curriculum and enrichment programs.

    The new robotics team is part of the school’s engineering program. Students will learn the design process and build knowledge of physics, science and math.

    The team also will develop teamwork and competition.

    Mark Connell is heading the program for middle and high school students. The team will meet at least twice a week and offer leadership positions including team leader, software designer, photographer and hardware builder.

    Students will need to maintain good standing in terms of academics and behavior in order to participate.

  • Art of three UCCS instructors will be featured at reception and show

    Tue, October 22, 2013 by Carol McGraw with no comments

    Dawn WIide work

    Dawn WIide work


    The art of three former faculty  members at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will be exhibited through Dec. 14 at the Galleries of Contemporary Art .
    To kick off the show, there will be a reception at the  Galleries of Contemporary Art on campus from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 25. The event and parking is free during the reception.

    The “Influence” exhibit will feature the works of  Jay Williams Johnson, Julia Hoerner Lathrop and Dawn Wild.
    Lathrop developed a pioneering digital arts program at UCCS  where taught  from 1984 to 1998.

    Wilde, who has exhibited extensively , served as a UCCS instructor of fine arts from 1983 to 1998.

    Johnson, was an instructor of fine arts at UCCS from 1996 to 2001 and again in 2006. Her work includes printmaking, collage and mixed-media sculpture.

  • The creeping horror of college admissions

    Tue, October 22, 2013 by Carol McGraw with no comments

    What’s scarier than Halloween?

    For some it’s college admissions process

    .The National Association for College Admission Counseling officials announce that they have created a couple of videos designed to help students understand the  college process. The videos use a bit of humor to get the message across.

    “The Creeping Horror of College Anxiety” ” video focuses on how to fight off the anxiety many students face when considering their admissions options.  The other, called “Financial Aid! The Musical” sets  the topic of applying for aid to music.

    The videos are posted on the association’s web site and YouTube Channel. Find them here: