No school, but a beautiful day to read outdoors |

No school, but a beautiful day to read outdoors

School was not in session last Friday, but bright blue skies, sunshine and fall temperatures created the perfect backdrop for a little light reading.

Highland Elementary teachers met students in the parks in two different neighborhoods to read to and with their students.

“Teachers just want to share their love of reading with our kids,” said Highland teacher Erin Mulcare. “Sometimes we get so focused on specific standards and forget about the pure joy of reading.”

With a big yellow school bus shining as a beacon and designating the location, Highland students sat under trees, on picnic benches, and in the grass with a good book or two and got in some extra reading time.

Highland teachers Shannon McKee and Kendra Ritter spearheaded the idea to reach out and do a little reading outside of school.

“People work hard, and sometimes it is difficult for them to get to events at school. This is a great way for us to get involved in the neighborhoods, make it easier on parents, and show our families that we really care about their kids,” said McKee.

Highland fourth grader Cristian Vieyra thought using Friday to read in the park was a good idea.

“I like the idea of reading in the park because sometimes kids are bored and stay at home alone. It’s real cool that our teachers will read with us in the park,” he explained. “If the teachers read stories we might get to hear a story we haven’t heard before and kids won’t be bored.”

Highland teachers were at Cottonwood Park and Davidson Park for about an hour each. They hope to hold a similar event in the spring and make it bigger and better.

Civil disobedience

What do the Boston Tea Party, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and Occupy Wall Street all have in common?

Rifle Middle School’s eighth grade civics students will tell you that they are all acts of civil disobedience. Civics students are investigating and creating a timeline illustrating three different acts of civil disobedience. They must provide the details around the acts, and explain how the act meets the definition of civil disobedience — a non-violent protest in search of a change in laws or practices.

Earlier in the week, as part of Constitution Week, RMS civics teacher Mimi Allen’s classes dissected the Preamble to the Constitution, but the civil disobedience project was integrated as a component of American Revolution lessons. Civil disobedience is one of the concepts covered as part of the larger unit, and this project is designed to make ties to more recent events.

“One of the connections that we are trying to make is that the American Revolution began as an act of civil disobedience,” said Allen. “We will only be able to cover through the Civil War in class. This is a way to develop a deeper understanding of the concept of civil disobedience as well as bring in more recent historical events. Some of the students are researching events from around the world that I had not heard of. They are really getting into it.”

Eighth-grader Lucy Bruner focused on Gandhi’s fight against segregated transportation in South Africa, the Occupy Wall Street movement and the acts of civil disobedience around the Dream Act.

“These people show that you can get an effect without violence,” she explained. “They don’t always get the outcome that they want immediately. It takes time and a lot of work, but they show that nonviolent protesting can work.”

For Allen, delving into the concept of civil disobedience is about developing well-rounded citizens.

“We’re pushing them to look at community conscience,” she explained. “Some of these people made the ultimate sacrifice for their cause. We want our young people to be passionate citizens about the things they believe in.”

Ziegler wins $500 scholarship

Congratulations to Micah Ziegler who won a $500 scholarship from at last month’s tailgate celebration at the Coal Ridge vs. Rifle High football game.

Garfield Re-2 will have its regular school board meeting at Graham Mesa Elementary on Sept. 24 beginning at 5 p.m. Log on to for the agenda.

Theresa Hamilton is the director of districtwide services for the Garfield School District Re-2, serving Rifle, Silt and New Castle. Contact her at 665-7621.

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