`Paying it forward’ paying dividends at Kathryn Senor

Kay Vasilakis

Something wonderful is happening at Kathryn Senor Elementary School. Students at Kathryn Senor Elementary are learning first-hand lessons in friendship and kindness.Parents and Kathryn Senor staff members have noticed a new generation of compassionate children energized by the school’s 1,000 Acts of Kindness goal. The endeavor expands upon the Pay It Forward Lesson initiated by school counselor Kristin Greenstreet during Nov. 18-23, World Kindness Week. Pay It Forward is a concept that was created in the book Laura’s Star by Klaus Baumgart. The idea is that when a kindness is passed on from one person to another, a domino effect is created. Instead of paying back a kindness, it is paid forward to others. A related idea of putting into action an idea for world change empowers students to let it begin with them.Activities to reinforce the positive concepts included designing helping hands, and designating a person with whom to share an act of kindness. The hands are displayed on the bulletin board adjacent to the art gallery near the main entrance.Each student received three Pay It Forward star stickers, which are given to three different people as they relay their intent to perform an act of kindness for that person. Classes discussed the qualities of friendship and how it felt to be on the receiving end of an act of kindness. Students are also participating in the “Kindness Kan-A-Thon” Food Drive for LIFT-UP.Greenstreet said she was impressed with the staff members who are paying it forward to their fellow staff members, and the reaction of the students to those good deeds.Hats off and thrown into the air to Rifle High School dramatic director Scott Winter, vocal director Jennifer Calhoun, and all the cast and crew of “Guys and Dolls,” performed last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The casting was “poi-fect” with Katie Vaccaro in the memorable role of Miss Adelaide, and Michael Whittington as Nicely-Nicely Johnson. Matt Canard played a dapper Sky Masterson, Megan McBride was a lovely Sarah Brown, and Nick Long rounded up the leads as Nathan (or Nat’n) Detroit. The Crapshooters Dance proved Rifle teenaged young men can be in a musical performance, leap across the stage, and still be macho. Bravo! Bravo!School Board members spend an incredible amount of time every month, setting policies and taking care of the plethora of issues that a school district faces. In addition to these normal activities, the Garfield Re-2 School Board, Superintendent Dr. Gary Pack and Assistant Superintendent Ava Lanes addressed the Colorado Association of School Board State Conference on Friday, Dec. 6, with “A Systems Capacity Approach to Whole School Reform and Student Achievement,” an illustration of steps Re-2 has taken towards comprehensive school reform.The school board, Dr. Pack and Ms. Lanes will be giving a similar presentation to the National Association of School Boards Conference in the spring.On Wednesday, Dec. 4, Rifle City Council unanimously approved a proclamation declaring January 2003 School Board Recognition Month. The town of Silt issued its proclamation for school board recognition on Monday, Dec. 9. The proclamation is an agenda item on both the town of Silt and the town of New Castle council meetings in December.Garfield Re-2 funding launched the Esma Lewis Elementary after-school program last year. One hundred forty-six students are involved this year, increasing last year’s numbers by over 100. Instructional staff, a nutritional snack and bussing free of charge help students take advantage of this valuable time to reinforce skills and enrich students’ knowledge. An additional after-school session will begin Jan. 13 and run through March 7. Students will bring home a sign-up sheet this month. Please call Vickie Schauster for more information about this program.-The Rifle Middle School Drama performance on Thursday, Dec. 12, at Rifle High School auditorium begins at 7 p.m. There will be an intermission at 8:15 p.m. and it will include light refreshments. The Re-2 transportation Department’s Exceptional Bus Students of the Month for November are Ana Enriquez from Esma Lewis Elementary in the elementary category. She was nominated by Gail Coombs, Route #15. Abbey Barnes from Rifle Middle School won the middle school honors, also nominated by Coombs. Alyssa Webster from Rifle High School was the November winner, nominated by Sanja Morgan, substitute driver for Route #9 and transportation director.-Riverside School Principal Chuck Shupe has changed the date of the Riverside 5-8 Band Concert to Thursday night, Jan. 30.

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