Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

April 16, 2010

County Schools Read Into Literacy Program

Greensburg — The Decatur County Community Schools board of education gathered at North Decatur Elementary School, Wednesday, for their regular monthly meeting.

John Corn, working toward his Masters degree while at North Decatur Elementary, presented the reading incentive program enacted during the second nine weeks. More than 140 students met the goals set for them during the course of the first two nine-week periods, Corn reported. The program's purpose is to encourage students to read, teach them that reading can be done for pleasure, increase their comprehension and involve their parents in the process. Creators set achievable goals for the students, who are challenged to read a certain number of books each nine-week period based upon their grade level.

Students in Kindergarten through third grade complete a form for each book approved by the teacher and read. The teacher then initials the form before sending it home for the parents to do the same. Once both initials are in place, students receive credit for the completion of the book. Fourth through sixth graders have another option. They may fill out the form or they may complete projects relating to their reading. When the goal is met, students are invited to a breakfast where they may bring two adults to celebrate the achievement.

Corn reported that as the school year comes to a close, there will be a picnic for students, and for those who met their reading goal for two out of three periods will get coupons to dunk a teacher or administrator in a dunk tank.

North Decatur social studies teacher John Pratt then informed the board of the upcoming Chautauqua event at the high school. In the week prior to the May 10 event, students will present their Chautauqua projects in class to determine the finalists. Those students will participate in a program of finalists at the start of the day's events.

The daytime portion will include talks from Indiana University Egyptologist Dr. Steve Vinson; Holocaust survivor Johanna Gartenhaus, Marilyn Gambrell, subject of the Lifetime Movie "The Marilyn Gambrell Story;" John Russo and Russ Streiner, creators of the 1968 "Night of the Living Dead;" 2009 Miss America Katie Stam and Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett. These speakers will be on hand in the North Decatur Library throughout the day.

In the evening, Stam will return, and she will be joined by Vince Papale, subject of the film "Invincible," and Coach Bill Yoast, depicted in the film "Remember the Titans." The evening event will begin at 7 p.m. and continue until 9 p.m. on May 10 in the North Decatur Cafeteria. Tickets for the Chautauqua program are $12 for adults and $7 for students and seniors and may be purchased from Travel Club Members, Pratt, the main office or online. Tickets purchased in advance are $10. Proceeds from the event benefit the North Decatur Travel Club, and grant funding to enable the school to pay travel expenses for its guests was provided by the Arts and Cultural Council of Decatur County.

The members approved conference attendance for Maintenance Director Don Lewellyn. He will be attending a Trane program in Lexington, Ky., at no cost to the corporation next Thursday.

Maintenance Director Lewellen then informed the board of wiring problems at the South Decatur Jr/Sr High School football field. He reported that the b-phase is gone from the three-phase, 400 amp system. He investigated further, hoping to be able to patch the phase or route around it, but found that the wires have gone bad underneath the building. It would require a directional bore and $12,000 in wire to repair the problem. Superintendent Dr. Dan Roach noted that it will be necessary to repair the system before fall, but the board will wait for the public to vote on its building project before determining a course of action.

South Decatur Jr/Sr High School principal Jim Jameson reported that senior Chellsey Hermesch was named an Academic All-Star by the Indianapolis Star. At the North end of the county, NDHS principal Gary Cook noted, Zach Dwenger was given the same honor. The two will attend an upcoming banquet in Indianapolis to accept their awards, the men reported.

Cook also reported to the board that choir teacher Dan Borns of North has been selected as a district representative for the stateÕs organization of choral directors. In addition, the school is working to expand and strengthen its character education program, he said.

The board also approved field trips for South Decatur High School's advanced foods class to travel to Jungle Jim's International market in Fairfield, Ohio on May 26; a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo for the second graders at North Decatur Elementary and travel to Chicago for North Decatur High School's economics class to attend an event where their project will be presented. The economics students have been working on a fair trade project relating to Roots and Shoots, and will have the opportunity for the program's founder, Jane Goodall, to hear what they have been doing.

The members also accepted the retirement of Ed Whitaker, South Decatur High School Industrial Technology teacher, as well as the resignation of Julie Record from her post as North Decatur Jr/Sr High School's girls varsity basketball coach.

The next meeting of the board will take place at 7 p.m. on May 12 at North Decatur Jr/Sr High School with student recognition taking place at 6:30 p.m. that evening.

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