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Book battle brewing

Schools briefly

Book battle brewing

All 28 Kent School District elementary schools will be represented at the district’s long-running “Battle of the Books” competition June 6 at Glenridge Elementary School, located at 19405 120th Ave. S.E. in Renton.

Lake Youngs Elementary School is the defending champion in the seventh-year event, which began in 2002 with three schools participating and has grown each year.

The Battle of the Books reading incentive program encourages students to carefully read quality books. Student teams collaborate to remember important plot elements as librarians challenge them with questions. Multiple teams within each building compete for the right to represent their school in the district finals.

The books that make up the core of the program have all been nominated for the Young Reader’s Choice or Sasquatch Award book lists. Coaching by the Kent School District librarians and teachers keeps the fourth- through sixth-grade students involved and focused on good literature.

For more information, visit www.kent.k12.wa.us/library/botb/botb.htm.

Writer wins contest

Cedar Heights Middle School student Steven Weier recently placed first in the fifth- through eighth-grade writing category of the Jacob Friedman Holocaust Writing & Art Contest.

Weier received a $200 award for his victory May 4 at the Holocaust Remembrance Day Community Program at the Herzl Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation on Mercer Island. All first-place winners in the writing contest had the opportunity to read an excerpt from their entry during the program.

The contest is open to students in grades 5-12 in Washington State, and this year there were almost 800 entries from over 70 schools throughout the state. This contest provides students with a creative means to express their feelings and demonstrate their knowledge through writing and art. It gives students the opportunity to reflect on the Holocaust and to understand how its lessons impact their lives.

Teens take a stand

Local teens from the Covington, Kent and Auburn areas are taking a stand against teen relationship violence at 1:30 p.m. May 30 at Kentridge High School.

The teens, all part of the Cornerstone United Methodist youth group, are hosting a 30-minute assembly at Kentridge, located at 12430 S.E. 208th St. in Kent. The assembly will include skits, interactive statistics, abuse survivor testimonials, help and resource information and counseling and support services. The goal is to increase awareness and education around teen relationship violence and make help resources readily available.

The assembly, entitled “Enough is Enough! — Taking a Stand Against Teen Relationship Violence,” is made possible by the efforts of the Cornerstone youth group, a grant from the South King County Community Network and the sponsorship of the Jennifer Beach Foundation.

Local wins award

Sung Jae Jung of Kent recently won a first-place award in the 14th-annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest.

The kindergarten student wrote and illustrated a story entitled “No School, No Work” to garner the top prize, which includes a package of Reading Rainbow books, DVDs, a backpack, art supplies and games.

Students in kindergarten through third grade in Washington and British Colombia wrote, illustrated and submitted nearly 700 stories for this year’s contest. A panel of local teachers and librarians selected the local winners.

Jung will now have a chance to record the winning story for broadcast on KCTS 9.

The story will also move on the to national competition.

For more information or to read winning stories, visit www.kcts9.org.

Students lauded as Earth Heroes

Crestwood Elementary School sixth-graders Christopher Katsafanas and Evan Sullivan recently were named Earth Heroes for their dedicated efforts to help the school reduce the amount of waste it disposes of each day.

The two students were nominated for King County’s Earth Hero Award by their teachers. Katsafanas and Sullivan have helped with the schools Earth Tub project for three years. The Earth Tub is a plastic tub about the size of a car, and the school uses it to compost organic food waste. By composting lunch scraps, the school is keeping more than 100 pounds of waste out of the landfill each month.

Katsafanas and Sullivan manage the bin with the guidance of the school’s lead custodian. They make sure the waste is properly added to the tub, and the compost is turned and maintained. The two students have also taught classes to students and adults about the benefits of compost. Additionally, the compost is used in the school’s gardens and sold to the community.

Katsafanas and Sullivan were recognized April 24 by King County Executive Ron Sims at a ceremony in Renton.

Admin receives award

Mark Haddock, assistant superintendent for learning and school improvement, recently received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Kent Area Council PTA Board.

Given each year at the Founders’ Day Dinner, the award was created to recognize individuals who have provided outstanding educational opportunities for children and youth that are beyond the normal scope of their jobs. Allyson Johnson, president of the board, noted Haddock’s commitment to mentoring a student in the Kent School District and serving on several committees as well as the Kent Area Council PTA board as reasons for selecting him for the award.

Nominees for the award are all Kent School District staff members.

Locals make list

Five Kent residents recently were named to the dean’s list for their academic performances during the 2008 spring semester at University of Portland.

The following students earned at least a 3.5 grade-point average to make the list: Stephanie Axtman, junior nursing major; Alyssa Nauer, junior environmental science major; Brianna Popson, senior accounting major; Allison Ritchie, senior biology major; and Elizabeth Vogel, freshman German studies major.studies.

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