RELAY - December 2021

Great Bend USD 428 - News and Highlights

It is the goal of the monthly RELAY to connect our staff with news and highlights from across our schools and community. There are so many successes, positive stories, and virtual smiles to share!

We hope you enjoy this brief update. Take a moment to learn something new, celebrate with a colleague or friend, and pause to see the good happening all around you.

In this issue:

  • District Updates
  • In the News
  • Let's Celebrate - December Birthdays
  • Community Resources & Local Holiday Events
  • District Highlights

Keep up the great work and keep it safe, 428!

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SupportLinc now available to all USD 428 Employees

Life can be a juggling act. It takes time and energy to balance your work, family and personal challenges. To help you manage life’s daily challenges, USD 428 Great Bend is pleased to announce the SupportLinc employee assistance program (EAP). SupportLinc offers confidential and professional support, at no cost to you or your family.

Click Here to learn more!

Celebrating Riley Staff on Giving Tuesday!

Celebrating the results of the 2022 United Way Workplace Giving Campaign, superintendents delivered a "Sonic Run" to Riley Elementary on Giving Tuesday!

Riley staff had the highest percentage of participation in this year's campaign. As a district, USD 428 pledged $5,461 to the work of United Way and the 22 agencies they support in Central Kansas.

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Great Bend Reads: students get to know Wilbur, the kind little pig

At the start of the New Year, Great Bend elementary students will welcome Wilbur the pig, and a crew of barnyard friends, into their classrooms and homes as they read the book Charlotte’s Web during the 2022 Great Bend Reading Initiative.

The Great Bend Reading Initiative, GB Reads for short, first launched in 2015 with the goal of promoting student literacy skills through school and family engagement.

“GB Reads is a shared experience for children and parents in our school communities,” said Tricia Reiser, USD 428’s director of teaching and learning.

“Research shows that there is a positive connection between family involvement, literacy skills, and success in school. GB Reads is a fun and engaging way to use a well-loved children’s book to boost literacy skills, foster an enjoyment for reading, and strengthen parent-child relationships,” said Reiser.

GB Reads will launch on January 4, 2022 with all USD 428 elementary students, grades Kindergarten – 6th Grade, receiving a copy of Charlotte’s Web.

“Our committee decided to select the classic story Charlotte's Web because of the central themes of friendship, kindness, and perseverance,” said Holly Tittel, USD 428 librarian. “Our students, families, and community have persevered through a challenging few years and shown kindness through it all. We feel the GB Reads program will help our families to reconnect with a good book and a positive message.”

GB Reads is sponsored by USD 428 and presented in partnership with the Great Bend Public Library. This year, over 1,300 students will receive a copy of the book along with a calendar providing a schedule for reading the book and information on supporting activities and events.

New in 2022, the Great Bend business community is invited to patriciate in GB Reads by becoming a “Blue Ribbon Businesses” and joining a community scavenger hunt. Outside of the school day, families will embark on a tour of the town to find Wilber and his farm friends in storefront windows during the month-long program. Families that complete the scavenger hunt will have a chance to win numerous prize packages.

For more information about GB Reads, or to become a Blue Ribbon Business, please contact the USD 428 District Education Center at 620-793-1500 or visit
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Jefferson hosts the Board of Education for monthly luncheon meeting

Jefferson Elementary hosted the USD 428 Board of Education for their monthly luncheon meeting on November 18. Each grade level was represented by a few students to share a few special moments with the BOE.

  • A highlight was when the lights went out so kindergarteners could share their finger flashlight phonics work! Students passed out lights so the BOE members could try it out.
  • The BOE approved a $25,000 grant from the Patterson Foundation. The gift will be used to purchase two additional vision screeners so that each school nurse will have one readily available for use.

Read more highlights from the meeting in the Great Bend Tribune's recent article - Click Here.

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Welcome, baby Loera!

Anna & Chuy Loera welcomed their precious baby girl, Ella Ann Loera, 13 weeks early on September 26. Born at just 1 lb 5 oz, Ella is growing and developing and has now reached the 4 lb mark. Ella has graduated from the NICU and is now in a room where mom and dad can stay with her overnight.

Mom said, "Ella is making huge steps towards her goals," and they hope to bring her home by her original due date of December 24.

Anna is a teacher at Lincoln Elementary and Chuy is the Family Engagement Coordinator at GBHS and soccer coach.

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There is lots to look forward to in Great Bend this fall! If you don't already, follow Explore Great Bend on Facebook to say in the loop on events happening in our area.

Santa's Workshop Express

The Great Bend Recreation Commission invites families to experience a holiday drive-thru event this Saturday! From 1-2:30 pm, you can drive by the Activity Center for goodie bags, drop your letters for Santa, and spot the Grinch.

Santa's Workshop Express Map

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Share Your Holiday Celebrations and Activities!

Is your school or classroom doing something special to celebrate the season? Please send details and photos so we can share them with the community!

Quick Photo Caption:

"Students are learning _______________, by doing ______________."

Submit News to

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