SoWashCo Young Scholars

Nurturing Potential, Sustaining Support

May 2021

Happy May, Everyone!

It finally feels like spring outside, and summer is already just around the corner.

Before we dig into this month's topic, I'd like to send out another BIG welcome to all our new Young Scholar families. I am so happy you are here and hope you find this parent newsletter to be a place to learn more about the Young Scholar program and discover information, resources, and opportunities to help your Young Scholar grow.

I'd also like to take a minute as we wrap up our newsletters for this school year, to thank all Young Scholar families, teachers, and school staff for supporting Young Scholar students this year and for working hard each day to increase access to challenging experiences, build affirmation of what's possible, and be a strong voice of advocacy in the lives of your students. You are making a difference.

Share Your Voice!

End-of-the-Year Young Scholar Parent Feedback Survey

Click below to access this year's parent survey:


Your thoughts and suggestions are vital as we work to continue improving the program to best support Young Scholar students and families.

This Month In Young Scholars

For our last newsletter of this school year, we'll be learning more about what the Young Scholar program is all about and how it works, while also getting a few ides for supporting your Young Scholar at home this summer.

Whether you are new to Young Scholars or have been a part of the program for years, taking time to learn more can help us all better support, encourage, and foster the amazing potential of your Young Scholar.

Learning More About Young Scholars

How Young Scholars Started

The Young Scholar program began in 2016 at Crestview and Hillside Elementary schools.

Today, Young Scholar students continue to be based primarily at Crestview and Hillside but also now include students who have since moved to other elementary schools in the district as well as those who have moved into middle school.

What Young Scholars Does

Young Scholars works to recognize talented students, nurture their potential, and sustain support for students over time. This often happens through stories, puzzles, and games that help students grow their critical and creative thinking skills.

In addition, the Young Scholar program strives to raise students’ personal expectations for themselves while supporting family involvement and preparing students for more challenging and rigorous coursework in later grades.

Young Scholars focuses on three A's for students:

  • Increasing Access
  • Increasing Affirmation
  • Increasing Advocates

You can check out the chart below, as well as the February, March, and April newsletters, for more information on each of these areas.

Young Scholars goals: Access, Affirmation, Advocates

How Young Scholars Supports Your Child

Below are current support opportunities offered through Young Scholars to foster and build your child's potential as a talented learner:

  • Young Scholars participate in a variety of advanced thinking lessons and activities within whole- or small-group settings. You can learn more about the four Young Scholar thinking skills in the chart below.

  • After-school and family enrichment opportunities are available and will resume as soon as COVID guidelines allow.

  • Young Scholar students are clustered together during elementary and middle school. Research shows that clustering students of high ability increases the opportunity for instruction to be delivered at an appropriate pace and level of challenge.

  • Parents are invited to our monthly parent support group to meet other Young Scholar parents, learn strategies to support and advocate for your Young Scholar, and discuss the joys and challenges of raising a talented learner.

  • In addition, the SoWashCo Young Scholar newsletter in available every month through the school year to share information, resources, and opportunities to help support and grow your child’s advanced potential

Big picture

Check It Out!

A Few Fun (and Free) Ideas to support your Young Scholar this summer

As crazy as it sounds, there are just a few weeks left before the end of another school year.

No doubt, keeping your Young Scholar busy over those long summer days can be a challenge. Plus, it doesn't help that summer activities can often be expensive.

The Young Scholar Newsletter is here to help! Take a look below at some options for free (yes, free!) summer fun for your Young Scholar. Hopefully, you find something that fits your family's style!

Read On!

Keeping up on reading in the summer can be tough. Here are a few ways to make it fun!

Summer Adventures at Washington County Libraries

This year’s Summer Library Adventure will kick off June 1, 2021!

Earn a Free Book with Barnes & Noble Summer Reading

1. Download this Summer Reading Journal

2. Once your Young Scholar has read 8 books this summer, bring the completed journal in to any Barnes & Noble store near you to receive a free book from the selected book list.

HINT: Head to the Washington County Library site to find some great books!

Scholastic Summer Reading

Scholastic has created an online platform called Home Base where kids can track their reading, attend author events, play book-based games, and more.

Cottage Grove Summer Events

The City of Cottage Grove Summer 2021 Brochure is out! There are many options to choose from. Two free events are highlighted below. Click HERE to see the full brochure.
Big picture
Big picture

Young Scholars Will Return!

It has been wonderful to connect with everyone through our Young Scholars Newsletter this year. I will be back in the fall ready and eager to get going with more exciting thinking lessons and loads more Young Scholar learning to come. Stayed tuned for our next newsletter in September. In the meantime, have a beautiful and safe summer, and I'll see you soon!

About Me


My name is Colleen Redmond, and I am honored to work as Coordinator for SoWashCo Young Scholars.

I'm a mom, a wife, small business owner, avid biker (the pedal kind), book enthusiast, and beekeeper.

I've been lucky enough to teach in South Washington County Schools for over twenty-five years and have had the incredible opportunity to be a part of the lives of so many students and families over the years.

Now, as part of Young Scholars, I have the honor of working with the amazing staff, students, and families throughout 833 to implement and grow the Young Scholars program.

I am so very excited to work with and support you and your Young Scholar. I can't wait to see where the journey takes us!

Contact Information

Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions, thoughts, or needs!

Colleen Redmond