Laura B. Sprague School Newsletter - December 3, 2021
Food Tasting Teaches Valuable Lesson
Sprague teachers recently discussed segregation, discrimination, and prejudice as part of their lesson on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. For young learners the lesson has to be simple while still meaningful. One teacher used students’ tastebuds to help them better understand these concepts.
Second-Grade Teacher, Sue Vani, used visuals to help students better understand segregation, discrimination, and prejudice showing them how easy it is to pre-judge someone by skin color, type of clothing they wear, hair style, and body size. To help her students better understand this concept, Mrs. Vani put samples of foods in front of students to try - creamed spinach, yams, mushrooms, avocado, and more. Students were discouraged from making any negative faces or comments about the foods they tried. It was a fun classroom contest with an important message.
“I tell my students that we all pre-judge and make assumptions at different times,” Mrs. Vani said. “We decide if we like a person, an experience, a food, etc. before we really give it a chance.”
After students tried each food, they gave it a score (1-5) to show how much they enjoyed the food. Surprisingly many students gave food high marks even though it was their first time trying the food.
Mrs. Vani added, ‘I’m not trying to tell anyone how to feel about a food. I just want them to try it and control their urge to prejudge it. The goal of this activity is to encourage students to keep an open mind about new things, in the hopes that they will not just practice this attitude with food, but in any new experience or person they encounter. I think that’s one of the core messages Dr. King tried to share in his lifetime. Imagine how much better the world would be if everyone looked at it through the lens of an open mind?”
Dress for Outdoor Recess
It is important during snow and cold weather months to have children dressed appropriately for outdoor recess with gloves, hat, boots, coat, and snow pants. Students cannot play in the snow if they are not dressed properly. Remember to label items so they can be returned if they are misplaced.
If the combination of temperature and/or wind chill is 6 degrees Fahrenheit or above, students will go outside for recess. This guideline falls within the "safe" category for being outside for 30 minutes and allows students to go outside more frequently in the winter months. Please see the wind chill chart from the National Weather Service for details.
Talent Show Returns!
The Music Appreciation Committee of the PTO is organizing the Sprague Talent Show and encourages your child to participate! The spotlight is on student talent with musicians, singers, dancers, magicians, and performers of all kinds entertaining classmates and their families in the Sprague gym Saturday, March 12. We also invite second graders who would like to help emcee the event to register on the PTO Portal. Enjoy this chance for kids to shine and for our community to gather and connect. Performers should register on the PTO Portal by Friday, Feb. 4. Students will perform between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. but in the interest of safety, families will only attend the one-hour slot when their child is performing.
The results are in and first-graders chose the book, the "Watercress" in a recent Mock Caldecott vote. The Caldecott annually recognizes the preceding year's "most distinguished American picture book for children". It is awarded to the illustrator by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. Check out the voting grid that led to the winner on the school's Facebook page or the Google Doc form.
Kindergarten registration for students turning 5-years-old on or before Sept. 1, 2022, is now open. Please visit the D103 Kindergarten website for detailed information about what documents are required for registration.
Parent Input Sought on Survey
Parents, students, and teachers are invited to participate in giving feedback on school climate and learning conditions in District 103 through the state-administered, Illinois 5Essentials Survey.
This 20-minute survey is a great way for D103 parents to provide input into the five indicators from the survey that affect and predict school success:
PCR Testing Update
The news recently reported that O’Hare Labs is being investigated for delayed results for PCR testing. The delays are occurring at walk-up sites, not for large organizations such as corporations and schools. Our PCR testing company, Ravinia Health, has been utilizing O’Hare Labs to process our weekly PCR tests. We have seen effective turnaround times between 24-48 hours for results. However, Ravinia Health will cease its partnership with O’Hare Clinical Labs and transition to a different CLIA Certified Laboratory to ensure the 24-48 hour result timeline continues. There will be no interruption of service during this transition.
The next test kit your child brings home may be a different vial with a red liquid. This is due to a different supplier for the PCR tests and equally as effective at detecting COVID-19.
Board of Education Meeting
Please join the PTO in its second annual Valentine's Day Treats fundraiser with Max and Benny's. Ten percent of sales will be donated back to D103 PTO while you get to enjoy delicious treats just in time for Valentine's Day. It's a win-win! Choose from a selection of cookies, brownies, pretzels and more. There's even a DIY cookie kit for the creator in all of us. Valentine's Day orders are due by 5:00 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4.
Increase Connections with Your Child
The D103 PTO is offering an online parent education webinar on "Practical Tools to Increase Connection with Your Child and Simplify Your Parenting" by Child Development Specialist and Parenting Expert Dr. Siggie Cohen. The virtual presentation is divided into two sessions for parents of children of different grade levels.
- Preschool through Third-Graders: 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 9 - Developing Emotional Regulation Skills; Register for and add this event to your calendar.
For questions or more information about PTO Parent Education events please reach out to Michelle Kowalski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers Needed for 5K Run Committee
The 2022 D103 PTO 5K is in jeopardy and we need your help!
The 5K event helps fund significant projects at our schools and is a much-loved springtime event in our community.
We are asking for your support to help us keep this event going. If you have previously attended and enjoyed the 5K, please consider volunteering for the core 5K committee (planning and organization).
5K Committee meetings are a fun way to participate in the PTO and give back to the schools.
And yes, you can volunteer to help out and still run at the event!
Please email email@example.com if you are interested in helping out and we will reach out with more information.
- When: January 30, 3022, 8:00-am-1:00 pm
- Where: Fellowship Hall
- Who: Any eligible donor, non-members welcome!
- Why: for the first time ever, the American Red Cross has declared a "blood shortage crisis;" hospitals have been advised of critical shortages and have been asked to postpone elective surgeries
- How: Walk in, or even better, make an appointment by calling 877.258.4825 and using group code ORD0LS06, by visiting Vitalant portal.