RELAY - April 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:

  • Community Invited to Preschool & Kindergarten Pre-Enrollment Fair
  • Popp receives top recognition by Kansas Art Education Association
  • GBHS Students learn the risk and reward of Wall Street
  • Let's Celebrate: April Birthdays
  • Community Resources
  • District Highlights
  • Spring Holiday - No School Friday, April 2

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

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Families invited to explore early learning resources

Making connections that support child development and early learning opportunities, USD 428 is inviting parents and guardians to attend the first-ever Preschool and Kindergarten Pre-Enrollment Information Fair at the Great Bend Events Center on Wednesday, April 21.

“Learning begins long before a child enters kindergarten,” said Tricia Reiser, USD 428 director of teaching and learning. “This enrollment fair will be an opportunity for parents and families to connect with community resources as well as learn more about USD 428 Preschool and Kindergarten programs, enrollment requirements, and complete necessary paperwork before online enrollment opens in July.”

At the come-and-go event, USD 428 teachers and support staff will be available to talk with parents about academics, social-emotional support, and more. Preschool typically includes programs for both 3 and 4-year-olds, kindergarten requires students to be 5-years-old on or before August 31.

“One of the strengths of our kindergarten program, and really our elementary buildings, is a unified curriculum taught across each grade level,” said Reiser. “A kindergarten student attending Park Elementary will have the same academic program and supports as a kindergarten student at Eisenhower Elementary. Our teachers have flexibility in how they implement lesson plans, but they also have peer teachers for collaboration and encouragement in their work.”

Other exhibitors at the event include community preschools, Barton County Health Department, Great Bend Public Library, United Way of Central Kansas, Parents as Teachers, and other services and resources that support young learners.

“We started a conversation about a district-wide ‘kindergarten round-up,’ and the ideas grew from there,” said Reiser. “By including community partners we hope to give families a big-picture overview of the resources available for their young learners. Parents, students, community, and schools – we’re all partners in building a child’s foundation for learning.”

To learn more about the Preschool and Kindergarten Pre-Enrollment Information Fair, please visit Vendor applications are also being accepted on the website through April 10.

Specific questions should be directed to the District Education Center by calling 620-793-1500.

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Popp receives top recognition by Kansas Art Education Association

The Kansas Art Education Association (KAEA) recently awarded two, 2021 Harry Hart Memorial Scholarships, one of which was recently awarded to Anna Popp, senior at Great Bend High School.

“This scholarship is very competitive,” said Sergio Ramirez, GBHS art instructor. “While the scholarship money is obviously beneficial, it’s a big honor to be one of the two students selected from across the state. We’re extremely proud of Anna’s talent and hard work.”

Each year, art educators from across the state submit nominations for the annual Harry Hart Memorial Senior Scholarship, providing several portfolio pieces for review by a panel of judges. The other 2021 winner is Jennifer Montaque from Seaman High School in Topeka. Both students will receive a $500 scholarship to pursue higher education.

“Anna is an incredibly thoughtful artist who plans her work out well,” said Jennifer Christiansen, GBHS art teacher and nominator for the KAEA award. “This is my first year with Anna, she had only taken drawing and painting previously and as a senior was encouraged to try 3D to broaden her skill base. In 3D and jewelry, she has excelled as a beginner. If you asked Anna, she would tell you she's more skilled in Drawing and Painting, but given enough time, I believe Anna would be excel in any media she chose to explore.”

Popp plans to attend The University of Kansas next fall, majoring in graphic design, and planning to continue creating art as a hobby in her free time.

“I am inspired by about anything in the world,” said Popp. “Often, I will just see something on the street that allows me to wonder how I can create an art piece from it. My teachers (Mr. Ramirez and Mrs. Christiansen) and other artists inspire me by giving me a longing to create something as amazing as what they have created.”

Popp submitted several pieces to the KAEA review committee. Night Light is a 17”x23” charcoal self-portrait that has garnered attention from her instructors, community and now judges as the state level.

More information about the KAEA Harry Hart Memorial Senior Scholarship can be found at Questions about the Great Bend High School Arts program can be directed to GBHS staff at 620-793-1500.

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Learning the risk and reward of Wall Street

Three Great Bend High School students are one step closer to wall street after coming out on top of the Hiss Sherman Investment Challenge.

Utilizing a software called “How the Market Works,” over 180 participating students started the month of February with $100,000 virtual cash to invest according to what they have been learning in class and their own discretion. The online trading platform provides research tools, investment content, and real-time trading to simulate participation in the stock market.

At the end of the month-long simulation, the top three winners were Connor DeLong, first; Maddix Pokorski, second; and Keyven Schroeder, third. Sponsored by Hiss Sherman Wealth Management, these students received Visa gift cards to acknowledge their accomplishments in growing their portfolios.

“In just four years we’ve grown the simulation from 40 participants to over 180,” said Lacy Wolters, GBHS career/ACT coordinator. “We had strong participation from every grade level and it was exciting to hear teachers in other subject areas observe the interest and enthusiasm of students in the investment challenge.”

“The investment challenge is a great opportunity for our students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to a realistic simulation,” said Wolters. “Students experience the movement of the market in real-time, both positive and negative, during the course of the month-long competition.”

“It’s our hope to give students a good, real-life foundation in the world of investments and financial planning,” said Matt Hiss, investment advisor representative with Hiss-Sherman Wealth Management. “We receive great feedback from this program as participation continues to nearly double each year. Their excitement tells us we are offering a program that students both learn from and enjoy. We are happy to partner with the school and give students this experience.”

Hiss Sherman Wealth Management also opened a staff version of the competition, which awarded cash prizes to the top three USD 428 staff traders in the virtual simulation. There were 49 staff participants this year, including the winners, Dorothy Leidig, first place; Natalie DeForest, second place; and Monte Doll, third place.

For more information on the Great Bend High School Personal Finance and Investing class or the “How the Market Works” simulation, please contact Lacy Wolters at 620-793-1521.

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

Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, April 3, 9:30am @ Vets Park

  • KDHE Guidelines will be followed - masks should be worn
  • Age groups will be spread out
  • Families asked to stay in their car until it's time to hunt for candy

CASA Free Movie Event

Help Central Kansas CASA promote healthy family activities as a way to prevent child abuse and neglect.

April 25 - FREE Movie Event - Trolls World Tour

  • Showtimes: 1pm, 1:30pm, 2pm
  • Free to all families
  • All children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Sponsored by The Sylvan Bleeker Memorial Fund, Golden Belt Cinema 6, CASA & United Way

April Coupon Calendar

4 - Happy Easter!

17 - Earth Day Celebration

Rosewood Services is offering family fun for all the Saturday before Earth Day at their eCycle location, 2200 Main St., from 11 AM - 2 PM.

For more info, Click Here.

22 - Earth Day

Spend some time enjoying Great Bend's little piece of the planet!

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