Cassie Johansen’s fourth-grade class at Lakewood Elementary School set out to help one U.S. Army soldier in Afghanistan, but the students’ efforts already are spreading to many more military members overseas.
Johansen said she and her 22 students adopted a soldier through adoptasoldier.com and were matched with Jonathan Alberti of Conway, a Carolina Forest High School graduate. They later decided to expand their reach to include another teacher’s husband, Trey Meyer of Myrtle Beach, who also is stationed in Afghanistan. The students already have sent them letters, and Johansen said the project blossomed into a drive for various items they could send to show their appreciation and support.
They put the word out to the rest of the school and the community, and Johansen said the response has been overwhelming. They now have the dilemma of shipping the goods, which include an assortment of items: easy-to-prepare dry foods, such as popcorn and macaroni and cheese; hygiene items, such as soap and shampoo; games and puzzles - even blank holiday cards the soldiers will be able to mail to their loved ones. The haul takes up so much space it had to be moved to an empty classroom.
“We’re trying to figure out how to send it, since we have limited funds, but it’s the best problem we could possibly have,” said Johansen, who said their efforts have been contagious, and another fourth-grade class now has adopted a third soldier. “Both of the guys did this not for themselves, but for the other guys in their platoons who don’t get care packages from home, so we really are taking on two platoons.”
The students plan to talk with Meyer via Skype on Tuesday, and Johansen said they are still accepting donations. Anyone who would like to donate items or help with shipping can call Johansen or Principal James LaPier at the school, 650-6768.
Cyclists to take break at Green Sea Floyds Elementary
Green Sea Floyds Elementary School will take part in Sunday’s Breakaway to the Beach cycling event, hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The school will be a stopping point where cyclists can eat and rest before continuing on their journey, according to school counselor Hanna Smith. The school will have about 60 volunteers - students, parents and teachers - joining community members from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. in helping with everything from set up and clean up, to meal preparation and distribution. Smith said this event is one of multiple opportunities for service learning that the school is giving students this year.
Sixth-grader hits top math score
Georgetown Middle School student Ty’Zhanea Kinloch reached the No. 1 ranking on the Revealio High Score Board after participating in one of the online math games provided by the USATestprep program used at the school. USATestprep is an online resource for all core subjects.
The sixth-grader had a total of 3,928 points, which was more than any other student who had played that particular game in the state this year. She is a member of Melissa Eaddy’s math class and Cissy Knapp’s PASS Express class.
St. James High to hold first band competition
The Pride of St. James Marching Band will hold its first annual band competition, Fin Fest 2012, on Sept. 29. Marching bands from around the area will take the field, beginning at 3:30 p.m., to compete for awards and trophies, and the cost is $5 per person.
Participating bands from Horry County are from Aynor High School, Loris High School, Carolina Forest High School, Myrtle Beach High School, North Myrtle Beach High School, Socastee High School and St. James High School, along with E.A. Laney High School, Wilmington, N.C.; South Brunswick High School, Southport, N.C.; Methodist College, Fayetteville, N.C.; and Coastal Carolina University.
Design publication to showcase schools
Two Horry County schools, the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology and River Oaks Elementary School, have been chosen to appear in the 2012 American School & University Architectural Portfolio, the premier showcase publication that celebrates the best in design for educational facilities. The schools were designed by the architectural firm of Pike, McFarland, Hall Associates Inc.
The Architectural Portfolio jury selected 148 projects this year to be profiled in the November Architectural Portfolio issue of American School & University. The Architectural Portfolio issue will be mailed to 60,000 subscribers. Both school designs will be available online at SchoolDesigns.com in the “Find-a-Project” section after the publication date.
Free event set for educators
Education Extravaganza 2012 will be held Sept. 29 at Medieval Times, 2904 Fantasy Way, Myrtle Beach, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for S.C. and N.C. teachers.
This is the fourth expo designed to show appreciation for educators, said Jennifer Willard, sales and marketing manager. The event is free and will feature area vendors and educational opportunities, along with food, entertainment and prizes.
Willard said about 150 teachers attended last year, and they are hoping to have between 200 and 300 for this year’s event. The expo is for teachers and educators only, not families.
Reservations are requested. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 843-236-4635, ext. 2719, for more information.
Teacher seminar to talk about birds
The Waccamaw Audubon Society will hold its fifth annual birding education seminar for teachers Oct. 13 at Huntington Beach State Park Education Center, beginning at 8:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast. The event is free, and attendees can apply for staff development credit.
Chris Hill of Coastal Carolina University will explain the fundamentals of bird identification and habits, and the group will identify birds in the causeway area. Lunch is included, and teachers are advised to bring their cameras.
Space is limited, and reservations are required. RSVP to email@example.com, or call Bill Lanham, 238-0410. Admission to the park is free for seminar participants.
Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.