Jarad Allen from C&V Kansas Doors climbed up and down an extension ladder on Wednesday so he could drop Eisenhower Elementary School students’ science projects on the pavement below.
The children attempted to create vessels that could keep a raw egg intact during the fall. Many were successful in the first round. They padded their containers with socks, bubble wrap and cut-up swimming pool noodles, or added parachutes, shock absorbers or wings.
Friday is the last day of summer school at Great Bend USD 428. Students in grades K-5 at five elementary schools have spent the month working on reading and math, but each school has also emphasized community service and educational enrichment, and offered some fun field trips.
All month long the children have conducted a “Coin Challenge” to see which school could collect the most money for a donation to the Central Kansas Dream Center. They were promised that the summer school coordinator at the school that won the challenge would get a pie in the face.
On Thursday afternoon, all of the students met at Jefferson Elementary School and Cristina Ingram from Park Elementary was hit with a pie plate filled with whipped topping. Students from the five schools collected a total of $688.73 for the Dream Center and Park School was responsible for more than $300 of that.
Park School’s Multi-media Club brought drones to record the event.
Emma Goad at Jefferson said each school chose a theme for summer school; her school chose “Mi Familia,” which is Spanish for “My Family.” In keeping with the theme, students will travel to Stafford on Friday to see the movie “Coco” at the Ritz Theater.
Students at some schools took turns to help adults deliver Meals on Wheels once a week. Jefferson students also walked to houses in their neighborhood and delivered letters. They made cards and placemats for Meals on Wheels recipients and for patients at the Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center, and they made a donation to the Golden Belt Humane Society.
The students didn’t always stay in one classroom with one teacher. “Team Builders” mixed students from grades K-5. “We encourage the bigger kids to take the little ones under their wing,” Goad said.
There were several fun field trips for each school during the month. Trish Bailey at Lincoln Elementary School said they visited Strataca, the Kansas Underground Salt Museum in Hutchinson.
Lincoln students also learned about recycling as they read “The Great Paper Caper.” Then they recycled some paper by making flower-seed balls that the children could take home and plant.
There were science and art projects at the schools.
Emily Thier at Riley Elementary School said that school's students visited the Mystery River Ranch in Ellinwood, where everyone had a chance to ride a horse and they all got T-shirts. Students received daily reading and math practice in the specific skills they need to work on, Thier said. Riley students visited Salina’s Rolling Hills Zoo and a presenter from Exploration Place in Wichita came to the school to put on a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) show. Community service projects included kindergartners planting grass and flowers; first graders making blankets and dog treats for the humane society; second graders walking to Heizer Park and picking up trash; and third graders painting kindness rocks with encouraging words.
Other field trips included tours of the Shafer Art Gallery and its current exhibit, “Beauty and the Beetle,” and a movie at the State Theater in Larned.
Eisenhower students visited the new Dinosaur museum at Derby.
“I want them to experience things that maybe they won’t be able to do,” said Cindi Sandy at Eisenhower.
“We’ve had some fun and the kids have worked hard and learned a lot,” Thier said.