Wescott School NEWS BRIEFS: Author of First Flying Machine Lifts Spirits Skyward at Wescott School

Wescott School NEWS BRIEFS:  Author of First Flying Machine Lifts Spirits Skyward at Wescott School

On March 22, the sunny, spring-like weather brought a frisky wind that would have been perfect for lifting a kite or hot air balloon into the cyan skies filled with cotton ball clouds. The morning was an uplifting and appropriate backdrop for Wescott School’s special visit from first-time author, Jason Henry, who wrote and illustrated the children’s non-fiction book, "Up and Away.” The book, which took only two years to publish, is based on the true story of the first hot air balloon flight over 200 years ago, in France.

Author of First Flying Machine Lifts Spirits Skyward at Wescott School

On March 22, the sunny, spring-like weather brought a frisky wind that would have been perfect for lifting a kite or hot air balloon into the cyan skies filled with cotton ball clouds. The morning was an uplifting and appropriate backdrop for Wescott School’s special visit from first-time author, Jason Henry, who wrote and illustrated the children’s non-fiction book, "Up and Away.” The book, which took only two years to publish, is based on the true story of the first hot air balloon flight over 200 years ago, in France.
 
Mr. Henry lives in New York City, where he’s been a book designer and art director for 20 years. During presentations in the library, which was decorated with handmade kites and colorful balloons, he discussed his book with third and fourth grade students. He talked about what inspired him to write, like traveling to Paris, where the story is based, and all of the research, and the multiple stages it took to complete each full-color page. 
 
He was dressed for the part, as a Frenchman would have been attired in the 1700s, with a long white curly wig and blue velvet coat with bold brass buttons. Then Mr. Henry read the book to the children with enthusiasm and wonderment. It began with brothers Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier, who created and then sent the first untethered flying machine into the skies in 1783, with three animals: a rooster, a sheep, and a duck. 
 
Joseph was the dreamer and inventor, and Etienne helped him experiment and build the first air balloon with lightweight paper and/or fabric. Their father owned a prosperous paper business, so they had a lot of paper at their disposal. After that first lift off, the animal-laden balloon floated for about eight minutes and landed safely a few miles from the launch site. At the time King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were in attendance, and later took the animals home to the palace with them, where they would reside for the rest of their royal lives! Another famous person who was at the first balloon launch was Benjamin Franklin.
 
When someone in the crowd said, “What is the purpose of a flying balloon?”
 
Mr. Franklin retorted, “What is the purpose of a newborn baby? The purpose is the possibility that the baby could grow to be a person with fine character, who could contribute something meaningful to society!”
 
Mr. Henry added, "This first balloon launch was one of the first ‘seeds' of aviation."
 
There was a question-and-answer period after each presentation. Mr. Henry talked about how non-fiction books inspire him, and asked the kids, ”If you could build something what would it be?” 
 
Responses varied from time machine, flying car, VBOX generator, regeneratable candy, to a machine that could hypnotize annoying siblings.
 
Mr. Henry's recently tweeted, "Thank you Wescott School for an amazing morning learning about the invention of the first aircraft! I also LOVED all of the balloon decorations you made! UP AND AWAY! #jasonhenrybooks https://twitter.com/jasonhenrybooks
 
Mr. Henry is the uncle of two Wescott students:  Atticus Kim, fourth grader in Jane Eilhauer’s class; and Micah Kim, second grader in Sallie Magruder’s class. Mr. Henry’s wife Annie Moon, a Willowbrook School alum, and her mother, Kyung Moon, were also in attendence during the presentations.
 
Librarian Margaret Janavicius and assistant librarian/artist Joan Marsh coordinated the author’s visit, with support from Principal Dr. Chris Brown.
 

Wescott Second Graders Bring American Heroes to Life!

One could blame it on the spring equinox, when "Abraham Lincoln," "Betsy Ross," "Dr. Seuss," "Maurice Sendak," "Susan B. Anthony," and "Oprah" are seen mingling in the same room together!
 
Or it could just be some very savvy Wescott School second graders, who brought wisdom, warmth, and wit to their classrooms, while they reenacted the life of their personal American hero during the annual Wax Museum activity.
 
In their social studies curriculum, the kids have been learning about how communities changed from rural to urban to suburban communities. Next, they read about how people from the past in various communities solved problems, and made a difference for people in their communities.
 
Second grade teachers Sallie Magruder, Xenia Stamoudis, Trisha Palzet, and Lisa Wolf asked their pupils to pick a person from the past (or present), research them, and discover how they made a difference in society.
 
The culmination of this assignment was the Wax Museum exhibit, which took place on the first day of spring, March 20. Students had buttons on their hands or desks. Visitors included family members, Principal Dr. Chris Brown, Superintendent Dr. Brian Wegley, just had to push the button and the student dressed as his/her American hero would discuss basic statistics and important moments in that person's life. 
 
Sallie Magruder's class handed out brochures describing the objective of the curriculum, the research project, and listed each student and their hero. me of the many American heroes represented included Sitting Bull, Martin Luther King, Betsy Ross, Queen Elizabeth, Frida Kalo, Sacagawea, Jackie Robinson, Milton Hershey, Helen Keller, Jane Addams, Alexander Hamilton, Ben Franklin, astronauts, and sports figures!
 
On the inner panel of Ms. Magruder's class brochure, there was a quote by business magnate and investor, co-founder of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs, "We're here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why else even be here?"
 
Wescott Second Graders Perform "The Story of Us"
 
Wescott School's second grader's sweet voices prevailed on March 14 when they performed their musical,  “The Story of Us: A Celebration of Culture." Under the direction of music teacher Quentin Coaxum, they sang songs that celebrated love, diversity, and community. 
 
The titles were "Funga Alafia (traditional West African Folk Song); "Pay Me My Money Down" (Traditional American Folk Song); "Sunset" (Traditional Native American Folk Song); A La Rueda De San Miguel (Traditional Mexican Folk Song); "Arirang" (Traditional Korean Folk Song); "Stary Niedzwiedz (Traditional Polish Folk Song); Zum Gali Gali (Traditional Israeli Folk Song); and "Take Time for Life" (Traditional Liberian Folk Song).
 
"The second graders worked hard and excelled in their two performances. I was so proud of them," said Mr. Coaxum.
 
He thanked the following individuals for helping to coordinate the program:  Dr. Chris Brown, Christina Fee, Roy Grober, Joan Marsh, Joe Burdi, Tia Stevens, Talia Block, Lucio Castrejon, Xenia Stamoudis, Lisa Wolf, Sallie Magruder, Trish Palzet, Anna Davis, Margaret Janavicius, Jeanne Mills, Jamie Reding, Debbie Grundy, the PTO, and all of the parents!
 
Wescott's New Service Project to Coincide with Lighted School House

Donations for Service Project Due on April 8 and 9

This year Lighted Schoolhouse takes place from 6:45 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 10. Wescott School Principal Dr. Chris Brown said that this year is going to look a little different as staff and students will be incorporating the school theme of #choosekind, in conjunction with service projects for those in need. 

"We are excited about the opportunity for our Wescott community to come together to promote kindness. Join us for an evening of fun, community and giving back."

During Lighted Schoolhouse, everyone will be painting kindness rocks and packing snack and toiletry bags for people in need. In addition to #choosekind activities, parents will still be able to go through their child’s day with them.

"We need your help to make this night a success! Next week there will be a sign-up in the 'Wescott Word' for you to donate an item for our service project. Please look out for that next week. All items will need to be brought to school on Monday, April 8 and Tuesday, April 9," requested Dr. Brown.

Leon Logothetis To Host Parent Presentation on April 9

Wescott School's PTO has announced that Leon Logothetis, author of "The Kindness Diaries", will host a "parent only" presentation at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 9 at Wescott School. Mr. Logothetis is the host of the television series "The Kindness Diaries", which is streaming on Netflix.  He has documented his travels and experiences for media outlets included "Good Morning America", "Los Angeles Times," "San Francisco Chronicle", "Outside", "Good", "Psychology Today," and "The New York Times." For more information on Mr. Logothetis, go to leonlogothetis.com

PTO Speaker Series representatives Joanna Kaplan and Grace Jeon, reported, "All District 30 parents are invited to attend this special event. At that time, the PTO will be raffling signed copies of his books."

For more information, contact PTO Speaker Committee chairs Joanna Kaplan at joanna.kaplan@gmail.com or Grace Jeon at gracejeon11@gmail.com

Wescott PTO's March Madness Fundraiser Update

Wescott School PTO Co-Presidents Christie Hartbarger and Michelle King echoed a special thank you to Zivit Blonder, Staci Cohen, Katherine Lee and Liz Kim for leading the charge on the March Madness (raffles/parties) fundraiser initiatives.

"These events would not have been a success without all of their dedication," said Ms. Hartbarger.

"The PTO would also like to thank our Wescott families and committees who graciously offered to host parties
for our last fundraiser of the school year!" said Ms. King.

They include the Korean American Parents Organization, Helping Hands Committee, Lauren Bauer, Megan Brooks, Molly Chen, Winnie Davis,Lisa DeGregorio, Alex Delger, Jae Eun Kang, Christie Hartbarger, Michelle Huang, Taryn Karchmar, Liz Kim, Michelle King, Jenny Klein, Katherine Lee, Kim Pollak, Annie Porthan, Lisa Rosengard Lawyer, Jackie Schimel, Mia Seo, Julie St. John, Christine Thach, and Sharmaine Zhou.

The leaders concluded, "We truly appreciate all of your hard work in making sure our children and families have a fantastic time playing and partying together! Please do not forget to turn in your payments and sign the waiver forms for the Wescott Madness Party Sign-ups! The due date was Tuesday, March 19 (Payments must be already turned in for Athletico and Hot Ground Gym)."

The parties are underway and will take place throughout the spring. A list of all parties, along with information regarding party hosts, dates, locations and times will be on the PTO website homepage at http://www.district30.org/wescott-pto/index.

If you have any questions regarding a specific party, please email wescottfundraising@gmail.com.

Join the PTO Nominating Committee Today!

The PTO is looking for volunteers to join the Nominating Committee, which will help seek out potential candidates for next year’s open board positions. Those individuals who are interested in joining the committee or know someone who wants to join, please contact Mara Rose at wescottsecretary@gmail.com.

 

 

Wescott's International Day is Set for April 5

For the first time, Wescott School is hosting an International Day as part of Wescott PTO's Spring Madness fundraiser. It will take place after school on Friday, April 5. It is a drop-off event for the students. Those kids who sign-up ahead of time can stay after school to attend the party. Booths representing the following countries will showcase their unique cultures and traditions: China, Korea, Russia, Israel, and Pakistan.

Throughout the afternoon, children will experience the cultural activities at each table, while enjoying the artfully-crafted ethnic snacks. International Day will serve as a window for the student to see the rich cultures in the community and a chance for families from different cultural backgrounds to display their heritage.

Those families that would like to host a booth should contact Molly Chen by February 20 at mollyschen2016@gmail.com
 

Northbrook and Glenview Park Districts Offering Additional Programs to District 30 Families!

The Northbrook and Glenview Park Districts are offering programs for students from the end of May through September 3. For more information go to http://bit.ly/2CcMDFQ (for Glenview programming), and https://bit.ly/2N1cNjS (for Northbrook programming) (for Northbrook programming.

 

Maple PTO Fundraiser to Help Build New All Abilities Playground!

Maple Playground Fundraiser is Scheduled for April 13

Save the Date:  Join the PTO at Bowlero in Buffalo Grove for a fun adult night of dinner and bowling at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, April 13.  This is a district-wide fundraiser for the new All Abilities Maple School playground. For more information and to purchase tickets for the Maple School All Abilities Playground fundraiser, go to https://www.maplepto.org/

PTO Nominating Committee Members Wanted for 2019-2020 School Year

Wescott School's PTO is looking for volunteers to join the Nominating Committee, which will help seek out potential candidates for next year’s open board positions. If you are interested in joining the committee or know someone who wants to join, please contact Mara Rose at wescottsecretary@gmail.com

The 19th Annual Lew Blond 5K Run/Walk, 1 Mile Run will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2019


Register Today at lewblondrun.org!

The 19th Annual Lew Blond Memorial 5K Run/Walk, 1 Mile Run will be held at 8:00 a.m., Saturday, May 18, 2019, at Maple School. It is an esteemed CARA Circuit Race and is USATF certified. The event is among the top running events in the north suburban area.  For 18 years, this fundraiser has been helping to support research for Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS), in memory of Lew Blond, a Maple School teacher who passed away from this disease in February 2000. Proceeds benefit ALS research through the Les Turner ALS Foundation, and support scholarships for prospective teachers at the Glenbrook High Schools and special District 30 projects. The 2018 race drew over 1,000 participants and volunteers. Total funds raised over 18 years exceeds $450,000. For more information, go to lewblondrun.org

Volunteers Needed for the Lew Blond Run

Contact Roy Grober at rgrober@district30.org to volunteer on race day, or one of the three days prior to race day. Thank you for your support!