Wescott School NEWS BRIEFS: First Graders To Present Musical about Food!

Wescott School NEWS BRIEFS: First Graders To Present Musical about Food!

Wescott First Grade Show to Highlight Five Food Groups!

Wescott School's music teacher Quentin Coaxum has announced that the first graders will present their musical "Food," which will highlight the five food groups, at 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Thursday, April 25. 
Glenview Lions to Present Saplings to Fourth Graders on Arbor Day
On Arbor Day, April 26, Glenview Lions representative Terry Dooley will present Norway Saplings to fourth graders, as part of National Fourth Grade Foresters Program, that has organized the give away and planting of over 700,000 tree saplings nationwide within the past 10 years.  He and a colleague will be at Wescott School from 9:00-10:00 AM, and at Willowbrook School from 1:00-1:45 PM.

Fifth Grade Track Meet Set for 9:00 a.m., Friday, April 26 at Glenbrook South High School.

Save the Date - One Big Family Picnic!
Wescott School PTO's annual Family Picnic will be held from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Friday, May 17.  Last year, almost 500 parents and children attended, and PTO chairs have some special and new surprises planned for this year. Sign up and volunteer details to come next week. 

Kindness Diaries' Leon Logothetis Spreads His Message of Goodwill to District 30 Community

“Being kind is the most important thing a person can do for another human being,” declared global adventurer Leon Logothetis, during presentations to students, staff, and parents at Wescott School on April 9.  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.”

Mr. Logothetis is also the television host of the Netflix program "The Kindness Diaries," author of five books (the newest book is "Go Be Kind"), and is a motivational speaker.  After leaving a career as a stockbroker in London, he's traveled to over 100 countries and has dedicated his life to spreading kindness throughout the world, receiving acts of kindness, and changing people’s lives, as well as his own - forever.

In "The Kindness Diaries" he is shown visiting different countries, riding his vintage yellow motorbike dubbed Kindness One. He continuously relies on the kindness of strangers to survive. He does not take money when people offer it to him.

“It doesn’t take even a penny to be kind,” stated Mr. Logothetis.

However, as his show depicts, he does count on people to offer him shelter, food, and gas during his travels. Then he returns the favor by presenting life-changing gifts to unsuspecting good Samaritans.

“Repeatedly, I have been won over by the generosity of humanity, like my friend Tony, who was homeless and who shared his blanket with me, to the impoverished farmer who helped me when my bike broke down, and more."

He related how he slept on the streets of Pittsburgh with Tony, who also gave him food and protected him, by not sleeping a wink the whole night. Later he returned the favor on his television show by giving Tony shelter and the opportunity to go back to school.

On a zanier note, he said he once swam in a sea of marshmallows. This brought fits of giggles from the student audience.

Sharing a bit of his personal life, he showed a picture of his Boston Terrier Winston Churchill, who he declared is a naughty-but-nice pal.

“He recently stole my cheeseburger off of the table,” he said, grinning.

Turning to a more serious note, Mr. Logothetis spoke candidly about being bullied in middle school, and how he sat alone at lunch every day. It only took the gesture of kindness of one student and a teacher to turn his life around.

 "My teacher boosted my confidence with positive reinforcement, and the pupil invited me to sit with him at lunch. By reaching out to me, they gave me my dignity back. I felt seen.”

“Kindness is free. True wealth is not in our wallets, it is in our hearts. Love is living from the heart. Treat people with dignity and show up. Be present. Let the other person feel 100 percent of your presence, and they will feel your heart, kindness, and compassion,” stated Mr. Logothetis, as he looked up, and spread out his arms, as a bird does when it prepares to take flight.

He maintained, “Change one life with an act of kindness, and you will change the world.”

Wescott School PTO Co-President Michelle King said, “Leon did a wonderful job reframing the way we think about kindness. While we all know that we should always be kind, I think that his tangible examples will leave a lasting impression on everyone who attended his presentation.”

After the pupil presentation, Mr. Logothetis spoke with third-grade students and music teacher Quentin Coaxum, in honor of their winter performance of “The Kindness Diaries” program, where they highlighted and sang about his good deeds and the impact kindness can have on a person's life. He said that he really liked the bright yellow hoodies everyone was wearing from their show, with “The Kindness Diaries” printed on the front. This year, Wescott also adopted the theme of choosing kindness, and there have been many service projects and generous deeds expressed over the past eight months.

He handed out postcards to all audience members titled, “I Helped Someone Feel Less Alone Today.”  Their purpose is for people to add their most recent act of kindness on the back of the card. #gobekind, @thekindnessguy @leonlogothetis  

PTO Speaker Committee members who coordinated his visit, Joanna Kaplan and Grace Jeon, created a box for individuals to submit their cards at Wescott.  Mr. Logothetis said that he will donate a book to a child in need for every kind act that is submitted. So far, with this project, he has given 10,000 books to children around the world. His goal is to collect 20,000 books.

After the evening presentation, Ms. Kaplan and Principal Chris Brown raffled signed copies of Leon Logothetis’ new book "Go Be Kind."

PTO Co-President Christie Hartbarger thanked Ms. Kaplan and Ms. Jeon for arranging this inspiring presentation and expressed appreciation for the support of all of the parents in the audience.

 “We were so happy to see the community come together to support Leon’s program. It shows how important the act of kindness truly is. We always have a choice to be kind, and this was an incredible way to be reminded. We are so proud to have been a part of making this day happen,” said Ms. Kaplan.

For more information on Leon Logothetis, go to leonlogothetis.com

Wescott PTO Hosts Successful International Day!

On April 5, a group of Wescott School students had the unique opportunity to taste traditional desserts from Bosnia and Poland, sampled homemade falafel from Israel and Pakistan, and even played games familiar to children in Korea!

After school, the Wescott School PTO hosted the first International Day event, similar to the one Willowbrook PTO hosts traditionally in the fall. This activity was in conjunction with the March Wescott Madness fundraiser.

Over a dozen countries were represented from around the world, and parents showcased their culture to 50-60 Wescott children in attendance. Some of the countries represented included Russia, Poland, Mexico, Israel, Pakistan, China, Korea, Canada, India, and Ghana.

Kids dressed in clothes familiar to their country of origin, put on a fashion show, played games, and enjoyed myriad food samples throughout the afternoon.

"It was really interesting and exciting! The PTO looks forward to planning this as a regular event," said PTO Co-President Christie Hartbarger with Michelle King.

Coordinators of this event included Zivit Blonder, Staci Cohen, Katherine Lee, Liz Kim, Shi Chen, Christie Hartbarger, and Michelle King.


Kids Keep Up the Pace during The Amazing Race!

Eight years ago, Wescott School physical education/wellness teacher Roy Grober organized the first Amazing Race to kick-off the spring, and to encourage the children to work as teams on the playground and surrounding athletic field.

He and third grade teacher Joel Losoff reminisced about the first time they coordinated this activity, which is based on the CBS reality show "The Amazing Race," which will begin its 30th season in May 2019!

The students worked in teams of six or seven individuals while completing various physical relay challenges which included Cheese Roller/Thrower, Tire Carry/Tire Roll, and the Golf Ball Hunt.

During the Tire Carry and Tire Roll relay, two students stopped suddenly, sat in the middle of their tires, and declared that they were "tired." The cool air and sunshine brought out humor, great energy, and many smiles! Afterwards, there was even time to enjoy the playground and GaGa pit!

“The goal of the [event] was to foster teamwork, cooperation, and sportsmanship. We encouraged each team to work toward completing the entire race," said Mr. Grober.

Other individuals who participated in "leg one" of The Amazing Race with Mr. Grober and Mr. Losoff were Christina Fee, Joe Burdi, Tia Stevens, Quentin Coaxum, Talia Block, Jessica Schutz.

Kids Finish Leg Two of Amazing Race on April 17!

On April 17, Wescott School students completed leg two of their 8th Annual Amazing Race activity, during physical education/wellness class.

The students participated in relay races on the playground and took part in a Sports Hall of Fame Treasure Hunt.

There was a page of general rules to follow, so it was crucial that the children work as teams. They were observed demonstrating cooperation, sportsmanship, and enthusiasm throughout the morning.

During leg two of the race, physical education teacher Roy Grober, Christine Fee, and Joe Burdi were assisted by music teacher Quentin Coaxum, Spanish teacher Talia Block, and third-grade teacher Joel Losoff.

The winning team received trophies! Then the teams posed for photos after completing the race.


Wescott Students' "Pins for a Purpose" Helps to Support Lurie Children’s Hospital

Wescott School students Kaya Schneider and Jake Semmelhack have been “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” and other heavy hitters, when it comes to philanthropy. The fifth-graders in David Karnoscak’s class spearheaded a fundraiser titled “Pins for a Purpose," after they were told by their teacher, David Karnoscak, to pursue a project that they felt passionate about.

It is well-documented that famous people like the Kardashians and many local sports teams and players donate generously to help support Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo donated half of his year’s salary of $3.5 million dollars to the hospital. The Kardashians collected donations for Lurie’s Children’s Hospital, instead of baby gifts for their newborn. 

On April 1, during a Monday morning assembly, Principal Dr. Chris Brown introduced the students, who proudly presented information about “Pins for a Purpose” to their fellow pupils.

“We wanted to help raise money for this hospital, and decided to do it by bowling for donations. Family members, friends, and neighbors gave us donations based on our bowling performance at Pinstripes in Northbrook. The manager at Pinstripes lent Jake and I a free bowling lane and donated to our fundraiser,” said Kaya Schneider.

Jake Semmelhack added, “Before we began bowling, we sent out a mass email to friends, family, and neighbors. Those who responded committed to a donation, and we started bowling! Our bowling scores resulted in raising a whopping $1,250 dollars. Then the ‘Up Foundation’ matched the total that we raised dollar-for-dollar. This doubled our earnings so we raised $2,500 dollars. Finally, my dad’s company matched the $2,500, so that the final amount raised was a grand total of $5,000!”

“The results of this fundraiser were amazing. Jake and Kaya are two special kids," stated Mr. Karnoscak.

Lurie’s Children’s Hospital in Chicago is ranked number 10 nationwide for pediatric hospitals and is a teaching hospital. In 2017, Lurie’s cared for more children than any other pediatric hospital system in Illinois. That same year, Lurie’s served children from all 50 states and 58 countries. https://www.luriechildrens.org/en/who-we-are/facts-figures/