Speaking of snow days, if you need to get your kids out of the house after these two snow days, come out to the high school tomorrow for a family-friendly affordable event. Whitmore Lake Community Recreation is hosting their second annual Cabin Fever Extravaganza. They have partnered with a variety of business and organizations to fill space in our high school with fun activities, games, crafts and more. Bounce! Gymnastics is creating "Bounce! Land" in the gym with inflatables and tumbling equipment. For sport enthusiasts the basketball courts and batting cages will be open for baseball, softball and lacrosse hitting and pick up games. Fine Arts Academy will be teaching classes from self-defense to preschool creative movement. And to top it all off, in the WL Community Pool they will have an underwater photobooth, wacky water relays and will be showing The Minions on their big inflatable movie screen. This list isn't all-inclusive, just a highlight. It is just $10 for the entire family if you buy your ticket today. Starting at midnight, it goes up to $20 per family, which is still a great deal. You can get your tickets HERE.
February is Career and Technical Education month and a chance for me to highlight some non-traditional education opportunities we provide our students. Through our partnership with Livingston Applied Technology Education Consortium (LATEC), students in grades 11 and 12 have access to programs at Brighton, Howell and Pinckney school districts that help ready them for college coursework and future careers.
Last week our students interested in the EMT, construction, firefighter, aviation, computer aided drafting and design and culinary arts programs visited Howell High School where those programs are available. This week students interested in auto, early childhood, graphics and health occupations visited Brighton High School. Plans to visit Pinckney High School to check out the robotics, computer network engineering and manufacturing programs were postponed thanks to the snow storm.
Students who enroll in these program typically spend either their first two or last two class hours on site at the program of their choice, while attending Whitmore Lake High School for their remaining four hours. A portion of our state aid for each student, on average $1,800-$2,500 depending on the program, goes directly to the hosting school to cover their costs. Additionally, students must provide their own transportation to and from the program. Some programs, like the firefighter or EMT programs, also require a larger time commitment including Saturdays, though they come with larger benefits.
Lois Bailey, a senior at WLHS, is enrolled in the EMT program at Howell. Wanting to get more experience in the health care field to solidify her plans of being a physician assistant, Bailey was intrigued by the hands-on experience the EMT program would provide. In addition to classroom learning, she gets to participate in clinicals, which include 12-hour ride-along shifts in an ambulance. So far helping deliver a baby has been a highlight of her experiences.
Though Bailey recognizes that the program is extremely demanding, requiring more time than a traditional classroom course would, and often resulting in her missing out on some of the normal "senior year fun", for her the benefits outweigh the costs. She will finish the program with 10 credits completed toward an Associates degree at Schoolcraft College and over $200 worth of certifications such as first aid and CPR. Beyond that, her experience in this program has solidified her post-secondary plans. Instead of a physician assistant, she plans on attending Schoolcraft College and enrolling in their paramedic program. She plans on finishing early thanks to the credits she will have already earned. As she eloquently put it, "Yes, I miss out on the fun stuff of senior year like spirit days and different activities because I'm focused on being successful in this program, but when you compare that to being prepared for college, it is totally worth it."
Students who will be in eleventh through twelfth grade next year and are interested in enrolling in one of these programs should see School Counselor, Kathy DeKeyser, as soon as possible to make sure the program works with what credits s/he needs to graduate. Spots are limited, so the sooner, the better.
For more information on each of the programs, visit the LATEC website here: http://www.latec.us/
PS Food Mart: New Community Partner
While our community is small, it time and time again demonstrates how generous it is. I think back to the Chromebook crowd-fundraiser where we raised enough for 90 new computers in two weeks. In addition to the individuals that support us, many of our local businesses are an integral part of what we are able to provide for our students.
New to the scene is the PS Food Mart/CITGO store that opened up this past November on North Territorial taking over the former Shell convenience store. Family run for more than 90 years, they are entering their seventh year running an annual "Fight Hunger Give Hope" fundraising campaign. From March 1 through March 14, they will be collecting donations from customers and other local businesses to be donated to the Feeding His Sheep program at Whitmore Lake Elementary School.
Brought to WLES by the Whitmore Lake Kiwanis, Feeding His Sheep is a weekend backpack food program that provides balanced nutritional meals to elementary-aged children run by the Salvation Army of Washtenaw County. Many children in our schools benefit from our free or reduced lunch program throughout the week; however, some families have challenges providing meals over the weekend. This program addresses that by providing a backpack filled with breakfast, lunch and dinner components for Saturday and Sunday.
With nutrition and healthy eating habits so closely tied to academics, we are grateful programs like this exist and that we have community partners like Kiwanis and now the PS Food Mart who generously support them.
During the campaign, customers at PS Food Mart can "tear a square" and make a $1 or $5 donation to the Fight Hunger, Give Hope" campaign.
We thank their Vice-President, Jim Linton, and the PS Food Mart family for their support and welcome them into the Whitmore Lake community.
8th Grade Girls Basketball
While our 8th grade girls basketball team's record is 4-5, that is no indication of the exciting, strong season they have had so far. With two conference victories over teams they lost to last year (Britton-Deerfield and Madison) and a 2nd-place finish at the Morenci Tournament this past weekend, which is the second year in a row, they have much to be proud of.
Head Coach, Chris Romine, and Assistant Coach, Kellen Duhe, credit their improvements to the work they do in the off-season. This includes playing in three different tournaments, helping them get in tip-top shape come the regular season. Having lost a key player on the third day of practice to a season ending knee injury in addition to minor injuries endured by players throughout the season, they have faced challenges. However, the team looks forward to finishing out the season strong with a home game today at 4:15 p.m. against Brighton and next Thursday at St. Francis at 4:30 p.m.