Thursday, August 14, 2008

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SLPS Spotlight News

December 19, 2008 Special Holiday Edition

SLPS Spotlight News is a publication from the St. Louis Public School District’s Public Information Office. Each issue offers story ideas and provides media with information about what is going on in the district. If you’re interested in submitting stories, email Deborah Sistrunk at


Save money while helping St. Louis Public Schools
Here’s a win-win situation for SLPS employees, family, and friends. Save 10% every time you make purchases at Five percent of every purchase goes directly to the district. The website features shoes, boots, sandals, bags, and a number of accessories. There’s something for the entire family! Visit and place your order.

Warm hands, warm hearts
Thanks to the generosity of the central office staff, SLPS students will have warm hands this winter. The Giving Tree at 801 was decorated from top to bottom with colorful hats, mittens, scarves and gloves for girls and boys. The 159 cozy gifts, which included 11 teddy bears, will be shared with our students at the Gateway Homeless Shelter, Hope House, and Women’s Safe House. We are grateful for the support of this project.

Baden Elementary marks holiday festivities with Secret Santa program and concert
Baden Elementary hosted its 7th annual Secret Santa event on December 16. Once again, Janel and Maurice Jordan demonstrated their generosity by presenting Pre-K and 1st grade students with items from their wish lists. Ms. Jordan is a computer teacher at Walbridge Elementary. Her husband is the founder of the Secret Santa program. The Jordans, along with
other district employees, presented beautifully wrapped gifts and bicycles to eager students and their parents. During the last seven years, the Jordans and SLPS employees have granted over 1,100 wishes! Baden students took the opportunity to demonstrate the holiday spirit in their own way. The school’s student choir braved freezing temperatures to perform a concert at the Baden Branch of the St. Louis Public Library.

Fanning Middle sponsors community service projects and greets inspirational speaker
To demonstrate the spirit of giving, Fanning Middle participated in two community service projects. A canned food drive benefited the New Life Evangelistic Center, which serves the homeless. In addition, faculty members did their own good deed. The faculty contributed funds to provide three families with a memorable holiday meal. Meanwhile, two AVID classes and other selected students received a big-time treat this week. Build-A-Bear’s Maxine Clark made an appearance at the school. She told the youngsters her exciting story about how her company was created. Clark took questions from the group and from individual students, some of whom expressed an interest in starting their own businesses. Before she left, Clark presented all 80 students with a gift – a limited edition Cardinal Fredbird!

Adams preschoolers show you’re never too young to give from the heart
Early childhood students at Adams recently spread some holiday cheer when they visited Beauvais Manor, a retirement home. The youngsters sang, “jingled” bells, and tapped rhythm sticks as the senior citizens smiled from ear to ear. The young ones also spent time chatting with the residents and shaking hands, while looking their adorable best!

Clyde C. Miller varsity football team to be honored
Centennial Christian Church will honor the varsity football team and coaches from Clyde C. Miller Academy. The team gave their time to the church’s Feed the Children campaign. The team and coaches will receive a plaque of appreciation during a morning worship service on December 21.

Employees in Career and Technical Education come to the rescue
The Division of Career and Technical Education has adopted an SLPS family in need. The family, which includes six children, lost everything in a fire. The employees, who chose not to exchange gifts this year, pitched in to buy a much needed gift certificate for the family.

Cole eMINTS students shop for holiday groceries
Representatives of University of Missouri Extension recently paid a visit to Cole eMINTS. Through a collaborative effort with Save-a-Lot, the school and the grocery chain gave groceries to all Cole students, parents, and staff. It was all in the spirit of goodwill and thanksgiving. Meanwhile, Jody Squires and Kellie Lowe of the Extension program gave students a lesson in nutrition and budgeting to prepare the youngsters for grocery shopping. Students wrote their own grocery list and “shopped” for food in a designated area arranged by Save-a-Lot employees and school volunteers. Students paid for their purchases with Cole Eagle Money.

Soldan choir wows audience
Soldan’s choir continued its reputation for excellence when it performed at a concert at the US Bank Plaza last week. The group sang at a Missouri Regional Business Council meeting. Jasmine Turner, who sang a lovely rendition of “God Bless America” for the December 9 gathering, received a $500 check for her outstanding work. A broad smile could be seen on the face of the instructor, Kevin Mansco. He was clearly very proud of his students.

Vote for our AVID students!
Two Vashon students are finalists in the Inauguration Essay Contest sponsored by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Lindenwood University. The two finalists are Robin French (AVID teacher, Samantha Smith) and Darrell Stewart (AVID teacher, Anna Gardner-Andrews). Students were asked to respond to the following prompt, “If you were president, what would you change?” Students were inspired to consider this question after learning about the November presidential election and the January inauguration.

Fifteen finalists remain from all the entries received (approximately 300) and now the public gets to vote for their favorite essay. Mrs. Gardner-Andrews and Ms. Smith would like to encourage all St. Louis Public School students and staff to support Darrell and Robin by going to and voting. Although these students will automatically receive a $100 savings bond for being selected as finalists, one of them has the chance to win a $500 savings bond if their essay receives the most online votes.

You can read the essays of the 15 finalists, as well as all other compositions, on the website above. Robin and Darrell submitted the only winning essays from St. Louis Public Schools.

Holiday cheer greets Jefferson Elementary students
Employees from Plaza Motors made a visit to Jefferson Elementary School to deliver toys and gifts to all students and staff. Plaza arrived with a staff of 20 employees to personally deliver gifts to each classroom. Jefferson also received a collection of books for the library and a supply of classroom necessities for each teacher. Plaza connected with Jefferson students during the visit by actor Will Smith in November. The toys and gifts in excess of those delivered to students were delivered to children at the Gateway Homeless Shelter.

Hundreds of SLPS students attend holiday party at Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club
One thousand students crowded into the Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls club for a recent holiday party. The youngsters had loads of fun. Each student received a bit of cash in their holiday bag. Several students were the “big winners.” They were selected to receive bicycles! These students hailed from ten schools: Ames, Ashland, Buder, Cote Brilliante, Froebel, Gateway, Lexington, Shepard, Washington Montessori, and Scruggs.

Happy Holidays to our entire SLPS family!