Red Ribbon Week at McKinley and Poland Middle School

Students and teachers around the country are celebrating Red Ribbon Week to learn more about making positive choices and leading a healthy drug-free life!  The last week in October was designated Red Ribbon Week by the US Congress in 1988.  Kids in both schools are having fun dressing up with the theme of the day!  Yesterday was Red day, today’s theme is Superheroes and tomorrow they will love dressing in 80’s and 90’s themed clothes.  The week rounds out with Favorite team day on Thursday because winners don’t do drugs and on Friday they will be showing their Poland pride by wearing Bulldog clothes!  It’s just a fun week but with a very serious message.  We can have fun and live our lives to the fullest without drugs.  The teachers are dressing with the themes as well to help spread the message of support for the students!  “We love the kids we spend our days with and want to help them to be happy and healthy” said fifth grade teacher Susie Capps.

McKinley Morning Basketball – 22 Years of Fun

These designs and many more through the years were kindly created by Tammy Johnson, Poland Art Teacher.

     Way back in 1995 two teachers at McKinley Elementary School decided it would be fun to give kids from the school a chance to join an in school program to play with their friends.  Mr. Cullar and Mrs. Moon have been volunteering their mornings for the Morning Basketball Program from the beginning of March to the last days of school since 1995  (22 years).  Each year any student interested in playing basketball in 5th or 6th grade was invited to be part of a team and play in a round robin tournament.

     This unpaid volunteer time added up to many hundreds of hours given so that boys and girls would have the opportunity to come early in the morning to develop friendships, get exercise and learn to enjoy a healthy sport.  The kids really enjoyed playing against their friends, but at the end of each season the winning teams would also get a chance to play against a team of teachers.  Winning teams of students would each get custom t-shirts designed by former Poland art teacher Tammy Johnson.

     Over the life of this wonderful program for students there have been over 2,000 participants. Many students have come back years later expressing to those two teachers or the administration how much they enjoyed having that experience.  Teaching doesn’t just happen in the classroom…sometimes it comes in lessons about teamwork and sharing and to the sound of basketballs bouncing.

College Credit Plus Geology

     Debbie Smith’s CC+ Geology class is growing crystals.  Her class of Junior and Senior students are participating in a competition to grow the best crystals.  The kids are working in groups of 4 and started the process with aluminum potassium sulfate (alum) and water.  They have 6 weeks to try and grow the largest single crystal as well as the clearest crystal.  The graded lab project could also earn the students bonus points.  CC+ classes are a way for students to earn not only high school credits but college level credit too!  This gives these students an big advantage when starting their college careers.