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Community Event Inspires Creativity, Collaboration at RVES

Ridgeview Elementary School kindergarten student Brianna Holland, 5, drinks milk May 4 after eating a cookie. More than 400 hundred students, parents and community members participate in hands-on activities May 4 during the annual AIMS expo family event at Ridgeview Elementary School.

Focusing on arts, inquiry, math and science, nearly 20 activities engage young and old learners at the POWER Zone elementary school. Cool science demonstrations, stencil art, seed planting, robot mazes and magical math board games promote exploration and fun during the community event.

“All of our grade levels and teams have selected activities that are placed throughout the building,” says Theresa Ritz, principal. “Many of the activities combine art and math or inquiry and science.”

Ritz says inviting the community to the school for evening events promotes a healthy and collaborative culture that pays dividends for student learning.

“Seeing them with their families makes a big difference,” says Ritz. “When our families come in we connect in a personal way, especially for a fun event. To see families interacting with our teachers in a fun way is motivating. It’s a big deal.”

Kindergarten students Charleigh Glibson, 6, and Brianna Holland, 5, begin the evening eating cookies and milk in the school cafeteria.

“We’re getting energy to go do all the fun things,” says Brianna.

“They are excited about the magical math board games,” says Cathy Andrew, Brianna’s grandmother. “In the game they have to match cards that equal 10. It develops their math skills and it’s fun.”

Katie Stafford, RVES music teacher, leads the Husky Chorale in a musical performance of “Dona Nobis Pacem” and “Dreams that Children Dream” in front of parents, grandparents and siblings.

“The choir did a beautiful job,” says Nancy Vrana, grandmother to fourth-grader Addi Vrana, 10. “I can’t believe kids that age are singing those kinds of songs. It’s beautiful, all of it.”

RVES students perform as the Husky Chorale May 4.   Katie Stafford, RVES music teacher, leads the Husky Chorale May 4.   RVES students perform as the Husky Chorale May 4.

Third-grader Paige Dusbabek, 8, creates a pet rock using paint, markers and glue-on eyes in Steve Long’s third grade classroom.

“Rock painting is the first thing she wanted to do,” says Paige’s father, Darrin Dusbabek. “This is fun. They seem like different people when they are around their friends. They are more energetic.”

Just down the hall in the school’s media center, visitors navigate mazes with remote control robots.

“I just really like Ollies,” says fourth-grader Jacob Jackson, 9, about the robots. “There are two controls on the iPad, one to steer and one to make it go.”

“They don’t realize they are working on problem solving, acceleration, velocity, angles, visualization and thinking sequentially,” says Victoria Villescas, enrichment teacher. “Plus, robots are cool.”

Second-grader Liam Geffert, 8, launches a Popsicle stick catapult in a corner classroom as his parents look on.

“We just looked at the other catapults and modified it with way more rubber bands,” said Liam. “It’s making it go higher, but I haven’t hit the target yet.”

Liam and other attendees get to take their catapults home. Here’s hoping siblings don’t become targets.

RVES third-grader Paige Dusbabek, 8, creates a pet rock using paint, markers and glue-on eyes May 4.   RVES second-grader Liam Geffert, 8, launches a Popsicle stick catapult May 4.   Nancy Vrana checks recent silent auction bids during the Ridgeview Elementary School AIMS expo family event May 4.

Matt Meister
mmeister@d49.org
719.495.1151