Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Arkadelphia High School Students Take Flight

by Nicole McPhate for APSD

Arkadelphia High School students are getting a unique opportunity. They are getting the chance to fly. Through a three-way partnership with Dawson Co-Op, Henderson State University and Arkadelphia Public Schools, the students are able to follow an aviation curriculum and log real flight hours. Because of this opportunity, students will be well prepared and even ahead for their aviation degree from Henderson, if they choose to continue. David Maxwell, the Arkadelphia High School principal, shared his excitement about the program and what it means for his students.

Students who are sophomores and enrolled in Algebra II are eligible for the aviation path. If they are interested, they just sign up for the classes. AHS has eleven students in year one of the program, seven students in year two and four students starting year three in the fall.

“The class is taught by a certified flight instructor either on site or from another location”, according to Maxwell. Once every two weeks one of the aviation students is allowed forty-five minutes to an hour to log hours in a flight simulator. The flight simulator is a trailer that contains wrap-around screens that create an exact replica of the instructional aircraft at Henderson. A flight instructor is in the simulator and programs what will happen during the simulation. The student “starts the engine and flies: it is a real working airplane,” shares Maxwell.

If a student chooses to continue with aviation through Henderson, they will have accumulated seven college credits and have logged 100 flight hours by the time they graduate AHS. These hours will count towards their degree and private pilot’s license. The students are getting an experience like no other, since this is the first program of it’s kind for the state of Arkansas.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bucket Filling at Central Primary

by Nicole McPhate for APSD

At Central Primary, the students and families are sharing kindness in a new way. Through the use of the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? and with the encouragement of their teachers, students are growing as positive influences on their families and community through acts of kindness. Central Primary’s principal, Melinda Morris, shared the students excitement as well as her own about the project. The book is used in the classroom setting to explain how kindness, appreciation and love can fill someone up and have positive effects for both the giver and the receiver.

Each classroom has the book and a “bucket-filling” backpack that contains a book for home and a log for the students to share about the experience. The students take turns taking home the backpack over the weekend and completing projects or acts that benefit others. Once they have completed their turn, they are encouraged to journal about the experience in the log provided. Two examples Morris gave were baking cookies for the neighbor next door, or just going to talk with a neighbor down the street. After each student has had the backpack for a weekend, the whole process starts over.

According to several teachers and Ms. Morris, this project is helping students and parents focus on the positives instead of the negatives. They have experienced a great response from both students and parents. Morris shared that “it is helping them as a family, they are completing projects together to fill others buckets, and the students love it.”

For more information on the bucket filling concept, you can visit their website: http://www.bucketfillers101.com/index.php