Friday, April 29, 2011

Junior Harvester's Open House

The 5th grade Junior Harvesters hosted their Open House today in the garden.  The weather was fantastic as the students shared their semester long experience with their families.  The festivities of the Open House included a donation from the Child Nutrition Department Director Candy Biehle.  Mrs. Biehle presented Mrs. Medrano and the Junior Harvesters two books on gardening and cooking to be placed in the school library in their honor.  Mrs. Biehle has been very helpful with the Junior Harvesters providing a guidance and a workspace for the food tasting events with the garden harvests.

The students prepared hors d'ouuvres with foods from the garden including kale, spinach, red and green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, thyme, squash, cilantro, lime, strawberries, and chives to share with guests.  Students also prepared information about the plants grown in each bed talking to groups as they explored the garden.

One of the incredible moments was when the students released butterflies in the butterfly garden.  Listening to the students reactions and amazement of the event was unforgettable. 

The Inaugural Junior Harvesters have set a standard for the many groups to follow.  Over the semester they have built a garden, planted and grown plants, shared their harvest with the school, and have grown plants from seed they will take home.

Next week our cafeteria will begin using vegetable from the garden in school lunches. 

The garden is an amazing addition to our school and it's success is due to Mrs. Medrano's love of nature and time with the children. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Great Salad in the Cafe

Kudos to our Child Nutrition Department on their salad bar!  I had the most incredible salad from our school cafeteria salad bar on Tuesday.  The salad bar has an awesome selection to choose from as you can see in the picture below.  This is where my salad came to life.  Picture this: green leaf lettuce, spinach, red and green bell pepper strips, cauliflower crowns, brown rice, shredded cheese, cucumber slices and a light drizzle of Italian dressing. Yum!  It was amazing - flavorful and very filling!

The salad described above, and other variations, are available for students and staff to build daily.  The choices begin with a basic helping of green leaf lettuce, carrots, and either turkey, ham, or cheese.  The next step of building the salad comes from the individual... As you can see below there are plenty of sides to add to the salad. 

The next time you have lunch with your child drop by the salad bar and see what creation you can make!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day at S.E.S.

Students and staff at Smithville Elementary shown here proudly wearing green for Earth Day.  Since April 22, 2011 is a school holiday we celebrated today.  It's great to see everyone wearing green and celebrating the day.

Happy Earth Day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for our Outdoor Learning Center

Smithville Elementary held it's official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony today to celebrate the completion of the Outdoor Learning Center.  The OLC was made possible through the Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grant and the support of friends and volunteers of SES. 

Attendees were treated to two musical pieces by the 5th Grade Tiger Tones under the direction of our music teacher Cathy Sherrill.  The students have been practicing before school and during their recess time for months.  The crowd was in awe of their performance!

To officially recognize the Outdoor Learning Center, our Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Cheryl Burns, cut the ribbon held by Mrs. Medrano and Amy & Chris Bruder.

Below are pictures of the Outdoor Learning Center and the ribbon cutting ceremony. Thank you to the many individuals that gave (and continue to give) goods, services, and time for our students.
Contributors & Volunteers:

            Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant
            Clara Beckett
            Leon Webster "Cowboy"
            Jo Jo Navarro – Rustic Cedar Cabins
            Wamplers- Austin Wampler
            Roadhouse – Sign
            Smithville Elementary Booster Club
            Richard Lowery
            Family and Friends of the Monroe Wilhelm Family
            Grandma’s House         
            Kamron Saunders
            Zane Gray
            Marie & Hector Medrano
            Clara & Jim Becket
Kellye Bonorden
            Angel Cartwright
            Chad Catron
            Jenny Davis
Margaret Erwin
            Jose Gracia
            Krystel & Grant Gutierrez
Tammie Hewitt
Stacie & Terry Hildman
Amy & Jason Kennon
Neal Mixon
Ana Murray
            Erika & Robert O’Neal
Roberto Sanchez    
Ashley Schubert
            Brandy & Lee Spencer
            Robert Purcell – K.C.
Art Ambrose - KC
            Gregory & Jennifer Vinklarek

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SES Early Morning Bike Clinic

Smithville Elementary hosted it's first bike clinic Wednesday morning and volunteers worked on 18 bikes in 45 minutes!  Volunteers Officer Greg Stewart, Coach Ramsay, and Rob Remlinger checked bike chains, aired up tires, and made other minor adjustments to student and staff bikes. Volunteers arrived beginning at 7 a.m. and by 7:15 a.m. students were lined up to have their bikes inspected. Helmets were also supplied for students riding bikes that needed them.

The bike tools, supplies, and helmets were made possible through the Safe Routes to School Grant.  Thank you to Jill Strube with the City of Smithville for helping to secure the items for our students and the bike clinic. 

Smithville Elementary plans to host another bike clinic in May to check bikes for summer riding.  This clinic will be advertised through announcements, our blog, facebook, and twitter account.  


Friday, April 8, 2011

Sami Visits Mrs. S. Vinklarek's Class

Sami spent the day with Mrs. S. Vinklarek's class today.  The class earned the day with Sami because they earned perfect attendanc.  Sami is obviously exhausted from all the loving she received. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Welcome Mrs. Myers to Blogging

Mrs. Myers has recently joined the blogging world with the help of our librarian Mrs. Gutierrez. Mrs. Myers used SlideRocket to post her student's work on her blog.  The blog is updated frequently about what's going on in her class.
A link to Mrs. Myers blog is listed below.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Junior Harvesters' Food Tasting a Huge Success!

Thursday, March 31st, the Smithville Elementary Jr. Harvesters hosted their first food tasting consisting of vegetables and herbs from the garden.  On Wednesday Junior Harvesters prepared the food to be served on Thursday washing, cutting and mixing the foods in the cafeteria office with guidance from Debi Salas and Candy Biehle of the SISD Child Nutrition Department.  The aroma of the vegetables and herbs being prepared was incredible consuming the offices with tantalizing smells.
   Along with SISD Child Nutrition Director, Candy Biehle, Mrs. Medrano and her Junior Harvesters were busy preparing wraps using a variety of ingredients from the garden such as red leaf lettuce, mustard greens, spinach, chives, onion, leeks, and cilantro.  Baked kale chips were prepared by the Child Nutrition staff using olive oil and salt & pepper.  Mrs. Medrano prepared a very tasty tea using lemon balm, lemon grass, and mint from the garden as well.
   The food tasting event was a huge success with students asking for seconds and thirds.  The SES Junior Harvesters will have more food tasting events for our 3rd & 4th grade students in the weeks to come.
   Don't be surprised if your 5th grader starts asking for kale chips, lettuce wraps, or mint tea!