Friday, January 27, 2012

SES 4th Grader Presents 'Loyalty' reading to the SISD School Board

As part of the Bastrop County: A County of Character program, Smithville Elementary students were invited to share their personal writing on the Character Word of the Month.  The January Character Word of the Month is Loyalty, and Ana Luevano-Young, a 4th grader in Mrs. Schaatts' class, presented her paper at the SISD School Board Meeting this past Monday, January 23, 2012.

What Does Loyalty Mean to Me?
by Ana Luevano-Young

The word 'loyalty' means: the quality of being loyal.  Loyal is to be faithful to a person, cause, government, or custom.
Loyalty means to me to be faithful to my family and country: to not cheat on, hurt physically or emotionally, or talk about anyone.  For example: if a friend asks you to come play with them, and you said you had to go to the doctor but you really just went over to your other friends house, that would not be loyal to the friend you lied to.  I show my loyalty when I say the pledge of allegiance to the flags.  I do this in honor of all the people who serve my country.  Loyalty also means to me that someone or something is there for me forever no matter what the situation is.
Loyalty is important because without it there would be no friendships and our country would not be united.  Everyone would only think of themselves and I believe the would would be different from how we know it.
So in closing, I ask you to please try to show your loyalty to your family, friends, and country and mostly to yourself.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

AASL sponsors Gutierrez as Emerging Leader

Check out this article on our awesome librarian. We are proud of you Mrs. Gutierrez! 

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will sponsor two participants in the American Library Association (ALA) 2012 Emerging Leaders (EL) program. The AASL-sponsored participants will join 75 of their peers as the fourth year of the program kicks off at the ALA2012 Midwinter Meeting in Dallas.

Krystel Gutierrez of Smithville, Texas, and Jennifer "Charlie" Kelly of Rochester, N.Y., will participate in project planning workgroups; network with peers; gain an inside look into ALA structure and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers. In sponsoring these two participants, AASL will defray the cost of attending the ALA 2012 Midwinter Meeting and the ALA 2012 Annual Conference.

Gutierrez, an elementary librarian at Smithville Elementary School in Smithville, Texas, graduated from the University of North Texas in 2009 with a master's degree in library science. In her application to the program, she noted "I hope to broaden my experiences and to explore possible roles as a professional actively contributing to the library field.  Exposure to all the ways in which librarians are changing the profession will energize me as a professional, and that inspiration will benefit my library, school and, most importantly, patrons."  Gutierrez is highly involved in school committees, recently serving on the district's social media policy committee to develop written guidelines regarding staff and student use of social media.  In her letter of support for Guiterrez, Cheryl Burns, assistant superintendent of Smithville Independent School District, wrote "Krystel is an individual who has integrity, competitive spirit, and a love for learning.  She is a person that numerous students enjoy being around and accomplish many goals under her direction.  Krystel has utilized her technology skills to individualize instruction in her library and encourage new instructional strategies within the school."

Kelly graduated from the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, in 2010 with a master's degree in library science.  She has worked most recently as the contract library media specialist substitute for the Rochester City School District in Roberto Clemente #8.  While at Roberto Clemete #8, Kelly was the recipient of two grants which provided materials to the school: a $100 Funagain Grant to purchase games for the library and a $5,000 Laura Bush Foundation Grant securing updated materials for the library's collection.  She was also a recipient of the AASLBound to Stay Bound Travel Grant, which allowed her to attend her firstAASL National Conference and Exhibition recently held in Minneapolis. In describing why she applied to be an Emerging Leader, Kelly wrote, "As a school librarian, I need to have great interpersonal skills to help cultivate relationships and build trust with the community. I need to be my own advocate in the community and demonstrate the impact the school library media center has and how it is vital for the students' learning.  By participating in the Emerging Leaders program, I can continue my growing involvement in the field of librarianship at a greater level."

Following the kickoff session at ALA 2012 Midwinter Meeting, the ELprogram will grow and develop in an online learning and networking environment for six months, culminating with a poster session showcasing the results of the project planning work at the ALA 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. Participants commit to taking part in all aspects of the program and may have an opportunity to serve on anALA, division, chapter or round table committee or a taskforce or workgroup upon completion of program.

"AASL is proud to once again sponsor two Emerging Leaders," said Carl Harvey, AASL president.  "Part of AASL's mission is to develop leaders in the school library field, and the Emerging Leaders program is a wonderful opportunity to nurture members new to the profession.  We look forward to watching Krystel and Charlie grow as school librarians and working with them as they continue to empower students to be lifelong learners."

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

SES 4th Grader Presents 'Loyalty' reading to the Smithville City Council

As part of the Bastrop County: A County of Character program, Smithville Elementary students were invited to share their personal writing on the Character Word of the Month.  The January Character Word of the Month is Loyalty, and Sydnie Taylor, a 4th grader in Mrs. White's class, presented her paper at the Smithville City Council Meeting this past Monday, January 9, 2012.

by Sydnie Taylor

What loyalty means to me is being faithful, a good friend, and helpful.

For example a dog and cat were friends and the cat was in a burning house and the dog knew.  So he went in the house and started looking for her.  Suddenly he heard her scream (meow).  He found her, grabbed her by the neck, and took her out of the burning house and saved her life! Now that's what I call loyalty!

Loyalty has the same meaning as truth.  Which reminds me loyalty is exactly the same thing as being honest, truthful, and true.

Why loyalty is important is because if we didn't have loyal people where and how would this world be?!? Loyal people turn my frown upside down! How do loyal people affect you?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cooking Show

Our Fall Junior Harvesters created a video to submit for the Fuel Up to Play 60 Cooking Show contest.  To watch the video either click the link below or the Junior Harvester tab at the top of this blog's page. 

The Junior Harvesters created the recipe for the cooking show, and the quesadillas will be served in our school cafeteria this semester.  Our students also filmed and starred in the video.  Wish us luck as we compete against other schools in the Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign to keep kids focused on eating healthy and getting 60 minutes of exercise a day.

We hope you enjoy!

Junior Harvester Cooking Show

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Message from the Hopi Elders

I ran across a post by Maria Shriver on her blog that I shared with the elementary staff today during our weekly meeting. I read 'A Message from the Hopi Elders' during the holiday break and felt moved by it.  I wonder if the letter was written from a literal viewpoint or if it is more modern full of symbolism.  Either way, when I read the message I immediately knew I would share it the first week back to school.  I've attached the letter and hope you too find a positive message for the new year.  


Ms. Murray

"A Message From the Hopi Elders,
You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.
Here are the things that must be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know our garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift, that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try and hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destruction.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above the water.
And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
Least of all ourselves.
For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over.
Gather yourselves.
Banish the word "struggle" from your attitude and vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and celebration.
We are the ones we have been waiting for!"
--Oraibi, Arizona Hopi Nation

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome to 2012!

The hallways were empty of our most prized posessions today, but we know they'll all return on Tuesday, January 3rd. We can't wait!

As everyone was busy 'catching up' with each other and sharing stories from the Christmas & New Year Break, the hallways began to livin' up. Teachers and staff were busy preparing for the return of our students. Copies were being made, last minute changes to lesson plans and activities for the week were finalized, and rooms and hallway walls received their last makeovers.

Of course we will begin our new year with our weekly Rise & Shine Assembly Tuesday morning at 8am in the cafeteria.

We hope our families know they are always invited to attend any and all of our events. Lunch is served daily from 10:45 - 11:45 in 30 minute increments. (5th grade @ 10:45, 4th grade at 11:00, and 3rd @ 11:15) Come join your child for lunch any day. You will enjoy our cafeteria meals - the kids do!