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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
August 10, 2011     Hays Free Press
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August 10, 2011

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Page 4B EDUCATN)N Hays Free Press * August 10, 2011 + BY UZ FARLEY of democracy, winning cartoonist Walt Han- "It was the best professional delsman. Special to the Hays Free Press development I have ever been Citizens need look no fur- to,"Vasquez said on her return, tiler than today's news to see Handle the truth? Do Amer- "What I learned were critical that "the public needs better icans even know how to find thinking skills and the ability fib-spotting skills," Center for the truth in the tsunami of to use journalism skills with New Literacy Director Dean spin, propaganda, half-truth, my students. I'm definitely go- Miller said. 'i~dnericans who and error that washes in on ing to use these skills and have don't know how to spot unver- the digital tsunami? Several my students apply them to all flied information, biased pre- national commissions have of their classes," she adds. sentation, or weak evidence called on Congress, state gov- Funded by the Ford Founda- are at risk of being misled," ernments, and communities tion, the two-week immersion Miller added, noting that "it's to teach Americans the funda- institute, is in its fourth year. up to news consumers to dis- mental critical thinking skills This summer's class included cipline the media by demand- of digital and information lit- 19 teachers from ten states, the ing quality work." eracy, participants being teachers of Early research out of the in- Answering that call, Leh- a range of age groups, from stitute's first years shows that man High School Spanish 7~-grade through college, students who have taken the teacher Claudia Vasquez has This year's participants join course are more engaged in just returned from two weeks teachers who have adopted politics and their community, at Stony Brook University's (in and adapted the Stony Brook better able to spot weak re- NewYork state) Summer Insti- Model at public schools, corn- porting, and pay more atten- tute for Teachers of News Lit- munity colleges, and four-year tion to current events. eracy. Providing a select group colleges across the country Editor's note: The article's ofjoumalists and faculty at the andEurope, author is a staff member at university's School of Journal- Summer institute speak-Stony Brook University (Stony ism, the institute teaches par- ers included members of the Brook, New York) in charge of ticipants to use critical think- New York 7~mes editorial staff, media inquiries regarding the ~m~oSkills to find the reliable Pulitzer Prize-winner Howard Summer Institute for Teachers rmation that is the oxygen Schneider, and Pulitzer Prize- of News Literacy. ~URIE~ PI4OTO Lehman High School Spanish teacher Claudia Vasquez enjoys a smiling moment with her teachers at last month's Summer Institute for Teachers of News Literacy at New York's Stony Brook University. The group in- cludes (left to dght) Stephen Shultz, Vesquez, James Klurfeld and Dean Miller. Exceptional educatore for exceptional children ............ Tobias Elementary teacher Jayne Bakef, ileft; and the president-elect of tl~e:l'exes Counci{for Exceptional Children, enjoy ~rmo- ment at the state convention in June. The theme of the conference "Meeting the Needs of All Students in a Diverse Wodd," was held at the Manger Hotel in San Antonio. Sckool Bdefs Continued from pg. 3B St. Anthony hack- pack drive Sunday The annual St. Anthony Catholic Church backpack drive is set for this Sunday, Aug. 14, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at the church pavilion, 801 N. Burleson, in Kyle. Donors may give cash or check donations, as well, with checks pay- able to Hays CISD School Supplies. For more information on helping, contact George Mercado at 680-2230 or Local residents or businesses with their own school supply drives are encouraged to contact Hays CISD's Angle Mendez, Direstor of Com- munity Relations, to coordinate with her office to identify specific needs and avoid duplication in donations. Contact Mendez at 268-2141, ext. 6078, or write her at mendeza@ Wallace again hosts WEB Program Wallace Middle School has been hosting its WEB (Where Everybody Belongs)Program for all incoming 6th-grade students for years and the Rangers are once again set for a Thursday, Aug. 18, running of the fun orientation. Ranger teacher Christy Henry says the program is scheduled for 8 a.m.-noon, directly leading into schedule pickup, noon- 6:30 p.m. Middle school schedules available Aug. 18 All Hays CISD middle schools - Simon, Wallace, Chapa, Dahlstrom and Barton - will make student schedules available Thursday, Aug. 18, from noon-6:30 p.m. Back to School Night Aug. 18 All 13 Hays CISD elementary _ schools host their Back to School - Night Thursday, Aug. 18, starting at i 6:30 p.m. Students and parents will - have the opportunity to meet their new teachers, get oriented to their new classrooms, and get informa- tion on the coming school year's activities. + BY LEAN COCHRAN ropes andwho mad about camp in the paper and stop b~... just Special to the Hays Free Press because... While at camp, we laugh and (Editor's note- Leah Cochran we cheer. Students tour the is one of Chapa Middle School's entire building. We watch skits onginal teachers and she contin- performed by upperclassmen ues to coordinate Camp Cougar about rules and expectations. for incoming 6th-graders mak- We get our cameras to record ingthetmnsitionoutofelemen- Mm Wails and Mr. Vela (and taryschooL Her thoughts on that a few others we entrap on the alwaysexcitingtime typify teach- stage) as they race with incom- ers'feelings at this time ofyear) ing students through obstacle comes, watermelon, pudding This morning I was asked by or today's menu - baby food. an incoming 6th grade parent, But it is so much more than "Why are you so involved in all this. Each year, as camp this, ifyou do not even teach 6th dawns, I watch reluctant stu- grade?" dents cling to their parenfs For so many reasons, backs, wide-eyed and fright- When Chapa opened, Leh- ened, tear-filled eyes pleading man came over and guided us "don't leave me here." Through through our first Camp Cougar, the morning, I watch those eyes and I was instandy hooked. My learn to dance and fly on wings son, Jacob, was about fiveweeks as eagles, as they grow in conli- old at the time, and Camp Cou- dence and friendship facing the ~., was immediately about year ahead. building those positive This year, Jacob is on his way relationships that are so crucial to Sdence Hall's Dual-Language to teaching and so vital inlife. Kindergarten Program. As I Camp Cougar is about wel- stood in the entryway greeting coming those 9th, 10th and today's parents, I understood llthgraderswhostillvolunteer more deeply that Camp Cou- to help the "newbies" know the gar is for them, too. It is about I~010 ~ dl ImliBi Chapa Middle School Language Arts teacher Leah Cochran flashes a smile that lasts all the~ way through the morning at this year's 6th Annual Camp Cougar. Cochran shares her reflections on the camp and its mean- ing in a special guest feature. helping families adapt to new meeting new families while re- expectations, amtidpations uniting with others who have and school cultures;. It is about entrusted us with their Older uniting together to achieve the Cougars-become-Lobes. It is imaginable. For this moment, about welcoming new COu- Forthe days ahead. For joining gars, and embracing old ones. together to build. Mlemories. There is always more room at Camp Cougar is about Our Cougar Den. New Color Guard Leader Continued from pg. 3B vided by a seasoned profes- sional with a long record of success. It's a common de- nominator among all of the Music Department staffers at Hays CISD and the Lobo Color Guard's leader has his own briefcase full of credentials. He arrived here from Akins High in Austin, where his Color Guard was the 2010 Winter Guard International (WGI) Austin Regional Champion. Prior to Aldns, he was with Jud- son ISD, serving as Visual Coordinator/Color Guard Director and brass special- ist. While he was there the ludson High School Band set a high measure of suc- cess (he is quick to identify and credit the directors under whom he served) and his Color Guard was a consistent WGI regional finalist. A Illinois native, Green's ability on the trumpet was recognized early, earning him a visit to the stage of Carnegie Hall. He later performed as principal trumpet for the first Bands of America Concert Band, then stud- ied at Illinois State and Northern Kentucky Univer- sities. He performed with i the nationally-recognized Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, helping win the Drum Corps International World Championship and Individual and Ensemble Wodd Championships on two separate occasions. Today, though, as with all teachers, Green says it is all about the students. There is excitement in the air about the Lobo Color Guard and its future, with only six of the current 24 members due to graduate in the next two years. Last year's memorable state showing earned the group the right to compete at a national level this year. A middle school Color Guard program is in the plan- ning stages for later this year. The thrills of another year of competition are just around the corner and one more facet of the Hays CISD Music Program is playing its role in keeping a tradition of excellence rolling. 4, +