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Snowflake

Snowflake Encourages Students to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

This year’s Snowflake event at Middle School South was a great success thanks to the help of 55 adult facilitators, 40 Vernon Hills and Libertyville high school students, 400 parents, and many volunteers. More than 370 seventh and eighth grade students from Middle School South, Middle School North and Oak Grove School attended this annual event, which encourages adolescents to make good choices and lead a healthy lifestyle.

The event was broken up into large group sessions, in which the students watched performances and presentations, and small group sessions, in which they engaged in activities led by high school students and adults. This year, Bizar Entertainment provided a musical production that conveyed positive and inspirational messages. During another large group session, motivational speaker Brad Hutig spoke about the challenges he faced when he lost both of his hands in a work-related accident. He had been a three-sport athlete and was eventually able to return to the football team. He told students that they could do things if they really wanted to do them, and encouraged them to find their way.

Toward the end of the evening, the parents attended a presentation from defense attorney Elliot Pinsel, while the students joined a dance. Mr. Pinsel reminded parents that they are accountable for underage drinking in their homes, he encouraged them to talk with their children and know what they are doing in order to prevent law suits and other negative consequences.

At about 10 p.m., students and parents were all smiles as they celebrated the close of another positive Snowflake experience.

Students dressed up for Ellis Island

Welcome to Ellis Island

On September 8, the eighth-grade students in Ms. Balmes’ and Mr. McKenzie’s Social Studies classes learned about the immigrant experience. The students enjoyed role playing processors and immigrants as they made their way through the checkpoints of “Ellis Island.” Many students were able to pursue the “American Dream” and were welcomed as new citizens, while others sadly were deported for reasons such as health or character flaws. All in all, the students truly enjoyed this hands on step back into time and gained a lot of insight as well from putting themselves into someone else’s shoes.

school bus

Kindergarten Kids Learn How to Ride the Bus

Children entering kindergarten are taking a big step in their lives. On August 18, many of them took practice rides on school buses to help them adjust. More than 150 children and parents road 18 buses. They were greeted by the principals and staff at their schools.  They received building tours and the children got to spend time playing outdoors before the buses drove them home. One Elementary North parent said, “I know my son is excited and anxious. This bus ride helps him adjust. Now he knows what a bus ride is like.”

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Students Honor Veterans

The Students of Hawthorn Middle School South greets dozens of local veterans this week during their annual Breakfast of Appreciation. The breakfast offered the students the opportunity to honor Vernon Hills local heroes, thank them for their dedication to this nation, and learn about their history.

 

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