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Harvesting Creativity Without Relying on Technology

With his bushy eyebrows, bright red fur and ears that stick out to there, the giggles instantly saturated Appleview Elementary's gymnasium the moment EdGar Sinclaire appeared. The laughing swelled when the fuzzy puppet recited poem after poem in rapid-fire succession...

High-energy Teacher Captures Attention, Minds

With a paper mache' UFO hovering overhead and a cutout of Superman flying nearby, Appleview Elementary third-grade teacher David Oudbier fits right in --wearing a coonskin cap and purple velvet sport coat while standing on a chair. And because...

Dads Demonstrate Dedication to Students, Learning

Todd Yemc once believed kindergarteners spent the bulk of their school day drawing pictures and coloring. His assumption quickly evaporated after he volunteered with the school district's WATCH D.O.G.S. program, an educational initiative the National Center For Fathering launched...

Art in Learning

Prominently displayed in the hallway of the administration building and inside its Board of Education room are 50 paintings that staff members and parents alike consider treasured works. It's art with a mission. The two-dimensional creations are the handiwork of...

Grant Brings Books to Music, Art, Phys Ed Classes

Reading may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about an elementary physical  education, art or music class, but for three teachers at Sparta Area School’s Ridgeview Elementary, books are a large part of their...

Students Fill Bellies with Empty Bowls

Students at Sparta Area School's Ridgeview Elementary helped needy families during the holiday season by raising over $1,350 by participating in the Empty Bowls fundraiser. Benefiting Kids Food Basket, the program gets students making bowles in art class to sell...

Area Students and Schools Make Holidays Brighter for Many Families

Sparta’s Angel Tree & Toys-for-Tots Programs Ensure Area Families have Merry ChristmasSPARTA AREA SCHOOLS – by Adrian Hirsch Along with quality family time, the holiday season offers a way for Sparta Area Schools students to give back and engage...

Teachers Engage Students, Parents in Using Technology for Learning

With new technology initiatives, gone are the days that the dog can eat your homework, or the letter home to parents about slipping grades could be intercepted at the mailbox. A pilot program in Sparta Area School’s classrooms is...

Teachers Foster Student, Community Interaction

Planting native trees, creating a butterfly garden, and singing with seniors are just a few of the ways students at Sparta Area School's Appleview Elementary are engaging with their community throughout the year. Teachers Sue Blackall, Kevin Shuneson and Larry...

The Snow…er, Show Must Go On

Rehearsals at Sparta High School for the recent production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” have been challenging. On top of the difficult subject matter, the cast and crew have had to contend with unprecedented amounts of early November snow.  Despite...

Students get Close-Up with Native American Artifacts

Hands shot up as Sparta Community Schools fifth grade teacher Larry Carter asked 100 students what they liked to collect. “Marbles,” “Seashells,” “Shark’s teeth,” “Stones,” “Mainly Everything,” were some of the excited responses. None of them mentioned items such as umbilical...

Great Response to Watch D.O.G.S.

The Sparta Area Schools Watch D.O.G.S. organizers thought they would need about 30 pizzas to entice participation in the program. Instead, fathers, grandpas and stepdads joined crowded into the Sparta Area School's Appleview Elementary cafeteria, demolishing 72 pizzas while signing up...

Parents Celebrate Son’s Life through Giv

It had been several years after losing their son, Mason John, unexpectedly. Parents Nicole and Ryan Kober decided it was time to host a community fundraising event in his memory. Initially conceived as a humble get together for family...

Students Lead “Be Nice” Lessons

“Are we doing Be Nice today?,” students asked eagerly as they took their seats in Kelli Jurek’s 8th grade seminar class. Many of them were clearly excited to have their peers leading that morning’s interactive session. Sparta Middle School...

Tech Center Students Awarded Breaking Traditions Recognition

Rockford High School student Sydney Bogard, who recently graduated from the Tech Center's Criminal Justice program, was one of 22 Michigan students recently honored with the Michigan Breaking Traditions Merit Award. The award is given to students enrolled in...

Historical Walking Tour Turns Whole Community into a Museum

"Let's try to make him laugh" giggled a crowd of Sparta's Appleview Elementary fifth-graders as they huddled around the "Live Statue," who today was posing as Johnathan Nash, who helped get Sparta Township going in 1846. It didn't work....

School resource officer wants to make personal connections

A student’s article about the school’s new resource officer, which originally appeared in the school news publication, 'Bell Ringer'...

Student Suspense Story Excerpts

Leah Sajdek’s eighth -grade language arts classroom studied concepts involved in suspense writing, and found their 'inner Poe'
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