harlandale insider week of nov. 26

Leal MS celebrates third annual Literacy Night

Leal Middle School was buzzing with excitement as it hosted its third annual Literacy Night on Nov. 28.

Nearly 20 stations were set up throughout the campus to follow this year’s theme: Fortnight Reading Royale!

“This year, we thought it would be a better idea to allow the students to vote and pick the theme,” Leal MS Teacher Olivia Robinson said. “We related it as close as possible to the game so they can feel as if they are in the game and promote literacy at the same time.”

The entire campus transformed into the wildly popular video game to inspire the more than 300 students and families that came to engage in all the reading activities.

Blackout poetry, design your own skins, word jumble, disco domination and slurp juice bingo were some of the most popular activities. Other stations featured a drive (reading) course, math-nite, flashlight reading, social studies review and science dictionary skills.

“The kids really enjoyed it,” Leal MS Teacher Cynthia Ramos said. “We hope the event makes them more aware that reading and writing are very important in life and in everything they do, and this is a fun way to show them.”

Families and students also had the opportunity to browse the book fair and support campus fundraisers.

At the end of the night, students were also awarded door prizes including books, T-shirts and more than $200 in gift cards from H-E-B, Bill Miller, Chick-fil-A, Taco Cabana and Willie’s Grill & Icehouse.

Historical figures come to life at Carroll Bell Elementary

Historical figures come to life at Carroll Bell Elementary

Carroll Bell Elementary created a Living History Museum for its annual Family Night on Nov. 28.

The museum featured some of the most influential people in history including past presidents, artists, singers and inventors.

Students completed different research assignments on the historical figure of their choice to describe their personal life and major accomplishments. They either chose to create a drama, a mock interview or an advertisement for a product their person would have endorsed.

Another part of the assignment was to imagine that there was a whole museum based on just their historical figure. They had to create a souvenir based on their historical figure that would be sold in the gift shop of that museum. For the math portion, they had to figure out budgets based on their historical figure’s income and consider the cost, time and resources in order to make a profit.

Parents and teachers were impressed to see so many creative souvenirs and to see the children present their projects. Whether it was a student dressed as Thomas Jefferson or Frida Kahlo, each student was prepared to show off his or her knowledge of the figure.

“It was really neat to watch the way the students brought their figures to life,” Carroll Bell Teacher Victoria Martinez said. “It takes their research a step further than looking up and memorizing facts. I really enjoyed seeing them step out of the comfort zones, and I think it’s an important experience for them at this age.”

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce reads to Adams Elementary students

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce reads to Adams Elementary students

Communities in Schools partnered with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to host a reading day at Adams Elementary on Nov. 30.

Members of the chamber spent their Friday morning reading to students in first and second grade.

The goal was to get the students exposed to different career options while promoting literacy.

“It’s important for the students to see different professionals and career options aside from what they see every day,” said Monica Hernandez, Communities in Schools site coordinator for Adams Elementary.

After members of the chamber read to the students, they answered any questions the students had about the books and their professions.

This is the seventh year Communities in Schools has partnered with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to host a reading day at Adams Elementary.

GT students visit San Antonio Humane Society

GT students visit San Antonio Humane Society

Gifted and Talented (GT) fifth-grade students from all 13 Harlandale ISD elementary schools had the opportunity to tour the San Antonio Humane Society facility this week.

The visit was the final part of their Project Based Learning activity centered on creating and managing an animal shelter.

“During the tour, the students learned how the shelter cares for the animals and how many animals are abandoned in San Antonio,” GT Teacher Juanita Oropesa said. “They also learned about intake procedures and what type of pets are able to be adopted.”

For the past eight weeks, the students worked on various topics including designing a layout, creating a budget, designing a logo and building a website to display all of their work.

After touring the dog, puppy and cat buildings, the students were able to ask questions and present their websites to the staff at the shelter.

“I believe the only way for students to understand pet responsibility is to see it in action,” Harlandale ISD GT Facilitator Sonia Cuellar said. “By completing this project, I hope to inspire my students to be the change in their community and be willing to help the pets in their neighborhood!”

The students concluded their visit by donating much needed supplies to the animal shelter.

Way to go, GT students!

Texas ACE connects parents to community resources

Texas ACE connects parents to community resources

The Texas Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) program hosted a Community Resource Fair and Open House at Gillette Elementary on Nov. 27.

Parents and students had the opportunity to explore various resources available in the Harlandale community including healthcare, dental care, banking and library services.

“As a community, we have many resources that are free that parents don’t know about,” 21st Century ACE Family Engagement Specialist Maria Ayon said. “We hope they learn more about them and take advantage of them.”

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service promoted its free Spanish nutrition program for parents that will be available at Harlandale ISD in January while the San Antonio Public Library encouraged students to use its online tutoring services.

Other local community partners including Imagine Dental, University Healthcare, Amerigroup Real Solutions, DentaQuest, Cute Smiles 4 Kids, Community First Health Plans, Superior HealthPlan were also present to share useful information with the parents.

H-E-B Buddy made a special appearance to give away free goodie bags and take fun photos with the students.

Parents also had the opportunity to tour the school and see their children participate in all the different ACE activities such as the culinary club, choir, Zumba, reading program, robotics, and arts and crafts.

At the end of their visit, families received a free reading packet to promote reading at home and a bag of popcorn!

Gilbert Elementary hosts college bound pep rally

Gilbert Elementary hosts college bound pep rally

Gilbert Elementary recently hosted a fun and interactive College Bound Pep Rally to encourage students to achieve their educational dreams.

The rally, organized by Gilbert Elementary School Social Worker Jennifer Montes, kicked off with loud cheers from every class to represent different colleges and universities from across the country.

“Gilbert Elementary has a vibrant College Bound Program that includes special events such as pep rallies, career days and a college signing day,” Montes said. “We use our rallies to help expose our students to all of the possibilities that exist for them in their futures. We want to send the message that no matter where someone comes from, or how much money they have, college is a possibility!”

The kids, wearing colorful college T-shirts, proudly recited their college cheer with the help of their teachers. Every class from kinder through fifth grade represented different institutions including Trinity University, the University of Texas at Austin, Northwestern University, Texas A&M University, the University of Maryland, Vanderbilt University, Texas Tech University and Marquette University.

To add to the excitement, the school also invited college students from the University of the Incarnate Word Women’s Soccer Team and Women’s Cross Country Team.

The students had the opportunity to meet them and participate in fun activities together such as Simon Says, Egg and Spoon Relay, College Logo Matching Game and Balloon Volleyball.

Gilbert Elementary plans to host three more College Bound Pep Rallies throughout the school year.

“We hope that they will learn that with hard work and determination, they will be college bound,” Montes added. “We appreciate all of the institutions of higher learning that continue to support our College Bound Program, and we look forward to continuing our college bound tradition for years to come!”

Way to go, Gilbert Mustangs!

Adams Elementary rewards students with perfect attendance

Adams Elementary rewards students with perfect attendance

Students at Adams Elementary School with zero absences, tardies and early checkouts during the second six-week period were rewarded with a fun Lego Challenge on Nov. 29.

This is the school’s latest incentive to encourage all students to be on time and attend school every day.

More than 100 students from Pre-K through fifth grade enjoyed participating in the Lego Challenge, and many of them built different things such as cars, houses and planes!

“They just love Legos,” Adams Elementary Social Worker Jennifer Montes said. “This is a free opportunity for them to be creative because they usually don’t have a lot of time to do that during a school day.”

Some students worked together while others just let their imagination run wild with each Lego building block. Some of them will be placed in the display case for the entire campus to see. University of the Incarnate Word students also stopped by spend time with the students and help them with their Lego Challenge.

“We’ve been doing this for four years now, and the students expect it. They know they can work for it, so they try their best to be here every six weeks,” Montes added. “We hope it continues to motivate them to be here, and if they don’t make it, they can try again on the next six weeks.”

Way to go, Adams Elementary!

SWF Elementary hosts attendance incentive dinner

SWF Elementary hosts attendance incentive dinner

As a way to encourage attendance the day after Thanksgiving break, Stonewall Flanders Elementary randomly selected a student from each class Monday morning as a Dinner Winner.

A total of 37 Dinner Winners and their families were invited to a delicious spaghetti meal prepared by the wonderful Stonewall Flanders team on Nov. 29.

Guests were delightfully greeted by 25 staff members who graciously volunteered to help out with the event.

After the meal, guests enjoyed cookies and the Dinner Winners received a certificate.

The goal behind the Dinner Winner event is to promote attendance after a long break. The hope is that the incentive will encourage students to be eager to come back to school after a break.

Special dinners will also be held after the Winter Break and Spring Break.

Moreover, staff had a 100 percent attendance rate on Nov. 29 and they were rewarded with donuts!

Great job, Falcons!

Video feature

video: boys to men festival

A total of 75 Harlandale ISD choir students participated in the inaugural Boys to Men Festival at the Tobin Center on Nov. 18. Enjoy the finale piece they performed with all the participants from the festival!

Harlandale highlights

harlandale highlights

Collier Elementary recently hosted a Reading Rally to congratulate students on achieving their reading goals! Way to go, Collier Eagles!
A big congratulations to McCollum HS seniors Nathan Garanzuay and Maribel Magana for each earning a $1,000 scholarship from Bill Miller Bar-B-Q. Barbara Newman, the company’s controller, made the check presentation on Nov. 27. Along with the $1,000 scholarship check, each student received a box of Bill Mille Bar-B-Q swag. “The scholarships were awarded to these students because they have both struggled to overcome hardships in order to graduate,” McCollum HS Counselor Michelle Tallon said. Way to go, Nathan and Maribel!
Morrill Elementary hosted an engaging STEAM Night on Nov. 28. The event featured a variety of hands-on activities that promoted the integration of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Students that participated in the 10 different stations earned a cupcake. Nice job, Morrill Tigers!
The City of San Antonio recently provided a graffiti awareness presentation to Wright Elementary students in third and fourth grade. Students were eager to learn about the importance of graffiti abatement and how to take pride in a clean community. Great job, students!

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