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Middleton-Cross Plains students use music to enliven older adults’ memory

Picture of students working with older adult

Students at Clark Street Community School, a public charter school in the Middleton-Cross Plains School District, enlisted music to assist the memories of older adults, according to a story in the Wisconsin State Journal. It was part of a music and memory seminar — a nine-week class, which ended last week.

As part of the seminar, the students interviewed some residents at Heritage Senior Living and at Sage Meadow senior living community in Middleton, to learn about their tastes in music so they could put songs on a player for them.

Clark Street junior Binta Jammeh said she has family members with dementia so she is glad she can use what she learned in school to help others.

“It’s really cool to see their smiles when they hear the music,” junior Chloe Gallenbeck said.

Read the full story at the Wisconsin State Journal.


McFarland students run manufacturing business out of high school

Photo of McFarland students who run manufacturing company.

Students at McFarland High School have started a student-run manufacturing business by creating and selling products they make in their school, the television station WMTV-15 reports.      

Students coordinate each element of the business, including information technology, shipping, marketing, wood shop, metals and embroidery.

“It’s a legitimate business that’s basically a capstone class for a lot of the courses we have here,” teacher Steve Pennekamp said in the story. “We’re a student-run business. We pay taxes like any other business.”

Visit the station’s website to read the full story.


Appleton teen creates board game to teach financial skills to those with disabilities

Picture of Appleton teen and the board game she created to teach financial literacy.

An Appleton high schooler created a board game teaching financial literacy to people with a disability after a family friend was taken advantage of, Green Bay’s WFRV-TV reports.

The teen, Paige Givens, created the “SuperConsumers” game after the friend, who has an intellectual disability, was robbed. Givens has presented the game to five schools, eight classes and two SOAR Fox Cities events.

Read the full story here.




Wausau Students Raise $6,000 for Turkey Drive

A turkey being used as part of a fundraiser.

Wausau FFA students recruited a live turkey to raise money to buy hundreds of turkeys and hams for families in need this holiday season, television stations WAOW and WSAW reported.

Classes raised money to buy a square. Then they brought in a live turkey which picked one of the squares. The class that picked the square got a prize. On Sunday, the school district will hand out 450 turkeys and 120 hams to people in need.

Read the full story here.



Wausau High Schoolers Earn National Honors at FFA Competition

Two Wausau West High School students teamed up and won 3rd place at the 2019 National Future Farmers of America Agriscience Fair in Indianapolis, reports the Wausau television station WAOW.

Lexi Voight and Trinity Foster researched the flammability of different popular types Christmas trees and how to prevent them from going up in flames.

“If you water your tree it will be less flammable, but there wasn’t much out there already about specific species,” said Lexi Voight of FFA Wausau.

The duo worked on their research for over two years, testing top purchased Christmas tree species locally.

The pair experimented on the Balsam Fir, Blue spruce, Fraser Fir, and White Pine, finding which are better at retaining water, making them less likely to start on fire.

“Water your trees, because they will be less flammable. If you don’t water your tree they will dry out. Also, Balsam is the safest tree, so if that’s what your looking for to have in your house, pick Balsam,” said Trinity Foster, secretary for FFA on Wausau’s westside.

Read the full story here.


Jefferson teachers offer ‘Bedtime Stories’

An elementary school in Jefferson is using a new app to move storytime outside of the classroom, the Daily Jefferson County Union reports

West Elementary School students can take advantage of this opportunity through a new Facebook feature being debuted this fall through the Jefferson school’s Facebook page.

The new Facebook “Bedtime Stories” program is an outgrowth of the school’s Literacy Committee, which formed a couple of years ago and which has been meeting regularly ever since to come up with new 

events and efforts aimed at increasing students’ literacy and making reading fun.

One of the most important factors in a youngster’s future literacy is being read to as a small child, especially when that reading time is celebrated as a fun ritual.

The Literacy Committee includes principal Mike Howard and other staff representatives from a variety of grades and areas, including one specializing in English Language Learners.

The group has set its purpose as instilling a love of reading in students, with the vision of making West into a “community of readers.”

Starting last week, the school has invited one staff member per week to share a favorite bedtime story.


Read the full story here.


Wheatland Center School students win prestigious engineering competition

Students from Wheatland Center School compete in an engineering challenge Nov. 11. They built a machine that could grab, lift and place an object on a board.

Students in Kenosha County’s Wheatland Center School took top honors at an engineering challenge in Milwaukee Nov. 11, the news website reported.

In their third year competing in the Fluid Power Challenge at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, students from the the school’s PATHS Academy outperformed 26 other teams to win the Overall Champion Award.

Wheatland students left for Milwaukee early on Nov. 11 amidst the falling snow and came back with the coveted hardware.

Students from all over Milwaukee participated in the event held at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Each group had 5 weeks to design a machine that uses hydraulic and pneumatic power that can rotate, lift, and grab an object and move it on a challenge board in order to score points.

“It was easier this year because I knew what to expect, but it was still challenging to build an efficient machine to accomplish the task,” said WCS student Mason Biehn.

Continue reading the full story at


Baraboo students first in the state to become ‘Dementia Friends’

Dementia Friends students

From first recognizing you’re hungry to remembering where the bread is stored, there are more steps involved in making a sandwich than most people realize.

Considering those implicit steps and the difficulty they pose for people living with dementia was one of the lessons of a Baraboo High School health class Friday led by Gina Laack, a dementia care specialist with the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Eagle Country.

“Simple activities like making a sandwich or getting dressed that we think are so simple can become very daunting and difficult for individuals living with dementia,” Laack said.

Through 90-minute sessions, students in Julie Jensen’s six 10th-grade health classes became the first high school students in Wisconsin to be trained as “Dementia Friends” on Thursday and Friday, according to Laack. The program, originally started in the United Kingdom, came to the U.S. as Dementia Friends USAand seeks to inform more people about what it can be like to live with dementia and how to help.

The Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute adopted the program last year and trained 38 Master Trainers, including Laack, last fall. After the local resource center contacted the Baraboo School District, Jensen took up the offer to bring a trainer to her students, noting that the topic fit in well with the health curriculum.

“I think dementia is an issue in our society and is becoming more and more of an issue,” Jensen said. “A lot of these students are actually seeing this and dealing with it in their own homes and their own families, and to give them an education on how to communicate better with their loved ones is really a good skill to have.”

Read the complete article.


Special-needs prom, now in its sixth year, transitions into new era

After Saturday’s Post Prom ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning, and nearly 1,100 high school students and their dates returned home, cleanup quickly began inside Festival Hall.

Outside, the red carpet stayed put for the second prom of the weekend.

On Sunday evening, more than 100 other young people, along with 200 volunteers, refilled Festival Hall for A Night to Remember, a prom for people with special needs.

“That’s what’s so special about both of these proms; I think Racine really understands how special both proms are for their communities,” said Sara Luther, one of the event’s organizers.

All high school seniors, including those with special needs, are invited to the traditional promenade on Saturday. But this second event, established by Great Lakes Church in 2014, caters to people with special needs and ages 13-30.

Mike Klug has quickly developed a deep appreciation for what A Night to Remember offers. His son Kevin — who has been diagnosed with epilepsy, a brain injury and autism — went to the traditional prom twice in high school. But A Night to Remember has become a highlight of his year, every year, for the past six years, he said.

“They’re kind of on stage and feel proud of who they are and being part of the community, and that doesn’t always happen,” Klug said. “That specialness lasts longer than one night. It builds confidence and makes them feel like they’re part of the community.”

Read the complete article.


Spartan Influence Camp to be held for area students with disabilities

The football program at Luxemburg-Casco High School is holding the Spartan Influence Camp this Saturday, May 18, for students with disabilities, ages 5 to 21 years old. The camp is designed to give participating students the opportunity to be active while learning more about football.

Free of charge, the event is from 12:00-1:30 p.m. at the Luxemburg Sports Complex, 113 North Main Street in Luxemburg. Participants will receive a T-shirt and medal; water and a snack also will be provided. Roughly 20 area youth are expected to take part.

“Our football program is based on servant leadership and service learning, and we believe this is a great way to give back to our school and community,” says Dillon Maney, head football coach at Luxemburg-Casco High School. “The game of football has given many of our athletes great opportunities, and our athletes want to do the same for other people.”

Six members of the Luxemburg-Casco football team are serving as 2019 camp coordinators: Ben Naze, Mason Renard, Reece Worachek, Matt Cravillion, Matt Dorn and Andrew Spengler.

The event will be held rain or shine, and may move into the school’s gymnasium if the weather is inclement. Registration at the door will be accepted, or it can be done in advance at Participants do not need to be residents of the Luxemburg-Casco School District.

Teacher works with student

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