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Adult Education Classes
Lee University has started an adult English class at Blythe-Bower. Lee has been a committed provider of free English classes in our community for several years. However, all the classes have been on Lee's campus. Now, they want to extend the reach of their program by offering free adult English classes in our schools. Blythe-Bower has the good fortune of being the first school where a class is being offered.
Cathy Broersma, whose husband is a professor in Lee's TESOL Dept., and two Lee students host a class every Monday and Wednesday morning from 8:30-9:30 at Blythe-Bower. Parents (and one grandmother) drop their children off at school and then stay for an hour to work on English. The idea seems to be working. They have participants whose native languages are Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, and Chuukese (a Pacific island language). Cathy and her team are looking forward to growing the program at Blythe-Bower, as well as launching similar classes at other schools in our system.
Rebecca Somers and Kristen Walker
On a beautiful Wednesday morning, November 19th, 2014, two 4th grade classes ventured out from Blythe-Bower Elementary to experience etiquette in social settings. For several weeks prior to the fieldtrip, the two classes discussed manners and why they matter. Ms. Kristen Walker and Ms. Rebecca Somers encouraged students to engage and soak-in the atmospheres they were about to experience.
Students wearing their Sunday best, arrived at the "Five Points Museum" in Cleveland, Tennessee at 9:00 a.m. They were greeted by Curator, Joy Venstra. The museum exhibiting artifacts from the Civil War, covers one of the Common Core Standards that these students will discuss in their elementary experience. Students touched, wore, and used objects from the Civil War era. Ms. Venstra guided and answered student questions about the importance of these objects.
Following, the fourth graders were led to another exhibit which included a covered-wagon and its contents. They watched a short video detailing living life in a wagon and why certain items were necessary. Then, the students were given the task of deciding what they would or wouldn't keep in their wagon. They had to take into consideration weight, rugged terrain and weather conditions. The butter-churn got several laughs from adults and students alike, but the students decided they all must have this object on their wagon.
Students ventured across the street at 11:30 a.m. to "The Catch". The "oohs" & "aahs" were repeatedly heard as we entered the building. Students snapped pictures of the elite decor, as well as selfies with friends. The locally owned restaurant masters, Chef Michael Poore and Chef Clay Walker, greeted the students with enthusiasm. Working with the chefs, a menu had been created to ensure an appetizing meal for each child. Each of the 45 students made a prior luncheon choice on four recommended items: spaghetti & meatballs, shrimp, cod or chicken tenders plate served with a side. Students were seated at tables covered with linen with their chaperone, where you could shortly hear conversations and laughter.
To conclude the day’s activities, the fourth graders walked next door to the "Bonlife Coffee Shop". Owners Jeremy and Erika Moore provided hot cocoa to the students, while they enjoyed an outdoor sunny seating area. Naturally, several adults ordered coffees to finish off their meal.
Lexi Cochran is a 4th grade student in Mrs. Walker’s class. Lexi was one of the students privileged to be involved with the Manners Matter field trip for two of the 4th grade classes. On this trip, she shared that her favorite part was seeing all the Native American artifacts and exhibits at the Five Point Museum. After visiting the museum, she enjoyed the lunch that was prepared and served at “The Catch”. The meal consisted of spaghetti, fish, shrimp, and chicken. Finally, Lexi and the other students were taken to “BonLife Coffee Shop” to enjoy some hot chocolate. Lexi’s language arts teacher, Ms. Somers, had taught the students lessons on etiquette before their trip. Lexi shared that most of the etiquette rules were known by the students, but many didn’t always follow them. She feels that one of the most important etiquette rules is listening while others are talking and not interrupting. After their field trip, Lexi was able to compose a narrative piece of writing about the fun she experienced and all she learned.