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  • March 2015

    SCHOOL HIGHLIGHT:  Girls on the Run

    We have provided a great opportunity for young ladies in our building here at Blythe-Bower. Girls on the run was started on January 23, 2015 by our very own Chrystal Morrison, April Ratcliff and Ginger Harness. Over a period of 10-12 weeks, girls in the 3rd through 5th grade participate in an after-school program like no other. This program is designed to allow every girl that participates to recognize her inner strength. Throughout the season, the girls make new friends, build their confidence, and celebrate all that makes them unique.

    The Girls on the Run lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development.  Participants explore and discuss their own beliefs around experiences and challenges girls face at this age.  They also develop important strategies and skills to help them navigate life experiences. The program begins with helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what’s important to them.  The program also stresses the importance of team work and healthy relationships.  Finally, the girls explore how they can positively connect with and shape the world.

    Physical activity is woven into the program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and to build habits that lead to a lifetime of health.  At the end of each three month session, the girls participate in a Girls on the Run 5k event. We have several other teachers who are volunteering to be running buddies to encourage the girls during practice and then will commit to run with them for the 5k.  This celebratory, non-competitive event is the culminating experience of the curriculum.  The 5k is scheduled for May 17, 2015 at Lee University. Completing the 5k gives the girls a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.  Crossing the finish line is a defining moment when the girls realize that even the seemingly impossible IS possible.

    TEACHER HIGHLIGHT:  Jean Brandon

    The Brandon Clan consists of my husband, Elvis Brandon III and me, three children and their spouses, and nine grandchildren. My children are Elvis Brandon IV, Susan Smith and Jennifer Sacca who all work in the field of education. Elvis is Dean of Allied Health at Volunteer State College. Susan and Jennifer are Reading Interventionists at Blythe-Bower. Two of my children and one grandson graduated from Cleveland High School. Three other grandchildren have attended Cleveland City Schools.

    After graduating from Belmont University with a major in English and certified to teach in secondary schools, my husband and I moved to Cleveland. Applying for a teaching position in Cleveland City Schools, I was offered a position at Cleveland Jr. High (in the Arnold Memorial building) to teach English if I could coach girls' basketball. Knowing absolutely nothing about basketball, I did not get the position! I organized and taught in a church kindergarten for one year. In the summer of '65 I applied again to Cleveland City Schools and began my teaching career in second grade at the old Templeton Hill School. When the new Cleveland Jr. High opened, Templeton Hill closed. All staff and students moved to Arnold Memorial where I taught several different grades and entered the Parent Involvement field. I joined the Blythe-Bower family the first year T.C. Bower and Blythe Avenue combined as one school.

    I have been extremely fortunate and abundantly blessed to work as a teacher for thirty-four years in the classroom, in summer enrichment and remedial programs, in after-school programs, and in teaching adult education classes. My next rewarding fifteen years have been in Parent Involvement which has many pieces, including interesting home visits

    When asked what I do, I am happy to say that I work at Blythe-Bower and am so blessed to have a job that I love because I am in daily contact with our beautiful students and their families. I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the whole family while assisting our very resourceful, innovative, dedicated and caring faculty and staff. From the beginning of my career to the present time, I have been thankful to be an employee of this System and to be a part of its continued growth and change.

    Yes. You added correctly! That's 49 years in Cleveland City Schools. I answered my calling and am still enjoying every minute of every day with my CCS family!

    STUDENT HIGHLIGHT:  Student Advisory Council

    Council Members:  Mayline Perez-Calderon, Nathaniel English, Stelson Hetiback, Tiffany Bui, Alisha Saeed, Blake Randall, Kyra Satterfield, Ethan Gallaher

    Our Student Advisory Council at Blythe-Bower recently completed a project on Tobacco Prevention.  Council members researched this topic and prepared presentation boards and a program to share with various homeroom classes. The council used information from the internet, The Bradley County Health Department, and the GRAAB Coalition. The completed presentation boards were displayed during an iMOM and All Pro Dad’s morning session, as well as, in our school throughout the day for others to view. The council’s program, presented to students, included many facts and health risks about tobacco that were shared through discussion and their presentation boards. The council began their presentation with a pre-test for students.  This was followed by sharing facts and health risks associated with tobacco.  Students took part in a breathing test using different sizes of straws to represent how it would feel if an individual smoked varying amounts of tobacco per day.  The council wrapped up their presentation by allowing students to take a post-test to demonstrate the knowledge they had gained.  Student reaction displayed that they were surprised by some of the information presented during the demonstration.  Students were challenged to encourage friends and family to take care of their health by practicing Tobacco Prevention.  This project was made possible by generous donations from the Bradley County Health Department, GRAAB Coalition, and Regions Bank.

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