Some books are made for the outdoors — try these ideas

Some children’s books tell an elaborate tale designed to carry readers, young and old, off into a fantastical world far from everyday life. Others introduce new words and new concepts like counting, opposites, sequences, information about nature or how things work. And then there are picture books that use animated images and delicious sounding words to create an experience, part real and part imagined, full of anticipation and delight.

Residential community colleges offer low-cost alternative

With private and even public college tuition rising to above $60,000 a year, some area high school students have begun considering a low-cost alternative: residential community colleges. At one-third the price, these colleges often have smaller campuses and student bodies, a lower student-teacher ratio and all the amenities of a modern university, including dorms and cafeterias.

West Homer students show work down in artist residency

Using low-tech tools like cereal boxes and a pasta maker, Anchorage artist Jimmy Riordan showed West Homer Elementary School students how to create colorful, playful prints and other art works. Last Friday, students displayed their work in the hallways of the school, with older students buddying up with younger students as they looked at the work. Many of the student artists also were on hand to discuss their projects.

Young readers learn from both fact, fiction

For young children, the real world is a magical place. The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is as awe-inspiring as a well-written, fantastical story about unicorns. In both cases, children have the opportunity to learn about the world around them and how they fit in it. Both fiction (imaginary) and non-fiction (informational) books and media have an important place in the life of a child.

Students duct tape principals to wall

Students at West Homer Elementary School and Fireweed Academy last Thursday got a special treat: the chance to duct tape their principals to the wall of the school’s multipurpose room. As teachers peeled off strips of dull-gray but also brightly colored duct tape, West Homer Elementary Principal Eric Waltenbaugh and Fireweed Academy Principal Todd Hindmanprincipals stood on milk crates and bravely endured hundreds of little hands taping them to the wall. After about an hour, layers of duct tape covered their bodies so that they looked like caterpillars ready to emerge from their cocoons.

Homer DDF team wins at Anchorage meet

Over the weekend, the Homer High School DDF Team competed at Bartlett High School. The team brought home the following awards, including a Duo Interpretation sweep. The DDF Team competed against 10 other schools, Bartlett, East Anchorage, West Anchorage, Eagle River, Chugiak, South Anchorage, Service High, Dimond High, Seward and Hope. There were more than 150 competitors.

Paul Banks students on a mission: Read 2,000 hours by Feb. 3

At an assembly Tuesday for the Paul Banks Elementary School’s Read-a-thon, intergalactic mailman Commander Mike McKinney delivered a message from aliens on a distant planet to the students. The aliens heard that Paul Banks is the best school to learn to read. They want to visit, but don’t know how to build a spaceship, Commander Mike said. If the students read 120,000 minutes by Feb. 3, they will unclock the 10 files in the Galactic Library that will teach the aliens how to build a spaceship. As students read and unlock each of the files, a model of the spaceship will be built in the lobby.


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