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There are 34 first-graders and 34 seventh-graders at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School. That probably was the first inclination this prayer service,"God Counts," was going to be unique and special. "The SEAS seventh graders do a prayer service each year, but this is the first time we've partnered up with the first graders," said religion teacher Kathy Gleich.
A century well lived ... and still going strong. Helen Gergen was born April 10, 1913, to Paul and Emma Endres. She grew up on a farm in rural Hampton with her parents and siblings. This week, she turned 100 years old. Helen attended a rural grade school which was just on the corner of their farm so she did not have far to walk. It was just a one-room classroom. "We went up to fourth grade -- we had one teacher and about 20 students," she said. "She taught all grades." After fourth grade she went to St. Mathias Catholic School in Hampton, which was about two miles from home.
The Hastings Community Education Little Learner Scholarship Fund recently received a grant from the United Way of Hastings. Now, it is attempting to match, if not exceed, that grant through a special fundraiser May 7 at the Hastings Country Club. The Hastings Community Education Early Learning Advisory Council is sponsoring the event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and admission is $5 at the door. The evening includes light appetizers, a wine tasting (for an additional charge) and a "Not So Silent" auction.
It was nearly the end of almost two hours of speaking to students in Hastings High School teacher Scott Smallidge's social studies class last Friday. World War II veteran Richard Carroll, who grew up near Coates, now 92, had talked about his military flying experience, being shot down, and the time spent in a prison camp in Germany. He talked about death and destruction - "you try to get used to it," he said. Emotionally, he related his parents did not know for months he was alive. And he gave the audience another look back at his life and what brought him to schools.
Nick Brainard was almost assured a job before he completed his school at Dunwoody College of technology. The 2003 Hastings High School graduate was enrolled in a program that has 100 percent placement. That was part of what he told current industrial technology students in Dave Davenport's classes at Hastings High School recently. He is part of the group of former students that Davenport invites back to speak to his current students.
St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Vermillion is adding a sixth grade to its curriculum for the 2013-2014 school year. Registration for all grades preschool through grade 6 is under way. A decision to add a sixth grade to the school was made earlier this year. "A priority for St. John the Baptist School is to ensure that our fifth- and sixth-grade program will provide experiences that will cement the skills our students need for transition to seventh grade," said Sister Tresa Margret, school principal.
Dads, grab your best girl and come to the fourth annual Daddy Daughter Dance from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Hastings Middle School. This year's theme is "Back to the 50s Sock Hop," and attending couples are encouraged to dress in 1950s style clothing. Just about all the activities that evening are geared to the theme, said Hastings Community Education Director Mary O'Brien. "One of the stations we will have is 'Decorate your own record cover,'" said O'Brien.
They collected enough change to help eight families in another country. The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton third graders earned and collected $650 for Heifer International. The students collected loose change and money from their families and friends and even set up a booth after parish Masses. The third graders wanted to help as many families as they could. They chose the following gifts: water buffalo, goat, pig, three rabbits, honeybees, two flocks of chicks and a flock of ducks and geese.
He spent a lot of time with Hastings Middle School staff and students last Friday, asking for their opinions and suggestions. And that was just fine with chef Marshall O'Brien. O'Brien's visit at the middle school was his second stop among the Hastings schools - he visited Hastings High School several weeks ago and will visit the elementary schools later this month. His visits are part of a partnership that School District 200 and ConAgra Mills have formed to promote healthy living among the students. O'Brien praised the Hastings schools for their efforts.
The students at St. John the Baptist Catholic School, Vermillion, know their science. Last week, the annual school science fair was held. Participating in the fair is mandatory for third to fifth grade students and it is optional for other students. "Our science fair was begun almost 14 years ago by a teacher named Angie Petit, who planted the deep roots of this program at our school," said volunteer coordinator Julie Strommen.