By Leanna Lehman —
Local elementary schools showcased student work and invited families to participate in Science and Literacy Nights at E.C. Best, Numa, and Lahontan Elementary schools Thursday night.
All three elementary schools saw a great turn-out as many families made their way from one school’s events to the next. According to Lahontan Elementary School principal, Gregg Malkovich, CCSD administration was a little skeptical about the prospect of all three schools holding their events on the same night. However, the reactions were very positive. “Parents love it,” Malkovich stated, “Otherwise each school would have held its event on a different night.” With grade-level schools, this could have been difficult for some families that have children in multiple schools.
Lahontan Elementary (K-1st Grade) opened the computer lab to allow students and families to engage in computer-based literacy games while the library held book readings paired with tactile activities for the students and their families. Even very young children were able to participate and engage throughout the event. “Our goal is to see families coming and interacting”, explains LES teacher, Katy Loop. With coding games for the kids, slime, invisible ink, and a spy-themed event, everyone was engaged.
An impressive technology display was held in the cafeteria. High school science teacher, Kevin McElhinney, a 2002 graduate of CCHS, brought microscopes from his classroom for students to try, remote control robots, and even an interactive a fruit piano, demonstrating electricity through various fruits and wires connected to a laptop. McElhinney, who formerly taught science and lead a robotics club in Plankinton, South Dakota, hopes to bring a robotics class to CCHS and help start a competing robotics club.
EC Best Elementary (2nd-3rd Grades) had 100% student participation for their Literacy Night event, with nearly 500 children in all. Students created literacy boards, which are tri-fold poster boards decorated with the theme of a book they had chosen. Students also had to do classroom presentations on their books and answer questions from other students. E.C. Best teachers Mary Phillip's and Shawn Drost were thrilled to see how the students connected to their books and how that connection was expressed their projects. Three winners were selected by school board members for each grade. Kaiden Gilbert, a second-grade 1st place winner, chose “The Pout-Pout Fish” and was happy to explain how he made the fish for his board with paper bags. When asked why he picked that story, he told us, “It was a good book for little children and I thought they would like it.”Numa Elementary School,(4th-5th Grades)had some students select literary characters they could learn about and present to their classrooms. Fifth-grader, Eli Plowman, in Mrs.McGowan’s class chose Harry Houdini. Eli, in full Harry Houdini fashion, gave an impressive first-person narrative on the life, times, and even the death of Harry Houdini. The Literacy Night celebration and events are part of the statewide Nevada Reading Week, first begun in 1987 by the Nevada Department of Education. A statewide initiative for Nevada teachers and librarians to celebrate reading, the event is usually held during the last week of February and coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss. The theme for this year was “Find Your Superpower - Read!”