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Beth Still set up an account on DonorsChoose where anyone can donate as little as $1. The organization works on a points system and as soon as she has accrued an additional point she will post the field trip on her page. Until then, please help VALTS by either contributing by giving us a gift care through the DonorsChoose site or by sharing the link to Beth's project through email, Facebook, Twitter and any other means you have. We have to raise $1400 to cover the cost of a charter bus and tickets to the special exhibit and the planetarium.
So far this VALTS year students have learned about how the earth was formed and about many natural features found on our planet. They have also learned about biology, natural selection, extinction, and they have created their own museum! During the second semester they will learn about ancient civilizations in the Americas and astronomy. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is the perfect place to visit to celebrate all they have learned this year.
You can find this article and many others in the latest VALTS newsletter. Just click on the link below:
This $500,000 grant, coupled with close to $300,000 in local matching funds, will allow the schools in western Nebraska to upgrade existing distance learning systems to state of the art high-definition video systems. Also included in this grant application are our two local national monuments, Scotts Bluff National Monument and Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. The equipment they receive will allow them to provide a vast array of virtual field trips to students in this region and beyond that normally wouldn’t be able to physically attend in person.
ESU13 member high schools have been involved in distance learning for over 15 years. During the current school year, high schools in western Nebraska are sharing 52 different courses that cover foreign language, math, agriculture and other instruction areas. Panhandle schools also receive almost a dozen distance learning courses from schools outside the region.
These grant dollars are being provided through USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant program. It provides funding to rural hospitals, clinics, schools and libraries for equipment and technical assistance for telemedicine and distance learning. Grant recipients must demonstrate that they serve rural America, prove there is an economic need and provide at least 15 percent in matching funds.
The Migrant Education Program serves children and youth ages 3-21 achieve their educational goals by providing extended support beyond the classroom. One important component is our Success for Out of School Youth project. Out of School Youth are students who are 18 to 21 years old, who have either dropped out of high school, or have moved to this country without enrolling in school. Our goal is to help as many youth as possible attain their GED, and pursue their career dreams. We do this by providing educational materials such as tablets with GED apps pre-loaded, books and study guides, physical support such as transportation to and from the testing center, and strong advocacy. Our recruiters act as the youth’s cheerleader, coach, and bus driver on the road to GED completion. The program recently had two graduates, and currently has several more studying and completing coursework towards their GED tests. Here is the story, in his own words, of one remarkable young person who recently completed his GED at WNCC with support from the Migrant Education Program.
I’m Justin. I just got my GED. I’ve been trying to get my GED for years. Well, kind of. Before I was recruited by Rosie Cobos into the Migrant Education Program, I hadn’t really been putting forth the effort of any kind to do my part. Then I realized that without an education, you’re never going to go anywhere in life. You can’t find a real job. You won’t be able to do the things you want to do or be able to have the job that you dream of. My mom always told me that if I find a job I love, I’ll never work a day in my life. So that’s what my plan is. It wasn’t easy to get here. I was walking two miles to work at a feedlot and two miles back home, after working in the heat all day, 13 hours a day, every day. When I got home, I didn’t want to study. I wanted to take a shower, and go to bed. But I knew that if I didn’t study, I wouldn’t get anywhere. I only had a couple of months to get my GED. Otherwise, I wouldn’t qualify for the MEP anymore, because I’d be turning 22. So I buckled down, because I knew that I didn’t want to keep walking to work. I knew I didn’t want to keep that same job, doing the same stuff every day. I decided to do it not only for me, but so that someday I could support my daughter.
I got my GED. I surprised everyone. Now I’ve got plans to go to Wisconsin and go to UTI, which is Universal Technical Institution for Diesel and Auto Mechanics. I’m going to do that with the help of organizations out there that will help me. But it’s not easy.
To all those who are doing the same thing, maybe you can just keep your heads up. Don’t’ let hard work make you want to quit. Hard work makes you stronger more than just physically. It makes you mentally stronger. It makes you ready for the world, because the world’s coming. If you’re not ready, it’s really going to hurt. It might take a long time. It took me years. I think I’ve been working on my GED for about four years off and on. I wasn’t really trying at first, but I was working on it. But I did it, and now I don’t have to worry about not having an education. I can go ahead and further my education. Thank you Rosie. I couldn’t have done it without you being there through the times that I wasn’t trying. You gave me the motivation to get it done, so thank you, Rosie. You are my hero!
PACES is a state approved program at the Scotts Bluff County Juvenile Detention Center in Gering. It is staffed by three certified teachers by Educational Service Unit #13.
A school team of students and a sponsor designed and built a display out of canned foods. Each team collected over 1100 items of food for their project. After the judging and teardown the food was donated to the school’s local food bank or backpack program. Awards were given for Best Use of Labels, Best Meal, Design and Structural Ingenuity, Juror’s Choice and People’s Choice. At the end of the day teams were already discussing their involvement for next year’s competition.
Through instruction and project-based learning, participants will learn how to produce task cueing systems, visual schedules, communication systems, and representative portfolios. These innovative practices will then be taught to students for use in community-based employment settings, assisting students to gain and keep employment with less intervention and a greater chance for independence. Janine Barber is the Project Director.