Pointview Tutoring Initiative

 Westerville Partners for Education is excited to announce a new partnership with Pointview Elementary. This year, we are sponsoring and overseeing a tutoring program for 2nd graders in conjunction with the Columbus Tutoring Initiative. We Tutor Recruitment-1have recruited some wonderful tutors from Westerville Community United Church of Christ and are still in need of others. If you are willing to commit one hour of your time a week and enjoy working with children, please consider joining our tutoring initiative!

Tutors must attend one training session: Sept.11 or Sept. 25 from 11:30-1:00 pm at Grace Polaris Church, 8225 Worthington-Galena Rd, Westerville, OH, 43081.

Tutoring dates: Tuesdays, 11:30-12:30, October 7 through April 28

Contact Julie Nisbet @ 614 657-3028 OR sign up online at: tutorcolumbus.org

Tutor Recruitment-3

North Starry Night 2015

Starry Night

We’re excited to announce that we’re mixing it up for Starry Night 2015! We’re having the event on April 11 a SATURDAY from 2-6pm. So mark your calendars now! AND we’re moving to North High School this year! It’s our North Starry Night.

Having the event on Saturday will allow our guests, exhibitors, and volunteers to feel more leisurely about their late afternoon and evening with us, instead of rushing back home to prepare for schoodownload (4)l and work the next morning. Moving our location from South to North was a decision we debated extensively. South has been a great home for Starry Night for the past two years-their custodial staff, in particular deserves a special shout out, but the layout of South sometimes challenges our event. We struggled to get our guests through the whole event from one wide end to the other. North’s layout is more centralized and North provides the event with ample parking. It’s also pretty easy to explain to people how to get to North (once you get past the North isn’t the high school in the north, that’s actually Central issue, which kind of blew me away when we first moved here…).

So remember, Saturday, April 11, from 2-6pm at NORTH High School. 

 

What do WE mean by STEAM?

steamimageScience. Tech. Engineering. Art. Math.

Are these specific five fields the best? Is that what we are saying?

STEAM is a great buzzword right now. STEM too. It’s everywhere. You can’t search for education on Twitter without reading about STEM or STEAM in education. If we aren’t talking about STEM or STEAM, we aren’t moving forward, right? We aren’t cutting edge. We aren’t being innovative, right? That’s the vibe right now. But what do we mean by STEAM? Let me tell you what we, at WPE mean by STEAM. When we talk about our STEAMHub and when we refer to Starry Night as a STEAM Learning Expo, I want you to know what we mean.

We are developing a STEAMHub for Westerville City Schools, and we are pretty passionate about it. The idea behind it is to create a network of organizations and businesses interested in working with and supporting our schools, educators and students in a variety of ways. We use the acronym STEAM to refer generally to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, but more broadly to refer not to promotion of any of these fields individually, but to the cross-pollination of education and to interdisciplinary learning. Our use of STEAM includes service learning and world cultures and leadership and reading and vocal education and robotics and creative writing and sign language, and refers to how learning inter-relates and cross-pollinate. How architecture relies on art and physics and math. How music draws on math and rhythms and art and, sometimes, athletics, too. And that vision of supporting interdisciplinary learning is our vision for supporting STEAM learning at Starry Night and in creating the STEAMHub-to build these relationships between organizations and our schools.

We are very excited about STEAM in education. We are passionate to support it here in Westerville. We’re always looking for organizations and individuals who share that idea for our schools. Join our email list to stay informed about our STEAM events, opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and ways to help support the schools! Click here to join our email list of supporters!

 

New year! New board! New ideas!

The countdown is on. School begins in just 14 days. And we, at Westerville Partners for Education, are so excited! This summer we said good-bye (and THANK YOU!) to our board member, Stacy Keenan, who will be Hanby’s PTA president again this year, and we welcomed a whole crop of new board members to our organization.

I wanted to start our year by introducing them to you. You’ll be seeing updates from us about their programs and passions all year, so stay tuned! 06bbd7d

John Tansey comes to us from Otterbein’s Chemistry Department. John has volunteered with and exhibited at Starry Night 2014. He helped us out by getting up (super early) to help us out with our Good Day Columbus Starry Night promotion. John has also worked with Blendon Middle School’s Robotics Club and attended our pilot STEAMHub event at Cherrington in May. John is interested in developing partnerships between Otterbein’s science department at Westerville Schools and we are thrilled to have him on board with us!

Jean Trimble is the fantastic whirlwind of energy and innovation at the corePicture_of_me of Walnut Spring’s Media Center. Jean was a part of our Starry Night Planning Team for 2014 and is also a parent in the district. She runs the Walnut Springs website (likeagoodbook.com) and worked with WPE to bring in some new speakers for Walnut’s Career Day. Jean’s enthusiasm for innovation and passion for education is contagious and we’re so excited to work with her this year.

Mary Curry is the talented artist behind our beautiful Starry Night logo. She has been a 2546e7blong-time volunteer with WPE-helping us out with design work for the past three years, and we are delighted to have her join our board. Mary is a parent in the district and Art Director at Prism Marketing. She has a lot of fantastic idea on how we can improve the Starry Night experience with better maps, directions, signage and consistent branding throughout all of our programs. It’s going to be a great year!

Julie Nisbet is a parent in the district and 10262012_10202334619820451_920762273370837022_nformer school psychologist in the district. Julie has been working to set up an exciting new tutoring program for WPE. She has a passion for supporting intervention and support for students with reading disabilities and her passion will connect so beautifully with our Books for Break program and the relationship we’ve built with Kiwanis of Westerville to support literacy. Welcome, Julie! Look for more news about our tutoring program coming in the coming months!

Stephanie Henderson, Assessment Practice Leader at Leader OnBoarding, 397fac5joins our board this year and brings her passion for arts education to our mission. Stephanie has been a longtime advocate for the Arts at Westerville North and across the district and will be developing a plan to strength the arts in our schools. Stephanie’s mission supports education at all levels in the district, and we are so excited to work with her and take on this important issue in the district.

John O’Connor actually joined our board a couple of months ago, but I 3081f80wanted to formally introduce him here today. John is President of Westerville Kiwanis and has a passion for supporting literacy. John has been instrumental in working with us to develop the Books for Break program last year and was also one of our pilot Library Volunteers. John volunteered at Starry Night 2014 and is interested in improving the reach and accessibility of our Books for Break program (transitioning it into a classroom experience called Book Bonanza!). John single-handedly collected books from Half Price Books and has leveled hundred of those books on his own. He also took our Books for Break program to the WARM lunch sites this summer. He is a dynamo for literacy and we’re so proud to have him on our board.

Bronwyn Ginty joins our board this year too! To know Bronwyn is to know a fantastic whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm for education and students. 02-07-2014_bf15b9bc-4d8d-4510-9d80-d252e0fb7212_BronwynmodBronwyn volunteered at Starry Night in 2013 and 2014 and was a part of our Starry Night Planning Team for 2014. She is a parent in the district and is Director for the Goddard School on Executive Parkway. We are so excited to have her working with us this year!

Favorite Friday: Lori Jung

Meet Lori Jung: Thoughtful, Creative, and Fantastic

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(Lori is pictured here  with Cam Piatt. Lori and Cam directed our volunteer team at Starry Night 2014 and were amazing!)

In the past few years, we’ve come across some talented, passionate, brilliant, dedicated people. It’s been inspiring for us when they’ve been willing to contribute their time and energy-as WPE volunteers, partners, and sponsors-to strengthening and enriching education in our schools.

We decided to share the stories of these special collaborators and volunteers with you on Fridays! Enjoy!

1. How did you get involved with WPE/what do you like about volunteering with WPE?

I had heard about WPE and then volunteered for SN 2013. What I noticed right off the bat was the positive perspective from EVERYONE involved. I feel there are big and little opportunities to contribute in meaningful ways, and all are welcome in this district-wide effort. The mood is always collaborative and constructive.

2. From your perspective, what are some needs in our schools?

I often feel as though the guidance counseling staff is simply overwhelmed with the quantity of work and students they need to address.  I think it would be nice to offer a more comprehensive approach to guiding and mentoring students at all grade levels so they can choose relevant course options and perhaps even explore careers through mini-internships.  I also believe students would benefit from more integrated coursework, such as the magnet schools have offered.  I think students need to understand how their daily effort helps them not only reach their goals, but also reach beyond their classroom to do meaningful work.  I appreciate how WPE fosters this sense of community, which is vital to a thriving district and city.  I think exposure to careers, research, exploration and problem solving will only make our students stronger people and more confident global citizens.

3. What are some of the great things already happening in our district?

I appreciate the collaboration I have seen in recent years…sharing information and resources, business and community partnerships. I love the huge volunteer base and seeing these volunteers anywhere from Starry Night to elementary libraries and athletic events.  I know of many teachers who work hard to make very specific and relevant experiences accessible to students, from foreign exchanges to research projects, from leading theater and ski clubs to mentoring leaders through IB and Key Club. I am amazed at our programs that, despite often being at risk regarding funding, thrive and make passionate statements throughout Westerville:  students’ art in public places, bands winning awards, theater presentations that knock your socks off, teachers providing interesting and integrated coursework.  I like how WPE’s role is to observe and listen to what people need in order to build and sustain these relationships. Rather than, “We should or you should…” they offer, “How can we help make this happen for you?”  I enjoy being a part of that.

Get involved with us! Click here to sign up for our newsletter. The first edition comes out in May, and you don’t want to miss it!

 

 

Stars in the Parks-Canceled!

We have decided to cancel Saturday’s star-gazing night due to muddy field conditions. We hope for a reschedule later in 2014.

Favorite Friday: Jim Varadi

Meet Jim Varadi, Astronomer Extraordinaire

In the past few years, we’ve come across some talented, passionate, brilliant, dedicated people. It’s been inspiring for us when they’ve been willing to contribute their time and energy-as WPE volunteers, partners, and sponsors-to strengthening and enriching education in our schools.

We decided to share the stories of these special collaborators and volunteers with you on Fridays! Enjoy!

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How did you get involved with WPE? I met Amy at the Westerville music and Arts festival. Part of their display was their desire to put on the “Starry Night” program, and she asked me if I would be willing to help out in some fashion. I told her that I could provide a display and could maybe get others from the Columbus Astronomical Society to participate. That was the beginning of my involvement with WPE and “Starry Night.”

I am going to be working with WPE to help Walnut Springs Middle School form an Astronomy Club next year. I think this same thing could possibly be done at other schools with the help of additional volunteers from CAS. I think it’s possible to, throughout the year, do programs similar to “Stars in the Park” but in a smaller scale. We do have people in CAS who are retired who might be able to take a telescope to a science class during the week and give a short presentation on telescopes and how they work and are used. I had thought about the possibility of hosting an astronomy class for older children and maybe even parents. 

How did you get involved in astronomy? I’ve always had a deep interest in astronomy and science. While in the Army, I was involved in Electronics  as Aviation Equipment Repair and Missile Internal Guidance and Electronic Equipment Repair and Calibration. I was stationed at Redstone Arsenal and had a hand in the development of the Saturn V booster that was part of the Apollo program that eventually carried our astronauts to the Moon. That experience deepened my interest in astronomy. 

What are some upcoming things happening with the Columbus Astronomical Society? CAS members help to put on the Friday night programs at Perkins Observatory by having our telescopes available on the lawn of Perkins for guests to observe through. There is a charge of $8.00 for those programs. During the end of summer, August or September,  CAS will be having their annual Astronomy Fair. The only cost is $5.00 per car for parking.  For more information about the Columbus Astronomical Society, check them out at: http://www.columbusastronomy.org/

Be sure to find Jim and other amazing CAS astronomers at our Stars in the Park stargazing night on May 3rd!

Stars in the Park 2014

 

Stars in the Park 2014

Stars in the Park

Come out and join us and the Columbus Astronomical Society for a free night of stargazing on May 3 at 8:30pm in the Westerville Soccer Complex (on Cleveland Ave across from the Rec Ctr). CAS astronomers will be on hand with their amazing telescopes to help families see the wonders of the night sky. You won’t want to miss it!

Check out pics from last year’s Stars in the Park event!

A few items that would be helpful to bring:
• Gloves, hat and blankets, if it will be chilly
• Binoculars, if you have them

And, finally, a few tips on stargazing etiquette. It helps to prepare the kids in advance!

• Please remind children to walk, not run, for everyone’s safety and the safety of the telescopes. These telescopes belong to the astronomical society members and are significant personal investments.

• Always ask an astronomer before touching or viewing from a telescope. (In fact, it is best to keep hands off of the telescopes so they don’t get moved from their viewing position.)

• Use flashlights, cell phones, and other lighted electronic devices sparingly when in the vicinity of the telescopes. Please keep lights pointed toward the ground whenever possible.

• Enjoy yourselves!

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MORE Starry Night pics!

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1 in 4 Americans thinks the sun rotates around the Earth

 

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I read about the National Science Foundation survey last month, but it’s been stunning me ever since. 1 in 4 Americans thinks the sun revolves around the Earth? How can that be?

It boggles my mind.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/14/277058739/1-in-4-americans-think-the-sun-goes-around-the-earth-survey-says

While it is alarming that so many adults in America lack a basic understanding of science, what sticks with me longer is drive to help ensure the growing generation of young minds have access to accurate information about the world and critical thinking skills. Ensuring children in Westerville have access to a high quality education is at the heart of our mission and motivates us to put on events like Starry Night and Books for Break.

I know this dedication to educating our youngest citizens is an important reason our sponsors, partners and volunteers feel so passionately about what we do and contribute their money, time and energy.

With the help of over 200 individuals like you, we’re helping ensure that no child in Westerville thinks that the sun revolves around the Earth.

Be part of this mission. Join our email list. Click here. 

Amy Raubenolt

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