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‘Creature Cards’ give student opportunity to support BEP, test 21st Century Skills

PARKER – Googly eyes were the inspiration for a fun, student-led project that has raised enough money to sponsor schooling for five Belize students and to purchase school supplies.

Blair wanted to do something to support the Belize Education Project and found the perfect way when he saw creatures with googly eyes on Pinterest.

“They are just weird old creatures,” said Prairie Crossing fourth-grader Jake Blair.

“I know many kids in Belize don't have a lot of money, so I thought to myself, why can’t I make those cards” Blair asked.

With his parents’ help, he bought supplies and started creating hundreds of creatures of all shapes and sizes.  Soon friends, family and even teachers were snatching up the cards.

“I didn’t think it was going to work but now I have to make more cards, more cards and more cards every single week,” Blair said.

He has even had to put his seventh-grade sister to work.

“She is really creative, so she is in charge of the bows and the mustaches,” explained Jake’s mom and Prairie Crossing Elementary teacher Debbie Blair. “Jake’s project is definitely greater than I ever thought it would be, but what I love about it is the level of independence he can have with it.”

She says it has really allowed him to add to the 21st Century Skills he is learning in the classroom.

“He is learning about financial literacy. He is learning about those global connections and they are meaningful to him,” Debbie Blair said.

The cards were so popular that Prairie Crossing decided to have all of Blair’s classmates make them to send to the Belize students. Blair is also packing up supplies, so the Belize students can make creatures for the children in Parker.

The school has even made cross-curricular connections, tying the activity to learning here, including a science lesson in biomes and letter writing in language arts. The students in Belize will do the same.

“Not only are [the Belize students] going to create the creature cards, but I’m going to be teaching them how to write a friendly letter and they’ll be writing about the biome they live in to educate Jacob’s class as well,” Debbie Blair said.

The biggest lesson that Blair has learned, however, is that he can have an impact in the world, even as a fourth-grader.

“He has proven to himself, but also to others that someone at an early age can make a big impact on the lives of other people,” Debbie Blair said.

“My dad says I’m doing more for other kids than some college students,” Jake Blair added. “It makes me feel really good.”

If you would like to buy Creature Cards in support of the Belize Education Project, please email Blair at creaturecardsbyjake[at]gmail[dot]com

October 7, 2014 | By rmbarber | Category: Elementary Education, Schools

District News

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DCSD is requesting parent input on the health and wellness of our students. Last year, DCSD received a large planning grant from Colorado Health Foundation in an effort to assess how the district supports students through the lens of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC). The mission of this grant is to review the current state of DCSD's student health and wellness program, and then formulate a three to five-year plan based on stakeholders’ needs, the latest research, and best practices. As part of this process, we would like your input.

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It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.