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SUMMIT VIEWS

Middletown Writers Find & Strengthen Narrative Voices

Summit Academy Schools...Where Every Child Can Learn

A Publication of Summit Academy Schools February 2011

On the last day of class, Matthew Birdsall's creative writing stu- Above: J.D. Lamb reads his writing for the assembled class and parents. dents took on a challenge all young writers face: reading their Below: Thomas Caupp takes a turn at the lectern to share his own poems and prose aloud for an audience of peers and parstories and insights. ents. The students' performances were all the more extraordinary because it was the first creative writing class at Middletown Secondary. Tasha Balsbaugh shared her story about a football player's inspiration and a poem about the true nature of beauty. Her brother Joel read poems about trees and chains. "There's been a lot of progress and I enjoyed listening to my class," Joel said. "I've made progress, too. Before I only wrote fantasy stories and even those weren't very good. Now I really like poetry and I like reading different types of writing." Tasha and Joel's mother, Teresa, said both of her children are better writers now. "This class has been very good and I hate that it is ending," she said. "It would be nice if it were the whole year." J.D. Lamb read his personal observations about alleys and rain. J.D.'s dad, David, said his son had certainly improved as a writer. "He never had to do creative writing assignments before although he would occasionally write on his own," he said. "They were usually a couple sentences of a great idea that was left unfinished, so this forced him to finish his ideas." Rachel Whitman wrote in a surreal humorist style, describing the outlandish dreams of fellow students that left her giggling at their absurdities. Alexander Stambauch and Christian Slavey read pieces that poignantly described the death of a much-loved pet. Joshua Clifton read three of his poems that were filled with thought-provoking statements about society and the individual. Thomas Caupp's story portrayed a young man's reaction to the cruel treatment he receives from others. Mr. Birdsall said when students share a personal story, it creates an opportunity for him to strengthen the teacher-student relationships. "Did everybody make progress and become a stronger writer? Absolutely," Mr. Birdsall said. "Everybody in here got stronger Tasha Balsbaugh reads a story about a football player as the semester went on. Some really grew a lot. Writing is a and a poem about the true nature of beauty while her process that allows you to grow as a human being." mother Teresa listens in the audience.

Summit Academy students enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables

SUMMIT VIEWS

February 2011 A publication of Summit Academy Management

Move over, candy bars. Take a hike, potato chips. The students at three Summit Academy Schools have got a new taste for healthy fruits and vegetables. "I like the carrots and celery in ranch dip," said David Berger, giving it a thumbs-up. "It is a very good mix." Kohl Riser is a cauliflower convert. He said the vegetable "tastes kind of like frozen broccoli." Kieara Sams bases her veggie choices on color. "I like the green things," she said. "They are very tasty like celery and cucumbers."

From left, Kohl Riser, David Berger and Kieara Sams of Lorain have a new appreciation for fresh vegetables.

LaRon Williams has a new favorite snack -- red peppers

On Thursdays, a tray loaded with healthy vegetables is delivered to each classroom in Lorain, Toledo and Warren elementary schools. Every Tuesday, a tray of fresh fruits arrives in each of the classrooms. Those trays are due to the diligence of Katherine Hrbolich, Summit Academy Child Nutrition Coordinator. Last November, Mrs. Hrbolich said she saw USDA grant proposals posted on the Ohio Department of Education website. The proposals offered fresh fruits and vegetables for students on a weekly basis. "The majority of our children never get much fresh fruit or vegetables," she said. "When it comes to vegetables, they often come from a can. I just wanted our students to get an idea of how good they taste and to get good eating habits." Mrs. Hrbolich said she became passionate about good nutrition years ago when she discovered a student stuffing her pockets with food on Friday. When the child admitted she would have nothing to eat until she returned to school on Monday, it was a revelation. "Ever since then my outlook on our students has changed drastically," Mrs. Hrbolich said. "We have a lot of poverty. Families struggle to make ends meets and they can't afford fresh fruit and vegetables." Mrs. Hrbolich hopes to get more grant money for next school year and add more Summit Academies to the program. In her classroom, teacher Ashley Rice used a tray of green and yellow squash to teach about a young Jewish man who joined the civil rights movement with Dr. Martin Luther King. "Look at the squash," she told her students. "They're not the same color on the outside, but they are the same on the inside."

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