Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Canyon Creek Middle School Students Learn Life-Saving CPR

In addition to regular studies in reading, writing and math, Canyon Creek Middle Schools 7th and 8th grade students last week also learned how to help save a life with a lesson in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

The program was offered through Skamania County Emergency Medical Services (SCEMS) using a grant they received from the HeartRescue Community Program to provide all interested students with this vital education.

SCEMS Paramedic, Kaitlyn Hildenbrand led the training using American Heart Association (AHA) curriculum.  “The Family and Friends non-credentialed class teaches 'hands-only' CPR and gives an introduction to automated external defibrillators (AEDs),” she explained.  The course was taught in a fifty minute segment through a combination of instructor and video-based learning.

“I feel very passionate about this project,” Hildenbrand said.  “Through this training we are helping communities by helping them learn ways to help themselves.”

When asked how the students reacted to the training Hildenbrand said we are lucky to have schools filled with incredible students.  “They understood the seriousness of the issue but still had fun with it,” she said.  “The skills they learned can definitely help them to save a life.”

Last year Hildenbrand organized and taught this AHA program to the 7-12 graders in the Stevenson-Carson School District.  “My goal is to improve our communities and to save lives,” she said. “This has been an interest of mine and a pet project.  I want to take it just as far as it will go!”

Student Creations Help Fund Art Supplies at Excelsior High School

When is a cup of coffee more than just that?  When it is served up in a cup that is a one-of-a-kind, work-of-art and raises funds to benefit Washougal Excelsior High School students.

Last month Michele McKnight, owner of Michele’s Coffee Corner, invited customers and students to put their creativity to work and decorate plain white coffee cups.  “They could use crayons, paint, whatever they wanted to,” she explained.  “We selected 40 of our favorite cups and auctioned them off through an online silent auction. We gave the others away with regular coffee purchases.  People were delighted and the cups traveled all around town.”

With an initial investment of $4 for cups, the auction raised $377.  Tips from customers receiving the special cups added more than $100 more.  “The grand total donated to Excelsior to help fund art supplies and experiences came to $480,” reported Excelsior High School Principle, Carol Boyden. “It was a very successful fund raiser for our students, and the fact that a community member came up with the idea and implemented it for us was really appreciated. We have some great kids up at Excelsior and it's really nice to see the community recognizing that fact.”

Photos of the cups can still be seen on Michele’s Coffee Corner Facebook page. Each cup was a unique piece of art. “You kind of forget how much fun it is to color with crayons,” McKnight chuckled having created a number of cups herself.  McKnight hopes to do this again next year and a similar project may be in the works for Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rotary Scholar of the Month for January: Montana Wilson

Montana Wilson was selected as the Camas Washougal Rotary Scholar of the Month for January  2014. Montana is a sophomore at Washougal High School and has a GPA of 3.717. Susan Lewellen, Montana's 9th grade English teacher, said "Montana was a complete pleasure to have as a freshman English student, because no matter the lesson, no matter the day, no matter how she might be feeling Montana consistently gave her work her best effort."  Heather Carver, who has taught Montana in several classes, adds that "Her excitement is effortless, and she has a sense of humor also, which I appreciate. Montana understands and appreciates the differences in all people, and whether she is the top scorer or in the middle of the pack, Montana keeps the same resolve to improve herself."

Rochelle Aiton, Montana's Spanish teacher, describes Montana as "self-disciplined and enthusiastic in the face of difficult material," and that she "is thorough in her work and has a refreshing "can-do" attitude."  Band teacher Kelly Ritter lists Montana as a "hard worker, positive, musically talented in both band and choir, and the nicest young lady you will ever meet."

Montana is the daughter of Melody Wilson and Frank Wilson. Congratulations Montana!

Cape Horn-Skye Students Give to Animals in Need

Fourth grade students at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary received a lesson in empathy this week as they create snuggle blankets for animals that find themselves living at the Clark County Humane Society shelter in Vancouver.

"A sense of compassion for animals, as well as people, is important for our students to experience," said Cape Horn-Skye fourth grade teacher Alice Yang.  The students worked in small groups to create a unique blanket to donate to an animal in need. "The project also teaches them that it can feel great to do something good for someone else.  Plus they are having fun and learning to work together with friends."

The next step for the students will be an actual visit to the Clark County Humane Society to see the animals there.  Half of the fourth graders went on January 23 and the balance will visit on January 30. "They will get to see the process the animals go through when they arrive and also see the vital role the volunteers play."  Students will even have the opportunity to watch spaying and neutering procedures through an observation window.  "Many students this age dream of being a veterinarian," said Yang. "This will give them an idea if they have the stomach for that type of work."

Fourth grade student Julianne Baker said she is looking forward to visiting the Clark County Humane Society   Although she has never been there, her family did adopt a puppy from the shelter.  "I don't think it will be a very happy place," she said. "I hope the blankets make the animals happier."