Dream Team Hosts BRE Health Fair
by Elean Gersack
On Friday, February 22, the fifth grade Dream Team co-hosted a school health fair, along with physical education teacher, Ronda Gutierrez. 9Health Fair sponsored the event. Students from all grades took part in one-hour visits to the gymnasium where Dream Team members lead various health stations: exercise, sun safety, portion distortion, calcium, liver toss, multi-issue jeopardy and body of water. Also, a 911 dispatcher was on hand helping students simulate 911 calls and parents in the health care fields talked with students about the importance of health care professions.
Dream Team members spent about a month planning for the fair. After selecting stations to run, students were tasked with researching topics, planning dialogue and determining ways to use the props supplied by 9Health Fair.
The fifth grade Dream Team at Buffalo Ridge Elementary School organized the student health fair on February 22. (photo by Elean Gersack)
Students, Brian, Lauren and Devin organized the exercise station. All active in sports, these students believe in the importance of exercise for staying healthy. According to the group, exercise helps reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks, is essential for weight control and wellness, and lengthens life spans.
All of the planning was worth it. According to Dream Team member Jessica, informing children about all of the things that keep us healthy was the best part.
The Dream Team is a student-directed service organization for fifth graders. Teachers Mary Carter and Ron Smith and educational assistant Laura Swenson provide guidance. Students must apply, interview, submit a teacher recommendation and show ways in which they offer service to others. This year, 20 students were selected from 40 applicants.
The group meets twice each week before school for a total of three hours where they plan for various service programs and manage the student-run online news magazine, The Ridgeline. In addition to running the health fair this year, the Dream Team helped to collect more than 2,000 pounds of food for the Broncos Wives Food Drive, started a paper recycling program in the classrooms, and it is in charge of the lost and found and plant maintenance for the school.
Focus on Philanthropy
by Elean Gersack
Student Isaac A., Chris Konrad, and BRE hospitality chairperson, Tammy Abramovitz. (photo by Elean Gersack)
February 12 proved to be a very inspirational day at Buffalo Ridge Elementary School (BRE). The school’s hospitality chairperson, Tammy Abramovitz, organized guest speakers to spread the word about giving back. Peter Konrad, a highly regarded and well-known Denver area philanthropist, and his son, Chris, talked with students about the importance of philanthropy.
Peter Konrad discussed the history of philanthropy while Chris Konrad shared an exceptional story about a young girl who, at age 11, began her own charity. Ana Dotson, now 15-years old, was adopted at a young age from a Peruvian orphanage. When she was just 11 years old, Ana returned to Peru to visit the orphanage and realized just how fortunate she was. From that moment on, she knew she needed to help those children and she created a charity called Peruvian Hearts.
Peruvian Hearts has raised money to provide daily multi-vitamins for the children; a scholarship fund named in honor of Ana’s mother, Maria, to help send girls to college; a lunch program; a library project; a tutoring program and much more.
The Konrads praised students for the on-going philanthropic efforts at BRE such as: third graders collecting money for the One Laptop Per Child Organization; Girl Scouts managing recycling programs; classes adopting families during the holidays; the Dream Team
organizing a food drive and much, much more.
Students were encouraged to continue giving back while being reminded that the simple task of helping a friend in need matters as much as raising millions of dollars for a cause.
Other BRE News -
Evening with the Arts Planned for Sunday, April 27
The Buffalo Ridge Educational Alliance (BREA) will host Evening with the Arts on Sunday, April 27, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Douglas County High School. The event will help raise money for the music department. There is no cost to attend but donations will be requested. The student orchestra will perform along with parents who are music professionals. Student artwork will be on display and refreshments will be served, compliments of Greg and Lisa Adams.
April 10 BREA Meeting
The April BREA meeting is planned for Thursday, April 10, at 9:15 a.m. in the cafeteria. Larry Borland, Executive Director of Safety and Transportation for Douglas County School District, will be the guest speaker. During the meeting, the 2008-2009 BREA Elections will take place. BRE parents are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Jump Rope for Heart
On February 8 and 14, BRE students took part in Jump Rope for Heart. Students raised more than $10,000 for the American Heart Association. The funds will help provide research and education for heart health. Thank you to all BRE students for jumping for this important cause.