Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy April Holidays

One of the Jewish religion’s most sacred and widely observed holidays, Passover (Hebrew: Pesach) commemorates the story of the Israelites’ departure from ancient Egypt, which appears in the Hebrew Bible’s books of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, among other texts. Jews observe the weeklong festival with a number of important rituals, including traditional Passover meals known as seders, the removal of leavened products from their home, the substitution of matzo for bread and the retelling of the exodus tale. http://www.history.com/topics/Passover
History of Passover: http://www.history.com/topics/passover


Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, is Christianity's most important holiday. It has been called a moveable feast because it doesn't fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Instead, Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Therefore, Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to calculate when Easter will occur and typically celebrate the holiday a week or two after the Western churches, which follow the Gregorian calendar.

History Channel: History of Easter:

From http://www.history.com/topics/easter-symbols

Easter Bunny

The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity's most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called "Osterhase" or "Oschter Haws." Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit's Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.

Easter Eggs

Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus' emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.
Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. In the U.S., the White House Easter Egg Roll, a race in which children push decorated, hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, is an annual event held the Monday after Easter. The first official White House egg roll occurred in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president. The event has no religious significance, although some people have considered egg rolling symbolic of the stone blocking Jesus' tomb being rolled away, leading to his resurrection.

Easter Candy

Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, after Halloween. Among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus' resurrection. Another egg-shaped candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter in the 1930s (although the jelly bean's origins reportedly date all the way back to a Biblical-era concoction called a Turkish Delight). According to the National Confectioners Association, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year for Easter, enough to fill a giant egg measuring 89 feet high and 60 feet wide. For the past decade, the top-selling non-chocolate Easter candy has been the marshmallow Peep, a sugary, pastel-colored confection. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based candy manufacturer Just Born (founded by Russian immigrant Sam Born in 1923) began selling Peeps in the 1950s. The original Peeps were handmade, marshmallow-flavored yellow chicks, but other shapes and flavors were later introduced, including chocolate mousse bunnies.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March Beginnings

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Casady Parents Forum: The Casady Service Requirement for Graduation

The high school service requirement for graduation https://www.casady.org/service-learning-requirements is ONE aspect of the Community Service-Learning Program.  https://www.casady.org/service-learning-mission-and-goals-.

What is the requirement?  45 hours in 4 years.  Volunteerism/community service (not court appointed) opportunities and service-learning experiences receive credit. 

Volunteerism/Community Service: Volunteer helps Topsoccer program on Sundays.
Service-Learning: Volunteer becomes a soccer mentor for Kickstart soccer Program.  Writes a grant to Do Something.org for supplies, snacks, etc.  Creates a lesson plan with assistance of coaches and research for age-appropriate drills for autistic children, etc.   Coaches his/her soccer team.  Has a summer soccer clinic for the team.  As part of the clinic, the volunteer has a demonstration for parents of areas players have practiced and mastered during the clinic.

The difference is the level of volunteer ownership of the answers to the questions who, what, where, when, why, how, and how much of the project experience. 

The choice of service is of student preference.  The guiding mechanism is to reflect on what the volunteer likes to do, or an ability the volunteer wants to enhance or explore.  It is the responsibility of the volunteer to find a non-profit organization that provides an adult (18 years old or older, not a relative) to supervise and certify hours served. 

Where can students serve? Service opportunities with direct, indirect, advocacy, and research experiences as well as youth boards, empowering foundations, and celebratory service award programs are available @ http://casadyplacestoserve.blogspot.com/

What is the needed documentation and where can it be found in the website?
Find forms  https://www.casady.org/document.doc?id=590  It is the volunteer's responsibility to get the completed forms to the community service-learning office at Casady.
Time log: Keeps track of hours and provide a brief reflection
Site Supervisor Evaluation of Student Service: Verifies hours, gives feedback of quality of service. 

What communication is in place to report service updates to parents?  The Service-Learning Director places hours in the volunteer file when the completed site supervisor evaluation and time log reach the office.  An updated service report is sent to parents after hours are verified, certified, and updated numbers are placed in the transcript and report card.  The Casady service-learning director is Carmen Clay and her contact information is clayc@casady.org,  405-520-1325 (cell), 405-7493103(office)

Questions from the floor

1. What service-learning projects exist in the Upper Division Curriculum:
Blue Thumb in Mr. Delgrosso's Ecology class where students monitor water quality of a stream.
K-Senior Literary Exchange  in English classes, high school students make children story books in Mrs. Finley and Dr.  Hubble classes and share them with Kindergarten students. http://casadycommunityservice-learning.blogspot.com/2013/02/senior-k-literary-exchange-projet.htmlFull curriculum-based service-learning at Casady Schools @

2. What are the requirements and the process for the President's Service Award?
Requirements: http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/tg/pvsainfo/dspAboutAwards.cfm
Minimum: 50 hours, 14 years old or younger, 100 hours, 15 years old or older in ONE personal calendar year.  Students can receive awards on a yearly basis.
Process: Students create a reflective file at the award site and place the Casady certifying organization code SCW-0931 as part of profile.  The code links to the Casady award certifying site.  The service-learning office orders the awards in March and pins, certificates and letter from the President are delivered during National Volunteer Week in April or the first week in May.

3. Are there plans to have alternative spring and summer service trips? Yes.  In the past we have had global education summer service-learning trips connected to language enhancement in the Spanish classes: http://cyclonexploringpossibilities.blogspot.com/.  The French classes are traveling to France during Spring Break.  The Chinese classes have trips to China every other year.

Areas of Concern:
a. Training about service learning: It is done on an individual basis by visits to the Service-Learning office.  Recommendations:  Greater, more intentional exposure at Chapel. Return to a more direct focus in a smaller groups like Service-Learning Fridays during Study Halls.

b. Connecting service to leadership building and ethics: Areas being addressed by Mr. Philipson.

c. Greater number of required hours: The emphasis is on quality of service experiences with focus on direct service, not on quantity of hours served.  Many students continue to serve after requirement completion, some because "service is their thing" others find an incentive in the President's Volunteer Service Award as enhancement of personal profile for college application process. The total number of hours served since 2004 when the requirement started to be implemented is reaching 100,000.

Ideal High School graduate article contains references to the role of public service in college admission process: http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/ideal-grad/

Should we have a required number of hours?  Points of Light Foundation CEO on service requirement http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=x8f8aobab&v=001Uw9QefivccIprSGjdJaX2O8UHcqQXWsRAbXUn40A9EZjvkZrWU1WX9hOZHxq6PDJ46R6PLOxQq05rx8q57rHl5dqo8P16D2wGHQRjhqevVKQ6FYNkRPPIEdnPe12LdEOnC0FaRj6AGjbSsWt7saqqAaHu5xXuIjpC5kEY7359GdxWH75gPo-2V1_kD0xZlXEV_wgkAOidsU43aksiNIi3MADeeoKwtulT-Wq_BLRJpuGlW7GnofwibHb24VWLFPq47QZ8dNqBl-xXJZtkOFuNWg8-JoaC9pUYrcRRzy_kRrNh3kHDDR1LNP_BWRqgwLpFp60j_JWizaq492ZyEfr5EC5RvmiO7NUcJUaFuVGh6NaB41RsgPSX_SmVKhRHeJ3aeOUBeypOL0%3D

YAC Message about their generation. 

YAC is a service Youth and Adult Advisory and Action Council.  Its mission is You-nite A Community.  YAC helps students find their passion to help our local and/or global communities and supports their efforts.  YAC also promotes school wide service experiences.  A few YAC members are part of the founding teen panel of a city wide cultural competency leadership youth board, Youth LEAD OKC, modeled after http://youthleadonline.org/

LEAD is an acronym for Leaders Engaging Across Differences.  YAC/Youth LEAD Cyclones will participate and present at the TIDE (Teens Identity and Diversity Education) Conference http://youthleadonline.org/tide.php during Memorial weekend.