Saturday, January 30, 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Random Acts of Kindness Week: February 14-20/ February 17 National RAK Day!
Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 14-20, Take the Great Kindness School Challenge: Make 2016 Kindness Year! Become a RAKtivist. National Random Acts of Kindness Day, February 17!  RAK Tool Kit:

Harvard's Executive Summary for College Admissions Reform- Service-Learning

Harvard's Education School published today their executive summary for college admissions reform.  This document is supported by many brand name schools.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cleats for Kids collection ends, Senior - Kindergarten Literary Exchange and Fair Trade Chocolate Projects Begin

Cleats for Kids Collaborative Competition between Casady and Heritage during Basketball Games....and the winners are.......the kids of Oklahoma City and Casady Cyclones!
The Cyclone Side

The Charger side

Cyclones and the OKC kids Won!

Third Grade Fair Trade Chocolate Project begins

Service-Learning Project

Main Objectives of the Project: 
·         To increase the students’ global awareness regarding human needs, social justice, economics, and the environment
·         To nurture the students’ empathic imaginations
·         To instill a sense of empowerment and social responsibility
·         To engage students in the application of math concepts such as interpreting charts, and to expose them to business concepts such as expenses, gross sales, and profit
Chocolate, Charities, Choice, and Charts is a service-learning project.
Third grade students learn about the economic, social, and environmental problems associated with chocolate production, and they learn how Fair Trade addresses these problems. 
The students promote the sale of Fair Trade chocolate by making posters, and they publicly announce and explain the project to the school.
The students sell Fair Trade certified chocolate to generate money to donate to charities.  During this selling period, the students learn about five charitable organizations that focus on five different areas of need: education, medical care, disaster relief, hunger, and shelter.
When the selling is complete, the students vote to decide how they want to direct their money to the charities—each student has ten votes which they may allot in any manner they choose.  These votes are entered into an Excel spreadsheet which is projected for the students to view.  As the votes are entered, the students watch a pie chart generated by Excel that displays the changing percentages allotted to each charity, and they can also see the changing dollar amounts.  This continues until all votes are entered and the final amounts to be donated are established.

Service-Learning: Senior-Kindergarten Literary Exchange Project

Senior Creative Writing students read books they created to Casady kindergarten classes.  Students meet in the primary division.  Seniors read their books to small groups of kindergarten students and rotate through the kindergarten classes.  The second part of the exchange is the spring in which kindergarten students come to the Upper Division to read their books.

Part I of the "Senior-Kindergarten Literary Exchange"   The seniors in Mrs. Finley's creative writing class are finishing their books, and they will go to the Primary Division to read to the kindergarten children in February.  Their tentative plan is to eat lunch with the kindergarten in the new activities building (adjacent to the primary).  E day works best for Mrs. Finley's senior class.  They will meet during 4th period on E day, so students will have enough time to walk to the primary, eat lunch with the kids, and read 3 to 4 rounds of books. 
The two dates being considered by Mrs. Sharp and Mrs. Finley are Monday, Feb. 8th and Thursday, Feb. 18th

Part II of the Literary Exchange in late April or early May.  For Part II, the kindergarten children come to the Upper Division to eat lunch and read the books that they have created to our graduating seniors. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

World Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1st-7th

Play with us!

Resources to support  participation in the World Interfaith Harmony Week Coopetition, and to ensure  a positive and meaningful experience.

1. Invite Individuals to Your Team
 Use the social sharing tools here to invite them to sign up
2. Challenge Others to Play
 Use the social tools found here to invite others to register their teams to play.
3. Daily Agent Missions
During each day of the Coopetition, all players will receive an Agent of Compassion Mission that offers tangible ideas and inspiration for ways to play. 
4. Explore Ways to Play
 Check out the growing list of Ways to Play for individuals and for team as a place to get started!
5. Add Your Events
Once you've committed to activities, add them to the event calendar on the Compassion Games website.
6. Compassion Report Map
The Compassion Report Map measures your teams "compassion impact." . Post your reports here!
Have any suggestions or questions? Ideas? Feedback? Contact Compassion Games Coach Sommer Albertsen here:

Friday, January 22, 2016

From the Desk of College Admissions

Harvard's Executive Summary for College Admissions Reform- Service-Learning

Harvard's Education School published today their executive summary for college admissions reform.  This document is supported by many brand name schools.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Casady MLK Day 2016 in Review

MLK Day, Monday February 18, 2016


Where? Direct Service/Advocacy Rebuilding Together Mission:"Rebuilding lives and neighborhoods. Making homes safe warm and dry. Bringing volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income elderly homeowners in the Oklahoma City and metro area."
8:30-4:00 From the home of Mr. Ronald DeWitt-Clark: Coach B., Coach T., Isaiah L.'17, Dylan D.'16 (Photographer) reporting  20 UD volunteers refurbished the exterior of Mr. Ronald Dewitt-Clark. Cyclones scrapped the exterior and painted the whole house in a very cold MLK Day 2016. The project was coordinated by Mr. Brett Crecelius, Rebuilding Together, Project Manager.

Preliminary comments were:
"It was so much fun!  Love to accomplish so much in such little time."
"It was so cold! I had several layers of clothing so I could take it, but on the ladder my toes were freezing.  It was fun."
"The bus left and we did not want to bother Mr. Dewitt-Clark.  We went in the house only to use the facilities when needed. We went to Coach B. and Coach T.'s vehicles for some warmth."  "It was nice to have lunch at a warm pizza restaurant. Thank you Coach T. and Coach B. for carpooling us.  It would have been painfully cold to eat lunch outside!"

Reflective thoughts:

"Despite the cold, I enjoyed this amazing project because it was fun as well as great way to help the community. It was great seeing how much people can do, working as a team. I am glad that I spent my MLK day doing something positive!"N.J.

"Regardless of the cold, We all worked together and got closer while working. I made friends with people I had never really talked to before. I felt like I had really helped someone.  It truly was a great experience and a great way to spend MLK day." N.J.

Cost of the Project: Transportation, lunch, snacks, drinks, supplies (donated by Rebuilding Together), time

Where? Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Volunteer Center  Indirect Service/Advocacy. "The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma distributes food and other products through a network of more than 1,250 charitable feeding programs, including food pantries, homeless shelters, church pantries, soup kitchens, food resource centers and schools." 
9:30 -12:00 Packing Food  Morning Shift:  Reported by volunteers.  "We served during the morning shift packing frozen vegetables for hungry Oklahomans!"

Afternoon Shift: 1:30-4:00  Packed food for the Food for Kids backpack program and had a food insecurity simulation at the end of the shift.  
Mrs. Cherylynn O'Melia reporting.  Mrs. Briana Titus, photographer
The Regional Food Bank's Food or Kids program started as a pilot program in 2003 after hearing a firsthand account of an Oklahoma City elementary student who fainted on a Monday morning while waiting in the school lunch line, due to lack of food over the weekend. The program provides chronically hungry children with backpacks filled with non-perishable, nutritious, kid-friendly, shelf-stable food to sustain them over weekends and school holidays.
During the 2014-2015 school year, the Backpack Program served nearly 18,500 elementary school students attending 514 schools across 53 central and western Oklahoma counties, providing more than 2 million meals for chronically hungry children..

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Totals
75 total people volunteered/represented Casady. 9,630 meals packed. 3,852 backpacks!

Food sorting and packing:
"This is really fun."
"This is the best!"
"Look how much food we packed."
Hunger Simulation:
"We beat you."
"I don't have enough money to buy my food."
"If we wait for the pantry to open, we will not get to buy groceries!"
"SNAP didn't give me anything!"
Ms. O.:
"Working at the Food Bank empowers students to realize they can make a difference in their community."

Fifth grade had the most volunteers with a total of 22. They were followed by 18 in 8th, and a total of 10 in 7th.  10 Casady Lower Division students, 6 Casady Upper Division teens and 10 OU students were also part of the Casady volunteer team in the afternoon shift.

Pictures of MLK Day 2016 by Mrs. Briana Titus at the Food Bank here 

Cost of the project:
Self-transportation, snacks and drinks (provided by Food Bank), Time

Where? OKC National Memorial and Museum
Advocacy/Research Service 9:45-4:00 pm "At the core of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum’s mission are efforts to educate about the impact of violence, as well as advocate for violence prevention. Our legislature was integral in passing progressive legislation to ensure the Oklahoma City bombing is taught in all U.S. and Oklahoma history classes in the state."
Mrs. Carmen Clay, Daniela Rodriguez-Chavez'19 -reporting Anna Buckley, Timothy Bryer-Ash, and Mrs. Shannon Presti -photographers

Interactive learning experience facilitated by Youth LEAD OKCasady, Daniela R-C'19 who created the advocacy to reconnect to the Oklahoma Standard project after an investigation visit to the museum the Sunday before MLK Day 2016 with her cultural competency, diversity/identity education, and leadership through service youth board, Youth LEAD OKC.

This project brought together teens from Casady, Heritage Hall, Putnam City West, and Capitol Hill High Schools. 20 teens and 3 adults received free admission to the museum courtesy of the museum and lunch and snacks courtesy of Casady School Upper Division Principal, Dr. Jon Powell  

To begin the day, after waiting a few minutes for people to arrive, Daniela ushered participants to the museum's classroom and facilitated a welcome, "share your expectations" on post it notes while enjoying a cereal bar.  

" I think this museum will probably make me feel really sad because the OKC bombing caused a lot of casualties.  But the more important thing is not the sadness.  The more important thing is what this tragedy teaches us." z.c.

"I think I will learn more information on the Oklahoma City bombing in the sense of how it happened, the people it affected, and the consequences enforced. At the end of this experience, I hope to develop a better understanding and compassion for our community." i.o.
Then, Daniela took participants to the Museum, an experience "through a chronological self-guided tour of the story of April 19, 1995, and the days, weeks and years that followed the bombing of Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.  The story tracks the remarkable journey of loss, resilience, justice, and hope."

At the end of the tour, back at the Museum's classroom, during a Cheezets and hydrating water break, Mrs. Beverly Kirk, a guest from Diversi-Tea and quilter, put the museum in "real time" perspective because of her personal experiences with victims and survivors of the bombing.  Mrs. Kirk also connected the museum's visit to Dr. King's vision of peace, understanding, teamwork, collaboration, and going beyond co-existence interactivity.

The morning continued with a lesson at the museum Uncover-Discover STEM forensics lab. The lab "creates a multimedia experience that aims to excite and encourage students to pursue STEM careers. 

The Uncover-Discover Lab integrates STEM concepts with history in a highly interactive environment that stimulates learning and connects the past with the future. 

TheUncover-Discover Lab is an academically oriented experience that is geared toward middle and high school students."

Mrs. Shannon Presti, Youth LEAD OKC CEO suggested to work in groups by birthday months to connect teens from different schools. Mrs. Lynn Porter facilitated the session.  Special thanks to Mrs. Porter for helping Daniela create this advocacy for hope, kindness, service, and honor opportunity for Cyclones and Oklahoma City teens on her day off from work.


During pizza and salad lunch time, a quick survey by Mrs. Clay and Mrs. Kirk showed that most teens had taken tours with their schools of the memorial, but only a couple had visited our state of the art memorial museum.  The lab was a second experience to a hand full of participants.  
Most teens were born by 9/11. The bombing is something they read about in books, see online remembrances off or have indirect connections with, as when some of the members of the Class of 2019 explored the Museum's Hope Trunk and planted a survival tree seedling at the Casady campus during Peace Week when they were in the 5th grade.

Survival Tree Seedling Planting in honor of September 21, 2011 -  International Day of Peace, Class of 2019

In the afternoon Daniela ushered the group to a quick outside tour of the Memorial guided by a Park Ranger in a very cold winter MLK Day.  

As the freezing temperatures shorten the experience, the group had an opportunity to visit the museum's store before starting a tour of the Museum's archives facilitated by Mrs. Porter.  "The Memorial Archives has assisted researchers from all over the country and the world. Resources from the Memorial Archives have been utilized for projects ranging from middle school research papers to doctoral dissertations to video documentaries, even to assisting novelists."

At the archives, Mrs. Clay showed a collage of 1,000 service pics from 2000-2005 that created a picture of the memorial walls and reflecting pool made by Cyclone Bandon Spivey'05.  Brandon named his collage, "Reflecting Resilience."  At the archives, the group discovered many historical facts and stories of how violence and death turned into hope and serenity by the Oklahoma Standard displayed after the bombing.
"April 19, 1995, altered the face of Oklahoma – and the nation – forever.  But rather than bow to fear as the attackers intended, the community banded together. Cars became ambulances. Strangers became neighbors. People literally donated the shoes off their feet. Visiting rescue workers and journalists called this spirit of generosity the “Oklahoma Standard.”

When Mrs. Porter was asked about the relationship between the 9/11 museum and the OKC museum, she mentioned that the NYC organizers had consulted with our museum before building the NYC Memorial and Museum. Sadly, some of the rescue workers who helped in the OKC bombing, perished while helping during 9/11. Another difference pinpointed was that it only took a few years to build our memorial.  It took a decade to build the 9/11 Memorial.

Mrs. Clay co-related the Museum archives and its value of preserving history to the Casady archives, where the history of Casady is preserved from its inception in 1947 until the present.  An example, a picture of Mrs. Clay as an exchange student from Peru in the school year of 1973-74 can be found there. The Casady archives location is at the Casady Crabtree Library.

After the archives visit, Daniela ushered the group to a First Person presentation.  Due to the MLK Day Parade, our speaker was a few minutes late.  This gave Mrs. Porter the opportunity to do a quick survey of the audience about the Oklahoma Standard. Some adults were aware of the meaning and shared what they did during the month of April 2015 in honor of the 20th anniversary of remembrance.

Mrs. Clay reminded some students of Mrs. Crossno explanation of the Oklahoma standard: "A rescue NYC firefighter came with only $20 in his pocket.  At the end of his stay in Oklahoma City, the generosity of Oklahomans thankful for the work he was doing, the firefighter left with the same $20 in his pocket. "

Mrs. Porter introduced our first person speaker as the story of a survivor, geologist, Mr. Ed Eckenstein.  We will never forget his analogy of rocks and backpacks!

McVeigh had to have been carefully taught to hate the government.  Negative indoctrination finds fertile ground on trouble souls.  The company he kept and the actions he endured created what he became, he had heavy rocks in his backpack of life.  We need to take those rocks away with acts of kindness, service, compassion, and honor...The Oklahoma Standard! C.C.

To end the day, turning STEM into STEAMS2 (adding the arts, service and spirituality to our day), Daniela, helped by Mrs. Kirk(Quilter) and Mrs. Clay (Zen Music), asked participants to create a quilt patch relating their personal roots and fruits of service, their experience at the museum and the survivor tree.  Participants viewed a quilt that began at MLK Day 2005 and ended in 2010 as an example, but not necessary a model.  The sample quilt resides at the Casady archives.  Mrs. Kirk motivated participants to use their personal creativity since Daniela stated that a tree was something Casady freshmen had just done as an English class reflective piece.  

"I learned about how the people of Oklahoma reacted and rebounded from the bombing.  Through their compassion and empathy the Oklahoma Standard was born.  I hope to help our generation succeed and help maintain the standards and values we have died to represent.  By learning about the memorial, I have gained a better understanding of our city and what we stand for.  I hope to translate these values to the people around me and in generations to come" J.A.

"I think teenagers volunteering at memorial on a free day really shows the community how we care and cherish every moment we have." Q.B.

"This service learning impacted me because it taught me more of the tragedies of the OKC bombing and how even something bad can bring a community together.  I feel I impacted the community today by providing and creating a quilt for those in need and learning of sad historical events that should never be repeated." T.B.

"Today showed me the power of being compassionate, and how a small thing can have a big impact" P.Q.
"This project has shown me so much that I did not know.  We learn only briefly what happened on April 19, 1995 in school.  Coming to this museum shows us the process of accepting achieving justice, and healing together.  We forget sometimes how we come to be, who we are, and the bombing is a huge part of Oklahoma's character" B. H.

" I am so glad I came to his museum.  Through the tour today, I learnt that if everyone can make some small action, all of them put together will make a huge difference.  We also need to learn from this bombing, "don't let tragedy just be a tragedy."Z.C.

"I realized how hard it must have been for everyone and how long it took to heal.  It made me want to help more" H.H.
"First time the Oklahoma Standard was both explained and shown, with all of the support given by Oklahomans and the amazing memorial built to honor those killed." J.L. 

Daniela stated that the finished quilt will have a home at a children place where it can inspire to recommit to the Oklahoma standard, kindness, compassion and service.  Mrs. Kirk will be our quilt making facilitator.  She will come to Casady YAC and Youth LEAD OKC meetings for that purpose.

To end the day, Mrs. Clay asked participants to leave on a post-it note what the impact of the day at the museum had been on them and the community served?  What did they learned?/ How were they changed by this experience?/ How this time at the museum could help them to make a difference in the community?

"Today, I realized the impact of negativity and hate on the world and people in it.  But, I also realized the impact of love and community, and how inspiring it can be.  I've been inspired to spread more love and kindness around our community." c.c.

Cost of the project:
Lunch, snacks, quilt supplies, museum tickets ($12 per person), transportation, time