Friday, February 24, 2017

Dare to Dream Conference Showcase 2017


Casady sophomores Sahanya Bhaktaram and Mason Thomas, and freshman, Ashley Cooper Lindstrom's proposal "It's Your Turn to Serve" for Dare to Dream, the 28th Annual National Service Learning Conference, has been selected for the conference showcase to be hosted at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. Showcase participants are encouraged to share information about service or service-learning project or program and the impact of the project through a display that illustrates the work, engages attendees, and inspires others.

The Dare to Dream Showcase Proposal

The Casady Dare to Dream Team will be showcasing their personal projects as described in their proposal.  The YAC sponsor, Mrs. Carmen Clay has also prepared a PP of service experiences promoted at Casady by its service-learning council, YAC (Youth Active in the Community), faculty, and administration. YAC's mission is to participate in the community to improve lives. The Casady Service-Learning Program's mission is to "Empower entrepreneurs of peace and social change".  View "The Infinitive Paths to Peace, What is Yours? Powepoint that will accompany the Dare to Dream Team Showcase here.  The team will also feature a t-shirt quilt of service projects as a table cover.

Cooper Lindstrom will showcase her advocacy to stop bullying through kindness. She started her Kindness Chain Reaction inspired by Rachel's Challenge in the Middle Division as an eighth grader.  Before Random Acts of Kindness Week, Cooper presented her project at chapel and motivated peers and faculty to "catch acts of kindness they observed and write them on rectangular pieces of paper."  Cooper has been creating a chain of kindness acts with those strips in the month of February.  

Senior Nicole Jia, Miss America, Outstanding Teen,connected her National Kindness Day Activity to Cooper's kindness initiative.  In its second year at the Upper Division, Nicole promoted sending kindness grams with kindness messages and lollipops to peers to celebrate the day.  The service-learning program placed mints at faculty mailboxes to thank them for their help and kindness with Upper Division service projects. Nicole is also promoting the Warm Project for the second consecutive year.  Each grade will make blankets which will be delivered to Positive Tomorrows when finished. Nicole's platform is #be selfless.  Nicole is the official National Teen Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals. Casady's Student Council Project, in its third year will be an April Walk-A-Thon with proceeds benefiting Children's Hospital.  Cooper and Nicole's focused on Kindness in the month of February inspired, Lower Division faculty, Mrs. Megan Thompson who created the LD Garden of Kindness Bulletin Board.  Children from 1st to 4th grade are adding their blooming flowers of kindness to the beautiful bulletin board which will be displayed at the Lower Division during the ISAS Arts Festival.

Mason Thomas will showcase her "Peace Silhouettes" project. Mason had an out of the box idea when she was at the Primary Division and observed the children's decorations for their World Banquet.  The children decorated small cardboard figures to represent people around the world participating at their world banquet.  At the end of the school year 2015-2016, Mason requested the purchase of materials to decorated figures as people from around the world and place them on buildings to have a visual connection to our world's diversity like we did with world religions in the previous year. In the month of August, Casady Upper Division art classes, Casady After School Care, Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village, and Boys and Girls Club Art Classes received the materials requested by Mason and decorated multicultural cardboard silhouettes following the chapel theme for this school year, "I AM".  Mason created murals with the silhouettes at every Upper Division building during Peace Week-11 Days of Global Unity (9/11-9/21, 2016).  

The children and teens decorated silhouettes were an artistic connection to respect and understanding of our Oklahoma diversity and our unity in addressing the challenges of the themes of the week with awareness of the themes of the week through chapels speeches, and acts of service, kindness, compassion,and honor, the Oklahoma Standard. The Peace Silhouettes were also connecting seeds to new mentoring initiatives. Senior Erik Rangel has been exploring schedules for a mentoring program with Western Village.   The Peace Silhouettes made by the Casady after school care children will be displayed at the Activities building during the ISAS Arts Festival.

Sahanya Bhaktaram will be featuring her service with Special Care Youth Board and its developing connections to Casady junior, Zac Conner, Best Buddies International Project, and Casady freshman, Aaron Puffinbarger, 2-WATRR project. As part of his Independent Study Course, Skills for Action: Classroom with a Cause, Aaron aims to build a new 2-Wheelchair Accessible Track for Andrew Johnson Elementary.  Zac's project aims to start a mentoring program between Casady Upper Division Cyclones and the after school care program at Special Care.

Sahanya will also feature her commitment to serving to end Oklahoma hunger with collaborative YAC projects such as the Casady Cans Do Students Against Hunger Food Drive and YAC connections to Casady Cares administrative initiatives of professional development mornings at the Food Bank before school starts. Sahanya will also share her ongoing project of promoting once a month volunteering at Boys and Girls Club at Memorial Park, a Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Kids Cafe and YAC's connection to helping helping OKC homeless with projects such as Sophomore's Ellisson Guzzy, Perfect Pair, benefiting the Homeless Alliance.

Newlyweds Aid Refugees on Humanitarian Honeymoon
Meet Daily Point of Light Award honorees Ethan Zohn and Lisa Heywood Zohn. The couple kicked-off their marriage with a humanitarian mission to aid Syrian refugees in Northern Greece, raising $45,000 to support a large refugee camp. Ethan, known for his third-season win on CBS’s Survivor reality series, shares how that trip left an impression far more meaningful than honeymooning on a sandy beach every could. Read their story.
Volunteer Program Helps Address Refugee Crisis in Brazil
Since 2011, the number of refugees in Brazil has doubled each year. Points of Light’s international affiliate Atados runs a series of programs and quick-action campaigns to mobilize a large number of volunteers to supplement the government’s efforts. Check out our February international member spotlight to learn how Atados is helping refugees integrate into Brazilian culture with the help of volunteers.
Celebrating the Contributions of Extraordinary Black Changemakers
During Black History Month, we recognize and celebrate the significant contributions that African-Americans have made throughout history and their impact on economic, social and political issues. Read about some of these extraordinary changemakers who are featured on the Points of Light Monument, a one-mile walkway in Washington, D.C., that honors Americans who have transformed our nation and the world through service.
10 Young Changemakers Inspire Others to Take Action and Be Kind
The 2017 Hasbro Community Action Heroes gathered in New York City this week to be honored by Hasbro and generationOn, the youth division of Points of Light, for their incredible service. Though they are still young - ranging from age 9 to 18 - they have already started their own nonprofits, lobbied state governments, created community impact and engagement programs, and much more. Read more about their work and how they’re inspiring other kids to get involved.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sharing Service Sparks with Mr. Gene Rainbolt, Casady Service-Learning Benefactor

Photos by Aaron P.'20


Joan K.* Coach Bonfiglio, Coach T., Father Marlin*, Father Blizzard*,  Mr. Evan Walter*, Dr. Wesley Fryer*, Dr. Sara Price*, Mrs. Small*, Mrs. Clay*, Mrs. Betty Jane Garrett 


Available Casady Cares adults visited with Mr. Rainbolt at the Wing conference room.  Faculty, administration, and Oklahoma non-profits, such as the Respect Diversity Foundation of Oklahoma are resources for teen initiatives that help actualize the mission of the Casady service club, YAC (Youth Active in the Community).  YAC's why is to participate in the community to improve lives.
Mr. Rainbolt asked us to reflect on how our projects are aiming to lessen the "economic, capitalistic Darwinism" and empower our students to use their education to change "opportunity in life," because education is the lever that creates prosperity from poverty.  

12:30-1:30 (Lunch and Activities)











"Honestly, I did not know so much service was going on.  It was great to meet Mr. Rainbot and learned about the projects around campus and in the Oklahoma City community."  Members of the Junior Class.


Freshmen:       Saadia N. Jacob B. Malavika R. Aaron P. Ahmed H., Ellie T., Cooper L. (7)        
Sophomores:   Sahanya B., Katherine S., Ellie G., Anna B. Hallie R., Brooklyn D., Justin S., Brandon T. Hannah H. (9)
Juniors:            Safra S. Mariam S. Luke A., , Gabrielle M. (4) 
Seniors:           MiAngila G., Jack R., Johnny L., Calvin T., Jake U., Josh B., Miranda T., Isaiah L. Barry Z., Caitlyn , Nicole Jia (11)
Adults:             Father Marlin, Mr Evan Walter, Dr Wesley Fryer, Mr. Kelly, Dr. Sara Price, Mrs. Small,Mrs Clay, Dr. Carlos Torres

Cyclone servant leaders ate lunch and shared "their service spark" with Mr. Gene Rainbolt, benefactor of the Service-Learning Program. The lunch hosts were YAC Co-Presidents Miranda M. and Isaiah L.  

The Rainbolt Family has an endowment at the Oklahoma Community Foundation for the service learning program to be part of the Casady education for perpetuity. Mr. Rainbolt received yearly reports from the program director at first. Then, reports came in the form of informal conversations with YAC students about the difference they were making in the community.  

The lunch dialog was a collaborative reflection of what Cyclones are doing to be the change they want to see. Freshmen Saadia N. and Aaron P. created a PP with sample YAC projects and Mrs. Carmen Clay, Rainbolt Family Service-Learning Chair reported on the program of the current academic year with a PP, which will also support a Cyclone showcase at the 28th National Service-Learning Conference in Anaheim, California.  Freshman Cooper L. and sophomores Sahanya B. and Mason T. will be showcasing their projects and motivating youth and adults at the conference to bring similar initiatives to their communities.

As a token of Casady YAC's appreciation, Mr. Rainbolt received a t-shirt and roots of service drawings quilt designed by freshman Malavika R. under the guidance of our master quilter and CFO, Mrs Shirley Small.  YAC students learned how to make a quilt and how to sew as they created the quilt.  Mr. Rainbolt also received an orchid plant to add to his garden.

"Education changes the opportunity in life.  It might be a teacher, it might be a subject, (it might be a buddy or a mentor) but education as such is the lever that creates prosperity from poverty" -Gene Rainbolt

Children's Books: Senior Literary Exchange and Come and Read With Me

Senior Literary Exchange

Each trimester Casady seniors take a new English course, similar to college seminar courses. Multiple Genre Creative Writing, taught by Whitney Finley, is one of the courses offered during the winter trimester, and students in this course have concluded a unit of study focused on children’s literature.

After spending a few days reading and critiquing children’s literature, the seniors began the process of crafting their own children's stories. The seniors worked diligently on their projects and were conscientious about content, structure, characterization, illustrations, and use of rhetorical devices. The project culminated with an opportunity for the seniors to share their stories with kindergarten children.
This is the seventh year for this project. Casady kindergarteners will now craft their own unique stories and reciprocate a sharing time with seniors in the spring.

Mrs. Finley's Senior English Class students read the children's books they created to kindergarten kids in the Primary Division on Thursday, February 17, 2017 from 2:30-3:00 pm.  

Seniors 2017 Children’s Books


  1. Calvin Tolbert -- “Billy Bumpass and his Map and Compass”

Time: 6:35 / Characters: a boy, his mom, & his dad

Billy feels disappointed that he received a map and a compass for his birthday; however, when Billy and his parents become stranded in fog, his present comes in handy. The story teaches children to openly receive something that might seem uninteresting at first, as it can prove useful and fun after all.

  1. Gabriel Ting -- “Griswold the Generous Grizzly”
Time: 5:48 / Characters: woodland animals
Griswold the bear tries to find the lake in order to take a bath before his long, winter nap. Griswold encounters animals that need help along the way, which delays Griswold’s lake venture. However, eventually one of the animals that Griswold chose to help returns the favor and helps Griswold find the lake. The story teaches children that we can find joy in helping others.

  1. Claire Darrow -- “A Day at the Museum”
Time: 6:04 / Characters: a girl, her mom, & figures in paintings
Harper doesn’t want to spend her day at an art museum, and to make matters worse, she gets lost while in the museum. However, a few talking paintings help Harper to find her mother and to have a fun day enjoying art. The story encourages children to be open-minded to receive unexpected gifts and new experiences.

  1. Livy Simms -- “Casey’s Space Adventure”
Time: 4:00 / Characters: a cactus & other plants
A cactus with a love for the stars does everything he can to reach his goal. The story reveals that with hard work and perseverance, we can make our dreams happen.


  1. Mason McClintock -- “The Adventures of Charlie the Chipmunk”
Time: 3:45 / Characters: 4 animals
A group of animals gets lost in the woods, and they have to find their way back. The story teaches children that teamwork is important because people can use their different strengths to help accomplish a goal.  

  1. Muhammad Saadah -- “Masquerade”
Time: 3:20 / Characters: a boy & other kids
Gribble wears masks to look like other kids in hopes that this will help him to feel accepted; however, Gribble soon learns that the best way to make friends is to be himself.  The story reveals that the key to friendship is to love yourself as you are.

  1. Dalton Bishop -- “George the Dancing Giraffe”
Time: 3:20 / Characters: safari animals
Safari animals have a dance party that meets with adversity, but together, they find a solution to continue the party. The story teaches children that when things go wrong, we can work together to find a solution.

  1. Paris Corbett --“Penelope’s New Pal”
Time: 3:29 / Characters: penguins
Penelope the penguin feels a little down because she doesn't have anyone to swim with. But then, unexpectedly, a new friend comes into her life.  The story teaches children that it’s important to have patience when hoping for something in the future.


  1. Caroline Mullins
“Becky’s Big Break”
Time: 2:51 / Characters: a girl & other kids
Becky learns to embrace her differences and her love for basketball while struggling to overcome challenges that arise from being different. The story teaches children that being unique isn’t a bad thing; we are all unique in some way.

  1. Reid Fisher
“Milk and Cookies”
Time: 3:53 / Characters: a boy, Bigfoot, & mom
A little boy becomes lost in the woods on his way to buy milk.  He becomes afraid when he sees Bigfoot, but eventually, Bigfoot helps him on his journey. The story teaches us not to judge others by appearance or preconceived notions; everyone has something good to give in life.

  1. Brayden McCaleb
“Timmy’s Birthday Surprise”
Time: 3:32 / Characters: a boy & a goldfish
On Timmy’s birthday, he receives a goldfish as his present.  He feels disappointed at first but soon learns he loves his new pet.  The story teaches children to be open-minded to receive unexpected gifts and new experiences.

  1. Brett Reynolds
“The Night of the Howling”
Time: 3:13 / Characters: wolves
Danny the wolf feels sad that he cannot howl with the other wolves at “The Night of the Howling.” With a little luck and little ingenuity, Danny finds a way to participate.  The story teaches children that we should do our best to include others, and the story encourages children to think creatively when problems arise in order to find a solution.

  1. Emma Richmond
“Head in the Clouds”
Time: 3:06 / Characters: a boy, his mom, & classmates
Despite being teased about his hopes to fly a plane, little Ryan helps to land a plane while on Spring break. The story reveals that we should never give up on our dreams, no matter what other people think. 

  1. William Walter

Come and Read with Me Program 
@ Casady Upper & Middle Division Chapels

Mrs. Angie Walton, Come and Read with Me Program Coordinator,  shared the below video of the program.  She also provided information about the summer program application which is currently available on bulletin boards in the Upper Division.

Ms. Sally Gray, Children's Librarian and Elisabeth Wright, Teen Librarian were introduced to Upper Division Chapel as resources for Casady volunteers.

The Middle Division service club, under the sponsorship of English Teacher, Mrs. Cherylynn O'melia has an ongoing initiative sharing Metropolitan Library System, Come and Read with Me and student created books with Johnson Elementary.  

The Upper Division Service-Learning Program has been working with the Come and Read with Me Program since 2005.  Mrs. Walton was pleased to find, at the Casady Archives, a reflection provided by Darian Lopez'06  about her experience as a volunteer with the Come and Read with Me Summer Program.  

The Come and Read with Me Program has provided YAC with at least 900 books which they have read and/or donated for children to take book home at Britton and Bodine Elementary, Our Spot, Head Start Program, and Boys and Girls Club at Memorial Park.

The Village Library currently has a project where teens provide technology assistant to adults and elders.  The Service-Learning Program and the Village Library Teen Program started a dialog of a possible collaboration in the creation of a book based on the life retail experience of Marolyn Stout, a resident of the Statesman Club at the Vineyard.  The book's title is "50 Years Behind the Fitting Room Door."  Any youth and/or adults interested in this innovative service-learning project should contact the service-learning director at for details.

Mrs. Walton's contact information is 
Angie Walton, M.Ed. | Project Coordinator
300 Park Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Growing smarter communities, one person at a time.
Twitter: @MetroLibraryOK 

Volunteer Opportunities with the Village Library
  • Summer Reading: Of course, we always need teen volunteers in the summer. Invitations will be sent out to returning volunteers on March 4, and then the opportunity will be posted and opened up to new volunteers starting on March 10. Summer Reading volunteers primarily help with signing up people for the Summer Reading Program and awarding prizes for reaching goal levels, though they also assist with other tasks around the library as needed. Some of our Summer Reading volunteers also help with our Reading Buddies program by playing literacy games with children.
  • Tech Time: Currently, I've had students from Classen SAS provide tech help on two Tuesday afternoons a month. In March, we're going to try taking Tech Time to Town Village Retirement Center on a Saturday morning. If that goes well, I hope to expand and continue that partnership and will be looking for additional volunteers, as my current Classen volunteers are all seniors.
  • Homework help: One of the Metropolitan Library System's big strategic initiatives for the next year is to offer homework help services at all library locations. At the Village Library, this is still in the early stages of development, but we'll be looking to start a homework program in August/September, and we can try to plan it for an evening time slot so that hopefully some of your students can participate as tutors.