Subscribe

THE CHALKBOARD: McKinley students learn how footballs and airplanes fly

McKinley School’s Mustangs are hard at work in and out of the classroom. Principal Matthew Harris reports more than 100 students are participating in the playground flag football program this year. The games are a social, physical and strategic exercise bringing all the students together to share in the fun.

­­--

McKinley School is also providing students with the opportunity to learn from community volunteers about aviation and engineering through a campus club. “McKinley’s Aviation Club took flight last week with over 37 members. Besides building community and learning how to work in teams, these Mustang Aviators will spend several months learning the science, technology, engineering, art and math behind flying an airplane,” according to Harris. The culminating event for participating aviators will be a trip to the Pacific Coast Air Museum and a chance to co-pilot a real airplane. Sixth-grade teacher, Mark Mortensen, along with community members Ed Fullerton, Charley Taylor, Michael Nistler and the Petaluma Rotary Club are supporting and leading this group of future aviators.

­­--

As earlier reported, Wilson Elementary School has been going through several stages of a campus remodel in recent months. Adding to this refresh of the facilities is the volunteer efforts of Eagle Scout Johnny Chavez from Troop 105. Chavez is spending the next few weekends planting more than 40 redwood trees on campus to help with the landscaping plan for the Wildcats’ home. Within the next month, students will also see a new patio area next to the school’s track where another local Eagle Scout installed the new water fountains last year.

­­--

It is the season of bountiful giving and Girl Scout Troop 11304, made up of students from Meadow Elementary School, harvested produce on the Petaluma Bounty Farm with Martin, the farm’s Bounty Hunters Coordinator. The young farmers for a day were able to see the process from harvest to donation at the farm, and learned about how the farm contributes to the COTS Kitchen. The workday offered these volunteers a greater sense of how their contribution is making a difference in our community.

­­--

Outdoor learning is happening at McDowell School. Students in Mrs. Nealon’s class headed outside for a science lesson that focused on leaves. Students investigated decomposing leaves, drew diagrams of their observations, journaled and discussed how leaves play a part in making good soil. The young scientists at work enjoyed the lesson plus an afternoon in the sun before the days start to get cooler as we head into the winter season here in Petaluma. Principal Maureen Rudder is also excited to share news of the recent gift of KNBR/Wells Fargo’s Step Up to the Plate for Education grant ($5,000). The money will be used to purchase a new play structure for the east-side campus. “We have been fundraising for more than seven years in order to raise the necessary money. This grant and another $5,000 grant that we received earlier this month from the Petaluma Chapter of Realtors will enable us to move ahead with the project,” according to Rudder.

­­--

Liberty School‘s Walk-a-Thon event had a special surprise this year. When students reached the 180-lap mark (about 18 miles), they were able to have their picture taken inside of a real race car.   According to staff member Amy Grant, Fred and Terry Cziska of Petaluma volunteered their time and two real NASCAR cars for the event knowing this year’s theme was “Racing.” The No. 75 car displayed on campus was driven by Todd Bodine in the Winston Cup Series.

­­--

Top Speed Data Communications, Redwood Credit Union and the RMJ Foundation are sponsoring Bite of Reality for Petaluma high schools’ students. This financial literacy program allows high school students to simulate a career, an income, a family and then make choices on how to spend their money.

The Bite of Reality is a three-hour program intended to teach high school students about the financial realities of the real world.

Top Speed’s Anthy O’Brien invites adult volunteers to be the financial mentors during the student sessions. “We need 16 volunteers for this first ‘Bite’ in November but will need about 60 volunteers for each of the high school sessions in the Spring,” says O’Brien. For more details on the program or to volunteer, please call Anthy at 242.8277 or e-mail at anthy@topspeeddata.com.

­­--

(Maureen Highland is a Petaluma mother and interim executive diretor for the Petaluma Educational Foundation. She can be reached at schools@argus courier.com.) 

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette