“Faith Works” Team Volunteers Time at North Hudson

Man painting the portico at NHE

A team of volunteers from Faith Works has been working hard to clean up and beautify the grounds around North Hudson Elementary, from cleaning up the landscaping and front entrance to painting our playground activity areas in bright colors. We are very grateful for the time and energy this team has donated and for choosing North Hudson Elementary as one of their summer projects!

Thank you to all who helped!!

Front of school showing landscapingFour square area painted in primary colorstwo color circles painted around the tetherball polesline up areas painted in primary colorsNew black and white checkerboard added to playground

 

Summer Reading

Let’s keep reading all summer long! Houlton Elementary School is open for reading:

  • June 27, 5:00-7:00 PM – Wild About Reading
    • Participate in a scavenger hunt, a creative craft, and a snack!
    • Bring your books back to exchange!
  • July 11, 9:00-11:00 AM – Buggy About Books
    • Learn about insects when our entomologist visits with some large and interesting bugs to see!
    • We will also have a fun bug craft project, eat “ants-on-a-log” and exchange your books!
  • July 25, 5:00-7:00 PM – Blizzard of Books
    • Come make winter slime, and enjoy an Olaf snack to take home.
    • Bring your books to exchange!
  • August 8, 9:00-11:00 AM – Books on the Beach
    • Bring a beach towel and beach clothes for storytime every half-hour.
    • Write a postcard to one of your Houlton friends and we will send them out for you!
    • Bring your books to exchange!
  • August 22, 8:00-10:00 PM – Campfire Finale!
    • We will have a campfire to enjoy s’mores.
    • We will read under the stars and enjoy the night sky!
    • Return all books!

Growing Young Learners

A group of students work with adult master gardener in the Houlton greenhouse.

Houlton Elementary School and its partnership with area Master Gardeners, were highlighted in the May, 2018 edition of the Wisconsin Master Gardeners Association newsletter. Thank you to St. Croix Master Gardener, Sandy Madsen, for sharing our story!

A group of students work with adult master gardener in the Houlton greenhouse.

Growing Young Learners by Sandy Madsen

Houlton Elementary, a rural school of 226 K-5 children, in the Hudson School District sought out Master Gardeners to lead a student-based gardening program. The principal emailed the St. Croix Valley MasterGardener Association in search of a willing volunteer, and I responded. The school was already very conscious of environmental concerns and encouraged many sustainable activities. They were ready, willing and able to add more health and nutrition to their curriculum through gardening.

The program began in 2009 and grew slowly over the last 10 years. By creating additional learning experiences every year, the gardens now include a perennial flower garden, a 1-acre restored prairie, an 80’ x 12’ bed for corn, beans, squash, raspberries and asparagus, a 700sq ft rain garden, a butterfly garden and 5 raised beds for vegetables, fruits and seed trials. Just last year their dysfunctional, glass sun room was replaced through generous grants. We now have a beautiful 12’ x 20’ greenhouse!

This program thrives because of unwavering support from every person in the school as well as the St Croix Valley Master Gardeners Association (SCVMGA). The Principal and her Administrative Assistant are on the front lines fighting for many things that promote our program, such as applying for grants and recruiting families to volunteer during the summer. There is unlimited support from the custodians, who among many other activities, take a leadership role by assisting composting. The cafeteria cooks inspire us by preparing and serving whatever we grow and harvest, for example, kale chips, roasted brussel sprouts and pizza sauce, which are devoured by the students. The enthusiasm of the teachers and students often amazes each of the Master Gardener volunteers, as every student in every classroom is involved. The gardening curriculum often embellishes the academic curriculum. An example of this is the enrichment of the Native American Unit through planting a Three Sisters bed full of corn, beans and squash.

The SCVMGA supports the program both financially and physically. The Houlton gardening program has received a SCVMGA grant every year since its inception. Also, many Master Gardener Volunteers come when needed. Like the day the Rain Garden was planted, when 10 Master Gardener Volunteers helped 40 fifth (5th) graders plant over 400 plants. There are a few dedicated Master Gardener Volunteers that lead the students each and every week during the growing season. The school’s gardening program has 5 components that all work together: 1)

  1. Composting- cafeteria scraps as well as garden refuse enhance composting.
  2. Classroom planting projects- each of the 11 classrooms has two planting projects, one starting in the greenhouse and one outside.
  3. Garden Club- each classroom sends three different students each week during noon recess for garden maintenance.
  4. After School program- takes responsibility for the flower gardens.
  5. Summer Family Volunteers- each week, one or two families assist with harvesting and maintenance.

Houlton Elementary School was designated as a 2017 US Department of Education Green Ribbon School. The school has a superior level of accomplishment in all of the required qualities for this recognition. The award is given to schools that reduce environmental impact, improve health and wellness and provide effective environmental and sustainability education. The entire school is committed to all of these behaviors, which are also used as the foundation of their gardening program.

It is truly a delightful and rewarding Master Gardener project.

Learn more about the Master Gardener program at www.wimga.org

River Crest Outdoor Classroom Construction

Digging footings for River Crest's outdoor classroom pavilion.

This past school year the River Crest Parent Group and the school’s Environmental Leadership Team worked together to make plans for an Outdoor Classroom at River Crest!  With financial help from our Parent Group and other donors, we secured funding for the construction of an outdoor pavilion on the south east side of the property. We are very excited to have this covered outdoor learning space for all the students at River Crest.  The pavilion is currently being built and we are planning to celebrate the completion of the project on September 20th at 5:30 PM.

Digging footings for River Crest's outdoor classroom pavilion.

Digging footings for River Crest's outdoor classroom pavilion.

Boundary Committee Gives Feedback on Options

On Tuesday, June 12th, the Elementary Attendance Boundary Committee reviewed two draft options for new attendance boundaries. Both draft options will be revised further based on the input from the Boundary Committee members. It is important to note that these draft options will change.

Draft Option #1

Draft Option #2

  1. Click here to read the powerpoint presentation associated with the above options and the committee’s feedback.
  2. The Boundary Committee is scheduled to meet on September 18th to work on the revised draft options developed by RSP and Associates.
    1. Community members are welcome to observe Boundary Committee meetings.
  3. Draft options #1 and #2 were developed by RSP and Associates based on the feedback gathered at the Community Forum on May 15th.
  4. Click here to view the Elementary Attendance Boundaries webpage with all documents.

If you have questions or comments related to the work of the Elementary Attendance Boundary Committee or attendance boundaries in general, please contact: connections@hudsonraiders.org