Willow River Playground Gets a Makeover

Volunteers from Faith Community Church's Faithworks gather for a group photo on the Willow River Elementary School playground.

The playground at Willow River Elementary school got a makeover this week. Volunteers from Faithworks at Faith Community Church repainted the Unites States map, trimmed shrubs, pulled weeds and added some new shrubs and flowers.

Pictured above: Front row, left to right, Tim Sackett, Caleb Prince (a Willow River Elementary student), Nancy Youngman, and Leslie Redner. Back row, left to right, Phil Mach, John Brink, Tim Prince (Willow River parent and Pastor for Missional Community at FCC), Darcy Prince (Willow River parent) and Daniel Redner.

A group of children and adults painting the United States map on the playground pavement.

Grandmother and granddaughter work together trimming shrubs.

Pictured above: Volunteer Nancy Youngman and her granddaughter, Brianna Youngman, trim shrubs near the school building.

Two volunteers are planting shrubs near the Willow River Elementary School sign.

Pictured above – Volunteers plant new shrubs and perennials in front of the Willow River Elementary School sign at the corners of Fourth and Oak Streets.

Faithworks contributes a week of service to support short-term projects across the St. Croix valley. It is a cross-generational experience that brings together more than a 100 volunteers daily to assist with painting, yard work, and more.

Willow River Elementary Receives Title One Recognition Award

Willow River Elementary School Principal Kimberly Osterhues (left) and Willow River Elementary Reading Specialist Laurel Anfinson stand in front of the Wisconsin state capitol building with the school's Title One Recognition Award.

A statewide congratulations was issued on Tuesday, April 16, to Willow River Elementary. Willow River Elementary was awarded a Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition Award for demonstrating high-progress. 

The Wisconsin DPI website offers the following overview for the Title I School of Recognition Award:

Since 2003, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has recognized Title I schools that have demonstrated success in educating students. To be eligible, schools must receive federal Title I funding to provide services to large numbers or high percentages of economically disadvantaged children and meet other achievement criteria (see criteria below).
These awards recognize the work of students and their parents along with teachers, school administrators, and school staff members to break the link between poverty and low academic achievement. Their efforts help us ensure that every student graduates college and career ready.

More specifically, Willow River Elementary was recognized as a High-Progress School. This means Willow River Elementary:

  • falls within the top 10 percent of schools experiencing student growth in reading and mathematics for elementary and middle school students or the top 10 percent of schools with the greatest improvement in high school graduation rates
  • has achievement gaps that are less than three (3) percentage points between student groups or show evidence of reducing gaps greater than three (3) percentage points
Willow River Elementary School Principal Kimberly Osterhues (left) and Willow River Elementary Reading Specialist Laurel Anfinson stand in front of the Wisconsin state capitol building with the school's Title One Recognition Award.

Willow River Elementary Principal Kimberly Osterhues and Reading Specialist Laurel Anfinson display the Title One Recognition Award in front of the Wisconsin state capitol building.

“Awesome Award” presented at Willow River Elementary

Luke Lauters receives the Awesome Award. Standing, from left to right, Mike Lauters (Luke's dad), Luke Lauters, Iris Fuglie, and Leah Lauters (Luke's mom).
At the June 7th All-School meeting, Iris Fuglie, an 8th grade student from the Hudson Middle School, presented the “Awesome Award” in memory of her sister, Lillian Fuglie. In August 2017, Lillian passed away with her father; she would have been a fifth-grade Willow River student that year. An endowment fund was created through Camp St. Croix  to support a fourth-grade Willow River student attending a camp of their choice during the summer between their fourth- and fifth-grade year. The Awesome Award is presented to a Willow River Elementary fourth-grade student who exhibits the characteristics of someone who is all around AWESOME. The first recipient of this award is Luke Lauters. Luke’s parents, Mike and Leah, were also on hand for the award ceremony.
Luke Lauters receives the Awesome Award. Standing, from left to right, Mike Lauters (Luke's dad), Luke Lauters, Iris Fuglie, and Leah Lauters (Luke's mom).

Awesome Award presentation on June 7, 2019. Standing, from left to right, Mike Lauters (Luke’s dad), Luke Lauters, Iris Fuglie, and Leah Lauters (Luke’s mom).

Willow River Elementary Helps Stuff-A-Truck!

Willow River Elementary's student council members load boxes of non-perishable items into the County Market truck for Stuff-A-Truck.
This year, students at Willow River Elementary helped “Stuff-A-Truck” by collecting non-perishable food items as well as specific non-food items.
“Stuff-A-Truck” is a voluntary, community-wide effort to collect items for individuals and families in need who live in the Hudson area.  For 19 years, the Hudson School District has worked with County Market and the Hudson Area Food Cupboard for the “Stuff-A-Truck” food drive. Last year, the students and community collected more than 15,000 pounds of donations. This year’s goal is to “stuff” another truck with 15,000 pounds of donations. Items are distributed in and around the Hudson area.

2nd Annual S.T.E.M. Night

Two students collaborate to solve a problem at S.T.E.M. Night, hosted by Willow River Elementary.
Willow River Elementary School hosted its 2nd Annual S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Night for all K-5 students and their families on Thursday, November 15, from 6-7 p.m. Students and families rotated through a variety of stations, each one focused on an area of S.T.E.M., including robotics, coding, building, and math games.
Students used creativity to work through challenges and solve problems. They were also able to show parents projects they have been working on in their classrooms, such as EM4 games and media tools.
Students work together to solve a problem at S.T.E.M. Night, hosted by Willow River Elementary.
A student is on the floor, using his imagination to solve a problem at S.T.E.M. Night.

“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