Having lost two grandparents to cancer made Woodlawn School sophomore Sawyer Bowman think hard about how funding is allocated for cancer research, and his resulting video documentary on the subject has just earned a national award. Meanwhile, his classmate Stephan Snyder has spelled his way to a state bee.
School Notes this week has news about both students, along with a report on new playground equipment for students with disabilities at Davidson Elementary that Eleanor Bolton is enjoying. All that, plus a school events calendar that includes Davidson IB’s March 12 talent show and much more.
WOODLAWN STUDENT IS GRAND PRIZE WINNER IN C-SPAN CONTEST
Woodlawn School sophomore Sawyer Bowman has once again won recognition for a documentary film. Last year, his film about Flint, Mich., won a second-place prize in the C-SPAN StudentCam video documentary contest. This time around, Sawyer received a special call at school, in which a woman informed him that he had once again won a prize in the contest.
“Would you like to know how you placed?” she asks in a conversation caught on film and produced live on national television Tuesday. (Click here to watch.)
Yes, he did want to know.
“You, Sawyer Bowman, are our Grand Prize winner!”
Sawyer’s documentary, “Cancer: It’s Personal,” placed first among 921 entries, garnering a $5,000 award for Sawyer, and a $1,000 donation to Woodlawn. Plus, the documentary will be aired in April on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” a daily morning show that appears locally on MI-Connection Channel 4. The top 27 videos will be played, with an expected start time of 9:30 a.m., and each segment will end with an interview of the winning student.
Sawyer’s eight-minute film viewed the need for more cancer research funding through the prism of his own grandparents, who died of the same form of brain cancer in 2002 and 2007.
StudentCam, now in its fifth year, is a national competition in which students produce a documentary for the cable news network exploring a current political topic using C-SPAN footage and covering multiple viewpoints. This year had the topic of “a message to the new president.”
Sawyer’s classmate at Woodlawn, 10th grader Terin Patel-Wilson, was one of 48 who won an honorable mention prize of $250 in the contest for his documentary, “Turning the Page on Education.” The film looks at education in America and includes an interview with Davidson College education professor Rick Gay.
STEPHAN SNYDER WINS REGIONAL BEE
Forget about “spell check” – if you need the spelling of a word, call the Snyder kids.
In December, Greg Snyder and Motria Procyk’s daughter, Halynna, won the Davidson Elementary spelling bee. The next month, Halynna’s older brother, Stephan, a seventh-grader at Woodlawn, won his school bee. Then in February, Stephan was the top speller at the Western Region Non-public School Spelling Bee, winning a $50 prize. Stephan’s winning word was “r-e-f-u-g-e-e.” (Read a report on Stephan’s success in the Salisbury Post.)
Stephan said the hardest word he encountered at the regional bee was “luau.”
“I’d never seen that one written out before,” he said.
Luckily, he used the Hawaiian etymology of the word to spell it correctly. Speaking of “etymology,” that was another one of Stephan’s words. His parents said that he did not miss a beat, causing the judges to chuckle by asking for the word’s etymology.
The Snyders have not yet concluded their spelling season. Stephan will represent the Western Region at the Winston-Salem Journal Bee March 22.
SWINGING SAFELY AT DES
Recess at Davidson Elementary can now include swing time fun for students with disabilities, thanks to a campaign by members of the community.
Parent Amy Klett noticed that the school lacked playground equipment suitable for handicapped students and, with the children of a friend in mind, she decided to do something about it.
In October, Ms. Klett launched a fundraising campaign to purchase and install swings, at a cost of $2,700 each, for the children of John and Holly Bolton. The Boltons’ two children, Eleanor and Jack, have Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which weakens muscles needed for physical activity.
The swing-set campaign drew support from individual donors, the homegrown charitable group A Giving Spirit Foundation, and from the Davidson Elementary PTA.
Kindergartner Eleanor has made full use of the chance to swing safely on the playground.
“She absolutely loves it,” said Eleanor’s mother. “She has been so thrilled. The swing helps her extend her legs, so it’s exercise as well as fun.”
While the fundraising campaign was designed to provide a safe playground experience for the Bolton children, the swing has also come in handy for other students with disabilities.
“Sometimes there’s a line,” exclaimed Holly Bolton. “It’s wonderful.”
The Davidson Elementary ArtFest, held March 5, raised more than $5,000 through its silent auction. Organizers said proceeds will be used to benefit the school’s art, music and physical education programs.
The auction involved donations from local artisans, and also a wide variety of class projects. One of the highest bids in the latter category was for a Davidson College basketball backboard signed by members of the men’s Wildcats basketball team. The item went for $310.
ArtFest turns the entire school inte an art gallery, with a work of art by every student on display. Artwork will remain on view through mid-March.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
- THURSDAY, MARCH 12 - Battle of the Books competition for the CMS North Learning Community. Both Bailey Middle and Davidson IB have teams that will compete to show what they know about a list of 27 books selected by the North Carolina School Media Association.
- THURSDAY, MARCH 12 – Davidson IB will host its annual talent show and Gift Basket Auction starting at 6:30 pm. The show will feature student and staff talent. Tickets can be “purchased” by bringing in a donation to the Ada Jenkins Center’s Food Pantry. A silent auction will be held that evening for theme gift baskets created by each homeroom. Proceeds from the silent auction will be donated to Free the Children, an international children’s charity founded by Craig Kielburger at the age of thirteen.
- FRIDAY, MARCH 13 – Mother-Son Jammin’ Fun! party for DES sons and their moms/best ladies at the school gym, hosted by a DJ. A photographer will capture the fun. Snacks and drinks provided.
MARCH 16-20 – Book Fair Week at Davidson Elementary will include popcorn and lemonade after school Tuesday, and family pizza night (4:30 – 7 p.m.) Wednesday.
- WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18 - Walk to School Wednesday for Davidson Day School.
- THURSDAY, MARCH 19 – First of two workshops on proposed boundaries for a high school on Bailey Road, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at North Mecklenburg High. (See details in our post, “CMS to hold workshop on Bailey boundaries“.)
- SUNDAY, MARCH 22 – Stephan Snyder of Woodlawn will represent his school and region at the Winston-Salem Journal Regional Spelling Bee.
- WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25 – Walk to School Wednesday for Children’s Community School.
- TUESDAY, MARCH 31 – Second of two workshops on proposed boundaries for a high school on Bailey Road, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Hopewell High.
- THURSDAY, APRIL 2 – Bailey Middle will induct a new group of members into the Junior Honor Society at a ceremony set for 6 p.m. at the school.
- APRIL 6-10 – Spring Break for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools
- SATURDAY, APRIL 18 – Run Too Overcome 5K and Kids Fun Run at Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics, hosted by Davidson Elementary PTA Too for exceptional children. Proceeds to benefit seven elementary schools, including DES. Register for the race through queencitytiming.com.
- MONDAY, APRIL 20 - The 2009 Annual Davidson Day School Golf Tournament will be held on at the River Run Golf Club in Davidson. This will be the main fundraiser for the Patriots Club 2008-09 year.
- THURSDAY, APRIL 23 - Cannon School will host an open house, starting at 7 p.m. in Taylor Hall, for families seeking to explore educational opportunities in grades 5-12. Visiting families will have an opportunity to tour the campus, speak one-on-one with representatives about the school’s academic, arts and athletics offerings, including a new football program, and learn more about the admission process.
Send calendar items and press releases about local school news to us at email@example.com . Don’t forget to include a contact phone number, in case we have questions.