News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 23, 2012



---- — Consolidated

There are many exciting things happening in each and every classroom at Sugar Creek. This is evident from all the hallway displays. The halls showcase crafts and writings that reflect learning. In first grade, Johnny Appleseed was a big hit in September. Leaves, bats, ghosts and Christopher Columbus were on display in October, just to name a few. October is fire safety month and Consolidated had the privilege of meeting a few of Sugar Creek’s firefighters. They come every year to talk to the students and give them the opportunity to check out one of their fire trucks. November will be the month to check out the first graders thankful thoughts, turkey creations and Mayflower masterpieces.

Another exciting thing happening in first grade is that our students are learning how to become better readers and writers. With the new Common Core Standards put into place, the students are learning numerous skills to prepare them to be successful in college and work. The foundation is started in kindergarten and is ongoing the rest of their life. To spark their interest in reading, assortments of genres are read by different authors such as Eric Carle, David Shannon and Dr. Seuss throughout the year. Several of the curriculum areas can be covered from reading one story with the students and by completing an activity following the story. Students are discovering that reading is fun. Developing a love for reading in the early grades will help students have a successful school experience, not only now, but for years to come.

— Tammy Skinner and Jeanne Endress

Sugar Creek Consolidated third graders learned new things about the Terre Haute community when they visited the Vigo County Historical Museum. The students enjoyed touring the old home and viewing the “ancient” artifacts from the past. It was fun to see how much modern machines have helped to improve our lives. Many were surprised to learn that Terre Haute was known for the design of the first Coca Cola bottle. One of their favorite parts of the field experience was learning about local legends. The students and teachers appreciated the patrons that volunteered their time to lead the tours.

In late February third graders will complete another field experience sponsored by the Vigo County Schools to visit the Allen Memorial Planetarium at Terre Haute South High School. Students will learn about our solar system and the most recent space missions. Many students last year were surprised to learn that Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving the students at Sugar Creek Consolidated are participating in a canned food drive with the help of Parent Club. Baskets will be made to give out to our own Sugar Creek families. The local Brownie and Girl Scout troops will help assemble these baskets of goodies.

Recently Sugar Creek Anchors enjoyed an African acrobat performance sponsored by the Parent Club. This was a reward for top attendance among the county schools. Thanks to the Parent Club the students were entertained and amazed at the talented acrobatic feats! Keep up the good work on attendance, Anchors!!!

— 3rd grade teachers Tammi Turner and Marlies Whitesell

Davis Park

A Winter Art Show exhibiting artwork created by students attending the Vigo County elementary schools is now on display through Jan. 10 on the Lower Level at the Vigo County Public Library, Main Branch at 7th and Poplar Streets.

Artworks by the following Davis Park students are included in this show:

Grade 1: Sebastian Deschryver & Colin Krockenberger

Grade 2: Kennedy Williams

Grade 3: Tatiana Lopez

Grade 4: Noah Guess

Grade 5: Dominiece Cooper & Harlie Dycus

Our Davis Park family and friends are encouraged to stop by the Vigo County Public Library to see the students’ great artwork.

— Pauletta J. Allen, Art Teacher


DeVaney held their Title 1 Language Arts Family Night on Nov. 1. Students and families rotated through stations in The Amazing Traits Race to become more acquainted with 6+1 Traits Writing.

The 6+1 Traits of Writing is a school-wide initiative. Teachers are learning more about how to teach the Traits: Ideas, Organization, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, Voice, Conventions, and Presentation. Purposeful planning and direct instruction are required to improve writing. This family event was intended to educate parents about the Traits and provide students with opportunities to practice.

Ideas refers to sticking to one topic, including interesting details, and developing the piece. The Ideas task involved selecting a book and making a list of at least 5 details about the picture on the cover.

The Organization trait stresses the importance of including a beginning, middle, and end to your piece of writing. For the Organization task, students had to take mixed up pieces of writing and organize them into the correct sequence of events.

When using good Word Choice in writing, the author must use specific language, paint a picture with words, and use “sparkle” words. To practice Word Choice, families selected a topic and brainstormed at least 10 words that related to the topic. The words had to begin with the different letters of the alphabet.

Voice, in writing, is the emotion and feeling an author shares with his/her audience. Families were to select parts from the Reader’s Theater “The Three Little Pigs” and read them while making their voices sound like they thought the character would sound to practice this trait.

In order for writers to improve Sentence Fluency in writing, they must vary sentence lengths and sentence beginnings. For the Sentence Fluency task, students rolled 2 dice and added up the numbers then use that number of words to write a sentence about the topic, “DeVaney is the most amazing school!”

Conventions refer to editing for spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. The Conventions task involved arranging sentence strip pieces to create a sentence with correct capitalization, punctuation, and grammar.

Once students successfully completed each task, they presented their paper to Mrs. Nutter, DeVaney’s principal, and received a new book for their prize. Everyone had a great time at Family Night and became more familiar with the 6 + 1 Writing Traits.

— Shelley Sutherland, First Grade


Amy Laswell is proud of the 24 stars in her 3/4 class this year at Fayette Elementary. Everyone has been working hard and learning many new and exciting things. In science, the class has been doing many observations and experiments. We have learned how we can make fresh water from salt water, learned how water changes state, made models of hurricanes, measured physical properties of matter, and investigated how a planet’s distance from the sun affects its surface temperature. In Social Studies, we have been learning about Terre Haute and our great state of Indiana. The third graders loved going to the Vigo County Historical Museum. Seeing Stiffy Green and hearing the legend about him was a highlight of the trip. The fourth graders learned so much about pioneer life when we visited Fowler Park’s Pioneer Village. We loved baking cookies, going to a pioneer school, sawing wood, and eating beef jerky.

— Amy Laswell

Lost Creek

The November character trait for the VCSC student of the month was “generosity,” being willing to share what you have with others. Lost Creek Elementary Character Trait Award Winners for November include:

Kindergarteners: Kylie Chapa, Iliana Chew, Rylee Renehan, Greysen Hollifield and Savannah Wrightsman.

1st Graders: Hailey wondem, Grace Whitecotten, Charlotte Scofield, Grace Stanley and Nia Green.

2nd Graders: Annie Boling, Marcy Glaspie, Abby Mundy and Carson Goodman.

3rd Graders: MacNeil Lambert, Felicity Rowe, Harley Cooper, Cassie Atterson and Lyla Baker.

4th Graders: David Jones, Skyelee English and Devin Stillwell.

5th Graders: Konnor Deverick, Kylee Robbins, Cheyanna Pence, Mason Unger and Grant Morrison.

The “overall” winner was 4th grader Skyelee English from Mrs. Laubert’s class.

— Jeanne Bilyeu


October’s Character Award was for Respect: “Showing appreciation and regard for others.”

Congratulations to winner Grace Taylor in Mrs. McFarland’s class: Mrs. McFarland wrote: Grace is a student who shows respect to both adults and classmates at all times. Recently, I observed as she used active listening skills with a classmate that was struggling with test anxiety. She heard the fear in the student’s comments and came the next day with some advice that her parents had shared with her about taking tests. Grace is an encourager and takes to heart the character trait of respect.

Others Nominated were: Bobbie Jo West, Mason Haring, Jackson Chandler, Malakai Urbain, Sydney Frye, Jed Fritz,  Rebecca Drummond, Mallory Higham, Noah Williams, Patrick Sizemore, Mackenzie Jones, Lydia Feiler, Tyler Hamilton, Caroline Maschino, Brent Whitesell and Molly Kennedy.

— School staff

We had a wonderful Veterans Day Program at Riley Elementary School this year. All of our students participated in the program. The fifth grade students provided artwork for the ceremony. There were several veterans in attendance who were honored during the program. The music was patriotic and included music from each branch of the military. Each child had the opportunity to represent a veteran by making stars honoring their family member(s) who currently serve our country or have served in the past. The stars were proudly displayed throughout the hallway leading to the gym. Riley is proud and appreciative of all of our veterans for serving our country and for every freedom that we have due to their selflessness.

Now is the time for our annual Vigo County Public Library Art Show. The following Riley students have artwork on display: Faith Scott, Nicholas McCammon-Bement, Lance Poff and Kendra Deckard. Their artwork is located downstairs in the children’s area of the library. These will be on display through the middle of January.

— Encore Teachers

Bill Blankenbaker, PE

Carrie LaVallie, Music

Jessica Johnson, Media

Erika Sullivan, Art

Rio Grande

October was a busy month at Rio Grande Elementary.  

The month of October started with Rio Grande’s annual Fall Festival. This well attended event was sponsored by Rio Grande’s PTO. Along with their families, children were able to enjoy an evening of fun, food and games. Proceeds are used for various improvements to Rio Grande School, its classrooms, and for student needs and enrichment.

The students at Rio Grande Elementary were educated and treated by the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department to a Halloween Safety Presentation under the direction of Counselor Matthew Harden. Deputy Sean Trevarthan discussed the importance of being safe while still having fun at the same time. Children listened attentively to Deputy Trevarthan as he advised them to only Trick-or-Treat with an adult, go only to houses you know, carry a flashlight, stay in well-lighted areas, and check your treats before eating, among other safety tips. The children were given a Halloween Treat Bag courtesy of The Vigo County Sheriff’s Department with printed safety guidelines as a reminder.

Also this Halloween, children at Rio Grande were delighted with the appearance of “Hagatha” the story telling character who mesmerized them with her bewitching tales and enchanted brew. “Hagatha” who is really retired Rio Grande Media Specialist Sandra Williams still enjoys being part of the Rio Grande family as much as the children enjoy having her back.

Another festive pleasure at Rio Grande was an after school Halloween Disco sponsored by Vigo County School Corporation Cafeteria Workers. At this after school event, children were allowed to dress in costume and enjoy music and dance. They also played games and made crafts. Proceeds were donated to the Shoe Bus and Vigo County Backpack Program.

During the month of October, Parent Teacher Conferences were staged at Rio Grande. Parents were able to meet with teachers before and after school to exchange and gain information for promoting student academic progress.

Student Council Representatives were elected in October at Rio Grande. Students created posters and those running for offices gave speeches. Only fourth and fifth graders were able to vote. This year Rio Grande’s Student Council President will be Madison Mullen, Vice President will be Julia Sonntag, and Gage Manuel will be Secretary. Other Representatives will be Avery Cunningham, Zoe Huxford, Sidney Campbell, Kerrigan Hargis, Natalie Morris, Gracie Cohen-Cook, Taylor Trainer, Emilee Hartzler, Kainen Keyher, Nathan Stevens and Olivia Martin.

In the month of October, Rio Grande students were able to step back in time. Third Grade students visited the Vigo County Historical Museum where they were able to view artifacts and hear about the local history of Terre Haute and Vigo County. Fourth Graders visited Fowler Park where they were able to experience a Pioneer Village as it functioned in the 1800s.

— School staff

Sugar Grove

The following students were Character Award Winners for the month of October for exhibiting “respect:” showing appreciation and regard for others.

Grade 1: Aiden Armstrong, Clayton Hoeppner, Maiya Lewis and Owen Martin

Grade 2: Peyton Lintzenich, Ryder Morgan and Riley Norris

Grade 3: Austin Norman, Graham Palmer, Haley Sakbun and Colin Story

Grade 4:  Keelynn Lopez and Blaine Treadway

Grade 5: Gabrielle Brewer, Nick Duncan and Evan Hubbard

The schoolwide winner is Graham Palmer. Graham will be invited to a celebration with Mayor Duke Bennett in November.

April Trench, Sugar Grove’s counselor, announced the following boys and girls were No Bullies Club members for the month of October:

Grade 3: Mallory Boyd, Logan Curnutt, Ashton Lundy, Jackson Reece, Annabelle Sabelhaus, Haley Sakbun, Max Scamihorn and Theron Strong

Grade 4: Austin Hann, Belle Hargis, Tommy Sharkey and Kaitlyn Wright

Grade 5: Gabrielle Brewer, Sam Cartwright, Caleb Klapko, Betty Long, Jacob Norris and Jaden Thomas

— Submitted by Ms. Artis and Mrs. Trench

Terre Town

Terre Town was the scene of great enthusiasm and excitement during their Country Rhodes Fish Fry and Patriotic Festival on November 8. The Terre Haute community turned out in vast numbers to support the Terre Town Tigers. This includes the Interact Club from North High School, the I.S.U. students doing science demonstrations, and the Rose Hulman students that were willing to help with all parts of the fish fry. The Bake Sale was a tremendous success due to the countless donations of both parents and staff. Another important contributor was Officer Headlee, a Terre Town parent, who borrowed an armored military vehicle from the Indiana Air National Guard Intelligence Unit. Those in attendance at the festival were treated to not just the vehicle but also night vision glasses.

Terre Town was also the scene of an inspirational and inspiring Veteran’s Day Program. This tremendous event was led by Mrs. Goecker and Mrs. Conway, both members of the Terre Town staff. The entire student body shared several rousing musical tributes to our soldiers. Once again the Tigers demonstrated their love for school and country as they each performed and listened to the speakers with great humility.

— School staff