Teravista Elementary School Shows Off It’s Student Leaders On Leadership Day

Leader In Me Teravista Elementary School Round Rock ISD Your Local Color.ComTeravista Elementary School in Round Rock planned a Leader In Me Leadership Day a few weeks ago and the weather decided to be uncooperative. It was one of those Central Texas cold fronts that people from colder climates look down on with scorn, but folks around here take very seriously. It was cold and icy that day, so the decision was made to keep the kids at home and reschedule Leadership Day.

An email was sent out by Teravista School Counselor, Jenna Fleming, announcing the postponement of Leadership Day. Instead of agonizing over the inconvenience the delay was causing, Jenna took the opportunity to show just how deeply the leadership principles the Leader In Me program has effected attitudes at Teravista. The Leadership Day was just rescheduled.  It wasn’t canceled.  [Read more…]

Round Rock’s Teravista Elementary Teaches Kids Leading Is A Way Of Life

The_Leader_In_Me_Teravista_ElementaryIt has been twenty-five years since I finished graduate school, so I don’t want to do the math necessary to tell me how long its been since I was in elementary school. Let’s just say its been awhile. Still, I can remember those days clearly. In my mind’s eye, I can still see the now long-gone brick buildings that made up East La Vega Elementary in Bellmead. Those memories are as clear today as if I had just stepped off Bus 22 out front by the flag poles next to Principal Coffin’s office.

Those were interesting times. Almost a year before I started the first grade, President Kennedy was killed in Dallas. Throughout the five years I spent in elementary school, the Vietnam War escalated, LBJ was President, Americans were getting ready to land on the moon, and, most interesting of all, America’s social structure was being turned on its head. The news was the best thing on TV as far as I was concerned. There were so many things going on during those years that were so much more interesting than anything happening at school. [Read more…]

Round Rock’s Backpack Coalition Fills Backpacks And Empty Stomachs

8681bc_60015f27c6da300e9f830eb04c4bd07eOf all of the stories I have written in this blog, this story has been the most challenging to write. How do you begin a story about hungry children that live in this community? This blog is designed to spotlight what is truly outstanding in the Williamson County area, and sadly this post calls attention to a problem that you just wouldn’t expect us to have here. It is hoped that this story and the attached video will also give us a lot of reason to be extremely proud of our community and the people who live here – people who saw a problem and are doing something about it.

Our schools are doing a marvelous job of stepping up to the task of dealing with the student hunger problem with breakfast and lunch programs. These programs are very important tools in helping educators do their job. It’s important and it’s simple, kids who are well nourished perform better academically and tend to have fewer discipline problems. Feeding an undernourished student is a win-win. [Read more…]

Blackland Prairie Elementary Watch D.O.G.S. Dads Kick-Off The School Year With Pizza And Training

Watch D.O.G.S. - Dads Of Great StudentsThe school year is well underway, and kids and teachers are back in their routine. Parents are too. Moms and dads everywhere are going through the same old morning routine. Part of that routine is going through check lists before their kids leave the house. Are they dressed appropriately? Are their book bags full? Are their lunches packed? Are the gym bags ready with clean shorts and t-shirts? The list goes on and on.

When the checking is done, we send them out the door to catch the bus, or we load them in the minivan so we can drop them off by the flag pole. Okay, that job’s done now and we can get to work. We don’t have to worry about anything until it’s time to pick them up again. It’s all good. Just set and forget, right?

Well, not so much anymore. I think we all know how much things have changed.

It’s not a good idea to assume your kids are fine on autopilot. A lot of your kid’s life happens between dropping them off and picking them up.  It’s a good idea to know about that stuff. It’s an even a better idea to spend some time there so you know exactly what’s going on. [Read more…]

Round Rock Serving Center Provides Computers For Kids

ServingCenterLogoI got my first personal computer as an adult in the early 1990s, and I thought I was on the cutting edge of business technology. I knew that these crazy things were going to be a big part of our future, and I didn’t want to miss out. It was just fine for those days. It had an amber monochrome monitor, a dot matrix printer, no windows, and I could only run one program at a time. For me it was okay, I guess. However, I later came to believe the real impact of that little Epson computer was not on me but on my four year old son, Alex. He was still a little guy then, and he would crawl up in my lap while I was working and just stare at the screen and its blinking curser. He just had to fiddle with it, so I would unplug the keyboard and he would bang on the keys. He seemed to be transfixed with interest.

This carried on to the next computer I got, but this one was a game changer for Alex. It was pretty cool, I guess. It had a color monitor, Windows 95, a mouse, and some games on board, but for Alex, now eight, his interest level in computers went through the roof. At just about the same time, Alex got introduced to computers at school. For him I think this was a perfect storm. His interest level in computers took off like a rocket, and it became a passion for him that would eventually direct his choice for a college degree and provide him with his first job after graduation. You can’t tell me that computers in school and at home are not important. I saw them change my son’s life.

It’s just a fact now that computers are as important to kids in school today as Big Chief note pads, crayons and number 2 pencils were in my day. Do schools still require that stuff anymore? Anyway, I saw it first hand while I was substitute teaching. Computers were in every class room and a part of almost every subject. Children who don’t have a computer at home, and there are many who don’t, are at a huge disadvantage. The kids in our schools who don’t have a computer at home are still required to do homework that requires a computer. What that means is that mom or dad has to find some place where they can get access to a computer for their kids. This task is usually accomplished someplace like the library, and done late in the evening or on the weekend. For some kids what this really means that the homework probably won’t get done at all. [Read more…]

Watch D.O.G.S. In Williamson County Making A Difference In Our Schools For Our Kids

Watch D.O.G.S.It is such a cliché now, so I imagine we have all heard the old saying that “kids don’t come with owner’s manuals.” I get it. Raising kids is a difficult process left mainly to clueless young people with more passion than understanding. You would think that a little practical help raising your kids would be welcomed, right? Not so much, now that I honestly think about it. I seriously doubt now that it really would have mattered much anyway if my kids had arrived with instructions, because, I am sad to say, that I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have read them. Just like the kitchen island I put together for my wife while we were young, I’m sure I would have looked at the pictures, checked to make sure all of the parts were there, and got on with it. Instructions – bah – they are for the weak.

As I remember it, the kitchen island turned out pretty well. I think all I needed to get it done was a screw driver and good light – pretty simple, really. Now my kids, especially my daughter, were a different story all together. It was a lot more complex than putting together the kitchen island, and boy did I manage to make a lot of mistakes – a lot. Sometimes I just look at the ceiling and shake my head and wonder how they made it to adulthood and in such good condition. They turned out pretty well too so God must have had His angels doing double duty for my poor kids.

The other cliché you hear is that “kids are resilient.” That is a good one, and I think what that means to a lot of adults is that kids are like small, well-made warplanes; they can take a lot of battle damage and still make it back to base. Now that’s just stupid. Yes kids are resilient – thank God – but they are also human beings, and although they may be able to survive a lot of our mistakes, it would be better if those mistakes weren’t made to begin with. One big mistake that I made was that I was not as involved with my children’s school as I should have been. Helping with homework and science fair projects just wasn’t enough. I needed to be there – at school – with them. [Read more…]