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Updated Thu, Feb 22nd
Updated Thu, Feb 15th
Updated Wed, Feb 14th
Updated Thu, Feb 8th
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Updated Thu, Feb 22nd

In November, our ABC readers read the book, Big by Coleen Paratore, a book that expands the meaning of ‘big’ to mean not large in size, but in impact and service to the world at large.

Read below the true meaning of 'big' in the wise and unfiltered words of our own Upstanding Unicorns (1st Graders).
 

“Big is helpful and sweet and strong. By throwing trash in recycling.”

“Big is being helpful for helping people.” 

“Big is kind.” 

“Big is

  • Being responsible
  • Having big imagination
  • Be good
  • Dream big
  • Kindness”

“Big is being helpful and helping each other and be kind and being a big heart.”

“Big is having a big heart and having a big heart is when you love people.” 

“Big is having a big imagination.” 

“Cleaning up your napkin is being big.”

“Big is helpful. You can help someone when they are hurt you can be big.” 

“Big is being kind. Kind is helping others. Helping others is being friendly. Friendly is being big.” 

“Big is being helpful. How to be helpful is to pick up somebody’s napkin on the floor.” 

“Big is… helpful and playful. Like playing with people.” 

“Big is caring.” 

“Big is being a helpful friend by… helping your neighbor with her chores.” 

“Big is cleaning up everybody’s mess. Big is helping people and the world. Big is being an upstander. Big is to be kind. Big is to be respectful.” 

“Big is being a big friend and being kind and helpful.” 

“Big is being a big friend… and being big is being.” 

“Big is being flexible.” 

“Big is proud.” 

“Big is… being helpful“ 

“Big is taking my dog out on a walk.” 

“Big is being strong.” 

“Big is doing big things. Big things are good things.” 

Updated Thu, Feb 15th

Meet two of our newest PTA members – Shannon, our Fundraising Chair, and Kathryn, our Secretary. Find out what brought them to Village and why they love our school.

 

Meet Shannon, PTA Fundraising Chair and Parent of 3

Please tell us a little about yourself. What is your professional background? What are your interests?
I work full time at Stanford University as the Assistant Director of Facilities and Capital Planning within the School of Humanities and Sciences. In my role I wear many different hats, including management of our multi-million dollar budget, oversight of our office operations, management of cafes located within our school, space management and I represent our department and programs on large capital building projects. It’s a unique and interesting role that keeps me busy. When I am not working or hanging out with my family, I love to golf and relax at the spa with good friends.

Tell us a little bit about your family. What are some things you and your family like to do for fun?
We are a family of five. My hubby and I have been married for 18 years and we have a freshman in high school, a fifth grader at Village and a preschooler. We enjoy traveling, especially to Disney, and spending weekends at our home in Strawberry (up past Pinecrest). We also enjoy lazy days around the house where we stay in our PJ’s all day and do nothing!

How many years has your family been at Village School?
Four years, we transferred in at 2nd grade.

What originally attracted you to Village, and what keeps you excited about being here?
What attracted us to the Village was the small community feel, where all parents are working together to create a positive environment for the students. What keeps me excited is seeing how my child has grown and thrived in this environment and the lasting friendships not only our daughter, but also our family has developed.

What are some of your favorite and most rewarding moments on campus?
My favorite moments on campus are when I get to see the community come together for events. There is always a lot of laughter and fun. I also love yard duty at the playground and talking with the kids about their interests. Making those connections with the kids is super rewarding.

How does your Board job (and those who report to you) work to serve the school community?
As fundraising chair, my team is working to raise money to ensure our programs such as Centers, Art and Music can continue to be supported. Additionally we try to make our events, such as Halloween Carnival and the Silent Auction, fun events for the community to come together, open their checkbooks and support our amazing school.

 

Meet Kathryn, PTA Secretary and Parent of 2

Our family is local. My husband and I both grew up around Campbell, have never had the desire to leave and have been fortunate enough not to have been pushed out because of housing prices. My husband, Chris, works just across the road from Village at Roku, which is a nice change from his long commutes to SF for his previous job. I grew up in Cupertino and then ended up teaching in the same school district where I went to school. I started my career as a teacher in Kindergarten and then moved to 3rd Grade. When kids came into the picture I tried my hardest to continue to be 100% in the classroom and 100% at home. It was hard to maintain so I went part-time. When my oldest child was ready to enter Kindergarten I had the opportunity to enroll her in Cupertino schools, but their intense and hyper-focused academics were a turn off to me. I didn’t want my daughter to feel that academic pressure from her teachers and her classmates. I also wanted her to have a more enriching school experience and be a kid a bit longer, before homework took over her life. My husband and I researched other schools and went back and forth with what was a good match for her. When we came across Village it checked off all our boxes, but there was the volunteer aspect that at first made it hard to commit. It was a priority to Chris and I that our daughter have a memorable educational experience, so I resigned from teaching and we committed to the Village experience!

Since being at Village I have met a wonderful parent community that cares about its children so much. Everyone is so welcoming and kind that I can see how hard it must be to move on as children go to middle school. I enjoy being on campus during my volunteer hours and spending time with teachers and students. I have made some great connections with students in addition to my own child. That has been really rewarding to me because, being a teacher, what I really miss is having those connections to students, where they are happy to have you around and look to you for help. I also like the opportunity to see my own child in her educational environment and how she interacts with her peers. I have learned a lot through volunteering and taking on different school jobs like Field Trip Coordinator and Class Coordinator. All have been rewarding in their own ways. I really thought this was kind of going to be the extent of my volunteering and school jobs, but then I was nominated and asked to be a part of the Board last year. I was honored that my peers felt that I could be valuable and contribute more.

I started this school year as Board Secretary and really have enjoyed getting to know the other Board members and seeing their passion for Village. I see firsthand the hard work that goes into making this school run smoothly and making sure we are doing right by our students. The Board is a group of fun professionals that I am so fortunate to know and work with. Just being a part of the Board has made me more invested in the school and it is an opportunity that I’m glad I took on.

This is our second year at Village and we have our youngest coming into Kindergarten next year. He is so excited and it feels like it will be an easy transition for him because he already feels he is part of the school just by coming to pick up his sister daily.
Even though I feel like we are at Village all of the time as a family, we do like to escape and get away. We enjoy going on outdoor excursions and hanging with friends. On the weekends our kids play sports, so most of the time you will find us at a baseball/softball field or soccer field. As parents, our real joy is watching our kids grow and thrive and I feel like Village plays a huge role in that.

I just hope that all parents and family members can see and feel how valuable our time here at Village is. It makes me happy to see that so many parents know who my child is and that is thanks to all of the parent volunteering. This would never be the case at any other public school. We are privileged that we can spend so much time on campus with our children and their peers. Just keep showing up and being there for the community because, if we can’t be there then Village isn’t Village anymore.

Updated Wed, Feb 14th

Save March 19th for a free screening of ANGST, a documentary film with tools to talk about it and lessen our angst.

Campbell Union School District and its partners will present a special screening of “Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety.”  The event will feature a viewing of the 56-minute film, followed by an informative panel discussion led by mental health experts.

“We are seeing students and their families challenged by, and sometimes struggling with, anxiety. As educators, we want to reduce or remove barriers to our students excelling in school and in life,” said Campbell Union School District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez.​”​ Hosting this film offers a forum for talking about it, gaining positive strategies for dealing with it, and normalizing something that all of us experience at some time in our lives. ”​

The screening will be held Monday, March 19, 2018, at 6:00 p.m., in the Campbell Heritage Theater.  Appropriate for ages 10 and up.  Free tickets available at eventbrite.com!

The preschool-8th grade Campbell Union School District is hosting the screening in partnership with the county’s School Linked Services program, the Campbell Union High School District, and the independent online streaming platform IndieFlix and its IndieFlix Foundation. For more about the film, go to https://angstmovie.com/.

Updated Thu, Feb 8th

One of Village's newest Parent Ed Trainers reflects on how positive discipline has impacted her family and her desire to 'pay it forward'.

Paying It Forward

Two years ago, my husband and I both enrolled in the PD at Home class when our oldest got into Village school. The class was held over the summer prior to the first day of school. We had two wonderful veteran teachers, Amy Dalziel and Ehsaneh Sadr, who have graduated from Village. Both my husband and I were not raised in positive discipline ways, we’ve experienced some forms of corporal punishment as a child, and yelling and or manipulations by our parents. All of the PD ideas presented were new and strange in a lot of ways. However, we’ve embraced it, did all the weekly assignments assigned to us together and had lots of interesting discussions at home.

Fast forward to three months into the same school year, we were struggling with our youngest who was 3 at the time, with temper tantrums, a lot of crying and screaming. One day on a weekend, I had an altercation with my youngest and it overboiled. My lid was flipped. I will leave most of the details unwritten, but there was a lot of yelling on my part and a lot of crying by both of us. It ended with me slamming my bedroom door, locking myself in my room for the next hour crying my eyes out because I was angry, and because I was ashamed of myself.

Over the next few days my feelings were raw and I would find myself crying in the middle of the day. My husband Matt and I would talk about it, and we decided we needed help as parents. We didn’t know what we were doing, we were doing something wrong with our kids and need help. So not knowing who to talk to, we reached out to our wonderful PD trainers Amy and Ehsaneh through email. We told them we were struggling with our daughter and asked if they could refer us to a therapist or counselor.

What happened next is unbelievable, heart-felt, and truly reminds me of the principles of Village school. Amy asked us to open up and tell them about our struggles and offered to have a phone brainstorming session to help us come up with solutions. We were floored. We had completely expected to get a name and number of some therapist, but to be offered help on the spot. Whoa!

There is an exercise called “Parents Helping Parents” in the Positive Discipline at Home class where parents role play a scenario they are struggling with. Some parents play the adults; others play the child. The idea is to role play what isn’t working, then the group comes up with solutions together, and then role play again with a new technique that the struggling parent wants to try. In the brainstorming session with Amy, I felt as if we were back in her class again doing this exercise. We didn’t quite role play on the phone, but we were asked a lot of questions about the struggling scenarios and she offered some insights. She reminded me that the misbehavior is her way to communicate with me. My child isn’t able to express in words what she needs, so she uses her body, and her actions to tell me. We got a lot out of the session, and came away feeling not as lost and that there are new things to try. There is hope.

Because of positive discipline, I now know that struggles with kids are okay, and that learning positive discipline is a lifelong journey. When Matt and I were asked to join the PD team this year, my immediate answer was yes, because I want to pay it forward. What Amy and Ehsaneh did for us a couple years ago left a lasting impression in our hearts. I am not the perfect parent who knows what she is doing and has answers to every problem. I want to be a student of positive discipline, to unlearn how I was parented and try new things. In January, I am so honored to be co-teaching the PD at Home class with Amy. My journey with PD began with Amy, and I hope to take on the torch and pay it forward. I also hope that many of the Village parents will take advantage of the PD classes offered for free. They can change your family’s life.

Updated Thu, Feb 1st

Principal David discusses how teachers and parents, working together to contextualize learning and create shared experiences, account for 'the Village difference.'

The Village Difference

It’s just started hailing, and every student at Village School is in the courtyard celebrating this chilly, rare and exciting experience. Not only are the students out in the hail, with their heads back, arms outstretched and mouths open to catch ice crystals, but teachers are out in the hail. Parents are outside too. The courtyard is filled with excited screams and laughter from the children and bright smiles from the approving adults. After a few minutes the hail stops and everyone returns to class, a bit colder and wetter perhaps, but richer and fuller from the common celebration of nature’s wonder. Not a single grump bemoaned the loss of instructional minutes while students played and celebrated in the hail. 

I ducked into one of our Kindergarten rooms and the excited teacher told me, “We’ve been studying weather patterns for two weeks. How wonderful that we just had hail. They’ll remember this their entire lives!” At Village School we strive to contextualize learning – to make it real, to make it fun. Sometimes it’s by accident; other times it is carefully planned and orchestrated. Either way, the Kinder students who had been studying weather for two weeks truly experienced weather today. Imagine how much richer their discussions and writing will be now. 

At Village School, we recognize that life’s joys can be found in the simplest experiences and sharing those experiences enriches all of our lives. That’s why, when you join our learning community, you make a commitment to participate. It is the Village custom that we travel on many field trips. Busses are expensive; most schools are very limited in the number of field trips they can offer. Not so at Village! Because parents drive, we can visit many more locations and have many more shared destinations. 

At Village School, every student experiences 50 minutes of rotating STEAM centers weekly. Students learn first hand about strawberry DNA, spies, ceramics, woodworking, Tiko, juggling and many more topics. Parents teach these centers and their participation is vital for this contextually rich Village experience to be successful. 

Shared experiences are a defining element of the Village learning community. From our daily communal classroom snack to our annual all school camping trip, ours is a culture of togetherness and unity. United in what’s best for all our students. 

Our Community Vision says it best, “We all belong. We are all significant. As we work, learn and play, we come together with compassion and respect.”

Updated Fri, Jan 12th

“Book Tasting. Reservations Only” read the sign on the door as the Aloha Pineapples filed into their classroom one Fall morning. They were greeted by the sight of a full-blown book café and their teacher, Ms. Aisling, transformed into ‘waitress’ for the morning.

In teacher-speak, it was a “mini room transformation.’ Aisling had ‘set the stage to engage’ — decorating the room, dressing up as a waitress and even playing background café music.

Students perused the six ‘tasting’ tables, each introducing a different genre of books from the classroom library – biography, historical fiction, series books, and others. They were armed with a menu and an opportunity to ‘taste’ books at each table. After a few minutes exploring a particular table, ‘café customers’ completed book tasting notes, describing one of the books from the table that they might be interested in reading. By the end of the tasting, students had developed a list of books to try out this school year.

The remainder of their café time was spent reflecting on books, discussing their newfound interests with other ‘patrons’, and building excitement for the year to come. At closing time, it was time to say “aloha” to Aisling’s café and a memorable book tasting event.

 
              

 
 

Updated Wed, Jan 10th

Easy Online Registration. Extended Hours for Those Needing Assistance.

Campbell Union School District’s elementary and middle school registration starts Tue., Jan. 23, 2018, and the process will be almost paperless.

“We’re excited about the advantages of the online process,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “Parents will gain the convenience of doing most of the process online, ability to check the status of their registration on demand, and assurance that the school has immediate access to the contact information entered into the system.” Parents still will need to bring some official documents, like birth certificates, to the enrollment desk for verification, she added.

  • To enroll children in any of the District’s award-winning elementary or middle schools, or in its new TK-8 Campbell School of Innovation, go to www.campbellusd.org/enrollment.
  • School tour dates are posted online: Tour schedules
  • For the 2018-19 school year, current 4th grade students will remain at their current elementary school for 5th grade.  Parents of current 5th graders at elementary schools will receive information about middle school placement before January 23.

Special services are available for those needing assistance with the online process:

  • The Enrollment staff and public-access computers will be available for special Open Enrollment hours from Jan. 23 through Mar. 16, 2018*, to assist people with their registration.
      • 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Mondays and Wednesdays
      • 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 
  • Campbell Union School District’s Enrollment Office is located at 155 N. Third Street, near downtown Campbell. 24-hour phone information: 408-341-7276 (English) or 408-341-7277 (Spanish)

*NOTE: The office is closed February 19-23.

Campbell Union School District is a preschool through eighth grade public school district with a variety of educational options, including traditional school settings, a Dual Language Immersion program, a Parent Participation school, home schooling, and the new TK-8 Campbell School of Innovation. All Campbell Union School District schools offer visual and performing arts instruction, before and after-school programs, and parent education/involvement opportunities. The elementary schools have full day kindergarten and district-operated preschool classes.

Updated Thu, Dec 21st

By Lisa, Village School Parent & Library Team Member

“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.” — Kate DiCamillo


New Books in the Village Library

For those of us on the Library Team, nothing puts smiles on our faces more than connecting with students and helping them find books they love, books they can read purely for enjoyment.

And some of you might be surprised to learn that for many kids reading nonfiction is fun! So we are very glad to say that we were able to add about 200 new nonfiction books to the library this year. These titles are flying off the shelves, and are also wildly popular when read aloud. A few weeks ago, entire class groups were riveted, sitting quietly and at complete attention, while listening to a biography called Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu. Some students were still thinking about the book at the end of the day, excitedly sharing what they had learned and enjoyed with parents at pick-up time — for example, the interesting factoid that Grace Hopper was the first person to call computer glitches “bugs” after an actual bug caused a problem in her computer! Another book, This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids around the World by Matt Lamothe, captures the details of a single day in the real lives of families from around the globe, highlighting differences but also what we all have in common. This is a perfect “read-together” book to enjoy side-by-side with a child, poring over and discussing the pictures. We have new books about animals with quirky facts such as Lesser Spotted Animals: The Coolest Creatures You’ve Never Heard Of by Martin Brown. We have Kid Athletes by David Stabler and Doogie Horner, about challenges famous athletes faced growing up, written with humor, heart, and detailed cartoon illustrations. We even have an awesome new series called Science Comics on topics like dinosaurs, coral reefs, and bats. And we have many, many more fascinating picture book biographies.

These are just a few examples of how well-written nonfiction can inform, delight, and open new doors for kids, and pave the way for critical thinking skills increasingly necessary to understand the complexities of our world. So ask your child about what they are reading or listening to from the Village Library, and the next time you find yourself in the public library together, be sure to check out the nonfiction section!


Resources

Here are a few resources we have to share on nonfiction and on supporting kids’ enjoyment of reading:

Reading Rockets: Nonfiction
I Love Libraries: Reading Together
Reading Rockets: What To Do When Reading Is Too “Sitty”
Scholastic: Raise Children Who Read for Fun

Also, we want to hear from you — we are here to assist parents as well as students. What challenges do you have in your home around your kids and reading? You can email us with any questions or concerns at library [at] villagehub.org, talk to us at school, or you are always welcome to visit us in the Village Library. 

 
Book Covers 

   

 
 

Updated Thu, Dec 21st

By Lisa, Village School Parent

“When do Centers start?”

“Yay, we have Centers this week!”

“I got to go to Gardening (or Ceramics, or Lego Engineering, or you name it…) today!”

“I LOVE Centers!!!”

These are phrases teachers, parents and volunteers routinely hear about Centers, with kids’ enthusiasm (even glee) showing how fun, hands-on projects and activities spark their natural curiosity, with valuable, real-world learning occurring along the way.

Each year, Village offers approximately eight different Centers for upper and lower grades respectively, and students provide input into their top choices. These are unique curriculums developed and led by parents with teacher guidance. Kids attend in small, mixed age groups, rotating either every four weeks (Grades K–2) or every six (Grades 3–5).

In 2014, our Centers program was instrumental in helping Village win the California Distinguished School Award. Centers officially adopted the acronym STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) in 2015, to emphasize that in addition to having fun, students are learning STEAM concepts and putting them into action.

Getting Centers up and running this year took a bit of extra effort after the unexpected departure of Angel, a dedicated parent volunteer — and veteran Centers organizer extraordinaire Stephanie stepped in. Stephanie said, “the work is all worth it when I go into the classrooms at the beginning of the year to tell students about the Centers options, and I am consistently greeted with enthusiasm and gratitude for this unique program. It’s all about the kids!” Many parents and caregivers also generously give their time, sometimes leading or assisting more than one Center or changing their preferred shift day to help. It takes over 60 volunteers each year to keep Centers going. In addition to all the Centers leads and assistants, Stephanie said, “several other people need to be acknowledged – supervisors Louise and Kelli, lower grade day manager Allie, and Teachers Elizabeth and Aisling, who support the program over the year, all play important roles and go above and beyond to make Centers successful.”

We hope to highlight a few Centers with each issue of this year’s Village Voice. Here, we spotlight two new Centers:
 

Ben Franklin Center, Lower Grades (K–2)

Students in the Ben Franklin Center get to delve into the life of an unusually well-rounded, fascinating, and accomplished person from history, similar to last year’s Leonardo da Vinci Center. “Each week we explore a different ‘career’ of Ben Franklin, learning about Franklin as a scientist, inventor, writer/publisher, and what I call a ‘Super Citizen,’” said parent lead Veronica, who developed both Centers. The goal is to “inspire the kids to be amazing and teach some math, science, art, history and social concepts along the way.”

The Ben Franklin Center has a flexible curriculum that can change according to the group’s interest. “The biggest challenge is narrowing down the list of possible lessons and activities,” said Veronica. So far, both students and Center leads particularly enjoyed playing with electricity, which included creating a loop to light an LED, and an experiment with static electricity and a balloon. Conrad said, “I love it when Centers have science!” during this session. Mackenzie really enjoyed “when you rub the balloon on your head and then hold it by the pepper and salt, and the pepper sticks to the balloon but not the salt because of static electricity.” After learning about Franklin’s famous kite experiment with electricity and lightning, students also made kites and flew them over the field (without the lightning, of course).

Ben Franklin was the 1st Post Master General for the U.S., so the Village mail service is incorporated into each week’s activities. Other projects include candle making and writing a student version of “Poor Richard’s Almanac.” 


Germs, Mutants and Genes, Upper Grades (3–5)

Can you guess which surface around Village School has the greatest variety of growing bacteria?

Students sought the answer to this intriguing question in the first few weeks of this new Center. Parents and Center leads Kristy, an entomologist, and Ali, a biologist, developed the curriculum for Germs, Mutants and Genes.

During week one, students used sterilized swabs to collect samples of bacteria from several locations they chose around our Village campus. In Ali’s group, these locations included Village Secretary Becky’s door knob, the floor and a toilet of the girl’s bathroom, the equipment room door handle, the field, the bottom of a shoe, and the sandbox. Last, they decided they needed a swab of the inside of someone’s mouth, and Teacher Aisling graciously volunteered for this (perhaps overly-revealing) task.

After collecting their samples, students placed them in prepared petri dishes where they grew for a week in the dark. The students wrote down hypotheses about bacteria growth, with many thinking that the samples from the bathrooms would win the variety contest.

Before viewing their samples in week two, the group learned the basics of compound microscopes, including how to carry them, how to focus the lenses, and that you should keep both eyes open to avoid eye strain. They practiced these skills in pairs looking at pieces of string under their microscopes. Everyone became immersed in this activity. Aiden said, “Even a piece of string looks interesting up close!”

Ali then re-focused the students on their question from the previous week: “Which surface around Village School contains the most kinds of bacteria?” They spent time viewing their samples under the microscopes, with a few rather surprising results. Yes, Becky’s doorknob and the toilet contained the most types of bacteria, and so did the sandbox. But the least variety of bacteria was on the floor of the girl’s bathroom! “What can you infer from that information?” Ali asked. After some discussion, the students decided, “Mr. Fred cleans the floor every day.”

As far as Teacher Aisling’s mouth, the results were unimpressive, but Ali and the group conspired to inform her that of all chosen locations on campus, she did indeed did have the greatest variety of bacteria growing there. This drew chuckles from passers-by Becky and Principal David (who also jumped in and looked through the microscope). We hope that if Ms. Aisling is still under this unfortunate impression, she will be relieved to learn the truth!

In another recent session of Germs, Mutants and Genes, students learned about cell biology, discovering the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells. Kristy said, “The students created three inch cells with shrinky dink paper. I then baked the colored cells and they shrunk to one inch size. Fun fact – a circle one inch in diameter can hold over one million cells!”

Future lessons include genetics, extracting DNA from strawberries, and evolution. “My hope for this Center is that the kids will get to experience life at a microscopic level. One thing I’m really looking forward to is teaching them about DNA and natural selection,” said Kristy. Ali said that in addition to taking away information from the lessons, “I hope they will learn to love biology.”  


STEAM Centers 2017–2018

Lower Grade Centers (K–2)
Ancient Rome 
Ben Franklin 
Agriculture/Gardening 
Lego Engineering 
Outdoor Games 
Outdoor Photography 
Travel and Adventure 
Spies 

Upper Grade Centers (3–5)
Native Americans 
Roller Coaster Design 
Germs, Mutants and Genes 
Ceramics 
Brain Power/Games 
Agriculture/Gardening 
Pinterest Art 
Outdoor Games 

Updated Mon, Jan 29th

By Jennifer, Village School Parent

 

Now in it’s 15th year, the Campbell Union School District (CUSD) Rising Young Author awards recognize a talented group of twelve young students whose short stories, essays, research papers and poems demonstrate excellent writing and go beyond the expected. Entries were chosen from hundreds entered in the District’s Annual Writing Faire, and judges chose one author per school from grades 3 through 7.

Superintendent Dr. Shelly Viramontez explains the Rising Young Author program “is a signature event for CUSD because it profiles the relevant and real world learning experiences our students are engaged in as part of their learning process. Students have the opportunity to be honored for their hard work, perseverance and talent. Writing and communication are lifelong skills.”

Last year, Taylor, a fourth-grader at Village School, penned “My Name Is Cumulus,” exploring facts about clouds. Taylor’s story follows the character Cumulus from birth throughout his lifetime and you even get to meet his family!

Read Taylor’s Book

The awards ceremony and book signing took place at Barnes & Noble on Steven’s Creek and it was standing room only, full of family and friends. In Oscar-like fashion, Dr. Viramontez introduced each author and presented the awards with a video highlighting their story.

Taylor shared her story with the audience about how she came up with the idea to write a story about clouds from science class. She also signed copies for fans. Taylor said it was exciting to have her work published.

 

An interview with Taylor:

What is your story about?
It is called My Name Is Cumulus. My story is about a cloud that tells the reader facts about clouds in personification.

WWhat types of stories do you like to write and why?
I like to write all different kinds of stories, but my favorite is to write fiction stories because I like making it up as I go along.

What are you working on now?
In class we are writing personal narratives.

How do you handle “writer’s block”? What advice would you give to someone who struggles with writing?
I would usually go talk to my friends, and I recommend if you’re struggling with writer’s block you should to go talk to your friends too.

Tell me about when you learned about receiving the Rising Young Author award.
I wasn’t really sure what was going on, like I didn’t even know what the program was, but when I figured out what the program was, I was really excited.

 

Village School teacher Aisling commented, “I’m really proud of Taylor. I try to encourage my students to write about what they know. That’s where they’re going to find their best stories. It helps them to discover what they’re really passionate about and then they can go deeper.”

Congratulations on your inspiring work, Taylor! You’re a rockstar!

Bell Schedule

  • In Session8:25–10:40
  • Snack Recess10:40–11:00
  • In Session11:00–12:40
  • Lunch & Recess12:40–1:20
  • In Session1:20–2:30 *

* Wednesdays end at 1:30

  • In Session8:05–10:40
  • Snack Recess10:40–11:00
  • In Session11:00–12:40
  • Lunch & Recess12:40–1:20
  • In Session1:20–2:30 *

* Wednesdays end at 1:30

 

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