GLCS FOUNDATION SPARK SERIES
The Spark Series is one of the many ways the Foundation has been able to successfully reach out and touch the lives of our students, teachers, and community members. It is an initiative that is designed to identify influential speakers, dynamic programs, and inspirational stories, and share them within our community. The goal of the Spark Series is to inspire students, enhance the classroom experience, and broaden the perspective of our community.
Some of the wonderful events that have been facilitated by the Spark Series include the Science and Engineering Festival featuring the Mind Trekkers Roadshow, the Wall that Heals which included a traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial, and the presentation of “Our Water, Our World” by marine explorer, filmmaker, and environmental advocate Jean-Michel Cousteau. In addition, the Sparks Series has also featured artists, actors, storytellers, and authors such as John Grogan (Marley and Me) and Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea).
This year the Spark Series is implementing a community wide well-being program that will focus on nutrition, emotional health, and physical activity. The program will kick off in January with the world's only rock and roll show about nutrition, Jump with Jill; and continue throughout the school year with many programs, speakers, and events designed to educate, inspire, and enrich our community. Look for the upcoming #GLWELL program and help the GLCS Foundation create a Spark!
John McCann, Spark Series Chairperson, Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation Trustee
GLCS FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS
The Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation offers a heartfelt thanks to all the generous members of our community who support our scholarship program.
In the last 10 years, we have awarded over $950,000 in scholarships for over 370 scholarships to Gull Lake High School, Gull Lake Middle School, and Gull Lake Gateway Academy students!
Each individual scholarship represents the vision and generosity of an individual, family, organization, or business. Some of the scholarships are memorials to a member of our community, some honor a respected teacher, some encourage a field of study, and some represent a commitment to volunteering.
Students attend trade schools, community colleges, and universities with the support of the Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation scholarships.
Descriptions of our scholarships are posted on our scholarship page.
Mari Draeger, Scholarship Chairperson, Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation Trustee
The Leader in Me initiative at Ryan Intermediate builds leadership and confidence in every student. Students learn that they are capable of great things, and they are given a platform to share their ideas, passions, and dreams. Students learn about the 7 Habits and how implementing those habits allow them to be successful with their relationships, school work, outside activities, and so much more.
Within Ryan, this initiative has provided staff with a common language when working with students. It has helped staff set personal and professional goals, and to maintain high levels of expectations. We believe that each student is a leader, and when we give them the opportunity to lead, they amaze us. We have witnessed students growing in their belief of themselves, and have seen students step out of their comfort zone to lead those around them.
Annually our school spends around $12,000 to continue teaching and learning the 7 Habits. This money goes toward training new staff, continuing the training of existing staff, purchasing materials for our student learning, and improving our building aesthetically. Our goal is to ensure that the students who walk through our doors know that they are supported and loved. We want our building to be inviting to students, parents, and all members of the community. The Leader in Me Initiative has brought about a lot of change to Ryan Intermediate - change that brings students to the forefront.
Tia Schumaker, Fourth Grade Teacher, Thomas M Ryan Intermediate
Project Lead The Way programs at Gull Lake Middle School provide students the opportunity to build in-demand skills while completing real-world challenges in an engaging, hands-on learning environment. PLTW pathways include Computer Science, Engineering, and Biomedical Science. Current available classes at GLMS are Design & Modeling (Engineering), Automation & Robotics (Engineering), Intro to Computer Science (CS), and Medical Detectives (Biomedical).
Grants from the GLSC Foundation are essential in facilitating programs that require many tech tools and consumable items. Students in Design & Modeling create physical projects that include therapeutic toys for patients with Cerebral Palsy, scale model furniture for the school, and 3D printed puzzles. Robotics students use VEX systems to navigate mazes and race each other. Funding introduces new and innovative tools and supplies programs with essential materials.
Matt B Hawkins, STEM/PLTW Teacher, Gull Lake Middle School
Above is an example of a Project Lead The Way challenge: recreate a setting from a favorite story into a
Gull Lake Area Robotics offers an opportunity for STEM learning and teamwork to any student in Gull Lake Community Schools. FIRST Robotics is a team sport based on robotics, programing, and real world problem solving. Teams compete as they learn how to work together and communicate effectively to solve real world problems. The FIRST Robotics Program brings a strong connection to the Core Values of Discovery, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, and Teamwork. The motto of the program is that this is the only sport where EVERYONE can go pro!
The Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation has played a pivotal role as we have grown as a program. Over the past 3 years, we grew from 3 Middle School and 1 High School team, to now serving any student Young 5s through High School with a total of 21 teams. With this support, Gull Lake Area Robotics directly impacts over 150 students every year. We are also proud to be hosting our first-ever qualifying event containing FLL Jr, FLL, and FTC teams, one of only 3 events in the state to offer a competition displaying all these levels of FIRST under one roof. At this competition, 92 area teams will converge at our own Gull Lake High School to compete for a chance to move to the State Championship.
Patrick English, Third Grade Teacher, Thomas M Ryan Intermediate
GLCS FOUNDATION GRANT IN ACTION
STEM Computer Science
Computer Science is strong at Gull Lake High School thanks to the continued support of the Gull Lake Community School Foundation. We have grown from offering just Introduction to Computer Science and Computer Science & Software Engineering to adding Research & Development, Advanced Computer Science, Cyber Security and piloting Computer Science Independent Certification courses. These courses offer a wide variety for students to hone their skills in segments of Computer Science that they strive and enjoy.
Students work all year on projects and curriculum to showcase in mid May at Gull Lakes Innovation Day being held this year on May 14 between the hours of 8:30 - 1:00 in which you can stop in at Gull Lake High School to view how students grow throughout the year. I suggest for you to follow my twitter @langeb75 in order to see all the amazing things students are doing throughout the year in the program. You can also listen to our Podcasts at anchor.fm/langebogs to learn about student’s growth in their respective programs. Lastly, Computer Science is strong at Gull Lake High School due to the amazing students, administration, parent and GLCS Foundation support.
Brad Lange, Business Education Teacher, Gull Lake High School
In the past ten years, over 500 at-risk students from Gull Lake Community Schools, grades K-2, have had an amazing time at the summer, fall and winter "READ AND RIDE ROUNDUP” camp at the Cheff Center in Augusta. This unique and innovative therapeutic approach to reading and learning is designed to increase oral reading fluency scores and improve self-confidence in reading fluency. Summer half-day camp combines exercises for brain and body integration and therapeutic riding which increases coordination, reflexes, and motor planning. Campers’ equine skills are expanded as they are tested on a morning of real "trail riding”. Phonics skills are practiced in the classroom as well as through arena games. Campers also enjoy reading to our trained therapy canine friends every day. The Fall and Winter six-week morning pullout camp concentrates on phonics, fluency, and comprehension in the classroom, and reading to therapy dogs. Arena time also concentrates on phonics skill games and horsemanship. Benefits of this therapeutic intervention include gains in oral reading fluency scores, reading attitudes, personal responsibility, and pride. Gains have been documented through test scores, surveys, and teacher observations.
READ and RIDE is designed to be a creative and affordable intervention program for our school community. Gull Lake Community Schools, GLCS Foundation, James R. Ryan Family Foundation, Brad Hoorn Endowment Fund, Richland PTO, Battle Creek United Way, Gull Lake Community Volunteers, Lakeland Asphalt, private donors, area businesses and families have historically provided funding.
Karen Koets, First Grade Teacher, Richland Elementary, and GLCS Foundation Trustee - Distinguished Academic Scholars Chairperson
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