Education

BG youngster’s paper cranes take flight to Japan

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Paper cranes cannot fly. Still some 400 origami cranes, folded with care by 12-year-old Daniel Schuman of Bowling Green, will take flight this week and return to their traditional home in Japan. Akiko Jones, the director of the Asian Studies Program at Bowling Green State University, will bring the cranes over with her when she travels there with students. She will place them at the Peace Memorial at Hiroshima, under the gaze of the statue of Sadako Sasaki. It was Sadako’s story, told in a book “Sadako and the 1,000 Cranes” that revived an ancient Japanese legend. Daniel wrote in his PACE reoirt that the legend maintained: “Anyone with the patience and commitment to make 1,000 cranes will make their one desired wish come true.” Sadako was a young victim of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. She suffered from leukemia, and in her last days she began folding cranes. After she died and her story traveled around the world, others emulated her dedication. This is one of the many aspects of origami that 12-year-old Daniel discovered while doing a project on the craft for PACE, the Bowling Green program for gifted students. Daniel, the son of Gloria Gajewicz and stepfather Chris Gajewicz and Andrew Schuman, first got interested in origami at BGSU’s Cherry Blossom Festival, organized by Jones and staged by the Japanese Club. He was intrigued by the intricacies of the paper folding. Someone had already thought he might have an interest in the craft because he had a couple origami books that he’d received as gifts. His interest piqued, he delved…


Tickets available now for HYT’s “Cinderella”

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Horizon Youth Theatre, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is proud to present Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA June 22, 23, and 24th at 7:00 pm at Otsego High School. The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance. Originally presented on television in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA was the most widely viewed program in the history of the medium. It was recreated in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren, and again in 1997 with Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother; both were no less successful in transporting a new generation to the miraculous kingdom of dreams-come-true. As adapted for the stage, with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity, the hearts of children and adults alike still soar when the slipper fits. This Enchanted Edition is based on the 1997 teleplay. Songs include “The Prince Is Giving A Ball,” “My Little Corner,” and “Impossible.” Directed by Cassie Greenlee, the musical features 55 students age 8 – 18 from many area schools including Bowling Green. The rest of the production team: Brittany Albrecht, stage manager; Tim Barker, choreographer; Kelly Frailly, music director; Christina Hoekstra, costuming; and Scarlet Frishman, assistant director. Stars are Skylar Frishman in the title role and Thomas Long as Prince Christopher; Olivia Strang and Narnia Rieske play Fairy Godmother and Stepmother. Other cast: Stepsisters are Terra Sloane and Melissa Mintz; King and Queen are Alex Evans and Anne Weaver; Lionel and Leo (Royal Stewards) are Bob Walters and Bella Truman. Understudies for the…


BG School Board seeks levy millage and duration for building project

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The Bowling Green Board of Education made it official Tuesday evening by voting to ask the Wood County Auditor to determine the millage and the duration of a levy to pay for the district’s $72 million building project. The board voted at a meeting earlier this month to consolidate the three elementary schools into one centralized building, and to make major additions and renovations to the high school. That work will be funded by a bond issue. The board also agreed to build an addition to the middle school. That project, which will likely begin in September, will be financed through $4.6 million in permanent improvement funds. If the bond issue is approved by voters, the new consolidated elementary planned north of the current middle and high schools, could be completed by the summer of 2020. The high school could be completed by summer of 2021. The action taken Tuesday evening by the school board was the adoption of the necessity of the bond issue. The issue will appear on this November’s ballot. In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, the board hired Alyssa Karaffa as the new principal at Crim Elementary School. Karaffa has been the assistant principal at the middle school. Her new position has an annual salary of $75,000. The former Crim principal, Melanie Garbig, was hired earlier this month as the district’s executive director of pupil services. Also at the meeting, Superintendent Francis Scruci said he and the transportation supervisor had made a busing decision that would save the district nearly $100,000 a year. By law, the district has…


Reading takes flight with launch of 1,000 Book Before Kindergarten

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Reading a 1,000 books to a child before they enter school seems on the face of it a daunting task. Those little ones who attended the kickoff for the Wood County District Library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten got five books under their belts just listening to Denise Fleming. Fleming’s book “Alphabet Under Construction” was the free book given to each child signed up for the program. Since it was a day made for gardening, as Fleming declared at the beginning of her presentation, the books she read were inspired by nature. Before started she planted a flower in the hair of Children’s Librarian Maria Simon, and then donned a ringlet of flowers. Then she set about cultivating a love of reading in children. She did it by turning the letters in her name into a parade of creatures and flowers. She offered a simple drawing lesson turning a series of ovals into faces of different ages. She stretched the kids’ imaginations when she asked them what they saw in an oval inside a squiggly circle. It could be an egg, a flower, a flat tire, a pancake with a pad of butter in the middle – Fleming added a pool of syrup around the edges. It could be a hot air balloon in a cloud, or the reflection of the sun in water. It could be, the author illustrator said, a story if you sewed those elements together with a narrative thread. Fleming is a big believer in the goal of the 1,000 books initiative. Literacy is essential. Yes, there’s the fun of stories but there’s also…


BG board votes to consolidate elementaries

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Board of Education took a leap Friday afternoon to invest $72 million in a consolidated elementary and new sections for the high school. The board is now hoping the voters follow their lead. After months of discussions and public meetings, the board voted 4 to 1 to go ahead with plans for one consolidated elementary, demolition of Conneaut and Kenwood schools, and major additions to the high school. The vote against the project came from board president Ellen Scholl, who supported an alternate plan for new Conneaut and Kenwood elementaries rather than the consolidation. Though the millage to cover the $72 million project has yet to be determined by the county auditor, it is estimated it could be close to 6 mills on the November ballot. If the issue is approved by voters, the new consolidated elementary planned north of the current middle and high schools, could be completed by the summer of 2020. The high school could be completed by summer of 2021, according to architect Kent Buehrer. Construction is also planned for the middle school, where a wing will be added to adequately handle the sixth grade class. That project, which will likely begin in September, will be financed through $4.6 million in permanent improvement funds that the district already has, so it will not be part of the bond issue in November. The three options being considered for the bond issue were: Renovations of Conneaut and Kenwood elementaries (Crim was renovated recently) and major high school additions: $54 million. Build new Conneaut and Kenwood elementaries, plus the…


BGSU adds academies to its summer offerings

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Patrick Nelson and Bowling Green State University’s Conference and Events Services staff didn’t get the usual break after graduation this year. No sooner had the caps and gowns been packed away, then the university hosted three major events – Fire School, Alumni College, and the New Music Gathering. As Memorial Day approached, they did get something of a respite, but not for long – the BGSU campus will be a busy place this summer. Nelson, who serves both as director if the Bowen Thompson Student Union and Conference and Events Services, said despite the loss of Buckeye Boys State, he expects the university will host as many visitors this year as last. Nelson estimates campus will welcome about 5,000 guests. That, he noted, does not include those who come for weddings. This summer eight weddings are scheduled for campus, twice as many as last year. This year the university is launching a Summer Academy program. These academies will bring high school age students to campus to experience some of the new programs the university offers. Two will be offered in June – Forensic Science and Health Career Exploration – with two robotics camps – BGSU Robotics and Art and Robotics, a collaboration with the Toledo Museum of Art – offered in July. (See http://bgindependentmedia.org/bgsu-offers-range-of-summer-camps-in-science-the-arts/) Assistant Vice Provost Andy Alt said: “These are exciting new programs we want to introduce to potential students locally and across the state.” “The university has facilities and great faculty and experts around in the summer,” he said. This allows the university to extend its offerings beyond the usual degree-oriented…


Reading 1,000 books to preschoolers adds up to kindergarten readiness

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Children’s Place at the Wood County Library is building on its summer reading program for school age children to launch a new program for infants through preschoolers. The library is challenging parents and child caregivers, and others in youngsters’ lives to read them 1,000 books before they enter kindergarten. Children’s librarian Maria Simon said she’s wanted to offer the national initiative as a incentive to get parents, child caregivers, relatives, and maybe even a grandparent, via Skype reading to youngsters. The program will be launched Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to noon in the library atrium. Denise Fleming, an award winning author and illustrator, will be on hand. Each child who is enrolled will receive a copy of Fleming’s book “Alphabet Under Construction,” which ties into the summer reading theme “Building a Better World.” If there’s more than one child in the family signing up, another Fleming title will be available. About 100 children have already been enrolled. Simon is hoping younger siblings will sign up as older children sign up for the summer reading program. The kick-off will also include an Early Childhood Resource Fair presented by the Wood County Early Childhood Task Force as well as local childcare providers and agencies. Simon said each booth will have some sort of literacy activity. She said she’s letting them know about Fleming’s other books – she’s published more than 20 since 1991. Fleming will give a presentation to children and families, and then to those participating in the resource fair. Fleming lives in her hometown Toledo where she creates her illustrations painting…


School board looks for building option voters will buy into

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The building options for Bowling Green City Schools are gradually being narrowed down to a project that will best serve students and not scare off supporters at the voting booth. The board of education members met Tuesday morning, and plan to make a decision during a special meeting on June 2 at 11:30 a.m., in the central administration office on Clough Street. The two primary options left on the table are: Building a new centralized elementary school north of the current middle school; demolish the old elementaries; build an addition onto the middle school for the sixth grade; and partial demolition of the high school along with the construction of a new academic wing, new gym, and new cafeteria and kitchen. That option comes with an estimated price tag of $72 million. Building two new elementary schools at Kenwood and Conneaut; demolishing the old elementaries; plus the same middle school and high school plans as above. That option is somewhat less, estimated at $62 million. After the board makes its final choice, the next challenge will be convincing the public to buy into the plan. Superintendent Francis Scruci and the board agreed that just as the building option discussions have been very transparent – so will the plans and the financing. “I think it’s vital. They need to be able to see what they are going to be investing money in,” Scruci said. And it’s important to get stakeholders on board – like teachers, students, parents and community groups. Depending on the duration of a bond issue, the $72 million project could…


College Credit Plus doesn’t always add up

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News As high school graduates step across the stage to receive their diplomas, more and more of them will be taking college credits with them. This is the end of the second year of the state’s College Credit Plus a program that allows students as young as seventh grade to earn college credit. The program replaced the Post-Secondary Options Program. Pushed by Gov. John Kasich, College Credit Plus greatly expanded the options, and required school districts to make the program available. Students can take courses in their home school taught by credentialed high school teachers as well as going to campus. They can also take online classes. And more and more students are availing themselves of the opportunity, said John Fischer, vice provost for strategic enrollment planning at Bowling Green State University. He expects that as many as a third of students who enroll in BGSU next fall will bring some college credits with them. Fischer has been the lead administrator overseeing BGSU’s participation in College Credit Plus. In the past school year almost 1,900 students were enrolled in at least one College Credit Plus course at BGSU, either on the Bowling Green or Firelands campus. More than half are seniors with juniors accounting for another 700 or so. The numbers by grade drop off from there – 175 sophomores, 41 freshmen, 13 eighth graders and four seventh graders. About 300 take their courses on the BG campus or online with 685 taking classes at high school sites under the aegis of the main campus “From an enrollment perspective it is robust and incredibly strong,”…


BGSU offers free training on how to comply with government regulations

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University will host a free training to address various aspects of compliance during the fifth annual Compliance Day on June 1. Community members and business professionals have the opportunity to receive training directly from representatives of government agencies. Sessions will be led by representatives from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Veterans Programs; Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs; the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division; Ability Center and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC). The open sessions will cover a variety of topics regarding new regulations, the Civil Rights Act of 1964; EEOC’s strategic enforcement plan for fiscal years 2017-2021; disability awareness and resources; the Fair Labor Standards Act; powers and duties of the OCRC as it relates to employment; types of unlawful discrimination (Ohio Revised Code 4112; advantages of hiring a veteran; overview of the military skills translator and new 503/VEVRAA regulations, and lessons learned since the regulations have been in effect. “Compliance Day is designed to provide additional knowledge from the subject matter experts, who serve as regulators in their respective fields,” said Lisa Dubose, BGSU director of employee relations, professional development and EEO compliance. “It is imperative that organizational leaders continually update their understanding of existing or new laws and regulations pertinent to the workplace. We are pleased to offer this prestigious, no-cost training at Bowling Green State University.” The training is recommended for federal contract holders; EEO compliance professionals; hiring directors; managers and supervisors; and professionals in the fields of ability/disability services, veterans services, law, human resources,…


Library nurtures community in many ways

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green students will be able to borrow digital material without even going to the library, and folks in Walbridge will be able to go to the library to get water. These were among the matters before the Wood County District Public Library Board when it met Monday. (See http://bgindependentmedia.org/community-tree-has-seen-its-last-christmas-new-tree-will-be-planted-in-place/ for story on board’s decision to replace community tree.) Children’s Librarian Maria Simon explained the new E-cards that were distributed to students in grades 3 through 11 this week. The cards will give students access to such online libraries as Hoopla Digital, TumbleBooks and The Ohio Digital Library. Because the materials borrowed using the cards are automatically returned, no fines are charged on the cards. Information is available both through the library and the schools on how to use them. Students cannot borrow physical material from the library using the cards. The E-cards are another way of encouraging students to read during the summer, Simon said. The library board approved an agreement with the Northwestern Water and Sewer District for the district to install one of its watershed units at the newly expanded Walbridge branch. The unit will be installed in a closet-size space with outdoor access. The district will pay for installation. In exchange for locating the unit at the library it will not charge the library for water or sewer service and will pay $$200 in rent. Library Director Michael Penrod said this will provide another service to the community. Also at the meeting, the board discussed the prospects for state funding. State library funding is provided based on a percentage of…


BGHS senior studio culminates in exhibit & awards

Graduating art students recently celebrated completing their Senior Studio, the culmination of four years of study in the Bowling Green High School Art Program. The students last week stage a one-day show of their work at Four Corners in downtown Bowling Green. At the high school awards assembly May 15 the annual honors were awarded. Senior studio, said Claire Wells-Jensen, “ allows you to explore what you want to do. It’s more exploratory.” The studio time also gives students a chance to more broadly try out ideas that may be used in outside projects. Wells-Jensen said her experience in senior studio played into her stage design work for the Drama Club’s production of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” in the fall. She was the lead designer for the giant puppet of Aslan, the lion. Meghan Worthy, who with Wells-Jensen helped organize the senior studio exhibit, said the studio gave her a chance to explore different media. Students, she said, must often rely on their own research because teachers won’t necessarily have a lot of experience in a particular medium. Worthy said that the self-reliance, time management skills, and organization that senior studio encourages are skills that carry through to other non-art activities. Other students in senior studio were: Breann Burkhart, Ryan Cox, Alysa Grabowski, Logan Mannin, Tim Oakley, Madeleine Ross, Peter Wishart, Frances, Zengel, Alexandria Coppeler, Trevor Craft, Haily Kirchner, Kaila Miller, and Bryn Parker, Claire Wells-Jensen, and Meagan Worthy. Awards went to: Senior Studio T-Short design: Alexandria Coppeler PTO Award; Trevor Craft, “Tieing the Nation Together,” nails PTO Award: Maddie Ross, “Out of Focus,” acrylic. 2-D Award,…


BG Schools hears good financial news, hires new athletic director

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The Bowling Green Board of Education was rich with good news Tuesday evening. The board members learned the district’s finances have taken a turn for the better. They voted to hire the varsity football coach as the athletic director. And they handed out awards for everything from art and math to clean kitchens. Adam Dirk Conner, high school math teacher and varsity football coach, was hired as the athletic director with a salary of $72,500. Conner said after the meeting that he plans to continue coaching football.  His goals as athletic director include supporting the coaches and athletes, plus work toward improving the athletic facilities. Conner said he also supports drug testing of athletes, which the board has discussed. “I’m all in favor of it,” he said. District Treasurer Rhonda Melchi presented the district’s five-year forecast – with some good news. “We’re more confident our state funding will be more stable,” Melchi said. Meanwhile, the district saw its expenditures drop as new people were hired at lower rates than retiring teachers, fewer employees were on family insurance, and the worker’s compensation expenses were lower than expected. Melchi said she is still projecting a deficit in 2020, “but it’s not near as big,” she said. “We’ve done a good job managing taxpayers’ dollars,” Scruci said after the meeting. “We’re happy where we are,” though nothing is certain until after the state budget is done. Melchi also presented numbers to the board about the loss seen when students living in the district go to school elsewhere. The statistics showed $283,677 leaving the district for…


’13 Reasons Why’ gives parents and schools reasons to worry

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Across the nation, parents are checking their Netflix history to see if their adolescents have been watching the “13 Reasons Why” series. The show tells the story of a high school junior who commits suicide. Prior to her death, she records a series of audio tapes describing the 13 reasons why she chooses to end her life. The story has parents and school officials watching for the slightest sign of copycat behavior from young viewers. So they want kids to know this: When you die, you do not get to make a movie or talk to people anymore about how they wronged you. Leaving messages from beyond the grave is a dramatization produced in Hollywood and is not possible in real life. Bowling Green City School officials held a program Wednesday evening for parents who have concerns about “13 Reasons Why” and its effect on their children. “The reality is, students are watching this and we want parents to be equipped for it,” said Ann McCarty, executive director of teaching and learning. In addition to a very graphic suicide scene of the main character cutting her wrists in the bathtub, the show also shows instances of rape, bullying, sexual assault, violence, drug and alcohol use. “It’s a very graphic series,” said Jake Tapley, Bowling Green Middle School counselor. Glaringly absent in the series are school staff or parents who intervene appropriately, Tapley said. While some parents may have no idea that their children are watching the show, it is the talk of teenagers in the cafeteria, on the bus and on their…


Luck of the draw sends BG kindergartner to Disney

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The Disney World video had the gymnasium full of children at Kenwood Elementary School glued to the screen showing costumed characters and wild rides. They had no idea that one of their school mates would be called to the stage to win a trip to the magic kingdom. Ryan Frankart, from Clubs Choice which runs the annual fundraiser at Kenwood, stopped the film and talked to the children about their efforts last year to raise funds for school technology, the school dance and fifth grade camp. Many of the children won prizes including lunch in a limousine. But Frankart had another surprise for the school on Tuesday. Each year, the fundraising company has a prize drawing covering all 40 states in which it operates. The prize – a trip to Disney World. The chances of winning – one in 75,000. When the company pulled one name, it was a Kenwood student chosen for the trip for four people over four days and three nights. The winner was kindergartner Hudson Karpuleon. When the curtain opened to the gymnasium stage, there sat Hudson’s family with Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears on their heads and balloons surrounding them. Hudson is quiet anyway. But put the kindergartner on a stage in front of 500 or so school mates, and she completely clammed up. “She’s just really shy,” said her mother, Colleen Karpuleon. Most of the questions to Hudson were met with a nod of the head and swinging legs. “It will be a totally different ballgame when you get home tonight,” her father, Steve Karpuleon predicted…