Science & Arts Academy Students Spread Message of Kindness
Third and fourth graders from Science & Arts Academy in Des Plaines have just finished reading and discussing the book, Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. The main character’s experiences in navigating through childhood with facial differences deeply resonated with SAA students and helped them understand the importance of acceptance and empathy. They culminated their novel study with a field trip to the AMC Randhurst Theater on Thursday, December 7th to view a screening of the movie, Wonder. Students all wore specially created t-shirts with the words “CHOOSE KIND” on the front, in an effort to help spread this important message in and around our community. “Appearances don’t matter. It’s what the person is actually like once you get to know them that matters,” shared Nico Lopez, third grader at SAA. Students learned that the words of Mr. Tushman ring true, “Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”
In the December 20th edition of the Des Plaines Journal, an article appeared documenting our culminating activity for the third and fourth grade novel study of the book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. The text of the article is copied below.
We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone that participated and helped out with the 25th Anniversary Homecoming Picnic. We were pleased to welcome over 600 guests to this special event. Please click here to read the program and view the list of our amazing sponsors and volunteers. We are so grateful for your support!
Special thanks to FSA Picnic Co-Chairs Jennifer Ilko and Amy Wang for all of their efforts supporting this milestone event. Also a big thank you to all of the student, parent, business partner, staff, alumni and alumni parent volunteers that provided such a welcoming atmosphere and helped the event run smoothly.
Special guests included Susan Bartz Herrick, the daughter of SAA’s founder, the late Helene Bartz; State Senator Laura Murphy; Park Ridge Mayor Marty Maloney; and Marisa Marton from the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce, who joined SAA personnel in cutting the ribbon to officially kick off and commemorate the 25th anniversary celebration. Please click here to view a video containing remarks from the specials guests, as well as other highlights from the event.
Other special guests included Fire Chief Alan Wax and four vehicles from Fire Station 61, and Officer Meyer from the Des Plaines Police Department.
The Message & Memories Board at the picnic had some wonderful notes, one of which is shared below:
The SAA performing groups presented a lunchtime concert at Golf Mill Mall in Niles on Tuesday, May 3. Thirty-six students involved in our Concert Ensemble, Advanced Ensemble and Choir performed. They shared 12 separate musical numbers that included Meghan Trainor’s “Better When I’m Dancing” and selections from Glee. The audience contained parents of our students as well as many passers-by. The students had a blast!
In honor of Earth Day, and in conjunction with their air pollution project, SAA's Junior Division Community Problem Solvers have teamed up with the Neighborhood Forest organization, and will be distributing 245 crabapple seedlings today! We encourage each SAA family to make a difference this Earth Day by planting their tree for the future generations to enjoy. Click to watch a video about the Neighborhood Forest organization. We'd love to have a photo of your family planting their tree! Please e-mail photos to Dr. Gueguen. Happy Planting!
The Junior Division CmPS team, Project SMOG (Students Making Outdoors Greener), held a bake sale to raise money in order to buy these seedlings for every SAA family. They raised close to $500, and they couldn't have done it without the generous support from donors and contributors. Thank you for your support in making this meaningful project possible!
A big thank you to the 16 members of our SAA community who bravely cut their hair or shaved their heads to help those living with cancer. Science & Arts Academy raised over $1300 for the St. Baldrick's Foundation and sent 75 inches of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. SAA would also like to send a sincere thank you to the stylists from Teddie Kossof for generously donating their time and talent to help with the event. This is the fourth time that stylists from Teddie Kossof have assisted with Cut for a Cause and we appreciate their dedication to service for others! Please consider visiting them for a future haircut. For 30% off your visit, stop by the front office for a coupon!
Science Olympiad Results
It was a great learning experience for all students involved in this past weekend's Science Olympiad invitational! There were 60 amazing teams competing at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio including the top teams in nation. Congrats to the SAA Varsity Team for placing 15th overall! Kaboom!
ExploraVision Science Expo
SAA science students in grades 3-6 will be sharing their ExploraVision projects in the gym next Monday, February 13th. Student teams will be presenting their work to fellow students during their science classes and lunch periods. Our Elementary Science Olympiad students will be showing and testing their "Junkyard Cars" at this same event. Families are welcome to visit the ExploraVision Expo and Science Showcase after school on February 13th until 5:00pm.
Upcoming Author Visit
On Wednesday, February 15th, author Jessica Garrett is visiting SAA and will be speaking to grades 3-6. Oh, Ick!: 114 Science Experiments Guaranteed to Gross You Out! is the book she'll be introducing. The title alone should be enough to spark everyone's interest! We have one copy in the library for you to peruse if you'd like to preview the book. If you've ever had any questions about gross things, this is the book for you! It features projects that cover topics like worms, ooze, and ear hair!
National Geographic Bee
SAA's annual Geo Bee was a great success as the entire school community came together to watch this exciting event! Students cheered on participants as they answered some difficult questions, and the audience was impressed with how much the participants knew! We congratulate all Geo Bee participants as well as our school winner, Luke! He will take a test to qualify for the state competition. Good luck, Luke!
Kumbaya Chess Tournament
Congrats to SAA for an outstanding performance at the 98th Kumbaya Chess Tournament. We're very excited to report that Abhay, Ethan, and Celina worked together to win first place in U700. Individually, Celina took 4th place. Way to go, SAA!
International Night is almost here! This event takes place on Friday, May 6th from 6:00-9:00pm in the SAA Gym. International Night is an opportunity for SAA families to showcase their heritage with the rest of our school community.
SAA's Shakespeare Festival was a day filled with entertainment, education, and adventure. The day began with an Opening Ceremony that included Queen Elizabeth and her ladies in waiting, William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, and the very humorous Court Jesters. Students listened to a performance by the SAA Madrigal Singers and Mr. Dane Thomas, accompanied by Martin, an 8th grade student. Students also watched a fencing demonstration and learned about Falconry from a professional falconer. Following the ceremony, students wandered through Westminster Market Place and met experts in various fields (5th grade Social Studies students), including an archer, an apothecary, and many, many more. The 6th grade LA students' feature film, based on Julius Cesaer, played continuously in the market place where students wrote insults, created sonnets, visited scientists, saw an oracle, played court games, ate baked goods, and were formally knighted (7th and 8th grade LA students). Walmer Castle (library) was filled with story telling and crafts, and the Globe Theatre (Black Box) featured Shakespearean scenes and monologues (Drama students), more madrigal singing (SAA Chorus), and several musical performances (5th-8th grade music students). A school-wide parade, led by Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare, and Marlowe traveled around the school. In the afternoon, 7th and 8th grade LA students assumed the roles of historical figures from the Elizabethan Era and performed their original skits in both the Enchanted Forest from A Midsummer Night's Dream (created by 7th grade LA/Latin students) and the Queen's Antechamber (created by 7th grade LA students). From Junior Kindergarten to 8th grade, the SAA community came together and collaborated on and enjoyed a wonderful, fun-filled day! Special thanks to all families who baked and donated goods! Huzzah!
SAA had a strong showing at last Saturday's 89th Kumbaya Chess Tournament.
This February, we had 36 students participate in the AMC 10 - a national math contest designed for high school sophomores in Geometry. It was wonderful to see so many students participate and have interest in a high school level test. Also in February, we had 27 students participate in the AMC 12 - another high school math contest designed for students in Pre-Calculus. Students in Algebra II or Pre-Calculus only were invited to participate at SAA this year. A special note of congratulations to one particular student for qualifying for the AIME - a national math exam only students who score above a specific score the AMC 10 or 12 are invited to take. The students who do best on the AIME then are invited to participate in the USAMO - and head off to an international math olympiad meet. Great job!