SPPS Students present project on microaggressions
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students from Harding and Highland Park Senior joined students from across the metro to participate in a multimedia project centered on microaggressions — as defined by Columbia University psychologist Derald Wing Sue, “the daily verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile or negative racial slights toward people of color.” Learn more at threesixtyjournalism.org/microaggressions.

Hubbs Center student featured in magazine
Ervin Graham, an adult learner at the Hubbs Center for Lifelong Learning, was recently featured in the magazine Ageless Success. Ervin has overcome many difficult obstacles in his adult life. He has attended the Hubbs Center for several years and, at 55 years old, is well on the way to earning his GED diploma. In addition to his studies, he works as the manager of his apartment building and also holds a job at Goodwill/Easter Seals. Ervin is most proud of keeping Lil Ervin, his son, on a good path. With his father's support, Lil Ervin entered the Hubert Humphrey Job Corps program and has also earned his GED degree. Congratulations to Ervin, and we hope you continue to follow your dreams!

Eleven SPPS schools participate in yumPower School Challenge
The HealthPartners yumPower program engages schools in a four-week challenge to inspire students to improve eating habits by including more fruits and vegetables in their diets. The challenge kicked off with a Radio Disney assembly, and students tracked their fruit and vegetable intake for four weeks. Schools and students were awarded prizes based on the level of participation. Participating schools were Adams, Bruce Vento, Frost Lake, Hamline University & Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion, Hazel Park, Horace Mann, Jackson, Maxfield, St. Paul Music Academy, and Wellstone.

Harding High School Principal Douglas Revsbeck to serve on International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme committee
Three school representatives from each IB region have been appointed to join the committees for Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP), according to IB. Principal Douglas Revsbeck will serve two years on the DP committee with possibly a year-long extension.

Committee members will follow several key areas, such as strategic thinking and planning, to support program development and monitor quality.

International Baccalaureate is a nonprofit educational foundation that has four programs for students aged three to 19 to help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world, according to the group. Currently IB Programmes are found in 3,707 schools in 147 countries, serving more than 1.1 million students.

Three SPPS teachers named candidates for Minnesota Teacher of the Year
Charlotte Landreau (Highland Park Senior), Rebecca McQueen (Harding Senior) and Chao Vang (Phalen Lake) have been named candidates for Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

This year’s program will name the 50th Minnesota Teacher of the Year, celebrating the tradition of excellence in teaching in Minnesota. This year’s 128 candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, from public or private schools.

The 2014 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be announced Sunday, May 4. Over the coming weeks, a 25-member panel of community leaders will name a group of semifinalists and finalists.

L’Etoile du Nord to make solar lights for schools in Ethiopia
On February 6, L’Etoile du Nord launched a project with a West Virginia non-profit, New Vision Renewable Energy (NVRE), to make solar lights for schools in Ethiopia.

NVRE will educate students in Mme. Henriette Ngo-Bissoy’s fifth grade science classes about renewable energy solutions and train them to make solar lights and panels. Eventually, 300 lights and several panels will make their way to schools in Koba Adi and Bidire, Ethiopia. 

The project is sponsored by 3M Gives and organized by 3M Team Africa, an employee resource group addressing critical needs in the developing world using 3M technology. The partnership will eventually train students in Ethiopia to make lights and panels locally.

Saint Paul Music Academy to explore giant interactive map
Students at Saint Paul Music Academy will soon be exploring North America in a big way -- with one of the world’s largest maps of the continent on Tuesday, February 18. The map, measuring 35 feet by 26 feet, gives student explorers a fun, interactive experience through rich content and exciting activities that enliven the study of geography. It is a part of National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program, organized by National Geographic Live, the public programming division of the National Geographic Society.

Students at Saint Paul Music Academy will have a full day with the map during physical education classes and during the Extended Day Program (EDL). To learn more about the Giant Traveling Map project, for borrowing information, or to download map activities, visit nationalgeographic.com/giantmaps.