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February 25, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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February 25, 2009

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:!= !EIi["Illli PAGE C 6 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS SCHOOLS WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 25 2009 GOLD STARS District students More than 200 student vol- unteers from student leader- ship councils, sports teams and school club organizations helped raise more than $70,000 for the Issaquah Schools Foundation. During a one-night phone-a-thon Feb. 11, the students called families within the district for donations to support Project GLAD Train- ing, or Guided Language Acqui- sition Design Training, a train- ing course for teachers. While the students were paid $25 each, that money also went directly to the schools, as stu- dents earned it for the organi- zations they were representing. SwordFit students. The first group of students to advance in the new SwordFit program celebrated their suc- cesses by moving to the next level of their discipline. SwordFit is a nonprofit youth organization that focuses on fit- ness through mastering Japan- ese sword techniques and maintaining self-discipline. Congratulations to Sophia Carothers-Quintana, Chris Hut- ton, Oliver Linehan, Riley Daggett, Max Gitelman, Eric Pihl, Jake Studebaker, Tristen Rains, Charlie Dewar, Trail Sammarco, Alessandro Wel- come and Jackson Quintana. Andreau Wigle, Willie Kuntz Outgoing Commander An- dreau Wigle, a senior, handed command of the Liberty High School Naval Junior Reserve 0f- ricers Training Corps to Willie Kuntz, a senior, on Jan. 28. Both Wigle and Kuntz have served their community through NJROTC and continue to do so. Both are applying to colleges to continue their edu- cation and service. Gold Stars is an opportunity for teach- ers, principals, custodians, bus driv- ers, family and friends to highlight all accomplishments, big or small, by our school students. Send a few sentences giving us the student's name, age, grade and school, and good deed to clusebrink@isspress, com. Newcastle Elementary School teaches more than the ABCs BY CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK Teacher Irene Yang shows her advanced Mandarin Chinese students, like Jacob Hepp, 9, how to use chopsticks during a Chinese New Year celebration. BY" CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK earning one language is hard enough, but learning a language without letters seems nearly impossible. Students at Newcastle Elementary School, though, aren't letting Mandarin Chinese scare them away. "I'm not Chinese in any way, but I wanted to learn how to speak a language, because it's cool," said Steffan Ortega, 10. "I also wanted to learn how to make cool charac- ters." The program started three years ago to incorporate foreign language into children's education at an early age, said founder Kimberly Eickerman. "It is really important to me that my chil- dren learn to speak a second language, be- cause most of the kids they will be up against later know a second language," Eickerman said. "The Chinese language is the most com- mon language on earth," said Ethan Le, 9. "It is very good to learn for business later." After months of research, Eickerman found Seattle Languages International, a language institute, which has a database of teachers who come out and teach two courses every Wednesday after school. The teachers are native speakers and have teaching certificates. Families pay $195 for a 17-week session. "For me, it is a cultural thing," said Michele Jarvis, a parent coordinator and founder, adding that Mandarin is her par- ents' native language. Jarvis said she regrets not learning the language when she was younger, but during that time, the only option was learning at a Chinese school on Saturdays. "It is different here," she said. "It's after school and they are with their friends. It makes learning more tim. Whereas me, I was forced, and I didn't like it and didn't learn it." There are two types of classes -- inter- mediate and advanced. Any student can join, whether they are fa- miliar with the language or not, Jarvis said. Students in the intermediate group work with teacher Art Lee to memorize characters, learn the meaning of charac- ters and the pronunciation of them. Stu- dents were learning colors in a recent ses- sion. "Lon s6 means blue," said Amelia Hei, a first-grader. "It's tim, but we are learning Chinese because my morn signed us up. I think she said we are going to China soon." Amelia and her two brothers, Stephen and Jonathan, are in the class together. The more advanced class works on pro- nunciation, writing and construction of sim- ple phrases. "It's neat to learn all the different names and characters that go into simple signs," said Bradley Jarvis, 10. While students won't gain full fluency in the language, they certainly have a head start, Lee said. "It's about making them feel interested in learning the language than about learning BY CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK Stephen Hel, a third-grader, colors in Chinese characters that symbolize the colors he is using in his Chinese Mandarin class at Newcastle Elementary School. In the background, first-grader Amelia Hei class teacher Art Lee and kindergartner Jonathan Hei do the same. to speak it fluently," he said. "Hopefully, what they learn here will make them want to take the language again in high school or college." Aside from basic grammatical founda- tions, students also learn about Chinese culture and history through games and songs. "If we're good, then he brings in stuff or lets us play the number game called heart attack," said Stephen, a third-grader. In the advanced class, students spent an entire day celebrating Chinese New Year with their teacher, Irene Yang, who brought in games, activities, snacks and crafts. Most were interested in a chopstick rac- ing game and learning to write their names with Chinese characters. "I like learning how to write the charac- ters," said Lauryn Hepp, 11. "If I ever want to travel, the more I learn to speak Chinese, the better chance I have to travel there." Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241 or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com. Too much emphasis placed on sports a( 00ievements BY CARLA MOKIN As Americans, we focus a consid- erable portion of our lives on sports. We watch basketball intensely dur- ing March madness, take our sons and daughters to afternoon baseball games, and dedicate entire Sundays to the Super Bowl. Sports are an important facet of the American lifestyle and should be practiced, honored and cele- brated. But when does the obses- sion with sports go too far? When society starts to value '  !   . Your Future Awaits. Be Smarter. people not for their character or wisdom, but for their physical prowess, it reinforces the idea that education is not essential to suc- cess. We ask ourselves, why isn't the U.S. producing as many engineers, doctors and physicists as India, and why are we lagging behind European countries in the world of particle physics? Yes, it has to do with government funding, but we can't just blame it all on George Bush anymore. We have to look in- ward, at our priorities, as stu- dents, parents and community Hall Monitor Carla Mokin Uberty High School members. What do we value? What do we celebrate? What kinds of behav- iors do we reinforce? If one looks at high school as a preparation pe- riod for life, a sort of preview of THOMAS R. QUICKSTAD, DDS FAMILY DENTISTRY ON THE PLATEAU SINCE 1989 SERVICES AVAILABLE: Preventive Cleanings Digital X-ray (75% less radiation) Cosmetic Veneers Sealants Crowns Dentures Teeth Bleaching Bridges Extractions Fillings Implants 425-391-1331 NEW PATIENTS WELCOME 3707 Providence Point. Or. SE Issaquah, WA 98029 Win $1,000 cash! Fill out the marketing and readership online survey for The Issaquah Press and be entered to win $1000! Catholic You'll need 30-40 minutes to complete the survey. The $1,000 prize is our way of saying thanksf Must be 18 years + to participate. Go online to: www.pulseresearch.com/ipress/ the real world, it is blatantly obvi- ous what we as a society value most in a human being. For example, ff I get an A in honors physics (a remarkable ac- complishment), I might get con- gratulations from my physics teacher. But if I score a winning touchdown, my achievement is broadcasted on the morning an- nouncements, published in the newspaper and is a topic of dis- cussion for the next week at least. I am in no way saying that school sports aren't constructive. I believe they are important, if not essential. Practicing sports while in school keeps students healthy, teaches valuable life skills, and provides a fun and safe physical outlet for frustration and anger. I am simply reminding people to step back every once in a while and take a look at their priorities. If we want a country full of stun- ning athletes and void of Nobel Prize winners, we should continue at the current rate. But if we want to challenge ourselves to be the best, not just physically but men- tally, we need to change the way we view education as a society. ls300s00 o,, Newport Way UNITED CHURCH 425-746-2411 OFCHRIST www, EastEateUCC.org Rev. Dr. Rick Russell Church Services and Sunday School .............. ;.10:30 a.m. An inclusive community of God Sunday Worship 8:30 AM & 11:00 AM Sunday School Education Hour 9:45 AM Join us for LENTEN WORSHIP 7:00pm Wednesday February 25 & FOR DINNER & WORSHIP every wed., March 4 -Apdl 1 5:30-6:30pm Dinner ($5 suggested donation) 7:00pm Worship (Child care available) Everyone weJcomel LIVING GOD'S LOVE 745 Front Street South, Issaquah Phone: 425-392-4169 www.oslcissaquah.org ST. JOSEPH COLIC CHURCH Welcome Home ly 40 Days o Lent 2zo Mo WA 98oz7 a community of over i,o(lCat@ics and new pastor, Fr. Bryan Dolejsi Join Ash Wed. Feb. 25th 9 am & 7 pvlasses with Distribution of Ashes ! ! ! NEW WEEKENASS SCHEDULE ! ! ! STARTING  28 /  1 Sat. 5:3o pm Sun.  10 am Noon 5::30 pm