Oriole Advocates

Avon kids matter

November 6, 2015
by Karen Eglen
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Roborioles: The Robotic Takeover in Avon Schools

Who are the Roborioles?

Avon High School has a robotics club! Five years ago, Tim Engelhardt approached Chris Hill and Gary Ayers and asked if they’d like to help start a robotics club, and they were enthusiastic to get started! The Goal: Provide a great experience for students. And that’s just what they did. For the first year the club had about 24 numbers, and has grown to 60 – with 14-16 mentors (teachers, parents, engineers, and technicians).

What do they do?

It all starts with a problem. Before the competition season, mentors and instructors will set out specific problems for these budding engineers to solve. Sometimes, the problem is a game. For example, perhaps they have to develop a robot that will grab a wooden circle from around one peg, across a platform and place the wooden circle around a new peg. Starting with the problem, the kids then break up into groups to start coming up with solutions. One group will have to design a chassis that will have wheels and allow the robot to move from A to B, there also needs to be places on the chassis where other pieces of the robot can be attached. Another group will start creating a mechanism that will actual complete the task set out by the problem or challenge. Meanwhile, programmers are busy developing ways to tell the robot how to do the job it’s intended for, and still another group of students is trying to figure out how all of these pieces and parts are going to fit and work together. An additional group of people focuses on how to raise the profile of the club with various PR projects. That group created little trinkets to hand out as little gifts at events, such as AHS’s Trunk or Treat. Here are the different focuses that the students take on inside the club: programming, electrical pneumatics, mechanical engineering, integration specialization, strategy, inspection, and PR. Students and mentors work in these various areas to ensure that the robot functions properly.2015-10-29 15.00.27

An association called FIRST Robotics presents the challenge for the competition season, which the club will receive in early January. The entire competitive season lasts from the time they receive their challenge through April. This challenge becomes the problem the members will be solving for the following weeks to prepare a robot to take to competitions. Last year, students had to develop a robot that could pick up large barrels. You might have seen their barrel robot if you were at the high school’s Trunk or Treat this year in the form of a large ghost that successfully frightened many people who thought it would stay stationary and didn’t! You might also have seen one of their off-season projects if you’ve been to football games and watched a canon-like robot shoot t-shirts into the crowd.

What do the members get out of their time with the Roborioles?2015-10-29 14.59.41

Experience, experience, experience! These inspiring young people are working together, learning to collaborate, working on technical problems, and developing solutions – not just to their robotic problems, but also interpersonal solutions along the way. Many of these kids plan to pursue a future in engineering, and this club is an ideal place to explore the various paths they might take. Avon High School student, Colin Blose says, “It’s a huge help since I plan to study engineering when I go to college.”

How are they funded?

2015-10-29 15.14.47

Sponsors are represented by placards on the robot the students built.

The bulk of the funding for Roborioles comes from corporate donations and grants. Chris Hill has invested a great deal of time and passion writing grant proposals so that the club can have all the materials it needs in order to be successful. Companies such as Rolls Royce and Allison Transmission donate money to clubs like the Roborioles because they know that they are investing in their own future. Many of these students will go on to great engineering schools with a desire to return to the area and take up a career. These corporations are aware that they will see a return, simply in the depth of understanding that these students will bring back as employees someday. In fact, Carrier believes so hard in this cause that one of their employees, Steve Blaske, comes to work with the Roborioles every week as part of his job, and he continues to get paid for his work. They consider these young minds a truly worthy investment! Student members also pay $50 a year to be a part of the group, which pays for transportation costs associated with attending various events throughout the year.

Will there ever be robotics teams for younger kids?

This is currently in the works! Students from grades 5-8 will soon be able to participate in similar programs at their own schools. The current plan is to utilize Lego robots and work in a comparable way to the high school team. So be sure and keep your eye out for information on those upcoming opportunities!

How can we see these cool robots they’re building?

Everyone should definitely come to the Roborioles Open House on February 3rd, 2016 at 6pm at Avon High School. They will be excited to show you what they will have been working on for their competition season at that point. Come prepared to be impressed by some amazing young problem solvers!

Also, be sure and like them on Facebook to stay informed about what they’re up to! Search for “Avon Robotics Team.” Feel free to contact Chris Hill with any questions or comments you might have: CMHill@avon-schools.org.

 

A great big THANK YOU to the educators who dedicate their time and energy to making this club a great experience for our kids! We appreciate you!

October 2, 2015
by Karen Eglen
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River Birch: Lead and Serve

Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results. – John Dewey

What are the Ambassadors?

Fourth grade students at River Birch Elementary have a special opportunity to take on a mantle of responsibility usually carried by teachers and parents. The teachers and administrators have utilized some of their professional development training from C.L.A.S.S. (http://www.joyofclass.org/) and established a group of students designated as Ambassadors. Mrs. DeHart and Mr. Miller have worked tirelessly to make the program as successful as possible. Historically at River Birch, the Ambassadors have served as greeters at various school events, tour guides in the first days of school and on back to school nights, and helpers in other various formats.

Any fourth grade student with a desire to serve may apply to become an Ambassador. The application process, however, is not dissimilar to that of a real-life, grown-up job application. Student must fill out a formal application, get references, and have an actual face-to-face interview to discuss why they want to become an Ambassador. The teachers and administrators know that being an Ambassador isn’t easy, and in the past their meetings have taken place outside the school day. They wanted to be sure and select kids who were dedicated.leadandservepic

How do the Ambassadors impact younger students at their school?

The fourth grade students want to leave a legacy behind for the younger students at River Birch. The teachers who work with the Ambassadors have helped them to become mini-teachers. These mini-teachers go into the classrooms of younger students and teach them lessons pertaining to various life skills, such as responsibility and integrity. To that end, they are meeting with the teachers to discuss the best ways to approach the different age groups and little things they can do to connect the subject matter to their current interests.   Each class has two Ambassadors assigned to it for the lesson, and these mini-teachers go into the rooms and actually teach to a full class of kids!

If they’re focused on teaching, what will they be learning?

The Ambassadors, while they are very busy trying to give back, are receiving some fantastic, authentic education in the process. In order to teach others, they have to fully assimilate the ideas they hope to convey. What better way to learn than to prepare to teach others!

Imagine for a moment what they are also learning about compassion and respect. Consider how they are attempting to understand people who are slightly younger than they are. I believe this is where the greatest learning may be taking place. When you are putting yourself fully into another person’s shoes in order to understand them and educate them, you have the unusual opportunity to see the world from a perspective you don’t know or don’t remember. These students are learning about leadership and service on the front lines!

Sounds like a great program – have they encountered any challenges?

The group has had a really hard time with scheduling time to meet. Many students are unable to meet outside the school day, so Mrs. DeHart and Mr. Miller have tried to squeeze in time during the day in the past. They even tried to utilize twenty minutes during lunch to prepare students to go and teach in other classes – what a chaotic image! Just think of all of those fourth graders shoveling down lunch and trying to take in the finer points of educating others, while the teachers try to pour their passion for education into the hearts of the kids! What a challenge! Fortunately, the administrators and fourth grade teachers all agree that the value of this leadership and service training is worth instructional time during the school day. For forty-five minutes per week, the teachers are able to work with the students at the end of the day before they go home from school.

What about the students who don’t get to be Ambassadors?

“Everybody needs an opportunity to know what it means to be a leader and know what it means to think about others,” says Mrs. DeHart.

Several different opportunities have been developed, and students can choose in what capacity they’d like to learn more about service. Fourth graders can elect to participate in the news crew that helps put on the morning news every day at River Birch – WRBE! The news crew learns a great deal about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a news program, such as writing and production. They may even take a field trip to Channel 8 to find out more about how news production works! Fourth graders can also select peer tutoring/mentoring which gives them the chance to work with younger students on academic subject matter. If they select peer tutoring, they receive training from teachers, the school counselor, and the school instructional coach on the best ways to help the student they tutor. They can even choose to work with the community outreach group which seeks to serve people in Avon outside of River Birch’s own walls. This is the group who built the float that represented River Birch in the Heritage Festival Parade this last Saturday!leadandservefloat

I am thrilled that these opportunities exist for the fourth grade students at River Birch, and I only hope that these kids take the life lessons they learn on with them as they enter intermediate and middle school! The fourth graders at River Birch want to leave a lasting legacy of leadership for their younger peers – what legacy will you leave?

September 19, 2015
by Rosie Blankenship
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Oriole Advocates take stand regarding TIF districts

iconRecently, the Oriole Advocates took on research and discussion regarding TIF districts. A Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district is a development tool that municipalities use to encourage growth. An easy-to-read summary of how a TIF works and the impact on Avon Community School Corporation is included in our background review that you can download here.

Following meetings with the Oriole Advocates where discussions were held regarding this issue, the Oriole Advocates moved to the resolution below. This stance has been provided to the Avon Town Council with a request to forward it to the Redevelopment Commission.

RESOLVED

This Resolution is not directed toward any particular entity, developer or location, nor is it intended to impede economic growth and development. Instead, it is simply a statement that the Oriole Advocates believe represents the sound use and implementation of Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts.

This resolution is consistent with our Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles as provided here.

The Oriole Advocates believe that –

If multifamily residential housing is to be considered within a TIF district anywhere in Washington Township, then there should be provisions that require the increased tax revenues to pass through directly to the schools and other local taxing entities.

The above resolution was approved unanimously by the Oriole Advocates present at the meeting of August 27, 2015. This document was subsequently edited for technical accuracy and finalized by the executive committee on September 10, 2015.

Oriole Advocates Executive Committee

Trilby Berry-Tayman
Rosie Blankenship
Kyle Campbell
Karen Eglen
Jennifer Mills
Sarah Parent
John Sparzo

Oriole Advocates Membership in Favor

Susan Caveney
Julia Collings
Linda Dobbs
Suzann Gray
Nancy Johnson
Christopher Kates
Kristi Kerr
Kent Mueller
Steve Pearl
Angelia Ridgway
Mark Rodgers
Amanda Sparzo
Martha Sparzo
John Torbit
Dana Unison
John Unison

September 2, 2015
by Karen Eglen
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First Annual Oriole Advocate Ice Cream Social

First Annual Oriole Advocate Ice Cream Social

 

social1The Oriole Advocates recently hosted their first annual Ice Cream Social as a celebration of the accomplishments of the year and as a way to honor people who have helped move our corporation in a positive direction.  The Oriole Advocates also selected the winners for the first ever Big Bird Award.

What accomplishments did the Advocates celebrate?

  • We were excited to be a part of the movement to improve the funding formula, which resulted in increased funding from the state for Avon Community Schools. (see Funding Fundamentals)
  • Due to the new funds, ACSC was able to hire quite a few new teachers. The total of new positions for this year is now up to 30.85.  This has made it possible for our class sizes to be reduced significantly – giving our students a better environment for learning.

Who did the Advocates honor?social2

  • Our state legislators, Sen. Pete Miller and Rep. Greg Steuerwald, attended the Ice Cream Social, and we thanked them for the key roles they played in moving our state’s funding formula in the right direction. We appreciate all of their work to make our schools better!
  • We were honored by the attendance of the some of the brand new teachers who were hired because of the new funding we are receiving this year. We look forward to tremendous impact their additions will make for our students and schools.

social3What is the Big Bird Award, and who won?

To be a candidate for this award, an administrator, teacher, support staff worker, volunteer, parent, or community member must have demonstrated one or all of the following: elevate, empower and enliven others; extend their efforts so that their work reaches beyond that of their peers; elucidate the achievements of others in the school system.

We were so pleased to have these nominees for 2015:

  • Laura Campbell, parent volunteer
  • Barb Doll, support staff
  • Kristin Isbell, teacher
  • Lori Kennard, teacher
  • Kris Kingery, administrator
  • Cathy Klemmensen, volunteer
  • Jeff Lewis, Avon Police Officer
  • Annette Patchett, administrator
  • Jaymie Popcheff, teacher
  • Joel Powell, teacher
  • Andrea Rader, teacher
  • Dean Westman, teacher

For their outstanding service to our schools, Dean Westman and Officer Jeff Lewis were selected as this year’s winners for the first annual Big Bird award!  We appreciate their fantastic efforts!  If you’ve been witness to people who have gone above and beyond for our schools and are deserving of the Big Bird Award, be sure and inform one of our Oriole Advocates, so we can recognize their efforts, and consider them for next year’s award!  We are so grateful for the efforts of so many to make our schools the best they can be.

We look forward to next year’s Ice Cream Social!social4

 

August 8, 2015
by admin
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Pine Tree Read-In Week

Written by Trilby Berry-Tayman

pine tree read_in_animals[1]Our excellent Avon teachers and many members of our community strive constantly to motivate our Avon Elementary students. One of the many examples of this effort happened on May 18-24 when Pine Tree Elementary invited community members into their school to participate in their Read-In Week. This year’s theme was “Go on a Reading Safari”.

Members from the community were invited to come into school and read one of their favorite books to the students. The students were also able to dress up in a different animal themed costume each day of the read-in.

There is nothing better than sharing a good book with eager listeners. Megan Schneider of Pine Tree Elementary, as part of the Pine Tree Read-In Committee set up a fun, educational week of activities to promote literacy. The activities included book-themed dress-up days, a book parade and famous guest readers from the community.

pine tree Tom_Klein[1]Community members were requested to volunteer 30 minutes from their day to come to classrooms and read to eager listeners. Avon Town Manager, Tom Klein was able to find the time to inspire with his reading of The Giving Tree. Meanwhile, the students had their own competition and tracked the number of pages they read during the week. The entire school focused on a specific book each day. Monday the students wore wacky clothing as they shared the book, Where the Wild Things Are. They read If You Had Animal Hair on Tuesday so the children could wear crazy hair styles to go along with the book. Wednesday’s book called Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing allowed the children to dress up in animal prints. The Rainbow Fish was picked for Thursday where students could dress as twins or wear Pine Tree shirts. On Friday the week closed with the students dressing in their favorite book character and participate in a parade.

It certainly was a fun week to experience at Pine Tree. Seeing firsthand how our teachers and community work together to help motivate and show our early learners how exciting and fun reading can be was truly an experience I attribute to Avon Community School system’s dedication to their students. Without the support of the Administration from the Principal to the Superintendent, none of this would be possible. Thank you everyone, teachers, community members, principals and superintendent. We couldn’t do this without you.

 

Trilby Berry-Tayman

Oriole Advocate

Pine Tree PTO

July 18, 2015
by Karen Eglen
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Avon Night Out

night outFun, Educational, FREE (while supplies last!)

What is the Avon Night Out?

The Avon Police Department is hosting this exciting event for all the families in our community to enjoy – complete with activities, food, demonstrations, rides, photo ops, and giveaways. You will want to mark your calendar so you are sure to bring your family and enjoy it!

The National Night Out Against Crime event is a national organization that strives to help local law enforcement agencies organize and sponsor a community event. Each year, law enforcement agencies across the country choose to host a night out for the families they serve and protect. This year, our Avon Police Department is giving us the chance to participate in this nation-wide event, right here in the heart of our very own town. How exciting!

Avon Night Out is made possible by the donations of our fantastic local businesses and community members. All together, they have provided over $6,000 worth of supplies, food, and merchandise to make this event as successful and enjoyable as possible for the families of Avon.police

What will we learn?

Because all of our Avon Police Officers have a heart to serve and protect others, they are excited to provide an experience that will help both adults and children learn more about various topics related to safety and healthy living. The Fire Department will be educating our students on the importance of smoke detectors and other aspects of fire safety. Our Avon Police will introduce themselves to kids and teach them a little about the job of a police officer (it’s different than Law and Order!). They will also be giving away gun locks to anyone who needs one. Parabellum Indoor Range and Training Center will have information on self-defense training and firearm safety. Susie’s Place child advocacy center will be there to raise awareness on issues of child abuse and to educate the public on their work. Mental Health America will have important information about mental health assistance available in our community. Nine 13 Sports will have a children’s spin class set up to do a fun and quick lesson on getting enough exercise. Healthspot of Avon will be there to discuss nutrition and will be offering free samples of healthy food.

You said free food and giveaways – tell us more about what is happening at this event!

Food: Free refreshments (while supplies last) will include: hot dogs, coca cola products, bottled water, Gatorade, mike sells potato chips, mini muffin packs (from Entenmanns), cotton candy, snow cones, and a new drink on the market called “fruit shoot” for kids. Writing this post is making me hungry!

Activities: Things to do will include: a bounce house, police vehicles on display for children to climb in and take pictures, a fire truck from Washington Township Avon Fire Department, the Air Force will be there with an SUV outfitted with different video game consoles, and there will be a gyro ride, too! Lowes will be there, too, and they will have workshop for kids to have the opportunity to build a small craft.police gyro

Demos: There will be a presentation on bicycle safety, a demonstration of a drone robot, and K9 demonstrations for narcotics. I’ve been told that the APD’s Assistant Chief of Police will put on a big suit and get “apprehended” by our K9. I, personally, can’t wait to watch the K9 demonstration.

Giveaways: So many great giveaways! Coming to this Night Out will be worth it just for these prizes! Giveaways include (but are not limited to): a bicycle for one boy and one girl (donated by Target), 20 backpacks loaded with school supplies (10 for boys and 10 for girls), a grill from Lowes, a family 4 pack of tickets for one of the remaining Indianapolis Indians games, (4) family of 4 passes to the Aquatic Center in Plainfield, free rentals of the Shelter house at Avon Town Hall, and DOZENS of other gift certificates and freebies. They will start giving away these fabulous prizes at 5pm.

When and where will it be?

The Avon Night Out will take place adjacent to the Farmer’s Market on the campus of Hendricks Regional Health just east of the Pizza King and Papa Joe’s Jr. Mark your calendars for August 4th from 4-8pm!

Is it really completely free?

Yes, indeed! Completely free to the public! However, it’s important to remember that it’s free while supplies last. Being the very first year that this event will take place, sponsors have no way of knowing how many to expect. You can help by RSVPing if you plan to attend: https://www.facebook.com/events/702761633186936/

Thank you so much to the Avon Police Department and other supporting community members/businesses for establishing such a wonderful event for us! And we appreciate everything you do for us each day as you work to keep our town safe!

July 3, 2015
by admin
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Avon Band Together – One Parent’s Perspective

Written by Dr. John Sparzo

Admittedly, I was a pretty nerdy kid. For three years in grade school I chose the same blue suede sneakers with white stripes (that I wore with tube socks with a variety of different colored stripes). I read every book at the local library with Dewey Decimals beginning with 599.xx–twice. In high school I re-founded the Chess Club, but jazzed it up with the addition of Trivial Pursuit. But, even I had the audacity to call high school band kids “geeks.”

So, when my first child, Nick, started in the marching band program the summer after his 8th grade year, I carried with me all my outdated recollections and misguided generalities about band and band kids. In fact, despite our son’s protestations, my wife and I extended our summer vacation that year by a week, unknowingly putting him behind the other incoming freshman who were learning the finer points of marching.

Other than terrible news like the death of a family member or 9/11, there are few times your worldview changes in an instant. My changed on an afternoon in the summer of 2009 when I first saw the Avon Marching Black & Gold perform. The fact that the kids were in mismatched shorts and sweaty t-shirts didn’t stop my jaw from dropping as I was concussed by a wall of sound as the horns turned toward the crowd. I simply could not believe that 275 KIDS were capable of producing the music and the level of showmanship displayed. There were no band geeks on that field. On the contrary, there were, instead, teenagers who devoted much of their summer vacations to becoming elite performers.Summer Band practice

It was from that moment that I began to understand all that the Avon High School marching band program (and the intermediate and middle school programs that prepare kids for it) contributes to our community, our school and most of all, our children. It is one thing to point out that over the past 21 years, the Avon Band program (including the drumline, the hornline, and the color guard) has won an incredible 7 national/world titles and 35 state championships because it says so much about the quality and commitment of Avon’s instructors to music and marching. However, what means so much more than the string of 21 consecutive years of championships is how it develops our children into the resourceful, hard-working people we want them to be.Drawn to the Flame--the 2014 show--featured butterflies and moths throughout

Tom Edwards, Sr., whose boys both marched for Avon, wrote in a letter to Director Jay Webb: “You have reinforced, and thereby added credibility and validation to everything we have tried to teach at home—honesty, integrity, politeness, hard work, self-discipline, and respect for others.” Doug Elmore, 1987 graduate and former drum major, resides in Avon. He has served the community both in town and township leadership positions. He recently observed, “The lessons learned in marching band have guided me throughout my entire career. I cannot think how many times I have been able to progress [in] or advance my career because of the skill sets like teamwork, discipline, and work ethic that were all fostered during my time in band.”Synchrony

A few years ago, a group of like-minded band fans and band alumni founded a group called Avon Band Together (a subsidiary of the not-for-profit Band Boosters) to raise funds to support the program. Band is not cheap. To march in the hornline, it costs a student $950 in fees. For drumline (which has two seasons—marching in the fall and winter competitions), the fees are approximately $1700. And for color guard that also has two seasons, the fees reach $2000. It is easy to understand how participation could be out of reach for some families in Washington Township. However, I cannot overstate the life-long educational impact that participation in the Avon Marching programs will have on every member – an absolutely priceless and unique experience.

I invite you to join Avon Band Together to help ensure that ALL of Avon’s kids can participate in the life-changing, character-building experience that band provides. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or visit us on www.avonband.com/band-together.

June 19, 2015
by Kyle Campbell
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Entrepreneurial Fair at Avon Intermediate School West

 

I’ve previously written about the outstanding work AIS West teachers are doing to provide real-world applications to their lesson plans – and, I’m going to write about it again because the depth and richness of these projects are exemplary lessons in today’s “teaching to the test” reality in education.kylesson

The latest instance of this tangible approach to learning culminated in early May in the AIS West 2015 Entrepreneurial Fair. As with so many of these exceptional learning experiences, the Fair was just an end-point of weeks of student work, each step building upon the last, until the students get the opportunity to shine by displaying for peers and parents the results of their plans and preparations.

This year’s Entrepreneurial Fair was our family’s first, but I could see why it generated such excitement among the students. The work leading up to the fair, itself, would result in a great sense of pride and accomplishment. Students were tasked with developing a valid business model – a service or product that could be marketed and sold to customers – and clear all the hurdles and challenges any start-up operation would face.

My son and 2 classmates settled on building a couple of carnival-style games where contestants would buy tickets for $0.50 each and then choose to do one or both activities: toss a ping-pong ball into a series of varying-sized jars to win a prize of candy, or guess at the number of pieces of candy in a large jar. They had to draw up a plan as to how the games would work, procure investments – either loans or “gifts” – with which to purchase any required materials, or find household materials that would fit their needs. All profits (yes, they had to recoup any initial investments or loaned dollars and repay them to the lenders before they could go into the black) would be donated to charitable causes of the kids’ choosing.

The Fair had 2 phases – one event held on a school night to which family and friends were invited to participate; and, a second event held during the kids’ lunch times the following day. I was impressed at the variety of ideas represented in the school cafeteria that evening. There were some easier-to-execute set-ups where kids simply bought items at the grocery and resold them at marked-up prices. But, other wares and services showcased showed high degrees of effort – from home-made foods, to hand-crafted jewelry, to books of fantasy poetry and accompanying bookmarks. It was a sight to see these children proudly displaying their wares, engaging in the consummation of the business cycle, and getting a feel for life as a proprietor. To top it all off, the monies raised were going to some great causes!

Major congratulations to the students of AIS West for a successful business venture, and to the teachers who facilitated this tremendous experience!

June 9, 2015
by Karen Eglen
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7 Things To Do In Avon This Summer

summerThese are just a few of the items you might want to include in your summer schedule!  If you know of other things people should consider doing, be sure and leave us a comment!  This is far from an exhaustive list.  Go check out our great town this summer!!

 

  1. Go to the Library! Our Avon-Washington Township Public Library has more than just books! They’ve sent up many activities and events this summer that are open to the public. Some do require sign up, so be sure and check that out. They’ve covered everything from crafts and legos to chess and superheros. Be sure and check out what they have to offer for this summer:

http://in.evanced.info/avon/lib/eventcalendar.asp

 

  1. Go the Parks! There are lots of activities going on at our local parks! Beyond the activities, you can visit playgrounds, the splash pad, and the many trails and paths for hiking. Pack your family a picnic and visit the grounds available to Avon. Enjoying the outdoors is a great way to spend time with your family!

http://www.washingtontwpparks.org/calendar.html

 

  1. Join the YMCA! We have a fantastic YMCA here in Avon, and they also plan and provide lots of activities to their members. They also have a great walking path around their property. Give of yourself by donating blood at the Y as well. The Indiana Blood Center Bloodmobile is parked at the Y Tuesdays from 10am to 6pm, and Saturdays from 7am to 3pm.

http://www.indymca.org/centers/hendricks-regional-health/center-news/

 

  1. Get a Taste of Hendricks County! On June 18th, over 20 of the restaurants in Hendricks County will be represented at The Palms and will offer samplings of some of their most popular foods to the guests. Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 at the door. This is one delicious event!

http://www.hendrickscountycf.org/events/tasteof/

 

  1. Go to the Ribfest! On June 27th, enjoy an evening of food and fun on the grounds of Kingsway Christian Church and School! There will be lots to do and lots to eat!

http://www.avonchamber.org/hendricks-county-rib-fest.html

 

  1. Take a Tour of our Town! Here is an interesting little guide for a walking/driving tour of Avon. You may find that you visit places you weren’t aware were even a part of our community!

http://www.indianahistory.org/feature-details/Avon%20Walking%20Tour.pdf

 

  1. Find out if you actually live within Avon’s town limits! You may be surprised to discover that you actually live outside the town’s borders, even though you live within the school district or have an Avon address. Due to the history of our fine town’s growth, the map of Avon’s borders is reminiscent of a slice of Swiss cheese.

http://www.avongov.org/egov/documents/1345051095_212310.pdf

 

May 29, 2015
by Karen Eglen
0 comments

Interact

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Gandhi

Educating our students involves much more than math, science, and literature. True education must include seeking out opportunities to learn about reaching out to others, finding ways to improve the community in which we live, and working together towards a common goal. These are some of the ways our students will learn to act with compassion. As we examine ways in which our school system is helping to shape our young people into the next generation of caring and responsible citizenry, we cannot ignore the opportunity being given to our students by a group known as the Interact Club.

What is the Interact Club and how did it start in Avon?

The Interact Club exists to develop community leaders who will experience the value of service to others. Not every school has a group like this one, so we are excited that Avon gives this opportunity to our high school students!

Every Interact Club grows from their local Rotary Club, which connects with a local high school and finds at least twenty-five interested students who want to participate. For Avon’s Interact Club, it began to take shape in 2008 when Chelsea Zusan started the ball rolling, but when she graduated, the club needed a new leader. Pam Lyons, one of the Rotary Club’s liaisons to Interact, met a lovely teacher by the name of Heather Coffman and recognized in this teacher an enthusiasm for the community and a desire to further connect with students that would be perfect for helping to begin the club. Together they were able to gather enough interested young people to start the ever-important process of reaching out to serve Avon and the world.

What is the value of the Interact Club?

As I’m trying to find the right words to answer this question, I’m overwhelmed by the large number of people who are impacted by the outreach of this committed organization, not to mention the intense and authentic education that the participating students experience.interact valentine

The Big Picture: Literally, people all over the world benefit because these students will do amazing things as they go about their year in Interact. Just some of the projects the club has done over the past year includes: collecting shoes for the international Soles 4 Souls project, sponsoring a Prom Dress Sale, packing boxes for Hendricks County Project Angel, selling luminaria bags for the Avon Relay for Life, working at IU Health West sponsored run/walk to raise funds for the B&O Trail, fundraising for Sheltering Wings, weekly reading to preschool children at Day Nursery, obtaining a grant for Family Promise in Hendricks County, weekly tutoring at Intermediate and Middle Schools, delivering cheer and valentines to nursing home residents, hosting Game Day for special needs students, hosting the International Global Social for English Language Learner students, delivering handwritten thank you notes to veterans at the VA hospital, and assisting Avon Rotary with other various projects – WOW!! They really touch the lives of so many people!interact prom 2

The Student Picture: Our high school Interact Club members get to learn much more than curricular subject matter through these programs. By connecting with young children and our senior community, our club members receive education in the areas of compassion and humility. By connecting with those who have bravely served our country, our club members receive education in the areas of gratitude and respect. By connecting with citizens of Hendricks County, our club members receive education in the areas of service and kindness. We can all agree that the value wrapped up in these areas is foundational to the growth of our youth and the development of our future community.

interact promThe students in the Interact Club are excited about all the things they are learning as well. Sophomore Lauren King, who will serve next year as the Director of School Activities for Interact, says this about her experience with the club: “I have learned how to become a better leader through service like being a tutoring captain at AIS East. Also I learned how to become a better public speaker with my work on the grant to benefit Family Promise. This grant also helped to open my eyes and realize other things, in this case, homelessness that goes on right here in Hendricks County.” Graduating senior Ashley Morgan, who served as this year’s Director of International Projects, says this about her own experience: “I feel that I have learned not only how to communicate better and be more confident in front of people, but most importantly I’ve learned how much I really enjoy serving others and how much I truly value serving the community.” Students realizing the value of serving others – education doesn’t get much better than that. A parent or teacher can explain to a young person every day how to be compassionate and respectful, but that type of education doesn’t happen from the outside-in. It works best from the inside-out. And when people serve, they learn from the inside-out.

The Rotary Club may have more life experience than the kids who make up the Interact club, but they are not without their own education from their experience with this connection. Pam Lyons, who serves as Rotary liaison, had this to say about her own involvement: “The more I’m involved in Interact, the more I learn about myself. Students and sponsors who work with Interact think they go into it in order to serve the community, and through that service what they really end up gaining is personal growth.”interact elderly

The T-Shirts worn by Interact Club members outline their outstanding goals: Developing Leaders, Demonstrating Respect, Understanding Responsibility, Advancing Goodwill.

Thank you Interact! Keep up the good work! You are making a world of difference! We look forward to next year!