The O’Fallon Township High School Marching Panthers band were named Regional Champion at the Bands of America Regional competition in Clarksville, Tenn., on Saturday. More than 20 bands from Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee were at Austin Peay State University competing in the event.
The Marching Panthers took first in Class 4A preliminaries as well as outstanding music performance, outstanding visual performance and outstanding general effect.
In the finals, the Marching Panthers took first place based on their total score and was awarded outstanding visual performance and outstanding general effect.
The band’s next contest is the Bands of America Super Regional at the Edward Jones Dome on Oct. 16-17.
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Marching Lancers win band contest
The Belleville East Marching Lancers won Grand Champions of Tiger Ambush Classic, an annual band contest at Edwardsville High School. In addition to Grand Champion in which they topped 19 other teams, the Lancers won in their Class 4A for Outstanding Percussion, Outstanding Visual and took third place overall.
Granite City took first place in Class 4A, and also took outstanding music. Other schools placing were Wesclin, which took third place and Outstanding Percussion in Class 3A, and Collinsville, which took second place in Class 3A.
O’Fallon Township High School and Granite City High School have joined an elite group of schools with their recognition as an Illinois Democracy School.
Schools earning the honor educate students to become “an effective active citizen,” which the Illinois Civic Mission Coalition’s news release defined as “a person who understands the obligation and undertakes the responsibility to improve community conditions, build healthier communities and address social problems.”
The 10 schools named this year underwent a school-wide civic assessment before receiving the honor, recognizing that the schools provide “authentic experiences in the rights, responsibilities and tensions of a constitutional democracy.”
Only 41 schools have been recognized as Democracy Schools since 2006, according to the Illinois Civic Mission Coalition. Schools tapped for the honor get a stipend, which would have to be reviewed by the McCormick Foundation, said Christopher Busse, a teacher at O’Fallon. Busse said the school might look at projects that would support civic learning opportunities or extracurricular activities.
International Peace Day
Blessed Sacrament School in Belleville participated in International Peace Day on Monday. Students recognized the day with a special prayer service and play about conflict and resolution. All the students also gathered in the school’s parking lot to form a large human peace sign. This is the second year the school had a special service for International Peace Day.
Sickle Cell Stroll
Fifteen students and three staff from Belleville West took part in the fourth annual Sickle Cell Stroll on Sept. 12. Students Erik Faulkner, Steve Leadlove, Jalen Ballard, Travon Brown, Jordan Clayborne, Andre Howliet, Tyreke Jones, Landon King, Lathan King, Ian Parker, Jordan Parks, Damon Sanders, Timothy Smalley, Tyrell Utley and Lavonta Silas participated. Adults were Richard Bass, Officer Ernie Mayer and Marvin Lampkin.
Sickle Cell Disease is inherited and affects about 100,000 Americans who suffer pain and anemia from the disease when the irregularly shaped red blood cells stick together and clog the flow of blood, and thus oxygen, throughout the body.
School honors police officers
Union Elementary School in Belleville honored the Belleville Police Department this month with art, cards and cake. Students in first through sixth grades created writing and art projects for National Thank a Police Officer Day and delivered donated sandwiches and cake to the downtown station on Saturday.