While students performed, their audiences helped charities

More than 1,600 people attended this year’s Edwardsville High School Performing Arts Holiday Concert, which featured 112 band students, 115 chorus students and 104 orchestra students.
More than 1,600 people attended this year’s Edwardsville High School Performing Arts Holiday Concert, which featured 112 band students, 115 chorus students and 104 orchestra students.

Local students collected more than 4,500 pounds of food, nearly $4,000 and more than 1,500 toys for local nonprofits. And all they had to do was perform.

Edwardsville School District 7 schools asked for donations at their holiday concerts and at a Christmas play.

Edwardsville High School’s music department collected $3,904 from spectators at its Performing Arts Holiday Concert. Every year, money from that performance is donated to the Main Street Community Center, an Edwardsville nonprofit that helps seniors.

Over the last seven years, the high school has donated more than $14,000 to the center, District 7 stated in a post to social media.

Liberty and Lincoln Middle Schools asked for donations to their toy and food drives at their holiday concerts. They delivered more than 1,500 toys and two tons of food to the Glen-Ed Food Pantry, which provides food to communities in District 7.

Edwardsville High School’s drama club also collected donations of nonperishable food for the Glen-Ed Pantry during its holiday show: “A Christmas Saga.” After five performances, students had 644 pounds of food.

The play, which was written and directed by student Caroline Kaminsky, was seen by 1,700 people.

Combined, the middle schools had more than 1,700 people attend their two performances. More than 1,600 people attended the high school’s concert.

4,500 Pounds of food donated to Glen-Ed Food Pantry

$4,000 Money donated to Main Street Community Center

1,500 Toys donated to the pantry

District hopes new technology will prepare it for crisis

Red Bud School District 132 says that new technology it implemented will help during emergencies because it connects schools with first responders.

The technology is called NaviGate Prepared. It includes the ability to tap into live security camera feeds.

The cloud-based system also organizes information like call lists, personnel photos, building maps, floor plans and 360-degree photos of areas like hallways and rooms. That information can only be accessed by authorized individuals using any web-authorized device.

The system also includes a mobile app that can be used with or without Internet connection; It gives school staff access to emergency plans, which are typically kept in physical copies.

Superintendent Jonathan Tallman said the safety of students is the district’s “first priority.”

“We are committed to remaining proactive and current in the area of school security, and we believe that NaviGate Prepared will be an excellent resource for our school community,” he said.

Explore these metro-east schools at their open house

An open house for Maryville Christian School and Maryville Christian High School is scheduled for Jan. 26.

Families of children in grades K-11 are invited to the free event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at First Baptist Maryville, 7110 State Route 162 in Maryville.

Parents will be able to tour the school facilities, including an addition that has two science labs, media center, gym and more.

For more information, visit or call 618-505-7000.

Local teams will compete in state robotics tournament

Five teams of local children will compete in the FIRST LEGO League Illinois State Tournament, which will take place Jan. 28 in Champaign.

Three of the teams are made up of Girl Scouts from Southern Illinois, including Purple Robot Penguins from O’Fallon, SWAT from Troy and GIR! from Staunton. The other two teams are from St. John Neumann Catholic School’s robotics program, including LEGO Lordz Next Generation and Techno Turtles.

They will all travel to the University of Illinois to participate with other 9- to 14-year-olds who designed their own robots.

The kids will be evaluated on their robots, a research project and their demonstration of teamwork, collective learning, participation and professionalism.

GIR! and SWAT teams qualified for the state tournament during the regional tournament Dec. 3 at Henning Elementary School in Troy. SWAT won the top table performance award, and GIR! took home the champion’s award for overall top performance.

Purple Robot Penguins, LEGO Lordz Next Generation and Techno Turtles all qualified during the regional tournament Dec. 10 at Carriel Junior High in O’Fallon. Purple Robot Penguins also won the champion’s award. LEGO Lordz Next Generation earned the project award for its mobile dog chair.

Future builders receive $25,000 in scholarships

The Southern Illinois Builders Association doled out $25,000 in scholarships to nine local students.

Among the award winners are: Bradley Verdun from Edwardsville; Patrick Nelson from St. Louis; Alexandra Plocher from Highland; Andrew Westerhold from Edwardsville; Blake Branz from O’Fallon; Levi James from Mt. Carmel; Ryan Cannady, from Belleville; Connor Followell, from Marion; and Lucas Koopmann, from Breese.

The students are pursuing degrees in construction management and construction-related engineering or architecture.

High schoolers earn scholarships to attend SEMO

Two local students have been awarded scholarships to attend Southeast Missouri State University in the 2017-18 school year.

Gibault Catholic High School student Regan McCoy, of Waterloo, received the Midwest Achievement Award, which gives her the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. In the 2016-17 school year, the difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition was $5,385 for 30 credit hours.

Belleville West High School student Megan Smith, of Belleville, received the Residence Life Leadership Award, which gives her $1,000 toward residence hall fees.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes