Collinsville High School took grand champion honors at the 2015 Preview of Champions Marching Band Festival on Saturday. More than 20 schools competed in the seven classes at Leemon Field. Other metro-east schools earning honors were:
▪ Mater Dei in Class 2A: Second place, best percussion, best color guard
▪ Freeburg in Class 3A: Second place, best color guard
▪ Collinsville in Class 4A: Grand champion of classes 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A; first place in Class 4A, best music, best visual, best percussion, best color guard
▪ Waterloo in Class 4: Third place
▪ Triad in Class 5A: First place, best music, best visual
▪ Granite City in Class 6A: First place, best visual
▪ O’Fallon High School in Class 7A: First place, best music, best visual, best color guard
▪ Belleville East in Class 7A: Second place, outstanding percussion
Walk to school
Schools in Smithton and Wood River are signed up to take part in the annual International Walk to School Day on Oct. 7.
The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Board of Education are encouraging schools to join in the walk. The event started in 1997 in Chicago as National Walk Our Children to School Day. Last year, more than 4,700 schools in the United States participated.
Go to www.walkbiketoschool.org for more information.
School opens doors to interested parents
Zion Lutheran School in Belleville is hosting the first of its Welcome Wednesdays on the first Wednesday of every month through April, starting on Oct. 7.
Those interested in learning more about the private school, including meeting teachers and staff, are welcome from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Welcome Wednesdays. RSVP to Erica Stelling, the admissions and marketing director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 618-234-0275. Tours may be arranged at other times as well. Learn more about the school at www.zionschoolbelleville.net.
They walked 500 miles
Abraham Lincoln students in the fourth through sixth grades took a walk Monday to wrap up a month of trekking to raise awareness for childhood cancer as part of Alex’s Million Mile Walk.
The three grades walked more than 500 miles during September to help Alex’s Lemonade Stand reach a million miles. The students walked during recess, class and at home to make the miles.
“It has blown me away to see our students so dedicated to walk for a purpose,” said sixth-grade teacher Jennifer Stroot. She said some classes also learned more about alternative ways to teach about cancer’s effects.
Get up and grow
Girl Scout Troops 1156 and 189 played a key role in finishing the community garden at Henry Raab School in Belleville last month.
With help from master gardener Roger Boyd, the girls put together the keyhole garden, which is a raised planter with a slice on the side to easily access the basket in the middle, which holds food scraps and water. The compost ensures the garden is more productive and the setup should require less water than a conventional garden.
Those who helped with the garden that is growing romaine, kale and beets were Girl Scouts Elizabeth Herbstritt, Dajah Gilmer, Morgan Murphy, Alyssia Tuttle, Stella Stammer, Helen Libby and Kathyrn Libby and former Henry Raab students Claudia Stammer and Samantha Bunn.
The keyhole garden was made possible at Henry Raab Elementary School by a grant from Get Up & Go Community Garden Grant, which is dedicated to encouraging healthy eating and active living in St. Clair County.
Money for Legos
Republic Services donated $500 for the St. John Neumann Catholic School robotics team. The Maryville school will use the money to compete in the 2015 First Lego League Trash Trek Challenge.
More than 233,000 children from ages 9 to 16 in more than 80 countries are using the challenge to build a robot that can score points on a themed playing field. They also develop a solution to a problem the team identifies.
Clean water field trip
More than 450 fifth-graders explored environmental science and outdoor activities during a daylong event Sept. 18 that was organized by the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center.
Students from eight schools went canoeing and fishing and collected bugs. They also practiced Japanese fish painting and geocaching. They learned how water is collected in developing countries, as well as water treatment methods, pollution, water conservation and more.
Teresa Cranmer, president and founder of the Mustard Seed Peace Project, and Ruben Gomez talked about poor water quality in other countries. Gomez was born in the Guatemalan highlands.
“You are incredibly lucky to be born in this nation, to have what you have,” Gomez said to the children. “You don’t know how blessed you are to have clean water and food. ... Every little drop of Guatemalan water has to be boiled, and there are lots of health problems from drinking dirty water.”
Cranmer and Gomez had students collect firewood and pond water to illustrate the difficulties in getting drinkable water.
Each of the 19 classes brought shoes to donate to the Shoeman Water Project, which focuses on providing clean water to communities in developing countries. More than 1,000 pairs were collected, enough to purchase a water purification system.
National Merit Commended Student
John Collins, a senior at Collinsville High School, has been named a Commended Student in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Commended students are among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the competition by taking the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
This year, the American Library Association is focusing on books geared to young adults that are most frequently challenged or banned in the last year. The books are: “The Absolutely Ture Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” “Persepolis,” “The Bluest Eye,” “The Kite Runner,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Drama,” “Chinese Handcuffs,” “The Giver,” “The House on Mango Street” and “Looking for Alaska.” Go to http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/ to learn more.