In the News......
In a two day period October 7 and 8, over 350 Botetourt County 4th grade students travel out to the Preece Farm in Buchanan to learn about the Chesapeake Bay. The 3rd annual event held on and hosted by the Preece family on their farm in conservancy, was sponsored by Blue Ridge Land Conservancy in partnership with Clean Valley Council, Western Virginia Water Authority and Camp Bethel’s Outdoor program.
The students learned about how Botetourt County can affect the bay almost 200 miles from here. Dave Perry and Megan Cupka organized the vent for Blue Ridge Land Conservancy. Cupka stated of the event, “They’ll be getting into creeks, forests, and fields, learning about clean water and the Chesapeake Bay.”
The James River which crawls along the state of Virginia from west to east to the Chesapeake Bay has its headwaters in Botetourt County creating a real link between upstream watersheds and the bay.
On Tuesday Oct. 7 students came from Greenfield, Eagle Rock, Troutville and Buchanan Elementary schools. They visited four stations each manned by one of the partnering organizations. The stations included Clean Valley Council doing an analysis of Looney Creek which tested water quality through chemicals for turbidity and oxygen content as well as PH and macro invertebrates in the water. Of course clambering into the creek was part of the activity!
Western Virginia Water Authority used an enviroscape model for watersheds using Robin Bailey and Master Naturalist Donna Haley as instructors. Camp Bethel’s Outdoor classroom in its 8th year of education of area school groups with Beth Weigandt, covered soil and water erosion. She was assisted by volunteer Allison Hegan The Virginia Department of Forestry covered Forests in a watershed and featured Area Forester Denny McCarthy and Virginia Master Naturalist Dennis Woodson.
Eagle Rock students were spot on when asked by Woodson how forests are important in human life as well as ecology. Woodson asked, “How do forests aid the world around them.” Students with hands raised answered listed the importance of forests because they provide food, shelter, energy, economic products like paper and timber, watershed protection, shade, homes for animals and oxygen.
Students from Troutville kept a log of the day’s activities. The education value reaches into the future. First SOL’s in the spring have a section on watersheds, and second, the students learn how watersheds, ecology and biosystems in one area are so crucial to the Chesapeake Bay and the James River.
Tim Miller of Mount Castle’s Soil and Water Conservation helped Buchanan students find animals in Looney Creek, tiny creatures including crayfish, crane fly larvae, Mayfly larvae, water pennies, even a hellgrammite larvae were discovered in the leaves and silt seined from the creek.
Said CVC’s Erin O’Donnell and Dawn Luther who manned the Looney Creek station. “The creek is healthy,” pointing to the cube tray filled with creatures. After bagged lunches in the great field of the Preece Farm, the buses rolled back to school.
By Cathy Benson, Botetourt View
On behalf of Phyllis Frankfort Perillo, President and CEO, and all of us at w!se, it gives me great pleasure to announce the Blue Star Schools for the 2013-2014 academic year. Congratulations! A school, testing ten or more students, must have achieved a 75% passing rate on our Financial Literacy Certification Test and have EITHER a majority of students on a given grade level take the Test OR have the students who took it achieve an average score of 80% or higher.
We are truly proud of your students’ accomplishment. We are equally proud of you and your teachers who helped them become Certified Financially Literate™. Because of your dedicated and tireless commitment, you have given them vital knowledge about their personal finances. You have also provided them with the tools they need to become financially capable young adults.
Once again, congratulations to all of this years Blue Star schools for an outstanding achievement and sincere thanks for your tremendous hard work in helping to improve the financial literacy of our nation’s young people.
Journey students from Central Academy and Read Mountain were selected to participate in the Fox Island trip to the Chesapeake Bay June 28-June 30, 2014. With support funding from the Botetourt Education Foundation, 13 students and 2 chaperones spent 3 days (with no technology) learning about the bay ecosystem and the life of the watermen who depend on the bay for their livelihood. This educational experience teaches students the value of the Chesapeake Bay and the importance of our watershed in protecting the bay.
Click here to see video slideshow of trip---->Fox Island 2014
Students will be dismissed one hour early tomorrow.
Elementary- Teacher In-Service
Secondary- Parent-Teacher Conferences
Naomi Grooten said she was inspired by painter Vincent van Gogh to create her own masterpiece. She painted her own 8-by-12 foot version of van Gogh's Starry Night. She used the Roanoke skyline in her own piece.
Naomi's canvas was her sister's former room. The Lord Botetourt High School junior said she asked her parents if she could move into the room when her older sister moved out. She had already decided to use the wall for her art.
It's a passion she developed early on.
"I definitely remembered asking for a few coloring books from Christmas just to put in my stocking," she said. "That was definitely one of my favorite Christmas presents when I was younger."
Naomi said it took her three days, at least eight hours per day to complete the work. She posted a sign on her door when she started stating, "Naomi has started to slip into art mode. No one is to disturb her until she has finished painting or they will risk breaking her art mojo".