Local Odyssey of the Mind teams participated in the state level of the competition on Saturday, March 29, in Bristol. Some local teams are now busy fundraising to cover the expected costs of attending the upcoming world finals. A number of teams took the time this week, however, to reflect with The Bee on the Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind. Odyssey of the Mind is the largest intellectual competition in the world. Teams of up to seven students select and solve one of five long-term problems that they present at the annual state competitions. The top 30 teams in each competing state then head to World Finals, where teams from more than 30 countries come together in the spirit of international competition. This year’s Odyssey of the Mind World Finals will be held at the end of May in Ames, Iowa.
The Newtown Middle School Jazz Band traveled to New Hampshire on Friday, March 7, to participate in the University of New Hampshire’s Clark Terry Jazz Festival with the Newtown High School Gold and Blue Jazz Bands, kicking off a busy month for jazz students at the middle school.
This was the third year the middle school Jazz Band participated in the festival, and the Blue Band and Gold Band participated in the festival for the second time this year.
The Clark Terry University of New Hampshire Jazz Festival includes high school bands, middle school bands, jazz combos, jazz choirs, as well as solo vocalists, according to the University of New Hampshire.
Newtown families are being recruited to host 34 Chinese students, ages 13-18, from July 24 to August 12, through the Education First (EF) Educational Homestay Programs.“It really is a life-changing experience with a very small investment of time,” said Newtown resident Lynn Hungaski, who is overseeing recruiting families around the Newtown area to host the Chinese students who will visit America to study English as a second language this summer and is an English teacher for the program. “The commitment in hosting is really providing a loving home, a warm heart, three meals a day, and transportation to and from school, which will be held at Edmond Town Hall.”
Newtown Underwater Search And Rescue members visited Newtown High School on Friday, March 28, to offer a demonstration of what NUSAR does and the types of equipment it uses.
NUSAR Chief Mike McCarthy said the high school students were offered a tour of one of NUSAR’s rescue vehicles, learned safety precautions followed by NUSAR, and learned the different types of tools and gear used for underwater searches.
During two assemblies on Tuesday, April 1, Middle Gate Elementary School students learned what to expect when the school celebrates its “Middle Gate Loves To Read Week” April 7 to 11.
As Middle Gate Language Arts Consultant Mary Blair explained during both assemblies, a number of activities are planned for Middle Gate Loves To Read Week.
All three Newtown High School Winter Guard divisions brought home medals at the Musical Arts Conference (MAC) Championships held Saturday, March 28, at the O’Neill Center of Western Connecticut State University.
The awards ceremony kicked off with ten Reed Intermediate School students accepting gold medals and a large First Place trophy from MAC Director Carman Dragone. Instructor Bob Findley was joined by student coaches and Varsity guard members Nina Bonvini, Makenzie Casey, and Kayleigh Granville in guiding the Junior level guard to victory.
As the dates for multiple trips through the Newtown International Center for Education (NICE) program approach, both Newtown High School students and NICE program instructors are preparing.
Students and teachers will be traveling to China, Spain, and France during the school’s break in April. The group going to China will be traveling April 10 to April 21, the group traveling to Spain, April 8 to 19, and the group going to France will be traveling April 8 to 16.
The C.H. Booth Library Creative Writing Group for Young Adults will offer a course on Mysteries & Adventure Thrillers, Monday evenings, starting April 21. The group will be led by author, teacher, and Newtown resident Wally Wood, with assistance from one of the library’s adult writer volunteers, and teen mentor Kevin Arther. All sessions will allow time for writing and sharing stories in progress, as well as one-on-one communication between adults and young people. Sharing is an important part of the writing group. The class will meet from 6 to 8 pm, on consecutive Monday evenings, until May 19.
It was a busy weekend for the Winter Guard Program, with the Varsity Winter Guard traveling to West Long Branch, N.J., for a Winter Guard International (WGI) Eastern Championships Power Regional, and the Junior and Junior Varsity guards heading to a double competition on Saturday, March 22, in Stratford and Milford.
Competing first at the USBands Connecticut States show at Bunnell High School, the Juniors and Junior Varsity both earned season-high scores, with the ten Juniors from Reed Intermediate School score capturing gold with a score of 84.7. Despite having lost two members to injury, the 17 Junior Varsity members won the Southwest Conference Championship Class A title with a score of 83.9, and earned silver overall. The Junior Varsity show also received the “Best Effect” caption for their portrayal of the Indiana Jones movie The Crystal Skull.