How does your garden grow? Indoors
Indoor tower gardens, which use the same techniques that astronauts employ in space, are allowing students at two Olathe elementary schools to eat fresh on Fridays.
Each Friday, students at Northview and Briarwood elementary schools pick items fresh from the tower to prepare recipes that they have chosen.
“The kids have made salads and pesto,” said Briarwood fourth-grade teacher Ariel Jankord. “When kids were picking which seeds to plant, they did a great job of planning what they would eat and how they would use each ingredient. Our fifth-graders wanted to plant mint to add to their water bottles for flavored water and wanted to plant cilantro and basil to add to lunch items.”
The Fresh Fridays project began this fall, thanks to a $15,000 Women’s Giving Circle grant from the Olathe Public Schools Foundation. Jankord and Northview fifth-grade teacher April Schoenberg applied for the grant last spring.
The grant supplied six Tower Gardens for aeroponic gardening at each elementary school. They are vertical pods with compartments used for growing different herbs and vegetation. Water and nutrients are delivered from the top of the pods, and hanging LED grow lights spur growth.
By using only water and nutrients rather than soil, the process enables faster growth and larger yields. The young gardeners were harvesting some of their plants after only a couple of weeks of growing.
Students from the two schools have Skyped each other to share ideas and successes, and within Northview, the children have collaborated across classes and grade levels.
“Recently our fifth- and second-grade book buddies planted seeds together and read all about plants and gardening,” Schoenberg said. “Then they enjoyed a tasty fresh-mixed green salad prepared by the fifth-grade class.”
Two Olathe students earn top ACT score
Two more Olathe students have achieved perfect scores of 36 on the the ACT college entrance exam, putting them in the top one-tenth of 1 percent of students who typically take the test.
They are Olathe Northwest High School junior Dallin Armstrong and Olathe North High School junior Eddie Dai.
Dai is involved in the Distinguished Scholars Academy, the Science Olympiad, Scholars Bowl, Science Bowl, Interscholastic Speech and Drama, Student Democrats and Asian Culture Club.
Armstrong is an Eagle Scout who is involved in track, baseball and Link Crew.
Now booking: new event space at Lake Olathe
The city of Olathe is making extensive upgrades at Lake Olathe and has begun taking reservations for September 2019 and beyond for a new lakeside venue for weddings, reunions and other large gatherings.
The venue will be able to host banquet seating for 192 guests with no dance floor, and 160 guests with a dance floor. An outdoor deck overlooks the 170-acre lake, which is between Santa Fe Street and Dennis Avenue at Lakeshore Drive.
Visit OlatheKS.org for more information.
Schools sponsor forum on emotional health
The Olathe School District’s elementary counselors will host a Nov. 8 forum where parents can learn more about the social and emotional health of children.
“Building Bridges for Students’ Success” will take place at Frontier Trail Middle School, 15300 W. 143rd St. It’s suitable for parents who are raising children of any age.
Tim DeWeese of Johnson County Mental Health will deliver the keynote address at 6 p.m., focusing on the most pressing mental health issues in the county. Breakout sessions will run from 6:50 to 7:20 p.m. and 7:25 to 7:55 p.m.
Topics include social media, death and grief, school district initiatives to promote emotional well-being, the impact of stress and trauma and how parents can instill grit in their youngsters.
Visit olatheschools.org for more topics and registration.
Olathe stream cleanup is Nov. 10
Volunteers can spend a couple of hours beautifying Olathe by pitching in for the city’s first Stream Clean Up Day on Nov. 10.
The event will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. The city will provide trash bags, safety vests, trash grabbers, gloves and an event T-shirt.
Stream locations will be assigned when individuals or groups sign up. Contactg Michele Silsbee at MLSilsbee@olatheks.org or at 913-971-9079. Although family friendly, the cleanup is not recommended for children under 8.
Visit OlatheKS.org/Adopt-A-Stream for more information.
English teacher wins inaugural award
LuAnn Fox, an English teacher at Olathe Northwest High School, is the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding High School ELA Educator award from the Kansas Association of Teachers of English.
“LuAnn is a talented teacher and absolutely deserving of this award,” Olathe Northwest Principal Chris Zuck said. “Olathe students benefit from her work with the College Board and other professional organizations.”
New podcasts focus on Gardner Edgerton schools
The Gardner Edgerton School District has launched free weekly podcasts titled “The 231 Way,” named for its formal designation as Unified School District 231.
Four Gardner Edgerton High School students are acting as co-hosts as the program begins: seniors Jade Haney and Calvin Schoendaller and juniors Morgan McIntire and Taylor Warner.
The podcasts — which focus on district activities, initiatives and accomplishments — will be released on Thursday afternoons, barring technical difficulties. They are available on ITunes, Google Play and SoundCloud.
Christmas, 1860s style, at Mahaffie
Sharing the latest holiday trends of the 1860s, the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm will present a holiday workshop on Nov. 13, where guests can make an ornament, try some pudding and learn the rules of a daring game called Snapdragon.
Recommended for ages 8 and up, the session will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Heritage Center of the historic site, 1200 E. Kansas City Road. The cost is $5. Register at mahaffie.org.
Volleyball Teams raise more than $10,000
The Olathe School District’s five high school junior varsity and varsity volleyball teams raised $10,395 in early October for the Side Out Foundation, which rallies the volleyball community to fight Stage IV breast cancer.
Hosted by Olathe East High School, the 2018 Dig Pink event provided health education for student athletes along with the competition.
A formal banquet took place the night before the volleyball matches. The next evening between matches, breast cancer survivors were honored and accompanied on court by a high school volleyball player.