Olathe & Southwest Joco

Olathe students make connections

Japanese students have some fun with kindergartners at Ridgeview Elementary School in Olathe.
Japanese students have some fun with kindergartners at Ridgeview Elementary School in Olathe. Courtesy photo

From Japan to Olathe, students make connections

Eighteen high school students and two teachers from northwest Japan visited the Kansas City area for two weeks in late March, and spent about half that time in the Olathe schools.

Dianne Daugherty, Japanese teacher at Olathe Northwest High School, worked with the group and welcomed them at a reception on March 25. That day students shadowed Olathe Northwest students to learn firsthand what American high schools are like.

Students also toured Ridgeview Elementary, teaching kindergartners some Japanese words and songs including “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” Ridgeview students then sang the same song in both English and Spanish.

Lourdes Bass, Ridgeview Elementary kindergarten teacher, visited Japan last year as part of a cultural exchange. She said the Japanese students were intrigued by Ridgeview’s computer lab because Japanese students often are of middle or high school age before they work with computers in school.

David Nail to sing in Gardner

Gardner announced this week that country music artist David Nail will perform at this year’s Fourth of July celebration. He is the frontman for the band David Nail & The Well Ravens and performed solo before that.

‘When determination meets opportunity’

Olathe South High School junior Rebecca Porter was named Dean’s List winner this spring by the Greater Kansas City Regional for FIRST Robotics.

Once nominated, students go through an extensive interview and judging phase at each regional competition. Honorees must demonstrate leadership and commitment, individual contribution to their team and be able to motivate and lead fellow team members.

“Rebecca is not only a model representation of our school and district, she is truly a force within our team,” said Olathe South FIRST Robotics sponsor Jason Smith. He described her as “a shining example of when determination meets opportunity.”

Porter is now eligible to be named a Dean’s List winner at the upcoming FIRST Championship in Houston.

Learn about raising backyard chickens

No eggs are fresher than those laid by chickens that live in your own backyard, but it takes some know-how to raise the birds.

Anyone interested in keeping chickens is invited to a workshop from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 16 at the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, 1200 E. Kansas City Road in Olathe.

The $5 session will cover the basics of chick care, handling chickens in different stages of development, appropriate housing, health management and breed selection.

Register through the event calendar at olatheks.org.

Fostering resilience through stories

Humanities Kansas has awarded $5,650 to MidAmerica Nazarene University to support “Resilience Through Story,” undertaken in cooperation with the Olathe Public Library and Kansas humanities scholars.

The project will engage the public in the topic of how stories can teach resilience and help people overcome life challenges. It will explore historical, literary and cultural stories of resilience — through book discussion groups and onetime humanities programs.

“Humanities Kansas supports projects that allow us to better understand our world,” Julie Mulvihill, executive director of Humanities Kansas, said in a news release. “Using book discussions and other creative programs, this project explores how stories can help us process and cope with adverse life events.”

The non-profit Humanities Kansas has been around since 1972, aiming to strengthen communities and democracy through awareness of history, literature, ethics and culture.

Dogs can come to egg hunt

The Olathe Animal Shelter is the beneficiary of an egg hunt in mid-April, and you can bring your dog along.

The event, including a hunt for treat-filled eggs, begins at 9 a.m. April 13 at Prairie Center Park, 555 N. Olathe View Road. Dogs and people can have their pictures taken with Joey the Bunny, and pet vendors will be on hand. Prizes, too.

Registration is $10 for Olathe residents and $12 for non-residents. Each dog must be registered separately, up to date on shots and leashed. Register through the event calendar at olatheks.org.

JCCC honors Gardner Edgerton leaders

The governing board of Johnson County Community College has honored Gardner Edgerton School Superintendent Pam Stranathan and the district’s coordinator of special services, Melissa McIntire, for their efforts to collaborate with the college on programming for Gardner Edgerton students.

The award “symbolizes the time, past and present, USD 231 has shared with JCCC,” the school district said.

Living history is back at Mahaffie

Now that spring is here, the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm will resume living history offerings –representative of life in the 1860s – on weekends beginning April 6.

Activities include blacksmith and cookstove demonstrations, seasonally appropriate horse-powered farming, tours of the historic house and stagecoach rides, weather and ground conditions permitting.

Mahaffie, at 1200 E. Kansas City Road, will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $7 per adult and $5 per child age 5 to 11, Olathe residents receive $2 off each admission.

Blood drive April 8 at library

A Red Cross blood drive will take place from 1 to 7 p.m. April 8 at the Indian Creek Library, 13511 S. Mur-Len Road in Olathe. Visit RedCrossBlood.org to schedule an appointment.

Earth Day in Gardner

Gardner invites individuals, families, organizations and church groups to celebrate Earth Day with a little work followed by fun.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 20 at the Gardner Greenway, on west side of Winwood Park, 520 N. White Drive. After a cleanup of the greenway corridor, the city Parks and Recreation Department will provide a free hot dog lunch, followed by a tree planting and giveaways.

RSVP by April 15 at 913-856-0936 or gprd@gardnerkansas.gov.

Classes focus on library resources

The Olathe Downtown Library has scheduled two programs next week aimed at small-business owners and those seeking employment.

At 7 p.m. on April 8, ReferenceUSA representative Bill Carlson will introduce business owners to library tools that can be used for market research, business contacts, delivery routes and more.

Then, from noon to 1:30 p.m. on April 9, job seekers can eat a free lunch and learn from Carlson how to use Reference USA in their employment search. Registration is required for the April 9 event. Sign up through the calendar listing at olathelibrary.org.

The downtown library is at 201 E. Park St.