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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Higher learning

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brody Starkey, a Kindergartener at Forest Park Elementary draws a name out of a container for the winner of one of the donated baskets of goodies at the showcase night Tuesday. He has Neurodengeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation (NBIA), and deep brain surgery could allow him to gain some of his mobility back. His first surgery is scheduled for June 11 in Madison, Wis. [Order this photo]
* Area parents take their turn in the classroom

It was the parent's turn to go back to the classrooms Tuesday during the Forest Park Elementary showcase night.

"We have added so many new programs to the classrooms that parents didn't know about," Title 1 coordinator Debbie Zimmerman said. "This is a great opportunity to show parents programs and to explain what we do with the data and information we gain."

Parents and students were treated to a spaghetti dinner before the sessions began at 6 p.m. Parents could visit a different room during each of the 20-minute sessions and their child could choose between a movie or the game room.

With 10 different lectures taking place in different classrooms, parents received a wealth of information.

"This was a wonderful and enlightening experience," Dawn Rogers, Brazil said. "The focus, for all of the teachers is on fun education."

Rogers enjoyed learning about the Ticket to Read Program, Kids Hope and Accelerated Math.

Parents could also sit in the Response to Intervention (RTI) program synopsis, NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) assessment test, DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) assessment test, Saxon Math computer program and KFC (Kids, Families and Community).

Rogers was impressed with the environment at Forest Park.

"Being the parent of a special needs child, I appreciate all of the effort by the teachers, staff, and Connie Cook (Principal)," she said. "I am also grateful to the students because they are so accepting of special needs students."

Throughout the evening, money was raised for Brody Starkey, a Kindergartener at Forest Park who has Neurodengeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation (NBIA).

Starkey qualifies for a deep brain stimulation surgery. A medical device would be placed into his brain and electrical impulses will be sent to specific parts of the brain. If surgery is successful, Starkey could potentially get back 80 percent of his mobility. His first surgery is June 11.

A surgeon has been found in Madison, Wis., and the students and faculty at the school are helping with donations.

Thirteen baskets with various themes from summer fun to arts and crafts were collected.

"I would guess that each basket has about $50-$100 of items included," Starkey's teacher Jodie Sipes said. "All of the items were donated and it has been a huge success."

"I think everyone had a good time and were able to enjoy themselves as well as learn," Zimmerman said.

"It was an invaluable experience to let us know that the parents needed to know what was going on."

Zimmerman and Sipes were especially grateful for all of the hard work from everyone throughout the evening.

"I am thankful to the teachers for the extra, time and effort to prepare for the night and making it a success," Zimmerman said.

Additional fundraisers scheduled

Other fundraisers are being planned for Brody Starkey, whose first operation is June 11.

A Bowl-a-thon is scheduled at Brazilian Lanes on May 2 at 3 p.m., the event is $25 per person, $13 of which would go to a fund for Starkey, and $125 to sponsor a team with all of the proceeds of the team going to Starkey.

An open house is scheduled to take place at the Eagles Lodge on May 9 from 1-9 p.m. There will be a band, silent auction, raffles and door prizes as well as a spaghetti dinner for $3 a plate.

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