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Weekly Media Rounup - March 13, 2013

By Luci Manning

Camdenton 4-H FIRST LASER afterschool students are not only spending their afternoons preparing for a robotics competition, but they are also giving back to the community. Recently members of teams from Osage Beach Elementary, Hawthorn Elementary, Oak Ridge Intermediate, Camdenton Middle School and High School purchased math and science games, books and resources that will be used in the new Citizens Against Domestic Violence shelter’s play room. “The Camdenton 4-H LASER teams take the core values of FIRST as serious as designing and fabricating robots to complete complex tasks for state and national competitions. In fact, FIRST uses the robot to get students excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) but the main goal of FIRST is to develop life skills that will help students with relationships, teamwork, finance, fundraising, budgeting and project management," Afterschool Services Director and Afterschool Ambassador Sherry Comer told the Lake News. “FIRST teaches students to see the correlation between academics, community, industry and making the world a better place.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution profiled afterschool program LaAmistad as part of its Doing Good series earlier this week. LaAmistad (“friendship” in Spanish) supports Latino and first-generation students and their families through tutoring, mentoring and programming promoting academic, physical, and personal growth. In 10 years, LaAmistad has resulted in 100 percent of its students maintaining an A/B grade average, 90 percent reading at grade level and some students have earned college scholarships. “We aim to enrich their lives inside and outside the classroom,” Angharad Chester-Jones, program director of LaAmistad told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s about raising model citizens to ensure success for our students and families.”
Last week afterschool students with the Triton Middle School 21st Century Community Learning Centers Mock Trial program held a mock trial to commemorate the culmination of the program. About a dozen middle school students split up into one of three teams: the prosecution, the defense and witnesses. A jury of 12 composed of school officials, teachers and other members of the school community listened to the 50 minute trial as Judge Peter Doyle presided over the proceedings that ultimately ended in a mistrial because of a hung jury. “Triton Regional School District Assistant Superintendent Brian Forget, who also served on the jury, praised the hard work of his students, calling it a great learning experience,” the Newburyport News reports.
Afterschool students in the Oxnard Scholars After School Program went head-to-head during a spelling bee last week. This was the first year of the scholars’ bee competition. Winners from each school site competed by grade level against one another. “Next year, the organization hopes to be able to help the champions participate in a next level up of spelling bees, such as the county and national contests,” the Ventura County Star reports.