We have quite a few talented artists this year in the ALP! We look forward to sharing their great works of art as the year goes on! Make sure to check back to see them! We have also joined the Robotics revolution this year and are competing as a team in the VEX Robotics competitions where we will build our own robot to compete in competitions with a chance to move on to the national level. If you see any of our robotics team members, wish them luck on this endeavor!
These last two weeks we have had a number of visitors to the ALP. Last week, Jen Elliot from Central Minnesota Jobs & Training Services talked to us about all of the services that CMJTS has to offer, like help achieving a high school diploma, career readiness, job skills, post-secondary education, life skills, acquiring housing, living on your own, and so much more! We look forward to working with Jen throughout the year.
On Monday, Cheryl Bjerke from the St. Croix River Education District introduced us to the new Pine County PASS program and what it means for truant students. A few of our students have agreed to work with Cheryl on a project for this program. Stay tuned!
Today, Deb Hekrdle, head cook for our schools, talked to us about getting the Fresh Fruits & Veggies Program (affectionately known in the ALP as "Tasty Treats") fired up again for this school year. The students were able to talk with Deb about how the program will run this year and working together to create a nutrition book about the snacks for the elementary kiddos.
This year marks the 5th year that the ALP participates in activities at Elderwood Assisted Living here in town. Each Wednesday, we walk down to Elderwood and play Bingo with the residents. One of our students volunteers each week to call Bingo numbers and the rest disperse among the residents and spend time playing Bingo with them at their tables. We have met some interesting characters and heard some great life stories! One of the residents told us that she is over 100 years young and still playing Bingo on her own. Another lady told us about how she enjoys making jewelry and scarves to sell. And Breanna learned that the gentleman she sat with had never met anyone with the name "Breanna" before. We look forward to Wednesday Bingo every week, and something tells me the residents do as well :)
Every day we engage in Silent Sustained Reading where the students and advisors read a novel of their choice for 30-40 minutes. When the weather is nice, we try to get outside to read our books. Today, we read riverside in the sunshine. Some preferred to read in the green grass, others chose to read perched in the trees. And of course we had to explore the island using the downed trees when we were done. Only one phone went in the river ;)
Our ALP Apple Orchard is doing very well!! We collected a bunch of apples from our 16 trees and began the process of peeling, cutting, and freezing the apples to be used later this year in our cooking endeavors. First up: Apple Crisp for Project Exhibition/Community/Parent Night on November 10th! Be sure to stop by!
Today we made our way back to the School Forest in Finlayson, MN to check on the trails we have been clearing and expanding, and to investigate the dock we will be re-building. (Yes, we trusted the students with an axe :-D ). As a bonus, the students decided to conduct their own research into mushroom identification when they discovered that there were many different kinds growing in our forest. And to top it off, those who came along got five-dollar pizza! We will be revisiting the forest to work on the trails a bit more in a few weeks. And we will be working on building the dock pieces in class over the winter and bringing out the new dock in the spring.
For the 2nd year in a row we kicked off the start of our ALP school year with a canoe trip down the St. Croix river. The students conducted research on the St. Croix River route we would be canoeing, the history of the St. Croix River, the origin of the word "canoe", and they also created their own maps for the trip. Most of the students had never been in a canoe before, but only one ended up getting wet! It is always a great team-building experience, and a bit of fun to start off the year, get to know one another, and be introduced to Project Based Learning (PBL).
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