05-11-2017 Coloma schools investing in students; purchases 314 Chromebooks for 6th grade and freshma

SKATE PARK OPEN…Local youngsters couldn’t wait for the new Watevliet Skate Park Grand Opening this weekend.


Coloma schools investing in students; purchases 314 Chromebooks for 6th grade and freshman classes

By Annette Christie

The Coloma School Board took action at their Monday, May 8 meeting to further invest in their students.  The board approved the purchase of 314 Chromebooks and 30 Chromeboxes to increase the district’s inventory.

Superintendent Peter Bush said that the state recently came out with their device bid list and is offering the opportunity to purchase at a really low price.  Bush said that the new inventory will allow for new Chromebooks for the incoming sixth graders, the incoming freshmen, and to increase the number of Chromebooks available for the 3rd through 5th graders.   The current ones that the sixth graders are using are two years old so those will be moved down to the Intermediate School.  The Media Center Lab has older Chromeboxes and will be replaced.  The district is expending $77,931.40 for the technological improvements.

In addition, the board approved $18,312 for security improvements on the school buses.      Bush told the board that the state allows at risk funding to be used for security improvements on the school campus.  The district obtained three quotes and went with the lowest. The cameras will be installed by next year.  Bush said that they hope that in July there will be additional funding available so that they can come back to the board and ask for additional funding for the remainder of the buses.  Bush said the addition of the cameras will improve safety for the students and the drivers.   The systems that they are purchasing are portable so they can be removed and reinstalled elsewhere if they decide to change out buses in the future.

Cathy Haley, the district’s CTE (Career/Technical Education) announced that the Coloma School District will now be home to the North County Professional Healthcare Academy.  Haley said that 21 students were accepted and will be coming to the district for the program.  Bush said, “Cathy has worked very hard on this program. It had been in Benton Harbor and she helped to move that here.”  While there is only one student from Coloma has enrolled they hope that number grows.  The instructor that they have for the certified nursing assistance program will teach this as well.

Student speeches

As part of their year-end Public Speaking class assignments, two students addressed the Board of Education.

Carson Clark told the board that he felt Public Speaking was one of the most important classes in high school. He said public speaking is used in many places and in many ways, like in a eulogy at a funeral or a wedding speech. “It is a valuable tool that is used in every professional career out there,” Clark said.  Clark told the board that he would like to see Public Speaking available as a replacement for one of the standard English classes.

Brianna Krugh spoke to the board about the Coloma Equestrian Team.  Krugh told the board that the team isn’t well-known and is not considered at the school. Therefore, they do not get the support of the district financially or in forms of recognition according to Krugh.      She told the board that every team member has to pay for everything out of their own pocket.  “One season is about $600 for each person and that is just a baseline,” Krugh said adding, “That doesn’t include regionals or state.”  While they are considered the Coloma Equestrian Team Krugh said they don’t get mentioned in assemblies and they aren’t acknowledged like other teams.

Two members of the robotics team spoke to the Board of Education about Convergence Insufficiency (CI) as a part of their team projects in the robotics community.  They told the board that CI affects 20 million people and it is misdiagnosed a lot. It is there hope to spread awareness for this condition throughout the state of Michigan. They have a member on their robotics team that has CI and was finally diagnosed as a senior in high school.  If it is diagnosed, it can be treated, as his was.  Congressman Fred Upton recently came to hear their presentation and learned about CI.

They hope to make school districts aware so that when students receive their eye testing in school that the CI testing can be performed as well.   “Our motive is that all students get the best education they can,” the students said.

SERVICE RECOGNITION… Pictured (from the left) Watervliet Lions Club President Glenn Dings presented certificates to Lions Don Young, 60 years; John Tarantino, 58 years; and Dick Fox with 55 years of service in the Lions Club Inter-national. The club’s motto is “We Serve.” (TCR photo by Karl Bayer)


173 years of service

 Three Watervliet Lions Club members were honored by Lions International for their dedication to Lionism. Being honored are Don Young, John Tarantino, and Dick Fox for a total of 173 years of service.

Lions International will celebrate 100 years at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event begins June 30 and ends July 2, 2017. Lions will come from all over the world. The International parade will be held on July 1 downtown Chicago displaying costumes from various countries and all the states being represented.

Lions International was founded in 1917 by an insurance man named Melvin Jones. At their first convention, Helen Keller spoke and asked the Lions to become “Knight of the Blind.” The Lion’s motto, “We Serve,” is well demonstrated by their involvement in their community and with the Lion’s state projects such as Leader Dog for the Blind, Paws with a Cause, Eversight, Lion’s of Michigan Foundation, helping people with eye surgery and hearing aids, etc. and two children’s summer camps for the handicapped.

For those interested in becoming a Lion, please contact a Lion member; the more hands, the more service.

Swiss Steak Dinner, May 12

 Friday, May 12, 2017 the Riverside United Methodist Church will be having a Swiss Steak Dinner from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Price is by donation.

The church is located at 4401 Fikes Road in Riverside. Call 269-849-1131 for more information.

Retirement Open House for Barb Radde, May 19

 An open house celebrating the retirement of Salem Lutheran Preschool director/teacher Mrs. Barb Radde is planned for Friday, May 19 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the preschool located at 275 Marvin in Coloma. Former students and parents are invited to share memories and light refreshments.

Mrs. Radde has been director/teacher at the preschool for 13 years. During that time she was named Teacher of the Year in May 2009 by the Reminder Shopping Guide, the school earned a 4-star rating from Michigan Great Start in 2013, and was also awarded a Customer Preferred recommendation from the Full Moon publication in 2016.

She has impacted the lives of numerous 3- and 4-year-old children and she is wished only the best in her retirement. Please join in her celebration.

For more information, please call the church office at 269-468-6567.

Watervliet Public Library offering self-publishing workshop, May 30

 Littlest Bird Productions presents author, Nicola Symonds’ self-publishing workshop at the Watervliet Library Community Room for two sessions on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

The one hour sessions will be 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Learn how to create print on demand, obtain free ISBN# and free distribution, create free webpage and email and use free promotion and marketing tools.

The cost for the one hour course is $10. Sign up at the Watervliet Public Library; space is limited!

Nicola Symonds is a self published author with a BA in History, a minister, public speaker and freelance writer/editor.

Call the library at 269-463-6382 for more information.

Senior Services

Hartford United Methodist Church

425 E. Main St., Hartford

Monday, May 15 – Coffee & conversation, 10:30 a.m.; LUNCH, 12:30 p.m.; Cards, 1:00 p.m.; Bingo, 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 16 – Coffee & conversation, 10:30 a.m.; LUNCH, 12:30 p.m.; Euchre/ Hand & Foot, 1:00 p.m.; Computer help/ Knitting & crocheting, 1:30 p.m.

Friday, May 19 – Coffee & conversation, 10:30 a.m.; LUNCH, 12:30 p.m.; Cards, 1:00 p.m.; Knitting, crocheting & needlework, 1:30 p.m.

All seniors, age 60 and older, residing in Van Buren County are eligible to participate in these programs and activities.

Any questions or comments, please contact Senior Services Paw Paw office at 269-655-8000. Rides are available through Van Buren Public Transit with no less than 24-hour advance notice at (269) 427-7921.

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