Institute awards grants and books to preschoolers
Recently, the Black Child Development Institute (BCDI)–Hampton Roads, presented grant funds and books to preschool classrooms in Newport News Public Schools. Darlene Walker, president of BCDI–Hampton Roads, said, “We know the importance of establishing home reading libraries and hope that the funds and books the preschool programs receive will support the school system’s youngest students on their path to success.” Denbigh, Marshall and Watkins early childhood education centers received checks for $1,000 each. The two preschool classrooms at General Stanford Elementary received $300. All students in the preschool programs will also receive books of their own through the generosity of the Institute. Mrs. Walker and Mr. Samuel Jones, Jr., BCDI secretary, presented principals and counselors representing each preschool program with a sample collection of books and a check to benefit their students who most need support. The Black Child Development Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve and advance the quality of life for Black children and families through education and advocacy. While the group advocates especially for African American children, their largesse is extended to every child in the selected schools. Annmarie Hanrahan, instructional specialist for preschool curriculum and development, says, “We are so grateful for the partnership between NNPS and the local affiliate of BCDI. This generous donation will support our youngest learners by building their at-home reading libraries, giving them access to new literature and helping our early childhood centers provide rich learning experiences in the classroom.”
Newport News students apply their STEM skills in robotics competition
In November, Peninsula students participated in the First Lego League Robotics Tournament. Students from six Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) began training in September for the competition, a timed contest that required teams to build robots able to perform assigned tasks. The Knollwood Meadows Elementary (formerly Nelson Elementary) team (the Psycho Cat Hamster Burritos) qualified to advance to the semifinals competition to be held in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It will be the first team from NNPS to compete at that level. The Innovation Project Award was presented to the Knollwood Meadow Elementary robotics team for its problem-solving skills. The team from Deer Park Elementary earned the Robot Design Award for its creative creation. Katherine G. Johnson Elementary (formerly Lee Hall Elementary) students received the Core Values Award for their perseverance and for creating their codes on the spot during the competition. The robotics team from Passage Middle also earned a Core Values Award for being the only team to successfully solve the mission assigned to them using a robot with a turbine blade.