Saturday, February 24, 2018
Education

Weeki Wachee High band member to play Carnegie Hall

Newsmakers

Student chosen for honors band: Weeki Wachee High School senior Lauren Ballard has been selected as a member of the prestigious American High School Honors Band, set to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Feb. 8.

It is the second year in a row that Lauren has been picked for the 100-member band. She will be one of two bass clarinet players.

Lauren also plays the steel drums, piano and bass guitar. She is a member of her school's jazz band, marching band and concert band, as well as the vocal ensemble chorus. She performs with the Hernando Symphony and at Stage West Community Playhouse.

The trip will cost about $3,000, and she is raising money to help defray costs. If you wish to contribute, call Carol Ballard at (352) 683-2508.

Westside Elementary: The school recently hosted its Donuts with Dad (or other male role model) breakfast, which provides "an opportunity for adults to spend a little more time with their students," Title I parent educator Stacie Wharton said.

There's also Muffins With Mom (or other female role model).

The kids and families spend time writing an " 'I love you because' card and sharing favorite parts of their day together," Wharton said.

The most recent events were sponsored by the Title I program and supported by Publix.

Donuts with Dad had 176 attendees, with 77 adults signing in.

"We had 17 more dads/role models than moms at our Muffins with Mom on Sept. 24," Wharton said.

J.D. Floyd K-8: Hundreds of J.D. Floyd students participated this year in the Macy's Believe Campaign challenge to benefit Make-a-Wish, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening diagnoses. For each letter written to Santa, Macy's donates $1 to the foundation, up to $1 million.

"Last year was our first time doing this," said second-grade teacher and K-8 language arts team leader Caroline McGowan. "We raised $750 last year."

The school has about 1,200 students, but it's not as easy getting the older students to write letters to Santa, McGowan said. They understand that it is a fundraiser, though, and she hopes to raise $1,000.

As of the middle of last week, she said, 626 letters had been written.

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