Westside schools:
BV recycling fundraiser April 13-15

       Buena Vista Elementary, continuing to fundraise for classroom growth, will seek to “Fill the Truck” Friday to Sunday, April 13-15.
       The school, at 924 W. Pikes Peak Ave., will receive $1,000 from the ARC Thrift Store if donated recylables fill a 23-foot ARC truck that will be parked in the school's rear lot those three days, according to school PTA member Dianne Bertini.
       The times each day will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
       The main request is for clothes and household items in good condition. A rule of thumb is whether items can be resold at an ARC store, she said.
       Because of increased enrollment at the free Montessori public elementary - the only one in District 11 - two new classrooms are needed for the 2012-13 school year, school officials have said. However, the district lacks funds to cover the costs of the new classes' Montes-sori-specific materials, so Buena Vista parents and supporters have been leading fundraising efforts during the school year.
       Also on April 13-15, Blue Star Recyclers will be on hand with its truck, collecting electronic items. Fees will be charged for computer monitors and TVs, Bertini noted.
       For more information, contact Karen at 359-6660 or kbleibaum@live.com.
       CHS band at Carnegie
       The Coronado High School Wind Ensemble performed at New York City's Carnegie Hall as the highlight of a Spring Break trip last week.
       The 46-member group, the school's “top band,” was chosen for the honor after being selected from an audition CD that was sent in, according to band director Alan Combs.
       It was the first time in his 11 years at Coronado that one of his groups has played at the historic venue. “It was really cool,” he said. “The building has a mystique about it, and the acoustics were fantastic.”
       To pay for the trip, the Wind Ensemble members spent much of the school year fundraising, he said.
       30-school strings festival
       A Large Group Strings Festival, including two Coronado High orchestral groups, will be playing in the Coronado auditorium Thursday and Friday, April 5-6.
       Groups from 30 schools in all - most of them from the Pikes Peak region - are scheduled to perform.
       Free and open to the public, the event will go from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days.
       According to Coronado orchestra instructor Richard Kusk, each performing group will receive oral and written evaluations from musical judges afterwards. These will include overall ratings of superior, excellent or good. But the event is not an actual competition with a “winner” declared, he pointed out.
       The two Coronado groups will be the Symphonic and Chamber orchestras. The first is scheduled at 8 a.m. April 6, the second at 9:30 that day.
       This is the second year in a row the festival has been held at Coronado, Kusk said.
       Writing contest successes
       Students from Coronado High and Holmes Middle schools nabbed first-place awards in four of the five best-story categories in the annual Betty Field Memorial Youth Writing Contest this spring.
       They are:
       Grades 11-12 - Morgan Harvey, Coronado (“Jazz and Vodka Twists”).
       Grades 9-10 - Moriah Yeh, Coronado (“Pueblo Del Acantilado”).
       Grade 8 - Jill Dragosh, Holmes (“The Quack of Dawn”).
       Grade 6 - Deanna Cooper, Holmes (“The Haunting of My Life”).
       Open to area students in grades 6-12, the extracurricular activity is conducted by the Pikes Peak Library District and its Friends group, Imagination Celebration and Ken Field, in honor of his wife Betty Field. Entrants are asked to write a mystery of 1,000 to 1,200 words, including a required phrase and six assigned words.
       Cash awards are given, including $50 for each first place.
       Feeder concerts
       Holmes Middle School will host musicians from six elementaries in its attendance area for what's called a “feeder concert” Wednesday evening, April 11.
       The free show, open to the public, will start at 7 p.m. Holmes is at 2455 Mesa Road.
       The participating elementaries are Bristol, Buena Vista, Chipeta, Howbert, Jackson and Trailblazer. According to Holmes band director Jeremiah Fowler, the schools will join for three songs with his sixth-grade intermediate band. This will be followed by the intermediate band playing alone and then by the Holmes eighth-grade jazz band.
       “This will show them [the elementary musicians] what band is like at middle school, what sixth-graders sound like and eventually those in eighth grade, when they get that far,” Fowler said.
       Another feeder concert was held at West Middle School April 3, directed by West music instructors Rob Rodine and Dave Foster. Participating elementaries were Bristol, Howbert and West, whose band and orchestra students are all taught by Katherine Kennedy.
       Auto repair honor
       Coronado High student Clayton Henry placed third at the recent regional SkillsUSA event, making him eligible for state competition April 18-20.
       Five schools from this area competed at regionals with six students each. The competition started with a written test followed by six practical stations where the students were required to perform auto repairs before an industry judge.
       Jackson Elementary art
       By winning first places, Jackson Elementary students Rain Sorensen, Zyanya Lopez and Erika Asencio each received a $25 scholarship in the recent Air Academy Federal Credit Union Art Contest. Lopez's work also was judged Best In Show, giving her an additional $25, according to the Jackson newsletter.
       In other Jackson art news, the Bear Creek Nature Center displayed an Under the Sea Art Exhibit in February featuring the artwork of Jackson students Elektra Asencio, Jordan Hallock, Madelyn Hemphill, Waunye Reasby-Hooks, James Houston, Joshua Jiminez, Roman Kochert, Mason Micci, Destiny Wilson, Faith Wilson and Caleb Wysinger.

Westside Pioneer/press releases