All Geared Up, a new community cycling event, will take place on Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m. until noon, at Canterbury Elementary School in Cleveland Heights. The free event will include one- and two-mile family fun rides, a bike rodeo for children in kindergarten through fifth grade, safety demonstrations by bike police officers, a used bike sale, a father and child Big Wheel relay race, health and fitness displays, refreshments and giveaways.
While the City of Cleveland Heights offers a wide variety of youth sports activities, it does not offer some staple programs that many families look for, such as tackle football, cheerleading, wrestling, and track and field. The Cleveland Heights Tigers Youth Sports Association (CHTYSA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit community organization serving children within the CH-UH school district, will soon change that.
CHTYSA's mission is to serve as a feeder system to the local school district’s middle school and high school athletic programs by providing youth athletes an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of each sport in a safe, nurturing and fun environment.
e the City of Cleveland Heights offers a wide variety of youth sports activities, it does not offer some staple programs that many families look for, such as tackle football, cheerleading, wrestling, and track and field. The Cleveland Heights Tigers Youth Sports Association (CHTYSA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit community organization serving children within the CH-UH school district, will soon change that.
Competing in the National Indoor Soccer Championship Feb. 27 through March 1, in North Olmsted, the Eastside Kickers (ESK) U9 team had a fantastic run and finished in second place.
The all-boys team has 12 members, nine years old and younger, who live in Cleveland Heights (10 players), University Heights (one player) and South Euclid (one player).
Playing against top club teams, including teams from West Virginia and Illinois, the ESK boys finished first among the U9 teams in the group stage, with a 3-0 record. They eventually lost 3-6 in the finals, to the Juniors FC team from Chicago.
More than 450 student musicians from all of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights public schools will have the rare opportunity to perform onstage at Severance Hall on February 24. Geoffrey Golden, a Heights High graduate and the recent seventh-season winner of "Sunday Best," a televised gospel soloist competition, will speak and perform.
Reaching Musical Heights, a quadrennial project of Reaching Heights, is also a gala benefit for the organization. The event brings student vocalists and instrumentalists from the CHUH elementary and middle schools and the high school to the Severance Hall stage. Remembering the 2007 and 2011 performances, John Hubbard, Reaching Heights board president, “Listening and watching our young people perform so well together in this amazing hall is overwhelming. This concert should not to be missed.”
Several Heights High students greeted voters in University Heights today, offering free hot chocolate and information—not about any issue on the ballot, but about themselves.
“We are explaining the current state of the [University Heights] Planning Commission and the issue of moving Heights High to Wiley,” explained Elijah Snow-Rackley, a junior at Heights High. He and several of his fellow students, representing the Student Union, a new student-initiated Heights High group, had stationed themselves inside the University Heights Library.
The CH-UH City School District has been seeking approval from the University Heights Planning Commission since February 2014, to move forward with its plan to use Wiley as transitional space for the high school.
Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication, beginning as an oral tradition and eventually bringing us to a digital age in which stories are consumed through every possible media outlet. After all, who can resist a good story?
Cleveland Heights's Lake Erie Ink (LEI) kicked off its fourth fall session with a creative writing workshop on the power of storytelling, featuring Cleveland resident and author Jack Ricchiuto. This workshop is one of many that will take place throughout the year as part of Lake Erie Ink’s Weekend Ink program.
On Sept. 22, five members of the Cumberland gardening team, of Cleveland Heights, participated in the Freshtoberfest Youth Garden Cook-Off. Dee Jay Doc Harrill, who runs the Fresh Camp youth garden program in Cleveland (http://fresh.deejaydoc.com/), planned the event, which took place at Dunham Tavern Museum on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland.
The Cumberland gardeners, Kira Cicerchi, Maeve Ialacci, Bridget Katholi, Jackson Walker and Ella Watterson, made zucchini-corn fritters with the assistance of Chef Eric Wells. They enjoyed the chance to meet other young gardeners and taste their culinary creations. The Cumberland gardeners were excited to win the judges' prize for "Freshest Taste" and also "The Crowd Favorite" award.
This summer, six young choristers from the children’s and youth choirs of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights traveled to England to sing in a medieval cathedral.
Maddie Gillooly, Sam Mitchell, Cecilia Payne, Erin Ptacek, Faith Shook and Anna Turner joined choir members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in Akron, to sing at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire from July 28 to Aug. 3. Four of the choristers—Gillooly, Mitchell, Payne and Turner—are Cleveland Heights residents. Ptacek lives in Lakewood, and Shook resides in South Euclid.
Daniel Fortune, organist and choirmaster at St. Paul’s, Akron, extended an invitation to Richard Nelson, organist and children’s and youth choir director at St. Paul’s, Cleveland Heights, asking Nelson to identify young singers to help fill in treble voices for Akron’s men’s and youth choir trip.
On June 19, Heights Youth Club (HYC) seniors and teen leaders Olivia Morgan and Cameron Steele kicked off the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens event, which included special guest Tristan Thompson from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Thompson spoke to the 150 teens in attendance. He congratulated all of the high school graduates and emphasized the importance of education and graduation. Prizes, including autographed basketballs and a bicycle, were awarded for outstanding achievements. Thompson signed autographs, handed out T-shirts to graduates and took a “selfie” photograph with the teens. Taco Bell provided food and gift certificates to attendees.
Do you have a child who will be attending a Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District kindergarten this fall?
Family Connections and the CH-UH City School District invite you and your child to attend Kindergarten Kickoff, where your child can get a jumpstart on kindergarten at the elementary school he or she will attend.
Families will have the opportunity to meet with school staff, tour the school building, make ice cream sundaes and meet new kindergarten friends.
The City of Cleveland Heights hosted a Fun with Trucks Day at City Hall on June 21. Residents could interact with police officers, fire fighters and sanitary workers—and their vehicles.
Irene, known as Renie, and Dave Smith have made an indelible and lasting contribution to the Cleveland Heights and University Heights community. The Smiths were two of the visionaries who, in 2004, decided that young people in the community needed a place to not only hang out and socialize but also to learn, and take school and themselves seriously, in a safe and nourishing atmosphere.
Such a venture didn’t just happen. Louise Westfall, the former minister of Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights and co-founder of the Heights Youth Club (HYC), and Louisa and Bob Matthias, members of the church and co-founders of the club, had dreams for Cleveland Heights children and teens.
The City of Cleveland Heights, in partnership with the nonprofit organization Lake Erie Ink, is creating the Office of Teen Poet Laureate in order to elevate the art form of creative writing among the youth of the community. The Teen Laureate will serve for a 12-month period, beginning at the end of June and concluding at the end of May the following year.
Any Cleveland Heights resident, aged 13–18 may apply. Applicants must be in residence in Cleveland Heights through the full-year term of service, if selected for the office.
In his third-grade class at Fairfax Elementary School, student Kenji Sakaie had been learning about community and government. When invited to embrace his role in the democratic process with his mother, Joan Spoerl, at the Mama Summit in Columbus, he jumped at the chance. Organized by Moms Clean Air Force with various partners, the Mama Summit brought together 50 Ohioans to advocate for a safer and healthier future for the state’s children.
Sakaie made posters to give to his state representative, state senator, and the governor, and was even able to send posters for U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, to be delivered in person by a Moms Clean Air Force representative based in Washington, D.C.
Starting its fourth summer of creative programming, Lake Erie Ink is excited to be flourishing in the Heights. Co-founders Cynthia Larsen and Amy Rosenbluth started Lake Erie Ink three years ago to create a safe space to remind young writers of the power of expression, and enable them to collaborate with youths throughout Greater Cleveland.
Ink Spot, Lake Erie Ink’s popular after-school program, encourages students in grades four and up to participate in a variety of creative projects, including poetry composition, fiction writing, comic strip creation, playwriting and song writing.
Ten-year-old Xavier Harris, a member of the Heights Youth Club, has been chosen to participate in the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland “Save our Kids” capital campaign. He is one of three new spokespersons who will appear on billboards and leaflets throughout Cleveland to raise funds for the clubs.
Harris was chosen because of his commitment, participation and dedication to the Heights Youth Club, where he has regularly attended and participated in activities during the past four years. He is a member of the Torch Club, a youth leadership program which encourages volunteering that benefits local residents in Cleveland Heights, such as delivering the Heights Observer. He was captain of the flag football team, played shooting guard on the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland’s championship basketball team and is a member of the Young Gentleman’s Club at Boulevard Elementary School, which he attends.
Justin Woodbridge, a senior at Montessori High School in University Circle and lifelong Cleveland Heights resident, recently created a Web application for nonprofits to fundraise through raffle ticket sales.
His product is called Raffle Creator (www.rafflecreator.com), and it enables fundraising groups to sell raffle tickets online along with in-person sales. “Raffle Creator lets fundraisers create a webpage, accept payments, and manage all the information they collect,” said Woodbridge, whose website has been operational since 2012.
The young company got its start during Montessori High School’s annual X-term, a two-week, student-led intensive course that encourages students to explore an area of study of their choice. Woodbridge and his peers wanted to study entrepreneurship and technology in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, but they needed to raise money for the trip.
On April 3, students from Cleveland Heights High School students and Shaker Heights High School students traveled to Washington, D.C. to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The one-day field trip was funded by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) through a program called The Holocaust as a Human Experience.
The students left Heights High at 3:30 a.m. and arrived in Washington, D.C. around 10 a.m. The experience at the museum included a special session with a Holocaust survivor who, as a teenager, was able to survive the notorious Nazi death camp Auschwitz because of his language skills. He was an interpreter for the Nazis and their collaborators and this allowed him to avoid being sent to the gas chambers.
The students at St. Paul’s Cooperative Preschool are bopping to a new beat and singing in a new language thanks to new programs added to the curriculum this year. There are not many formats in which young children can engage in a musical ensemble, but drumming fills the bill, and the new hands-on music class—a drum circle—is a huge success. Add to this the new Spanish class, the long-standing yoga program and last month’s art show and concert, and little minds are blossoming this spring.
The benefits of learning multiple languages are widely known, but the benefits of music instruction are less so. There is much going on in young brains while they are beating drums and playing other percussion instruments.
The Keystone Tigers, the leadership arm of the Heights Youth Club (HYC), addressed depression and suicide at the Saving Us Youth Awareness Fair on Saturday, Feb. 22.
Several organizations serving Heights communities were present to introduce fair attendees to their programs. Participating organizations included: Avenues for Positive Changes, empowering girls and strengthening self-image; C.H.O.I.C.E.S., specializing in treatment for substance abuse and behavioral health; Jewish Family Services; Northern Ohio Recovery Association, offering adolescent substance use treatment; Ohio Guidestone, providing solutions for children, families and communities; Suicide Prevention Education Alliance (SPEA); and University Hospitals Discovery and Wellness Center for Children.
Three speakers addressed the audience of teens and parents.
According to Krissy Dietrich Gallagher, organizer of the Cleveland Heights St. Baldrick’s event, the Heights community banded together to raise nearly $109,000 for this volunteer-driven charity, far exceeding the original goal of $60,000. St. Baldrick’s funds the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives.
Gallagher encouraged students and teachers to participate as teams for the head-shaving event which took place on Sunday, March 16, at the Cleveland Heights Community Center. Boys and girls of all ages from CH-UH and Shaker Heights public and parochial schools joined the effort. Gallagher's son Austin, a two-time cancer survivor and a first-grader at Fairfax Elementary School, helped garner support for the Fairfax team, which led the pack in fundraising, with $25,495.
The Heights Youth Club (HYC), in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland, proudly contributed to the world of art in December and January in an educational exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
"The exhibition was a total success and the room was packed the day I visited on Dec. 27," said Roscoe Morgan, HYC director.
Youths aged 7–18 years submitted their artwork for display. "In total there were 30 pieces of art selected from across seven local Boys and Girls Clubs, and of that 30, the Heights Youth Club was responsible for nearly half, with 13 pieces in total," said Julie Rainey, the club's arts and culture instructor.
Discarded plastic bottles, cans and litter on Washington Boulevard between Lee and Grosvenor roads will be harder to spot in 2014, thanks to an initiative planned by the Heights Youth Club (HYC).
The Keystone Tigers, an HYC teen service group, plans to go green and clear trash from the curbs and tree lawns along that stretch of road, weekly, bi-weekly, or as often as needed.
Heights High senior Chance Zurub won three gold medals at the World Kickboxing Council’s World Championships in Taranto, Italy, held Oct. 14–19.
Zurub won individual events for sparring and continuous sparring, and the three-person team sparring competition.
“It was great to win the individual events for sure,” said Zurub. “But there is no greater feeling than hearing your national anthem after a team win, in front of a huge crowd.”
This fall at Lake Erie Ink: a writing space for youth (LEI), students in the Ink Spot after-school program explored different perspectives and the two sides of a story through the creation of two-voiced poems.
Ink Spot participants worked individually or in partners to create poetry that illustrates contrasting perspectives on a particular subject.
Most participants chose to work with a partner in creating their two-voiced poems. The process brought students together to discuss their different perspectives on a topic, and to consider their own ideas in relation to those of another person.
On Friday, Oct. 25, from 4 to 8 p.m., more than 35 merchants along Lee Road will be must-visit stops for candy-seeking kids in costumes. The Cedar Lee Candy Crawl, now in its third year, is organized by Cedar Lee Business District merchants. Kids must be accompanied by an adult to participate in the crawl.
This year’s stops include Simply Charming, Revive Fair Trade, Heights Arts, Phoenix Coffee, Mitchell’s Candies, Myron’s Beverage, Bussey’s Upholstery, Janea H Boutique, All Makes Vacuum, ATMA Center, Brennan’s Colony, Sweetie Fry, Bryan’s Marathon, Anatolia Café, The Wine Spot, Tavern Company, Cuttn Zone, Mama Joyce’s Soul Food, SOFE Whole foods Café, Christian Science Reading Room, Best Gyro, Stone Oven Bakery, Marotta’s, Cedar Lee Pub, Lopez on Lee, Unique Melodies, Shawn Paul Salon, Sanctuary by Joyce, Hessler on the Heights, Parnell’s Pub, HerbCo, New Heights Grill, US Bank and Dewey’s Pizza.
This year, several pop-up candy locations have been added to the crawl.
Cornelia Spelman, author of the popular children’s book series “The Way I Feel,” will give a talk titled "Taking Care of Our Emotions—So Kids Can Take Care of Theirs" at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21 at The Hanna Perkins Center For Child Development, 19910 Malvern Road, Shaker Heights.
The free talk, offered in cooperation with Cleveland Heights's Appletree Books, will be followed by an informal discussion and book signing.
Spelman, a clinical social worker and therapist for children and families, will discuss how a child's ability to manage emotions is influenced by the way his or her parents learned to manage their own emotions.“How does what we learned from our parents—our emotional legacy—continue to affect us today?” asks Spelman, whose goal is to empower attendees to decide if what they learned is what they want to pass on to their children.
For the 15th consecutive year, Hospice of the Western Reserve will host Together We Can, a bereavement day camp for children, at Red Oak Camp, 9057 Kirtland-Chardon Road in Kirtland. Transportation to the camp from the Heights will be provided from the nonprofit agency's office at 4670 Richmond Rd. in Warrensville Heights. This year’s camp is scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 6–8, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Space is limited, and registration is required by July 1.
Each year, up to 60 campers, between the ages of 6 and 14, who have experienced the death of a loved one spend three days in this beautiful natural setting interacting with other children who have also lost someone they were close to. Children have the opportunity to share their feelings and ask questions in a safe, supportive environment. Activities to encourage memories, cope with and express feelings, along with recreational activities are led by trained professionals who are experienced in working with children and grief. Cost for the camp is $25 per camper; scholarships are available.
From March 20–22, the Heights Tigers Keystone Club of the Heights Youth Club (HYC) participated in the Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Keystone Conference held in Atlanta, GA. Members of the club earned participation in the All Teens Lead conference, along with 1,800 other teens, by performing community service projects and by taking part in career prep and college tour activities. The teens reported that it was a great opportunity to meet new people from all over the United States and build new friendships.
Vivian Porter takes a book from the Little Free Library near the cinder path in the Canterbury Elementary School neighborhood. Vivian says she loves to stop to find a new book on her way home from school. The Heights Libraries Little Free Library project inspired Cleveland Heights resident, Bob Cheshier, who died recently, to build Little Free Libraries in the City of Cleveland.
Artist Clay Rice travels every year to Cleveland Heights from Isle of Palms, S.C., bringing with him a truck full of picture frames, black paper, a bright lamp, a pair of scissors and toys to amuse toddlers.
On May 31, Rice will spend a day at Pinwheel Kids, the children's store in the Fairmount Taylor shopping district, creating cut-paper portraits of children of all ages.
This year's visit will mark his first to Pinwheel Kids, the children's store that replaced the Sunbeam shop at 3469 Fairmount Blvd. Rice will also be signing copies of his latest book, Mama, Let's Make a Moon, a poetic tale about a humble mountain family that decides to make a moon.
Author Pat Conroy described Rice as a “great talent who combines soul and passion.” Silhouette artistry and storytelling have been part of Rice's family tradition for more than 80 years.
Soli Collins, a Roxboro Middle School student, is the first-prize winner among the 8th-grade finalists in the Maltz Museum’s fifth annual "Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out!" essay contest. The awards ceremony was held May 2 at Severance Hall.
The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage created the annual competition in 2008 to encourage middle- and high-school students to focus attention on the corrosive effects of hatred, discrimination and intolerance, while developing critical thinking and communication skills.
This year, more than 1,600 students from seven Northeast Ohio counties submitted essays. The students’ essays address a variety of issues, including cyber-bullying, racism, anti-Semitism and Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues, and offer heartfelt and innovative solutions.
Cleveland Heights High School senior Antonio Harper was the big winner at Hathaway Brown School’s iMagine Film Festival. On April 12, Harper’s film, "Larry," won first place in the comedy category, and then was named Best in Show as the festival’s single most outstanding film.
“I was thrilled, excited and nervous all bundled into one,” Harper said. He added that his film’s humorous look at a day in the life of a Heights student came from staying true to his own creative instincts. “When Mr. Glass told me about the competition, I started thinking about complex things. But when it came down to doing it, I went with what’s natural to me. I’m a comedian and it paid off.”
On March 10, more than seventy people either shaved their heads or donated hair to be made into wigs at the Cleveland Heights Community Center. Organized by Cleveland Heights resident Krissy Gallagher, they raised $44,180 for St. Baldrick's Foundation for childhood cancer research.
Gallagher's son Austin was diagnosed with bilateral Wilm's tumor in both kidneys in 2007. After chemotherapy and four abdominal surgeries, he relapsed in December 2009. On St. Patrick's Day following Austin's diagnosis, his father, Mark, shaved his head at the annual St. Baldrick's event at A.J. Rocco's in downtown Cleveland, and he has done so every year since. Austin's older brother Braedan joined his father in 2010 (during Austin's relapse) and Austin joined them in 2011.
Krissy Gallagher decided to host a St. Baldrick's event geared toward children and teenagers at the Cleveland Heights Community Center.
Diamond Reese has been recognized as Heights Youth Club’s (HYC) Youth of the Year, the highest honor a club member can receive. Reese was nominated because of her leadership and involvement in the community.
Reese, a senior at Horizon Science Academy, plans to attend Cleveland State University in the fall. Her journey to college wasn’t easy. In first grade, Reese was tested for dyslexia after struggling with reading. This proved to be a turning point in her life, she recalled.
“Teachers didn’t want me in their classrooms. Kids called me names and bullied me,” Reese said. “My mother transferred me to a different school every year, trying desperately to get me the help I needed.”
Reese credits HYC with bringing out her personality and reducing her shyness. “I found comfort, support and acceptance,” she said. “It’s like my home away from home.”
The Cleveland Heights Swim Cadets will hold a fundraiser at Lopez on Lee, 2196 Lee Road, from 5 to 9 p.m., on Monday, Jan. 28. In addition to the innovative Southwestern appetizers and dinners served at Lopez, the event features half-price margaritas and tequila from 5 to 7 p.m. and a raffle. The wait staff will donate all of their tips to the Swim Cadets.
The Swim Cadets team has been in existence at Heights High for more than 60 years and is the Cleveland area’s oldest synchronized swimming club. Many participants are second- or third-generation team members. The students are responsible for selecting members, raising operating funds, developing routines and putting on a show, which takes place annually in the spring.
Q. My son is in third grade, and math is truly challenging for both of us this year. I am amazed at some of the assignments he has for homework. Math was never one of my favorite subjects and I feel like I am in elementary school all over again. When I try to help him with his homework, he tells me that I’m doing it wrong, and that his teacher does it differently. Can you please share with me some resources that will help me help my child?
Two Cleveland Heights students are among ten from Northeast Ohio who will travel to Ufa, Russia, later this month as members of Team Cleveland, representing the United States in the sixth Winter International Children’s Games (ICG). Children from nearly 40 countries are expected to participate.
The local participants are Gwen Wright, who attends Roxboro Middle School; and Will Schneider, who attends Ruffing Montessori School. Both will compete in Nordic ski events along with Gautam Apte, Shaker Heights Middle School; Max Hannibal, Orange High School; and Colin Wadsworth, Avon Lake Learwood Middle School.
Since 1980, Ruffing Montessori School in Cleveland Heights has offered dynamic camp programs for children from all educational backgrounds.
The Jewish Family Service Association has announced two scholarship opportunities for all local high school seniors, with no restrictions regarding race, ethnicity or religion. The deadline to apply is March 1 for the upcoming 2013–14 academic year.
The Jack W. and Shirley J. Berger Scholars Fund was established in 1988 by two former Clevelanders to encourage students to attain academic excellence at a secular institution. This scholarship is awarded to a high school senior who meets the following requirements: is a resident of Cuyahoga, Geauga, Portage or Summit counties; has a minimum GPA of 3.5 and a minimum SAT score of 1850 or ACT score of 28; will take a college course in comparative religion; is a full‐time student seeking a secular education; and exhibits financial need.
The Yoda‐Newton “Share the Luv” Scholarship was established in 2006 to help students who have faced adversity or who volunteer to help others in need. The scholarship is awarded to a high school senior who meets the following requirements: is a Cuyahoga County resident, has overcome adversity or is an active community volunteer, has a minimum GPA of 3.0, and exhibits financial need.
The Cleveland Heights Swim Cadets will perform their annual swim show at the Heights High pool on Feb. 28, March 1 and March 2, at 7:30 p.m. This year’s theme is Swim Cadets Go Old School.
In its seventh year, the Heights Youth Club (HYC), located at 2065 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, looks forward to a busy spring and summer with many new and continuing activities designed for area youth. HYC offers five hours of afternoon programs and activities including games, swimming, bicycling, hiking, field trips, music, reading and math enhancement, self-esteem programs, nutrition classes, gardening, athletics, arts and lunch.
Peter and Barbara Averil of Chagrin Falls have donated 76 bikes thus far in their bicycle giveaway project, bringing them close to their goal of donating 100 bikes to HYC. In December, parents were delighted to come to the club and select bikes to give to their children as Christmas presents.
With schools in the Cleveland Height-University Heights City School district closed due to snow on Jan. 22, many students—and at least one parent—engaged in some typlcal snow-day activities, including building a snow man and sledding at Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park.
[Photos by Deanna Bremer Fisher]
Students at Fairmount Cooperative Preschool learned about the fall season by collecting and sorting colorful leaves. Carrie Knoop teaches an extended day enrichment class which explores the topics of science and nature in a fun, play-based atmosphere.
At the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, the annual Christmas tree sale provides an opportunity to reach out to the neighborhood. “We’re not just selling trees—we’re building relationships,” said Jae Williams, director of youth ministries.
The tradition of selling Christmas trees began in 2006, when the late Bill Cumming, a well-known physician and First Baptist member, planted a grove of trees at Camp Koinonia, a children’s summer camp in Geneva County. The idea was to bring a crop of trees each year to sell at the church.
From Bill Cumming and John Wilder, another church member who had his own Christmas tree farm, Williams said he learned three important things:
The All-Ohio State Fair Band (AOSFB) has been in existence since 1925. This summer, it included eight students from Cleveland Heights High School.
In mid-July, 200 high school musicians from across the state gathered at the State Fairgrounds in Columbus. Under the direction of Donald Santa-Emma, they promptly began learning nearly 60 pieces of concert music and marches representing some of the best music in band repertoire. They also improved their skills through clinics and sectionals under the batons of several professional conductors. The three days of rehearsal were jokingly referred to as “hell week.”
After the students auditioned for, and received, their seat assignments, Gretchen Drushel noted that “the Heights High musicians all got really good seat placements and we learned how good our instrumental music department is compared to a lot of other schools. We are very fortunate at Heights.”
Cleveland Heights High School senior oboe players Shoshana Klein and Mary O’Keefe were part of the European tour with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO), June 13–21.
Around 75 members, drawn from 40 communities in northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, went on the tour. The group performed in Prague, Vienna and Salzburg, with a program that included works by Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner, Antonin Dvorak and Edward Elgar.
Both musicians returned with fabulous memories. “Playing Dvorak in the Dvorak Hall in Prague—that’s exciting,” said Klein.
The musicians also did some sightseeing, but Klein and O’Keefe said the performances were the best part.
Klein added, “Performing and practicing on a different schedules, in the varied acoustics of different halls—and with jet lag—was a definite challenge.”
One of the best-kept secrets in Greater Cleveland is the Early Learning Center (ELC) at the YWCA. It’s where one will find children at play and early childhood education at its best.
Cleveland Heights residents and parents Tara and Alex Pesta credit the ELC with teaching their three children not only academic skills, but also the importance of playing well with others. “They show so much self-confidence, and they make friends easily in new situations,” said Tara, adding that they also show affection for old friends. “Our oldest child has now moved on to kindergarten, but she still loves visiting her teachers, where she’s greeted like a rock star.”
A quick glance into any of the classrooms shows that the children in this unique program are a reflection of the community. The ELC welcomes children and families of all races, ethnic and religious backgrounds, socio-economic status.
Hope Lutheran Church, with assistance from Noble Road Presbyterian Church, will host a free day camp June 25-29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be held at Hope Lutheran, 2222 North Taylor Road, in Cleveland Heights.
Registration is limited to the first 30 campers, and is open to children who have completed kindergarten through sixth grade.
Mayor Ed Kelley proclaimed May 15 Safe Driving Day, and the UPS Road Code Challenge at the Heights Youth Club gave teens an opportunity to get behind the wheel. They experienced a virtual driving simulator, competed in a timed obstacle course, and took the Road Code Report Card quiz. Teen participants took a safe-driving pledge and received a certificate for completing the course. They included Ronald Keith, Reymone Keith, Diamond Reese and Adam Scott (in photo, left to right).
Reaching Heights is looking for instrumental music students who want to spend a week playing great music.
Enrollment is now open for the Heights Summer Music Camp, which will be held from June 18–23 at Wiley Middle School. Reaching Heights started the camp in partnership with the CH-UH City School District in 2005, as an affordable opportunity to energize and develop 10 to 15-year-old musicians, and increase summer opportunities for youths.
People are never too young to make a difference in the lives of others. Learning the value of giving back is an important part of the curriculum at St. Paul’s Cooperative Preschool.
St. Paul's has a long tradition of community outreach and support. The preschool’s latest project let children take on responsibility while experiencing the excitement and satisfaction of helping animals. The children partnered with the Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center, a refuge for animals that are not able to survive in their natural habitat.
After learning about the various animals at the center, the preschoolers voted to adopt Coil, a black rat snake. Coil has been imprinted, meaning that he has grown too accustomed to human interaction to live in the wild.
On March 6, three Tiger Cub members of Pack 36 of Forest Hill Church visited the FutureHeights office to learn about the Heights Observer and how the newspaper is put together. They were satisfying one of the 15 requirements of becoming Tiger Cubs. The scouts earned their Bobcat badges in October and are working on their Tiger badges. Pictured are (l-r) Ben Shaw, Wyatt Gisel and Cameron Goines.
On Feb. 11, the Cleveland Heights Mite A2 team clinched the division championship with an undefeated record of 7-0-3 in the Cleveland Suburban Hockey League. For some of these seven and eight year olds, this season was their first time playing on a travel team. The Heights Mite A2s are coached by former Heights High hockey player Mike Bauman ('85), and Alex Kinkopf.
Hopefully, the power didn’t go to their heads.
Two Gearity Professional Development School students recently got to be “Mayor for a Day.”
Third graders Maple Buescher and Mackenzie Hollis had the privilege of shadowing University Heights Mayor Susan Infeld for an afternoon. The girls earned the honor by being the top fundraisers in Gearity PTA’s Walk-a-Thon last fall.
This year the Heights Youth Club (HYC) entered the 2012 National Fine Arts Exhibit competition sponsored by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Four age groups, between 6 and 18, competed in 10 art categories. These included monochromatic (pencil, charcoal, pen and ink), multicolored drawings, watercolor, pastel, oil/acrylic, mixed media, collage, print making, and sculpture and group projects.
Two HYC members, Anastasia Williams, 17, and Nia Primm, 9, placed at the regional finals, where their art remains on exhibit. Their next stop will be the national level competition, and the good wishes of the community go with them.
Supported by Boys and Girls Clubs, HYC offers year-round arts exploration. Programs provide opportunities to develop creativity, cultural awareness, and knowledge and appreciation for visual arts, crafts, performing arts, and creative writing.
Montessori School at Holy Rosary offers parent-child classes for children ages 2 to 36 months, giving insight and guidance according to the Montessori philosophy. The classes will be held through March 27 on Tuesdays 1:45–3:15 p.m., at the school, 12009 Mayfield Road, in Little Italy.
Summer Ruffing It (SRI) at Ruffing Montessori School in Cleveland Heights has offered dynamic camp
programs for children, ages 3–14, for 34 years.
Children from all area schools participate in earth-friendly activities, held in an LEED certified building cooled by geothermal energy. Campers tend gardens, enjoy playgrounds and the adjacent Shaker Lakes, and exchange class time with the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes.
On Dec. 15, the City of Cleveland Heights honored Cleveland Heights sports teams at a Special Recognition Night at the Community Center. A spokes person for the city said, “The city was honoring our young people, and their coaches and families, for their dedication, discipline and teamwork.”
The students of Fairmount Cooperative Preschool enjoyed a presentation from the the Cleveland Museum of Natural History about dinosaurs. The students dug for dinosaur bones, touched real fossils and more.
For more than 25 years, Fairmount Cooperative Preschool, located in Cleveland Heights, has brought together families and experienced teachers to give children an enriching preschool experience. With teachers, parents, and caregivers working together, Fairmount Coop provides children, three to five years old, with an introduction to school in a relaxed and friendly environment. The school encourages children to experience and explore arts and crafts, music, science, reading and literature, dramatic play, creative movement and social interaction.