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.
Kids cannot learn if they don't know how to play; and they cannot learn to play without the right toys. That is why "Go Public! Great Schools Are Everybody's Business" is holding a Toy and Learning Materials Drive for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights elementary school community from Dec. 5–16.
Poems, plays, stories and essays filled the air—along with fun, games and great food provided by area businesses—at Lake Erie Ink's Open House on Oct. 30.
The open house featured readings and performances of original works by the young writers who participate in LEI's programs. In addition, anyone who sat down and wrote a haiku earned a place in line for a free airbrush tattoo, so kids produced some clever pieces and lined up to get "inked."
Cleveland Heights kids aged 9 to 15 attended a one-week Funutation technology lab at the Heights Youth Club (HYC), and learned to build robots, construct roller coasters and design video games.
The Funutation lab was held in August as part of the Summer of Innovation program, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to improve the skills and enhance the engagement of American students in response to the country’s need for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
Last year, the Literacy Cooperative, a nonprofit agency, identified SPARK (Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids) as a model for increasing early childhood literacy and school-readiness in Cuyahoga County. SPARK parent partners work with children and parents to deliver an in-home tutoring program that not only guides the child through a proven curriculum but also connects the family to resources it may need. The first group of children and parents to participate in SPARK will join two Kindergarten Kickoffs on two consecutive Thursdays, August 18 and August 25, at Oxford Elementary School in Cleveland Heights. The sessions are co-presented with Invest in Children and Family Connections.
The Young 3s preschool class at Fairmount Church Co-op Preschool enjoys the playhouse on the school's playground. For more information about the school call 216-321-5800 or visit www.fairmountcoop.org. Photo by Sarah Schuerger.
This summer, in addition to its traditional camp program, Summer Ruffing It, Ruffing Montessori will offer a one-week Spanish immersion camp for students in grades 3–5 and 6–8. These sessions will be taught in Spanish, and students are required to have studied the language for at least one year prior to enrollment.
Seven members of the Heights Youth Club have been awarded International Partners in Mission scholarships and will travel to Managua, Nicaragua, to participate in a cultural immersion experience program from June 11-18.
Heights Summer Sports Camp—a new camp for children ages 5–14—will offer opportunities to swim, play basketball and football, and enjoy the outdoors, while also providing kids with an opportunity to cook nutritious meals and learn other healthy habits.
Cleveland Heights Roxboro Elementary and Middle schools will host the 29th Annual Roxboro Arts Festival on Saturday, May 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will feature local handmade arts and crafts, the world-recognized "LEGO® guy" Arthur Guglick, the Euclid Beach Rocket Car and the popular steel drum band, 7 Mile Isle.
Mitchell's Ice Cream, Guys Pizza Co., Hunan Coventry, Whole Foods and Mister Brisket are among several food vendors who will be selling their wares at the event. Roxboro schools also will host their annual spring plant sale. Plants can be preordered or purchased the day of the event.
Reaching Heights, in cooperation with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, will present the third Reaching Musical Heights concert at Severance Hall on April 11.
The journey to the concert began last summer with the naming of concert directors Daniel Heim and Richard Waugh. Both Heights residents are well aware of the life-changing benefits of music education. Cleveland Orchestra member Waugh recalls that while in the 4th grade, he became mesmerized by the sound of the violin. When he learned that students who wanted to study the violin would be given free music lessons at school, “It was like winning the lottery.”
Cleveland Heights High School’s orchestras and bands are full of students who solidified their commitment to music by participating in the Heights Summer Music Camp. Reaching Heights founded the camp in 2005 to provide an affordable way to energize and develop young musicians, and to increase and equalize access to music enrichment experiences for local youth.
Two Cleveland Heights residents are finalists in the third annual Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out essay contest. Victoria Lewis, Cleveland Heights High (9th grade) and Isabella Nilsson, Hathaway Brown (7th grade) each has a chance of winning up to $300 in cash prizes as finalists for grades 6-10.
Harpist Kellen Lowrie will be the featured soloist at a concert on Friday, Feb. 11. Presented by the instrumental music department of Cleveland Heights High School, it is the second of two concerts the department will present that week.
The first concert, on Wednesday, Feb. 9, features a chamber music recital in the school’s social room, followed by the school’s concert orchestra, a percussion ensemble, and the combined concert and symphonic bands in the auditorium.
The second concert, on Feb. 11, also features a chamber music recital, followed by the symphonic winds, a combined orchestra selection with 8th graders from the district’s middle schools, and the Heights High symphony orchestra, featuring Kellen Lowrie as soloist.
Looking for a preschool environment offering exposure to art, music, science, books, and dramatic play? The Fairmount Church Cooperative Nursery School will hold its annual open house for prospective members on Sunday, Jan. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Upward Basketball begins Second Season on Jan. 10, 2011. Last year almost 100 children participated in the Upward Basketball program at Church of the Saviour on Lee Road. Designed for boys and girls, K5-6th grade, Upward is the world’s largest Christian sports program for kids. Not only were valuable basketball skills learned on the court, but players enjoyed values-based stories for life as well. Also, it was created to provide a positive sports experience for every child.
The Fairmount Church Co-op Preschool's Family Halloween Party on Oct. 23 was a success, complete with scary music, pumpkin carving, crafts and refreshments. The following week, the children then got to parade around the school in their costumes, for treats.
The school will have an "adults only" fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Fairmount Martini and Wine Bar. A silent auction featuring donations from local businesses and individuals will be held. Admission is $15 a person which includes one drink, appetizers and door prizes. Come and enjoy yourself while raising money for our school.
The Fairmount Church Co-op Preschool held its fall bike-a-thon fundraiser on Sept. 25. The children had lots of fun riding their bikes and raising money for the preschool. On Oct. 23, they will get to carve pumpkins and more at their Family Halloween Party.
To learn more about the Fairmount Church Co-op Preschool, call 216-321-5800 or visit www.fairmountcoop.org.
Sarah Schuerger is the mother of a Fairmount Church Co-op preschooler.
The 85-member Cleveland Heights High School marching band is back on the field, entertaining audiences at football halftime at Heights Crawford Field. The band is directed by Brett Baker. He is assisted by elementary school instrumental teacher Robert Adamson, percussion specialists Dan Allie, Larry Smith and 2010 CHHS graduate Alphonso Davis.
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will hold an information session for parents of preschoolers on Oct. 14 at Gearity Professional Development School, 2323 Wrenford Road. At "Fall into the Heights" preschool night parents and their children can learn more about the district’s preschool and elementary school programs and meet a district kindergarten teacher, elementary school principals and Kindernet representatives. Call 216-371-7356 for more information.
Fairmount Cooperative Preschool is currently enrolling students for the 2010–2011 school year.
The school, celebrating its 28th year, offers programs for children two-and-a-half to five years of age, providing exposure to art, music, science and dramatic play. Professional teachers guide their intellectual growth and physical development, in a controlled atmosphere that provides space and equipment scaled to the students’ size and capabilities.
After months of hard work, Heights Youth Club martial arts students produced impressive results at the Millennium Invitational Martial Arts Tournament, which took place May 2 at Orange High School.
The tournament attracts competitors of all ages, from several states and various countries. Events included demonstrations in self-defense, sparring and both musical and nonmusical forms.
Competitors included Bryce Swoope, a sixth grader at Monticello Middle School; Alexus Carson and Antoinette Bennett, both third graders at Canterbury Elementary School; Simone Beard, a second grader at Fairfax Elementary School; and Nia Primm, a second grader at Canterbury Elementary School.
When I was a teenager, my most anticipated moment was entering Heights High. I was active in the school’s a cappella choir, volleyball team and National Honors Society.
In 2004 I graduated from Heights and left home to attend Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. After graduating in 2007, I returned home to begin graduate studies in social work at Cleveland State University. For my internship I chose the Heights Youth Club.
While parents look for quality programs at the right price, kids care more about fun and friends. Cleveland Heights teacher and soccer coach Sean Sullivan covers all those bases.
After running the city’s Community Services Camp for 12 years, Sullivan created the Heights United Soccer Academy Summer Camp in 2005. Camp sessions are held at Oxford Elementary School for boys and girls ages 5–14. The camp has grown from 12 campers the first year to more than 150 in 2009. "Even at the beginning stages, kids can see instant success in soccer," says Sullivan. "You don’t have to be the strongest or the fastest. Everybody works together in soccer."
The Heights Youth Club’s (HYC) Girls Volleyball team is taking on all comers. Compared with last year’s statistics, this team has made dramatic improvement. Its current record is 6:3 compared with last year's record of 1:6. The team is in second place going into the finals in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland Girls Volleyball League.
The team’s success has not come by accident. Teamwork, leadership and coaching have helped the girls achieve their winning season. Coach Eboni Daniels, a Heights High alum and master’s degree student at Cleveland State’s School of Social Work, put the emphasis on teamwork, training and practice. The growth and development of the girls is evidence that her dedication to the team is paying off.
The Jewish Family Service Association is helping ease the burden of college tuition by offering financial aid to qualified students.
The requirements are:
- Jewish undergraduate, graduate or vocational student,
- Full or part-time student,
- Resident of Cuyahoga or contiguous counties,
- Need additional finances to complete an education, and
- Have family income $85,000 or under.
You would be impressed, as I was, to meet Clayton Harris, this year’s Youth of the Year at the Heights Youth Club.
Sound character, leadership and the willingness to serve are the qualities that make a Youth of the Year; qualities young people need in order to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
Seventeen-year-old Clayton, a senior from Cleveland Heights High School, has been attending the HYC since it opened in 2007. Back then, he thought the brick building with the white steeple at Lee Road and Washington Boulevard was a church, but a friend mentioned that the space had been converted into a great place for kids.
In October, nine-year-old Riley O'Neill of Cleveland Heights welcomed Jingle, a service dog from 4 Paws For Ability, to help her with her Asperger's syndrome.
Riley and her family traveled to the 4 Paws headquarters in Xenia, Ohio, to receive training with Jingle. The family spent 10 days receiving full-day training. While in Xenia, they learned commands for Jingle and how to walk her, among other things.
Jingle's training began long before she met the O'Neill family. The one-year-old dog, part Australian shepherd, and part boxer, is now in her fifth home. After being rescued at a Kentucky shelter and taken to 4 Paws, Jingle was placed with a foster family, where she learned basic obedience.
I'll have that hot lunch with a side of school work and a helping of self-esteem! Heights Youth Club continued its mission of providing a positive place for kids in a December packed with learning, special projects, and core attention to academic achievement.
Heights Youth Club, proud to be part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, is grateful for community collaboration, including a hot and healthy meal served daily, provided by the Cleveland Food Bank, volunteer tutors, and corporate support. Recently, employees of the Eaton Corporation toured the facility, and the Great Lakes Science Center hosted a holiday party at the science museum so that kids could visit exhibits.
What do Cleveland Heights, Kirtland, Solon, Stow, Akron and Willoughby Hills all have in common? …an Upward Basketball (Upward) league.
A league, designed for boys and girls K-6th grade, has started at the new multi-purpose building at the Church of the Saviour on Lee Road. Upward is the world’s largest Christian sports program for children.
This year the soccer program through the Cleveland Heights Recreation League did something revolutionary. It asked parents to provide all snacks from the fresh fruits group and to serve water for hydration in reusable containers.
Kids ate mandarin oranges, grapes, bananas, strawberries, watermelon and lots of Ohio apples. Each week Coach Sean Sullivan reinforced the concept of choosing healthy snacks with the soccer players and their parents. As an organization promoting sports and fitness, the soccer program also encouraged appropriate food choices for optimal health.
Fifteen elementary students completed Girls on the Run’s second season at Canterbury Elementary in November. The girls met twice a week for 12 weeks and trained to complete a 5k race.
Parent volunteers complete training to coach the girls. Each session consists of a discussion on topics such as self-esteem, team building, physical fitness, nutrition, communication and respect.
Girls on the Run, an international organization, is committed to addressing the physical, emotional, spiritual, social and mental well-being of third to fifth-grade girls in the community.
Helen Hollis, CHHS '06, walks home from school with fourth graders at Escuela Los Angeles in Grecia, Costa Rica. Hollis is bilingual and spent her first year out of high school volunteering in Costa Rica and Ecuador. She volunteered as an English teacher at an urban elementary school from September through December 2006. Hollis, a junior at The Ohio State University, is currently enjoying a semester abroad in Peru.
Heights Parent Center has a family liaison located in each CH-UH elementary school to welcome and engage parents of new and returning students this fall. The Parent Resource Center is staffed by family liaisons and is open several hours a week. Parents can relax, have a cup of coffee, chat with one another and comb library shelves for community information and parenting resources.The liaisons are available to help parents help each child be successful in school. Check the center's Web site, www.heightsparentcenter.org, for information on the Family-School Connection, to locate the name of the family liaison at each building and the Resource Center's hours.