School Spotlight: Forest Elementary
“We’re entering the new wing of our building,” said Principal Melissa Jackson as she gave us the tour through the brand new wing of Forest Elementary. The school itself opened in 2005 after the previous building was torn down. Its been near capacity ever since.
The new 8,000 square foot addition houses pre-kindergarten classes, kindergarten, and first grade.
“The 4th pre-kindergarten classroom used to be located at New Hope,” said Jackson. “So now this year we were able to bring them back and have them within our school community which will strengthen their connection to the community, enrolling them in kindergarten and going with us all the way through 5th grade.”
Robbinsdale Schools recently received a large grant from the state of Minnesota to offer pre-school for 4 year old students for free.
A book called, “Kids Deserve It,” inspired staff members to challenge conventional thinking about education. Staff members were even in touch with the author about new ways to reach kids.
“Its just really looking at different ideas and pushing our thinking in a positive direction,” said Jackson. “Not as traditional or conventional.”
Staff members liked it so much, they introduced new ideas to fifth graders, like connecting with authors using twitter.
“I was reading this poetry book, ‘Love That Dog,’ and I said I felt like I was eating the words,” said fifth grader Danielle Patterson.
With the help of her teacher, she tweeted a message about the book, and the author responded.
“Danielle’s story about an author tweeting back at her is one of my favorites,” said teacher Sonja Muus. “I think that’s powerful for a young reader to feel like there’s a purpose in what we’re doing other than just school, there’s a world out there.”
Its become a sort of social media book club where the students share with other outside readers.
“We actually got a lot of responses because the author retweeted it,” said Muus. “Then her followers ended up following us.”
You can share information about a good book: @A110Forest.