Mar

22

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : March 22, 2015

Beach club members enjoy a rousing worship period in song and dance.
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–The first day back from Spring Break and about 40 students from Mabank Intermediate School are happy to stay after school for an hour of fun, friendship and Bible study.
Lead by volunteers, under a national nondenominational organization, KiDs Beach Club is making an impact on students and their families.

“It’s where kids connect with God,” founder/president Jack Terrell told The Monitor.
The 20-year career children’s minister from Euless formatted the one hour of activities around large and small group activities, which includes games that reinforce the lesson.

A cardinal rule for volunteers serving with the club is adults are never to be alone with any child at anytime.
Each club is sponsored by a local church which provides the screened volunteers for training, a partnering fee and after-school snacks.

While there are strict rules and training for adults working as leaders and helpers, there’s nothing but fun, excitement and learning through activities that reinforce and connect kids to Bible truths, principals and key character words.

Five short rules keep order so fun and optimism takes center stage. These are: sit up, look up, listen up, hands up and have fun.

Youngsters start off in small groups to enjoy snacks and friends, but shortly are on their feet for a very active large group worship period that uses up excess energy. The children follow student leaders and a music video to sing and move with the songs.

This is followed by an introduction to a Bible verse and a small group game that helps them remember it. On this day, the verse is: “Let the little children come to me.” Matthew 19:14.

Leaders ask questions about the verse pointing out that parents who recognized Jesus was someone special wanted their children to meet him, too. And unlike some adults, Jesus felt the children were important and he wanted to spend time with them. That’s one of the ways Jesus showed his love for children.

“He’s never too busy for you,” the leader concludes before starting the memory game, which involved tossing a hackysack back and forth with each child tossing back with the next word in the verse. Each small group competed with the other groups to finish the verse and race to the other side of the room when finished where an adult holds a large sign with the word Jesus spelled out.

Then follows a short Bible reading, done aloud by select club members. On other weeks children see the story acted out or through various other interactive ways.

A review activity follows in small groups with some more games.

Throughout the hour, children are rewarded for appropriate behavior with tickets and points that are redeemed at the end of the hour with a trip to the treasure chest.

“The word describing Jesus’ character in this lesson,” leader Stacy Ross says, “and one he wants every follower of his to adopt is Love.”

The children are attentive and well-mannered as the hour progresses. A loving atmosphere is in evidence through their behavior and interaction with adult volunteers.

“Children have tender, open, receptive hearts,” Terrell observes, “that’s why we do Beach Club.”
Started in 2003 in Euless and expanded into a national organization in 2006, the KiDs Beach Club is in 146 schools in eight states and has more than 10,000 student enrolled.

The 2,193 volunteers , which include parents, and 107 partnering churches are Making Jesus Cool at School!®
Each third-sixth grade student participates with permission from their parents in an upbeat, positive atmosphere.

Up until this year, Bibles were presented as incentives; 24 per club, one for each week the club meets. But this year, a member of the board of directors challenged the organization to ask, “Why not provide each child with his or her own special KiDs Beach Club Bible at no cost to the children?”

At Mabank Intermediate, most of the children remembered to bring their Bibles to club time and earned points for doing so. Each child read from it and found key words from within its pages.

The KiDs Beach Club also lowers barriers between families and the partnering church through the loving volunteers that form healthy, trusting relationships within the club setting. “God is made known through his people,” Terrell said.

In Mabank ISD, a club is found in each elementary school, as well as in Kemp and Eustace intermediate schools, and Malakoff and Tool elementary schools. More are located in Athens, Brownsboro, Chandler, Ennis and Corsicana.

Nearly 10 years ago, 48 percent of families whose students participated in the club did not identify with any church affiliation.

Last year, that percentage had grown to 62 percent, Terrell said.

KiDs Beach Club opens a tremendous opportunity for partnering churches to make connections with families that have no church home, he pointed out.

Feb

26

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 26, 2015

Monitor Photo/Ronald Wheeler Eustace ISD newly appointed board member James Kirkhart Jr. is sworn-in Feb. 17 at the monthly board meeting.

Monitor Photo/Ronald Wheeler
Eustace ISD newly appointed board member James Kirkhart Jr. is sworn-in Feb. 17 at the monthly board meeting.

Maximizes competitive edge in 2016; discuss championship commemerative marker

By Robyn Wheeler
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–The Eustace ISD Board of Trustees met Feb. 17 to discuss the 2015-16 calendar, induct a new board member and modify the Cheerleader Handbook to enable cheerleaders to compete in 2016.
Board members opened the meeting with the swearing-in of newly appointed board member James Kirkhart Jr., who was appointed Jan. 20 to fill a vacant seat until the May 9 election.
Board members also heard Eustace ISD Cheerleaders will compete in the inaugural UIL Texas State Spirit Championship competition January 2016 in Arlington.
The competition is open to all schools that want to compete, allowing each team 20 participants with two or fewer males.
“It is not a tumbling thing. It is to see what your team looks like at a Friday night football game,” Eustace ISD Superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe said.
Board members agreed to modify a few items in the Cheerleading Handbook to maximize the teams competitiveness. “Thirty-five ladies are trying out this year and eight are trying out for mascot,” Holcombe said.
Varsity squad membership will be increased from 12 to 16 with two mascots, and junior varsity will be bumped up to 12 members and one mascot.
“This allows us to take 20 participants to the competition. The 20 best girls at tryouts will get to go whether they are varsity or junior varsity. This gives the JV team something to work for and look forward to,” Holcombe explained.
Board members also approved next year’s calendar with Monday, Aug. 24, being the first of day of school.
“The 2015-16 school calendar looks the same. It is the easiest calendar we’ve done in 14 years,” Holcombe said.
Many comments were received about the ease and likability of this year’s calendar and many staff members wanted the new calendar to be similar.
The 2015-16 state waivers were approved, giving four comp days to teachers; and six early release days, including two at the end of the semester, one before spring break and one before Easter.
Holcombe also presented a brief overview of the district’s bond indebtness, interest earned and monthly revenue stating the fund balance was healthy with enough money to cover the monthly payments. He also stated January’s interest was the highest of the school year so far.
“We do not have any unexpected expenses. Everything was done purposely. The report is boring but that is good. It means things are going well,” Holcombe said.
Expenditures did not include anything out-of-the-ordinary, with bills going toward:
• bus fuel,
• payments on the March 2014 purchase of two buses,
• round kitchen tables for the high school,
• calculators for the middle school,
• golf apparel,
• track meet medals and ribbons,
• counter tops in the computer lab at the middle school, and
• new baseball uniforms.
In other action, trustees:
• reset the Tuesday, March 17 meeting to Thursday, March 5.
• heard enrollment is up by 28 students from this time last year for a total of 1,515 students.
• reviewed the preliminary drawing of the state championship marquee. Estimated costs and location of the structure are still under discussion. Suggested locations included the grassy area by the old marquee, in the park, or in front of Bulldog stadium.
“I want people to be able to read it when they drive by,” Holcombe said.
The new marquee will have individual student’s and coach’s names for championship commemoration on multiple side plaques, while the center section could highlight current championship information and be interchangeable.
The preliminary plans are for a 10-15-foot high structure with an arch bridging two pillars.
“I envision a historical marker-type of thing,” Holcombe said.
• heard most staff members are agreeable to enrolling in graduate classes related to their area of teaching in a staff Post Graduate Interest survey. A hundred percent of those surveyed said they would need financial assistance with tuition and 85 percent agreed to commit to staying with the district for another five years if financial assistance was provided.
• approved Holcombe’s certification as the superintendent for the Regional Advisory Committee for Region 7.
• unanimously supported HB 384, which would allow residents in common law cities (less than 5,000 residents) to restrict access as to where registered sex offenders can reside.

Feb

19

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 19, 2015

Courtesy photo/Sandra Caffey The Mabank High School debate and Scholar Institute toured Yale University in Connecticut Feb. 11-16 while debating at the Harvard University National High School Debate meet for the first time. Pictured are (from left) sponsor Jason Caldwell, Cameron Banghart, Grayson Jackson, Morgan Crawford Moore, Grace Dickens, Colton Banghart, Jacey Pridgen, Kaylee Caffey, Lexi Johnson, Josiah Sohasky and Aaron Williams.

Courtesy photo/Sandra Caffey
The Mabank High School debate and Scholar Institute toured Yale University in Connecticut Feb. 11-16 while debating at the Harvard University National High School Debate meet for the first time. Pictured are (from left) sponsor Jason Caldwell, Cameron Banghart, Grayson Jackson, Morgan Crawford Moore, Grace Dickens, Colton Banghart, Jacey Pridgen, Kaylee Caffey, Lexi Johnson, Josiah Sohasky and Aaron Williams.


By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Top students from Mabank High School, who qualify for acceptance to Yale and Harvard universities, were given the opportunity to visit those prestigeous schools while competing in a national debate meet held at Harvard University.
They were housed with 485 competitors from all over the country. Mabank Scholar Institute students and debate team members ranked in the top third during the contest.
For many of the Mabank students this was not only their first experience with really deep, cold snowy weather, five of them had never been up in an airplane before.
Sponsor Jason Caldwell said the trip really opened eyes and hearts to the possibility of attending ivy-league schools and helped students glimpse their true potential.
The nine students were able to raise half the cost, while the debate teams’ October Speech and Debate Invitational meet raised the other half.
A trip to the New Haven Museum’s “Monuments Men” exhibit, styled after the 2014 Summer movie of the same name, was also an educational highlight of the trip; but perhaps nothing matches the Sunday blizzard in Boston.