There is a Japanese proverb that says, “One kind word can warm three winter months.” Now seems like a pretty good time to test this theory out.
We’d like to put a little goodness out in the world by sharing some love every day in the month of February. That’s 28 days of inspiration, motivation, gratitude, joy, laughter, kindness…you get the idea.
Kelso's middle school students are returning to school in-person two days a week beginning February 2. The staff at Coweeman Middle School prepared this video to welcome them back. In it, they tell students why they teach at Coweeman and share how much students matter to them.
It's easy to have self-doubt, to associate ourselves too much with our mistakes or our challenges. In this music video, Will.i.am sings "What I Am" with the characters on Sesame Street and reminds us what we really are.
Former Kelso High School ASB President, Homecoming Queen, and track star, Julia Hiatt was best known for her kindness, constant gratitude, and inclusiveness. She lost her battle with cancer in August 2019, and Kelso lost a truly amazing human dedicated to doing good for others simply for the sake of being kind. Tomorrow, February 4, is the 2nd Annual Teal Out for Team Jules. The KHS Pep Club will be paying tribute to her by asking the community to wear teal or their Julia Gratitude Gear and do something to pay kindness forward, just as Julia did. The Pep Club will also be raising money for the Julia Hiatt Memorial Scholarship through the Kelso Public Schools Foundation. Learn more at bit.ly/ksd-julia.
Many people right now are experiencing elevated levels of stress, loneliness, and sadness. Fortunately, there is a lot of support available. Visit bit.ly/ksd-mh for a list of resources, providers, and helplines.
Take good care of yourself. And each other.
Today is Western Monarch Day, which occurs during the annual migration of North America’s monarch butterfly—a unique and amazing phenomenon. The monarch is the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration as birds do. Monarchs use a combination of air currents and thermals to travel long distances. Some fly as far as 3,000 miles to reach their winter home! It’s hard to imagine thousands of butterflies gathered together, watch this PBS video to see just how breathtaking it is.
Today is a great day to go play outside! You can get some fresh air, reconnect with nature, and get a (probably much needed) change of scenery. Here are some reasons it’s important for us humans to get outdoors (according to Harvard Medical Center):
Your vitamin D levels will go up. Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because sunlight hitting the skin begins the process of our bodies creating the vitamin. Studies suggest it may have protective effects against everything from osteoporosis to cancer to depression to heart attacks and stroke. Even by conventional standards, many Americans don't have enough vitamin D circulating in their bodies.
You'll get more exercise (especially if you're a child). American children spend an average of 6 hours a day with electronic media (video games, television, and so on), time that is spent mainly indoors and sitting down. British researchers tracking the activity of 1,000 children found they were more than doubly active when they were outside.
You'll be happier. Natural light tends to elevate people's mood. Physical activity has been shown to relax and cheer people up, and research shows that exercising in the presence of nature has added benefit, particularly for mental health. Just five minutes of exercise outdoors resulted in improvements in self-esteem and mood.
You may heal faster. University of Pittsburgh researchers reported in 2005 that spinal surgery patients experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications during their recoveries if they were exposed to natural light.
And if all that isn’t reason enough, the first Saturday of each month is National Play Outside Day.
Kelso High School has earned the College Board's 2020 AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding young women’s access to AP Computer Science A (CSA). This award acknowledges the hard work and dedication of Brenda Sargent and Wendy Droke for their efforts toward building the program and creating equal gender representation.
one of 232 schools nationwide,
one of four schools in the state of Washington,
and the ONLY school in SW Washington to be recognized for achieving this important result in CSA.
Today is a big day. With the return of our 9th and 10th graders, we now have all grades (K-12) back in school in-person two days a week.
Mental and physical health experts report that this is what’s best for kids. We agree. That’s one reason why, in conjunction with six other area school districts, we’ve launched a public awareness campaign encouraging everyone to follow basic safety protocols so we can keep our kids in school in-person.
Student and staff safety and overall well-being is our top priority, so we rigorously practice the three W’s: wear a mask, watch our distance, wash our hands. WE CAN do what’s best for kids. Learn more at bit.ly/we-can-ksd
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.
Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other counHeadlinetries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.
Every single student was shown some love at Beacon Hill Elementary this week in a bright and colorful way. Nearly 400 hearts, each bearing the name of a student, is up on this bulletin board. Gasps of delight can be heard in the hall as students find their name up on the board and leave feeling uplifted and recognized.
Kudos to Elizabeth Muir and Julie Owens-Birch for coming in over the weekend to create this joyful experience for Kelso kids!
History is full of women who made enormous contributions to science. Some of them are rightfully well-known, like Marie Curie, while others (a sampling listed below) aren’t such household names.
To learn more about some of the women who have made incredible advancements in science, visit this article to on 22 pioneering women in science. Or this page on the Obama White House Archives where you can listen to notable women tell the stories of their personal female heroes in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!
Rosalind Franklin contributed to the discovery of the structure of DNA
Dorothy Hodgkin discovered the structure of insulin
Katherine Johnson, ‘Hidden Figure’ and NASA computer
Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, astronomer who discovered the composition of stars
Inge Lehmann discovered the composition of the Earth’s core
Mary Anning discovered the first complete fossil of a dinosaur
Barbara McClintock won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of jumping genes
Mary the Jewess, alchemist whose work formed a foundation for modern chemistry
Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer
Alice Augusta Ball, the chemist who cured leprosy
Ruth Rogan Benerito, chemist and pioneer in bioproducts credited with saving the cotton industry in post-WWII America
Virginia H. Holsinger, chemist known for her research on dairy products and food security issues whose work has had a major impact on worldHeadlinewide public health
Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, has more than 4,000 years of history. It is the most important holiday in China and to Chinese people all over the world. Because the most important part of Chinese New Year is the family reunion, the Spring Festival (in non-COVID years) causes the largest human migration in the world.
This year, February 12 marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox. The holiday lasts 16 days, each day having specific activities and traditions. In China, all stores are closed during the first five days of the Spring Festival, with some not opening until the very end.
Learn more about this important holiday here, including how to celebrate each day, traditional meals, what to wear, how to decorate, which blessings to offer, and how to say “happy new year” in Chinese.
February is known as the month of love. And heart health. To help keep your heart healthy, we’d like to share a recipe that’s a real favorite at the KSD district office. (Thanks, Jan!)
Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes (or 1 lb Roma tomatoes), cut in smaller pieces
1 English cucumber, seeded and sliced (cut lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, then cut into slices)
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
2 avocados, diced
2 Tbsp good olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 medium lemon—it really is important to use fresh citrus)
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Optional: 1/4 cup cilantro (if you like cilantro)
Place tomatoes, cucumber slices, onion, avocado, (and cilantro, if you like it) in a salad bowl.
Mix olive oil, lemon juice (fresh is best), salt, and pepper.
Just before serving, drizzle over salad and toss.
For more heart-healthy recipes, visit the American Heart Association’s recipe page.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Here's a way you can show yourself, and your community, some love. Treat yourself to a delicious Dutch Bros coffee today and feel good knowing that $1 from every drink sold goes to local non-profit organizations to help fight hunger. This is big, because on average, $1 donated equates to three meals. Selected non-profits vary depending on which Dutch Bros you go to:
Woodland is donating to the Woodland Action Center Food Bank
Kelso is donating to the Faith Center Food Bank go-bag program
Longview stands are donating to the E.A.T. go-bag program
From the dawn of humankind to a mere 400 years ago, all we knew about our universe came through observations with the naked eye. Then Galileo turned his telescope toward the sky in 1610 and our view began to change. In the centuries that followed, telescopes grew in size, complexity, and power. Edwin Hubble, for whom the Hubble Telescope is named, used the largest telescope of his day in the 1920s to discover galaxies beyond our own.
Hubble, the observatory, is the first major optical telescope to be placed in space. Above the distortion of the atmosphere, Hubble has an unobstructed view of the universe. Scientists have used Hubble to observe the most distant stars and galaxies as well as the planets in our solar system.
Hubble's launch and deployment in April 1990 marked the most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo's telescope. Thanks to more than 30 years of operation, our view of the universe and our place within it has never been the same.
In honor of Galileo’s birthday (February 15, 1564), we share with you this magnificent image of a firestorm of starbirth in a neighboring galaxy. In this Hubble portrait, the giant red nebula (NGC 2014) and its smaller blue neighbor (NGC 2020) are part of a vast star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, located 163,000 light-years away. The image is nicknamed the "Cosmic Reef," because it resembles an undersea world.
Tomorrow is Random Acts of Kindness Day and we will surely hear about the many ways we can make a difference for others with even seemingly small acts of kindness toward the people around us. This is good and true. In advance of thinking about what those kind acts might be, may we suggest starting with the most important one? Today, and every day, be kind Headlineto yourself. Please. You deserve it.
The 2nd Grade Team at Barnes Elementary has been working on a goal of committing 100 random acts of kindness since the end of January, after a conversation about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. As they learned about Dr. King’s dedication to counter hate with love, and violence with non-violence, they also learned that we each have the power to make a difference in our community.
As of yesterday, these 2nd graders have completed 62 random acts of kindness. Once they hit their goal, they plan to strive for 100 more acts and just keep going.
“The big take away for our Bears is that kindness is not something you do just on one day, or just to meet a goal. It's bigger than that,” said Julie Morse, their teacher. “We are learning that kindness is love in action.”
Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day. Want to commit your own random act of kindness? Visit randomactsofkindness.org for some ideas and inspiration.
The 1st grade class at Rose Valley Elementary thought of some ways to express kindness and made a lovely poster to share their great ideas. Here are just a few:
ask someone to play
say something nice
smile at someone
Just in case no one has told you today, you are doing a good job. The world needs you now. Know that YOU MATTER.
Pets are people, too!
Of the 85 million (or 67%) of American homes that include a pet, 95% of those pet owners consider their pets to be family members. Above are some of our Kelso students who agree. In honor of Love Your Pet Day, share a photo of you and your pet.
We build fences to keep things apart, but in a Northeast Portland neighborhood, the “Hope Fence” is bringing people together. Click here to read more about this beautiful source of connection that grew in the last year of isolation.
There are many ways to show people you care. Here’s how a couple of Beacon Hill students show their love. Gabe cooks for his family. His latest dinner creation—made all by himself from scratch—was chili and cornbread. Brynn, missing her cousin Zoie who is away at Western, made a pillow for her.
Here are 33 ways to say, "I love you."
Kayley (5th grader) and Gloria (2nd grader) explain what the Catlin Elementary Kindness Tree is. Every student in the school has shared either an act of kindness they've committed, or one they've received, on the leaves of the tree.
This is love month, and if ever there was a language of love, it’s poetry. The Kelso High AP Literature class is studying poetry right now and have been working on “To Autumn” by John Keats, which three of the students read for us in the video below.
John Keats was an important English Romantic poet, despite having only been in publication for four years before dying from tuberculosis at the age of 25.
“I have lov’d the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had had time I would have made myself remembered,” Keats wrote to Fanny Brawne in February 1820, just after he became ill.
Turns out, Keats is not only remembered, he’s quite well-remembered. Several articles (Washington Post, The Guardian, Scroll.in) have been written about him just this week, 200 years almost to the day after his death.
We asked students at Carrolls, Catlin, and Wallace Elementary Schools the same question: What do you like best about being back at school in-person? Here are some of their answers.
"My favorite part about being back in school is probably seeing all my friends." - Paige, 5th grader
"My favorite thing about school is homework." - Braxten, 5th grader
"My favorite thing about being back in school is not having to be at home online." - Acelynn, 5th grader
"I like the food, recess, and looking at my big number cards." - Levi, Kindergartener
"I like just being here to see all my friends." - Krystian, 5th grader
"I like being able to learn and see friends." - Noah, 5th grader
"I like to learn." - Gabe, 2nd grader
"You can learn more and make new friends." - Keira, 4th grader
"You get to see your friends when you come to school." - Leighton, 4th grader
"Everybody is kind to me." - Jack, 3rd grader
"I like to write." - Kheart, 3rd grader
"Two main things: my friends and coming to see the new school." - Austin, 4th grader
Today ends our 28 Days of Love campaign, in which we posted things meant to inspire and uplift every day in the month of February. Not to worry, there’s a place you can continue to find positivity every day. In addition to daily stories, The Good News Network has an archive of 21,000 positive news stories from around the globe. Here are a few of this month’s headlines:
And if you need one more reason to smile, take a look in the mirror. YOU are an amazing, unique, beautiful being. You make a difference, and we’re so glad you’re here.