ABS Thursday Notes- March 29, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                         March 29, 2018




How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

During the weekend [my article] was published, I was away on a camping trip. When I arrived at my scout hut my dad said, “Why didn’t you tell me you are in the paper?” I had no clue about what he was talking about, but when he showed me, I was thrilled! My parents bought three copies and laminated one. You feel very accomplished and happy once you see your name in the paper!” – Jack Rauschenberg, ABS 8th grade journalist


Like lawyers, journalists get a bad rap. Both are stereotyped as exploiters of human frailty who bend the truth for their own gain. And yet, when lawyers and journalists are expressing your point of view, they seem to be the very backbone of our democracy. As Walter Cronkite said: “Journalism is what we need, to make democracy work.” But the truth is hard to find.


The concept of “fake news” (known in some circumstances as “yellow journalism”) is not a new one. Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde taunted journalists mercilessly for inventing or skewing the truth. French poet Jean de la Fontaine, who died in the 17th century, wrote “Every journalist owes tribute to the evil one.”


We all bemoan the scarcity of positive stories and editorials. Attached to today’s Thursday Notes, we offer access to great journalism about rich, undeniably truthful, positive community stories, published in the Winston-Salem Journal, and authored by ABS 8th graders.


8th grade language arts teacher Lenora MacNamara was inspired by award-winning teacher and author Nancy Atwell to draw students into “Advocacy Journalism.” In describing the project, Ms. MacNamara writes: “We began by generating a list of local nonprofit organizations–students knew they would need to choose one to research, conduct an interview by email/phone/on-site, and write a persuasive piece with the intent of submission for publication.  We had John Railey (then Editorial Page Editor,) visit with us to talk about journalism and writing an editorial. In class, we did lessons on the genre of persuasive writing (quality introductions and conclusions, transition words, type and quantity of evidence to include, etc.) On their own, students had to arrange and conduct an interview with someone from the nonprofit. They submitted drafts via Google Classroom, where I made suggestions for revisions and edits, and then submitted final copies. Out of the pieces, I selected 8, and gave these over to 6th grade classes. The 6th graders voted on those they found most persuasive, and I submitted a final group to the Winston-Salem Journal.”

Below are links to the three pieces that have been published. If the fourth is published as well, we will send along the link. These beautifully written stories will lift your spirits and give you hope for the future.

Jack Rauschenberg: Hawley House Saves Lives


IndigoWeaver: The Forsyth Humane Society Stands Up for Animals


Bella Swanson: Meals on Wheels – Bringing Food and Companionship


ANNUAL GIVING – WEEK 4 (ONLY 2 days to go!)





Okay, ABS families, it’s crunch time…we have reached the final 2 days of our 2018 Annual Giving Campaign. The dollars you have donated so far is record-breaking but our work is NOT done. We still need 48% of our families to give- give something, give anything to this campaign. Please don’t think it doesn’t matter if you don’t participate – IT MATTERS!  We cannot achieve 100% participation without each and every family in our school making a donation or a pledge.  Don’t wait another day – please, make that magic happen NOW.  Think about what our school can accomplish with 100% support from our families!


Here’s how you make the difference:

  1. Grab your green envelope (or any envelope) and return it TODAYwith the attached donation form.
  2. DONATE NOW – Stick in a check, cash, change from your car (you get the idea) and return with your child.  Donate the $ you would ordinarily spend on coffee or lunch in a week- it’s a small amount that means so much to our school! No amount is too little- every dollar counts!
  3. DONATE LATER – Fill out the pledge form to pay later and return the form with your child – all pledges count toward participation now!
  4. ONLINE https://mkt.com/the-arts-based-school/annual-campaign
  5. SMILE –  you just did an awesome thing!


All funds go directly to operating expenses and programs that impact YOUR child along with each & every child at ABS every single day.  Now, we just need each and every family to support this campaign –  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!


Community Creates!  

Saturday, May 5th from 7-11pm

Please join us for an evening of amazing art, cool people and funky festivities!  Our annual Community Creates art auction supports our school’s artists-in-residence program – think Mr. Bill, Diana Greene, Thao Nguyen and all the other amazing artists in the community that work with our kids! Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door and include hors d’oeuvres and dinner from our friends at The Porch & Alma Mexicana as well as some tasty adult beverages (yes, this party is adults only!).  Go to  http://www.communitycreates.com for more information and to purchase your tickets now!


Parent Satisfaction Survey

Yes, that’s you – we want to know what you think!  Please follow the link ABS Parent Survey

to the online about our school.  Your responses are completely anonymous and help us determine what’s working well and what needs more work!  Please take a few minutes to complete and submit.  Thank you!


Parent Council News:


Volunteers Needed for Jump Rope for Heart
Who: 3 Volunteers for each class (9 for the whole grade) needed to set-up, break-down and run the event with Ms. Adams.
What: Jump Rope for Heart
When: Thursday, April 12th. Please see class event times below. Plan to arrive a half hour early to learn how the event will run and to help set-up, and leave a half hour afterward to help break-down the event and return it to starting position for the next group.
Where: ABS
Why: To teach school-aged children how to keep fit, and to raise money for the American Heart Association.

9:15 – 9:55         Kindergarten     (5 volunteers still needed)
10:00 – 10:40     1st Grade          (7 volunteers still needed)
10:45 – 11:25     2nd Grade         (9 volunteers still needed)
12:00 – 12:40     5th Grade          (9 volunteers still needed- this one may be a little different, but it will be sometime in the middle of the day)
12:55 – 1:35       3rd Grade          (9 volunteers still needed)
1:40 – 2:20         4th Grade          (3 volunteers still needed)

If you can help with this event, please contact Erin Edge (erin.edge@live.com).

April Parent Council Meeting

Please join us for the April Parent Council on Friday, April 13 at 8:15 in the MLK Cafe.  All ABS parents, families, and caregivers are part of Parent Council and are welcome to attend!  Don’t forget that attendance at Parent Council meetings counts toward volunteer hours.  If you have requests for the agenda, please send them to Parent Council Co-Chairs, Joy Blaser (joy.blaser@gmail.com) and Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net) by Monday, April 9.

Nominations for Parent Council Board
Nominations for Parent Council Board positions are now open and elections will be held at the May Parent Council meeting.   Serving on the Parent Council Board is a great way to get more involved at ABS and to earn volunteer hours. We are still seeking candidates for the following positions:

  • Co-Chair (2 year term)
  • Parent Representative Coordinator (1 year term)
  • Secretary (1 year term)
  • Technical Support Coordinator (1 year term)
  • Annual Giving Coordinators (2 year term, Both positions are filled for next year, but we would love to find a parent of a rising 5-8 grade students to work with this team.)

If you are interested in running for one of these positions or have any questions, please contact Parent Council Co-Chairs, Joy Blaser (joy.blaser@gmail.com) and Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net



Around Town…

Walkertown High School is inviting everyone to the showing of Screenagers: Gorwing Up in the Digital Age ,April 12th at 6pm.  $5 ticket can be purchased at link below.



Art at the Heart Winston-Salem!

Art at the Heart is an afterschool art program in its 7th year running!  Beginning April 10th, every Tuesday 4-6pm at Art for Art’s Sake Building,

630 N Liberty St.  Open to all students Age 9 and older $8/class