What’s new at the GCCF?

Thank you, School Board!
This month, we want to celebrate the contributions our Gladstone School Board makes to our schools.

These seven elected volunteers give countless hours to set policy, approve the budget, and oversee essential decisions about education in our community.


Playworks builds inclusive playground culture

Children at GCCF and John Wetten Elementary are finding positive ways to connect with classmates thanks to a partnership with Playworks, which aims to build a positive playground culture.

“Our mission is to teach life skills and foster social growth through play,” said Playworks site coordinator Alex Kelley. “We teach school staff to facilitate games so recess is fun and everyone is included. Along the way, kids are learning life skills like conflict resolution that will transfer to the classroom and other parts of their lives.”

By teaching playground staff to lead group games like Egg/Tadpole/Frog, adults can make sure all children are invited to join in the fun. They also help children quickly resolve ties or conflicts using a quick round of rock/paper/scissors.

Playworks also introduces fun variations on traditional playground games like Crossover Dodgeball, where the goal is to get everyone to the other side and no one is “out.” This helps make recess more inclusive and collaborative.
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Teens help children build reading skills

This school year 70 students from Gladstone High will participate in the Tutor Practicum elective. This program gives teens the opportunity to explore careers in teaching, social work, or childcare through hands-on experiences working with younger students in school settings.

Most students choose to volunteer at the GCCF kindergarten or at John Wetten Elementary. However, all four Gladstone schools have some GHS tutors. At the GCCF, teens work one-on-one reading with children. First the student reads to the tutor, and then the tutor reads to them.
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Kindergarten story workshop builds writing skills
In Discovery class, kindergarten students are exploring new worlds. One boy builds a chair from blocks, while his classmate crafts a skeleton from recycled materials. Across the room, two girls make matching mosaics from buttons, rocks, rick rack, and flowers.

Their creative work is part of a new Story Workshop that combines artistic expression and literacy instruction. It was funded by a grant from the Gladstone Education Foundation this school year.

“Our hope is that students’ time in Discovery will awaken ideas for storytelling,” said teacher Rachael Gannon. “Then they take those ideas back to their classroom and use them to write, edit, and share their stories.”

Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Lowell is a partner in the project. “Story workshop has allowed all kindergartners to have an entry point into writing their stories,” said Lowell. “This approach gives children a voice and choices while supporting their emerging literacy and speaking skills.”