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Educational Opportunities Goal of Georgie's Day at Washington

February 5, 2009 will be no ordinary day for students at Washington School for Comprehensive Literacy. Instead of traditional classes, students are taking part in workshops throughout Sheboygan and their school as part of the 21st annual "Georgie's Great Day" celebration.

The day is filled with a number of exciting educational opportunities for students of each grade level ranging from bird house building and introduction to athletic training to ice skating and candle making.

"The students at Washington look forward to Georgie's Great Day every year," said Karin Bulkow, Washington teacher. "Imagine a day that is totally guided by student interest."

Georgie's Great Day began as spin off of a reading incentive program entitled Georgie Wormington, after a reading worm, which was developed by Sherry Vandenberg in 1988, along with several other Washington staff members. The program quickly evolved with the help of staff members to become a day when children get to change classrooms and experiment with various learning opportunities that they may not otherwise have the fortune of trying.

Several presenters have been with the program since it originated including Jean Johnson, the Balloon Lady of Sheboygan, who works at Jefferson Elementary School.

This year's big event is the Laser B.E.A.M. Light Show (Behavior and Ethical Advancement through Music). Students will focus on teamwork through an interactive presentation followed by a light show set to music. This is the first time Laser B.E.A.M. will be at Washington.

In order to participate in the programs, students had to work with their parents to select the day's curriculum � kindergartners' programs were pre-selected. Each student paid a $2 registration fee to help cover expenses.

A sampling of this year's classes include swimming and gymnastics at the YMCA, Emergency Vehicle Squad Tours, Cartoon World, Chocolate Making, Coin Collecting, Custard Shop Tour, Dance, Doodle with a Poodle, Egg Roll Making, Frogs of Wisconsin, Fun with Stamps, Funky Flowers, Fitness for Everyone, Hat & Scarf Making, History of Sheboygan, Guitar for Beginners, Meet Monkeys & a Skunk, Movie Theater Operation, Lumber Jacks of Wisconsin and many more.

The classes are coordinated by a team of parents and teachers looking to give opportunities to their students.

"Over many months, our community and staff put together a day filled with fun and exciting activities to choose from. You can make a candle, tour a squad car, go ice skating, and even pet a monkey. All in all, there were over 50 different activities to choose from this year," said Bulkow. "The day is built around five different sessions that the students have picked for themselves. The fact that they get to choose what they experience and learn about that day, makes this day forever etched in their memory. It is their faces when they walk down the hallway with a cupcake they decorated or a story you overhear about holding a snake for the first time that makes this day worth all of the hard work we all put into it."

Over the years a number of various programs have been offered. In 1997 classes included Egg-Ceptional Science, Music with Spoons, Pottery, Tae Kwon Do, Bow-n-Arrows, Vince Condella from Channel 4, Cheerleading, Barrette Making, Cranberry Valentine, Ice Skating, Create a Tote bag, Origami, 'Toon World. In 1995 they offered Hand and Power Tools, Juggling, Balloon Magic, P.J. Weber - a magician, Making Egg Rolls, Hands on Science, Ear Care and Wear, Above & Beyond Hands-on Science Museum, Design a T-shirt and Marbleizing Magic.

Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
January 29, 2009