To mark the end of the school year in the Foundations and Bridge Academies, separate award ceremonies were held to acknowledge and recognize the many achievements of our students. In addition to the hard-won awards such as Highest academic average, perfect attendance, and spelling bee champ, students’ God-given spiritual gifts were recognized.
The Diligence Award, the Mind of Christ Award, the Sunshine Award, the Good Samaritan Award, the Quill Award, the Encourager Award, the Quick Wit Award, the Thorough Thinker Award, the Integrity Award, the Inquisitive Spirit Award, the Happy Heart Award and the Songbird Award were a few of the many awards paying tribute to the very special spiritual gifts each student has been given by God. It is a joy to see each student grow throughout the year and to see strengths and gifts come to light.
As we close out the year in our Lower School, we reflect on the many students and families we have served and praise God for another successful year. We will continue to pray over the summer for God’s blessing and protection on all of our Gator families, past and present, and look forward to seeing everyone again in the fall!
Third grade students demonstrated their creativity and ingenuity during their "Simple Machines" unit!
After learning about wheels and axles, students creatively used basic items such as balloons, paper rolls, popsicle sticks, and construction paper to build a machine with the ability to move from point A to point B. We might have some future rocket scientists in the group, as some of the machines seemed to fly across the table in record time!
Congratulations to our TWO State Handwriting Champions! Mrs. Tracy Cox, Principal of the Foundations and Bridge Academies, proudly announced that two of our lower school students have been named State Champions in the national Zaner-Bloser handwriting competition! Third grader John Fox and fourth grader Madison Benson both earned the State Champion title in their respective grade levels.
John & Madison are now eligible to compete for a Grand National Champion title to be announced later this month. This year marks the 26th national handwriting contest and saw over 275,000 students participating.
Way to go, John and Madison!
Thank you to all of the students, families, and volunteers who showered our faculty and staff with love during Teacher Appreciation Week 2017!
On Monday, our teachers and staff arrived to find every classroom and office door decorated with encouraging messages and displays of creativity from their students and parents! Thank you to all of the room moms and helpers who made this wonderful surprise possible. The teachers were also treated to a warm breakfast from Huddle House to start the week off.
Teachers walked into a "Snack and Supply" room on Tuesday, overflowing with classroom supplies such as dry erase markers, sharpies, stickers, and post-its, as well as yummy snacks and treats to stay fueled! Teachers were invited to come in throughout the day and take whatever they wanted for their classrooms. There was so much to choose from, nobody left empty-handed!
Wednesday started off with a surprise "Appreciation Station." Teachers were given a golden ticket where they chose, in order of preference, up to 118 gifts! The gifts would be raffled off to the teachers on Friday as a final Thank You for all they do. For lunch, teachers were treated to boxed lunches from the Hilltop Chick-Fil-A, complete with thank you notes to bless and encourage them.
Thursday was a sweet day! GCA parents baked dozens upon dozens of cookies in all flavors, shapes, and sizes for a cookie and coffee bar! The mid-day pick-me-up was very special, as everything was hand-crafted by our amazing families to bless our GCA faculty and staff! …and as a special treat, Mrs. White made her famous and highly sought-after Coffee Punch!
Teacher Appreciation Week concluded on Friday with a fantastic grand finale which included a beautiful luncheon and the golden ticket raffle. Each of our faculty and staff members walked away with an item from the Appreciation Station and as an added bonus, there was so much extra food from the delicious luncheon, we were able to provide the Union Mission with food to feed the homeless that evening!
Thank you to the many parents and families who participated in blessing our faculty and staff! Through the giving of your time, resources, creativity, and prayers, the entire GCA team has been encouraged and blessed by the tremendous outpouring! Thank you!
...And a very special thank you to our own Mrs. Marne Buchanan, who organized the week’s events and worked tirelessly to make each day extraordinary for her GCA team-mates! Marne, you are amazing!
To see photos from each day, visit our Facebook page!
GCA is participating in a pilot program for a new reading software and students from our Foundation and Bridge Academies are getting in on the action! The Moxie Reader Program is a research based tool to help encourage and perfect independent reading in the classroom. Allowing for personalized reading goals and smart analysis that adjusts to each student's pace and history, this tool helps students discover and nurture their love of reading!
Lower School students are acting as part of the software’s Beta Testers by using the program and giving feedback on how the platform can be better tailored to their needs. Students are seeing first-hand how technology is a tool to solve problems in the world around them!
Students are seen here helping technology coordinator, Mrs. Amanda-Lee Pitzer, upload data using Moxie’s rapid book scanning and book leveling tools.
Second graders in Foundation Academy’s Lego Robotics class used STEM skills to create cheering “sports fans” with specialized software, motion sensors, and Legos!
GCA's 2nd through 5th grade Legos Robotics program provides cross-curricular opportunities for our students in Math, Science, and Technology. In this particular activity, students created a “sports fan” lego character who would cheer and celebrate when a ball was kicked past. Using motion sensors and computer software, students programmed their newly created sports fan to spin and jump up and down as a ball went by.
Students completed their creations by making custom outfits for their “cheering fans!”