Lesson Plans: Feline Football puts moms in the mix

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

Last year’s first-ever Feline Football game has turned into this year’s full-fledged football tournament — with eight teams, cheerleaders, kids’ activities and family fun.

The moms’ football tournament runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, at Graham Field by Bergen Valley Elementary School. The event benefits the PTAs at the participating schools.

What would a football tournament be without cheerleaders and a trophy? School dads have volunteered to act in the cheerleader capacity, and the trophies are of a Barbie and Ken doll sitting on football statues.

The Wilmot moms who concocted this idea last year, Annie Coppock and Kris Grimshaw, had such a good time last year — and the game raised $700 for the Wilmot PTA. They figured that moms at other schools would want to get involved.

It’s as much about community building as it is about having fun and raising money, according to Susan Halama, the Feline Football event coordinator.

“One thing that’s absent (in Evergreen),” Halama said, “is that if you had a kid who goes to Wilmot (Elementary School), then you don’t know the families at the Montessori school or the Bergens. We’re all in our own little microcosms.”

By having teams from different schools, families from throughout the community will be able to meet and get to know each other. There are two teams each from Wilmot, Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen and Ralston Elementary School, and one team each from Evergreen Middle School and Marshdale Elementary School.

In addition to the moms playing flag football, there will be a bounce house, face painting, and a punt, pass and kick tournament for kids, plus concessions. A silent auction is planned, with families from each school donating items.

The school PTAs raise money by charging participants to play in the tournament. The money earned from the booths and silent auction will be divided among the participating schools.

The after-tournament celebration will be at Trinity Irish Pub. Cost is $10 for adults and $2 for children. The pub is donating half of the adult prices and all of the kid prices to the PTAs. Tickets for the pub event must be purchased in advance at the participating schools.

If last year’s event, which was a football game between two Wilmot moms teams, is any indication, spectators are in for some serious football. The teams have jerseys, and they are already practicing with volunteer coaches.

“It’s going to be an intense morning of football,” Halama said. “It’s going to be great. It’s going to be fun.”

Wilmot broadcast club brings news to school

Wilmot Elementary School’s Broadcast Club is 32 members strong, bringing news broadcasts to the school each week.

The fourth- and fifth-graders are the anchors, script writers, directors and engineers for the broadcast that begins students’ Fridays. They tell about events happening at Wilmot, sports at Evergreen High School or in the professional leagues, weather reports from around the world – anything the kids are interested in, said Kathy Bakas, who advises the group.

The TV production equipment was donated to the school by former Wilmot dad Nick Topka, who trains the students on how to use the soundboard and cameras each year.

“He’s just great,” Bakas said. She’s even more excited that the school is getting a green screen this year, which will allow the club to do even more with their broadcasts.

“This program is a big confidence-builder for students,” Bakas said. “They are in front of the camera and have to speak on the spot. They are aware of things going on around them, so they can report on them for the broadcast.”

EHS teaches all-boy English classes

Research shows that boys and girls learn differently, and Evergreen High School has taken that to a new level in English classes.

The school offers two all-boy freshman English classes and two all-boy sophomore English classes. For the first time this semester, there’s also an all-girl freshman English class.

This is the second year of pilot testing for the all-boy classes, and the school is seeing remarkable results, according to principal Matt Walsh. The boys’ English grades and CSAP test scores are improving.

Walsh said the idea came after looking at test scores and noticing the disparity between boys and girls. Teachers brainstormed about ways to narrow the gap.

“We’re trying something new,” Walsh said. “We’re asking everyone to step out of their comfort zones.”

The teachers of the all-boy classes are also male, and they use teaching strategies that appeal to boys, Walsh said. He said he witnessed Nordic poetry being taught while the boys were running on the football field.

Wilmot Bandana Day is Oct. 9

Bandana Day, Wilmot Elementary School’s carnival, will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, at the school.

The carnival will have a ranching-heritage theme with hayrides and old-time photos, plus an inflatable obstacle course and a haunted house in addition to the usual games. Events are set up both in classrooms and outside the school.

Concessions will be available, including chicken nuggets and corn dogs for kids, and pulled-pork sandwiches from Tin Star Restaurant, brats, chilis and soups for adults.

Tickets are 25 cents each, with most games costing two tickets.

For more information, contact Paula Skeel at 303-679-3600 or at pskeel@q.com.

Have tips about schools in Evergreen? Contact Evergreen resident Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com.