Friday, December 27, 2002

School follows Buckeye theme

St. Antoninus focuses on Ohio for year

St. Antoninus fifth grader Cody Lasita places a photo of astronaut Donald Thomas near his hometown of Cleveland.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
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By Angela T. Koenig
Enquirer contributor

GREEN TOWNSHIP - How many U.S. presidents have hailed from Ohio? Is the buckeye a tree or a bush?

By the time Ohio's Bicentennial rolls around March 1, students at St. Antoninus parochial school should be able to answer those questions and more. That's because a schoolwide project has students learning about Ohio history throughout the 2002-2003 academic year.

"All subjects are incorporated into the celebration," said Mary Tenoever, the fourth-grade social studies teacher who chairs the school's Ohio Bicentennial project.

Every month - at all grade levels - students take one aspect of Ohio to study. This month, for example, second-graders created artworks based on illustrations by Cincinnati author and artist Barb Trauth.

The student projects are then incorporated into hall art. A giant map of Ohio painted on the wall is the template for projects on the state's 88 counties, agriculture, famous residents and industry. A 40-foot time line in the hall helps with the countdown to the Bicentennial celebration.
Second graders Nicole Nie and Rachel Stock work on watercolor paintings.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
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"Teachers are always looking for ways for their subjects to come alive and be meaningful and enjoyable for students," said Ms. Tenoever.

The school year, she said, began with an Ohio state flag-raising ceremony. The music teacher taught students the state song, "Beautiful Ohio." Parents pitched in and coordinated a Taste of Ohio day: Each grade focused on food with an Ohio connection.

"Of course, one of the classes got Wendy's," said Principal James Leisring. Wendy's restaurant corporate headquarters are in Dublin, in suburban Columbus.

The celebration will culminate with a presentation by eighth-graders about Ohio's eight U.S. presidents and with the planting of a buckeye tree on school grounds.

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