In Our Global Village: Westwood Elementary School Friendswood, TX USA
Foreword This project began with a seed planted by our school counselor. She is the one who told us about the global village project. It piqued our interest, and we began our planning. The book’s content was the result of brainstorming ways our class could present our “village” to the world. The students filled out a form on which they shared their ideas. Through that process, we realized that we couldn’t do our school village without also telling about our community village. The students were divided into two teams, a Friendswood team and a Westwood team. The teams decided the content of their part of the book, what pictures would be in the book, and what they wanted to write about. This has been a collaborative effort, and one that, I trust, will be a memory of the students’ third grade year. We hope you enjoy reading our book.
Our school, Westwood Elementary, starts at 7:35 and ends at 2:35. We have math, spelling, science, reading, and social studies. When we get to school in the morning we unpack and there are directions on the chalkboard. On Wednesday we go to W.W. (Wednesday Warbles). There we sing our Westwood song and tell students’ and teachers’ birthdays. The principal also tells us the person who gets to be prompt prince or princess. We get prompt prince or princess when we aren’t tardy for a whole week. When we are prompt prince or princess you get to sit in the principal’s chair. If 5 classes have 0-2 tardies and absences, the principal and assistant principal do the chicken dance together.
At Westwood Elementary we have a Nature Center that has plants, insects, strawberry plants, and a lot of trees, too. When we go to the Nature Center we get to look all around. There is an arbor that is covered in vines. One of the best things is the pond. It has fish and turtles, and itâ€™s fun to watch them from the bridge.
We go to computer lab, or Mac Lab weekly. We play games and make documents on the computer. First, Mrs. Countie, the computer teacher shows us what to do using one of the studentsâ€™ computers. We go get our headphones and plug them into our computers. After that we log in by clicking on a picture of a dog, then we click on the icons Mrs. Countie tells us to click on, and we do what she tells us to do for the day. Mrs. Ellisor, our third grade teacher, picks us up and brings us to our classroom.
We go to P.E. almost every day PE stands for physical education. WE have a C.I.A. C.I.A stands for Coming In Activity. We have a C.I.A. because we warm up our muscles. Then we can stretch better. We have to do test too. We have to run the mile in a certain time. For the fastest time to run a mile is 6:45. We have to do the challenge. The challenge is when we put both arms behind our backs and catch our hands. We do â€œJump Rope for Heart.â€? We raise money to donate to the American Heart Association. P. E. is fun!
The cafeteria is where we eat lunch and breakfast. The lunch ladies make the breakfast and lunch for preschool through third grade. The lunch ladies also make the same thing every week. The lunch ladies make what we order on the menu. They stay all day and cook. Some of the food they make is super-sack lunch, pizza, and chicken sandwiches. The cafeteria is also where we do concerts.
We go to library every week to get books. We have a program called A.R. (Accelerated Reader). In A.R. we take tests on books to earn points. We use our points to get little charms for our necklaces the librarian gives to us at the beginning of the year. Our librarian reads books to us every time we come. In the library there are all different kinds of books. From long to short, dull to exciting, the library is a great place to be.
In Friendswood cars and trucks are the main ways people get around. Some students ride a bus to school, and others come in cars. Our different types of transportation are trucks SUVâ€™s and cars. Friendswood doesnâ€™t have an airport, so if people who have to fly somewhere, they have to go to Houston where there are two major airports.
Mrs.Gruener is our counselor. She helps us with our problems that were stuck on. If someone bullies on you, you go to Mrs. Gruener and sheâ€™ll say go to Kelso, or some other solution, to help our problem. She has small groups with each class where she talks about the character pillars which are respect, responsibility, citizenship, fairness, trustworthiness, and caring. She also reads books to us about character.
A nurse is someone you can go to if you’re sick at school. Our nurse at Westwood is very sweet and kind. Our nurse’s name is Mrs. Jolibois. We’re glad to have a nurse like her to help us when we are hurt or feel sick.
A great after school activity is going to choir. There are 2 separate days and groups--the Monday group and the Thursday group. We have those groups because the choir director wants us to learn different parts for different songs. We have choir because we want to bring joy to others when we have concerts. People get in choir by signing up and showing up. Choir lasts for 30 minutes and then when the 2 separate groups combine, choir lasts for an hour after school. Wow, choir is so amazing!
We go to recorder club weekly. We attend it on Friday mornings. To get into the club, students have to earn a “black belt” during the recorder unit in music class. We can earn our black belt by memorizing a song called “Ode to Joy.” Our recorder club teacher is Mrs. Rachita. She is very nice. At the end of the rehearsal periods, we give a concert.
Every Thursday morning at Westwood we have something called Knitting Club. At Knitting Club we knit in the morning before school. We knit hats for a project whose purpose is to save the lives of babies in underdeveloped countries. We have another project at the end of the year. We knit two patches and an adult volunteer sews one of the patches to another patch to make a blanket. We give the blankets to mothers who have new babies.
Friendswood is a very nice city. It is located in Texas close to the Gulf of Mexico. The population of Friendswood is 34,506 people. Friendswood has a mayor and a city council. The meet in city hall and discuss issues concerning the city. Friendswood has a big celebration on the Fourth of July. Friendswood was founded in 1895 by a group of Quakers from Kansas.
The Brown Museum is a replica of the real house that was built in 1895. The replica is just across the street from the Friendswood Friends Cemetery. The Brown Museum has barn that shows tools and other interesting things that farmers used years ago. There is also an outhouse. There is a display telling about the fig industry, which was a booming business in Friendswood many years ago. There are other things that tell about the history of Friendswood in the museum. Itâ€™s a great place to visit and learn about the history of Friendswood.
The Friends church is a Quaker church. People go there to worship God. Quakers are the people who founded Friendswood in 1895. The first buildings they would build were a church and school because those two things were very important to them. This church was built on the same land that the first church and academy were built on. Today worship and education are still important to the people in Friendswood.
The fire station is very important to us because if there is a fire the firemen use water to put it out. Without firemen our houses will ether burn up or someone will die. A fire truck is a vehicle that brings the firemen to the fire. Fire hydrants help the firemen because they are full of water. Friendswoodâ€™s fire department is made up of volunteers and a few paid workers.
Food here in Friendswood is very plentiful, compared to most of the world. We have fruits like apples, pears, peas, and oranges. But we also have foods that people think are very unhealthy like ice cream, cake, brownies and even cupcakes. Even though they are not very healthy a lot of people eat them. We have never had a famine here and we also hope that we never have one. We usually buy our food at a local market. There are a lot of places where you can get food here in Friendswood. Some just sell the same food like a bakery that sells cakes, cookies, and breads. Ice cream stores where it sells ice cream and yogurt. We have quite a variety of stores in Friendswood and as you can see we have a variety of food here also.
Medical care is an important thing in life. When someone is not feeling well they have medicine cabinets in their homes. In their medicine cabinets they have all medications for illnesses. If it is a severe illness asthma attack, flu and high bloodpresure .You can go to your local doctors office and get a check up to see what illness you have. Sometimes people may have a major problem that needs surgery.
Here in Friendswood we love to play many sports. Some of these sports are football, lacrosse, and tennis. There are city leagues that kids can play different sports in, and the junior high and high schools have sports teams. School football teams have mascots that their teams are called by. In city teams, the names are made up by the team. John Ellisor, our teacherâ€™s father-in-law was the first football coach in Friendswood in 1939. He chose the team name, the Mustangs, and the colors, blue and white. The team was a six-man team because the school was so small. Sports are a popular way for kids to spend their time in Friendswood.
In Friendswood, family life has different looks. There are 5 people in my familyâ€”I have 2 brothers, 1 is named Beau, and the other is my twin, Mason, and I am Mary. I have a mom and dad. Not all families look the same as mine, but we all have one thing in common--we all love each other. When our family is together we usually play games or talk and do other fun things. Our family likes to go out to eat together, and we have fun talking with each other. Sometimes we donâ€™t get along, but it doesnâ€™t last very long. I love my family.
This book was written by a third-grade class at Westwood Elementary School in Friendswood, Texas, under the guidance of their teacher, Deanna Ellisor. Westwood Elementary, located between Houston and Galveston, is a Texas State School of Character and a National School of Character. You can visit us online at www.fisdk12.net/ww/ww.html The book is part of In Our Global Village (IOGV), a global service-learning project, an invitation for student participation in a collaborative exchange of local stories to a worldwide community. Initiated in response to In Our Village, a book written by students of Awet Secondary School in Kambi ya Simba, Tanzania, IOGV was founded as a partnership between Cathryn Berger Kaye, CBK Associates, and Barbara Cervone, What Kids Can Do. For more information and to join In Our Global Village, please visit www.inourvillage.org. Click on the See In Our Global Village Project box. We also invite you to learn more about each of our partners: CBK Associates at www.abcdbooks.org What Kids Can Do at www.whatkidscando.org