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Students at Arlington's Post Middle School present research projects

Calyssa Richardson and her grandmother, Justine Meyers, explain the history of their family origins in Finland at the Post Middle School Culture Fair Saturday, May 30. - Sarah Arney
Calyssa Richardson and her grandmother, Justine Meyers, explain the history of their family origins in Finland at the Post Middle School Culture Fair Saturday, May 30.
— image credit: Sarah Arney

ARLINGTON - The eighth-grade students at Post Middle School finished their research projects for the annual Social Studies Fair which was presented Saturday, May 30.

This event has evolved from its beginning three decades ago as the “Culture Fair," then a celebration of family heritage.

The changes were made to keep up with state educational standards, said Liz B. Moore, Post Middle School teacher.

Students began this long-term project in November by choosing a topic related to U.S. history before 1900, a Washington state or local history topic, or a topic related to their family.

The next step was to read a non-fiction book related to the topic of choice and do a report on it.

In this project, students learned how their topic fits into the broader scope of history and society.

Next, the research continued with encyclopedias, more books, interviews, or on the web. When notes are taken and new ideas learned, the students wrote a research-based essay that included a bibliography that cited the sources they used.

The final step was to prepare a visual display of the information learned, including pictures and models with captions, all of which were set up in the gym and open to the public for the Social Studies Fair.

"It was a wonderful time to see what our eighth graders have done," Moore said. Parents and members of the community saw how much effort went into the projects.

Calyssa Richardson said she learned a lot about her family history.

"She called me a lot during the project," said her grandmother, Justine Meyers.

"I learned how my Finnish grandparents met in Olympia," Richardson said.

REACH announces annual workshops

Founded in Arlington, the REACH project for cross-cultural education has announced a special conference designed for educators looking for a systemic approach to making cultural competence a reality in their schools.

The program, "We are the Change We've Been Waiting For: Multicultural Education That Works!" will be offered June 29 - 30 in Seattle along with annual workshops for training teachers in cultural competency and for training of trainers.

The conference gathers teachers and administrators from various-sized school districts to learn what they've done with REACH. REACH program practitioners will share their implementation stories while also providing on-site coaching to help participants leave will a plan of their own.

For information see the Web site. You may also e-mail the REACH Center or call 360-403-9631 or 800-205-4932. The REACH Center office manager is located at 307 N. Olympic Avenue, Suite 211, in Arlington.

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