Walk, Run, Roll

comed_ed_walk_run_rollWalk, Run, Roll – held by West Des Moines Community Schools Wellness program, an annual event, will take place rain or shine on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School, 625 South 35th Street, West Des Moines. Registration starts at 4 p.m. and the action begins at 4:30 p.m. The event started in 2000 and has around 400 participants.

Walk, Run, Roll is a family wellness event for WDMCS employees. Participants can choose to walk, run or roll (skateboard, roller skate, or ride a bike) a two mile, five mile, or ten mile course around the city school campus. Once the walking, running or rolling is over, dinner is provided and door prizes are given away.

Individual sites are encouraged to wear costumes or matching attire and to walk as a team. A friendly competition between sites takes place and awards for the greatest percentage of participation, and best team unity and costumes are given.

Gabe Carlson, the district’s Wellness Specialist plans and implements the wellness event.

All Screen Time is NOT Created Equal

written by Holly Burns, Preschool Programs Coordinator

Wow! I never thought I would be writing a blog post about technology for early education! But never say never! As we all know technology is not going away. Early education experts are learning how iPads and tablets can be used with young children. The key is that it should not be seen just an entertainment device, but rather, a tool that can be used with young children to interact, learn, and create. The applications for iPads and touchscreens are endless. But like every other thing we use with our kids (books, toys, TV selections) some are good and some are junk.

What I am talking about is using technology in a more engaging and meaningful way. That means developmentally appropriate applications and a child working with an adult who is interacting with them.  A great article on the use of technology for early education is the position statement put out by NEAYC and The Fred Rogers Center.

  1. All screen time is NOT created equalipad tablet computer
  2. We need to promote “digital citizenship” which means teaching respect, boundaries and ethics in respect to the equipment and the access
  3. Limits are important. Work with teachers or care providers to coordinate limits on a child’s usage.  For example, if your five-year-old has already spent one to two hours on a computer or iPad at school, you may want to not allow any more time doing that at home.
  4. Technology is an effective learning tool for young children when used correctly.

I am a big advocate for “no screen time” before the age of two, and limiting screen time as appropriate for ages two and up. But the type of screen time that we need to strictly limit refers to “passive, non-interactive” screen time. You can recognize this when you see your kid in a trance just staring straight ahead like a zombie!

Some of my favorites are apps are created by Alligator, ABC Mouse, and Peekaboo. My all-time favorite app is called Lenord, Furry Friend. I do not like it so much for the educational component, but because it is so fun and engaging for younger children. Many of these apps are free or have a minimal charges. I highly recommend “We Want Apps”, which suggests suitable apps and will send you emails for free apps.

Just like everything else you decide as a parent, use iPads and touchscreens with common sense and arm yourself with good information.  I am not suggesting you increase screen time with your young child, but I am saying that if you are selective and mindful of your choices, there are a lot of cool learning adventures to be had!

Silver Cord Student Makes a Difference

written by Cyndi Bonus, Silver Cord Coordinator

Katelyn Cinnamon BlanketsOne of our Silver Cord participants has definitely made a huge impact this school year.  Katelyn Cinnamon, a Valley senior, has been working closely with Children’s Cancer Connection, a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of families affected by childhood cancer, by providing programs for education, recreation and support.

Katelyn has been raising money through a variety of fundraising activities in order to help send kids to camp. Children’s Cancer Connection provides the only week-long summer camps in Iowa devoted


Katelyn with her award and Dr. Woods from Blank Children’s Hospital Oncology.

exclusively to children with cancer, and the sibling program is one of the few offered nationwide. In addition, Katelyn has spearheaded a program to make fleece blankets to be given to the children attending camp.  Many of the Silver Cord students from Valley and Valley High School are making the blankets and turning them in for Katelyn to donate to Children’s Cancer Connection. Nearly 150 blankets have been made and donated and more are coming in every day.

In February, Katelyn was honored by being presented the Outstanding Youth Philanthropy Award for Children’s Cancer Connection. Congratulations Katelyn, for making a difference in our community!

Cinnamon Named 2013 Iowa Top Youth Volunteer

Valley Student Helps Make Blank a Little Brighter

Prudential Spirit Award




Temporarily Moving

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) will be under construction between April and September 2013, as part of the district’s 10-year plan facility plan.

Starting April 15 the Community Education office will be temporarily located at the former Walnut Creek Campus building located at 815 8th Street, West Des Moines.

The Community Education office includes the following programs:066_30833

  • Adventures
  • Brighter Beginnings
  • Facilities Department
  • Intramurals
  • Kids West
  • LEARNwest
  • Preschool Programs
  • Service Learning
  • Summer of Learning
  • Wellness.

In person inquiries, payments, registrations, and reservations will take place at 815 8th Street, West Des Moines (the former Walnut Creek Campus). Our mailing address and phone numbers will remain the same. A drop box will be available at the temporary location after-hours. Please note that no one will be available at the LRC from April 15-September 2013.

If you have questions regarding our move please contact us at our office at (515) 633-5001.

For more information on the construction of the LRC please visit https://commed.wdmcs.org/announcements/did-you-know-the-lrc-is-moving/.