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Helmut Schmidt, Published December 19 2010

K-12 Notebook: Students invited to write about coming to US

Area students ages 13 to 19 who are immigrants or who have parents who are immigrants are invited to take part in an essay contest and write about their experiences in coming to America.

The contest is open to teens from West Fargo, Fargo, Moorhead and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, said Maureen Kelly Jonason, executive director of the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County.

The contest is being held in conjunction with a nationally touring Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit called “Becoming American: Teenagers and Immigration,” which opens Jan. 11 in the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead.

Winners’ photos will appear with their essays in an auxiliary exhibit called “My Journey, My Story.” Winners’ classes will get free admission to the museum for a class visit.

Students are encouraged to see their language arts or English teachers for a submission form.

Deadline for submissions is Thursday, Kelly Jonason said.

For more on the contest or submission forms, e-mail Jonason at Maureen.Jonason@ci.moorhead.mn.us or call (218) 299-5511, ext. 6732.

Keeping Creation clean

Students at Fargo’s Shanley High School and Sullivan Middle School have taken up several recycling initiatives to be good stewards of the Earth as part of their faith.

Paper is sent to MinnKota Recycling, and the Fargo Catholic diocese has partnered with the city to place a community recycling site for cans, plastics, cardboard, magazines, telephone books and newspapers near the school, said Todd Mickelson, development director for the Fargo Catholic Schools Network.

Other recycling efforts include cell phones and printer cartridges, Mickelson said.

A new recycling and fundraising effort includes working with Green Sneakers of Wahpeton, N.D., to recycle athletic shoes. A receptacle at the school collects shoes to provide affordable footwear in developing countries, Mickelson said.

Appel top orator

Stephen Appel, a Park Christian School of Moorhead 11th-grader, recently took place for his speech in the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 9 Voice of Democracy speech contest.

Appel was given a monetary award and will be invited to attend the state competition and banquet Jan. 21-22 in Minneapolis.

Warm wishes

Fargo Oak Grove Lutheran School middle school students made 80 fleece blankets Friday, donating them to the Fargo Ronald McDonald House.

Each of the 80 students donated $15 to buy materials for the blankets, which were made in the Darwin Gorder Gymnasium on the school‘s north campus, said AnnMarie Campbell, director of marketing and communications.

A representative of the Ronald McDonald House received them during a chapel service on the campus Friday, she said.

Jazzing things up

The Fargo South High School Jazz Band’s annual holiday concert is at 7:30 p.m. Monday with the sounds of a new Baldwin grand piano.

The piano, valued at $30,000, is a gift to the school’s music department from the parents of a former South jazz band student.

Special guest performers (and alumni) Jordan Christianson and Adam Hochstatter will perform selections on the piano.

Hochstatter, a 2005 graduate, is a successful composer, producer, conductor and arranger in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles.

Christianson, a 2007 graduate, is a jazz piano student at Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College.

On air for the people

The People’s Press Project, a nonprofit arm of the High Plains Reader, is filming public meetings and putting them online.

Among the meetings on the Web are the Fargo School Board and Cass County Commission.

By the end of the month, the crew plans to begin broadcasting Moorhead Human Rights Commission meetings, organizer Duke Schempp said.

PPP has been training people in podcasting, videocasting, social networking and community driven journalism.

To see PPP’s video coverage, visit its Fargo School Board Channel at


For Cass County Commission Meetings, visit http://vimeo.com/channels/148786.

To learn more, contact Schempp at ppp@hpr1.com or (218) 789-1487.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583