I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.
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WILLMAR -- Annie Schaefbauer worked like crazy to win the top prize in the Willmar Middle School fundraiser this fall. She wanted that Apple iPad2 tablet computer badly -- not for herself but to donate it to her school's special education department. Annie, 12, who already knows she wants to be a special education teacher, said she knew the special education department needed another iPad.
WILLMAR -- First-graders work in small groups to match words with pictures and recognize similarities and differences between words. Fifth-graders in different groups read aloud or write about accomplishments. Even in places where three groups work in the same classroom, the noise level is tightly controlled, and students follow along intently. When it's RTI time in Willmar's elementary schools, everybody goes to work.
he new Smart Play Spot at the Willmar Public Library wasn't officially open, but it was already drawing little kids like a magnet this week. The Smart Play Spot will have a grand opening celebration beginning at 8 a.m. Monday at the library, 410 Fifth St. S.W. The Minnesota Children's Museum built the Play Spot, which reflects the local area. The Children's Museum used Legacy Grant funding for half the cost, and local funds were raised for the other half.
WILLMAR -- Fifty veterans and their families will pick up turkeys and all the trimmings for a Thanksgiving meal today from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Men's Auxiliary of Willmar. It's a way for the men's auxiliary at Post 1639 to show gratitude to veterans on the holiday. Auxiliary president Glen Lotthammer said the group first came up with the idea of giving away turkeys. "We felt we should do a little bit more directly for vets and for their families," he said. The idea "just kinda took off from there," he said.
WILLMAR -- It's OK for parents to set limits on how much their teenagers use technology. For instance, phones can be turned off at 10 p.m. or kept out of bedrooms.
WILLMAR -- Enrollment in Willmar Public Schools has continued to climb this fall, and that could bring more money to the school district. The district started the school year with 135 students more than it had in June. As of Nov. 2, the district had added another 49 students, for a total of 4,184 students.
WILLMAR -- Bremer Bank will host a chicken nugget-eating contest Wednesday in one of the more unusual United Way fundraisers in the area this fall. The United Way of West Central Minnesota will benefit from the competition at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the bank's lobby.
WILLMAR -- Community Christian School is a "treasure chest" to John Chapin. "Our parents send us their treasures," said Chapin, administrator of the 206-student private school in Willmar. Chapin retired last spring as president of Willmar Electric Service.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the board room on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth Street S.W. The board usually meets Mondays but moved this meeting to Tuesday because of the Veterans Day holiday. During the meeting, the board will canvass the vote from the Nov. 6 election, making the results official.