Courier Press

Tue
24
Sep

Studying Chinese in PdC Schools can open many doors for students

chinese teachers
Bing Wang, Adam Stout and Chunling Wang are this year’s Chinese teachers at PdC Schools. They participated in the recent Homecoming parade with a few enthusiastic youngsters: (front row, from left) Kevin, Nathan and Aaron Stout; back row, Jack and Katie Gallagher. Their parade sign said: "Mandarin [Chinese] Teachers: Shao WenYong (Adam Stout); Wang Bing; Wang ChunLing."
chinese teachers
Chunling Wang, Adam Stout and Bing Wang

Adam Stout

Chunling Wang

 By Correne Martin

The quickest growing foreign language in the United States is Mandarin Chinese, yet only a few hundred K-12 schools in the country offer Chinese programming. The Prairie du Chien School District is one of the leaders in the Midwest, now in its third year of giving students the opportunity to learn the language.

“We’ve always wanted a second foreign language (in addition to Spanish),” District Administrator Drew Johnson said. “Chinese was brought to our attention by the UW-Platteville Confucius Institute, and we brought our first guest teacher here three years ago.”

In 2011, two guest teachers came from China to educate students in the Prairie du Chien School District. Last year, three guest teachers spent an academic year here. Now for 2013-14, there are two guest teachers, Chunling Wang and Bing Wang, and one permanent Chinese-speaking American teacher, Adam Stout.

Tue
24
Sep

A delightfully muddy mess

Three youngsters smile as they crawl under wires through a watery and muddy pit near the finish of the children’s race at the third annual Mississippi Mud Run on St. Feriole Island on a cool Saturday morning. More Mud Run photos are in today’s Sports section. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

Thu
19
Sep

Teen gets out before train strikes car

 

A Bagley teen safely escaped a vehicle that was stuck on the railroad tracks just before it was hit by a train Sunday, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department

 

On Sept. 15, the sheriff’s department was notified of a train versus car crash located near Highway 35 and Lakeshore Drive in Prairie du Chien Township. Justin J. Mezera, 16, Bagley, was operating a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier and had turned into a private driveway located at 31558 Lakeshore Drive. 

Thu
19
Sep

Gays Mills man cited for marijuana possession

 

On Sept. 14, Crawford County deputies were conducting foot patrol in the village of Gays Mills. While on patrol, deputies made contact with Gary Wickham, 31, Soldiers Grove, in his vehicle. Wickham was observed smoking from a “bubbler” device believed to be used to ingest marijuana. In searching Wickham’s vehicle, deputies found a bag containing marijuana, a glass smoking device with burnt marijuana residue and other paraphernalia, along with an open beer bottle. 

 

Wickham was cited for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, and was warned for false display of license plates, no insurance and open intoxicants.

Thu
19
Sep

Cannons at the Fort exposes kids to history

Bill Hasting-Cannons
Clad in period dress, Bill Hastings keeps his “soldiers” in line as they prepare to “charge the opposition” in a mini-militia reenactment drill at Cannons at the Fort Sept. 13. About 900 students from all over Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota attended this year’s annual event at the Fort Crawford Museum in Prairie du Chien. Forty interpreters provided educational stations covering many aspects of 19th Century history, from cannon firing and flint knapping to soap making, candle making and more. (Photos by Correne Martin)
Clayton Ridge-Cannons
Students from Clayton Ridge Community Schools, of Guttenberg and Garnavillo, Iowa, put their wooden weapons to work charging the enemy “hay bales” during a mini-militia reenactment drill. This station was one of the most popular with the youth attending Cannons at the Fort, as it was the most interactive.
Chad Fradette-Cannons
Prairie du Chien native Chad Fradette, who now lives in the Green Bay area, marches his “militiamen” into battle.
Rick Morgan-Cannons
Rick Morgan, a UW-Platteville professor and Madison resident, played Civil War music on a concertina and explained some of the history behind the lyrics. His hymn selections included “John Brown’s Body,” “Battle Hymn of the Public” and “The Abolitionist Hymn.”
Richard Martin-Cannons
Interpreter Richard Martin, Prairie du Chien, displays a musket up close for the students visiting his station at the Cannons at the Fort on Sept. 13.
Dan Lybarger-Cannons
Native American storyteller Dan Lybarger, East Peoria, Ill., embarassed at least one of the two young ladies he involved in telling a historical narrative.

 

By Correne Martin

 

Nine hundred students in fourth through eighth grades came from all over the tri-states to the Fort Crawford Museum grounds in Prairie du Chien last Friday, Sept. 13, for the annual Cannons at the Fort. 

 

Thu
19
Sep

Sidewalks repaired, benches to be installed on courthouse grounds

Gary Mara
Gary Mara of the Crawford County Highway Department works one of the sections of sidewalk which is being replaced at the Crawford County Courthouse.

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

A small crew from the Crawford County Highway Department was working Tuesday to repair portions of the sidewalk on the grounds of the Crawford County Courthouse. The crew was also pouring concrete pads for the installation of four benches at different locations on the grounds. 

 

Thu
19
Sep

PdC Schools offering fresh fruits and veggies daily

Donna Heilman
Donna Heilmann, the food service director for Prairie du Chien High School, and her staff proudly work to provide a fresh salad bar daily in addition to the traditional school lunch offerings.
Saladbar
(Photos by Correne Martin)

 

By Correne Martin

 

School lunches and snacks have come a long way from the days of canned peaches and frozen peas. Today’s students are getting a tasty, nutritious and colorful selection of fresh and even locally grown fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. As the youth gain a greater knowledge about what foods like cucumbers, kale and dragonfruit are, it’s important for parents and community members to become educated as well.

 

The Prairie du Chien School District participates in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), which is an application-based program that distributes grant money to schools so that fresh produce can be served at lunch time five days per week as well as during morning and afternoon breaks three days per week for younger children. 

 

“The goal is that the sooner we get these kids introduced to these healthy foods, they’ll be more apt to choose them when they get to high school,” said Donna Heilmann, Prairie du Chien’s food service director. “We want parents to know that we are doing our very best to get as many fruits and vegetables as we can in their kids’ bellies.”

 

In addition to introducing school children to a variety of produce they might not otherwise have the chance to sample, the FFVP’s greater goal is to combat childhood obesity by helping children learn more healthful eating habits. 

 

Through the FFVP, the PdC School District received $24,000 last year to cover the cost of providing the fruits and vegetables to students at the high school, Bluff View and B.A. Kennedy. The district applies for the grant yearly and funds are distributed on a per-child basis. The monies help cover food costs as well as supplies, such as napkins, cups, etc. Prairie du Chien has been participating in the program for about five years now, since the pilot year. 

 

“The rules are very strict. We cannot use canned or frozen and it can’t be in cups or otherwise manufactured,” Heilmann explained. “We open no cans at all during summer school; I go to farmers markets for the produce. During the year, we do our best to get a fresh variety for our menu through our distributor. Last year, Sharing Spaces Kitchen processed a potato blend for us that included potatoes and squash. I’d much rather serve that than a tater tot or a potato wedge.

 

“B.A. Kennedy students are served whatever is menued, but the salad bar the kids at Bluff View and the high school have is really awesome. ”

 

On that salad bar, or veggie bar as it’s called at Bluff View, the food service staff chops up crisp lettuce salad daily, which includes a mix of romaine, spinach and kale as well as red cabbage for brightness and shredded carrots for crunch. In addition, the students are offered vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, kohlrabies, peppers, sweet peas and any others in season. Fruits might include apples, oranges, peaches, pears, strawberries, pineapple, and hopefully soon, dragonfruit and other types of exotic fruit. At the high school, items like tuna salad, cottage cheese and yogurt are added regularly, while they are given more sparingly at the other grade levels.

 

“I know parents don’t usually know what’s offered, so they might send a bagged lunch to school with their child,” Heilmann said, “but what they need to know is that we’re serving their kids really good food that isn’t processed.”

 

In addition to the daily salad bar offering, lunch takers can also eat the traditional buffet-style meal. Fruits and vegetables are an option on the buffet and students are expected to take a half-cup of one or the other at each meal.

 

“That does mean there is some waste, but not a lot,” Heilmann said of the requirement. “If I do see waste, it’s usually a vegetable, and every year, what the kids like and what they don’t like is different.”

 

Carrots and “Packer beans” (green and yellow wax beans) are among the kids’ favorite vegetables, according to Heilmann, who said, this school year, the district went through 150 pounds of carrots in the first week. As for the produce that is unpopular, cafeteria staff and teachers always encourage the students to take a “polite bite,” or at least try it.

 

“It takes someone at least six to 12 times of trying something in order for them to know if they really like it,” she noted. “The teachers are always encouraged to eat along with their kids, so if the students see them eating their veggies, that helps too. The teachers and administration have been very supportive of the program.”

 

Furthermore, the AmeriCorps Farm to School Program has contributed to the FFVP’s success as well by sponsoring local farmers who visit the schools to present their products and talk about them. 

 

“Just like us, Farm to School is trying to make people more aware of the benefits of fresh, local food,” Heilmann added. “It gives our students a chance to see what vegetables look like right out of the garden and experience going to a farm. Whatever we can do to bring kids closer to their food is important.”

 

Sharing your bounty

 

Did you have a bountiful garden this summer? Would you like to share some of your produce with the local school district? If so, call Donna Heilmann at 326-3760, ext. 3210, or email her at heido@pdc.k12.wi.us, tell her what you want to give and she can let you know if it’s something the district can use. 

 

According to Heilmann, the Prairie du Chien School District welcomes donations of fresh, locally-produced fruits and vegetables to be used for school lunch and snacks. They must be in their original state from the garden and not processed in any way.

 

Heilmann said she knows there are community members and farmers marketers who have an overabundance of produce from their gardens. Rather than throw the excess away when it spoils, citizens are encouraged to contact her and consider donating it to the school.

 

“I know the growing season is about over, but I announced on Facebook recently that I would take people’s extra produce, and I had quite a few people interested, so I thought I’d let the community know,” she said. “I had one person already give me a flat of cucumbers. Whatever people have, they can call me and I’ll be honest with them about whether we can use it or not.”

 

Heilmann said she’d rather see the produce put to good use rather than be thrown away. She also noted that other school districts might accept donations if PdC isn’t able to use certain foods.

 

 

Thu
19
Sep

CASA connects people with pets

CASA-Dawson
Toby, Dawson and Jess are just three of the lovable dogs who will be available for adoption on Sept. 21, at Sugar Creek Park outside of Ferryville. To see more of the dogs and cats looking for good foster or forever homes, please visit www.casa-rescue.com.
CASA-Jess
CASA-Toby

 

By Caitlin Bittner

 

While getting a puppy or kitten is always exciting, new best friends come in all shapes and sizes. If adding a dog or cat to your home is something you want to do, Crawford Area Shelter for Animals, Inc. (CASA) could be just the place to look.

 

Thu
19
Sep

‘Best friends’ escape Marquette Road rollover

Best friends escape rollover
Prairie du Chien resident Michael Duve comforts his injured dog Monday morning after his Ford Explorer rolled over in a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of South Marquette Road and East La Pointe Street. Duve, Janice Stuckey and Harlen Stuckey were all injured in the crash, but refused medical treatment. The extent of their injuries was not reported by local authorities.
SUV rollover
(Photos by Correne Martin)

 

Three local residents were injured in a two-vehicle collision that rolled an SUV onto its side on South Marquette Road, Monday morning, Sept. 16, according to the Prairie du Chien Police Department.

 

At about 10:30 a.m., the police department was notified of a rollover crash at the intersection of South Marquette (Hwys. 18/35) and East La Pointe Street, in front of the Super 8 Hotel.

 

Thu
19
Sep

Park project moving right along

Park
Photo by Ted Pennekamp

 

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