Category Archives: Education

Aldo Leopold Writing Contest

aldoleopoldfoundation

Here is a writing contest opportunity for high school students to showcase their writing talents, explore the land ethic, and compete for cash prizes!

Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Writing Contest

All students enrolled in grades 9 to 12 in public, private, and home schools in the state of Wisconsin are eligible.
Students must submit original work.
One entry per person.
The essay should be 500 words or less in length.
Submissions must be sent by 11:59 pm on March 17, 2017.
Entries submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Aldo Leopold is best known for writing A Sand County Almanac (1949), in which he articulates his vision of a “land ethic” – that people come to “see land as a community to which we belong” and learn to “live on a piece of land without spoiling it.”

As a work of great literature, A Sand County Almanac powerfully reshapes our understanding of the relationship between people and land. The Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Writing Contest uses Leopold’s ideas to inspire students to participate in the evolution of the land ethic through the written word.

2017 Writing Contest Topic

The topic for the 2017 Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Writing Contest is based upon Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic” essay from A Sand County Almanac:


Tell us the story of a local leader who exemplifies Leopold’s land ethic

You may interpret “local” as someone who lives as nearby as your own neighborhood, or who resides and works elsewhere in Midwest region of the United States.

To be successful, you will need to read and understand the “The Land Ethic” essay in A Sand County Almanac and convey that understanding in your writing.

Download “The Land Ethic” essay in PDF format:

DOWNLOAD “The Land Ethic” essay Reprinted from A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC by Aldo Leopold (1968): “The Land Ethic” (pp. 201-226).

Participants are also encouraged to explore other 
writings by Aldo Leopold as part of your preparation and become involved with a local Leopold Weekend celebration, happening throughout Wisconsin from March 3 to 5, 2017.

Eligibility

All students enrolled in grades 9 to 12 in public, private, and home schools in the state of Wisconsin are eligible. Students must submit original work. One entry per person.

Format

The essay should be 500 words or less in length.

All essays must be typed in 12 pt font, double spaced, and submitted electronically. If you run into trouble submitting your essay online, please contact .gro.dlopoelodla@tsetnocgnitirw

The writer’s name may not appear anywhere on the manuscript to allow for blind judging.

Deadline

Submissions must be sent by 11:59 pm on March 17, 2017. Entries submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Awards

Contest winners will be notified in May 2017, and will receive the following:

  • Three winners from 9th-10th grade: $300 each
  • Three winners from 11th-12th grade: $500 each

Writing contest winners will also receive copies of A Sand County Almanac, and memberships to the Aldo Leopold Nature CenterInternational Crane Foundation, and the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

An awards ceremony will take place at the Leopold Center in Baraboo, WI, on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

Winning essays will be featured on the Leopold Foundation website and may also be printed in The Leopold Outlook, the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s member magazine.

Student and Teacher Resources

Would you like to explore this year’s essay topic in depth with your students? We’ve compiled these resources and lessons for teachers as a guide.

Readings and lessons on the land ethic:

View the winning essays from the 2016 writing contest:

Download a flyer to print and share!

Contest Sponsors

The 2017 Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Writing Contest is presented by:

ENTER THE CONTEST

Aldo Leopold writing at the Shack. Photo: Aldo Leopold Foundation

 

 

 

Wisconsin Spring Primary 2017: DPI Superintendent Race

Wisconsin voters will go to the polls Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 to choose which two candidates will compete for the top post at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in the general election on April 4th.

Voter turnout is expected to be low, because it’s a “Primary” and this is the only race on the ballot in many townships – – so your vote has more weight.

Incumbent Tony Evers, seeking a third term, is being challenged by two longtime educators: Lowell Holtz, a former teacher, principal and superintendent; John Humphries, a former administrator turned consultant; and Rick Melcher, a Racine math teacher running as a write-in candidate.

The position of State Superintendent is a four-year term and will put one of them in charge of the all Wisconsin school districts including the potential to diminish local control of school boards in five of the largest school districts.

Here’s some information about the candidates for Wisconsin DPI State Superintendent and specifically regarding homeschooling…

From the Wisconsin Family Council: Race for Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction is Critical.

From the La Crosse Tribune: Public versus private: Evers faces Humphries, Holtz for state superintendent, Three challenge Tony Evers for the state’s top schools post.

From the Wisconsin State Journal: State superintendent candidates call each other liars,
State superintendent candidate: Challenger offered 6-figure job to drop out of race.


From Stop Common Core in Wisconsin: Recommendations for DPI Primary


In as much as every child learns differently, every child deserves an educational option that works best for them. Parents who wish to remain in control of their child’s education need a strong advocate for educational freedom. If you choose homeschooling as the best option, you should
look for the public instruction superintendent to be supportive of that choice.

Decisions made now effect everyone’s future.


More on the candidates:

 

Herb Kohl Excellence Scholarship Program

2017 Kohl Excellence Scholarship for graduating homeschoolers in Wisconsin 

herbkohl
The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation provides graduating high school seniors with scholarships each year through the Kohl Excellence Scholarship Program.

The Excellence Scholarship is a one time only $5,000 award that is paid directly to the recipient’s chosen college. One hundred scholarships are awarded annually. Since 1990, the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship Program has awarded $3,300,000 to 2,700 students.

In 2015, a homeschooled student from Hillsboro was a winner of the Kohl Excellence Scholarship.

pic2_homeThe program searches for students that excel in leadership, academics, and giving back to the community. The goal is to encourage Wisconsin youth to pursue post-secondary education in a public or non-public university, college or vocational/technical college.


The application process is divided between public school students, religious and independent school students, and homeschooled students.

 

This is a competitive scholarship. Students will be evaluated on their leadership, citizenship, school and community involvement, and academic achievement. In addition, students will be evaluated on their ability to clearly articulate goals in each of four areas: future educational goals, personal life goals, community/society service goals, and career goals. See How Your Application Will Be Scored for details.


Wisconsin Parents Association (
WPA) has been designated by the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation to coordinate and administer applications for homeschoolers. A WPA selection committee will review the applications and submit finalists to the Foundation.

The application form for homeschoolers is almost the same as that for other students with only minor changes because of the way homeschools are constituted. Neither Herb Kohl nor anyone in the Kohl Family plays any role in the evaluation and selection of the candidates or recipients. It requires several short essays, one 300-500 word essay, three letters of recommendation, and a high school transcript. Completed applications must be mailed by November 23, 2016.


Application forms for homeschoolers can be found on the WPA website here.


Please tell other homeschoolers about this opportunity.
Although we recommend that homeschool families become members of WPA, it is not necessary to be a WPA member to apply for the scholarships.

 

 

Every Kid in a Park

Hey fourth graders!
See America’s natural wonders
and historic sites for free. All year!

From the forests in Alaska to the marine sanctuaries in the Florida Keys. There is so much to see and do.

Every Kid in a Park is a nation-wide endeavor to provide free access to any fourth grader to more than 2000 federal land and water sites.

There are 7 federal agencies involved: Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, National Park Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Every Kid In A Park Logo

That means there are more than 2000 federal land and water sites to be visited!

Better still, your fourth grader can take his or her siblings and up to three adults when visiting these great places.

Some states, like Wyoming, New York and Indiana, also honor the pass. Check your state parks to see if they are participating.

In Wisconsin, 2 park trails and areas are accessible with a Every Kid in a Park pass. These trails are the North Country National Scenic Trail and the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

State Parks in Wisconsin

National Parks in Wisconsin

Go to www.everykidinapark.gov after Sept. 1st, 2016. There are instructions for the fourth grader (must be in in fourth grade or age equivalent during school year 2016-2017) to follow steps to download and print-out their own pass. Passes are good through August 31st, 2017.

There also is a link for educators — teachers and youth group leaders — to download for their group in preparation for a field trip.

Why fourth graders? Because research shows that kids ages nine to 11 are beginning to learn about the world around them. They’re open to new ideas, and they are likely to connect to nature and our history. The pass will be for fourth graders every year. Over time, every new fourth grader can get a free pass to explore our country.

Your child can take you amazing places! With the pass, fourth graders can bring family and friends on adventures free for a full year.

Let the year of fun and learning begin!

PARTICIPATING AGENCIES: These agencies support Every Kid in a Park. Learn more about their conservation work and find activities by visiting their websites.

The National Park Service turns 100 in 2016.

https://www.nps.gov/media/video/embed.htm?id=3E36122E-1DD8-B71B-0BCAC0FDEBD267CF
Happy Birthday, National Park Service!

As a proud partner of the National Park Service Centennial, Humana is encouraging Americans to get out and enjoy nature this summer. Take a 360° tour of Joshua Tree National Park as part of the “Bring the Parks to You” program.

Learn more at http://www.findyourpark.com.

Kohl Scholarship for Homeschooled High School Seniors

Kohl Scholarship – Wisconsin Homeschoolers

The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation provides graduating high school seniors with scholarships each year through the Kohl Excellence Scholarship Program. The Foundation awards $3,000 Excellence Scholarships to 100 Wisconsin high school graduates annually.
Since 1990, the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship Program has awarded $2,800,000 to 2,600 students.

The program searches for students that excel in leadership, academics, and giving back to the community. The goal is to encourage Wisconsin youth to pursue post-secondary education in a public or non-public university, college or vocational/technical college.

The application process is divided between public school students, religious and independent school students, and homeschooled students.

In 2015, one of the homeschooled student winners was from the Southwest Wisconsin area.

This is a competitive scholarship. Students will be evaluated on their leadership, citizenship, school and community involvement, and academic achievement. In addition, students will be evaluated on their ability to clearly articulate goals in each of four areas: future educational goals, personal life goals, community/society service goals, and career goals.

Homeschooled Wisconsin students receive a proportionate number of the total scholarships awarded each year. Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) has been designated by the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation to coordinate and administer applications for two Kohl Excellence Scholarships of $3,000 each for homeschoolers.

A WPA selection committee will review the applications and submit finalists to the Foundation, just as Wisconsin’s 12 CESAs will submit finalists from public schools and the Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools (WCRIS) will submit finalists from private schools that are not homeschools. Winners will be chosen by a state selection committee from CESAs, WCRIS, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, the Kohl Educational Foundation, and statewide education-related associations.

The application form for homeschoolers is almost the same as that for other students with only minor changes because of the way homeschools are constituted. It requires several short essays, one 300-500 word essay, three letters of recommendation, and a high school transcript. The application must be typed. Completed applications must be mailed by November 25, 2015.

Selection of homeschool finalists will be made by a committee named by the WPA Board of Directors. On or before December 21, 2015, WPA will advance the finalists to the state level. The state selection committee will convene on February 2-3, 2016 to score applications. Recipients will be notified of their selection in early March, 2016. The state selection committee will consist of representatives of the cooperative educational service agencies, Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools, Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, Herb Kohl Educational Foundation, education-related associations, and the community. Kohl Scholarship rules, application form, selection criteria, etc. are all determined by the Kohl Foundation.

Application forms for homeschoolers can be found on the WPA website here.

Please tell other homeschoolers about this opportunity. It is not necessary to be a WPA member to apply for the scholarships.

Back to School: 8 Things to Change the Way We Look at School

Good Morning Boys and Girls.

Did you bring your No. 2 pencil?

As we hstop stealing dreams what is school for  seth godinead back to school, here’s a little video to start the conversation and look at what school is for.

In less than 17 minutes, Seth Godin gives you a brief history of the institution of education in America, and then suggests 8 things that can change how we look at school.

This won’t be on the test.

It’s more important than that.

Because if we don’t get excited about what school is for, we could lose our future and our kids.

“Learning is not done to you, it is something you choose to do.”
Seth Godin, Stop Stealing Dreams

Since Seth Godin first published Stop Stealing Dreams to the web, it’s been shared millions of times.

If you are passionate about learning, forward the video and the manifesto (screen edition) to every parent and teacher you know. (Here’s a printable edition if you want to print it out and hand copies out).

“We need students who can learn how to learn, who can discover how to push themselves and are generous enough and honest enough to engage with the outside world to make those dreams happen.” ― Seth Godin, Stop Stealing Dreams

SWisC Not Back to SchoolAs an aside (this is a homeschool blog after all), home education is a rising trend: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the population grew by 61.8% from 2003 to 2012.

It doesn’t matter if you’re one of the 2.2. million kids homeschooled across the country, or however else you are learning, quit holding back and go build something interesting!