2021 marks the Missouri state bicentennial and to celebrate this special 200th anniversary, the Mid-Continent Public Library’s Winter Reading Challenge asks you to "Celebrate Missouri!"
The Winter Reading Challenge is an opportunity for adults 18 and older to embrace the enjoyment and gratification of leisure reading and earn incentives (like the limited-edition 2021 Winter Reading Challenge mug) by reading five books in two months.
Everyone who completes the challenge will be entered into a drawing for a special trip to Missouri’s Gateway City, St. Louis.
Registration begins January 15th at www.mymcpl.org/winterreading.
Wash off the stench of 2020 with a nature hike in one of Missouri’s state parks. This is a great way to spend the holiday weekend, start a new tradition, take advantage of physical exercise and enjoy the great outdoors.
Celebrate the beginning of 2021 by taking the First Day Hikes Challenge at a Missouri state park or historic site from Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020 to Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021.
Participants are challenged to embark on a self-guided hike at a nearby state park or historic site.
Hikers can participate in the challenge by capturing their adventures with a selfie or photo at the trailhead and posting their photos or videos on social media using #MOFirstDayHikes. Once the hike is complete, participants should visit mostateparks.com/FirstDayHikes and enter for a chance to win a $25 Missouri State Parks gift card.
For more information and to view self-guided hiking opportunities at a nearby park or historic site, visit mostateparks.com/FirstDayHikes.
The Grain Valley Education Foundation recently awarded three grants totaling $1905.26. The following projects received funding:
"'Seas' the Day: Splash into Oceans!", Wendy Davies, Gifted Education Teacher for grades 3-8, based at Prairie Branch Elementary. The $470.00 grant will purchase 10 Spheros robots (similar to BB-8 from Star Wars) that can be programmed using coding skills and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math).
"Slammo XL", Nick Leiker and Cris Byington, PE Teachers at South Middle School. The $749.85 grant will purchase equipment for Slammo, a 2-on-2 volleyball style game that combines athleticism and strategy while promoting hand/eye coordination and fitness.
"Designing the Future", Sarah Malott and Tiffany Lane, Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers at Grain Valley High School. The $685.41 grant will purchase the Silhouette White Cameo 4 equipment for use by the Apparel, Textile and Fashions classes to create, market and sell the products that they make to students, staff and the community.
These three grants will impact over 800 students in three buildings.
Since the beginning of the school year, over $9,650 in classroom grants have been awarded. A second round of grants will be considered after January 1st, depending on the availability of funds.
To make a contribution to the Education Foundation, visit https://grainvalleyschools.networkforgood.com/projects/97102-main-giving-page or contact Jerry Vaughan, Foundation Director at email@example.com.
Through December 6th, children may deliver their letters to Santa in the special mailbox located behind Santa’s sleigh in Armstrong Park. Letters will be delivered to the North Pole, and Santa will send a reply back to children who provide their mailing address.
Labels to record basic information about each child will be provided at the sleigh so parents can help ensure Santa will be able to write back. Letter writers may also provide the child’s name, mailing address, and gift wishes on the letter.
Grain Valley Police officer Shawnda Hayes-Dunnell received acknowledgement for her work with the youth of Grain Valley through her work as a School Resource Officer and mentor during the annual Eastern Jackson County Youth Court graduation on Thursday, November 19th in Blue Springs..
Youth Court is a youth diversion program operating under the jurisdiction of the Jackson County Family Court. In addition to her work with the Youth Court program, Hayes-Dunnell assisted in the development and implementation of the department’s Camp FOCUS, and recently developed a new Life Skills program for at-risk juveniles in collaboration with the Youth Court.
The City of Grain Valley will light up Armstrong Park and the Mayor’s Christmas Tree virtually via Facebook Live on Monday, November 23rd at 6:30pm. Mayor Johnston will flip the switch to illuminate the park.
With personal visits to Santa not possible this year, a special North Pole mailbox will open Tuesday, November 24th—Sunday, December 6th for children to send their messages and wish lists to Santa. The mailbox will be located just north of the Mayor’s Christmas tree in Armstrong Park.
With the holidays fast approaching, the magic of the season comes to life starting Wednesday, November 25th at Jackson County Parks + Rec’s 33rd Annual Christmas in the Park drive-thru holiday event.
This free, magical winter wonderland includes 175 lighted and animated displays illuminated by more than 500,000 lights.
“Every year we add something new to the Christmas in the Park experience,” Jackson County Parks + Rec Director Michele Newman said. “This year, we’ve added an additional two nights, a 25-foot Santa at the BBQ grill – fitting for the BBQ Capitol of the World – and an expanded entrance tunnel experience, programmed to a sequence of dazzling colors and effects, to a spectacular 100 feet!”
While there is no charge for this drive-thru event, voluntary exit donations are accepted with a portion of the proceeds divided among 39 local charities. Thanks to the generosity of Christmas in the Park patrons, Jackson County has been able to donate over $1.2 million to more than 1,000 local charities, including the FOX4 Love Fund, since the event’s inception.
The drive begins at the Frank White, Jr. Softball Complex, 3901 SW Longview Road (2 miles south of 1-470 off of View High Drive). The display is open Sunday – Thursday from 5:30pm – 10:00pm and Friday – Saturday from 5:30pm – 11:00pm.
Girl Scout Troop 4280 put the proceeds from their cookie sale to use in the community through several donations to support local causes. The girls donated $340 to Foster Adopt Connect, $300 to the Grain Valley Assistance Council, and $340 to Angela Pagel, a Prairie Branch Elementary teacher recovering from a stroke.
Pictured left to right: Chloe Fisher, Riley Stoffregen, Madison Massey, Amelia Ackerson, Camila Montejo, Avery Wolf. Not pictured: Jaylee Dieckhoff, Easton Covert, Josie Dierking and leaders Marty Hunt and Stacy Fisher.
Photo credit: C. Massey
In response to an emergency blood shortage, the Community Blood Center will hold a blood drive at the Grain Valley Community Center, 713 Main Street, from 1:00pm—7:00pm on Wednesday, October 28th.
Each presenting donor will receive a Royals t-shirt.
Appointments are preferred; walk in welcome if capacity permits. To sign up as a donor, visit savealifenow.org/group, enter Group Code: EH27.
For medical eligibility questions, call 800-688-0900.
For information regarding Community Blood Center’s response to COVID-19, visit safealifenow.org/coronavirus.
Jack Bailey and Abby Castle were named Homecoming King and Queen during a halftime ceremony on October 9th.
The Eagles would go on to defeat the William Chrisman Bears 53-22.
See page 9 of this week’s edition for a summary of the game.