Leopards’ Engage in Sensational Science
During the first semester, all of our Lowry Leopards put on their lab coats and tested out their hypotheses.
Lowry Elementary was abuzz with all the different theories that were being investigated. Whether it was what material makes the strongest bridge, how quickly sugar crystals form, or which kind of cup will keep your hot chocolate warm, the students were working together to document their methods and report their findings.
Kindergarten through second grade students completed projects as a class while third through fifth grade students completed group or individual projects. Classrooms submitted their top projects to compete at the school level, with the winners moving on to represent Lowry at the Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair.
The students were required to follow detailed guidelines set by the county. The ten steps included things like maintaining a scientific log and developing a question that could be measured. Then the research began! The children looked online, in magazines or books to start learning about their topics. Once they had some background knowledge, they developed a purpose and hypothesis prior to starting their experiments. The procedures then began with the appropriate materials, variables and directions. During this process the students collected the data and reported it on various tables, charts and graphs. In the end, they arrived at a conclusion and displayed all of the information collected on a science board.
The whole school took the challenge of in-depth and hands-on exploration using the scientific method. A select few were chosen to go onto the finals at the Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair. Third graders Maureen McGregor, Javon Gonzales, Mia Arterburn, and Nolan Potts determined which kind of cup insulated hot chocolate better. They earned the “Bronze Outstanding” medal at the fair. Third graders, Elle Toscani, Peyton Kassay, Bryson Delozier, and Kaitlyn Cofone watered plants with water, milk, cola, and orange juice to determine which made the plant grow better. This experiment earned them the “Silver Excellent” medal. Fourth grader, Anish Amin, studied whether adding scent to candles affected how long they burn, and for this won top honors with a “Gold Superior” medal. Fifth graders Jordan Dixon and Elizabeth Dhanaraj, as well as fourth grader Noah Berg, also presented at the STEM Fair and did an outstanding job! We are so proud of all our Leopards, who proved that hard work, focus and dedication can lead them to success.
By Angela Getty
The Leopards Exercise Their Bodies and Their Brains
Lowry Leopards are working hard preparing for the upcoming SAT testing this month, as well as the FCAT that begins in April.
They realize that it is also important to keep their bodies moving in order to help stay focused on academics. Last month, the Leopards participated in Jump Rope for Heart and learned about the many activities they could do at school and at home to keep their hearts and bodies healthy. They not only jumped rope, but also walked laps in between to demonstrate their eagerness to stay in shape.
The Leopards will also participate in Field Day to practice the physical education skills they have learned so far this school year. Each class will get the opportunity to show off their knowledge and understanding of several P.E. state standards. Lowry’s two coaches have been working hard to explain the importance of goal setting, teamwork and communication. The Leopards will surely put these skills to use when displaying their knowledge to their teachers during this Field Day event.
On March 20 Publix, located on Race Track Road, will open its doors to host Lowry’s annual Math Night. This is a fun night that allows Lowry families to work together at solving grade level appropriate math problems. The students and their families work their way through the grocery store in order to solve a variety of multi-level math problems given on a scavenger hunt list. This is a wonderful way for the students to see how they can apply what they have learned in class to the outside world. Once they have solved all the problems from the list, the children will receive a special Math Night spirit stick. The Leopards are so lucky to have the support of their local community in order to provide these hands-on learning experiences.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for spring break, which will be March 10-14. During this week, your child can keep you active with all the exercises they have learned!
By Angela Getty
Aluminum Can Tabs to Make a Difference
Lowry Leopards are in their second year of collecting aluminum can tabs to donate to Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Shriners is a health-care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to providing care, research and programs to children up to the age of 18. Children are eligible for care at Shriners Hospitals for Children if, in the opinion of their physician, there is a reasonable possibility they can benefit from the specialized services available. Acceptance is based solely on a child’s medical need. A family’s income and insurance data are not factors for a child’s acceptance as a patient. Shriners Hospitals rely on the generosity of donors to provide these services every day.
The students at Lowry have become accustomed to seeing plastic milk jug bottles in their classrooms. They use these jugs to collect the aluminum can tabs. There is also some friendly competition between classes to see who can fill the jug the fastest. This year the top ten classes received an “I Make a Difference” spirit stick to celebrate their hard work and dedication to helping others. So far the Leopards have collected over 77 pounds of can tabs, which equals over 108,360 individual aluminum tabs donated since the beginning of this school year!
Shriners Hospital in Tampa collects the aluminum can tabs and turns them in at a local recycling plant for money. They receive $0.55 a pound. Over the course of the 2012-2013 school year Lowry donated over 170 pounds of tabs to Shriners. The Lowry Leopards are already on track to meet, or beat, their previous year’s donation!
This program also hits close to home with a very special Lowry Leopard, Jessica Hendricks. Jessica is a second grader at Lowry who was born with Spina Bifida, as well as Shunted Hydrocephalus. Shriners provides clinics for the family, orthotics for bracing, lifts for her shoes and wheelchair acquisition assistance and adjustments. Jessica’s mother, Eileen Hendricks, stated, “Jessie positively despises leaving Shriners! She loves that place. They treat us like family and Jessie feels like a princess whenever she goes.”
Everyone at Lowry is so excited that this simple fundraising program benefits one of their own.
By Angela Getty
Leopards Helping Others
During the holiday season our Lowry Leopards took some time out to think of others.
They first started by donating at least ten non-perishable items to our food drive. The students carried in their goods over the course of the week. Even the little Kindergarten students hauled in up to ten cans each! Many of them resembled Santa carrying his large sack on Christmas Eve.
Within two days the makeshift food pantry was overflowing with food and the Leopards had surpassed their goal! The faculty and staff joined in to help fill the pantry as well. Many of them walked past the collection room and were shocked to see the abundance there. The students encouraged each other every day as they walked past the food collection spot in the courtyard, and were determined to make the pile bigger. By the end of the week the Leopards had a generous donation to make to local families and a nearby food bank. This food will provide many families multiple meals, even after the holiday season has come to an end. As a reward, for every ten items each child donated, they received a Food Drive spirit stick.
The students and their families also participated in the school’s annual Helping Hands program, which provides gifts and food for families in need. This year the Leopards helped 27 families, which included 61 children from within the community. All of the toys, clothes, food and gift cards were donated by Lowry families. Participating in Helping Hands was a great way to teach our students how to support their neighbors and how rewarding it can be to give!
As the Leopards went into their winter break, they were reminded about the importance giving and supporting those in their community most in need. These are lessons that will stay with them for a lifetime.
By Angela Getty
Leopards Enjoyed November’s Teach In
Lowry Elementary Leopards enjoyed the The Great American Teach-in on Nov. 21.
The school was so fortunate to have parents, grandparents and other community members participate in this day of learning. Lowry students were able to learn about firefighting, coaching, building and other interesting jobs that they will be able to undertake themselves someday if they stay in school. The volunteers were also able to see what the teachers go through and had a fun experience fielding questions and keeping the students engaged. The message of the day was to show the children how an education can open many different doors to their future.
On Nov. 22 Principal Michelle Spagnuolo and Vice Principal Jessica Kepa honored the children who were nominated for Citizen of the Month. Cody’s Roadhouse sponsored the event and provided pastries for all the children and family members that attended. It would be difficult to make these events memorable and special without the support of all our business partners. We would like to thank them for their continued support.
We also offer a big thank you to all the Lowry students who participated in the Cookie Dough and Yankee Candle fundraisers for the school. We were able to reach our goal and now will put that money back into Lowry programs and school improvement projects. Our top fundraisers enjoyed a limousine ride to McDonald’s, where they were treated to lunch. All of the children were grinning from ear to ear during the whole reward.
Many ways exist to support Lowry Elementary. Many families are doing a lot of these activities already. Fundraisers, food nights, spirit sticks and the upcoming holiday shop are opportunities for you to give back to your school. Without this support our children would be missing out on materials and programs that add to their school experience.
By Angela Getty
A Fall Full of Fun at Lowry
On Saturday, Oct. 12, some of Lowry Elementary’s fifth grade students started earning their way to Busch Gardens!
The fifth graders work on fundraisers throughout the year to save for their end-of-the-year banquet, Busch Gardens field trip and any other fifth grade activities that may occur during the school year. This was their first effort at putting money in the bank. The kids scrubbed, rinsing and washed all of the cars that came through the Planet Smoothie parking lot. “It’s fun!” Katelyn Emmermann said, “We raise money for the fifth grade banquet and get to squirt people with water.”
The children work for donations only but know, with the generous support of all the drivers who came through, that they are well on their way to enjoying their fifth grade activities. Aaron Williams thought that persuading the cars to come in to get washed was the best part, and his brother, Allen, who is not quite a fifth grader yet, was there helping beside him. Mr. Dittmar, a fifth grade teacher at Lowry, also showed up to support the class. He even pitched in to get the suds off the top of his car! The next car wash will be Nov. 9 from 9 a.m.-noon in the Planet Smoothie parking lot. The fifth graders will also be selling candy grams and spirit sticks during the winter holidays and on Valentine’s Day to raise additional funds. Let’s help these fifth graders have a fantastic last year at Lowry Elementary!
The fall carnival was also a huge success! The game booths, hair spray station, face painting and tattoos were a big hit. No one left hungry due to the wonderful food provided by Jersey Mike’s Subs, Impala Food Truck and Westchase Pizza and Pasta Co. The carnival would not have been such a success without the wonderful volunteers from Alonso High School. All of the students showed up ready to work the whole night and did so with smiles on their faces. If you didn’t get a “Boo” spirit stick, keep your eyes open for more holiday sticks going on sale on select Fridays before school.
Upcoming events include The Great American Teach In on Nov. 21 and our fall break from Nov. 25-29. Time is just flying by and it’s already been such an enjoyable school year. Let’s keep our “Paws on the Path to Learning” and continue to support Lowry by staying informed and engaged.
By Angela Getty
Who’s Got Spirit?
The Lowry Leopards have been hit by the spirit stick craze!
All the Leopards are excited about a new PTA-sponsored, school-wide incentive program. During the first week of school, each student received a Lowry Rocks spirit stick on his or her backpack. Many others earned a Meet the Teacher spirit stick for coming in before school started to meet their new teacher. The excitement continued when students were able to purchase various spirit sticks for $1; others that glow in the dark and have rhinestones cost $2.
Students will be able to earn spirit sticks by achieving specific goals in their classrooms, attending school-sponsored food nights and participating in school-wide events. This incentive program will encourage the children to get excited about what is happening at their school while helping to fund Lowry programs. Keep an eye out for many more chances to expand your spirit stick collection!
The Lowry Fall Carnival is right around the corner. On Friday, Oct. 11, the booths will be set up, the food vendors will be out and games will be ready for playing. Come join the fun from 5-7:30 p.m. Jersey Mike’s, Impala Roadside Diner and Westchase Pizza and Pasta Company will provide the carnival’s tasty food. Volunteers from the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts will help ensure this fun event’s success. Attending the carnival is another great way to support Lowry.
We continue to thank our many business partners, who take the time to support Lowry in so many ways. Our heartfelt thanks go to Bayside Family Eye Care, Bivens Orthodontics, Bode Chiropractic, Cody’s Original Roadhouse, Cris Mari Dominican Hair Salon, Fresh Bites, Hodges Marine, LaFleur’s Gymnastics, Larsen’s Pool and Spa, Mangrove Bay Dentistry, Planet Smoothie, Robert Mimm Piano and Keyboard, Simply Elegant, Tan Utopia Spa, The Northwest YMCA, Vinh’s Tae Kwon Do, Westchase Chiropractic, and Westchase Music School.
By Angela Getty
Lowry’s Paws on Path to Learning
Lowry’s teachers, students and staff were off to a roaring start on the first day of school, Aug. 20!
The whole school is committed to have their “Paws on the Path to Learning” and is looking forward to a successful school year. Even the new kindergarteners were enthusiastic about their first day. The PTA made sure the parents were comforted at the Boo-Hoo Breakfast, served after the kids were dropped off. The whole school continued to provide a great start for the kindergarteners at the school wide clap-in. Lowry is a place where all students are supported from the first day of kindergarten to the last day of fifth grade.
Lowry is also working this year on several new ways to keep in touch with all families. You can now check us out on Facebook by liking the “Lowry Elementary PTA” page. You can also sign up for free text messages from the PTA. The system gives you updates on what is happening at Lowry and is a completely secure. Simply text “@lowrypaw” to (813) 774-4629. The Lowry school Web site is also always available to check on upcoming events, to order uniforms or spirit shirts or simply to see what’s been happening at Lowry. If you visit the PTA page on the site, then you can view a full calendar for the year and read the school’s newsletter. There are so many good things happening at Lowry, so don’t miss out!
Speaking of events, this September we have a couple of great food nights planned at Jersey Mike’s, T.G.I. Friday’s, Chick-fil-A and Carvel. Ask your children if their teachers will be scooping ice cream at Carvel because you will see each grade level working the ice cream bar all year long.
The Grandparent’s Breakfast will be Sept. 6. Lowry loves to involve all members of our student’s families. Curriculum Night will be on Sept. 19. This is a wonderful opportunity to listen to what your child’s teacher has in store for the school year. It is also a great opportunity to ask any questions you may already have. The PTA will also be sharing some valuable information on this night. Lowry is also bringing the IMOM program to the school this year. Our first meeting will be Sept. 25. This program supports not only mothers but entire families. It gives great ideas and strategies to use with students of all ages.
We would also like to thank our amazing business partners. Each year their support is important and provides the students with educational and fun events throughout the school year. We thank Carvel, T.G. I. Friday’s, Jersey Mike’s, Accurate Installations on Tampa, Black Bear Sporting Goods, Schmalz Insurance Agency, Group Fitness for Women, D-K Planners, Keller Williams Realty, Pediatric Dentistry of Westchase, Winn Dixie, Cofone Adjusting, Rhema Communications, Tampa Kungfu, Sweet Tomatoes, All Ages Dental Spa, Channel A Remodeling and Construction, The Original Westchase San’s Pizzeria, Gondolier, Hope U Dance, Domino’s Pizza, and Westchase Boat and RV Storage.
By Angela Getty
Lowry Movers and Shakers
With the last weeks of school approaching, Lowry students are using every minute to reach their goals.
In April the students raised over $3,000 through the Pennies for Pasta program, which ran for two weeks. All of the proceeds went to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Third grader Aanya Bastain personally donated $100 of her birthday money to the fundraiser. The top class received a pasta lunch donated by Olive Garden. Other top classes received a popcorn party provided by the PTA. The students learned that a little pocket change could help change a person’s life.
The month of May doesn’t slow down for the Leopards. There are many fun activities and celebrations planned to help close out the school year.
Lowry’s Fourth Grade Battle of the Books is on May 1 while the Art and History Fair is on May 9. Come and see the amazing art pieces the children have been working on throughout the school year.
If you’re looking for a great opportunity to show your gratitude to your child’s teacher, Teacher Appreciation Week begins on May 6.
Bring your appetite to Pancakes for Parents on May 16 at 7:15 a.m. Your child will love to share breakfast with you before they start the day!
To extend our appreciation to the volunteers of the school, PTA will be hosting a Volunteer Breakfast on May 17 at 8:15 a.m.
The month keeps cruising along with the Lowry Musical Concert on May 22 at 7 p.m. at Sickles High School. Come out and watch our music ensembles in action.
We will close out this active month with the Lowry Talent Show on May 31 at 6 p.m. Plan on attending to support the very talented children of Lowry!
The students, teachers and staff at Lowry Elementary have had such an enjoyable school year. Each day they’ve supported and celebrated each other’s success. The Lowry community will be busy continuing to learn and grow in the remainder of the school days. Come join us and end the year on a high note!
By Angela Getty
Lowry Leopards Celebrate Two Decades of Smarts
Happy 20th anniversary, Lowry! This year we are celebrating 20 years of excellence!
Exciting things are happening for Lowry Elementary’s 2012-2013 school year as we start the school’s 20th year.
The Lowry PTA strives to work with the school to create a safe and effective learning environment to benefit our students, teachers and staff. It takes teamwork and parent involvement to provide the best for Lowry. Your PTA membership, ideas and participation are critical in making this happen. Be a part of this great organizational team that benefits all of those who are a part of Lowry. Know what is happening in your child’s school by becoming involved in your PTA.
We have lots of great events planned this year! So you are not left out, please visit the calendar of events on our new PTA Web site, http://www.lowrypta.org (The .Web site was by a middle school student who is a Westchase resident!) Coming up we have great events like the Grandparent’s Breakfast, Spaghetti/Curriculum Night, the Lowry’s Fall Carnival, the Gingerbread Shop, the Used Book Fair, our first Fall Market Day and more.
Lowry collects Box Tops. Please send your Box Tops to school with your child on Friday mornings and have them take them to the Lowry Reward Cart, located in the Multipurpose Room. Every 25 Box Tops (please place them in a baggie in multiples of 25) will earn your child one certificate to choose a “prize” from the cart. One certificate earns a chance for the top shelf, two certificates earn a trip to the middle shelf and three or more certificates will earn a trip to the bottom shelf with specially marked items. We thank you for your support!
Mark your calendars for these special, upcoming events. Grandparents Day is Friday, Sept. 7. On Thursday, Sept. 20, we will hold Lowry’s Spaghetti Dinner, combined with a General PTA Meeting and Curriculum Night. It will be a fun evening with entertainment for the kids. Lowry’s Fall Carnival will be held Thursday, Oct. 18.
Watch for more details about these events; more information will come home on Tuesdays in the Take Home Tuesday Green Folder.
If you have any questions, if you’d like more information or if you’d like to contact a Lowry PTA Board Member, please visit http://www.lowrypta.org.
By Dianna Hatch
Lowry Spotlight Singers Celebrate Westchase Anniversary
What an honor it was for our Leopard Spotlight Singers to participate in Westchase’s 20th Anniversary Party. Under the direction of Mrs. Leikensohn and Mrs. Naylor, the fourth and fifth graders performed several amazing songs in front of a fantastic crowd on stage in West Park Village.
This show was great practice for our Winter Concert, Surfin’ Santa, at Sickles High School on Dec. 7. All are invited to attend to enjoy great music and support your fellow Leopards!
The Fifth Grade Committee is making great progress planning its field trip and the end-of- year banquet. They’ve held carwashes to raise funds and the Spirit Cup fundraiser is now under way. All fifth grade parents are encouraged to attend these meetings. Please check your child’s planner for the next date.
We held our first Ice Cream Scoop Night in September. Congratulations to Mrs. McGovern’s fourth grade class for the having the most participation. We thank Carvel Ice Cream on Sheldon Road for donating over $120 to Lowry, and our principal, Mrs. Spagnoulo, assistant principal, Mrs. Kepa, and teachers for participating!
Please remember the next Spirit Night at Chick-fil-A on Waters Avenue is Dec. 8.
Lowry’s recycling program is in full swing. Kudos to the students for participating! One student takes a wagon around her neighborhood with her mom to pick up additional aluminum cans and another student took 15 bags of cans to recycle with her dad on their first load. Please keep sending in aluminum only. Cans may be brought into the office or car line.
On Veterans Day, Lowry proudly dedicated a U.S. flag honoring the parents of one of our little Leopards. Both are serving overseas.
Our “Give Thanks for Reading” night was a huge hit with the students. Around 350 students and parents attended, including some of our fifth grade Pilgrims. It was fun to hear what the students had learned about their Pilgrim and why others were thankful for reading.
Ever wonder which popcorn pops fastest or which bubble gum flavor lasts the longest? Just ask some of our students working on their science fair projects!
We especially thank all who came out for the Great American Teach In. We had over 100 participants sharing their hobbies and careers and having a great impact on our students.
We wish all of our families, teachers, faculty and staff a peaceful holiday season!
By Elaine Ragan PTA Corresponding Secretary
Lowry Conference Night is Oct. 6
Lowry’s theme this year is “Ride the Wave to Success!”
The Lowry Leopards are already working hard and have shown great spirit during the first events of the year. The Back to School Teacher Luncheon was a huge success thanks to Lynn Simmons. Parents are also looking forward to seeing their child’s first school pictures of the year.
We would like to thank all the Lowry grandparents for coming and reading to their grandchildren’s classes.
Lowry showed that we will never forget what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, by all wearing yellow and tying yellow ribbons throughout the school. We also posted a large American flag with the names of the victims in our front office.
Lowry has just ended its first fundraiser of the year. We had an amazing turnout for our Spaghetti Dinner/General PTA meeting.
Mark your calendars for Lowry’s upcoming events. We will have two used uniform sales on Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. in the multi-purpose room. Also remember our Oct. 6 Conference Night, which is a great way to find out how your child is progressing.
By Pandora Ray, PTA Corresponding Secretary