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Learning to Focus in the Digital Age




I think it’s fair of me to say the following:  With more access to affordable digital devices, many of us struggle to attend to the person who is speaking or the device that is beeping.

While catching up on my professional reading, I ran across this article called,  AGE OF DISTRACTION:  WHY IT’s CRITICAL FOR STUDENTS TO LEARN TO FOCUS

As a school, we talk daily about the importance of concentration and mindful focus toward a single activity or skill.   With this kind of intentional focus and practice over time, learners become more competent and demonstrate a higher achievement rate. We think it is important that all learners become aware of the need to practice this away from school where digital tools are more accessible.  If you find that your children (and you as parents) are distracted by your cell phone, e-reader or other type of screen, do a self-check and then step away to focus on the person who is might be trying to converse with you.

If you want to know more about mindful practices that strengthen attention and awareness, check out Why Teaching Mindfulness Benefits Student Learning.

Now…turn off that screen and find someone to talk with…face to face!

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First Grader’s Learn About the Solar Light

 Mrs. O’Rourke’s first graders used the solar lights to read and complete their writing work.  Because of the sunshine, the lights were charged so that they could provide light through the day.

To learn more about our Mindful Giving Projects visit this link.  We would like each child to bring two non-perishable foods and $2 to help care for others.

Mrs. O’Rourke’s first graders

Fourth Graders

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2 Acts of Mindful Giving: Local and Global


From November 5-16, we will be engaged in a school wide service project called TWO ACTS OF MINDFUL GIVING:  LOCAL AND GLOBAL.

We would like every child to donate 2 non-perishable food items and 2 dollars toward this service project.

The donation of non-perishable items go toward our LOCAL PE CARES:

  • The Food collected will be donated to Water of Life Church which serves our community.
  • The classroom that brings in the most items will be awarded a P.E. C.A.R.E.S. t-shirt and a trip to Hudsonville bowling lanes.  NOTE: TWO is the recommended donation for each child.  You can send in MUCH more to help your child’s class win the bowling trip.
  • Thank you for your help and support in this LOCAL service project.
  • If you have any questions please feel free to email Mrs. Nienhuis ( , or Mrs. VanKoevering (

The donation of $2.00 goes toward a GLOBAL project called, SPARK: Spread A Little Light.

  • The money earned will go toward purchasing solar lights for Nyaka School in Uganda.  The teachers of this school need the lights to walk to and from school in the darkness, light their books while they teach and to light their room as they complete lesson plans each night.
  • Every student will receive a SPREAD THE LIGHT wristband as a thank you for mindful giving to this SPARK SOLAR LIGHT Project.  Each class that earns a light ($30) will put a “light up” on the hallway display.
  • Thank you for your help and support in this GLOBAL service project.  If you have any questions please feel free to email Mrs. Reagan,

To find out more about both projects, watch this short presentation.