Crayola Invites Proposals from Elementary Schools for 2015 Creative Leadership Grants


 Crayola Invites Proposals from Elementary Schools for 2015 Creative Leadership Grants

DECEMBER 30, 2014

Crayola, in collaboration with the National Association of Elementary School Principals, is accepting applications for the 2015 Creative Leadership Grant program.

The program will award up to twenty grants of $2,500 each for creative leadership team-building programs within elementary schools. In addition, each program will receive an in-kind grant of Crayola products valued at $1,000.

Applications will only be accepted from principals who are members of NAESP. Principals whose schools received a Creative Leadership grant in 2014 are not eligible to apply for a 2015-16 grant.

For complete program guidelines and application instructions, see the Crayola website.


2015-16 FAFSA Reminders



Listed below are some FAFSA reminders as you prepare your forms:

  • The 2015-16 FAFSA will be available on January 1, 2015!
  • It’s free to complete the FAFSA at If you are asked to pay, you are not on the official site.
  • If asked to provide credit card information while filling out the FAFSA, you are not at the official “gov” site. The official FAFSA site address has .gov in it.
  • In order to receive your SAR (Student Aid Report) electronically, you must provide an email address on the @FAFSA.

GOODE Questions to Ask College Admissions Counselors



These are questions I give students adapted from a College Board handbook and similar resources, along with my own personal additions, that can be posed to college representatives. Feel free to tweak them to your needs/concerns.

How would you characterize the majority of students?
From what economic background/location/type of HS are the majority of students?
What do students like most about the college? Like least?
What political, social, or academic issues concerned students last year? How did the administration react? What was the resolution?
How is the racial/minority climate on campus?
Are the students sensitive to and respectful of individual differences?

Social life and campus activities:
What do students do for fun?
What is the role of fraternities and sororities on campus? Are there any that are non-Greek? If I didn’t want to join, would that be respected by the other collegians?
What are the dominant social groups on campus? Do the groups get along and have there been any problems?
How inclusive is team sports in the social life of the campus? What happens on football or basketball weekends?
Is there a good balance of academics, social life, and extracurricular activities?
Is there an alcohol problem and, if so, how is the college handling it? What is the incidence of binge drinking?
Do students feel safe on campus? What security measures are used (blue lights, escort service, call boxes)?

Campus facilities:
How secure are the dorms? What identification is required to enter?
What types of dorms (single sex, coed, suites, apartments) are available for freshmen?
Is housing guaranteed all four years? Are freshmen required to live in the dorm?
What mediation is available if I don’t get along with my roommate? How are roommates selected?
Is there something I should know about housing that would help me in my choice?
What are the types of food plans? (All you can eat, vegetarian, kosher, buffet)
What services and facilities are available in the fitness center? What other places do students “hang out?”
How would you rate the fitness center?
Is there a multicultural center on campus?
Do you have a career advising center on campus? Do they help students get internships?
Is there an academic support service (tutoring) on campus for students who do not have an IEP or 504-plan?
Is there a professional I can talk to, when necessary, regarding stress; eg., psychologist or mental health specialist?
Is there a health care specialist (physician, nurse) available on campus? How are emergencies handled? Where’s the nearest hospital?
Is your campus wireless? If not 100%, how much is wireless?
How many libraries are on campus? Is it wireless and what are the hours of operation?
Do you have a book loan system with another college if I cannot get the book here?
Are there private study rooms in the library? Are computers and copy machines available? What is the charge for printing?
Is there a campus radio and/or TV station?
How recent has there been new construction? Are there future plans?
What services/supports are available to students with an IEP or 504-plan?

Community off campus:
What is there to do in town and how accessible is it? Is the town/city supportive of the college?
How close is the nearest airport, train station, bus station?

Academics and faculty:
What’s the student-professor ratio? What’s the relationship? Do the professors teach the undergraduate classes? Do they encourage research with the undergrads?
Do the professors take attendance?
What is the most popular major on campus?
Is your college regionally accredited? Are the departments accredited?
What percent of freshmen return for their sophomore year?
What is your admit rate?
What percent of students graduate in four years? Five years? Six plus years?
What percent are employed after graduation? How many pursue graduate or professional school after graduation?
Do you have Study Abroad, and where? Do you have domestic exchanges, and where?
How would you describe the academic pressure and workload?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of your academic program?
Are professors accessible to students for help?
Are any programs/majors threatened to be cut/discontinued?
Are any new programs scheduled for the next four years?

2015 Summer Programs for High School Students at Susquehanna University


Yes, I know it’s December; however, 2015 summer opportunities are heavily marketed now. Susquehanna University (PA) is advertising four programs for high school students with interest in business, creative writing, instrumental music, and chorus. Scroll down for information.


Susquehanna University

Invite your high-achieving students to spend a week of their summer at Susquehanna University, a selective, residential liberal arts and science college in central Pennsylvania. They’ll live on our beautiful campus while developing their skills in college-level workshops.

Leadership Institute
Students live the life of an entrepreneur while attending the Leadership Institute for Entrepreneurship (LIFE) July 5-11. They work in teams with peers from around the region as they run a virtual business, come up with a new product or service, and produce an infomercial. The week includes guest speakers and study trips to Knoebel’s Amusement Resort and other businesses.

Writers Workshop
Students join our creative writing faculty for the Advanced Writers Workshop July 5-11. They immerse themselves in one-on-one conferences and intensive writing workshops, and learn how to find a college writing program and work in the publishing industry. A nightly series of readings from faculty and visiting writers prepares students for their own public reading at the week’s end.

Wind Ensemble
Band students can participate in a unique High School Wind Ensemble Institute June 21-27. They’ll develop their performance skills through this weeklong program for 54 gifted woodwind, brass and percussion players selected through an application and audition process.

Choral Institute
Singers can participate in an exciting summer Choral Institute July 5-11. They will focus on improving musicianship, vocal technique and choral performance skills under the direction of talented Susquehanna University conductors and voice faculty.

We hope to see some of your students on campus this summer!  Space is limited, so please encourage them to apply now!

J. Scott Myers
Director of Admissions

1-800-326-9672 •

Susquehanna University, 514 University Ave., Selinsgrove, PA 17870
Susquehanna University


RPI: Five B.S. Programs in the Department of Communication & Media


The Department of Communication and Media offers five B.S. programs for Rensselaer students.

B.S. in EMAC (Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication)
This program provides a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that combines communication and arts with concentrations in Digital Storytelling, Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Marketing Communication and Design, and Sound Design and Popular Culture. This program encourages students to be creative problem solvers, critical thinkers, and entrepreneurs who will use media technologies in innovative ways in industry, art, and education, giving them a flexible advantage in today’s challenging economy.

B.S. in Communication
This program provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of communication in today’s information society. It provides both a theoretical foundation in basic communication principles and a hands-on education in applying those principles to communicating in a world driven by technology and new media. This program offers students optional tracks of study: media and culture, human-computer interaction, professional writing and presentation, literature and expression, and design studio. These tracks provide coherent sets of courses to give students breadth and depth within a subject area.

B.S. in Communication with a Concentration in Graphic Design
This program provides a curriculum for undergraduate students who seek professional careers in the authorship and design of information for communication purposes. It provides a focused study in communication design for print and digital media and prepares students for a 21st century professional career developing and designing communication experiences for the good of society.

B.S. in Information Technology and Web Science (ITWS) with a Concentration in Communication
This interdisciplinary program is offered in cooperation with the School of Science. Students learn about the physical science underlying the Web and the social science of its impact. They also learn the skills involved in running large-scale information systems and developing Web applications. Students take a core set of courses in Web and IT development, along with courses in management and communication.

B.S. in GSAS (Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences) with concentrations in Human-Computer Interaction & Writing for Games (B.S. in Communication)
This interdisciplinary program allows students to choose specific concentrations, such as art, programming, writing, human-computer interaction, management, and cognitive science to prepare them for careers in all sectors of the video game industry. From commercial blockbusters to independent games, serious and experimental games, and games as art, our graduates are excelling in the industry.

Students may enhance their education by adding a minor, dual major, study abroad, internship, or even a co-terminal graduate program.

Freshman and transfer applicants to the B.S. in EMAC and the B.S. in GSAS require a portfolio review as part of the admissions process.

​For additional information, contact Tamar Gordon at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 276-6216

Communicating with Santa requires math, writing, and reading skills

Talking to Santa

It’s that jolly time of year when children are eager to share their wish list with their December hero, Santa Claus.  Some started developing it December 26, 2013, while others appropriately waited until a couple of months ago.

An educational observation worth noting is how certain academic milestones can be an asset when communicating with Santa.  Let’s specifically address the essentials which consist of math, writing, and reading.

First of all, how many children do you know with just one item for Santa to bring?  I am not saying it never happens; for example, the child who wants Santa to bring him/her a baby brother or sister, or a dog. But the majority of young ones want a couple of toys.  Therefore, in order to list the items, they must know how to count as they develop their numerical presentation for Santa. The ability to count correlates with arithmetic/math.

The next step is to write the list. This is a great opportunity for a child to display his/her talent in written format, print or cursive, to Santa Claus.  The ideas have been formulated in his/her little head for several months, much longer than the time allocated for the SAT’s essay, but it’s still good practice for the future.  Some lists will be scribbled in coded abbreviation, while others may resemble a longer narrative.  The written language must be comprehensible to the reader.  However, the child knows whatever is written must be legible for the next step.

The finale…to read the list to Santa.  There could be several options for this process.  The child will read what he/she wrote OR Santa will attempt to read it.  The identification of words will be an asset for the child to communicate his/her wish list to Santa.  And, if Santa reads it instead, that’s okay too.

This analogy is meant to highlight the lighter side of educational accomplishments.  Remember, this is an experience shared by young children and Santa, so please keep it in proper perspective.

College Board and The Atlantic: Writing Contest for High School Students



Would you like to enter a writing contest, earn a cash gift prize, and get published? If so, College Board and The Atlantic are sponsoring this opportunity for high school students, 16-19 years old. The window for submission is January 1 – February 28, 2015. Six finalists will receive $2500; the grand prize winner will receive $5000 and his/her essay will be published in The Atlantic. The essays (1,000 – 2,000 words) must accurately and insightfully analyze selected documents from U.S. history. You must find a teacher to sponsor you. He or she must be willing to provide feedback during the writing process, make sure your essay qualifies for submission, and submit the essay for you.

Visit for more information.

Full-tuition scholarships available at Coe College (IA)

Passion for the environment.  Talent in art, music or theatre.  Planning to leave a mark in their academic area of study.

Each of these could translate to
additional scholarships at Coe College.

Scholarships up to full tuition will be awarded during Coe College Scholars Weekend on Saturday, February 7, 2015 or Sunday, February 15, 2015.

Students must apply and be admitted unconditionally to attend.

The deadline to register for Scholars Weekend is January 16, 2015.  Your students can contact the Office of Admission at 877.CALL.COE or for information about Scholars Weekend eligibility.

Thank you for sharing this information with your students.


Julie Staker
Dean of Admission

Seniors: Navigating the end of the first semester

Students Face Crucial Exams For University

As the first semester of your senior year is coming to an end, here are some recommendations; consider them a checklist, of tasks to do, as you put closure on the semester:

  • As you know, preparation for your first semester exam is a priority, if you haven’t started. Gather and coordinate all first semester notes, tests/quizzes, and other course materials and begin your review.  Some exam reviews are available, or will become available, on your school or district’s website.  Don’t blow off the significance of the semester exam, as it plays an important role in the calculation of the semester grade; this will determine your  (weighted and unweighted) GPA’s after the semester.  This is crucial for college mid-year reports and admission decisions that have been rendered, as well as later notifications.


  • Consult your counselor and/or registrar regarding your high school’s procedure for reporting college mid-year reports.


  • Even though you are getting close to the winter break, remain conscientious in your studies; perform your best on all remaining tests, quizzes, and homework. This can be helpful for your semester exams.  Don’t slack off in your work; missing assignments are not acceptable.  This is an excellent time to take the initiative and ask your teachers for help to prepare for exams; especially, for early content you may have forgotten.  You want your academic profile to be as strong as possible.


  • Confirm with your counselor that your second semester schedule is complete, in case changes have occurred without your knowledge. If a placement or level change is a possibility next semester, discuss it with your counselor and teacher as soon as possible.  Your teacher can offer a professional assessment of your current progress and its impact on next semester’s success.  Your counselor will determine the feasibility of the change with the rest of your classes.  The subject’s resource teacher (department chair/head) might be involved because in most schools, this person must approve a placement/level change.  With all these players in action, including you and your parents, you don’t want to be figuring everything out the day before the new semester begins.


  • Special alert:  Be careful with second semester schedule changes.  On your college application, you were required to list your second semester classes.  This informed them of your schedule for the year.  A change that includes dropping an academic course for an elective might not fare well with your prospective college when detected at the end of the year.  An acceptance can always be rescinded due to a drop in school performance and/or an unexpected schedule change(s).  Don’t decide to slack off second semester by dropping several academic classes and replacing them with several periods of basket weaving.


  • Check with your Student Service Learning /Community Service Coordinator regarding opportunities to earn hours, if necessary.  Remember, you can always exceed the minimum requirement for personal satisfaction; some districts offer a graduation incentive.  If you are lacking hours necessary for graduation, be proactive and seek immediate assistance.


  • Log into your Naviance/Family Connection account and check on college visits to your school and/or the area, if you are still pursuing options.  However, the clock is ticking.  Also check for scholarships.  Remember to submit your FAFSA and/or CSS Financial Aid PROFILE on time.