April Newsletter
Van Meter Elementary
Dear Parents,
We have some great activities happening at Van Meter Elementary. During the week of March 29 – April 2, we hosted the Star Lab. This wonderful portable planetarium provides opportunities for students to learn about astronomy. Mrs. Janelle Thompson and Chris Adkins, naturalist with Dallas County Conservation, co- presented activities for all elementary students. Van Meter will also host an evening star-gazing experience. Chris Adkins will be the presenter. More information will be coming home soon on this exciting activity.
During April, we will have several great events. On April 13, we will have The Old Creamery Theater as part of a year-long series of Character Counts Assemblies. The Old Creamery Theater presents plays written by students that teach the six traits of character –respect, responsibility, fairness, trustworthiness, caring and citizenship. On April 17, Van Meter will again host The Battle of the Books. Teams from area schools read 25 Children’s Choice Award books and spend a day in exciting competition. Our final Kids Club program will be on April 28. We hope that you will come and support these great elementary programs.
As part of our educational program, students have a number of field experiences outside the school. During the 2009-2010 school year, students went to the Civic Center, Science Center of Iowa, Iowa State Historical Museum, Des Moines Art Center, State Capitol, Kuehn Conservation and the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge. Fifth and sixth grade students applied business skills in a recreated community called Biz Town. Fourth and fifth grade students participated in physical fitness and Character Counts activities as part of a Wellness Day sponsored by HyVee.
Thank you to the VMEPC for funding our field trips, purchasing plants for our garden area and buying American Library Association award books for the elementary and secondary libraries. Thank you to the VMEPC and the Foundation for purchasing a large electronic screen for the Activity Center. Most of all, thank you to parents for participating in fundraising efforts that provide needed items and activities for our students.

Dr. Maribeth Arentsen
Elementary Principal