March 2 Read Across America Day
March 4 Parent/Teacher Conferences 3:30-7:30
March 8 Science Fair 6:00
March 9 Parent/Teacher Conferences 3:30-7:30
March 11 Mush Husky Assembly 1:45-2:50
March 12 NO School -Comp Day for P/T Conferences
March 15-19 Spring Break
March 25 VMEPC Meeting 7:00
March 26 Jump Rope for Heart
March 29-April 2 STAR LAB – Mobile Planitarium
April 14 Old Creamery Theater 2:00
April 15 VMEPC Meeting 7:00
April 17 Battle of the Books 10:00
April 28 Kids Club 2:00
May 4 Kindergarten Concert 6:00
First/Second Grade Concert 7:00

Thank You
Thank you to the VMEPC for their months of planning and many hours of work preparing for the Elementary Carnival. It is a wonderful mid-winter event for our students and families.
Thank you to parents for providing raffle/silent auction items and for supporting the carnival.
Thank you to our VMEPC for providing supper for teachers during Parent/Teacher Conferences.
Thanks to Janelle Thompson for participating in the Star Lab training and for preparing our Star Lab program.
Thank you to Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Merical, fifth and sixth grade students for our Science Fair.
Thank you to Mrs. Caltrider for coordinating the Battle of the Books. Van Meter has hosted this great academic event for seven years. Please attend and support our students in reading quality literature.
Thank you to Mrs. Kenoyer for coordinating the Box Tops for Education program. Special thanks to parents who collect them and students who bring them in. We are one of the top Boxtops for Education schools in the country. Boxtops is paying for both the Mush Husky assembly and the Old Creamery Theater.

Scholastic Book Fair and Parent Conference Daycare
The Scholastic Book Fair is March 4-9. As always, there will be amazing books to add to your collections. The Book Fair is also a major fundraiser for our elementary library.
The NHS students will provide daycare for school-age children in the Activity Center. Siblings of students attending conferences may be dropped off for a maximum of one hour. Thank you to Mrs. Miller and NHS students.

Read the newsletter and send this slip back to enter your child in a special drawing for ice cream sundaes or lunch with the principal and dessert.

Parent Student

Library Update – from Mrs. Miller
The VOICE of students at Van Meter has been heard from the library a lot lately. I have been using the Van Meter Elementary VOICE Blog as a place to share their work at The students enjoy reading new postings and trying the different resources that I include on VOICE. I have also been teaching all of the students about the NEW Van Meter Library VOICE Google Site at I am encouraging students to try come of the great educational and fun websites, Web2.0 tools, books & author information and surfing through some of the other pages.

Sixth Grade Service Project
For second semester, the sixth grade TRIBES groups chose a service project to plan and complete. They are responsible for planning, advertising and completing the following projects.
Group 1 Can drive to be donated to the Food Bank of Iowa
Groups 2 &4 Collection of items for the Not New Shop that benefits Lutheran Hospital
Group 3 Toys for Tots
Group 5 Collection box for change to be donate to the Red Cross – Haiti Relief ($374.98 was collected!)

Great Strides
Students raised over $10,000 for the Great Strides program. This program, through the University of Iowa, provides procedures to children all over the world with club foot. Each $250.00 provides a procedure for a child.

March is Music in Our Schools Month. Students in grades K-3 are creating a poster using the theme “Imagine a Musical Instrument of the Future”. Fourth graders are writing essays or poems on what music means to them. Fifth and sixth graders are preparing for the concert. The fifth grade concert is based on the music of George M. Cohen, one of Broadway’s greatest composers. Sixth graders carried the African drums music into their concert.

What’s Happening in Kindergarten
School has really been “hopping” in Kindergarten lately. The girls and boys have been reading and learning about two favorite storybook characters, “Frog and Toad”. They have enjoyed learning about these two BFF and learning about what friendship really means.
In math, it is fun learning about comparisons and MONEY. The students even get to play with coins in their supplementary math program, Bridges.
The Kindergarteners have been practicing their reading in their learning groups as well as during rest time every day. They love the independence they are gaining as they practice applying the sounds they know to figuring out unknown words.
It has been a perfect time to study the weather and each child has been a miniature weather forecaster lately. Our studies have also included dental health, presidents, Black history, and a 100th day party. Children continue to enjoy hearing books about Curious George, Arthur and Clifford.
They are looking forward to Spring, even though the groundhog says there will be six more weeks of Winter. Spring means the garden behind the Kindergarten rooms comes to life and planting is a fun activity.

Chess Club News
There will be no Chess Club on March 4 or 11. We will resume March 25 and April 8 will be the last meeting.

Van Meter Preschool
The Van Meter Preschool will be having a fundraiser at the Waukee Pizza Ranch on Monday, March 22. The Preschool will receive 15% of every purchase made from 5:30 – 8:30 pm. Funds will be from dine-in or carry out. Members of the preschool will be bussing tables for tips(donations). Pizza Ranch address is 448 SE University.

Winners of the Dallas County Poetry and Creative Writing Contest
Several Van Meter students will be honored at the Dallas County Reading Council meeting in March. Their stories and poems won first place in the Dallas County Reading Council Poetry and Writing Contest. Their stories and poems have been sent in for state competition.

First Grade Poetry Hands by Justin Hess
Second Grade Poetry Snowflakes by Courtney Shires
Seventh Grade Poetry The Quilt by Emma Skahill
First Grade Creative Writing Santa Claus by Kylie Carey
Second Grade Creative Writing The Three Wishes by Greta Rhoads
Seventh Grade Creative Writing A Friend Like No Other by Emma Skahill

The Three Wishes
There was a girl who was very poor. She could not afford a home and her mom and dad had both died. She had a very big heart, but one day she felt very weird and she felt weird because she had powers to do anything. She had three wishes that her parents had left her. Her first wish was to have any pet she wanted. Her second wish was to speak to animals. She wanted to know why she loved animals so much. She couldn’t make her third wish if she didn’t know why she loved animals so much.
She tried to get money from people so she could buy a pet shop. She could do lots of things; at least she thought she was talented. And if she really were talented, she would earn her third wish. She thought inside her head that she loved animals. She had a dog that was as old as her and she was a great fan of dogs and plus she had a horse. Its name was Sunshine. It was a yellow horse that had a brown mane. It was a strong horse and it shined in the moonlight. Her dog was named Vicky. It was black with white dots. It was 12 years old, just like the girl.
The girl had two names: Lucky, which she did not like and Anna. She was not afraid of anything. She lived by a beach. She loved it. She saw her favorite creatures everyday. She loved her life and her pets loved their lives too, but there was something about her life that she just couldn’t handle. It was not having love or friendships. Her mother told her that if she did not have any friends by the time she was seven, she would fail her life. She did not want to fail her life. So guess what she did? She set off to find a friend. She was very lonely. She finally found a friend that was just like her. She was twelve years old too. She used her magic to turn the new friend into her sister. She did not want to be her sister; she wanted to be her friend. Will she survive? Will she quit liking her so much?
Santa Claus
Santa Claus is nice. His favorite food is chocolate chip cookies. He likes milk with his cookies. He rides a sled. He brings toys to girls and boys. He has a white beard. He has elves. His elves are nice. He has a nice and naughty list. He likes girls and boys. I bet I’m a good girl. My sister has been naughty. After Christmas he makes toys for next year. I think Mrs. Claus will sew a sweater for herself. I like Santa Claus.

Hands Snowflake

Hands, hands everywhere Snowflake, snowflake in my hair
A hand on one side No one really, really cares
A hand on the other side Just a drop will make it stop
Hands are good For a snowflake