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School news

2011-10-21T00:00:00Z School newsBy Independent Record Helena Independent Record
October 21, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Bill of Rights Institute offers Being American essay contest

Montana high-school students and their teachers are invited to participate in the Bill of Rights Institute’s sixth annual Being an American Essay Contest.

The largest contest of its kind in the country, the Being an American Essay Contest explores the founding principles outlined in the U.S. Constitution. The contest is administered by the Bill of Rights Institute, a nonprofit educational organization in the Washington, D.C., area devoted to educating young people about the Constitution. The 2011-2012 contest is sponsored by the History Channel.

“This contest is unique in that it gives students the opportunity to think about the important Founding principles communicated in our Constitution,” said Dr. Jason Ross, Bill of Rights Institute vice president of education programs. “This contest is vital to helping students see their Founding principles as a meaningful part of the American experiment of self-government.”

Specifically, students are asked to share their thoughts on the Constitution by answering the following question: “How does the Constitution establish and maintain a culture of liberty?”

The top three student winners from each of the five geographical regions will be awarded cash prizes of $1,000 (first place), $500 (second place), and $250 (third place). Teacher sponsors for each student winner will also receive a cash prize of $100. Montana students are participating in the central region. 

Ross said the contest also equips teachers with free lesson plans and other supplemental materials that meet state and national academic standards so they can easily incorporate the essay contest into their classrooms.

More than 80,000 students have participated in the essay contest since it began in 2006.

Essays must be submitted by Dec. 15. Further information, including submission criteria, lesson plans and background information on the Constitution, Bill of Rights, founders and the founding principles are available at 

Montessori live lobster sale orders due on Oct. 28

The 21st annual LobsterFest is in full swing.

The annual fundraiser helps Helena Public Montessori Parents (H.P.M.P.) support Montessori education in Helena.

Order now and reserve your live Maine lobsters flown in to Helena on Nov. 5 for $18 each. Order your lobsters using debit or credit card on-line at or stop by Central, Smith or Broadwater elementary schools to pick up an order form. Orders must be received by Friday, Oct. 28.

Lobsters will be available for pick up on Nov. 5 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Memorial Park. Persons ordering lobsters can also have them delivered to one of these restaurants where they will be expertly prepared for an additional $12: Benny’s, The Mediterranean Grill or The Montana Club. Reservations are required at all restaurants. 

H.P.M.P. will also take orders for grass-fed Montana Black Angus ribeyes. Each 14 oz. steak costs $14. Steaks are available for pick-up at Memorial Park only and will not be delivered to restaurants. 

H.P.M.P. is a nonprofit organization. Funds raised will be used for Montessori teacher training and certification as well as classroom supplies in Helena’s public schools. 

For more information visit our website: or contact Marika at 459-1489 or Rebecca at 449-5590.

Schools invited to take part in recycling challenge

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is encouraging schools from all across the state to sign up for this year’s Great American Can Round Up School Recycling Challenge sponsored by the Can Manufacturers Institute. 

What can aluminum recycling do for your school? The kids in Cascade will tell you it can mean extra money for school activities. Recently they were recognized for collecting the most aluminum cans per capita among Montana schools in the School Recycling Challenge. The school placed third nationally by collecting 13.06 pounds of cans and won $1,000 to help fund school activities.

“This event is open to all K-12 public and private schools and schools can earn money and prizes for participating,” said Sandra Boggs, DEQ recycling specialist. As an added incentive she said that Pacific Recycling is paying 5 cents more per pound to schools recycling at one of its facilities.

The School Recycling Challenge runs between America Recycles Day (Nov. 15) and Earth Day (April 22, 2012). The national champion school wins $5,000 and the state champion school will win $1,000. In addition, there will be monthly drawings for $50 pizza gift cards. 

To take part in the challenge, schools register at the CMI website. The students will record the pounds of aluminum cans recycled and submit the numbers monthly by mail, fax or email. For all the information and to register go to:

Local gets doctorate from University of Montana

Christy Lee Strong, daughter of Jerry and Brenda Strong, has received her doctorate in integrative microbiology and biochemistry from the University of Montana. She is currently employed in a post doctoral position at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

She graduated from Capital High School in 1997. She received her bachelor’s from Montana State University in 2001 and her master’s from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City,Tenn., in 2005.

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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