It was a day of celebration this past week as two students of YESS fulfilled the requirements to graduate from high school. Both students have been with YESS for about 5 years and have worked closely with our mentoring program. It was a success a long time in the making. We are all proud of your accomplishments! Congratulations!
The boys at Decker Lake Youth Center had a very special experience on Wednesday when they were able to meet virtually with Salva Dut, the founder of the organization Water for South Sudan and the main character in the true story A Long Walk to Water. It all started earlier this year when the boys read the book in class and decided that they wanted to host their own fundraiser to help build a well in South Sudan. Each boy wrote letters to multiple people encouraging donations for a well. In the end, the boys raised over $2,000!
Usually, a meeting with Salva is reserved for the organizations that raise the most money. However, Salva was so impressed with the efforts from the boys at Decker, given their circumstances, that he decided he wanted to thank them for their work.
Even though he is currently in Uganda, Salva met virtually with the boys, talked a little about his life, and gave words of inspiration and encouragement. He stressed that anyone can make a difference no matter their situation. The boys then had the chance to ask questions and even speak with Salva in Dinka and Arabic. It was an incredible experience that happened all because these boys wanted to make a difference.
Submitted and written by Brian, Social Studies teacher at Decker
Students at Decker Lake Youth Center were able to participate in a Julius Caesar Day presented by the Utah Shakespearean Festival and arranged by Dieter, English teacher at Decker. In years past the education outreach program of the festival would go to the sites to do a presentation followed by some workshops. Due to the restrictions of the pandemic this year, the event was held in a slightly more creative fashion. Students watched a production of Julius Caesar online and then participated in two Zoom workshops.
This 8-day workshop taught the students about the environmental problems associated with human overconsumption of resources and how the 3 Rs can help – reduce, reuse and recycle. During these 8 days, students created their own collages out of unwanted materials. They took a virtual tour of the Utah Museum of Fine Art where they saw works of art made from unusual materials and relating to overconsumption. Students learned about Haiku and created poems in that form, expressing the ideas that they had been learning. On the final day of the workshop students shared the ideas and concepts they had learned over the 8 days, the Haiku poems created by the boys were shared with each group and the boys received a certificate of completion for all their hard work.
Thanks to Angie, teacher and site facilitator at Decker for this write-up
An assembly was held today at DSI/Gemstone to recognize students who made the Honor Roll for the third quarter of this school year. Congratulations, students!
Students studying astronomy in David’s Science class at Detention, drew this model of the solar system!
Students from DSI/Gemstone had the opportunity to go to the Loveland Living Aquarium recently. They had to qualify by having a certain grade average from 6 of their 8 classes. All had a great time and “it was really fun to go somewhere, said Pamela, English and Music Teacher”!
The boys at Decker Lake recently finished reading the book A Long Walk to Water, the true story of the civil war in Sudan and the journey of one boy to stay alive and ultimately return to his country and help his people. The main character, Salva Dut, has created a charitable foundation called Water for South Sudan that builds wells in small villages to provide clean drinking water. The boys decided that they wanted to do a fundraiser to raise money to help build a well in a village (we have two boys from Sudan in class).
We decided that personal letters from the boys would be the best way to spread awareness and solicit help from as many people as possible. Each boy wrote a professional letter and chose specific employees here at Decker as recipients. The boys were very proud of their work. However, they were also skeptical that anyone would want to donate to their cause.
Ultimately, we’re excited about helping build a well in South Sudan. However, more immediately, we really want these boys to realize that they can accomplish worthwhile things in this world if they try. We want them to feel the joy of making a positive difference and hopefully continuing the habit.
Through the Water for South Sudan organization there is an official donation page for Decker Lake.
Here is the link: https://www.classy.org/team/337606. Any donations would be appreciated by the boys. However, PLEASE do not feel obligated to donate. If possible, please share the link with anyone you feel may be interested in helping. There is also a one minute video explaining the organization’s work: https://www.waterforsouthsudan.org/our-mission
Thank you for all of the work you’ve all already put in to help these boys. Please feel free to contact Brian, if you have any questions about this project.
The picture below shows donations to date. Way to go Decker students!
Students throughout YESS have had the opportunity to experience science and the arts through the STEMCAP program offered through the University of Utah. Recently, Fox News visited Decker to see first hand the impact of STEMCAP on the students. They interviewed one of the students, as well as Angie, Site Facilitator and Science Teacher; both reflected the positive impact of the STEMCAP experiences. Way to go!
Click here FOX News Story to see the news story online.
On Thursday, February 18th the students at Decker participated in a presentation from the STEMCAP group. The students learned about the research that a Marine Biologist is involved in to study the behavior of fish in certain habitats. A virtual tour of the specimens at a Natural History Museum was used to explain how research can be done in a lab. The students then used pictures of fish to create simple classification systems. The presenter went on to explain how scientists use classification systems to help them in their research. The students had an opportunity at the end of the presentation to create their own marine animal, complete with descriptions of physical and behavioral characteristics and the habitat in which their animal could live.
Written by Angie, Science Teacher, Decker Lake