Preschool Community Helpers

The preschool students enjoyed the month of February with our Community Helpers unit! We are so thankful to have wonderful people in our town to teach us about what they do.

Our curriculum, World of Wonders has provided tons of ideas with books, songs, and questions to provoke ideas and conversations within our classroom. We love taking it one step further and asking our community members to come in and visit our classroom or for us to visit them in their workplace!

Our first community helper was Jonny Sand with Holdrege Family Dental. He brought his stuffed dragon with large teeth and a large tooth brush to show proper technique of brushing and why it is important to brush our teeth. The students and Jonny also talked about why we should eat healthy foods to help our teeth. Thank you, Dentist Jonny Sand for coming to visit our classroom and teach our students about teeth!

The next visitors were our firefighters who brought in their gear and taught us about staying safe in a fire. The students talked with the firefighters about the outfits that they wear, the things that they do to help people besides fighting fires, and how we can be proactive with our families about planning of where to meet and how to get out safe in case of a fire. Thank you to our volunteer fire department for the hours that you put in to keep us safe and provide an education to our children.

Aryn Schwarz, of Divine Stylez came in to talk with our students about being a hair stylist. She brought in a variety of things that she needs to accomplish doing her job, such as the brush to color hair, a comb, and the sheers that she uses to cut hair. Our students had fun with the doll that she brought with to practice doing hair. We even got out our pretend doll heads to practice doing hair after Aryn left. We may have some future hair stylists in our preschool classroom, thank you for teaching us about your job Aryn!

Our final community helpers visit was to our local post office. We learned about what it takes to mail something, how they sort mail, and how they deliver things different ways. Our students got to see mail coming in to the post office and the drivers showed us where they put our mail before they put it in our boxes. Some of the students got to see their specific slot of mail! The students got to see P.O. boxes, stamps, and boxes, all thanks to our local post office workers. Thank you for taking time out of your schedules to teach our students about the mail.

We are so thankful to have a great group of community helpers in our town! We like to visit each “set” of community helpers every other year so that our students, in their two years of attending preschool, get to visit two different groups of community helpers. Next year we will visit new places and have new visitors! Thank you for being willing to come visit our students and educate them on the work that goes on in our town.

Learning about Leap Year

What is so special about the month of February?  This is the question the first and third graders learned about on Wednesday.  Jane Tonjes, a recent native of Bertrand and para at the school, came to discuss what it means to have 29 days in February.  Jane celebrates her birthday on February 29 and will be 18 this year. Well, not really, but if she only got to celebrate her birthday every four years that is how old she would be.  Her mom actually let her celebrate the 28th of February and March 1st.

Jane explained that her grand kids have always had a lot of questions about the 29th. In fact, one grandson wanted to know when grandpa’s leap year birthday was.  She decided that after trying to explain it to her grand kids several times, that maybe it was time for her to write a book about it for kids. Her book called Leap is about several frogs that decide to have a party.   Leap’s friends wanted to make his birthday special because his birthday is on the 29th.  Her book shows illustrations that give you a better understanding of what leap year is.

Her family played a big part in helping this book come to life.  Her grand kids helped draw the frogs and all the illustrations. Jane also had fun incorporating many frog facts into her book. Her daughters helped edit the book and found a publisher to print it.

Jane shared that she has often thought of writing a book.  She shared that it takes time to write a book. It took her 10 years to get all of her ideas down and pictures drawn.  Jane had the children think of a topic that they were interested in. They were asked to come up with a title and begin their rough draft.  The kids eagerly started writing and were anxious to share their stories with each other.

We appreciated Jane coming to visit and sharing her book with the children.

Jane shows the students a new game.

BerMis FFA Members Compete at LDEs

Article written by Anna Pelton

The BerMis FFA members competed at Leadership Development Events on January 29, 2020. Members showed off their public speaking skills in Creed Speaking, and Cooperative Speaking. The BerMis FFA chapter was represented well and had many contestants ribbon.

Creed Speaking

Creed speaking is a freshman only contest. Members worked for weeks in advance memorizing the FFA Creed by E.M. Tiffany. Members that competed were Marcia Estrada, Lane Schoff, Colton Wagner, Leah Schutz, and Jersie Hermanson. Lane Schoff received a purple, placing 4th overall. Jersie Hermanson placed 10th with a blue, and Marcia Estrada also received a blue. Receiving reds were Colton Wagner and Leah Schutz.

Employment Skills

Cailey Grabenstein and Darla Thorell competed in Employment Skills. This contest consists of creating a resume and cover letter, three job interviews, and writing a thank you letter to the interviewer at the end. Prior to the contest, contestants must complete a resume and cover letter. Darla Thorell received a red and Cailey Grabentien placed 3rd overall with a purple and is a state alternate. 

Cooperative Speaking 

Abby Scholz competed in Cooperative speaking. In this event, the FFA member writes a six to eight-minute speech about Nebraska Cooperatives. Abby Scholz placed 2nd overall with a purple and is state bound! 

We are so proud of these members and their efforts, congratulations to the LDE contestants! 

BerMis FFA Members Compete at CDEs

Article written by Cailey Grabenstein and Jennica Dannehl

The BerMis FFA members competed at the second district Career Development Events on February 12, 2020. The contests that we competed in were Ag Biotechnology, Ag Communications, Ag Mechanics, Agronomy, Ag Communications, and Vet Science. The
members competed very well and represented the BerMis FFA Chapter exceptionally well.

Ag Biotechnology The two Bermis Ag- Biotechnology teams consisted of Jordan Hilmer, Leah Schutz Marcia Estrada,, Kenzy Drain, Anna Pelton, Johanna Ford and Lane Schoff

We had two teams compete in the Biotech competition. For this contest, they had to take a general knowledge test, identify tools and equipment, and they were challenged to create a new transgenic fruit or vegetable to market to everyday consumers. BerMis-1 consisted of Johanna Ford, Leah Schutz, Anna Pelton, and Jordan Hilmer. Johanna Ford received a blue ribbon and Leah Schutz received a red ribbon. As a team, BerMis-1 ended up with a white
ribbon, placing fourth overall. The second team was BerMis-2. Team members were Marcia Estrada, Kenzy Drain, and Lane Schoff. They ended up in 7th place overall.

Ag Communications

The Ag Communication team members were Landon Andersen, Natalie Johnson, Anna Pelton, and Abby Scholz. Before the competition, the team wrote up an extensive media plan about bees, an important commodity in Nebraska. During the competition, John Schroeder from Darr Feedlot Inc. talked about how they care for their cattle at the feedlot. Every member was assigned a different project from this presentation. Abby wrote an opinionated article and received 1st place with a purple ribbon, Anna created a web design and received a white ribbon, Natalie wrote a journalistic article and received a blue ribbon, and Landon created a video and
tied for 1st place with a purple ribbon. The team placed 2nd overall earning a trip to the State Convention later this year.

Ag Mechanics The Bermis Ag Mechanics team consisted of Anna Pelton, Abby Scholz, Natalie Johnson, and Landon Andersen

The Ag Mechanics team consisted of Austin Hahn, Jacob Hilmer, Jory Holt, and Joseph Pelton. This group had to take a general knowledge individual test and wire a sprayer. Individually, Jacob and Jory received blue ribbons and Austin received a red. They did very well and placed 3rd overall. They received a red ribbon and a trip to the State FFA Convention in April.

Agronomy The Bermis Agronomy Team of William DeOss, Daniel Hermanson, Emma Larson, Bryce Philips, and Hanna Stewart.

The Agronomy team had to identify plants and seeds, plant diseases and disorders, and equipment as well as answer questions about soil. The team members were William DeOss, Daniel Hermanson, Emma Larson, Bryce Philips, and Hanna Stewart. Emma placed 8th and
received a blue ribbon, and Daniel received a red ribbon. The team placed 6th overall and received a red ribbon.

Vet Science The membersof the Bermis Vet Science Team were Jennica Dannehl, Johanna Ford Cailey Grabenstein, Jordan Hilmer, Emma Larson, and Caitlynn Wahls.

The Vet Science competition consisted of an individual practicum and general knowledge test, and team identification of breeds, parasites, and equipment. The members who competed in this event were Jennica Dannehl, Johanna Ford, Cailey Grabenstein, Jordan
Hilmer, Emma Larson, and Caitlynn Wahls. Emma tied for 1st place with a purple ribbon, Jordan, Caitlynn, Jennica, and Cailey all received blue ribbons. The team received 3rd place with a blue
ribbon and qualified for the State Convention in April.

After School Club Kicks off for second semester

The BCS “After School Club”  kicked off for the second semester last Monday, Jan. 27.  In this second session of the year, the students will be focusing on problem-solving and social skills. To improve these skills, students participating will get to play interactive games that require strategy and advanced thinking.  

In the past, only students in grades 4-6 who met criteria based on testing scores were nominated for the “After School Club”.  For the spring semester, the club instructors Sheila Philips and Shauna Wilken wanted to give these advanced learning skills opportunities to any student that wanted to participate.  The club will run in three four-week sessions; one for fourth graders, one for fifth graders, and one for sixth graders. Fifth graders are tentatively set to start their four weeks on February 24 and sixth graders on March 23.  Permission slips will be sent home soon for those two groups.

On Monday, twelve fourth graders were divided into groups and had opportunities to play checkers, Yahtzee, Mancala, Blokus, and Otrio. These students will continue for three more weeks with new games being introduced throughout the session. 

News and Information about BCS schedules and activities.