Last Tuesday, the Classical Academy students gathered for a special assembly with guest author Kenneth Thomasma. Mr. Thomasma authored several books on this year’s Reading Rodeo book list, particularly at the 3rd and 4th grade level. It was exciting to have him kick off our annual reading event, as his dramatic storytelling sessions are well known throughout the country.
Kindergarteners through to 6th graders assembled for one hour to listen to the tale of Naya Nuki, where an 11 year old Shoshoni girl is captured along with Sacagawea. Sacagawea feels an escape attempt is too dangerous, but Naya Nuki carefully plots her escape and stealthily gathers supplies for the journey home. After she gains the trust of her captors, she escapes and begins her 1,000 mile journey. Mr. Thomasma relayed a tale of determination and faith amidst danger, as the young girl faced wild animals, enemy tribes, hazardous conditions and debilitating illness. Following the tremendous storytelling session, Mr. Thomasma shared 12 writing tips with the students. In an encouraging and often humorous session, he relayed the key components to starting, improving, and bringing a writing project to its conclusion.
Mr. Thomasma also brings a wealth of knowledge on education and the history of schools in Wyoming, as he is a long-time educator in Teton County. Many parents stayed after the presentation to speak with him, and it was fascinating to hear him relate the history of Teton County schools. Mr. Thomasma was instrumental in the expansion of the Kelly and Wilson schools, and interestingly faced numerous battles as he fought for school expansion in these rural areas.
It was a fantastic kickoff to our Rodeo, and we applaud the students’ attentiveness and sincere appreciation for the presentation. In the first 4 nights of the Reading Rodeo over 13,000 pages were read by students in grades K-6. This is a tremendous start and they’re on their way to hitting that 40,000 page goal. Numerous pledges have come in over the past two weeks, and we are grateful for the efforts of both students and their parents. The Academy still asks families to help their children reach the goal of reaching out to two potential sponsors per week that will pledge a donation for the student’s efforts. If every student can raise just $200, we will match our fundraising success from last year of $20,000. Remember, this year’s Rodeo fundraising will be matched, dollar for dollar, so let’s take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!
Nondiscrimination Policy: Jackson Hole Classical Academy admits students of any gender, race, color, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students. Jackson Hole Classical Academy does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, tuition assistance, athletic, arts or other school administrated programs.