West Side News

Jackson parents want to make showcase annual event

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The Jackson Middle School PTSA held its first ever showcase and bazaar April 4, and it likely won't be the last.

"We're thrilled with the turnout," event chairwoman Jen Jimison said as she gazed at the crowd visiting the vendor and craft fair held in the school gym.

"It's wonderful to see so many people coming out to the school, especially on such a dreary night," she said. "This is our first showcase, but with this turnout, I'm sure we'll be doing it again next year. It will hopefully become an annual event."

The evening was designed "as a reaching out to parents to give them a chance to showcase what the students have been doing this year at school," Jimison said.

Parents and students from the two intermediate schools -- Hayes and Park Street -- that feed into Jackson were also invited to attend "to see what Jackson has to offer," she said.

The vendor and craft fair served as a fundraiser for the PTSA and the school's National Junior Honor Society sold concessions and held a bake sale.

A raffle for prizes packages that included tickets to Disney World, King's Island and the Cincinnati Reds was also held.

Jackson's concert and symphonic bands, choir and orchestra also performed.

School clubs set up displays to provide an overview of their activities and projects for the year.

Lauren Alonso offered a power point presentation about the school's Mathletes program. Alonso serves as co-advisor for the club with Heather Nesler, another Jackson math teacher.

"This is our Math Counts program," Alonso said. "Students meet once a week to do math word problems. We're trying to get them excited about math."

About 15 to 20 students participate in the Mathletes program, she said.

This year, the students worked on achieving the National Math Club's Gold Level Project, its highest level of recognition, Alonso said.

The gold level project is a math scavenger hunt in which students locate and photograph examples of 12 of the math terms included in the scavenger hunt terms list. Students must also develop a math problem related to each of the objects or scenes they photograph and write a comprehensive solution to each problem.

"It not only helps them improve their math skills but shows them the value of team work in problem solving, because they need to work together to achieve the gold level status," Alonso said.

Another student group -- the yearbook staff -- is nearing completion of their work for the year.

Last week was the deadline for the annual publication and the students will be putting the finishing touches on the edition, which comes out in mid-May, advisor and seventh grade language arts teacher Karen Otte said.

"Yearbook is a very popular activity," she said. "We have a limited amount of space and we get more applications than we can handle."

Participating on the yearbook staff gives students the chance learn how to use computer technology, take photographs, sell advertising, design pages and learn more about the school and its activities and students, Otte said.

"They get a chance to meet other students, not just those who are in their classes," she said.

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