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This episode focuses on teenagers and reading. Is it ever too late to instill a love for literacy in your teen and when is it time to put the bedtime stories to rest? Elk Ridge Middle School teacher Patricia Bronson and Herriman High School teacher Sally Wilde join Superintendent Godfrey in the Supercast studio.

But first we have some fun with South Jordan Elementary School 6th grade students who talk to the Superintendent about their favorite books.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent:
Hi and welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. Today we're talking about teenagers. Is it ever too late to teach them to have a love for literacy? And when is it time to put the bedtime stories to rest? We'll talk about that in a minute. But first, we head to the South Jordan Elementary School where some sixth graders share their favorite books and authors, and they have a few questions for me. Tell me some of the books you guys like to read

Students:
The Janitors series.

Superintendent:
The Janitor series. I forgot, books of like manuals on how to like how to clean things and fix things and take good care of it?

Student:
Its about this kid who he sees monsters and stuff all around the school that you can only see with a certain soap or something. Like if you used this.

Superintendent:
I assume that the janitors are the good guys because every janitor I know is a good guy.

Student:
Yeah, they are.

Student:
My name's Adam. I am reading those a series called The Last Kids On Earth.

Superintendent:
The Last Kids On Earth. Are there adults or are they just the last kids?

(Student:
The last kids. And it's about a monster apocalypse that's happening. The friends that they keep on finding are actually monsters, but they're not the evil monsters, just like monsters that that are kind. And one of them is like a monster dog kind of thing. They named them.

Superintendent:
Let me get this straight. The adults are gone. There was one kid, but now there are more kids, but some of the kids are monsters, but some of the monsters are nice. And one of the monsters is a dog. I just need to read these books for myself because that way you can understand them. Good message. Read the book, go read the book.

Student:
I like to read biography.

Superintendent:
Who do you like to read biographies about in particular, Jackie Robinson?

Student:
Singers like Elvis Presley and Elton John.

Superintendent:
That's great. Well, thank you. Thank you very much. How many hours do you think you've read since you learned to read?

Students:
Millions maybe. I don't know.

Superintendent:
In terms of hours, you're a very dedicated reader. No, I believe you, you look very intelligent. I believe you.

Student:
I don't know if read a million, maybe. I don't know. I've been at this school for six years and I've been reading 30 minutes pretty much every night.

Superintendent:
If you've been reading every night, then you're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing. Reading every night ,and when you're consistent, then you get better and better all the time. So, awesome. Keep on reading you guys. Thanks to the sixth grade students at South Jordan Elementary School for sharing their favorite books with me.

In studio today, we have Patricia Bronson, teacher at Elk Ridge and Sally Wilde, teacher at Herriman high school, to talk to us about reading with adolescents, with your teens. Tell us a little bit about yourselves, introduce yourselves.

Teacher:
I'm Patricia Bronson, Elk Ridge Middle School. I've taught there almost my entire career and I teach reading and language arts. Love working with teenagers.

Teacher:
I'm Sally Wilde. I teach at Herriman High School. I teach English and reading and creative writing, poetry. I'm also the in the literacy center. And I was an eighth grade English teacher as well with Patricia, my first years as a teacher, many moons ago. I'm unrecognizable now compared to what I looked like then.

Superintendent:
I'm still recognizable. Yeah. Yeah. Fantastic.

Teacher:
I'll tell one funny story about Mr. Godfrey, Superintendent Godfrey. It's an awesome story. He always had fun with his kids. I remember it being a middle. There was this big sloping grassy area out from the big hill. And I remember one day there was a big snow storm and all the teachers were at lunch and they looked out the window and Superintendent Godfrey was out with the kids running and doing a head dives down into the snow. And all the teachers are like that kid, that teacher is going to break his neck. He certainly had a good time with his students.

Superintendent:
Well, I loved being a model. That was a great place to start. That was very fun. It brings back good memories. So tell us students, what can parents do at home to help make sure that their teens continue to read? Lots of kids love to read when they're younger. How do you maintain that love of reading?

Teacher:
I think a key crucial thing is to make sure that they have a lot of choices. The more choices that teenagers have, then they feel like they have that ownership and that power to pick what they want to read. And sometimes, as parents we want to tell them, this is what you have to read. It needs to be this chapter book. But you know, if you give kids an option and give them opportunities to pick for themselves, they'll pick graphic novels. They'll pick books on tape. They'll pick nonfiction though. But if they have more choice, I think that the more they buy in, research shows that the more choice you have, the more you feel empowered to read and you want to read. So they just need lots of opportunities to pick and choose for themselves what they want to read.

Superintendent:
Well, it makes sense because as adults, that's what we do. We're drawn to things that our friends like, or what we're reading as part of a group or things that interest us. And I remember I was reading a book and then I was assigned that book and in school, and I didn't want to read it anymore because it kind of took the magic out of it, that I had been told to read this book. So makes a lot of that makes a lot of sense to me. How do you help kids have a lot of choices available to them? They might just stand in the middle of the library and not know what to check out. So how do you, how do you help them?

(06:10):
Well, I think our librarian at Herrmann high school is amazing. She will, I've kind of listened to her a little bit cause we go down and we check out books each quarter and my students read them for the first 10, 15 minutes of class every day. And some of them pride themselves. I've never read a book. I don't want to do this. What should I read mrs. Wilde. And she already always starts out with the question, well, what do you like to watch on Netflix? What movies do you like? It's whatever they like watching. They're going to like that same genre as they're reading. And so she will point them in that direction where they need to go, what, what interests they would like. And then sometimes they might start and they might hate it and they'll, I'll see them. And they're just like, ah, every turn paint, turning every page is just a struggle. And I always let them know, Hey, stop reading it. If are hating it, then you're going to hate it for the rest of the book. Stop pick a different book. Let's find it.

(07:04):
That, that, that's amazing to hear that because as an adult, even I feel this responsibility, I bought this book, I started it. I'm five chapters in, I better finish it. So I feel the sense of duty. Like I have to get through the book. So it's giving kids permission to say, I'm abandoning ship. This book is not for me anymore.

(07:28):
Right. And, and the ownership of they, they picked it a lot of the times too is listening to their peers. So since we do read a book each quarter we kind of do little book reports at the end of the quarter and they have to let the students know, did they like this book? Would they recommend it? And a lot of the students will pick books that were reported on first quarter for second quarter because they thought it sounded interesting. I think as parents, you know, if you're struggling finding books for your children to read, I mean, reach out to the teachers and librarians have like, we know what kids are reading. We know what they're loving. And it's interesting how series that you think like, Oh, that's, that's going to be gone there. The Harry Potter is still super popular in the middle school.

(08:07):
Kids are reading the Harry Potter books and they're reading, you know, books that you think like, Oh, that that's old fat, no Anne of green Gables. I have reluctant readers that are reading at a green Gables. It tying into the interest though is super key. So, you know, if your kids like sports, finding those authors that are writing a lot of fiction about sports and just getting them into a genre, getting them into something that ties into their interests, I think is a way, especially for middle school kids, because if they are going to want to learn more about it, then they're going to want to read about it. And I think that's, that's key humor. Humor is really big. If you can find books like James Patterson, his series, like something that they can laugh about, like, you know, just teenagers, they like to laugh.

(08:42):
They like to find out about the real world. Jason Reynolds is really popular right now. You know, that, that literature that kind of exposes them to other cultures, but also helps them to just see themselves in the world books that help see themselves. Right. There's lots of different areas or places that you can go to get suggestions to websites, you know, our high school website she has book reviews. So she does have a list of books that you are, they would suggest, but then she has like a review. And so you can kind of read a little snippet and see if that's for you. And PR has lists Barnes and noble all up. There's so many lists out there associate yeah, they are, they're all over. And they're pretty accessible to find books that you might be interested in. You know, there's high school students that are still reading Percy Jackson and, but, and then there's students that still love Stephen King. He's still popular. And it really, it's such a wide variety of what they like to read. I have, you know, my sports, I have some soccer boys that are love reading sports biographies the soccer players. And

(09:47):
As I, as I talked to students, I heard a lot of that. I like this sport. So I've been reading things about the sport and about people who play the sport. And that, that, that, that ties them in. You mentioned school media centers w a lot of times means that we hold when we hold a meeting at the school, I ended up being in the media center a lot of times for those. And I'm amazed at the displays. I want to steal some of those books because I can't legitimately check them out, not being a student, because the displays do such a nice job of pulling themes together and making books accessible. So hopefully people are not overlooking that as a resource because our media specialists really do a great job.

(10:30):
They do an amazing job. And, you know, what's also available is our overdrive. And so a lot of the books are available that you can download on your phone. And a lot of those books, you can also listen to they'll, they read them to you. And that's an amazing feature for either struggling readers or just readers that, you know, want to listen in the car and want to book to go that they can have with them anytime, anywhere.

(10:57):
So that's available for through the school media center. Yeah.

(11:00):
Teachers, students. Yeah.

(11:02):
Wow. That's that is a great resource. We'll take a quick break and we'll be back to talk more about how to maintain a love of reading in your teenager. Stay with us.

(11:15):
Do you want to know what's going on in Jordan school district, maybe see your child or a friend featured in a school story, check out our website@jordandistrict.org, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at Jordan district. Let's connect today,

(11:38):
Back here with Patricia Bronson, from Elbridge and Sally Wilde from Herriman high school, you mentioned some of the titles that may be wouldn't seem age appropriate for middle or high school that maybe it's too young. Do you need as a parent to push children to read more advanced texts as they age? Or is it okay to let them read the stuff they want to read?

(12:00):
So as a high school teacher, we teach a lot of those advanced techniques in high school. We're teaching, you know, the great Gatsby, the crucible and they get that at high school. Whereas if they're reading at home on their own, I think you let them, you let them read. You, let them read something. They enjoy, because otherwise you're going to send them to their bedroom to read and guess what? They're not really going to read, and it's going to go right over their head. They're not going to care. They're not going to understand unless they want to. So I think Joyce, we've talked about choice, a lot choice and rating is really big. And I think that the youth, as they start to read, they'll start to get bored. If they're reading a book that is too easy for them, I'm going to have a student the other day that was reading something.

(12:40):
And he, he ranked it like a score of four out of 10. And I asked him why. And he said, it was just kind of boring. And I said, was it too easy? Yeah, it was too easy. And that's a great conversation to say, well, sometimes like books are once they become boring, it's because they are becoming too easy and you need to like step it up. And I think as parents, you can scaffold that. Like, you know, if they're reading like a fantasy book and they're reading lightning thief, they love lightning thief. Then maybe it's time to like, you know, try something a little more advanced. Maybe Robert Jordan still will do it fast, but you know, introduce them to the Hobbit or something else. Like, Oh, here's a really good classic piece. That would be something to add to that. I think that, I think it's good to, to motivate them and push them along.

(13:14):
But I agree like your choice, like we, as adults will read what we enjoy. I read the whole Harry Potter series too easy for me, for my Lexile. Right. But I still really enjoyed it. And it was a conversation that people are having in the community. So I wanted to be part of that. And I think kids are the same way. They'll want to read what their peers are reading. They're going to want to read what their parents are reading. I'm exposing them to all different types of literature that I think is important. You know, if they're getting stuck in one genre, helping to push them to try something else can also broaden their horizons and show them that there's other things out there that they might enjoy a lot of times too. It's modeling it. So maybe as a parent, if you read a book and you loved it and it's at a higher level, talk about it, talk about it with your student.

(13:53):
What parts did you like? What, what do you think they would like, why do you think they would like this? And a lot of times they are, they're going to read, what are you are reading of the parent? And sometimes they might start reading it and be like, Oh, we have complete disparate tastes. I'm not going to read that mom. And that's okay too. But, but being able to talk about books with your children are going to, well, number one, you're talking about it, you're communicating and you're able to help with comprehension skills, which is what we want our students to be able to do. We don't want just them. We don't just want them to be able to read. We want them to be able to comprehend and talk about what they would do. That's a key thing. Cause when you talk about that, like when my students were in high school and they were talking about, I would want to know, well, tell me about that book and ask those questions because the more that they can articulate and explain what they're reading, the more that they, you can as a parent, then see if they're not quite getting something and maybe they need a little support.

(14:46):
I remember my oldest son, when he was taking his AP lit class at Herrmann high he was rereading, I think in the summer it was Scarlet letter. And I thought that was really tough to read for your summer reading. So I re read the book at the same time he was reading it. We had lots of conversations and I mean, it was a very good bonding moment for us to be able to talk about that book. We still talk, I think every book he read that year, I re-read so that we could have conversations at home and it was enriching for me to reread those books. But I think it was also, we still have conversations like his favorite book. I mean his favorite book, shoot, I'm going to forget what it is now. The things they carried, like the things they carried in the road, which I think is amazing. I mean, the things they carried on the road and he loved those books. And I know a lot of it was what his teacher was doing at hermit high, but a lot of it was also the conversations he was having at home because it's kind of this bonding moment together.

(15:31):
And it's a critical time. I think they're forming memories that they'll, that they won't lose that they'll hold on to

(15:38):
And love for literature. Love for literature, for reading a good books. And when they see you as a parent, I mean, first of all, high five, because that is absolutely amazing that you did that. I love that listeners. You heard that [inaudible], that is so cool that you would, because I completely agree. Scarlet letter, that is a difficult text and it's hard to get through. And we do ask our students to do it during the summer and they come back and they talk about it. But a lot of them just start having those aha moments when they start talking about them after the summer, when they've got back, they're like, Oh, that's what it was talking about, but how that's so awesome that you prepared your son, you had him a step ahead of all the others, because you were able to start talking about it with him at home. And if he didn't understand some of that difficult texts, then you were able to help him understand that

(16:25):
Obviously reading the same book at the same time and being able to talk with your team is a great way of reinforcing re re reinforcing reading. Are there other ways to do that around the house?

(16:36):
I think that a good way is talking about the different ways that you as an adult use literacy and reading. So even just talking about like how you read on your job and making sure that your child knows that like reading is that essential skill, but there are like simple ways, even if, you know, you're cooking together, reading a recipe. If they have a question that they're, that they need to answer, instead of just answering for him, like teach them, like go find a resource, go. I mean, you're using technologies there. I mean, it competes for our reading, right? I mean, kids are on their phones all the time. So helping them to, to learn how to find that information that they need and read about it and find out what's real. And what's true. And being able to have those critical thinking skills is key too, but, and it doesn't have to be the Scarlet of your reading together.

(17:14):
It can be something just like small that you're just sharing that moment, talking about a newspaper article together, because I just think the more that we help kids find ways to read and to expose themselves to different types, we just need to help them see that there's reading all around us. And I'm going to also put a plug in for the public library because the public library is a fantastic resource. There are contests. And even for adults, you can go sign up in the library and they have those reading kind of contests, where if you do so many things, you get rewards and kids can read at elementary level, middle school, high school level, adult level, and you get prizes and books at the end. And it's really exposes them to all the wonderful that the public library and our public library system is fantastic.

(17:52):
Like having, you know, helping your kids get a library card, teaching them how to reserve books and getting them set. Right. So all you have to do is go and pull that book off the shelf. I mean, it's such a great, great resource that we have. So, you know, making sure you don't have to buy books for kids, if you do fantastic, but just making sure that they know how to get the book that they want and where to go and just helping them figure all that out, I think is key. Because if you don't have it, you don't have reading materials. I remember my husband said that his growing up, he had one book, he had some religious books and then he had one book. His parents bought him, it was a biography of George Washington. And he remembers that. And I think like owning something, owning a book, having a book that belongs to you is so important.

(18:30):
My parents and my grandparents gave me Heidi, one of my favorite books ever like reading Heidi as a child and having still that inscribed book. I mean, I think books are they're treasures, right? They're like things that we love. And we, we get inside that book and we bond with those characters. And I think that help helping kids have those moments and those opportunities is just so rewarding. And you want as a parent to make reading to be fun, not a chore, not something, especially when they're in middle school, you don't want it to be something where it's like, you've got to, you know, it becomes a punishment. You just need to find ways to make it fun. Whether it's like, you know, a bowl of popcorn while you're reading a comfy place to read, but scheduling time and having that time in your home to read whether it's 10 minutes a day is pretty crucial now day with, with all the things we're competing.

(19:11):
And you're right about owning a book. I remember books that were given to me as gifts or that I saved up for, or that I bought through the form that I was sent home in elementary. So the Scholastic form and well, in the era of cleaning up your stuff and de junking and decluttering those old books still spark joy for me, my wife does not believe me, but the joy continues to be sparked by those old books. I really, I really you're right. It's a, there's a relationship there. We're going to take a break and then we'll be back to wrap it up with Patricia and Sally

(19:52):
In Jordan school district, the possibilities are endless for anyone looking to grow with a team of professionals, working together to provide the very best for students in education. If you're looking for a great job with great pay and benefits in a supportive environment, head to work@jordan.org and find your future career in Jordan school district people come for the job and stay for the adventure. Explore the many options apply today@workatjordan.org.

(20:31):
We're back with Patricia and Sally talking about teen literacy. Is it too late at one point to help your team develop a love of learning? My brother was very successful in school, but he never liked reading the book that he owned was goodbye. Mr. Chips. So for a long time, his brother and I just called him mr. Chips making in front of him. That that was the only book that he read. If, if someone can read, but they don't love to read. Is there still time if they're a teenager?

(21:05):
Definitely. There's a man. I have, I have associates that I know in the neighborhood and things that might have just barely started loving reading when the Twilight series came out and I kind of giggle on the inside thinking, Oh well, but they're reading. And I mean, Patricia, you mentioned Harry Potter earlier. I have a lot of friends too, when I was going to college who got hooked on Harry Potter as well, but they didn't like reading before. So whatever, it's never too late, never too late to start reading. I think that for a lot of readers or there might be a couple of reasons why they don't enjoy reading. First of all, sometimes they're there, they're younger and their fluency just hasn't quite caught up with them and they're working so hard to try to figure out, to comprehend that they're not reading fast enough. And so it's a chore, like reading is hard, right?

(21:51):
So we have a lot of students, I think in sixth, seventh, eighth grade, that all of a sudden the fluency catches their Ric reading faster. They're seeing the world in a, in a more broad spectrum. And so I think now all of a sudden they will say, I finally love reading. Like reading is finally so much fun for me. I think a lot of times it's getting in the right book. I have another student I'm thinking of right now that doesn't necessarily love to read all the time, but he was reading a book. I forget. I, don't not sure how to say his first name, but his last name's Alexandra. And it's a book of poetry about this basketball player. So it's kind of fast paced cause it's poetry. And he loved that book. I mean, he raced through that book. Now we're trying to find another book that he'll get into, but I think sometimes just finding the right book for the right child, it doesn't have to be a struggle.

(22:31):
I think finding books that there's, I guess when we were kids, there weren't that many books out there for like those series books. And now there are thousands of wonderful books. I mean, Jake, you're rolling. Just opened up the world like writers. She really did. I mean, there were so many series, I mean, dystopian series, Neil Schusterman and whined. Fantastic. I've never had a student, not love, love, love that book. Ranger's apprentice that red students don't love that book. We actually, and we have so many Utah authors too. Rich Paul Evans and the Michael [inaudible].

(23:02):
Oh, I have so many students who love Michael Bay, the Brandon mall Shannon Hill with goose girl, and she's got a whole series. She's amazing. These, they all, it's kinda cool to know they're from Utah too, but they do book signings and they do watch parties and come to school, they can come to the schools and that's really cool for the students to meet the people and get their book signed. I have a light class library and my students will pull his different books off and they'll, they'll bring me the book and show me the signature on the pig. Did you know that this was here? I did. Do you know this person I've met him and you're okay with me reading this, just be careful. They're really excited that, you know, it's, it's, I don't know. It makes it a little more real and legit. And

(23:49):
So it's never too late and there's a right book for everyone. And sometimes just a question of timing

(23:55):
It's really for adults either. I mean, we have, I mean, my husband is not a reader. He married a reader. It was one of the great things is that I can just read all the time and he'll do other things. It's great. But he has started reading books and I mean, that's a powerful experience. I think too, to be able to, as a family, listened to books on tape, we listened to Andrew's game when we were traveling one time and he loved that book. And so I think, you know, adults as parents, if that's one thing I would say is even if you don't love reading, tell your kids, you love it. And we really talk it up because you know, kids do look at their parents and see them as role models. So the more as parents, we can be that role model to talk about, you know, that how readings affected us or ways that we read and just try to make it a positive experience.

(24:33):
Because if kids hear that, you know, that parents don't love reading, it's easy for them to adopt that and to take that kind of in an kind of make it excuse. And one more thing, kids, we live in a fast paced world and you know, if you're at home and you're like, okay, turn off the TV, put away your phone. It's time to read. They feel like they're missing out on something and they don't want to. And one way you can kind of get around that is put away your phone, set, what you're doing aside and sit down next to him in the family room, grab a blanket, grab a pillow, get comfortable and read for 20 minutes when they read to

(25:07):
Great having you guys in studio. I am missing my eighth grade language arts class right now. I'm out of touch with it. And it's great to be able to hear from you what people are reading and how we can help teens read more. We end our podcast with two truths and a lie. Do your chance to lie to the superintendent and Sally, you drew the short straw and I can tell how uncomfortable you are with lying just from the expression on your face, but it's okay. It's just a game. So let's do this.

(25:37):
Okay. I have broken my arm in the exact same place, two summers in a row. I have five kids and I have never been to Jamaica.

(25:54):
I think those three things could be very closely related. Actually having five kids and breaking your arm might keep you from making it to Jamaica. I don't know because you read a lot of fiction obviously. And so any of these could be pulled from a book of yours. I'm going to say that you have not been to Jamaica, but it's on the list, but it's on the list

(26:18):
I have been to Jamaica. You need to go to Jamaica, Jamaica. It's fantastic.

(26:24):
I have not been to Jamaica, so, okay. Jamaica, Jamaica. Thank you again for being on the super cast. And remember education is the most important thing you'll do today. [inaudible].

Show Audio Transcription

Superintendent Godfrey sits down with two long-time Jordan School District elementary school teachers to ask the questions we hear from parents all the time. When is the right time to start reading to children and how can parents help students develop a love for reading?

But first, Superintendent Godfrey heads to South Jordan Elementary School where he talks to second-grade students about their favorite books and why they love to read.


Audio Transcription

(00:18):
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. Today, we're going to talk about reading and literacy. We'll talk about the best time for parents to get their children started reading and ways parents can help instill a lifelong love of reading in children. But first we head out to South Jordan Elementary School to talk to some second grade students about the books they enjoy. I'm the Superintendent for Jordan SchoolDistrict. You guys know what that means. Anybody have a guess.

Student:
You like, listen to kids, read.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I like to listen to kids read, that's right. You saw me doing that when I came in. Good job. What's your name?

Student:
Maddie

Student:
Maddie you're in second grade. What do you like to read Maddie?

Maddie:
About unicorns.

Superintendent Godfrey:
You like to read about unicorns, fiction or nonfiction. Oh, okay. And Liam, what do you like to read?

Student:
Lego books.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Lego books. So like how to build stuff or stories about Lego creatures and vehicles and stuff? Tell me about.

Student:
Like lion guys, like creatures and they have like these kinds of vehicles and they teleport through portals and a few bad guys.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So are they animals or people?

Student:
Animals.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Animals with Lego vehicles that go through portals. That sounds pretty exciting.

Student:
I like to read informational books about space.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Informational books, about space. Do you hope to conquer space as an astronaut or what's the plan?

Student:
Not really.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What do you like to read?

Student:
I like to eat Scooby Doo books.

Superintendent Godfrey:
You know, I can do a Scooby Doo impression, but it's not really impression of what's in the book bcCause that's just words on a page, right?

Student:
Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Watch the cartoon.

Student:
Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. You want to hear it? You want to see what to do it?

Student:
That's pretty good.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thanks. Sorry to interrupt you guys, but thanks for letting me talk with you.

Thanks to the second grade students at South Jordan Elementary, we had a lot of fun talking to them and reading with them during our visit there.

Now we're back in studio with Laurie McCarty, a teacher at Terra Linda Elementary School and Bonnie Loki, a teacher and instructional coach at Heartland Elementary School. Alright, Bonnie, tell us a little bit about yourself and Lori.

Bonnie:
Bonnie Logan. I'm an instructional coach.  I'm located at Heartland Elementary and I love Jordan District. Go, Jordan.

Lori:
I'm Lori McCarty and I have been teaching kindergarten for 21 years. I have one son who went through the Jordan District school system.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So 21 years, that's a lot of five-year-olds. That is  awesome.

Teacher:
Yeah, I, they don't advance me. I keep saying I'm  in kindergarten. So now they're like 20 years old. This has happened this year. One of my kindergarteners is one of my kindergartner's children. Second generation, it's happened. It's awesome.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Well, thanks for coming. We're talking today about literacy for young children and we have this question every year. What should I be doing with my young children to help them not just learn to read, but learn to love to read. So what tips do you have for parents to make sure that kids learn to read and that they're passionate about it and it's exciting for them?

Teacher:
Well, parents have a huge influence with their children and they play a critical role in starting that literacy process and development. It's important to start right now, too, as soon as your child is born or even in the womb, start reading to them. Let them develop the love of reading by watching you read and watching you write all the time. Make it a consistent practice that you guys do in your home, where it becomes a part of your daily routine, right from the very start.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Just make it part of what you do. It's just what we do we read.

Teacher:
Yeah. It can be a part of your nap time routine, your bedtime routine, have books in the cars, but make it part of your daily routine.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I like those suggestions because what that means is that maybe you're anchoring it to some other things that are already part of your routine. When we're in the car, going to bed, first thing in the morning, just some things that are already making up your day, reading to those events during the day.

Teacher:
Yeah. I think it's also important to create a cozy little nook in your home too. That it's fun to cuddle up with your child and read a book. And it's amazing that you are reading and you're developing those literacy skills with your children, and you are really creating a strong bond with your child. It's really crucial quality time that you have with your children. And in fact, oftentimes when we ask children, "What is your favorite activity to do with your parents?" A lot of times they will revert back and say, "When we cuddle up and have story time."

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's great. Well, I have to admit that when you said cuddle up and cozy little nook, it sounds like I want to have a nice hot cup of cocoa and a Minky Couture throw. That's a great idea. So that might happen later this weekend. So tell us, what else can parents do? We get a routine, have a nice kind of a comfortable spot. And remember that it's a bond between a parent.

Teacher:
Yes, I think it's also important to let them pick books that they're interested in. Find out the interest of your children and help them find those books. Make going to the library to check out books a fun day, a fun date with your child to have an adventure and really let them have a say in what books they're going to read. It's important to also introduce them to informative texts so they can learn that sometimes we're reading stories and we're receiving a story from it. However, other times we are reading to learn about a specific topic. Maybe it would be dinosaurs, maybe it would be dancing. Maybe it would be bugs. But it begins to develop that interest, the thirst for reading for information.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And a library is a good resource for that. You can just ask a librarian and say, "Where can I find some green informative texts?" Now I used to teach English and we called it fiction and nonfiction way back when, and nonfiction is just like, well, it's not fiction, but I guess we'll read it anyway. It's nice. Informational text is a much better way to refer to it. I love that. So what other tips would you have for parents who want to be sure that their kids are readers right from the start?

Teacher:
Well, as you're reading for reading with them, one thing to keep in mind is that you're building vocabulary. And so, especially in informative texts to be talking about if it's an animal that they're interested in, you know, "What do you think that word means?" Or "Today in the classroom, we read about a character that had scraggly hair." And so we talked about "What do you think that would look like?" And we had a lot of fun trying to figure out what scraggly hair probably looked like and drawing those pictures of that and building on some visualization. So not only are you building vocabulary, but you're building the skill of being able to visualize some of those things as you get into different texts that don't have a lot of pictures.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So do you actively tap into the child's imagination by asking, "What do you think scraggly hair would look like? Or what does that sound like?"

Teacher:
Yes, absolutely. It's so important to have them imagine what that would look like or think about what they would do if they were in that story and ask those questions, have that dialogue. And as you're in that cozy place with your child to have that dialogue with your child, what did you think of this story? What do you wish would have happened at the end or any sort of conversation just about it, just to have that time of dialoguing about the characters, the setting, or the problem or the solution.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's a good reminder, to think about questions that you can ask to kind of activate the child's imagination and maybe have them ask some questions of themselves about the text, so they're interacting with the text. That's something that I can forget to do sometimes when I'm reading my son. My youngest is 10, but we still read it.

Teacher:
Right. And depending on what a child's exposure is, sometimes they're almost intimidated to step into that imaginary land. They think there's a right or a wrong answer. And so for them to just be able to just fantasize about what they think it could be, it's kind of unfamiliar territory for some children.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So it's good, right from the start to ask them those questions. I like that there's not a right or wrong answer. It's just their reaction. And they get to react to it the way they want to. Is there a certain amount of time that parents ought to be reading with their child every day? I've heard numbers knocked around about how many books you should have read to your child by the beginning of kindergarten. Any recommendations that way?

Teacher:
The more you read to your child, their attention span will lengthen. So as that lengthens, you can increase the time that you're reading nightly with your students.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So you just need to be sensitive to the child's attention span.

Teacher:
Absolutely. I have the opposite problem. A lot of times with my kids, they would outlast me and they would want to read so long that I'm falling asleep and I start to read jibberish. So if you have any tricks for how you can be in a cozy nook and still stay awake while reading to your kids, please let me know.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So are there, are there some things not to do? Are there some things that become kind of an obstacle to encouraging reading in children?

Teacher:
Well, I just wanted to say, and it's tagging onto what you said, as a working parent, sometimes you're exhausted and I just want to skip it. I don't have a half an hour. I don't have time just to read. Don't feel like you have to have a certain amount of time that's bookmarks, right? You can start it and stop it. There's a skill in that and talking about what did we, what happened yesterday in the story? What was the beginning? Now let's continue. What do you think's going to happen next? So don't be intimidated. If you don't have a lot of time in the evening, I know what that's like as a working parent. So just read as much as you can.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's great advice because sometimes we put this expectation on our central. I've got to read for half an hour, where just being consistent for five minutes is probably better than, than trying to force that.

Teacher:
I loved the way you said consistency, because honestly, that is the key. If you're consistently reading for five minutes with your children each night, do it. But make sure it's a consistent practice.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So read every day, gauge their level of interest, your ability to stay awake and blend it together, to just create an experience they can look forward to every day.

Teacher:
Absolutely make it a fun activity with that child.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. We'll take a quick break. And when we come back, we'll talk about some of the skills be aware of as you're reading to your children, to help them begin to develop into independent readers. We'll be right back.

Sandra Reisgraf:
How many times do you hear your child ask, "What's for breakfast or what's for lunch?" Find out what's on the menu at your child's Jordan School District school every day by simply downloading the Nutri-slice app to your smartphone or desktop. The Nutri-slice app gives you quick and easy access to daily menus, pictures of meal choices and nutrition information, along with allergens present in the food. The app also allows students and parents to give feedback on food. Download the Nutri-slice app today and enjoy school breakfast and lunch in your school cafeteria.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Alright. We're back from the break with Lori McCarty from Terra Linda and Bonnie Loki from Heartland Elementary. And they're here to talk with us about reading with your young children before they get to kindergarten. What are some of the specific skills that we can help support children in developing so they become independent readers on their own. What do parents need to be aware of so that they can have a solid foundation?

Teacher:
When you begin reading with your child, it's really important to go over concepts of print with them. And that simply means, how you hold the book, turning a page when we're looking at that page, where do we start to read on that page. Which direction do we go? Letting them know that you read from left to right and top to bottom, just those very, very basic skills that children develop as they are immersed with reading. It's also important for them to start to understand that those letters on the pages are delivering the message and that they are intrigued with that. And they want to read to find out what message that book is holding. I like to tell my students, when they're learning the alphabet, that this is just a magical process. And if you can learn these letters and you can learn the sounds that these letters make, you're able to make these words.

And with these words, we make sentences and with sentences we can write stories. And then we can read stories and write about our stories and it unlocks a whole magical process and a whole new adventure for the child. But that adventure honestly starts with how do we hold a book and where do we begin to read on that page. Environmental print is a huge thing for young children. What's environmental print? As we are driving around running our errands, we always see these signs of McDonald's and Burger King. And these are signs and words that these children see all the time. It's the print that they see throughout their environment, but these children naturally pick up on these words and they're able to read these words. We want to help them with these, play games in the car. What word can you find? Or can you find a letter B on this sign. Playing those fun games, getting them excited about the print is a great way to spark their motivation.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What about reading the same book over and over and over and over again? I've done that many times and I've tried to be a really good dad and not say anything about how many times we've read that same book. Even, as I described earlier, tried to stay awake through that same book. Is there value in that? Should we allow some kids to just keep reading the same book over and over again?

Teacher:
Yes, absolutely. The child wants to read that book over and over because they love it. They have interest in that, and that is a way to build their motivation. It also helps them with learning certain skills in that book and building fluency with maybe the letters or the words in that book as well.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Sorry parents, you have to keep reading that book over and over again.

Teacher:
And it also helps with comprehension. I love to do that even in the classroom. Read the same book and go deeper and talk more about some comprehension skills I'm inferring. What do you think's going to happen next? And why do we know that? And for me, that's so much fun to delve in when you've read the book more than once and to really start talking about why you think the character said that, or what you think they were looking at then. It's kind of like giving you a chocolate chip cookie and only letting you have one your entire life. It does not sound like a good idea.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh, you love those cookies. Enjoy them all the time. You can tell.  It makes sense to me that reading the book over and over again has benefits. What if you feel like a child wants to keep reading books that are too easy for them, or maybe aren't challenging them? Is it better to let the child choose the book and allow them to read something that's of interest? Or do you need to be thoughtful about making sure that they're progressing with more and more difficult texts?

Teacher:
I believe there's a balance with that. We want to keep our child or children motivated with reading. We want them to have the opportunity of choice and choosing books. They want to read. However, we do want to be able to push their skills and help them develop deeper vocabulary, deeper comprehension, and there's a time and a place for both. And when a text is easier for a child, that is a time when you can delve in a little bit more to some comprehension or even do some writing beyond it. You know, if you were to write some more to this story, what do you think would happen next if there was a day two to this story? So there's an advantage sometimes, of having a text that's a little bit easier. So then you can go deeper with some of your questioning and have some fun with it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So texts at different levels of difficulty can accomplish different things.

Teacher:
Absolutely.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. Tell me some of your favorite books for young readers, some great picture books, some books that are perennial favorites.

Teacher:
Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom, Brown Bear, Brown bear. The Mitten is fun. Pete, the Cat books.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What are good resources for parents to go to, to find lists of books or ideas for what they can read to their child?

Teacher:
Any library would have a list, but you can also go to the Media Specialist at your school. Talk to your child's teacher, and they could give you a list of books that would be appropriate for your child's reading level.

Superintendent Godfrey:
We're going to take a break. And when we come back, we'll talk about how to address concerns you may have regarding your child's reading skills. Stay with us.

Sandra Reisgraf:
Do you want to know what's going on in Jordan School District, maybe see your child or a friend featured in a school story? Check out our website at jordandistrict.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at Jordan District. Let's connect today.

Superintendent:
We're back with Lori and Bonnie, talking about their ESY for very young children. If a parent is worried that their child might be falling behind in reading skills, is there a sign for them to watch for, or what should they do if they have concerns?

Teacher:
Honestly, you need to go talk to your child's teacher. That's what the teachers are there for. They're professionals. They're working with your child daily and they know your child's reading skills. So approach them. Have a conversation with them. Ask them for helps and tips that you can be doing to work with your child at home. Some things that you can do to further their development. Going to your teacher is the best.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thank you very much for being with us. This is great information. We end every podcast with Two Truths and a Lie. It's your chance to lie to the Superintendent. And I can tell that Lori is dying to lie to me. So, it's your time. I can see it in your eyes. So let's do this. Two Truths and a Lie.

Teacher:
Okay. I used to work for a movie star. I ran my first marathon this summer and I've been to every state except for one.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I wanted to ask a follow-up question on every single one of those. So let's see, I'm going to say that you have not run a marathon.

Teacher:
I haven't. Wow.

Superintendent:
I guess my lie meter continues to work. It was honed when I was an Assistant Principal at the high school. It's still working, fortunately. So tell me about which state have you not been to?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Alaska. Yeah. Just made it to Alaska. It's my 50th birthday. My 50th state. I made it. Are you going to go? Are you hoping to go?

Teacher:
It's not where I'm planning on going to anytime soon, but it's on my bucket list making the other 49.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. Thank you. I'm dying to know which movie star.

Teacher:
She's old school, butI worked for Mia Faro.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Really? Wow. In what capacity?

Teacher:
A tutor to one of her children. She's adopted several children when I lived in Connecticut. And so I had one of her students that I worked with.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Fascinating. How long did you work with Mia?

Teacher:
Oh gosh. It wasn't that long. It was just through the summer because I worked in the classroom with him and then tutored him over the summer, but I went to her home and everything.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Wow.

Teacher:
Yeah. So pictures of Frank Sinatra. Should this all be on? Maybe Mia doesn't want to know that she doesn't want to know about it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I'm not sure Mia listens to the podcast.  If Mia is listening....

Teacher:
I think she's a fan.

Superintendent:
Mia, if you're listening.....

Teacher:
She's a follower of your's, I'm sure.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thank you very much. Both of you. That was fantastic. And remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see you out there. [inaudible].

Show Audio Transcription

They are hoping to make it big in the music industry one day and are well on their way. Superintendent Anthony Godfrey sits down with the singing Keller sisters from Herriman High School to talk about their journey to success and how their parents and teachers have played a role.

Cheyenne and Caysi Keller have already auditioned for The Voice, American Idol and America’s Got Talent – on this podcast they sing for the Superintendent.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. Today, we're going to talk to Herriman High School singing Keller sisters. They share their journey as they seek successful careers in the music industry. Caysi, who's a sophomore and Cheyenne, a junior at Herriman High, also talk about how teachers have helped along the way, and they share some advice on what parents can do to support their teams who have big dreams. But before we sit down with them to talk, let's give you a little taste of their singing.

Music

Superintendent Godfrey:
You were listening to Caysi and Cheyenne Keller singing a Walls by the Lumineers. Now let's sit down with the singing sisters in the super studio. So you're both into music.

Sisters:
Totally

Superintendent Godfrey:
Chy, tell me first, a little bit about your involvement in music.

Chy:
When I was little, I was just looking for my path in life, I guess. I saw a picture of my great, great grandpa that I never got to meet and he was playing the guitar. My dad told me a little story, how he was the first country music star on TV. So this little nine year old got her first guitar. Then I just played every day since, so my fingers bled and my mom was yelling at me to come in and eat dinner. That's where it started.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's wonderful, playing until your fingers bled. That's part of many a guitarist's origin story. There's the legend of Eric Clapton. who just holed up in a London apartment. I think it was for a year. He just decided that he wanted to be good. So that's all he did for a year until his fingers bled. He slept a little bit, ate a little bit and played guitar.

Chy:
Yeah, it happens. It's an addiction.

Superintendent Godfrey:
It starts off as an addiction, but you got to start to balance things out, I guess.

Chy:
Yeah. That's what my parents told me.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay.  Well, I think that qualifies as a productive addiction. And Caysi, tell me about your involvement in music.

Cysi:
I got into singing when I was about 10 years old. My friends, like my best friend, her parents had a performing arts facility. And she just asked me to come check it out. And so I went and I performed with the group and I just fell in love immediately. I'd been seeing for years earlier making goofy videos with me and Chy, but I finally decided to take it seriously and started taking voice lessons. So at about 10 years old, I started taking voice lessons, and been doing it ever since.

Chy:
We somehow had to get the Taylor Swift sound. I like to play guitar, but I didn't like to sing, but we had to play Taylor Swift. You know, it's that age. So we had to get a singer and she definitely had to fill that spot for us.

Superintendent Godfrey
I admire her work. It's difficult for me to connect to it because I'm not going through the experiences anymore. She describes, she says we are never, ever, ever getting back together. I can look back on when I decided that I was never getting back together, but I am not in that circumstance anymore.

Caysi:
We're in a constant state of Taylor Swift vibes. So it's just that age.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What's another Taylor Swift vibe that you connect to? I mean, that's very personal because she talks about some, Oh yeah.

Chy:
That's a good song. I knew you were trouble. That one's kind of hitting me hard lately.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I knew you were in trouble. Yes, she does have a gift. Caysi, did you ever have any interest in an instrument?

Caysi:
I actually took piano lessons for a long time, but I just couldn't quite get into it. I can play some chords on it now and same with guitar and the ukulele, but I'm not super great at anything except I feel like I'm pretty good at singing.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So you dabbled, but you dabbled for a long time and it just didn't spark. The singing is what really took off.

Caysi:
It clicked ]for me, just like the guitar clicked for Chy and she, of course, can play every other instrument on earth, but the guitar is her instrument.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Chy, you're one of those who can just pick up a guitar or any other instrument and start to learn it.

Chy:
I definitely went through an experimental phase, playing the banjo and the piano and the drums for a minute. I went through a lot of shifting with instruments, but I always come back to guitar.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Guitar is a favorite of mine. I've played the ukulele. The guitalele a little bit because my 10 year old, it's just the right size for him to play. So that guitalele is kind of an in between. So do you compose anything or do you like to perform what others have put together mostly?

Caysi:
We are kind of starting down that composition thing. It's hard to finish songs, but we definitely start a lot. The thing that we really like to do is take other people's music that inspires us and change it to our sound that we're finding. We're trying to write more so of our own songs now, but nothing has come up yet. It has finished. We haven't got a single original finished yet. We have like a lot started, but we really like covering. What we perform with are cover songs.

Chy:
There was a point where I wanted to be a writer. One of the things I read was that the way you become a writer is by reading a lot and to write to imitate people that you like. Then you learn your own style. I think that's probably true when you're writing music. There are other musicians that you like, you emulate, you take their song and you make it something different. And then over time, you find your own voice.

Caysi:
Exactly. This is exactly what happened. If we didn't do the cover songs, I don't think we would have ever found the sound we have now, which we really liked.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. What are some of the songs that you've covered that you've changed?

Chy:
Basically, every song we play, we changed because it's kind of limiting with just two people and a guitar or some other instruments, you know? So we have to change the songs anyway. And then our song, our sound that we have together just kind of comes out as we go through it. We moved from Idaho three years ago. In Idaho we got all of our best friends and we had an all girl rock band.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So it was so awesome.

Chy:
We played Idaho Go-Go's. We are called Falling Up. It was honestly really cool. And we had all the sound. We definitely played Joan Jett and we're jumping.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I love that. You're finding inspiration in music from various artists, as groups, as individuals, you have your own voice, but then you're able to find a common voice together. I also love that you're covering Cyndi Lauper.

Caysi:
We'll definitely play that one.

Superintendent Godfrey:

I have her autograph. I sought it.

Caysi:
Oh my gosh. That's honestly awesome.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yes. I went to her concert and I was standing out with the groupies and it was not in the eighties. It was like five years ago, but she waved while walking into the bus and then I got a set list signed from the concert. Not very many teenagers are very excited to hear me say that I have Cindy Lauper's autograph on the side. It's refreshing to find a couple who are. I also have the Yellow vinyl version of she's so unusual that I bought at Barnes and Noble. So I, yeah, you're really striking a cord, so to speak, pun intended. Okay. I'm dying to hear some music, but let's talk more about  you as musicians. Do you like to perform live? Do you prefer the recording and creating process? Let's start with Caysi.  What's most invigorating for you?

Caysi:
So, everything about music is a totally different dynamic than everything else. I love performing because you feel so much from a crowd of people. It's beyond anything I can even describe, there is just so much energy from the people around you. It's just really inspiring and uplifting, playing and sharing this art and seeing their reaction to it is really beautiful to me.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I can imagine. There's almost an electricity to being up in front of the crowd. I've done it a few times, just for fun, like in an assembly as an assistant principal, when none of the kids can go anywhere, so they have to stay and listen. And even at that is really fun, just to be in front and kind of feed off of that energy. We're going to take a quick break and we'll come back to talk more with the Keller sisters.

Sandra Reisgraf:
How many times do you hear your child ask, "What's for breakfast or what's for lunch?" Find out what's on the menu at your child's Jordan School District school every day by simply downloading the Nutri-slice app to your smartphone or desktop. The Nutri-slice app gives you quick and easy access to daily menus, pictures of meal choices and nutrition information, along with allergens present in the food. The app also allows students and parents to give feedback on food. Download the Nutri-slice app today and enjoy school breakfast and lunch in your school cafeteria.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And we're back with the Keller sisters talking about music. Obviously you don't just get to this point. I know you're still in high school, but you've really developed your talent for a long time. I'm very impressed with how you're able to articulate how music fits into your life. You don't get there without great support. Tell me about how your parents have supported this for you.

Chy:
They're everything. They do everything. They literally just changed our entire basement to a recording studio. We moved down here to Utah from Idaho for music. We lived in Pocatello, Idaho, and God bless everybody in that town, but there's not a lot of music presence there. So to get better vocal lessons or different vocal lessons, our parents drove she and I to Utah, three hours a couple of times a month for lessons. We met an amazing voice teacher here and fell in love with that. From there we started performing a ton, so we moved down here just for that really, because we were driving so much. It made sense since we were taking it so seriously. So they definitely changed everything. They are the reason we're in music, honestly. They're not musical, but they gave us more than ever.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I think that's remarkable, even though it isn't their passion or their talent, they see it in you.

Chy:
Yeah. And they help us follow it. Right?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yep. How have school music programs been a support to what you want to pursue?

Caysi:
I took choir. I never thought I would have an interest in choir until I took it. I took it there and I had hope and I really discovered a love for singing through that, entirely. It really grew my passion to be doing it in school and out of school to gain a reputation and to be recognized for what I was so passionate about doing. I still am doing choir and it's really a fun thing to do to meet people and continue to grow and learn every day about something you didn't know about before. It's crazy looking back. The school has honestly been as supportive as our parents.

Chy:
Her choir teacher would get us performances. Mr. Hellman, my teacher would get his performances and even here in Utah, we cover Marlin.

Caysi:
Oh yeah. We performed at our school talent show at Copper Mountain and then the one at Herriman. The one at Copper Mountain, my principal saw and, in front of everyone, he asked us if we would want to perform again. And so we set up during our yearbook signing, we played for about an hour and a half for the yearbook signing. All our friends and everyone at the school was just circling around the room and we had just played the whole time. And it was a really different kind of game for us. It got us so much more experience and it was really good. So the schools, they're really supportive of our passions. I think I see it a lot. The teachers are amazing. Every music teacher, every teacher I've had has been so impressed and so supportive. It's been honestly awesome to watch. It's really awesome.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What advice do you have for parents who want to be supportive of whatever talent or interest their child might want to pursue?

Chy:
Hmm. Well, we're always changing, but I think you can see in your child's eyes, something that sets their soul on fire, something that sticks to me. You can see it in them, even on their worst days, something, they come back to. You just don't let them loose something that is their purpose in life. You've got to find your purpose in life. I feel that even on your worst days, you can still have, because people are going to come into your life that you love, that you are going to miss. And there's something about music for me that has always been there. So definitely, you can tell what someone's passion is. I think by the way they look at it , they feel it and just support them and don't let them lose it.

Caysi:
And I would say, don't get discouraged because we love music. Obviously it is like everything about our lives, we will still have those days when we don't want to do it, when we just want to lay on the couch or watch TV. But at the end of the day, it's not going to ruin us. It's not over for us. We'll still come back tomorrow with a reignited passion. Kids are hard because we do just sometimes want to be bums and lay around. But you always have that connection to that, you know, music or whatever it is. So my advice would be, don't let them loose their passion. Let them grow with it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I like what you both said about, it's what you come back to. It's what you come back to. And we're going to come back to the podcast very soon and learn about their experiences with the music industry, with show business. And I'll give you a hint. America's Got Voice. We'll be right back.

Sandra Reisgraf:
In Jordan School District, the possibilities are endless for anyone looking to grow with a team of professionals, working together to provide the very best for students in education. If you're looking for a great job with great pay and benefits, in a supportive environment, head to workatjordan.org and find your future career in Jordan School District. People come for the job and stay for the adventure. Explore the many options apply today at workatjordan.org.

(19:15):
And we're back with the Keller sisters talking about music. Now you've had some experience with the music industry. Tell us a little bit about what you've been up to.

(19:28):
So I'm shy and I kind of started that with auditioning for America's got talent. That was how long ago now? Three years, three years, ish, three years ago. We first auditioned for America's got talent and didn't go very far, but it was really fun to get like, you know, into that professional industry. So we I specifically kept auditioning for the voice and recently American idol and I keep getting farther every time. So hopefully that'll just one day snap through and be on TV.

(20:16):
Tell me about the experience you had at the farthest point with one of those shows.

(20:21):
So let's see. I went to LA to audition for the voice I had just been invited. I got an email. They asked me to come to LA and audition and it was not like anything I've ever done before, but I was really confident and I met the producers and, you know, talked with the TV guys, like the recording people, people with the cameras and interviews and stuff like that. It was really it wasn't quite what you see on TV. It's more personal, I guess less showy, but you meet a lot of interesting people. Interesting seniors.

(21:14):
So you met fellow competitors. Yeah.

(21:16):
In like waiting rooms and stuff like that. We would introduce ourselves and everyone was super outgoing. So it was easy to meet.

(21:25):
So you weren't quietly squaring at each other, trying to case out the talent you're up against.

(21:32):
I feel like it's not that competitive because every voice is so different. It's kind of like comparing apples and oranges, you know,

(21:38):
Makes sense. I like them both. Yeah,

(21:41):
Exactly. But she's honestly being modest about like the show thing, because she sent in a video just of her singing to American idol and they invited her to come back and perform live even though she's under age. So you're supposed to be 16. I was five days before the cutoff, my birthday was so they invited her back and I have to go with her because she doesn't like to sing alone and she gets a little scared. So I always get to go and participate in the audition process. It's pretty cool. And there was like five people in the room. And she was the only one that they wanted to keep talking to and the other, they sent the others home and they just told her that they were so impressed with her and they were, it was, she was amazing. And it was honestly so cool. They were so nice to all those seniors in the room, but it was definitely amazing to see her at her young age, being able to come in and blow these producers away that are surrounded by so much talent all the time. It was really cool to watch my little sister be like fan girl about by these LA people.

(22:54):
So does that mean that you'll be headed back next year?

(22:58):
I will be auditioning whether they invite you.

(23:01):
I think from the sound of it, you have great things ahead and I'm going to get in early and I'm going to request tickets front row tickets and access to the meet and greet. And I'll buy a lot of merch though. You can count it.

(23:22):
Okay, good. Are you going to buy the vinyl records?

(23:25):
I'm hoping that you're going to put out the color vinyl splatter. You can count on me buying every vinyl version of your first release. So plant on it. And when you're writing a song, when you're looking to write a song, I think the moving from Idaho thing moved, leave the Idaho and rodeo to go see, I mean, it's already rhyming. The song writes itself. You're right. You're right. Yeah. Well, let's let's hear some music. We'll take a quick break and we'll come back to here's some tunes from the Keller sisters.

(24:01):
Sweet. Awesome.

(24:04):
Hello. My name is Steven Hall. I'm director of the Jordan education foundation. Have you ever experienced what it's like to surprise a teacher in the classroom with school supplies, books, or a classroom grant? Have you seen students all smiles because you cared enough to give them a backpack, a winter coat weekend, food bags, or a free holiday shopping spree. It's something we see all the time because it is exactly what Jordan education foundation does. The foundation exists due to the generosity of people who care about kids. If you would like to be a part of supporting students and teachers in the classroom, contact Jordan education foundation and start making a difference today, you can find us at Jordan education foundation.

(25:00):
[Inaudible],

(25:01):
We're going to let them play us out with girls. Just want to have fun. Thanks to the Keller sisters for being here. I have a hunch. This isn't going to be the last time that I see you guys. I'm requesting front row tickets and advantage immediately access. And I hope you'll sign my color vinyl version of your So just remember education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see you out there and now planning this out. The Keller sisters with girls. Just want to hear

(25:53):
[Inaudible]. I [inaudible] in the middle of [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible].

Show Audio Transcription

This podcast addresses suicide prevention.

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox shares his personal experience and hard work to raise suicide prevention awareness in Utah.

Then, Jordan School District Health and Wellness Specialist, McKinley Withers, shares advice for parents on how to start a conversation about suicide prevention with students. How do you open the lines of communication and keep the conversation going.

If you or anyone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or by calling the University of Utah Crisis Line at 801-587-3000. You can also download the SafeUT app.

For additional resources visit wellness.jordandistrict.org


Audio Transcription

The following podcast is about suicide prevention. If you or anyone, you know, needs help contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or locally by calling the university of Utah CrisisLine at (801) 587-3000 or download the SAFE UT app.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. Today, we're going to talk about something that is impacting far too many families throughout Utah and the country right now. And that's suicide. More importantly, we're going to talk about suicide prevention in just a moment. We'll hear from our Jordan School District Health and Wellness Specialists, McKinley Withers. He joined us on the podcast previously with the episode titled, Happiness Forecast. He has information and resources for us to help prevent suicide, information for parents about what to do, if they're worried about their teen or just what they ought to be talking with their teen about, even if they don't see signs of a problem. But first, we had the opportunity to talk to Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox, who has a very personal story to tell. He's raising awareness statewide and has an important message for students when it comes to suicide prevention. Lieutenant Governor Cox.

Thank you very much for taking a few moments to talk with us for the podcast. You've been an advocate for suicide prevention. Tell us a little bit about some of what's been happening lately.

Sepncer Cox:
Well, we have some really exciting announcements around suicide prevention, as you know. This has been a struggle for our state, unfortunately the numbers of those that we've lost over the past few years have been unacceptable and, of course, losing any life. These are all preventable deaths. And so we really have turned a corner in Utah, in focus on this at a pub public policy level. We started about two years ago, the Governor Suicide Prevention Task Force, and coming out of that task force with some of the best and brightest in the state, we've had some incredible ideas.

The legislature has been very supportive. One of those ideas was the creation of a fund to help us to help us with suicide prevention awareness. We've never had a true statewide campaign with all stakeholders involved, to make sure that we're giving people good information and helping people understand where they can go for help and how to overcome those dark feelings that so many of us have had, me included. And so we got a million dollars from the legislature, if we could match it from the private sector. We announced yesterday, and we're so excited about this, the private sector stepped up. We now have the $2 million. We are just going through the RFP process right now for that suicide prevention campaign. And next year we will be launching that. It's a huge deal for Utah. We're very excited. And we just have to do more to help, especially our young people, understand that we need them to stay. That this life is so important and that things will get better.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thank you very much. That's an exciting initiative. And you've been a personal advocate because of some personal experiences that you went through. And I know you connected to one of our students on a field trip up to visit you. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Spencer Cox:
Happy to. So, a few years ago I went to a conference on Suicide Prevention and I had my talking points all ready that my staff had helped me prepare and I listened to the stories of survivors. I listened to stories of parents who had lost their children. And I was just taken back to a time when I struggled and I realized that we needed to talk about this more, that talking about it is actually healthy. That it's good, that it helps kids understand that they're not alone because when we get in those dark times, we feel like we're the only one and we must be broken and there's something wrong with us. I went through that in middle school. I was bullied. My parents had been divorced. It was a really dark time for me.

And I started thinking that maybe the world would be a better place if I wasn't in it. And I'm so grateful that I had people I could talk to. People that believed in me, people that helped me. And I'm just grateful that I stayed in and I have an incredible life. So I I've started sharing that now, as I travel around and I did meet with some students from your District that were at my office. They're always taken back a little They're there to tour the Capitol and see things. And why is this guy talking to us about suicide prevention? But I want them to know that it's okay and that they're not alone. And what we do know is that in a class of 30 to 35 kids, seven of them have had those thoughts.

There's a power in understanding that and realizing that and encouraging people to talk to someone, to find someone, whether it's a friend, a family member, a counselor, a teacher, someone that they can talk to about what they're feeling. And so I mentioned that to these kids and just said, "Hey, look, I know what some of you right now in this room are thinking about. I know you are statistics tell me there are probably five or six of you. And you need to find someone to talk to, anyone. And if you can't talk to anyone, talk to me. And as we finished, a student came up and said, can I give you a hug? And I said, sure. And she told me, I'm one of those that's been thinking about it.

And this is the other thing. Sometimes we don't know what to do. And if you're not one of those five or six people, then you have a friend that is, so talk about it. And I just said, I thank you for sharing that with me. You know, don't freak out. Just tell them how much you love them. And then, and then refer them and help them get help. And that's what I did. I said, thank you for sharing that. It means the world to me. We talked for a few minutes about her feelings. And then I was able to talk to some of the administrators and counselors and get her some help. And I understand she's doing much better. And so it seems really simple, but that's how we save lives.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thank you. That's great advice because so many people are afraid of talking about it. They're worried that if they talk about it, it'll make things worse or give someone an idea, when in fact, like you said, it just emphasizes that you're not alone and that this isn't a unique thing for someone to feel. And for someone in your position to be willing to talk about it, like you said, on a Capitol tour of all things, to be able to talk about that, it's just what we need to be doing. And I really appreciate your example in that way. Is there any last words of encouragement you would give any students listening to the podcast?

Spencer Cox:
Well, I would just tell students everywhere how powerful they are and the potential that they have that they don't even realize yet. There are so many great days ahead. And we love you. We're excited for your future, and even if it seems hopeless and dark right now, it is not, trust me. Please find someone to reach out to. I would encourage everyone to download the SAFE Utah app on their phones, at the push of a button. When you find yourself in those dark moments in crisis, you can be connected anonymously, if you want to be with a mental health professional, who can walk through those things with you. And if you don't have access to a smartphone or a tablet to do that, you can you can always just pick up the phone and call the Suicide Lifeline here in the state. It's 1-800-273-TALK, that's 1-800-273-TALK. And please, please, please find someone to talk to. There are better days ahead.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Lt. Governor Cox, thank you so much for taking the time. I know you're busy. We really appreciate it. Thank you.

We're back in studio with McKinley Withers, the Health and Wellness Specialist for Jordan School District. So McKinley, I want to focus specifically on what parents can do to help prevent suicide. First off, should parents talk to their children about suicide?

McKinley:
Yes, definitely. And there is a myth out there that talking about it might plant the idea in a child's head or might make them think about it if they weren't before. There's no reason to believe that's the case. It's safe to talk about it. And, in fact, it's one of the best ways to begin the conversation and also to get help for your child. It helps alleviate those feelings that they may be having, just to know that their parent has asked directly actually about that. So great.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So in what ways do we go about asking that question? How do we approach the topic with our kids? Because you don't just want out of the blue, want to say, "Hey, by the way", it's always hard to approach topics like that. How do we go about it?

McKinley:
You can safely assume that your child has heard about it already, that the media, that they are exposed to that. It's already talking about it. They may have seen it in shows. They've heard it mentioned. So you're not the first person to bring it up. And that's important to acknowledge so that you feel a little bit more comfortable with asking about it. So that can come up naturally in conversations about some of their media content. Maybe they've come across it at school, or maybe they've asked a question. But also if you're seeing any signs that they're struggling or acting differently, I think that a really inviting and open way to ask the question is something along the lines of, "I've noticed that you've been struggling a little bit, you've been having a hard time. And I've heard that a lot of kids your age, when they struggle might have thoughts of hurting themselves, is that something you've ever thought about?" And the reason that's a good way to ask the question is it already tells them, you're aware that a lot of other kids have that issue. So it doesn't make them feel bad about it. So they're more likely to say, "Well, yeah, I have thought about it."

Superintendent Godfrey:
I like that. That makes a lot of sense. So let's say that they say, no, I haven't. Then what do you say after that?

McKinley:
Well, thank you for talking to me. And if you do ever have those thoughts or feelings, just know that I'm here and I'm always willing to talk about it and make sure that you get the help that you need, which starts with me.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What if they say yes. Okay.

McKinley:
So, there's actually a pretty good chance that you could hear yes. And that can be a scary thought for many people.

But if somebody says yes, it doesn't mean that they've necessarily made a plan, that it's imminent. Simply that they've thought about it before.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Right. So where do you go from there?

McKinley:
And I'll tell you, I think it's important to say how not to react, because if you want to close down that conversation, say something like, "Oh, well that would be stupid. Or, you know you wouldn't want to go and do something like that, would you?" Because that makes them not feel safe. And they might say, "Oh, you're right. I'm not thinking about it. So acknowledging and validating, I think that is a really good general rule for parents when it comes to these difficult conversations, is to remember that if it matters to the child, then it matters. So don't downplay whatever it is that they're struggling with by saying, "Oh, you're thinking about hurting yourself over that breakup.  I thought you guys were together for three weeks. That's ridiculous. Right." So you can see how that, rather than, "Wow. I didn't realize that's so hard and I'm here to help."

Superintendent Godfrey:
That makes a lot of sense. So I think that starting with don't freak out, don't tell them that it's dumb that they're concerned, or that they are struggling with those thoughts or shut down that conversation, but to open it up and validate whatever it is that matters to them. Have that conversation. And you can almost use that same sentence structure that we use to ask the question and say, "well, I've heard that many kids struggle with these feelings and thoughts, and I've also heard that they get better and that there is hope, and that there is help available. And I want to be here for you".

Superintendent Godfrey:
I'm just sitting across from you hearing it's a hypothetical, I know, but it kind of feels good to hear that even in a hypothetical situation. So I can see that would be very effective. And I can definitely see how easy it would be to try to convince the child that you're not in a situation where you would ever need to do that. And it would not feel like talking to them out of it. It would just be shutting down lines of communication. And so it makes a lot of sense to me that if it's a yes, if it's a no, whatever the answer is, you want to do whatever you can to keep the lines of communication open.

McKinley:
We have a tendency to minimize because that feels safer. We don't want it to be a problem either. We don't want our kid to be suicidal or so you want to say, well stop that, you know, turn that off. And  be done with that and let's move on, but that's not going to help them feel better. That's going to shut them down. So rather than minimizing, just continuing that supportive listening relationship. And I'll tell you, I think that our most impactful moments of suicide prevention are way before that crisis conversation, right? It's our everyday interactions that open up that line of communication. It's our mundane validation of the child's behavior. Whatever it is that matters to them, if we've told them that their thoughts and feelings matter on a consistent basis, when they're struggling, you've made that investment. And that's when that particular conversation goes a lot better because you've proved to them that you're a trusted person.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So keep the conversation going with your child, ask about suicide when you can, when you can make it part of the conversation, whether the answer is yes or no, don't minimize. Keep the communication open. What signs should parents watch for? They should talk with their child about suicide regardless, but what are the warning signs to be concerned about?

McKinley:
So we're going to talk about three primary areas of concern, where warning signs are typically expressed, what words, what they might say, actions, things they might be doing and circumstances or situations they might be in. So with words, anything that would indicate that they feel like a burden, this family would be a lot better if I weren't here, or if they're often expressing feelings of even loneliness isolation. I don't have any friends or I don't have anything that I could be doing. You know, they feel bored often. I mean, they're expressing that they're just don't feel value in their life or feel purposeful or and especially again, I'm going to say this word again, because it's very important, that they feel like a burden to their friends or to the family, that they're not worth something.

Okay. And also with words, they may say something about hurting themselves and that's important to take seriously. Even if it's ingest sometimes. Sure. So whether they're talking about feeling like a burden or even hurting themselves and then actions, so when it comes to behavior, you're looking for big changes. And sometimes I guess I shouldn't say big changes. It might be subtle changes, but something that's off in how they're acting, whether that's sleeping too much, sleeping, too little eating, too much eating, too little increases in substance abuse, they're isolating withdrawing. And then the third area is situations. So if you know about a breakup or if you know about, they were cut from a team or even a divorce in your family or the loss of a friend or a family member, someone who's died, those are situational factors. That really what you're looking for is a combination of things. You might hear a few words that are a little bit off. You might see a few changes that in their behavior that are a little bit off, but you also might be aware of some circumstances. So it's not that every breakup is there on the path to hurting themselves, but if they've had a breakup and they've also been acting a little bit differently and not dealing with it, how you would expect, and you've also heard them saying some things that would indicate they don't feel valued, I would be concerned.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay, we're going to take a quick break. Then we'll be back with McKinley Withers to talk about how we can keep our home safe and what resources are when we do see that there's a problem.

Break:
Hey, you okay?

Yeah. I just have a lot of stuff going on in my head.

You need to talk, dude, stop hiding behind the happy face. Talk with no filter, get the safe UT app, download it now available on the Apple app store, Google play or SafeUT.org.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And we're back here with McKinley Withers, the Health and Wellness Specialist for Jordan School District. McKinley, tell me how can we create a safe environment at home?

McKinley:
So there are a few things to think about when it comes to safety in the home. We've already talked a lot about safe conversations, so it's important to keep that safe conversation going. That it's okay to talk about these serious topics with our children and to build their trust with them.

When they are struggling, the other type of safety is physical safety. We want to create a home environment that if someone were struggling and they were going to make an impulsive or sudden decision to hurt themselves, that there is time and distance between them and something that would hurt them. So to create that kind of safety, we need to consider primarily two things, pills and guns.

Oftentimes we don't think to lock up or create a distance or time and distance between a child and pills, but that's an important thing to consider in your home. Does my child have too easy of access to pills and the other is guns? Those need to be locked up, kept away from children. If there is a combination on a safe, change it, just so that you're confident and certain that your children don't have access to a loaded gun.

Superintendent Godfrey:
McKinley. What resources are available to parents who are worried about their children?

McKinley:
So there are several and your greatest tool is in most people's pockets. Your cell phone can be a great resource. If you'd say to Siri, "I'm thinking about hurting myself or someone in my home is thinking about hurting themselves", Siri will automatically offer to call the National Prevention Lifeline. That's something you can try just to practice it. Know that it's there. You can actually just call that number. So that's 1-800-273-TALK, so you just spell talk.

You can use the Safe UT app, which will connect you to the U of U Crisis Line, which you can also just call directly at (801) 587-3000. The U of U Crisis Line is connected to the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team in the Salt Lake Valley. So if there is the need, for someone will come physically to your house to support an individual who might be struggling. Then that team can be reached through that number as well.

And then also, you can check wellness.jordandistrict.org. There are a number of resources and connections for those difficult situations.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What about school counselors and school psychologists? Parents can always contact them for help.

McKinley:
Definitely. Yeah. We've got the best in the business as you know. So if you're not sure where to go, the individuals at your school can help you. They are great people who care about kids. No question about it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. Well, thank you very much for your time McKinley. I recommend that folks listen to the other podcast episode we already have, and we'll have future podcast episodes about happiness, health, wellness, how to connect, communicating well with your child. It's really about creating that healthy environment at home. So thanks again for all your help.

McKinley:
Thanks for having me.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thanks for joining us on the podcast. And remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see you.

McKinley:
If you or anyone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or locally by calling the University of Utah Crisis Line at (801) 587-3000 or download the Safe UT app.

Show Audio Transcription

Utah Jazz legend Thurl Bailey talks about growing up in a home where he was never allowed to be average. He even sings for the Superintendent.

Then we hear from a second grade student, a middle school student and a high school senior. They all have questions for the Superintendent.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. Today we take our podcast to new heights, literally, by talking about the importance of education and learning with six foot 11 inch Utah Jazz legend Thurl Bailey. Then we'll head back to the studio to visit with a second grader named Lincoln, a middle school student named Cade, and a high school senior name to Emily. We have a lot to learn from them, so I hope you'll stick around. But first here's Thurl Bailey who gave us a little taste of his musical talents. [inaudible]

Superintendent Godfrey:
Here with Thurl Bailey, who just gave an inspiring speech to our Administrative Leadership Conference between us. We have 12 years in the NBA and it's been a great experience to be able to talk with Mr. Bailey here today. Thanks again for being with us. You talked about how people in your life had a big influence in your success. I was really impressed with that. Your message wasn't about you. It was about the influence of important people at key moments in your life. Can you tell us about the role that your parents have played in your success?

Thurl:
Well, my parents obviously played the major role in me being the type of person I am today. And as a parent now, I understand the job of a parent is to be that influencer and teacher at home and disciplinary. And then, growing up in DC, a lot of kids didn't have that. They didn't have a mom and a dad that were there and parented jointly. So I was very fortunate. They really laid the foundation for us as kids. Education was number one. I was threatened that I couldn't come home with C's or below by my parents. And, in your mind, you wonder why, because a lot of people will say, well, a C is a passing grade and my mom made it clear that C was average and she didn't raise average kids.

And so our goal was, our job was to go in and do above average work, do the work and, and ask the right questions to the right people. And so it was just a great foundation, especially in an environment I grew up in. And I just believe that everybody we come across are influencers and educators in one way or another on the positive side and on the other side of it. So in the end, it really is about having information. It's about getting that education. And it's about understanding that people are there for you and to help you if you want it. We know a lot of people who will sit there and not ask a question and fail because they don't take it the next step further and ask the question. So my parents really gave us a really good beginning of how to communicate and then just how to progress in your life.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I love the message from your mom about expectations, that she expected you to be working hard and to achieve. And she would accept nothing less and expectations make a big difference, right?

Thurl:
That's what was implanted early. And that's really a good point you're making because if it's implanted early on, the parents are reinforcing that, right? The kids have a certain expectation. It's not just about their achievement. They want to do it for other people. They want to show their parents that they're working very hard, but until that's consistently planted in you in the beginning, a lot of kids don't have that for one reason or another. Maybe some of the reasons aren't their fault, but that's when you have other people like these educators and the administrators that come into their lives and tell them, I see that potential in you. I know you can do it. And I'm here with you. If you want to commit.

Superintendent Godfrey:
You know, it's really hard to hold the microphone up that high. It kind of wears on my arm a little bit. Any last words of encouragement for our students that, you know, times are tough. There's a lot of anxiety out there. Kids are working hard. Social, emotional wellness is something we really focus on. Any words of encouragement for kids out there that may be struggling or questioning their own worth.

Thurls:
Yeah. I say, you've got so much potential. One of the things that I try to encourage kids to do is to find what they're passionate about. Find something that they're passionate about and don't ever, ever think that they can't achieve it or should go through it alone. There are people that care, there are people that want to help and their development and in their success. I know you don't know anyone who's ever been successful on their own. And so they have all the tools and the help that they need, but sometimes it takes a little courage, right? To take that step and say, listen, I need help. This is what I want. I'm passionate about it. Can you help me get to the next level? Or can you help me find someone who can help me with this? And I think that's one of the things that a lot of technology has taken out of a kid's somewhat, is the ability to communicate and do that without having to be through a phone.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thank you so much great messages. And I've watched you for a long time as a player and a commentator. And I can't tell you what a thrill, it's been very inspiring day to spend time with you.

Thurl:
Thank you very much. Take care of the best you.

Superintendent Godfrey:
We're back in studio. Thanks again to Thurl Bailey for sharing his thoughts on education. Now, we have superstars of our own who've been kind enough to join us.

Students:
Gabe I'm from Oquirrh Hills and I'm going to ninth grade. I'm Emily, and I'm going to be a senior this year.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Tell me about what you're looking forward to and what your plans are and hopes are for the coming year.

Gabe:
I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of new people, a lot of the new teachers that are transferring into the school, and I'm hoping for it to be a great year and have some pretty good teachers.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah, that's great. I'm glad that you're looking forward to meeting new people. That's a big part of being in school. It's kind of a target rich environment for making your friends and for being able to connect and have some fun. How about you, Emily? What are you looking forward to this year? Senior year?

Emily:
Yeah, the big one. I'm really excited for the classes that I'm taking. I'm through with all my required classes. So I'm doing business law and sports marketing, just getting into some more specific classes that are gonna be really interesting to me.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So do you know what you want to do?

Emily:
I know I'm interested in marketing, but hopefully the classes will give me a little bit of direction because right now, I don't know.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's a great part of high school. You get to try some things that maybe you won't be able to do down the line that gives you a little bit of a chance to experiment and see what you like.

Emily:
Yeah. I'm really excited for it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's great. Lincoln, what are you thinking about for this coming school year? What are you hoping for this year? What are you excited about going back to school, going to second grade?

Lincoln:
So you're excited about moving on to second grade by the end of first grade where you kind of looking forward to second grade already.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What do you like most about school? You like what? You like the end of school? Well, I think we all liked the end of our day and when we feel the accomplishment of getting to the end of the year. We'll come back again to you, Lincoln. Let's talk a little bit about, there's actually a book out there that you probably haven't read because it really wouldn't apply to you. But I think you may have some insights the book has to offer. And the book is "What I Wish My Teacher Knew". So I'm wanting to ask you that same question, not any specific teacher of yours, but we've all been through school. All adults have been through school at one time or another. And so we all sometimes get the impression that we know what it's like and that we can remember what it's like and that we haven't figured out. So can you tell me anything that you wish adults knew that they don't seem to know about what it's like to be in your shoes?

Emily:
I feel like a lot of classes that I have just so many assignments and so many worksheets, and you're moving through these units really quickly. And there isn't enough time. I don't know. I feel like there's too much emphasis on turning in your homework and getting a good grade on a test rather than actually understanding what you're doing. And so I wish that classes could move a little slower and I know there's curriculum that you have to cover, but sometimes I think it could be a day or two extra, like to fully learn things.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So sometimes it feels like maybe there's too much happening in too short a time.

Emily:
Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. How about you, Gabe?

Gabe:
I wish the teachers knew they need to get more involved with students because kids learn better when they're having fun. I remember things when I was having fun back in elementary and I remember those things more than I did when I was just sitting behind a desk, looking at a paper.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So when teachers are engaging, when they make things fun. And they involve their students. Okay. So you definitely couldn't tell a class that's focused on students and that brings that out. Okay, great. Lincoln, what are some of the things that you really like that your teachers have done in your class? What are some things you really liked about your first grade teacher?

Lincoln:
She started with an ELA class. So you like your friends in the class and her name started with L like your name.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh, Ms. Lee Lincoln. That's awesome. Can you remember any of your favorite books?

Lincoln:
The book with no pictures.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Alright. We're going to take a quick break and we'll be right back. Stay with us.

Sandra Reisgraf:
If you're always looking for opportunities to learn something new, why not join us for the next Jordan Parent University? Jordan Parent University is an opportunity for parents to better understand issues that impact their own students and education. It's an evening class designed to help parents with things like planning for the road beyond high school, better understanding  of students' social and emotional health and wellness. And knowing who to call when there are issues involving a school or a student, Jordan Parent University is free and open to the public. For a list of upcoming classes, times and locations go to jpu.jordandistrict.org. See you there.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome back. We're here in studio with Gabe, Emily, and Lincoln, talking about the coming school year and asking what their goals are for the school year to come. So I'm just going to ask each of them to talk about one goal that they have for the school year. Okay. So Gabe, why don't you tell us.

Gabe:
One goal I would like to see the school year is to have classes that are more in depth into certain subjects, such as salesmanship and marketing.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. So you want to get a little deeper into some of the subjects?

Gabe:
Exactly.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Salesmanship and marketing. Is that something that you're interested in? Maybe down the line?

Gabe:
Yes.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Alright. Very good. What do you want to sell? Whatever's thrown your way?

Gabe:
Exactly. Whatever works.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. Awesome. And Emily, tell me, what's your goal for this year?

Emily:
My goal for this year is to make more friends and be more outgoing than I have been the past two years.

Superintendent Godfrey:
It's a little bit hard sometimes. Isn't it?

Emily:
Yeah. That's about it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And talk to any old person like me who graduated in the 19 hundreds and they will tell you that they wish they could go back and be more outgoing and be more friendly and make more connections.

Emily:
Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's great. Great goals. What do you like to learn about Lincoln? If you have a favorite animal, what's your favorite animal?

LIncoln:
A horse.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What do you like about horses?

Lincoln:
Oh, sorry. A horse just walked by.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What do you like about horses? Do you ride horses?

Lincoln:
They're cute. Faces.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Do you know what I say when I see a horse that seems sad? Say, why the long face you haven't had a horse before? Would you like to have a horse someday? Your mom doesn't want a horse?

Well, my mom didn't even want a dog. So Lincoln, do you have a question for me?

Lincoln:
Do you have a dog?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thank you for asking. I have a dog named Molly. Molly is a white dog. And if I say her name in particular way, she knows, I just might give her a walk and she knows how to sit right on the carpet in just the right spot and look at me and pull your ears up. I'm ready to hear my name called for you to take me for a while. So she understands that she doesn't understand. I've had a long day and I may not want to walk around the block a few times, but I always feel better after I do walk her.

Do you have chickens?

Likes chicken is White Dandelion, Dandelion, the White Chick. When he grows up, he'll eat the most eggs for breakfast. When he grows up, he'll lay the most eggs. Tell you all of them about the eggs, because the ones that lay cool eggs. So some of them lay cooler eggs than others.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's so cool. You know, Lincoln, I might need you to name my next dog because I named my dog, Molly. And that's not halfway as exciting. Given your chickens. I'm glad you liked the name. I feel better about that. Now, Emily, you have two dogs.

Emily:
I do have two dogs. They are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and yeah, I know. And they act the part. They are, have to be waited on hand and foot constantly. Yeah, Barclay and Freckles. They're brothers. They're Barclay and Freckles. Barclay as in Big Bird's dog andFreckles because he has freckles on his mouth and I love them. They're the best.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's fine. How big are they?

Emily:
They're pretty little. They probably each weigh 15 pounds and they're full size. Good size dog to have in the house. Just about Molly. What kind of dog is Molly?

Superintendent Godfrey:
A West Highland Terrier.

Emily:
Don't think I know what that is.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. Gabe, any pets?

Gabe:
I have a cat.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What's your cat's name? Fiona. Fiona. Very nice. That sounds like a cat name.

Gabe:
Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Interesting. Yeah. A lot of personality?

Gabe:
That's not how I'd put it, but personality. Yeah, pretty much. Fiona just lays around the house or why she lays around and hunts and that's pretty much it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh, she lays around except when she's hunting.

Gabe:
Yeah. So she was an alley cat and she came to her back door and so we pretty much just adopted her from there, but ever since we bought her, we've never had a rat problem.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I can imagine. Sounds like Fiona gives the impression of not being ready to pounce, but then comes out of nowhere.

Gabe:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. She's brought some interesting stuff. She wants brought us a snake to our back door.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh yeah, absolutely.

Gabe:
Yeah. She sat there at the door and just started meowing until we came out to look at it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Wow. And so how does one show appreciation? Do you scratch her and say good kitty?

Gabe:
Oh, I'm terrified to. Better to kill a snake. Who knows when she can?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh yeah. I'm with ya. Okay. Do you have another question again?

Gabe:
How do you decide the lunch schedules? Because at Oquirrh, we are getting an insane amount of new kids and how are we going to decide the lunch schedules?  How does that work?

Superintendent Godfrey:
The school works to set up the lunch schedule and sometimes we have to, every once in a while, we have to have three so that you are split in between class with lunch and you can actually get two tardies in the same class if you're tardy, before lunch. And after that, what we really try to do is boil it down to two lunches. And we have a requirement for the number of hours and days that we held at school. So we try to balance that out with the number of hours that we need to provide instruction and getting everyone through the election. So your school be working on figuring that out.

Gabe:
Awesome.

Emily:
So this is a little bit of a piggyback, I guess, off games question. Just in general, do you ever create a policy for an individual school or is it usually just directing like blanket policies over the whole district?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Our policy manual started back in 1969 and it gets thicker every time something happens that is unique or that we're trying to help protect people. Sometimes something happens at an individual school and we make a policy and every policy applies to every school, every school. We try to provide as much flexibility as we can because just like Gabe pointed out, different schools have different needs. So we try to do things in a way so there are policies that cover issues that relate to every school, but enough flexibility so that schools can do what they need to with their lunch schedule or with their bell schedule and meet the needs of their students.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Lincoln, do you have another question for me?

Lincoln:
Saturdays? What do I like to do on Saturdays?

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's a great question. I like to avoid email if I can, but I really like to go to concerts and listen to music. I love live music, so I like to go to concerts and I like to go out to breakfast with my family. I have two sons and I like to go out to breakfast with my wife and two sons. Molly has to stay at home though. She doesn't get to come with us for that, but that's what I like to do on Saturdays.

Lincoln:
Cause a lot of restaurants don't like dogs to come in? Some of them let dogs come in. Does she likes to stay home?

Superintendent Godfrey:
It's okay. She lays down in the sun. How about you? What do you like to do on Saturday?

Lincoln:
Stay home, man. She knows my mom and dad. That's a good way to spend a Saturday for sure.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Gabe, Emily Lincoln. It's been a pleasure. Have a great school year. And if I can help you with anything along the way, let me know.

Students:
Thank you so much. Thank you.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thanks everyone out there and join us next time for the Supercast. And remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today.

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