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There are many options for students interested in classes at the Jordan Academy for Technology and Careers. One program is “purr-fect” for animal lovers. Today we take you inside the Veterinary Science Program where teens are turning their love for furry creatures of all kinds into careers.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. In this episode, we had inside the very hands-on Veterinary Science Program at JATC North, where teens are turning their love of animals into possible careers. The program helps West Jordan Animal Control, spay and neuter stray and feral cats., giving them the chance at a better life. It's a life lesson students embrace. Let's start by heading inside the animal operating room with instructor and licensed Veterinarian, Dr. Wyatt Frampton.

Dr. Frampton:
I feel like you learn a lot about animals and Vet Science, but you also learn a lot about life in general in this class. I would say that the majority are probably not going to stay in the profession of animals. They're going to go find some way to make more money easier. But hopefully we're going to have animals, so I'd like to take care of them. And they are going to tell them you're probably going to live until that age, regardless of what they think. Now, you're going to run into medical things. As you get older, teach them as much medicine as we go along that behavior.

Superintendent:
For those listening, he's talking through a mask, as you can imagine, because he's in surgery. While Dr. Frampton takes a few students at a time through the spay and neuter process in the operating room, we stepped out into the clinic to talk with other teens in the program. What made you guys want to be in this program?

Student:
I wanted a good job after high school. I knew that Vet tech would give me something to be able to get a good paying job after high school.

Superintendent:
Do you like animals? Is that why you chose this program?

Student:
I do. I'm more interested in horses, but I thought that being a Vet tech after high school would be a good way to go down that path of being a horse Vet.

Superintendent:
So, okay. That's great.

Student:
I want to be a Veterinarian so I thought that this would further the career and get me more interested all around.

Superintendent:
What made you want to be a Vet? Do you like animals? What was it that moved you that way?

Student:
I really like animals, and I just always kind of wanted to be a Vet. I just always wanted to, so this is like one step closer to being, doing animal therapy. I just joined the class because it's one step closer to it. I've \grown up with my four dogs. My whole life, I've always had four dogs and I just liked being around them. And I want to work with bigger animals when I'm older. So that's why I did this class just because it gets me closer to doing that.

Superintendent:
What bigger animals do you want to work with?

Student:
Like more wildlife, like zoo animals, tigers and lions and all that stuff. I just have always had like a huge passion for those animals and I just would love to work with them and help rehabilitate them and everything.

Superintendent:
Sorry. Did you just give a shot to a cat there?

Student:
It's the dates them. So in a few minutes, he's going to be feeling a little bit funny. It's going to be drugged up. So we'll write down the time that we gave it and wait for her to fall asleep.

Superintendent:
So tell me about these cats. We've got these cats in cages here. Where did these cats come from?

Student:
They come from West Jordan Animal control when they're in these cages and then the ones that are in the completely confined cage, those ones are feral. So they're more likely to be a little bit more aggressive.

Superintendent:
What's this cat's name over here? Emily. Is Emily about to get a shot? Oh, she's almost out. Oh, she's the one who's actually is out.

Student:
Yeah.

Superintendent:
Okay. See, I have love on her ear and maybe that means she's out.

Student:
Yeah.

Superintendent:
Back inside the operating room. Dr. Frampton explains the goal of this program.

Dr. Frampton:
We try to mimic, we're definitely not a full service veterinary clinic, but we're running a spay neuter program for West Jordan Animal Shelter. So this would be the exact same thing that a full service veterinarian clinic would do with every animal that comes in. We've got this cat that's pre-medicated and ready to go under anesthesia. We're going to be vaccinating her right now. We'll be putting the endotracheal tube to put her on on the gas anesthetics. And then she'll be taken into the other room after we spade or after we clip and scrub her. And then she will be spayed and sent back today. And hopefully by next week have a new home.

Superintendent:
And any surgeries though are done by you? A licensed vet.

Dr. Frampton:
Yes. The students under my supervision could do vaccinations, giving medications or anything like that, but actual surgery, you know, the surgery they get to do would be things like ear tipping, the feral cat was ear tipped. And the only reason we tip their ears is we can see at a distance if they've already been fixed, was to take the cat to recover fully, getting back to the regular mischief.

I feel like it's two weeks. I think that it takes a little while for them, after they first get fixed when they're in the shelter and everything. They're probably going to be sore for a couple more days afterwards.

Superintendent:
What animals will students end up working on in the program?

Dr. Frampton:
We're looking at dogs and cats in the program. But if they go to a certain type of practice, they can go anywhere from large animals horses, cattle, sheep whatever, or they can go into exotics. Pretty much any exotic animal out there. So it really depends on what their interests are. They have a 80 hour externship that they do. And it's depends on their interest. If they don't like horses, I recommend that they don't go up around horses in their externship. And so if they're in exotic, if they are into the aquarium, that's where they need to go. Anybody that's interested in animals, there's a place for you, regardless of what you know, based on your personality. Sometimes you're into the program because you want to pursue it as a professional. Sometimes it's so that you can learn that you really should not pursue it as a profession.

I would say, I would say we're probably looking at 30% will probably stay in with animals somewhere and then 70% will decide there are better and easier ways to make money.

Superintendent:
But after being here only for a few minutes this afternoon, I would say a hundred percent will remember their experience vividly.

Dr. Frampton:
I would hope so.

Superintendent:
Thank you very much for taking the time.

Dr. Frampton:
I appreciate it. Good for animal owners regardless. And most student will own the animals because they do like animals. That's the only reason they're here is because they like them. Don't see too many people that come here that don't have any interest in animals. They don't come to JATC for my program if they don't like animals. There's other programs here, but they come liking animals and they come away from the program knowing how to take even better care of animals.

Superintendent:
Yes. Wow. Impressive program. And I'm super impressed. As I talked with the students, it's obvious they're pushing boundaries and doing things they weren't previously comfortable doing. Even if they were animal lovers, they're learning and doing things that they weren't able to or comfortable doing previously. So congratulations on a great program.

Dr. Frampton:
Well, thank you.

Superintendent:
I am continually amazed at the wide variety of programs available in Jordan School District and the caring professionals who create those opportunities. Thanks to Dr. Frampton and his students for helping me get to know the Veterinary Science Program at JATC. More coming up. We'll have some advice for parents interested in programs for their teens at the JATC North. But first let's take a quick break.

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Superintendent:
Again in studio, we are privileged to have our CTE Director for Jordan School District, Jason Skidmore with us. Welcome Jason.

Jason:
Glad to be here. Glad to be back in studio again.

Superintendent:
Tell us tell us a little bit about JATC North. In another episode we looked at JTC South, but we've got two campuses with these great programs that prepare kids for a career coming right out of high school. Tell us about some of the programs in the Northeast Campus.

Jason:
Yeah. So I'm glad you were able to go by the North Campus and see the Veterinary Lab there. That campus was really designed with kind of a health science and engineering focus. So the Veterinary Science Program is as part of that. Some of the other programs that are available to students, there are Pharmacy Technician, Medical Assisting, Physical Therapy Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant. I have a CNA program as well as Engineering and Robotics Programming and Graphics and Visual Design.

Superintedent:
So there are a great number of offerings that we have for students across the District. And the unique thing about what you saw there and what you just mentioned is that these programs, we can't duplicate or replicate those and put them in every high school because of he specialized equipment, the specialized labs, and probably more specifically, the partnership that we have with our industry leaders.

Jason:
They're looking for a student that is trained and ready. They've received enough of a specific number of training hours, certifications, perhaps even college credit that are generated through these programs to prepare them for entry level positions in any of the careers that we just talked about. The beauty of this campus is the students as they start their career in seventh, eighth, ninth grade, as they worked through the high school, they're really developing a skill set that they can capitalize at either of the academies that you just mentioned.

Superintendent:
So when students graduate from the techs or from the tech programs, give us an idea of some of the college credits, or licenses that they may have. I visited the Pharmacy Tech Program, for example. They can be a Pharmacy Assistant, I think right out of school.

Jason:
Now, as soon as they graduate and turn 18, they can sit for their Board Certification and that is a National Board Certification. So we'll have students that it isn't the end for them. This could become a career that they could make good money and they can develop a skill. That's good for them. Many of the students are looking at these as opportunities. I'm going to go to medical school, for example. And so I take the Pharmacy Tech Program, I sit for the Certification and now I can work either on campus. We have students that work up at the University of Utah Hospital as Pharmacy Assistants while they're going to the U. They're making great money as well. So they're not getting into debt as much to help pay for their schooling. But it's a career related track that they can get on and off at anytime throughout their career.

Superintendent:
And you're on the Salt Lake Community College campus, so they can earn college credit as well in some of those courses.

Jason:
Yes. All of the courses offer some type of current credit. And the Biotechnology Program that is also available here, students can start as a high school student and they can transition right over to the Community College, into their college programs. They can do an entire Bachelors Degree with a partnership that we have with the Utah Valley University. They can stay right on that campus and do an entire Bachelor's Degree without leaving the valley, if that's the direction that they'd like to go. So we have some great partnerships that allow students to do that right on that campus.

Superintendent:
There are partnerships with businesses as well that want to hire these kids right out of the program. I remember going to an awards assembly at the Capitol where kids in the Biotech Program had a meet and greet with companies that wanted to hire them right there, on the spot, to keep working for their company, earn a salary and be paid to go to school.

Jason:
Correct.

Superintendent:
Well, that's a pretty good deal. Did we forget about that? You know, we look at the scholarships the students get upon graduation, these in essence are another way to fund education. These are scholarships.

Jason:
All of the students in all of the Health Science Programs will do a clinical experience of some kind. Almost every employer will watch. That's the time for a student to sell themselves. And those students get hired either right out of or right after those experiences, as you just mentioned, and most of those employers will provide some type of tuition reimbursement program. So you work for us full time or part time, and we'll pay for you. And there's this myth that employers won't send back, but almost every employer that we work with will send their employees back to school. If they're willing to do that and they'll pay for their tuition, even in our electrician program, you know, if you want to be an electrician, those companies will pay for you to go back to school, to get a Bachelors Degree, to get a Masters Degree, to move up in the world.

Superintendent:
Great opportunities, great opportunities. We're going to take a break and then we'll be right back with Director Jason Skidmore to talk more about CTE and the opportunities available at our two academies.

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Superintendent:
All right. We're back with Director Jason Skidmore from Jordan School District CTE programs. And we were just talking about the Biotech Program. I think that sometimes there's this idea that these tech programs are only for a certain type of student. But these programs are good, whether you're good with your hands, whether you're wanting to go into health services fields, there are just all kinds of different programs, regardless of what your aptitudes are. There's a CTE program for you, don't you think?

Jason:
Oh, definitely. And I think that's the beauty of the way these programs have been set up. There's the idea that a student can still participate in athletics and their sport events. They can be part of the drama and theater department because students that come to the academies and spend half of their day at the regular high school taking their academic courses and graduation requirements and fulfilling all of those things, as well as participating in any extracurricular the other half of the day. Whether it's the afternoon or the morning they come over to the Academy and they enroll in any of the programs that we just were talking about. Students can ride the bus right from their high school. It'll bring them right to the center then returns them at the end of the day. If the students want to drive, they have that ability to do so. They can park on the campus. We're really set up to be all inclusive for any student, regardless of their skill level, abilities, career interests and there shouldn't be any limitations because we provide that transportation from the home high school to the center. Go to the website to get more information about being a student at jordantech.org.

Superintendent:
Okay. So they visit the website, get information. Parents, don't wait for an open house. Contact the school, stop by, take a look at the programs. There is an open house in the spring, but just set up a time.

Superintendent::
Is that right?

Jason:
Definitely. Anytime somebody wants to come over, we have staff onsite that can show them through. And one of the things we want to do is to get kids excited so they can make plans on how they can make this kind of program work for them.

Superintendent:
So well, we're very proud of these programs as a District.

Jason:
I'm personally very proud of these programs and I would just encourage students and parents to take a look because it doesn't have to be a lifelong career for it to be worth the time. You take four of your eight classes over there. You have certification to be able to do a job that will pay more through school, or while you pursue other interests. And it can be a career or it can be just something that's next, or you can just follow an interest. It's a great way to do that in a very meaningful way. So definitely, door is open, you step forward and you move forward. A door is gonna open somewhere because you meet somebody that you may have never met before.

Superintendent:
Great. Dynamite. We'll be right back in just a few minutes with TwoTruths and a Lie with Jason Skidmore, a little tradition that we have here on the Supercase, but right now we're going to take a break. Join us again in just a moment.

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(21:10):
And we're back with Jason Skidmore, CTE Director for Jordan school district. And we have been playing Two Truths and a Lie at the end of each Supercast. It's your chance to lie to the Superintendent. Mr. Skidmore has been with us on one other episode, so he already lied to me and I think it's my turn to lie to him this time. So I'm going to do Two Truths and a Lie coming at you.

Jason:
Let's bring it.

Superintendent:
You ready?

Jason:
Yep. Let's do it.

Superintendent:
All right. I gotta think this through for a second here. What's it going to be? What's it going to be all right. Every member of my family was born in a different state. I once met Dolly Parton and I had a small role in a movie, small role in a movie.

Jason:
I'm thinking that's the lie because I don't..... wait, was it Peter Pan you were in?

Superintendent:
Well, I have the youthful look of Peter Pan.

Jason:
Certainly, I better go with every member of your family was born in a different state.

Superintendent:
Well, Mr. Skidmore, both of your guesses were wrong. I was born in Seattle Washington. My wife was born in California. I have a son that was born in Texas and a son that was born in Utah. So we were all four born in different States. I did play a very small part, little speaking role in Three O'Clock High. That was filmed in Ogden. When I was in high school, I auditioned and got to be in the movie. So then, I never met Dolly Parton. I've never even seen her in concert, but I'd like to. I have one 45 of her's.

Jason:
That's it. But I knew you were an icon, that music is one of your passions because the passion you had.

Superintendent:
I've met a lot of other people just because I'm into that, but I have not met Dolly Parton's. All right. Well, thank you very much for being on the Supercast. It's good to be here and thanks for all the great work you do in CTE.

Jason:
Thank you.

Superintendent:
Take care. And everyone out there, remember education is the most important. We'll see you out there.

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Why would a classroom at Bingham High School suddenly look more like a landfill? It is all for a good cause as the Bingham High School musical goes green. We’ll hear from students involved in this unique production of Children of Eden where all the costumes are made of recycled plastic and other recycled materials.

Children of Eden runs November 22, 23, 24 and 25 at 7 p.m. at Bingham High School with a matinee at 2 p.m. on November 23.


Audio Transcription

(00:15):
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent, Anthony Godfrey. Today, we take you where very few have gone before. A Bingham High School classroom turned landfill, filled with hundreds of plastic, water bottles, milk jugs, and food containers, piled high almost to the ceiling. It's all for a good cause as theater students in the upcoming musical, Children of Eden, are involved in a real life recycling lesson. All of the costumes for the musical are being made out of recycled and reused plastics. Here's what I discovered on a recent visit to Liz Smith's classroom. Some intelligent and talented theater students who care deeply about planet earth guys. Yes, I am an hour later than I wanted to be. So what do you guys have cooking here? A whole lot of plastic. Wow. Look at that around, Holy cow.

Teacher:
I'm Liz Smith. I'm one of the theater teachers here at Bingham and the director and choreographer of Children of Eden. We are using all of the plastics to create the animals that are needed for the musical. There are lines in the musical that talk about how we, as humans, have kind of destroyed the world for the animals. And now we're going to create our animals out of the plastics that the cast members have been collecting around the school. And so right now I just have a landfill, but we're going to turn it all into something.

Superintendent:
Yes. A classroom fill, if you will.

Teacher:
It's pretty crazy. I've got empty yogurt cups, sour cream bins and a mountain of it.

Superintendent:
And so it looks like you have plans for this. Hopefully again, the mountain of used plastic piled high in Miss Smith's classroom is going to be used to create all of the costumes for the school's musical. And in this case, the costumes are going to tell a lot of the story, is that right? So they're not really costumes. Is it more of a creature that you're going to be inhabiting? Or is it a costume?

Teachers:
So this is an ostrich and it's got a flexible neck made out of cardboard and plastic bottles and then a head made out of milk jug.

Superintendent:
Can I pick it up or will I damage the spine here? So is this a milk jug on top?

Teacher:
Yes.

Superintendent:
Where are you getting these designs from?

Teacher:
Just off of online and from creativity. But for this one we found online and we're basically trying to copy it as much as we can out of all recycled plastics. One costume I found almost complete was a turtle. So was this the top too? Like about three dozen Walmart, chocolate chip cookies or something?

Teacher:
At some point, I think it was from a Kneaders catering. When Kneaders catered a lunch in here, (I believe it was actually from alumni) the alumni luncheon during homecoming week. So student government donated that to us. Since, they took it and painted it and then all of the parts on top are water bottles. Superintendent:
These are from just water bottles.

Teacher:
Yeah. So it's the pattern.

Superintendent:
If it's the pattern from the bottom of water bottles, I think I see an Aquafina right there.

Teacher:
Yeah.

Superintendent:
Wow. And I'm a little disappointed in myself that I didn't recognize this catering top. I love a good catered lunch. I kind of pride myself on knowing my food containers a little better than this, but again, these, they look like flowers. The bottom of water bottles look like flowers. If you're listening at home, pick up your water bottle, put the lid on first and turn it upside down. It's a flower on the bottom. What have we here?

Teacher:
It's an aardvark.

Superintendent:
Oh, of course it's an aardvark. It took a long time to find my character, but you know, once I found it, hit the spot. Did you always know you had an inner one and what was it again?

Teacher:
Aardvark.

Superintendent:
Did you always know you had an inner aardvark?

Teacher:
I mean, they stick to corners and they liked dark places, so yes, a little bit.

Superintendent:
Okay. Well done. Well done. You are transforming the plastic and in turn, transforming the people who wear it. That's very cool. And there are these sour cream lids. Do you find yourself walking around now looking at everyday objects saying, I can make something out of that.

Teacher:
I saw a lot of heads nodding though, that you are looking at things in a different way. And that's literally what we're trying to do, literally and figuratively with education is have you look at the world in a different way.

Superintendent:
So it sounds like that's really being accomplished through this project. When do we get to see the performance?

Teacher:
So Children of Eden will run November 22nd, 23rd, 25th and 26th. And then we have also been asked to perform for the Utah Theater Association Conference. So we will run again January 17th and 18th. Anything that we don't end up using that we've collected, we will separate the things that we can actually take to a recycling center. We will take it to a recycling center. And sadly, there's a lot of the stuff, a lot of these plastics that are not recyclable and we will just have to throw them away. But we're hoping to use as much as we can so that we are doing our part to help make our world a little bit better place.

Superintendent:
Let's take a quick break, and when we come back, we'll hear a song from the musical Children of Eve.

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Superintendent:
Children of Eden runs November 22nd, 23rd, 25th and 26th at Bingham High School at 7:00 PM. There's a matinee on November 23rd at 2:00 PM. Welcome back to the Supercast. I'm Anthony Godfrey, Superintendent of Schools for Jordan District. What's your name?

Student:
McKenna Ashby. I'm a senior here.

Superintendent:
What are you going to singing?

Student:
I am singing sparker creation, who the character Eve and children of Eden sings. And it's a beautiful song of when she's finally figuring out just the beauty in the world. And like

(07:08):
Just before, right before she eats the fruit.

(07:10):
So I am a keeper. We think it is a lifetime of pleasure each perfect day, the same and less vacation. Well, that's all right. If you're a kind of crustacean, but when you're born within imagination, sooner or later, you're feeling you'll get this book. [inaudible] Great job. Thank you very much.

(08:07):
I have loved this musical since I was first introduced to it back in the early two thousands. It's one that's not well known. It was written by Steven Schwartz who also did wicked. So that's something more people are aware of. And just as I've encountered the show, I've, I've actually, this'll be the third production that I've worked on and I've learned something different every time that I have been with this show this time because of there's lots of different messages through it. And as the kids will test to, I've barely made it through a rehearsal without crying, sometimes ugly crying. So we're going to see how well I do getting all the way through it without ever crying. But the idea of just this time when I came back to it, I found just such a strong message of environmentalism and doing your part to make the world around you a better place giving people and things a second chance. I think it's just kinda like shown just how far we have to go. In the terms of like environmental and getting rid of our plastic addiction we have right now I can see like how, on an outside perspective, how collecting the plastic has been affecting the school. And I think that the rest of the programs in the school, I really impressed with what the theater department has been trying to do with recycling and trying to affect their environment with musical this year. So

(09:44):
Has been very effective. It has affected me a lot because it's all about like loving people who are different than us and just really being accepting of everyone because we all live in the same earth and world, like we're all like cohabit co and co hap cohabitating the earth. And we just don't need to love each other, no matter what our differences are. Like, no matter where we come from what are like family situations are like, we can all just fill the world with love. Wonderful. I've loved spending time with you guys. I was I took drama in high school and was in the productions. It was not in the musicals because I could not sing or dance or I thought I couldn't sing her dance. Maybe it's still hiding inside of me before leaving. I had to share a bit of acting trivia with these talented theater students. I actually had a bit part in a movie called three o'clock, high, a classic. If you ask me no lie, because it was, it was a speaking part. I still get residuals. So this year I got $2 and 37 cents from universal studios. It was so awesome.

(11:05):
Thanks to Liz Smith and her theater students for sharing their thoughts on going green. As they prepare to take the stage for their upcoming musical. We appreciate you tuning in and remember education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see ya.

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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?

Teacher:
Well, I think our librarian at Herriman High School is amazing. I've kind of listened to her a little bit because 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 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 interests they would like. And then sometimes they might hate it and then I'll see them, and turning every page is just a struggle. And I always let them know, "Hey, stop reading it if are hating it. You're going to hate it for the rest of the book. Stop and pick a different book. Let's find it."

Superintendent:
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."

Teacher:
Right. And the ownership of 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, if you are struggling finding books for your children to read, reach out to the teachers and librarians. We know what kids are reading. We know what they're loving. And it's interesting how series that you think that's going to be gone is there. The Harry Potter is still super popular in the middle school.

Kids are reading the Harry Potter books and they're reading books that you think like, "Oh, that's an old fad, like Anne of Green Gables." I have reluctant readers that are reading Anne of Green Gables. It's tying into the interest that is super key. So, if 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 another key is humor. Humor is really big. If you can find books like James Patterson, his series, something that they can laugh about. You know, teenagers like to laugh.

They like to find out about the real world. Jason Reynolds is really popular right now. You know, 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. There's lots of different areas or places that you can go to get suggestions to websites. Our high school website has book reviews. She does have a list of books that 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 have lists. There's so many lists out there associated. 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. But there's students that still love Stephen King. He's still popular. And it really such a wide variety of what they like to read. I have my sports, I have some soccer boys that are love reading sports biographies about the soccer players.

Superintendent:
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 ties them in. You mentioned school media centers.  A lot of times, when we hold a meeting at the school, I end 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.

Teacher:
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 them. They read them to you and that's an amazing feature for either struggling readers or just readers that want to listen in the car and want to book "to go" that they can have with them anytime, anywhere.

Superintendent:
So that's available for through the school media center?

Teacher:
Yes, for teachers and students.

Superintendent
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.

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Superintendent:
We're back here with Patricia Bronson, from Elk Ridge Middle 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?

Teacher:
So as a high school teacher, we teach a lot of those advanced techniques in high school. We're teaching 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 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 we've talked about choice, a lot of 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 had a student the other day that was reading something 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 asked if it was too easy. Yeah, it was too easy. And that's a great conversation to have. Sometimes 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. If they're reading a fantasy book and they're reading Lightning Thief, they love Lightning Thief. Then maybe it's time to try something a little more advanced. Maybe Robert Jordan still will do it fast, or introduce them to the Hobbit or something else.

Superintendent:
Oh, there's a really good classic piece that would be something to add. I think it's good to motivate them and push them along.

Teacher:
But I agree, your choice, as adults will read what we enjoy. I read the whole Harry Potter series. Too easy for me, for my children, just right. 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.

What parts did you like? What do you think they would like? Why do you think they would like this? And a lot of times they're going to read what you are reading as the parent? And sometimes they might start reading it and be think, we have complete disparate tastes. I'm not going to read that mom. And that's okay too. But being able to talk about books with your children if important. 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 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, when you talk about that. When my students were in high school and they were talking, I would want to know. 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 you can, as a parent, see if they're not quite getting something and maybe they need a little support.

Superintendent:
I remember my oldest son, when he was taking his AP Lit class at Herriman High. He was re-reading 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 every book he read that year. I re-read them so that we could have conversations at home and it was enriching for me to re-read those books. We still have conversations about his favorite book. Shoot, I'm going to forget what it is now. The Things They Carried On the Road, which I think is amazing. He loved those books. And I know a lot of it was what his teacher was doing at Herriman High. But a lot of it was also the conversations he was having at home because it's kind of bonding moments together.

Teacher:
And it's a critical time. I think they're forming memories that they won't lose, that they'll hold on to. And love for literature. Love for literature, for reading a good books. And when they see you as a parent, first of all, high five because that is absolutely amazing that you did that. I love that, listeners, you heard that. That is so cool that you would, because I completely agree. Scarlet Letter 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 "ah-ha moments" when they start talking about them after the summer. When they've got back, they're like, Oh, that's what I was talking about, 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 it.

Superintendent:
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?

Teacher:
I think that a good way is talking about the different ways that you, as an adult, use literacy and reading. Even just talking about how you read on your job and making sure that your child knows that like reading is that essential skill. But there are simple ways, even if you're cooking together, reading a recipe. If they have a question that they need answered, instead of just answering for him, teach them to go find a resource. You're using technologies there. It competes for our reading, right? Kids are on their phones all the time. So helping them 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. It doesn't have to be the Scarlet Letter you're reading together.

It can be something just like small that you're just sharing that moment, talking about a newspaper article together. I just think what is most important is 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. Even for adults, you can go sign up in the library and they have those reading kinds 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. It really exposes them to all the wonderful things that the public library has and our public library system is fantastic.

Helping your kids get a library card, teaching them how to reserve books and getting them set so all you have to do is go and pull that book off the shelf. 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 if you don't have reading materials. I remember my husband said that 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 that owning a book, having a book that belongs to you, is so important.

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

Superintendent:
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 de-cluttering 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. You're right. 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.

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Superintendent:
We're back with Patricia and Sally, talking about teen literacy. Is it too late at one point to help your teen 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, right in front of him. That was the only book he read. If someone can read, but they don't love to read, is there still time if they're a teenager?

Teacher:
Definitely. I have associates that I know in the neighborhood 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, 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 to start reading. I think that for a lot of readers, there might be a couple of reasons why they don't enjoy reading. First of all, sometimes 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, reading is hard, right?

So we have a lot of students, I think in sixth, seventh, eighth grade, that all of a sudden the fluency catches up and they're reading faster. They're seeing the world in a more broad spectrum. And so I think now all of a sudden they will say, I finally love reading. 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 don't know for 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 because it's poetry. And he loved that book. 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, then it doesn't have to be a struggle.

Teacher:
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, J.K. Rolling just opened up the world of writers. She really did. 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 Read, students don't love that book. We actually, and we have so many Utah authors too. Richard Paul Evans and Michael Vey.

Teacher:
Oh, I have so many students who love Michael Vey, the Brandon Mall, Shannon Hill with Goose Girl, and she's got a whole series. She's amazing. It's kinda cool to know they're from Utah too. 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 books signed. I have a light class library and my students will pull his different books off and they'll bring me the book and show me the signature on the page. 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. It makes it a little more real and legit.

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

Teacher:
It's really the same for adults. My husband is not a reader. He married a reader. It was one of the great things that I can just read all the time and he'll do other things. It's great. But he has started reading books and 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 how readings affected us or ways that we read and just try to make it a positive experience.

Because if kids hear that parents don't love reading, it's easy for them to adopt that and to make it an excuse. And one more thing, kids live in a fast paced world and if you're at home, 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 get around that is put away your phone, set what you're doing aside and sit down next to them in the family room, grab a blanket, grab a pillow, get comfortable and read for 20 minutes while they read too.

Superintendent:
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. It's your chance to lie to the Superintendent. 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.

Teacher:
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.

Superintendent:
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.

Teacher:
I have been to Jamaica. You need to go to Jamaica. It's fantastic.

Superintendent:
I have not been to Jamaica. Okay, Jamaica, Jamaica.

Thank you again for being on the Supercast. And remembe,r education is the most important thing you'll do today.

Show Audio Transcription
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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].

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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].

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