New Chromebooks: That’s right! Kouts High School is moving up in the technology world. With new chromebooks, free of charge to the students, the students no longer can use the excuse “My dog ate my homework.” Now that all assignments are online, including languages, not only will the students adjust to the new changes, but so will the teachers. A lot of the teachers have already admitted to having a little trouble handling the new rules, but have finally come to terms that going “online” definitely has it’s advantages.
With tools like Google Classroom, and Moodle assignments, teachers can tell when the assignment has been viewed, or even when the students are working on the assignment. Teachers can also view the students’ screens during an online test, or quiz to eliminate cheating. Furthermore, they can view how long a student has spent on a website, and they even have a program that can check for plagiarism and highlights every word or phrase that was highlighted from a certain website to also stop cheating.
Water Wells for Africa (WWFA): Starting in 1996, a heroic cause began as a man by the name of Kurt Dahlin began to fulfill his yearning for travel by venturing to different parts of the world. This yearn quickly turned into concern as he started to see the world wasn’t all filled with beauty. The world was peppered with poverty and his concerns for humanitarian needs increased. On one of his trips, in September 1994, Kurt traveled near Southern Malawi. During the time, Malawi was one of the poorest country in Africa. He was outstanded by how hard it was to obtain safe drinking water.
Small girls would travel several hours a day to find germ-filled water and carry it back in 40 pound buckets on their heads. This experience made Kurt want to bring a treasure to the village: water. With a new idea in plan, and his passion in motion, Water Wells for Africa was created. Water Wells for Africa planted their first borehole well in Mchiwa and Mulanje district with help from donors such as Charlie Sheen, Carley Elwes, and Eddie Braun. As the project gained more popularity and donations, priority was focused on the poorest communities and the most vulnerable villages in Southern Malawi. By the end of 2000, the Water Wells for Africa project had given clean water to 26,000 people. In the next six years, it increased by 500%. Although, Kurt went on to start several larger projects that helped thousands of people in need of clean water.
To inform you a little more, here are some interesting things that I found on the topic. Each year an estimated 2.2 million children die from diarrhea and 443 million school days are lost to water-related illnesses.In Sub-Saharan Africa, 68% of the rural population spends more than 1 hour per trip of water collection. That means up to 3 hours a day is lost gathering contaminated water. This not only raises concern for the non-profit organization Water Wells for Africa team and Kurt Dahlin, but also to Kouts High School.
Kouts High School is pledging $7,000 to finance the drilling, hygiene and sanitation training, and the forming of a community board to oversee the maintenance of a new well in Sub- Saharan Africa. This strikes a big chord with Kouts because one well can provide over 2,000 people with clean water and leaves available time to send 80% more African children to school. The student council’s theme this year is service. They think this is an amazing opportunity to serve globally, and raise awareness about a large issue troubling our world. We hope to spread awareness much further than just the Kouts region.
So far, the Student council has set up a catered Christmas Benefit dinner on December 17th. We hope we can bring Kouts patrons, and Porter County citizens. They have also brought in a guest speaker from the Water Wells for Africa project, entertainment from the school, music and fellowship, and a four-course dinner from Birky’s Catering. In May, there will be a “Water Walk” to help reach the $7000 dollar goal. Students and families can participate by walking 1.5 miles to a water spout, filling a bucket with water, and carrying it another 1.5 miles to the start. This helps with getting a hard visual of what these people must do every single day, on multiple occasions. Participants can pledge money or get sponsored to walk. Kouts is also going to be putting on small fundraisers throughout the year including bake sales, water sales, and other forms of fundraising.
Now, Kouts knows this is a big price, but we need everyone's help. Together we can put a huge dent in water deprivation and change thousands of lives. Please visit www.waterwellsforafrica.org for more information and click on this link https://youtu.be/EHh5_6vcCoo to watch “Today is the Day”. Our fundraising page will be under the umbrella team “Students 4 Water”. Each school has their own donation link; ours is Kouts 4 Water. If you want to donate through Kouts go to www.waterwellsforafrica.org, click on “My Wishing Well”, click “Make a donation”, check “Donate toward a team or individual goal”. then search “Kouts 4 Water”, check “Sponsor Kouts 4 Water”, and make your donation.
Upcoming Service Projects:
September is all about the service fair. Here students will get the chance to learn about service themes and upcoming service project events. Here they will also be able to ask any questions, or bring up any concerns on a certain service project. This will help the Student Council and Student body keep track of service hours for future resumes and scholarships.
October: October is the month where our first service project will reach out to the animal shelter.
November: As the year gets chillier, our school will look into housing opportunities, food pantry organization and help, cleaning out rooms, and yard work- for all those leaves crowding a beautiful yard.
December: When the snow starts to fall, students are looking at the Christmas Benefit Dinner (benefiting Water Wells For Africa) on December 17th. This benefit will include student entertainment, servers, even greeters. All to help support the Water Wells For Africa project. For more information, check one of the topics above titled WWFA.
January: Kouts takes a little trip to Chicago (CRU) for an after school kids program. Here is where Kouts students will pack lunches for kids, and have a fun time playing bball and games, giving the kids a day to remember.
February: Kouts kids take a stroll to Golden Living Centers where not only will they help set up “Valentine Bingo” but also share in laughs with baked cookies and homemade cards. *Spoiler alert*: A talent show is on the maybe list.
March: Kouts gets their hands dirty when they reach out and help clean up either the Merrillville Recreation or Valparaiso Park.
April: Earth Day is upon us in April and we’re all about spreading the environmental love. Taking a chance to clean up our own school yard, this service projects also entails a community garden idea.
May: The last service project takes place in May where the benefiting for Water Wells for Africa takes place with a Water Walk. This includes a three mile walk through Valparaiso that raises attention for this major cause at hand.
With service projects in mind, and all selfishness aside, this year Kouts plans on lending a hand not only locally, but globally as well. We hope to not only raise awareness around us, but millions of miles away, too. If anyone would like to donate, or contribute to any of the projects listed above, please contact me at https://www.facebook.com/nicole.fackelman.
“Euphoric: The Feeling of Joining Spell Bowl.”: Once again it’s that time of year! When letters come to together and form words that even our ancestors couldn’t pronounce. Starting on August 24th, the students immediately began with two lists a week, each list containing 60 words. On Wednesdays, students will take a review that consists of all the words missed on the recent lists. Students must take, and complete writing missed words to be able to spell in the upcoming competitions. Coming up is their first competition at East Noble on September 21st and their next competition at Penn on October 1st.
New Assignment Books: Taking a different approach this year, two students volunteered ideas to make the assignment books look more artsy and fun to use. The front cover was designed by Lauren Dowdy, former Kouts student. Lauren showcased her Mustang/ Fillies pride by watercoloring a horse to depicted on the front cover. On the back is another art piece painted by Junior, Amber Rardin, with the quote “Paint Your own Future”. These two amazing artists have made the assignment book truly beautiful.
See You At the Pole: It’s that time again! September 23rd at 7:30 will be our “See You at the Pole” in front of the elementary flagpole. There will be games, music, food, and prayer!
Cross Country: Here’s a few highlights I’ve gathered from the recent meets: The boys cross country team storms through the Valpo Invite in second place to Valparaiso where 7 teams ran. Grant Hamstra led the team as he finished in 2nd place followed by Jay Heinold, Dakota Dick, Drew Saulsgiver, Waco Sebastian, Hunter Yager, and Connor Gustafson.The boys and girls cross country teams had a good run with both teams taking 2nd overall. Grant Hamstra led the team in 2nd, followed by Jay Heinold in 3rd, then trailed by Dakota Dick, Waco Sebastian, and Drew Saulsgiver. Leading the girls were Holly Kuebler in 2nd, followed by Lexi DeMarco, Ryleigh Cadwell, Faith Robertson. These were all girls were all in the top ten and received medals! Good going !
Boys Soccer: Here’s just a few highlights I’ve gathered: When the boys traveled to Covenant Christian they unfortunately lost 1 to 0, but battled hard even with heat and humidity against them. The Mustangs also hosted Rensselaer and won 2 to zero. Alex Brown made both goals, assisted by Todd Fox and Jack Furdeck. Chase Farmer, goalkeeper, had 10 saves. The boys traveled to Hammond Clark on August 27th. Unfortunately, the JV team lost 4 to 1. Alex Brown had a goal assisted by Jack Furdeck. Pierce Fisher, the goalkeeper. had 4 saves. Other goalkeeper, Truitt Anwiler had 11 saves. In Varsity, the Mustangs were defeated. Chase Farmer defended that goal with his life, racking up 18 saves. On September 12th, the boys defeated Hammond Gavit 6-to-4. With an outstanding offense from Jack Furdeck scoring two goals, Alex Brown scoring three, Todd Fox with one, and Doug Satoski with one, how could the win not feel amazing?
Girls Soccer:The girls soccer team hosted Covenant Christian and beat the Knights 2 to zero. Gracie Birmingham scored both goals for the Fillies. Gabby Rogers and Kasey Cavinder assisted on both goals. Tiffany Trater, a ruthless goalkeeper, had 4 saves. The Fillies also played in two matches, one against Rensselaer and MC Marquette. They lost to Rensselaer 2 to zero and MC Marquette 1 to zero. On September 10th, the Fillies took on Morgan Township in a little PCC action and won 4-to-2. Gabby Rogers scored three goals, Gracie Birmingham followed with one goal, and Joslyn Hemdal had 1 assist. The Fillies are 2 and 0 in PCC. On September 12th, the girls traveled to Hebron and beat the Hawks 1-to-0 in a PCC match. Corina Alvarez scored the only goal in the game with an assist from Serena Birmingham. Goalkeeper, Tiffany Trater, had 10 saves and helped the Fillies keep a solid defense. On September 14th, the girls unfortunately lost to Boone Grove 2-to-1. Serena brought the team home with a goal while only 2 minutes remained in the first half. Gabby Rogers had one assist and Tiffany Trater protected the goal with her life, creating 12 saves.
Volleyball Boys: The Mustang varsity volleyball team beat Westville on Friday night in three sets due to an amazing team effort. The team, together, delivered 8 aces with Dylan Bruce and Trevor McCormick adding 2 and Alex Garavalia, Doug Satoski, Ethan Ketchmark, and Jared Birky adding 1 ace respectively. The offense was led by Trevor McCormick with 7 kills and Ethan Ketchmark with 5. Tyler Heimberg did an awesome job at blocking with 4.5 blocks and Jared Birky added 16 assists.
After ravaging around for stats on volleyball, I managed to only come up with a score from at least one game where the volleyball girls battled hard and long during JV and Varsity. Facing Oregon-Davis on August 14th, the girls JV came in hard, and won both matches. The first match was 22-25 and the second 20-25. During Varsity, the Varsity was ready for a come back. After losing the first two matches, but winning in the third, the Varsity were sent into another match. Tired and exhausted, the girls fought back hard and unfortunately lost the match 25-11. I hope to hear more about these girls’ hard work and dedication to their team later in the year! Keep it up girls!