Sebeka sugar shack teaches WDC third-graders how to turn sap into syrup
Wadena-Deer Creek third-graders enjoyed a “sweet” experience touring Les Schwartz’s sugar shack near Sebeka on Wednesday, April 23.
The 78 third-graders boarded two school buses and traveled to Schwartz’s beautiful wooded acreage southeast of Sebeka where he is tapping 300 maple trees this spring. It was quite a sight to see the white 5-gallon buckets hanging from the tall trees.
Schwartz demonstrated how he uses a hand-held drill to bore a hole about 1 ½ inches into the tree and then inserts a metal tap. The sap is clear in color and tastes like sugar water. Schwartz said there’s only about 2 percent sugar content in the sap.
Students were able to watch the fresh sap bubble and boil in a large stainless-steel tank as the boiling process caused the water to evaporate and a steady cloud of steam rose from the hot liquid. The sweet aroma of maple syrup filled everyone’s nostrils inside the sugar shack -- and it was wonderful!
Students also learned it requires a lot of work to make maple syrup. Schwartz said it takes 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of maple syrup! Over the Easter weekend, Schwartz and his family harvested 1,400 gallons of sap. Students also learned that sap runs before the leaves bud when the days are warm and the nights are cold.
“We enjoy having kids come out and see this. Kids don’t get a chance to experience this,” said Schwartz, who is in his fourth year of making maple syrup on his Sebeka property. Schwarz is also a regular participant in WDC’s Farm-to-School program where he brings in his maple syrup at lunch for elementary students to sample.
Students tasted fresh maple syrup from Schwartz’s sugar shack over vanilla ice cream in their classrooms Wednesday afternoon. The students loved the sweet treat, many asking for seconds. They discovered that they preferred the flavor of the home-made syrup much better than the store-bought kind.
Special thanks to Les Schwartz for sharing his time and expertise with WDC third-graders. The field trip was sponsored by Wadena-Deer Creek Community Education.
WDC Prom is May 3! JUNIORS and SENIORS – Prom info packets are available for pick up in the high school office. Permission forms will be required from everyone attending the party including sophomore attendants and guests either from WDC or from other communities. Guests from out of school district will need to provide a copy of their PHOTO I.D. with their form before they will be allowed to attend. Packet Deadline is April 21. Tickets will be available for purchase at that time. ($25) Questions, contact Prom Coordinator, Kim Stafki, at 632-2165. WDC Prom is Saturday, May 3. This year's theme is "Counting Stars!" Grand March is at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. $6 for adults, $3 for students. Dance starts at 8:30 p.m.
Summer Boosters is available to WDC students entering grades 1-4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following dates at no cost: June 9-12, June 16-19 and Aug. 4-7. Academic Booster participants learn, strengthen and maintain reading, writing, math and social skills. Breakfast and lunch provided free of charge. No transportation provided. Parents should pick up enrollment forms in the elementary office. Call Lead Contact Teacher Kendra Schultz for more information at 632-2358 or email@example.com.
Pop it ... Pull it ... Save it ... and Make a Difference! Ms. Berg's sixth-grade class will once again be collecting aluminum pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. "We would like to encourage all the students to collect the tabs and bring them to school. Our goal is to try and collect as many tabs as we can in in order to benefit the Ronald McDonald House," said Ms. Berg. The sixth-graders will be collecting tabs April 21 to May 16. Please drop them off at the elementary or middle/high school office.
Kindergarten graduation has been changed! This year, instead of graduating the evening of May 27, WDC kindergartners will be graduating that afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in the Wadena Memorial Auditorium. Mark your calendar now and tell your family!
WDC National Honor Society students are collecting recyclables for their senior community-service project. For every item they receive, a set amount of money is donated to Charity: Water. They are collecting candy wrappers of any size or brand, Elmer’s glue containers and sticks, snack bags of any brand, dairy tubs cleaned out, Sharpie and Papermate writing utensils, cheese wrappers of any size and protein bar wrappers of any brand. Drop-off locations are at Wadena Super One and in the WDC Middle/High School entry way where there are posters of what can be recycled through their project. The collection will end on Friday, April 25.
Make sure your child gets plenty of rest, good breakfast for testing
By Toni Kraska, Licensed School Counselor/School Assessment Coordinator
It is that time of year again for us to see where our students are when it comes to the state standards set by the Minnesota Department of Education. The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments will begin at Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools in April.
It is important for each student to do his/her best so we know how best to help students improve in the future. As we all know, it is hard to do our best when we are distracted. That’s why students need a good night’s sleep and breakfast to improve their performance on these assessments. Students take these assessments on a computer, so it is especially important that their eyes are rested.
Parents can get an idea of the assessments by looking at paper or online item samplers on the website http://www.mnstateassessments.org/item-samplers/. The students will be testing on the following dates:
3rd and 4th grades:
April 15th-17th –Math
April 29th-May 1st –Reading
April 7th-9th –Reading
April 21st-23rd –Math
May 5th-7th –Science
April 14th-16th –Reading
April 28th-30th –Math
April 10th and 11th –Reading
May 1st and 2nd –Math
April 3rd and 4th –Reading
April 24th and 25th –Math
May 8th and 9th –Science
April 28th - May 2nd - Reading
May 14th and May 15th - Science
April 24th and 25th - Math
Benefit to be held May 31 for Mr. Klawitter and Mr. Ortmann
A benefit is being planned for WDC High School teachers Craig Klawitter and Mike Ortmann on Saturday, May 31 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Wadena Elks Lodge. Watch for more details as we raise money for these beloved teachers who are going through cancer treatment.