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School Briefs: Jason Lee Elementary recognized for initiatives, students honored for volunteerism.

Programs from 14 schools representing 13 cities and 11 counties across Oregon and Southwest Washington received grants totaling $100,000 thanks to a partnership between Wells Fargo and the Trail Blazers Foundation.

Through the fifth annual Take It to the Court for Education program, the grants provide direct support for programs that benefit hundreds of students from historically underserved communities across the region. In Portland's Lents neighborhood, Lents K-8 school received $7,500 to be able to participate in Chess for Success programs.

At Portland's Scott Elementary School, $8,000 went toward a Reading Results program for up to 25 students.

Jason Lee Elementary recognized for initiatives

Jason Lee Elementary School was recognized with a 2018-19 Oregon School Wellness Award from the Oregon Department of Education and a $2,500 prize from the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council for its "outstanding efforts to improve child health and make the connection between nutrition, physical activity and academic achievement."

Principal Isaac Cardona has incorporated physical movement into various parts of the school day. He used a grant to hire two physical education teachers, allowing the school to have dance and regular physical education classes.

So far, the school has reduced its number of student exclusions — also known as suspensions — from 103 five years ago to none this year, according to a news release from Portland Public Schools.

"We used physical activity as a way of getting kids' energy out," Cardona said.

The school stages a "Morning Mile" at 7:30 a.m. every Friday, when students and parents run or walk a mile before school.

Beaverton, Milwaukie students honored for volunteerism

Award-winning actress Viola Davis paid tribute to two Milwaukie and Beaverton students Sunday, May 5, for their outstanding volunteer service during the 24th annual Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

Shayla Montgomery, 17, a junior at Clackamas Middle College in Milwaukie and Jasmine White, 14, of the International School of Beaverton, were among 100 students from across the country who attended the ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The students each received a $1,000 award and a personal congratulations from Davis.

Montgomery "uses social media and speaking engagements to spread awareness of bullying, imploring both teens and adults to come together to find ways to stop this all-too-common destructive behavior," a news release from Prudential states.

White, a member of Washington County 4-H, conducted 14 training sessions in her community to teach more than 360 pet owners how to make toys for their animals with recycled materials.

She also volunteered with her Girl Scout troop to provide free veterinarian care for pets of homeless people.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.


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