North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club Bulletin
August 22, 2022
            Aug.  29: Noon. Lunch at the Bark. Speakers: Ben Stuckart and Gavin Cooley talk about issues of homelessness in Spokane.
            Sept. 5: No meeting – Labor Day.
School day at Rotary:
Supplies and a principal’s report
            When school opens Sept. 6 for Holmes Elementary School it will be a challenging year…but each new year in the Covid era has been challenging.
            For more than 20 years, members of the Rotary-North Club, along with spouses and others, have helped stow a wide variety of supplies for the school year.
            For students in the poverty-challenged West Spokane area, Holmes Principal Kale Colyar said, with all of the supplies from Rotary and others, “All they need is some tennis shoes and a backpack.”
            On Aug. 22, with the able direction of Colyar and club liaison Sandy Fink, 17 hard-working club members and friends opened the large pile of boxes, sorted the items and placed the supplies for easy use during the school year.
            Some $3,000 worth of supplies, helped by discounts through Staples, stowed enough disinfectant wipes to clean a neighborhood, and enough No. 2 pencils and notebooks to write down anything students could imagine.
            Fueled by pizza and soft drinks, the dedicated work crew finished the project in about 30 minutes.
            While waiting for the food, Principal Colyar talked about the school year.
            Holmes, and the other District 81 elementary schools will change this year, as 6th graders move to middle schools.  That will provide longer days for pre-K and kindergarten students, Kale said.
            Over the years, Holmes have typically had about 400 students each year.  With one large grade moving, the total should be about 350 students this year, Colyar said.
            Asked about the number and changes for staff, he said Holmes should be fully staffed, but some former Holmes teachers will join former Holmes principal Stephanie Edberg as she opens the new Yasuhara Middle School in Northeast Spokane at 2701 N. Perry.
            Colyar said Holmes will partner with Gonzaga University education major students.
            Kale said that experience will benefit students “working in a Title 1 area.”  Colyar said he worked at Woodridge Elementary in northwest Spokane, student teachers there were in a different environment.  “When they got to a Title 1 school in tough situations,” he said, “some would ask ‘what am I doing?’  After working in a Title 1, they can go anywhere.”
            Colyar said Covid has upset routines for two school years.  Last year, for example, there were no substitute teachers to hire.
            For the new school year, he hopes –if Covid issues stay quiet – Homes can go back to more of the normal routines.  And he hopes Holmes will again have volunteer mentors for students, as a number of Rotary Club members have served for years.
            Kale hopes to offer group activities like disc golf, cross-country, junior Bloomsday and basketball.  The Spark Center in Kendall Yards will bring various activities twice a week, he said.
            Though the 6th graders will be gone, he said he would like to have the 5th graders continue the Holmes tradition of “Dine at the Ritz.”  That is a year-ending dinner, with etiquette lessons, cloth tableclothes and a time when young ladies dress up and the young men wear dress shirts and ties – with many of the boys learning how to tie for their first time.
            As the Rotary crew ate and listened in the multi-use room, Colyar kept the image on the large screen that all would like to save and savor for the school year.
            The image showed a young man beaming and proudly wearing his dress clothes, with the subtitle: “The smile says it all.
            Let’s hope for a school year full of smiles.
 Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink