Archives for February 2013

Skinner Girl To Shave Head for Childhood Cancer Research

Logan, a Skinner 6th grader, is one courageous and committed girl. Not only has she decided to shave her long hair to raise money for childhood cancer research, she has recruited schoolmates and friends to start “Team Skinner” for the cause!

“I’m shaving my head in March to support kids with cancer because my mom had cancer when she was my age and because one of my elementary school friends was diagnosed with cancer during 1st grade,” said Logan. “It’s lucky they made it but some kids still die. I want kids with cancer to keep fighting and hope they get to see that light at the end of the tunnel.”

Logan’s mom, Kelley, survived three years of chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments in her teens. To celebrate her past 25 years of life, the family organized a hair shaving fundraiser on March 9th at the Oriental Theater to benefit St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest non-governmental funder of childhood research grants. The Foundation has granted over $100 million to hundreds of childhood cancer research projects since 2005.

Logan has set up her own webpage at and has asked friends, teachers and family members to attend, volunteer and donate. Her family hopes that the Skinner community will support the fundraiser, which is open to the public to watch, volunteer or donate hair or funds. There will be face paining and other kid-friendly activities.

“My husband and I were extremely surprised when Logan told us in January that she would shave her hair to raise money for the event because she loves wearing her longhair in headbands and ponytails,” said Kelley. “We are incredibly proud of her for doing this unselfish act, something almost unthinkable for a girl of her age.”

Every three minutes, a child somewhere is diagnosed with cancer.  In the U.S., one in five children diagnosed will not survive; of those who do, two out of three will suffer long-term effects from treatment.

WHAT: St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser for Childhood Cancer Research

WHEN: March 9th from 9:00 a.m. to noon

WHERE: Oriental Theater, 4335 W. 44th Ave.

WHY: Raise money for childhood cancer, support Skinner cancer survivors and families


Volunteering at Skinner

Are you a Skinner parent, grandparent, community member or business partner who would like to volunteer at our school but don’t know how? If so, we have great news for you – Skinner is now part of a pilot partnership with the Denver Public School Volunteer Office and Metro Volunteers to build a structure that makes volunteering easy!

Skinner Neighborhood Center director Sandy Baca-Sandoval, Skinner “Grands” chair Marilyn Leff and parents Sarah Kreider, Ray McAlisster and Virginia Sarapura are our leadership team members looking at ways to connect supporters’ skills and talents go benefit Skinner and our students. You’re invited to their first meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28th at 6 p.m. in Skinner’s Neighborhood Center inside the north entrance/41st Ave. side of the school. We’ll not only discuss upcoming ongoing and one-time volunteer projects but maybe most important, we’d like to hear your ideas for volunteering at Skinner. Projects underway that need volunteers include:

The Skinner History Project. We need volunteers to help  teachers Jamie Kitchen and Janice Sullivan review and preserve materials that date back to Skinner’s opening in 1922. The teachers are using the archives for a service-learning class to make the history of Skinner come alive for our students. We have partnered with Shawn Snow of the Colorado History Museum to help us with the materials and give us guidance. If you are interested in this project, please contact Marilyn Leff at or 303-777-5790.

The Mile High Five. The Mile High Five is a run that will take place on Sat., May 4th. It is a fundraiser for Northwest Denver schools, including Skinner.  We’ll need 20 volunteers to help with this race.  If you are interested in volunteering for this run, please contact Sarah Kreider at

And don’t forget to attend our volunteer meeting:
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 28th from 6 :00 – 7:00 p.m

WHERE: Skinner Neighborhood Center, enter on the north/41st Ave. side of Skinner

WHY: Learn about how you can be involved in Skinner Middle School on either an ongoing or one-time basis

For more information, please contact  Sarah Kreider at

Dorian: “My Science Fair Project”

I love science. Nearly every day I am theorizing a solution for a modern problem. But, one of the things I love the most is alternative fuels. Hydrogen is an area of interest, especially since I aspire to design and build a hydrogen powered car.

My science fair project started simply and humbly as an idea; how can I produce a usable amount of hydrogen? And after doing a little more research, the question became; The Effects of Sodium on Hydrogen Production in Water.

Simply put, I performed three simple tests, one in a jar, one in a tube and one with a car. All three tests were inconclusive in terms of results. I felt my presentation is what got me this far because I am able to very well describe my project.

The best part so far is placing in both fairs. I placed first in the school fair and third in the district fair, so I was definitely pleased! Making it all the way to metro was quite a challenge but, my ribbons were earned, that is what I enjoyed. And the biggest challenge yet the Metro Science Fair, and no matter what happens, I’ve earned my way here!

– Dorian, 6th grade Skinner student

7th Grade Students Delve into Classic Novel, The Hobbit

Skinner’s 7th grade English students read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and then delved deeper into comparing and contrasting different versions of this timeless story.

“At first, I thought it might be a tough sell just because the movie was coming out,” said Mr. Dennis, 7th grade English teacher. “However, I was really pleased about what I was seeing and hearing in class throughout the small and whole-group discussions – students were actively engaged with the reading, and it seemed like the pacing kept students wanting to read on to figure out what was happening in the book.”

After finishing the novel, students compared and contrasted The Hobbit book with two movie versions, several parodies and a comic book and formulated a comprehensive project based on the different presentations of the story.

“What was really cool was that we got to pick what we wanted to do,” said 7th grade student Emma Weaver. “I compared the book and with both the 1997 movie and the current 2012 movie.”

“The overall unit was something that was an experiment for me. I saw the potential for students to dive deeply into a text that not only was at times challenging and engaging but set the tone for a lot of the adventure novels that students read today, said Mr. Dennis. “This project allowed me as a teacher to do two things I’ve wanted to try – one, giving students a real sense of choice by having options on how they demonstrate their mastery of standards and understanding of the content, and two, accounting for multiple standards bundled together in a rich, complex task that is more than just ‘an essay.’”

Like Bilbo and his companions, Skinner students gained valuable academic treasure through their Hobbit adventure. Hats off to Mr. Dennis and Skinner’s 7th grade English students!


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