Walt Disney Imagineering Design Competition

Every year, Walt Disney Imagineering challenges teams of college students with the Imaginations Design Competition, providing an opportunity for students to showcase their talents and gain practical knowledge in design. Through this program, Imagineers lend their time and talents to the community by extending this unique educational experience for students. It also allows Walt Disney Imagineering new ways to think about recruiting students who make up the next generation of talent that will come into the workforce.


This year, 24 finalists from six schools across the country were selected based off their proposed concepts for a Disney theme park, attraction, restaurant, hotel or entirely new experience or product. Those students spent a week at Imagineering headquarters in Glendale, California, where they met Imagineers, toured the facilities and presented their projects to a panel of executives.


A team from Carnegie Mellon University (pictured above) took the first place for their project, "Antipode," a two-week-long festival that would link people from exact opposite ends of the world. Second place was awarded to a team from California Institute of the Arts for "Time Embassy," an attraction that invites guests to explore time travel. A team from University of California, Los Angeles was awarded third place for their Rio De Janeiro-based concept "Ilhavela," which leads visitors and locals on a chase through the city.  >> READ MORE 

Latino parents targeted in early education efforts
The pen scribble marks on a light blue folder could have been drawn by a 1-year-old, although the girl who made them was 3. And yet, to a group of women from her neighborhood who admiringly passed the folder around a room, the scribbles represented a victory. Until recently, the girl had never before held a writing utensil, and her mother did not understand the importance of early childhood education. Now, thanks to these women, the mother did.

Most middle class parents don't need to be told that they are their children's first teachers, and that the job starts at birth or even earlier. In poor communities, however, that knowledge is not necessarily a given. Latino immigrants particularly tend to trust the public school system to provide their children with the education they need, beginning in kindergarten, according to advocates and studies. Their role is to keep their babies safe, clean, well-fed and loved -- an attitude that can lead to children being nurtured but starting school irreparably behind. 

Hillary Clinton talks early education
Hillary Clinton trumpeted the importance of early-childhood education in a visit to East Harlem on Tuesday and urged parents to sing and read to their kids.

Mayor de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, also attended the event and touted their commitment to universal prekindergarten in New York City.

Clinton, speaking in a colorful Head Start classroom, reminisced about her own days as a mother of a toddler.

"I used to sit in our little house in Little Rock," Clinton told more than a dozen Spanish-speaking parents along with de Blasio, McCray and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.


"Before I'd put [daughter Chelsea] to bed, I'd sit in a rocking chair and I'd read to her and then I'd sing to her. I'd sing 'Moon River.' When she was about 16 months, she put her finger on my lips and said, 'No sing, Mommy.'"   


Tech ed is helping city teens get a leg up on their futures.


Students are graduating from new career and technical-education schools at a far higher rate than those attending traditional public school, according to a Community Service Society study.


Tech students graduated at an 83.5 percent rate in 2012 from high schools that opened between 2004 and 2008, compared with 64.7 percent at public schools.


"This new study quantitatively confirms what we have known qualitatively for a long time: Career and Technical Education schools are an important part of delivering a world-class school system in New York City," Department of Education spokeswoman Devora Kaye said Monday.


The schools have helped black and Latino students in particular make educational gains.Black students graduated from technical schools at a rate of 66.6 percent in 2012, compared with 59.8 percent of their citywide counterparts.

Henrico County Public Schools mentoring program named Virginia's best
Henrico County Public Schools' "Henrico HEROES" program has received the Virginia Outstanding Mentoring Program Award for 2014 by Virginia Mentoring Partnership. The judges called the program "an outstanding model of success for school-based mentoring."

Henrico HEROES (Helpers Engaged in Reaching Our Evolving Students) administers 27 mentoring groups in the county's middle schools, high schools and nontraditional programs. In 2013, Henrico HEROES reached 680 students with the support of 579 trained mentors. Data showed that those students, who had been deemed at-risk, showed improvements in attendance, behavior and grades.

The judges' statement quoted a Douglas Freeman High School student, who said, "My mentor was there for me even when I tried to push her away. She understands I am fragile, and easily broken. I was given a sense of self-confidence, when I needed it the most. I was taught to love myself, even when others saw I was a waste of space. I was filled with shame of who I am. Now, I stopped hiding." >> READ MORE 
M. H. West & Co., Inc.'s Young Entrepreneur Program has won the Norfolk Education Foundation's Collaborative Award. The award was presented at their 7th Annual Together In Education Awards Gala & Silent Auction.

Accepting on behalf M. H. West & Co., Inc. was Brennan E. West.

See Brennan's remarks...

Mr. Clanton, distinguished guests and public officials, Dr. King, award finalists and other friends and supporters, M. H. West & Co., Inc. (WEST) is very appreciative of this recognition and award by the Norfolk Education Foundation. My name is Brennan West and I served as coordinator for WEST of the Young Entrepreneur Program at PB Young Elementary School.

I would like to emphasize first on behalf of WEST that the work of the Foundation and its supporters has been and continues to be an asset for the Norfolk Public School System and M. H. West & Co., Inc. applauds these efforts. Working in the education arenas throughout the country for more than two decades, providing technical assistance and strategies and solutions to improve graduation rates and equipping students with skills they need to succeed following graduation was instrumental in M. H. West & Co., Inc. 's creation of the Young Entrepreneur Program. The major goal of the program is to help students to stay on a pathway of academic success and a vision for future careers.

The program takes key business concepts and uses these to boost student academics. The program focuses on introducing and reinforcing skills for decision-making, critical thinking, communication, planning, math, reading, time management and teamwork.

Rolling out the program at PB Young and working with its very capable leader, Dr. Alana Balthazar has been nothing less than a WOW experience. The students' learning was boosted by their interaction with business leaders inside and outside the classroom through site visits and classroom presentations.

Dr. Balthazar indicates that she is especially pleased with the math, science and reading aspects of the entrepreneur program. Students learned successfully about business concepts over an 8 week period and then used these to roll out handily three businesses lemons and lemonade products, face painting and photography. The students also learned about the importance of businesses giving back to the community and are preparing to give a check to the American Cancer Society.

WEST's Chair & CEO, Marilyn West like Dr. Balthazar believes that bringing more innovation though non-traditional and enrichment programs such as the entrepreneur program to education strategies has a long-lasting return academically for youth.

Thank you again on behalf of the entire M. H. West & Co., Inc. team and the PB Young Family and advisors.

If you are interested in learning more about the Young Entrepreneurs Club for your school or organization, please contact Marilyn West at 804.782.1938 or consulting@mhwest.com.
Build your school's spirit with a large, custom display banner. Call M. H. West & Co., Inc. for pricing and size options. (804.782.1938)

How many boards
Could the Mongols hoard
If the Mongol hordes got bored?

How can a clam cram in a clean cream can? 

Denise sees the fleece,
Denise sees the fleas.
At least Denise could sneeze
and feed and freeze the fleas.

Roberta ran rings around the Roman ruins.
Geneva High School's FIRST Robotics Team
The 2014 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) season has begun and the Robovikes are back for their sixth season. They joined tens of thousands of team members in over 90 locations worldwide who tuned in to the January kickoff via live NASA-TV broadcast and webcast for the start of the 2014 season. A record 2,729 teams from 17 countries must now take their "Kit of Parts" and transform it into a robot engineered and programmed with the skills to play this season's Aerial Assist game.  >>READ MORE 
Early Education Program Launches at Astoria's P.S. 17
An early education program that aims to close the achievement gap by engaging families and helping young children get kindergarten-ready is coming to Astoria's P.S. 17 through a partnership between local nonprofit Zone 126 and NYU Langone Medical Center.

ParentCorps, a program of NYU's Center for Early Childhood Health and Development, which has been implemented in 28 city schools since 2000, is designed to equip parents and families with the tools to help their children succeed in the classroom, particularly in low-income communities.

English Learners an Asset for Global, Multilingual Future 

Over the last several days, 230 American men and women competed against and socialized with athletes from 87 other nations at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.


The Olympics are not only a test of individuals' athletic prowess, but also a test of nations' good will, collaboration and diplomacy - and ability to find a common language.


As the late Nelson Mandela said, "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."


To provide our children an excellent education, and to keep America competitive economically, we would do well to heed his words.  




"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
- William Butler Yeats
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804.782.1938 | consulting@mhwest.com | mhwest.com