Feb. 2, 2024
DPS EDUCA Podcast: My Spark Denver
In this week's episode, team members of My Spark Denver -- Antonio Huerta and Angie McPhaul -- discuss an all-new after-school program that will give students the chance to explore their passions. 

This opportunity is available to over 4,000 DPS middle school students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. These school programs provide students rich learning experiences, key identity development and a connection between peers and adults.

With over 185 programs to choose from, there are extracurricular activities that fit student’s needs. Programs range from athletics, martial arts, dance, astronomy and key tutoring lessons that push students' academic engagement. For the students who qualify, they receive $1,000 on a restricted debit card to cover the cost of enrollment and program participation.

My Spark Denver gives every student the opportunity to explore their interests without worrying about the financial burden. For information on the provided programs, visit MySparkDenver.org to learn about opportunities available for your students!

Watch the EDUCA DPS Podcast in English and in Spanish. Listen in on your favorite podcast platform. 
Pascual LeDoux Academy Receives Recognition for Tools Of The Mind Curriculum
Pascual LeDoux Academy (PLA) was recognized as a Center of Excellence for its new Tools of the Mind curriculum. Centered around student emotion regulation, the Tools of the Mind School recognition is no easy accomplishment. Teachers at PLA go through further training to earn this certification along with their teaching license. 

“There is a huge emphasis on play,” said Dr. Elena Bodrova, Co-Founder of Tools of the Mind. “For grownups, it sounds counterintuitive. But in play, children have to follow the rules, make the rules and see the consequences, which makes them uniquely capable of developing self-regulation much earlier than they would have if only regulated by adults.”

Watch to learn more about PLA as the first school in DPS to receive this recognition.
SORA Culturally Responsive Books: Celebrations and eBooks
DPS Library Services curates SORA collections and showcases cultural celebrations. Each month, different collections are advertised. SORA is available to all members of the DPS community and can help you find your next great read!

For the month of February, we're showcasing Black History Month, Lunar New Year, Nirvana Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day and World Day of Social Justice.

Each year, our Library Services team curates titles built around the Know Justice, Know Peace Resolution and recommends school libraries add these titles to their print collections. For more information, check out the 2023-24 titles.

Library Services Coordinators offer a Blind Date service as well as a Request a Title on SORA.
If you have any questions, contact a Library Service Coordinator LibraryHelpDesk@dpsk12.org.
Important Survey for Colorado School Transportation
The School Transportation Modernization Task Force, created by the Colorado Department of Education, is seeking information to better improve the school transportation systems in and around the state of Colorado. We ask that you complete the survey that pertains to you at the bottom of this document. This survey will help properly analyze the current needs of Denver school transportation and guide future advancements.
High School Construction Careers Hiring Event
Join the Denver Department of Economic Development and Opportunity on Feb. 29 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for a high school construction careers hiring event. All interested DPS students are invited to attend and explore full- and part-time employment, internship and apprenticeship opportunities. The event will take place at 656 Mariposa St., Denver, 80204. Click here to register.
Celebrating Black History Month and National School Counseling Week with Belouga
February is Black History Month! In celebration of Black History Month, learn more about the community's invaluable contributions and inspiring stories. Explore the Belouga resources below for stories of Black icons, Civil Rights and important innovation. 

Next week is National School Counseling Week! Our school counselors play a vital role in students’ academic journeys, as well as building a foundation of positive habits and relationship building. In honor of their contributions, provided below are mindfulness resources.

Emily Griffith Foundation Receives Funding from Denver Broncos Foundation
In January, the Emily Griffith Foundation received a donation of $147,000 from the Denver Broncos Foundation to support Emily Griffith Technical College students. This donation will go toward scholarships in addition to wraparound support over the next two years.

The Emily Griffith Foundation serves as the connection between donors and the College to support students, faculty, infrastructure and capacity building with funds the College would otherwise be unable to access.

The Denver Broncos Foundation aims to make a “positive impact on future generations by creating a ‘game plan’ for life through youth health and wellness initiatives, dynamic in and out of school programming and access to career pathways,” according to their website. Watch this video from Denver 7.
JFK JROTC Honor Platoon Takes Second Place at Regional Competition
On Jan. 20, the John F. Kennedy JROTC Honor Platoon placed second overall at the fifth Brigade JROTC Drill Championships in San Antonio, TX. Teams competed in inspection, color guard, exhibition and regulation drill. JFK was the only DPS team at the competition and their second-place overall finish made them the highest-ever placing team from DPS or Colorado. JFK’s strong finish qualifies them to compete at the Army Drill Nationals and High School Nationals in Daytona, FL on May 3-5. Help us wish them continued success in their next competition!
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