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"Together We SOAR" Contest at Cedar Riverside Community School reflects Bright Students Working Towards a Positive Future

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Rick Kittock

The future is in very safe hands with the students of Cedar Riverside Community School. 

December 21 was a very important day in the lives of the students of Cedar Riverside Community School. It was the day for the long anticipated ‘door judging’. Seven years ago, Coach Jennifer Weber started a contest between the classes that entailed decorating the door to each classroom around a theme. This year the theme was Together We SOAR. I was honored to be a judge along with Jan Mershon, Coach Weber, and Mecca Mohamed the school administrative assistant. Rick Kittock was the photographer.

Judges Coach Weber, Mecca Mohamed, Jan Mershon and Claudia Kittock

When we came into the school there was an immediate buzz, “They are HERE! Get your paper. Don’t forget to say what we rehearsed.” As we walked from class to class, a small number of students from each room presented their decoration, describing to us what they had, how they had reached their decisions, and what the designs meant. The judging was based on 6 categories: Visual Impact, Craftsmanship, Completeness, Class Involvement, Originality and Perseverance, awarding 1-4 points for each category. Many of presenters went through each category explaining why they deserved a ‘4’ for each one.

I am not a believer in the ‘everybody deserves a medal’ philosophy of dealing with children, but these designs were incredible. We handed in our score sheets to Coach Weber and she announced the winners the next day. I have to confess I was glad I wasn’t there because every class did a wonderful job.

The 90 minutes of judging reminded me of what the future can look like. I saw polite, well-educated, articulate, enthusiastic young people with a strong sense of responsibility to do well for their families and for their community. The future is in very safe hands with the students of Cedar Riverside Community School.  They truly do SOAR together!!

And the winners were:

Pre-K - 2nd: Pre-k (Gingerbread Baby)

3rd - 5th: Tie between 3rd & 4th (Eagle Heart and Eagle with the beaded snowflakes hanging above the door.)

6th - 8th: 7th Grade (Marble Run) almost perfect score. Most original design!

Click here to view the full set of pictures on Flickr.


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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).


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