Middletown High School FFA students won the 2019 “Forestry Career Development Event (CDE),” a challenging test of tree identification skills, forestry tools and knowledge, and math-related abilities. Also participating were teams from Sussex Central High School, Milford High School, and Millsboro Middle School. Each team consisted of four students who answered both individual and team-based questions. Middletown will now represent Delaware at the 92nd Annual National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis that begins on October 30, 2019.
The forestry event took place at Kent County’s Brecknock Park in Camden under the direction of Delaware Forest Service education specialist Ashley Melvin. This year’s challenge measures student knowledge in six skill areas: tree identification, tree pests and diseases, timber stand improvement, compass and pacing, board-foot volume estimation, and an individual written examination.
According to FFA, Career Development Events help students “think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in a competitive job market.” There are many CDEs, covering areas from communications to mechanics. Some events allow students to compete as individuals, while others allow them to compete in teams.
The National FFA Organization, originally the Future Farmers of America, was founded in 1928 as a national organization for boys in rural, farming communities. Its original purpose, the education of youth in agricultural fields of study, is still recognized through its current programs. Today, its mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Through educational programs, the FFA teaches students how to become active in their communities and successful in their occupation. FFA membership includes junior high, high school, and college students and totals approximately 450,000.
Blackbird State Forest tree planting on April 13 & 14
The rain date is scheduled for April 27 and 28, 2019.
The planting site is located along the Cypress Branch, where the new trees will help enhance wildlife habitat, fight invasive species, and improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. The project continues a tradition of youth volunteerism and environmental action at Blackbird State Forest: in 2018, volunteers led by Girl Scout Caroline Dowd, a student at MOT Charter High School in Middletown, planted more than 8,800 seedlings on an adjacent parcel. In both 2012 and 2013, Boy Scouts planted 4,000 trees each year at Blackbird State Forest.
“Our project took a lot of time and planning, but it is important that everything was done correctly to maximize our success,” said Middletown High School senior Bryan Alberding. “I chose to do this project because I was concerned about the enormous housing growth in our community, and I wanted to improve the environment.”
“This project presents others with the opportunity to explore and learn how our forests start from the seedling to a mature tree, and how to properly plant the trees,” said Nick Kupsick,who is coordinating the effort with Alberding as part of their Middletown H.S. senior project.
Funding for the trees is provided by a grant from the DNREC Nonpoint Source Program. The restoration of riparian forests is a key strategy for improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, recognized as a “national treasure” and the largest estuary in North America, covering 64,000 square miles in six states and the District of Columbia. The Cypress Branch in southwestern New Castle County is one of the headwaters for the Chester River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay that begins where Cypress Branch and Andover Branch join together in Millington, MD.
Directions to the Blackbird Forest Tree Planting Site
From the NORTH: Route 1 (TOLL): Take Rt. 1 South to Exit 136 toward Odessa (Rt. 299) and make a left at the light. At Rt. 299 (Main Street) in Odessa, turn right onto U.S. 13 South. U.S. 13: Take U.S 13 South until you reach Rt. 299 (Main Street) in Odessa. Proceed through the light (continue on U.S. 13 South).
From Route 299 & U.S. 13: Continue on U.S. 13 south for 6.2 miles and then turn right onto Blackbird Forest Road (flashing light at the top of the hill). After 3.5 miles, turn right onto Oak Hill School Road. Continue for 2.9 miles and then turn right onto Harvey Straughn Road. Proceed for .3 miles and the destination will be on the right.
From the SOUTH: Route 1 (TOLL): Take Rt. 1 North to Exit 119 (N. Smyrna). Make a right onto Route 13 South. Proceed .8 miles to Duck Creek Road and make a right at the light. U.S. 13: Take U.S 13 North until you reach Duck Creek Road north of Smyrna (just past Visitor Center and Smokey Bear sign on the right). Turn left at light for Duck Creek Road.
From Duck Creek Road & U.S. 13: Proceed west for .8 miles on Duck Creek Road and turn right onto Vandyke Greenspring Road. Continue on Vandyke Greenspring Road for 4.4 miles and turn left onto Harvey Straughn Road. In 2 miles, turn left to stay on Harvey Straughn Road. Proceed for .3 miles and the destination will be on the left.
Hannah Sturgis to represent Delaware in 2016 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, DC
HANNAH STURGIS TO REPRESENT DELAWARE IN 2016 POETRY OUT LOUD NATIONAL FINALS IN WASHINGTON, DC
From a competitive field of more than eighteen Delaware high schools students, Hannah Sturgis, a junior from POLYTECH High School, earned the title of 2016 Poetry Out Loud Delaware State Champion at the state finals held in Smyrna, Delaware, on February 23. The first runner-up was Brandon Dawson from Middletown High School, and the second runner-up was Jordan McMillan from Sanford School.
Hannah Sturgis’s final recitation, Infelix by Adah Isaacs Menken, earned her high marks with the judges. The full poem can be found on the Poetry Foundation’s website.
For her winning presentation, Hannah Sturgis will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, with a chaperone to compete at the national championship from May 2-4, 2016. POLYTECH High School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Brandon Dawson, the first runner-up will receive $100, and Middletown High School will receive $200 towards the purchase of poetry books.
The Poetry Out Loud state competition, sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.
To learn more about the State Finalists and for hi-res photos from the event, please see our page here.
From left to right:
Al Mills, Delaware Poet Laureate; Hannah Sturgis, 2016 Winner; Jordan McMillan, Second Runner-Up; Brandon Dawson, First Runner-Up; Nnamdi Chukwuocha, Delaware Poet Laureate. Photo Credit: Kathleen Buckalew
Did you attend the event? Tag us at @ArtsDelaware on Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtags: #POL16, #iampoetryoutloud, and #Delaware
— 2016 Poetry Out Loud – State Finalists
Brandywine High School
Cape Henlopen High School
Concord High School
Middletown High School
Mount Sophia Academy
Newark Charter Jr./Sr. High School
Polytech High School
Red Lion Christian Academy
Seaford High School
St. Elizabeth High School
St. Mark’s High School
Tall Oaks Classical School
Wilmington Christian School
Wilmington Friends School
To learn more about each high school student and their reasons for participating in Poetry Out Loud, please read their biographies here.
About Poetry Out Loud
The Delaware Division of the Arts sponsors the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest program in Delaware schools and the state finals. Competition begins at the classroom level in the fall and culminates with the state finals each spring. Eighteen schools and over 2,000 Delaware students participated in the Poetry Out Loud program in the current academic year. The Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest competition is presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. For more details about the partnership and program, see the program overview here.
About the Delaware Division of the Arts
The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit artsdel.org or call 302-577-8278.
Middletown Lands Victory in Statewide High School Click It or Ticket Contest
MIDDLETOWN, DE—The Delaware Office of Highway Safety announces that Middletown High School is the winner of the 2015 “Click It or Ticket” seat belt contest. The contest was coordinated by Delaware law enforcement school resource officers across the state. Officers and student helpers undertook a weeklong educational campaign for high school students, which included “Excuse Busted” seat belt posters peppered throughout the schools, online posts, morning announcements and videos. To gauge the impact on students, officers conducted pre and post campaign seatbelt use surveys at the entrances and exits to the high school. Officers distributed “Pass/Fail” tickets to students entering or exiting the parking lot as a friendly reminder to buckle up. In comparing the before and after totals, Middletown High School and its school resource officer, Delaware State Police Cpl. Pauline Waibel, were declared the winner with a 28 percent increase in seat belt use.
“We want young drivers and their passengers to use seat belts every time they get in a vehicle,” says Jana Simpler, Director of the Office of Highway Safety. “This educational effort was designed to engage students in discussions about seat belt use and dispel myths that typically keep teens from buckling up. Click it or Ticket is focused on keeping all occupants in a vehicle safe and we congratulate Middletown High School students for getting the message and sharing it with their peers.”
Middletown’s SRO and student helpers will receive a pizza party sponsored by Grotto Pizza to congratulate them for their efforts. McKean High School and Brandywine High School took second and third place respectively.
More than 92 percent of people in Delaware wear their seat belts. A seat belt reduces a risk of injuries or death in a vehicle crash by half.
Get the seat belt facts:
Delaware law enforcement issue an average of 998 seat belt tickets per month
May, June, July are the months with the most seat belt tickets written in Delaware
Each individual fatality costs society $1.4 million dollars
From 2008-2012 seat belts saved nearly 63,000 lives
Most crashes happen within 25 miles of home. Always buckle up.
Middletown H.S. FFA students take forestry challenge
(** Click on photos to view or download high-resolution image files)
Middletown High School FFA students won the 2014 “Forestry Career Development Event (CDE),” a challenging test of tree identification skills, forestry tools and knowledge, and math-related abilities. Sussex Central High School’s FFA team placed second. Each team consisted of four students who answered both individual and team-based questions. Middletown will now represent Delaware at the National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, Kentucky that begins on October 29, 2014.
The forestry event took place at Kent County’s Brecknock Park in Camden under the direction of Delaware Forest Service education specialist Ashley Peebles. This year’s challenge was designed to measure student knowledge in six separate skill areas: tree identification, equipment and troubleshooting, timber stand improvement, compass and pacing, board-foot volume estimation, and an individual written examination.
According to the FFA, Career Development Events help students develop the abilities to think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in a competitive job market.” There are 24 CDEs, covering job skills in areas ranging from communications to mechanics. Some events allow students to compete as individuals, while others allow them to compete in teams.
Established in 1928 as the Future Farmers of America, FFA as it is now known is one of the largest youth groups in the United States, with over 550,000 members throughout all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. FFA is also the largest of the career and technical student organizations in U.S. schools.