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Sundale, CVC agree to ‘Shake’ on it

Sundale, CVC agree to ‘Shake’ on it

K-8 elementary in Tulare, private middle school in Visalia seeking volunteers to help with The Amazing Shake life skills competition

By Nancy Vigran, Reporter for the Sun-Gazette

TULARE COUNTY – Central Valley Christian (CVC) Middle School in Visalia is looking for a few adult volunteers. Sundale School in Tulare could use a couple, too. You could be a judge for The Amazing Shake! Or in this case, the Sundale Shake or CVC Shake.

All 7th and 8th graders from each school will participate in this two-campus collaboration offering students the opportunity to learn some life skills for interviewing, whether when applying for a scholarship or a job, said Adrianne Hillman, a Sundale mom and volunteer.

CVC Middle School Principal Blake Hiemstra brought the idea to Tulare County after visiting the Ron Clarke Academy in Atlanta, Ga, a middle school that has earned “national and international recognition for its success in educating students with academic rigor, passion, and creativity balanced by a strict code of discipline,” according to the school’s website. It was here, The Amazing Shake concept originated.

After his visit, Hiemstra presented the concept to the CVC faculty where it was warmly welcomed, generating their first Amazing Shake last year. This year Sundale wanted to participate as well.

Working the Room

Each campus will hold its first final round on its own – Sundale on Monday, Dec. 17 at the College of the Sequoias campus in Tulare; CVC on Thursday, Jan. 10 on the CVC campus in Visalia. Students will be broken down into groups, with each student having a two-minute meet-and-greet with a few adult guest judges.

It is most especially for these upcoming dates, the schools are in need of community and business leader volunteers, as they each need 65-70 adults to participate.

“It’s sort of like speed dating,” Hillman said. “It’s up to the student to lead the conversation.”

But if the student is stumped, the judge will step in and get the conversation going.

The Gauntlet

New this year, Round 2 is when the two schools will combine their efforts. With the field of students significantly narrowed, students will be given an example of a real-life situation, and each will be asked to make a toast, Hillman said. Once again, students will be judged by community volunteers, resulting in about 20 students left in the competition from each school.
This will take place on the Tulare County Office of Education offices on Thursday, Jan. 17.

The Boardroom

From here, each school will again work independently. Students, now broken down into teams of four, will be proposed a project. It is up to them to develop a presentation to take to the “board,” again a group of volunteer guest judges.

The project, Hiemstra said, is that the board will be fictitiously be donating $50,000 to the school. Just where that donation will be applied, is up to the student presentations and how well they pitch it. The judges will choose the top group from the five to fictitiously award the funding to.
The Boardroom will take place on Friday, Jan. 25

In the Spotlight

On Wednesday, Jan. 30, the top two presenters from the winning team in The Boardroom, along with one presenter from another team, move to the top three. From the groups that did not receive the top boardroom placing, someone else from one of those teams may have stood out and been really good, Hiemstra said. That student will be rewarded, individually, by moving to the top three.

Here, the students move onstage in front of an audience of their peers, and are asked a variety of questions by the volunteer judges.

“It’s rather like a presidential debate,” Hiemstra said.

Each Spotlight will take place on its own campus. At CVC last year, this took place in front of all middle school and high school students, he added.

The Results

Last year, “we were thrilled with the results,” Hiemstra said. “It’s a way for students to develop and showcase these critical social skills.
“The loved being treated as adults. The experience, itself, was so powerful for them.”

Close to 200 Sundale School students and approximately 150 CVC students will participate in The Amazing Shake. Each school is seeking another 6-10 volunteers for their “Working the Room” segment. If interested in participating with Sundale School, email Hillman at adrianne@adriannehillman.com or call the school office, 559-688-7451, and ask for Eric Garcia. For CVC, call the school office at 559-734-9481.

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