NEWPORT -- United Christian Academy students celebrated a Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 19, honoring the five Chinese students who attend the school. Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the largest and most important holidays in Chinese culture ... comparable to Thanksgiving in the United States. The students would traditionally spend this time with their family and friends back home.

UCA tried to make this day away from home a little special for the students by wishing them a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival at school and giving them an opportunity to share their stories of how they celebrate at home. As a surprise treat, their host parents presented them each with a Moon Cake which is a traditional part of the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration.

UCA teacher Michelle Smith had the opportunity to attend a week long AP Institute this summer, or otherwise referred to as "Calculus Camp." Smith spent hours in the library working out problems and just talking math. Smith said the experience "afforded me the ability to learn more about how to teach Calculus at the Advance Placement level in order to prepare students to take the exam which could ultimately allow them to receive college credit for their work in high school. During my week at "Calculus Camp," I became a Calculus student once again and undertook an extremely rigorous course where we solved actual problems on the AP Exam, scored Free Response questions from actual students as well as our own and used technology most schools are currently using. At the end of the week I took with me different techniques used for teaching calculus, an increased network of colleagues I can refer to and over $2000 in software and print resources I can use in the classroom."

Smith, who teachers Calculus at UCA, says she has "a renewed sense of confidence and a fresh perspective that will, hopefully, be evident to the students and transfer to them, giving them the confidence they need to be successful on the exam they will take in May."

UCA' s Upper School with hold Required Christian Service Day on Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. On this day the faculty and student body of the Upper School engage in a day of work in the community at large. In the past the school has worked in churches and in private homes providing essential services for members of the community. Students and staff routinely rake leaves, clean flower beds, clean and paint in churches, split and stack firewood, clean Gardner Park and Prouty Beach, and assist in any way. If you have a need that you think the students can meet, contact the school as soon as possible.

The Christmas Wreath fundraiser orders are due on Oct. 25. The packets have been distributed to all students. All interested can place their orders now. Orders/payments are due by Oct. 25 and delivery is scheduled for Dec. 3.

Wish List: physical education -- 1 1/2 dozen yarn balls/fluffilos, preferably 4-5 inches; a stopwatch; a hand pump. Sports -- girls basketball coach; Grade 1 -- plain child-size bib-apron; Grade 5 -- book ends.

Mark Your Calendar: Oct. 16-- PSAT@UCA (Grades 10 and 11); Oct. 17-18, ACSI Nexus Teacher In-Service, no school; Oct. 25, Required Christian Service Day; Oct. 30, first quarter ends; Nov. 1, Harvest Party, each family brings one bag of candy; Nov. 5 & 6, Parent Conferences; Nov. 27, noon dismissal, Thanksgiving vacation; Nov. 28-29, Thanksgiving vacation; Dec. 3, pick up wreaths; Dec. 12, Grammar ½ day and Christmas Concert, no concert, normal school day; Dec. 19, El-bells ReZound and Upper School, Choir Christmas Concert at The Church of God, 7 p.m.; Dec. 20, Red and Green Day; Dec. 23 to Jan. 3, Christmas/New Year Holiday Vacation; Jan. 6, school resumes following vacation.


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