Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sharing thanks...

Thanksgiving.  What a special time for each of us to reflect on all the blessings bestowed upon us.


  • a daughter of 2 truly amazing parents
  • a sister of 10 "I love to spend time with them" siblings
  • a niece of 8 tremendous role-models
  • a wife of the best man around
  • a sister-in-law to 11 crazy out-laws
  • a mother of 3 beautiful (inside and out) women
  • a mother-in-law of 2 very special additions to our family
  • an aunt of 28 fantastic nieces and nephews
  • a great aunt of 15 (3 more on the way in 2017)
  • a grandmother of 5 beautiful human beings
makes me so thankful.  

Bridgewater Family Fun 2016

Prusha Family Summer 2016
One way we keep in touch as a family is with technology.  We've create google docs to help figure out who is bring what food items to our family gatherings.  We email and text each other to ask for help and provide support/information.  We also frequently FaceTime.  When our parents go south for the winter, FaceTime provides a connection to the winter they are experiencing vs. what we are enjoying in Iowa.  Teaching our parents how to FaceTime was a similar experience to the video linked below.  Even though these are not my parents in this video, I'm thankful video's like these are out there to make us laugh. 
Click here to view this video
Last night as we FaceTimed with our grandchildren, they shared how they have been using the Osmo to create extraordinary images.  Below is a link to one of their impressive pieces of art they shared with us:
Click here to view the video of their creation
After making the list above and thinking about other blessings in my life, I am also incredibly blessed to to serve the staff and families of @BentonCSD.  I have the opportunity to work with people who believe in giving their best everyday to the students and the community they have the pleasure of working with and for.   
Veteran's Day Celebration 2016
For all who make our world a better place today and tomorrow, I am forever grateful. 

Picture source

Friday, November 18, 2016

BC Learning Update


We are trying a new format for our BC Learning Update. Below is a snapshot of the information -- to get the the active link to this information -- click here.  Then you can access all the items linked within this update:)

Happy Weekend!

As always, if I can be of support in anyway, please let me know.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Workplace Learning Connection Nov. 2016 Update

Find out more about the Workplace Learning Connection here or contact our Benton Community Guidance Office.

Veteran's Day 2016

Goosebumps.  Tears,  Smiles.  Hugs.  Pride.

I got to experience all of those things today in one short inspirational hour.  There are moments in our lives that go much to fast and we hope we never forget.  This morning was full of those moments for me.

Here's a few snapshots to share a small part of what I want to remember:

Benton FFA  raises $1,400 for Benton Co. Vets

Maya Sahu & Alyssa Ellis share thanks to Veterans (past, present and future)

3rd Graders share their Honor Flight Service Project

Jacob Allen (2012 BC grad) stands to be recognized as a Veteran

Eldon Bridgewater (my father) stands to be recognized as a Veteran

BC Elementary choir (725+ strong) sing "God Bless America"

Celebrating Veteran's Day 2016 with my parents.

I am blessed.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to every Veteran, and their families, for continuing to make moments like this possible.  

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Recruitment of Officials Challenge

I’m challenging all Athletic Directors and all registered officials to help out in the recruitment of new officials.  We all need to do our little part, so that we can increase the pool of officials in Iowa and surrounding states.  It will help all of us as we move forward.  There aren’t any special prizes or awards, just the satisfaction of knowing that we are doing our part to help solve a problem!

The challenge is for every Athletic Director and every registered official in Iowa to recruit just one person to become a registered official with the IHSAA or IGHSAU by April 30, 2017.  If we accomplish that task over the next 6 months, we’ll double our workforce and then we will face the challenge of keeping the new officials registered and working games.  Please accept this challenge and go out and recruit one new person to register to become an officialLinked here is a document you can print or share with your prospective official.

This new recruit might be a student in your school, it might be a neighbor down the street, it might be a fan in the bleachers.  Think about someone who can interpret and apply rules, has poise and strong communication skills, enjoys athletics and working with young people, and wants to be physically active.  If you know such a person, consider asking them to register to become an official.

Take the challenge and help recruit an official.  If you are successful, please email me (lcurtis@iahsaa.org the name of the new official you have recruited.  I’d like to recognize our ADs and officials who got the job done!

Benton Community Activities Director Rob Arnold shares "We have a lot of lower level activities that we could use officials for.  This is a great way to stay connected to our youth and help out in a much needed area.  If anyone has questions or interest feel free to contact me at 319-228-8701 ext. 352." 
The Book Fair is Coming!!! 

The Fall Scholastic Book Fair will be held in the Benton Community IMC from Monday 11/14 through Friday 11/18/2016.  

Click here for more info

Be sure to stop down and check out the great selection of books available for purchase.  The book fair will be open during Parent-Teacher conferences on 11/16/16.  Once again 50 Lucky People will have the opportunity to win a $5 Gift Certificate for use at the Book Fair.  

Simply stop by the IMC, print your name on a ticket, and place it in the box – one entry per person please.  It’s that easy!!!  All students, teachers, and support staff are eligible to enter.  

Ten winners will be drawn daily starting on 11/9.  Winning names will be posted in the Daily Announcements.  Remember: You can’t win if you don’t enter!!!

If you have questions -- please contact Mr. Leonard:  tleonard@benton.k12.ia.us or 319-228-8701 ext. 311.

FFA Breakfast to benefit Veteran's Nov. 6, 2016


The Benton Community FFA Chapter will be hosting a Veterans Benefit Breakfast on Sunday, November 6th at the Van Horne Community Center from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  

The breakfast will consist of pancakes, eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, milk, juice, and coffee.  The cost of this breakfast is a free will donation.  All proceeds will go to the Benton County Veterans Assistance Program.  

The Benton County Assistance Program provides assistance to veterans and their families in filing applications for service, connected disability, compensation, non service connected pension, claims for aid and attendance/household status, serving spouse pension and other federal and state benefits. They also provide short term assistance to veterans and dependents who need help with rent and utility payments, food and provisions, prescription medications, and transportation assistance.  

Please come join the Benton Community FFA and enjoy a great breakfast while raising money for the men and women who have fought for our freedom!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Learn to be a better grant writer

Learn to be a Better Grant Writer at Grant Writing Workshop

Tuesday, November 15
6:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 / person
Van Horne Community Center
115 Main St
Van Horne, IA 52346

Please join the Benton County Community Foundation and Benton Development Group for a grant writing workshop. Workshop speaker Katherine Ollendieck has fourteen years of grant writing experience and has helped secure more than $21 million in grants for Iowa projects. Her workshop is a great opportunity to get clear and concise information about grant writing and learn how to identify additional grant opportunities to energize your project.
For your participation, you will also receive two hours of free one-on-one consulting with an experienced grant writing professional at your location to be schedule after this event.

Workshop Overview
  • Discussion on: Eligibility, Application Requirements, Deadlines, and Reviewing Application Guidelines 
  • Overview of a Project Budget: Project Costs and Funding Sources
  • Keys to Preparing A Grant Application
    • Project Summary/Executive Summary
    • Determining Impact and Providing Sources
    • Demonstrating Need and Sustainability
Click here to RSVP by November 9, or contact Emily Upah, Executive Director of Benton Development Group, at 319-472-5545 or info@bdgia.com. A link for online payment can be found on the online RSVP form.
A message from speaker Katherine Ollendieck
"I believe strongly in Iowa's ability to develop economic resources and offer citizens an excellent quality of life.  I have had the opportunity to work closely with many Iowa communities to prepare high quality, comprehensive and concise grant applications.  I am proud of my partnerships; it is a privilege to work with citizens who are making a difference for Iowa."
Benton County Community Foundation | 319-287-9106 | bentonccf.org