Article by Melissa Sorensen,

WINONA LAKE — Even long after they have passed on, an individual’s words and character can still speak to people. That was the message of former Brooklyn Dodger baseball player Carl Erskine during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration event on Monday, Jan. 16, at the Manahan Orthopedic Capital Center.

During his time on the Brooklyn Dodgers in the late 1940s to the 1950s, Erskine pitched two no-hitters, and was on the team that won the 1955 World Series. Erskine had a hand in the integration in baseball when he was a teammate with Robinson.

Erskine spoke of the legacies that his former teammate Jackie Robinson and Dr. MLK Jr. built during their lives. He mentioned how the two propionates of racial equality made a difference just by living lives with integrity and character.

During the event, Erskine mentioned that individuals need to hear the “echoes” of the great man that DR. MLK Jr. was. “Mr. King, we hear your echo,” said Erskine.

Erskine talked at length about the need to be faithful in doing the right thing, even if it seems like the action is small. He attributed the continuation of the movements in racial equality to many people doing small things that have led to big changes. Erskine noted during Robinson’s entire baseball career, Robinson never lashed out at anyone, even when he may have been treated unfairly due to the color of his skin.

He noted that while the country has not reached the point of complete racial equality, it has made great strides. Erskine stated he has passion for the unification of races and is an advocate for individuals with special needs to have access to the same opportunities others receive. Erskine mentioned how he hopes to see individuals with special needs become more integrated into society.

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The students at Lakeview Middle School are focusing on improving their Lexile Reading Levels by taking part in the 5 Star Victory Reading program created by Teacher-Librarian Amanda Scroggs.  Each week during their library time Mrs. Scroggs has students select books using five strategies, which include variety, volume, visualization, verbalization, and vocabulary development.  She explained each aspect of this program, provided instruction and examples, and offers support to students as they select the books that they are going to read and eventually book talk to other students. 
On a cold winter day in December 2015, Dr. David Hoffert spoke to Lincoln Elementary students about the vision and dream of a new building for them. The students then broke ground to symbolize the start of the building project. On Jan. 11, that dream came to fruition as Lincoln Elementary was officially opened for student and staff use.
Those who visited the facility in the morning could feel the excitement clearly visible in the expressions and voices of students, teachers and staff as they made a ceremonial walk from the old building into the new facility. “We are extremely grateful to the community for providing us the opportunity to build and open a new Lincoln Elementary,” stated WCS Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert on opening day. “We know that today is just the first of many great days in this new building. We are excited to see our students flourish in this new facility. A big thank you goes to our teachers and support staff for the transition into the new building mid-year.” "The completion of this project is more than just the opening of a new building. The new Lincoln Elementary is the culmination of much dreaming, planning, hard work, and dedication of our resources - all on behalf of our children,” shared Heather Reichenbach, WCS board president.

"The WCS School Board of Trustees sincerely thanks our staff, students, parents, and community for continuing to provide for excellent education through safe and conducive learning environments. This opening is a celebration - for our community, for our students and for our future." Warsaw Community Schools would like to especially thank the Warsaw and surrounding communities as this endeavor would not be possible without their support. “It’s About Kids” and “Building Our Future” have been themes throughout this project and this morning it was evident how this building project will impact the learning environment with innovative and creative spaces carved into the building. It will be a showcase for this community for years to come.

“It is not often you get to see the look on kids’ faces when they get to go into a new school building for the first time,” noted WCS Building Project Manager Jim LeMasters. “It is a great feeling to be able to give the kids a new building and I am proud of the work completed by staff and construction crews alike to ensure Lincoln was completed on time, on budget and in the best way possible with the dollars we had to work with.”

Congratulations to the members of the Edgewood and Lakeview Middle School Band who were selected to participate in the All- Region Honor Band. 

The honor band will perform a free concert at Dekalb Middle School on Sunday, Nov. 13. 

The students are: (from left) Ian Peloza, Michael VanWormer, Ian Sutton,Emily Collins, Ivy Hall, Hannah Hopkins, Brennan Cox and Jonah Brinkerhuff.

Third grade students at Leesburg Elementary celebrated their third annual book character parade. The third grade team uses this fun time of the year to teach their students how to write a summary. This includes finding a book's problem, solution and important events. Each student chooses their favorite book, writes a summary about the book then dresses up as that book character. During the parade, the students read their book to kindergarten partners and then march around the school.

The 2016 Indiana State K-12 Chess Championships were held Saturday, Nov. 5, at Canterbury School in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Warsaw Community School was represented by players from Lincoln and Washington this year.

Pictured (from left) are the participants that attended: Charlie Norton, Ashlan Oliver, Landon Ryser, Ted Grandon, Aidan Shepherd, Nate Anderson, Max Vinkemeier and Drew Ryser.

The participants competed in their grade levels against surrounding Indiana chess players. A total of 160 students competed from grades K-12. Each player played five pairings to determine the winners.

Warsaw Community School brought home many trophies from the tournament. In the second grade, Landon Ryser (Washington) won third place. In the third grade, Ted Grandon (Lincoln) won first place, Ashlan Oliver (Lincoln) won third place and Charlie Norton (Lincoln) won fifth place. In the fifth grade, Max Vinkemeier (Lincoln) won third place and Nate Anderson (Washington) won fifth place.

Coaches for Lincoln Elementary include Melinda Oliver and parent helper Stefani Vinkemeier. Washington’s team is coached by Jay Bolduc.

“Every tournament, I feel like the intensity on the kiddos' faces gets deeper and more focused,” noted Coach Oliver. “I am so proud to see all Warsaw Schools players grow and learn new strategies as they win or lose at these tournaments. But what I am most proud of is the amazing attitudes these kids are displaying at the events towards other teammates and other schools. I believe those great attitudes are going to help them excel and succeed to the fullest of their abilities.”

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