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AJK Academy

Marine Mentors at The Academy

The USMC, Third Civil Affairs Group showed up to AJKA in their Dress Blues for Morning Meeting last week. As our goal of Morning Meeting is to coach kids up and get them prepared for the day, 3rd CAG’s leader Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Conant asked if he could bring his Marines to Morning Meeting to discuss the importance of always being prepared. He spoke to our cadets regarding our RRCC motto and core values and connected it to the core values of the Marines Corps which is Honor, Courage and Commitment. As he stated that these core values define how every Marine in the Corps thinks, acts and does their job, he reminded the cadets sitting before him that this is exactly what RRCC does for cadets at the Academy.
“In our second year of partnership with these fine men and women, our cadets are starting to realize the purpose around our core values and how important it is to live up to a standard of high expectations,” said Principal, Mike Grenda. “We will continue our partnership with this elite group of Marines with our mission always at the forefront of our minds… A.J. Katzenmaier Academy, Meeting cadets where they are and advancing them forward.”

Cadets Celebrate Black History Month

Mr. Kisley’s 5th grade class along with teacher paraprofessional, Ms. Rosy Gallegos, built a beautiful Black history display that embedded the American Flag as the background. Each of the eighteen cadets in the classroom chose an individual that they felt has impacted our American culture in some way, shape or form. Cadets chose a wide variety of influential individuals such as the Obama family, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Ice Cube, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Nelson Mandela. It is just awesome to see what these cadets can come up with when they put their mind to it. Way to go Mr. K’s class!!!!! You Rock!!!!

Girls on the Run

The Academy will be kicking off another after-school activity, on March 12th: Girls on the Run. For 10 weeks, girls will learn life skills through lessons and running games. The lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental, and physical development.  Physical activity is woven throughout to develop an appreciation of health and habits that lead to a lifetime of good health. At the end of the session, the girls will participate in a non-competitive 5-K run. We are looking forward to our young ladies developing an understanding of the confidence that comes from setting and achieving life goals.

Girls can begin registering now online at www.gotrchicago.org or via the bi-lingual (English and Spanish) call center at (312) 313-0280 open Monday – Friday 9am-6pm.

$20 per girl

5K run is June 2nd in Grayslake, at CLC.

D187 OFF THE CHARTS

The North Chicago School District 187 Gurnee Mills art project is underway! Lead by art teachers Julie Port (Forrestal) and Stacy Thomas (AJK), student’s work represents holiday themes from Veteran’s Day to the joys of winter. The amazing works of art include: “My Favorite Cup Design” (for warm foods and drinks that make my tummy happy) and “Catching Snowflakes on My Tongue.” No matter the holiday or the season… D187’s got it covered. The pieces display the applied knowledge and skills learned in art class (Elements of Art) from the beginning of the year to present. The elementary art team will be replacing the artwork in February and again in April so all elementary art students will have an opportunity to show their talent throughout the school year.

Stop by, when you have the chance, to witness the fine work of our district’s youngest artists.

Gurnee Mills Mall
Exhibit is outside the Bass Pro Shop (Entrance E)

Now through the end of January

Every child is an artist
-Pablo Picasso

Enchanted Backpack Delivers Huge!!!

November 2nd was a big day at the Academy! Not only were the cadets anxious about their 1st quarter rank ups, but there was also something really special on the way from one of our newest partners! Enchanted Backpacks, based out of Chicago, Illinois delivered two truckloads of materials and resources to AJKA!  Enchanted Backpack was started with the belief that all children deserve to have the tools they need to learn and excel and that all teachers deserve to have the support and materials to make their classrooms exciting learning centers. So, their sole purpose is to do just that. Enchanted backpack delivered 300 boxes and bags of goods to the Academy yesterday!!! “The number of boxes is almost overwhelming,” says Principal Michael Grenda. “With such an an amazing gift for my cadets and staff, I am truly thankful. It was like Christmas in November.” Items delivered range from warm coats, hats, socks and new shirts, to every item cadets’ needed on their academy supply list. We were also provided copy paper, new books for our classroom libraries, games and toys for the academy’s store and many teacher needed resources. Words can not explain how amazing this day was. Thank you enchanted backpack!

The Academy gets ”Pinked Out” to support Breast Cancer Awareness

On Wednesday, October 18th students and staff showed their support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Academy was “Pinked Out!” Students and staff came decked out in pink shirts, pink socks, pink shoes, pink wristbands and even pink hair!  Click here to learn more about Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Discover Day of Service

On Friday, September 15th, our fourth grade cadets had the opportunity to participate in some hands-on S.T.E.M. activities, during the Discover Day of Service. The Academy was fortunate to have volunteers from Discover join our cadets for a day of fun and learning. Cadets built towers out of spaghetti, learned about chemical reactions, and created slime, while learning it is a polymer. At the end of the day, cadets were given a bag with more S.T.E.M. activities that they could do at home. Thanks Discover for your time and a great day of learning!

AJKA Raises Money for St. Baldricks

Over the last couple of weeks AJKA asked all cadets to bring their spare change in to support the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and our teacher Mrs. Irene Ducharme. St. Baldrick’s is a not for profit organization that raises money to help find a cure for childhood cancer. For the last few years, Mrs. Ducharme has supported this foundation by collecting donations and being a part of the head shaving event that takes place every year. The reason that people shave their head is to show empathy towards those affected by childhood cancer. This year, cadets at the academy worked extensively on empathy and “walking in someone else’s shoes,” so when Mrs. Ducharme brought the challenge of raising money to our cadets, they jumped on it immediately. In a short two weeks, the Academy raised over 500 dollars to support Mrs. Ducharme’s cancer fighting team. The class that raised the most money was given the privilege of signing Mrs. D’s head during morning meeting. It is moments like this that make the Academy a proud place to be.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day

February 19, 2017, marked the 31st Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), hosted at Lake Forest College (LFC). In celebration of NGWSD, the sports teams at LFC invite elementary and middle school students from around the area to campus to partake in a variety of athletic activities.  North Chicago Community Partners (NCCP) brought 25 3-5 grade young ladies from AJK and Yeager to engage in the fun! Participants were led by LFC students to practice skills related to soccer, volleyball, cross country, cheer, softball, basketball and tennis. North Chicago students also had the opportunity to receive guidance from current LFC student-athletes on how to perfect their athletic skillset and develop healthy habits outside of sports.

 

The Academy Gives Thanks!

Cadets in the Ambassador Program at A. J. Katzenmaier Academy went on a fieldtrip to Feed My Starving Children located in Libertyville, Illinois. Feed My Starving Children was founded in 1987 and is a Christian non-profit that provides nutritionally complete meals specifically formulated for malnourished children. Their mission is simple: Feeding starving children hungry in body and spirit. The process is simple. Donations are given by people to fund the meal ingredients. Volunteers hand-pack the meals and then meals are donated to FMSC food partners around the world, where kids are fed and lives are saved!

Cadets and parents from AJKA joined in this partnership as a way of giving thanks and a Commitment to Community that we feel is essential for our cadets. Principal Grenda says, “What our cadets get out of this fieldtrip is tenfold. They begin to understand that we all have a way in which we can live a life of service. Once this objective is understood, we have done our due diligence in transforming our cadets from just children to responsible citizens in a global society.”  Overall, alongside a team of volunteers, The Academy helped to package 82 boxes, serving 49,200 meals to starving children in the Philippines and Haiti. As this was their first fieldtrip to Feed My Starving Children, The Academy will definitely be returning.

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