SMA Prep Works with Water for South Sudan to build a Well in Africa

Last year, the SMA Prep Interact Club embarked on a journey to make a real world, positive impact as part of their service learning. This Interact International Project was inspired by SMA Prep 6th grade cadets who read A Long Walk to Water which is based on a true story by Linda Sue Park. Based on that inspiring story, they wanted to do something about the water crisis in parts of Africa. The Water For South Sudan project presented the opportunity and along with the help of the entire school began raising the $5,000 needed to sponsor the building of a well.

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SMA Prep Interact Cadets request well donations outside of their classroom.

Everyone involved was excited to hear the announcement today that the well is complete and families can now access clean water within a closer distance to where they live. SMA Prep Interact Club, led by SMA-CPT Neff, SMA-MAJ Pelletier, and SMA-CPT Clancy along with the Sarasota Southside Rotary Club and cadet leaders are proud to know their hard work has created an opportunity for people in remote, rural areas in South Sudan to change their lives.

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In South Sudan, millions of women and children trek for up to eight hours a day to collect water from marshes, ditches, or hand-dug wells where water is often contaminated with parasites and bacteria. The results are sickness, even death.  This Interact International Project was also part of an interdisciplinary unit for SMA Prep 6th grade cadets inspired by reading A Long Walk to Water which is based on a true story by Linda Sue Park.

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Thanks to the passion of the teachers and cadets at SMA Prep and in working with the community through the Interact and Sarasota Southside Rotary Club, the original journey to make a real world, positive impact came to fruition. Students will remember the experience because of their first hand interaction which offered a deeper understanding of empathy and the power they have to improve the lives of others.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter, International Baccalaureate (IB) World School with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

SMA Prep Cadets Take on the NPR Student Podcast Challenge: Turn An Idea Into Sound

SMA Prep cadets in Military Studies and Digital Arts combine forces to take on the NPR Student Podcast Challenge. Cadets have begun brainstorming to find their podcast topic. They are working off of various topic ideas such as:

  • Tell us a story about your school or community: about something that happened there – recently or in the past — that you want your audience to know about.
  • What is a moment in history that all students should learn about?
  • Show us both sides of a debate about an issue that’s important to you.
  • What do you want to change about the world? What’s a big change that you want to make in the future?
  • Explain something to us that kids understand and grownups don’t.

From this brainstorm, students will select their podcast topic and begin to write scripts, collect content, designate roles and design the sound and feel of their podcast for submission. Submissions will be judged on the following criteria: Information and Structure, Personality and Creativity, and Production Quality.

Thank you to SMA-CPT Miller and CPT Davis for engaging these creative SMA cadets.

Bringing two classes together allows for 6th, 7th and 8th graders to build communication and collaboration across age groups. SMA-Cadet Kalli B., who is a 6th grader, says she’s excited about this project because “everyone is working together as a team and is open to each other’s ideas”. Many cadets have expressed interest in continuing a cadet-led podcast that will add to SMA Prep’s media platform already established through the live streaming daily broadcast of Prep World News.

The contest opens up to entries on Jan. 1, 2019, and closes on March 31, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. ET. NPR will pick two winners: one from grades 5 through 8 and one from grades 9 through 12. We can’t wait to “hear” what these talented and engaged cadets come up with when they Turn Their Idea Into Sound!

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter, (6th-12th) located on 2 campuses in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

SMA Prep Partners with Apparel Co. MANG to Give 7,000 Mangroves New Life

SMA Prep welcomed back Kyle Rossin, co-founder of the West Palm, high-performance apparel company, MANG. Prep’s young environmentalists work with MANG to give dying mangroves a second chance at life which in turn positively impacts Florida’s fragile ecosystem. As an environmentally responsible company, MANG’s “Buy One. Plant One.” initiative pledges to plant one mangrove propagule for every product that is purchased.  SMA Prep cadets provide the resuscitated mangroves they cultivate on campus to support MANG’s one plant at a time initiative.

Every August for the last five years, SMA- MAJ Deb Walker and her 6th-grade cadets have walked the local beaches and estuaries for stranded Red Mangrove seed pods (propagules). These “props” are doomed to decomposition unless placed vertically so that they can produce their famous red roots that are so valuable to the environment. This year, the cadets brought in over 7000 propagules and cultivated them until their first set of true leaves have appeared.

Several years ago, SMA-MAJ Walker received an email from a member of Captains for Clean Water, an ecological group in Ft. Myers. She was asked about her mangrove cultivation project and they offered to spread the word in South Florida. The result was an email from Kyle Rossin, co-founder of MANG.

Kyle takes the time to work with the cadets and give a lesson on the importance of mangroves in the local ecosystems. The cadets loaded up his truck with about 7000 mangrove propagules that they had been cultivating for months. Volunteers in West Palm then plant the props in local estuaries.

SMA Prep cadets benefit from the network of environmental goodwill SMA-MAJ Walker continues to build. “What a great experience for our cadets: to know that their months of effort are rewarded by their mangroves finding a new home and helping to restore the estuaries that have been so threatened by Red Tide.”

Click below to learn more about SMA-MAJ Deb Walker and her 6th-grade cadets’ past and ongoing green initiatives at SMA Prep:

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter, (6th-12th) located on 2 campuses in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About MANG

MANG is a high-performance apparel and gear company dedicated to preserving the natural ecology of coastlines and mangrove ecosystems. Their team of avid fisherman and naturalists recognize that mangrove habitats are the life-support system and nursery for many juvenile marine species. “Our vision is by 2020 MANG will be a locally recognized and environmentally responsible company that is changing the world by planting one mangrove at a time.” More information is available at www.manggear.com

World Renowned Scientist, Dr. Pardis Sabeti Returns to Make Science Infectious for Prep Cadets

Dr. Sabeti returned again this year for another interactive session with SMA Prep cadets as part of The Inspire Project WebEx speaker series. The Q and A with cadets was timed to coincide with “Outbreak” a unique infectious disease outbreak simulation that has become a student-driven event and a campus highlight for 4 years running. This year’s simulation received extra support after Dr. Sabeti received one of ten L’Oréal “For Women in Science” grants and teamed with SMA Prep.

Many cadets were curious about Dr. Sabeti’s views on failure and success. Her advice for the short-term was to “deal with failure by going through the emotions,” however, long-term you have to remember you are going somewhere bigger then you may be able to see now. She also reminded cadets that as a scientist most of her days are filled with failures. “Science is a continuous disappointment. It’s a career that is made on the few times you succeed but most of your work are failures.”
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