Monday, November 24, 2008

Academic advisor honored with USA flag from Iraq

Academic advisor honored with flag

Rio Salado College Military Academic Advisor Chantele Carr was thrilled last week to receive a United States of America Flag.

No ordinary USA Flag, the red, white and blue star spangled banner has flown over the cities of Baghdad, Balad, Ramadi, Fallujah, Al Taqaddum and Al Asad, Iraq by a MEDEVAC helicopter and crew assigned to Charlie Company (Air Ambulance) of the 1st battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment. The crew was performing a mission in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The flag was flown in honor of Carr for her dedication and service to American Soldiers around the world, stated the certificate that came with the flag.

Carr, who has spent the past five years advising military personnel around the globe, has received dozens of e-mails and notes thanking her for her work but the symbolic striped pennant was a first.

“I was just shocked. It was totally unexpected, I was just doing my job”, said Carr who strives to go above and beyond to help those serving their country attend college.

The flag was sent from Sgt. Timothy Morse. Initially, Carr began corresponding with Morse’s wife Nancy who was trying to get her husband enrolled in classes. Finding the military tuition reimbursement program challenging to navigate, Morse wanted to pay for his own classes. Carr walked him through the process step-by-step, and helped him enroll in the necessary classes to prepare to enter the Army’s highly competitive physician’s assistant program.

“Chantele Carr is the epitome of great customer service and supporting America’s soldiers, marines, sailors and airman,” said Morse. “When everyone else didn’t take a minute to listen or help she was willing to look outside the box and make things happen for me, said Morse who calls Arizona home and is currently station in Landstuhl Germany. Morse served in Iraq from August of 2007 until Nov. 2 of 2008 as a flight medic.

For nearly three decades Rio Salado has been providing educational opportunities to the military. Servicemembers from around the world enroll in Rio Salado online classes to earn certificates and degrees to further their military careers, switch occupations and prepare for civilian life.

Thousands of members of the military have taken advantage of Rio Salado’s packed schedule of online classes. Motivated by the convenience and flexibility of online classes, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are completing their college education while serving their country.

Rio Salado’s online format works well for servicemembers who are deployed, reassigned and have erratic schedules.

Classes start every Monday; and the online format allows students to work where they want, when they want. Carr belongs to the Military Advisement Team. Military advisement is dedicated to meeting and exceeding the needs of the active duty Servicemember.
Rio Salado courses are state-of-the-art and interactive with 24/7 helpdesk for students with technical questions, online student support and an online mini-syllabus to preview courses. Courses can be accelerated with teacher approval.

“Our goal is to ensure that we provide educational access to our Military students and their Families with the same care, support and service they provide for us, said Yvonne Lawrence
As a military-friendly college, Rio Salado offers a large variety of different degrees and certificates of completion programs. Degrees include an associate in science, arts, general business or an associate in applied science in organizational management, public administration, law enforcement technology and military leadership. Members of the military may be eligible for 100% tuition assistance and it may be used at Rio Salado. Servicemembers often find earning college credits or a degree makes a big difference in their lives.

Rio Salado College is one of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges. For registration or more information call 480-517-8540 or go to

Thursday, November 20, 2008

KBAQ announces special Thanksgiving and Christmas programs

TEMPE, ARIZ. (November 20, 2000) -- KBAQ 89.5 FM, Central Arizona’s classical music companion, has created a holiday schedule full of Christmas Carols and holiday pops that culminates on New Year’s Day with the Vienna Philharmonic. Highlights are listed below. Visit for more programming information.

Thursday, November 27 1pm Harvest Home: Thanksgiving with the Dale Warland Singers
Choral classics celebrating Thanksgiving and harvest. The Dale Warland Singers, acclaimed as America’s premier choir draw upon their archive of live performances to create an autumn musical feast. Brian Newhouse, host.

Saturday, December 6 7pm The Best Gifts
Christmas spoken, sung and played in a program of treasures from the KBAQ archive. Performances from long ago and only yesterday with familiar voices and the meanings of Christmas.

Friday, December 12 7pm The Rose Ensemble: An Early American Christmas
Shaker Tunes, Kentucky Harmonies, and Acadian dances done by one of America’s premiere early-music ensembles. Since it began in 1996, The Rose Ensemble has surprised and delighted audiences with performances of music from centuries past. This 2008 Christmas program highlights the treasures of Appalachia.

Saturday, December 13 7pm A Choral Christmas Card
A coast-to-coast sampler of the country’s best choirs in carols for the season. Visit choral towns across the U.S. including Kansas City, Austin, Santa Fe, and Boston. Hear songs from hundreds of years past and beautiful selections of our own time. Valerie Kahler, host.

Friday, December 19 7pm A Chanticleer Christmas
America’s finest male chorus celebrates the mystery and wonder of Christmas. Their 2008 Christmas special is a blend of traditional carols, medieval sacred works, and jazzy spirituals. Brian Newhouse, host.

Friday, December 19 8pm Carols for Dancing
An hour-long special devoted to the intimate connection between song and dance in holiday music. Built around vigorous performances by Renaissonics — an award-winning improvisatory Renaissance dance band. The program tells the story of the mid-winter holiday dance tradition. Ellen Kushner, hosts.

Saturday, December 20 8pm 365 Holidays with the Canadian Brass
The Canadian Brass performs new arrangements of Christmas music along with the classic versions of Christmas and Hanukkah songs they've made popular over the last 35 years. David Srebnik, host.

Monday, December 22 7pm Chanukah in Story and Song
Narrated by Leonard Nimoy and sung by the acclaimed vocal sextet The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, this program presents 25 eclectic selections, from the Ladino songs of the Spanish Jews and Yiddish melodies of Eastern Europe to modern Israeli tunes and the ensemble's original version of "I Have a Little Dreydle." The ensemble performs a cappella as well as with instrumental accompaniment. The narration, written by Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, sheds new light on the holiday's customs and rituals.

Wednesday, December 24 9am A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
A live broadcast from the chapel of the King's College in Cambridge, England. Michael Barone hosts this exclusive broadcast of the legendary Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols service of Biblical readings and music as performed by the King's College Choir.

Thursday, December 25 7pm Mendelssohn “Magnificat”
"Magnificat," an American broadcast debut, features the Yale Schola Cantorum in a period-style performance of Felix Mendelssohn's setting of the text, directed by Simon Carrington. "Magnificat" presents a unique opportunity to hear both Christmas works back-to-back with some of the finest young vocal and instrumental talent in America. Host and celebrated conductor Simon Carrington leads the performances from Yale's renowned Woolsey Hall.

Thursday, January 1 7pm New Year’s Day from Vienna 2009
NPR takes you direct to the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna for the most popular classical music concert in the world, the Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Day concert. Included will be your favorite waltzes and polkas, and so much more, all conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rio Salado instructor gives advice on helping kids with homework

If book bags and study packets make you cringe. And math facts and science projects turn your stomach into knots, you’re not alone
Getting youngsters to do their homework is an ongoing battle in many a household. Beth Hoffman, a Rio Salado College instructor and veteran of the homework battle, knows. She’s experienced both sides of the war including 14 years as a classroom teacher and as the parent of two elementary school age boys.

“The homework tug-a-war can really get your blood pressure boiling. Even as an educator, homework and how best to manage the process in our busy world, is a constant struggle,” said Hoffman who teaches teachers how to teach at Rio Salado College.

Most evenings Hoffman and her two young sons spend a couple of hours hunched over the kitchen table doing homework. But Hoffman says those who value education realize homework plays a significant role in education.

“Homework reinforces subjects learned in the school day. It’s also a great time to get to know your child’s learning style, and keep abreast of the classroom curriculum. Below are some strategies for taking the stress out of homework and make it a positive experience for both parents and students alike.

1. Know your child. What works for one doesn’t always work for the other(s). Some kids need a break after school, some need a break and a snack, and others just want to get it done so they can have the rest of the day to themselves. Some kids need homework broken up into smaller sessions, with a break between each session. This will take more monitoring on your part, but worth it, if it works.

2. Keep a constant routine. Children like to know what’s coming next, and what the expectation is for the task. By keeping a constant routine you will rid yourself of the never ending questions, and mixed messages that can rear their ugly heads. However, you may need to be flexible, not everyday is the same.

3. Quiet, quiet, quiet! Ask yourself how hard it would be to create a quality resume, in 30 min. to an hour, with the TV on. Same thing for kids. Distractions can lead to a 2 -3 hour homework session that should only take 30 min. Let them know that as soon as they are done, the TV may be turned on. It’s okay to hang out the “carrot” as long as you follow through.

4. Keep materials ready and available in a designated space. Keeping the backpack near the child also helps, so they don’t have the excuse to run downstairs to get something.

5. Be proactive and CHECK the back pack before starting homework. Make sure your child and you are on the same page and the child has a clear expectation of what needs to get done. This keeps frustration from peaking when they realize they did the wrong Math page.

6. Timed or not timed?? This depends on whether you have the “procrastinator” or you have the “Little Engine that could”. (God bless you if you have the “procrastinator”.) If you use a timer, make sure to make it an incentive, not a punishment. The punishment is already built in. If you don’t get your homework done, you have less time to do what you’d really like to do. (i.e.… “I’m sorry you didn’t have time to play Wii today. I know you’re frustrated about that. Maybe tomorrow, you’ll have more time, after you finish your homework.”) If the child finishes the homework before the timer has gone off, provide a meaningful reinforcement (extra 10 min. to stay up past bed time, get to watch a favorite TV program, ride bikes, etc…) that creates a “buy-in” to homework.

7. Develop habits, early. Is kindergarten too early?? Absolutely not! Do this with your first child, and each additional child will understand the expectations from the get go.

8. Should I help? Yes! Just be careful that your helpfulness doesn’t create an unhealthy dependence on you. The ultimate goal is to encourage initiative and responsibility. Ask questions that promote thinking. You might model one problem and have the child do the next. Check your child’s homework AFTER they have checked it. Make “checking” a habit. This is an important skill that often times needs to be directly taught.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Storybooks increases literacy and promotes college

TEMPE October 29, 2008 – Rio Salado College early childhood educators Diana Abel and Rene Manning are more comfortable reading storybooks to toddlers than writing one but that hasn’t stopped the two from scripting two new colorful activity books designed to get children reading and their parents thinking about college.
In conjunction with the early childhood staff, they have written Kash the Kangaroo Helps Mommy Go to College, and Megan the Mouse Helps Daddy Go To College. Last week the Rio Salado early childhood staff were distributing copies of the new book at the Channel Eight/KAET PBS KIDS Raising Readers Family Literacy Celebration Day at the state capitol.
Joining with more than 20 others from government departments, community organizations, and area agencies offering hands-on literacy activities at the Wesley Bolin Plaza the staff and program volunteers distributed the free books.

“We felt the best way to encourage children and to support the concept of raising readers was to develop an activity book to read to children,” Diana Abel, Rio Salado College Early Childhood Education Director said.

The books, with Kash the Kangaroo and Megan the Mouse, is a simple story complete with pictures of Kash and his mom and Megan and her dad both of which decide they want to go back to school and head to Rio Salado College.

“The book focuses on how children can help and support their parents going back to college just like we teach them how to help around the house. Parents model the importance of education and are the best role models in the lives of their children,” Abel said.

Response for the new colorful readers was gratifying as numerous parents stopped by their booth with the youngsters in tow saying “I’ve been thinking about going back to college, or I really need to get busy and go back to school,” said Abel.

As partners, Rio Salado College and KAET8/ASSET, are working together to assist early childhood practitioners complete courses that can lead to the national CDA credential. The partnership has resulted in combining the online for-credit courses offered through Rio Salado’s early childhood program and the website, A Place of Our Own, which is supported by KAET8/ASSET.

Students who enroll in these one credit courses will be able to use the wealth of resources found at A Place of Our Own as a part of their course requirements. Resources at this website include video clips, activities, panel discussions and journal articles designed specifically for early childhood practitioners and parents.

“This is a great resource for our students and offers many enriching activities and material for our students” Abel said.

Rio Salado College is one of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges. The college has an extensive early childhood education program that include numerous certificates, associate degrees and national credentialing courses for those who want to enter the early childhood field or for those in the field who wish to enhance their professional development. For registration or more information call 480-517-8540 or to learn more about Rio’s early childhood programs go to

Want to raise a reader? Read together every day!
It’s okay to read the same book over and over and over again!
Point out print in everyday life…this helps children understand the important of reading.
Be a ready yourself! When is the last time you read a book for enjoyment?
Read a variety of different kids of stories to your child.
Point out the words and their corresponding pictures as your read.
Stop often while reading the story and ask your child what they think might happen next.
Make reading fun by changing your voice to fit the mood of the story.
Find comfortable places where you and your child (ren) can sit close together and snuggle as you enjoy the reading experience.
Share your thoughts about the book.

Monday, November 3, 2008

KBAQ 89.5 FM features valley youth Nov. 18


From the Top, the non-profit known for its hit radio and television broadcasts featuring the nation’s best young classical musicians hosted by acclaimed concert pianist Christopher O’Riley, comes to the Mesa Arts Center on Tuesday, November 18 at 8pm to tape its NPR radio program heard on KBAQ 89.5 FM. This special concert recording presented by the Mesa Arts Center and KBAQ will feature performances from outstanding young artists from Arizona and across the country. Tickets are available at (480) 644-6500 or For KBAQ listeners tickets are $25 and $6 for student groups.

Local talent includes 16-year-old flutist Chaz Salazar from Phoenix and 13-year-old pianist Carolynn Cong from Scottsdale. Salazar, who attends the Arizona School for the Arts, will play III. Presto Giocosofrom Sonata by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) accompanied by Christopher O’Riley on piano. He is also one of 25 recipients of From the Top’s $10,000 Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. Cong, who attends Pinnacle High School, will perform the fourth movement from Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op. 82. Cong is also a National Finalist for Junior Baldwin Music Teachers Association.

Nick-Man & Robyn the violin and cello duo comprised of siblings Robyn, 18, and Nicholas, 15, Bollinger from Haddonfield, NJ, 15-year-old violinist Clayton Penrose-Whitmore from Springfield, IL, and 16-year-old trumpet player Ansel Norris from Madison, WI will also perform. As on every From the Top broadcast, this taping will highlight the performers’ musicianship as well as their lives outside of music through interviews with O’Riley.

In the past year, From The Top has featured two other Phoenix musicians on the show. Mia Laity, a 15-year-old violinist: and Anna Han, who will appear on the broadcast the week of November 3. Anna’s appearance was taped in Lawrence, Kansas this July at the International Institute for Young Musicians.

One of the most popular weekly radio programs on public radio, From the Top’s variety show format features music, interviews and light-hearted sketches with the country’s most talented pre-college age musicians. From the Top is heard on more than 200 NPR stations coast-to-coast and online at KBAQ carries the program Sundays at 7pm. This concert will broadcast on March 1, 2009.

From the Top’s PBS television program From the Top at Carnegie Hall, a 13-part series hosted by Christopher O’Riley, captures the excitement of young musicians in performance at Carnegie Hall and showcases their lives both on-stage and off. The series can be seen on KAET Sundays at noon as well as at

Each year, From the Top visits 20 communities to tape radio broadcasts and conduct education outreach programs that utilize the inspirational power of young musicians to motivate students and adults to engage in music and the arts. At broadcast taping performers are encouraged to explore ways in which they can connect with new audiences, serve as positive peer role models, and give back to their communities.


From the Top is a non-profit organization that celebrates the passion, dedication and personal stories of the nation’s outstanding young classical musicians. Through entertaining radio and television broadcasts, online media, and a national tour of live events and outreach programs, these performers inspire the pursuit of excellence, and encourage participation in the arts as an integral part of a vibrant and civil society.

From the Top’s training and mentorship programs prepare young musicians to connect with new audiences, serve as positive peer role models, and give back to their communities in many ways.

From the Top on NPR is made possible through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. It is also supported through the generous contributions of individuals and foundations as well as public radio stations. From the Top radio program is produced in association with WGBH Radio Boston and New England Conservatory of Music, its home and education partner.

Exclusive corporate funding for From the Top at Carnegie Hall on PBS is provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major foundation funding is provided by the Bernard Osher Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Helen and Peter Bing, National Endowment for the Arts, and the E.H.A. Foundation.

Music. It’s Powerful Stuff.

High school students learn college researching skills

Like many high school seniors this year McClintock students Sharri Hudson Kiara Hamed and Alex Chandler are required to do library research for a number of English papers they are required to write.

But the three students are getting more mileage than most from their high school experience. They are getting a double whammy; gaining both high school and college level writing and research skills at the same time.

And not only are they learning additional skills they’re racking up college credit under Rio Salado College’s dual enrollment program.

This year more than 6,000 students around the valley will participate in the program that allow students to take college level classes while still in high school simultaneously earning high school and college credits. Dual enrollment classes are available in English, math, science, foreign language and social studies.

Some students are able to graduate with enough college credits to skip a year of college. Some do even better graduating with an associate degree and a high school diploma saving both time and money.

Last week Rio Salado College librarian Janelle Underhill was on the McClintock High School campus teaching students how to use the online college library including how to navigate through dozens of databases, e-books, and other resources available for their use.

“We have found it very helpful for our dual enrollment students,” said Underhill who visits almost all of Rio Salado’s dual enrollment English 101 classes.

“The more students work with the library’s databases, the better prepared they will be when they head off to a university in a year or two,” Underhill said.

Along with the advanced research skills students using a college library are also exposed to dozens of additional resources.

While most high school libraries have 4 or 5 databases, Rio Salado College has more than 40 databases and a university may have as many as 200 or more, Underhill tells students.
Besides the in-person demonstration of the college’s library resources, students may also request a CD which reviews basic research skills and gives information about the Rio Salado’s library. Another form of free assistance is Ask a Librarian chat service which is available 24/7 for students with questions or problems. Ask a Librarian chat is District-wide cooperative that includes all 10 Maricopa Community Colleges.

As part of Underhill’s library presentation students are shown how to find articles in online magazines, scholarly journals, newspapers and reference databases. As dual enrollment students, they may also check out books from any of the 10 MCCCD Libraries and have online access to thousands of ebooks. Finally, in the sessions students are encouraged to explore helpful links on the library’s website such as Rio’s Online Writing Lab (OWL), citation examples, tutorials and evaluation criteria, while writing class assignments for their English 101 class.
McClintock High School dual enrollment teacher Adam Unrein is a fan of teaching college level skills to high school students.

“It’s a great for our students. The resources available are vast compared to what we have in our high school. It’s the perfect stepping stone for students. Not overwhelming just right,” Unrein said.

Hamed says she’s glad she had the chance to learn college skills in high school.
“I think it’s good so we won’t be confused later when we won’t have any of these people around to help us,” Hamed said.

Rio Salado College is one of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges. The college offers degrees and career and technical certificates in business, computer technology, early childhood and teacher education, healthcare, law enforcement and more. For registration or more information call 480-517-8540 or go to