The new falcon herald logo.
Feature Articles

Falcon Middle School launches beautification project

Falcon Middle School kicked off a $30,000 fundraising project at a student assembly held Jan 30. The school will use the funds to support beautification projects to enhance the school grounds and complete the transformation of old Falcon High School to a facility tailored to the needs of middle school students.To raise funds, middle school students participated in a magazine drive last fall and are selling $10 Gold Cards, said Bob Felice, FMS principal. The unlimited-use cards provide free products and discounts for food retailers such as Sonic Burger, Carl’s Jr. and Papa Murphy’s. The cards are valid through September.Felice said the beautification project will take three to five years to complete and require support from the community. The projects include landscaping, adding trees to the grounds, a sculpture of the FMS mascot, the firebird; and tennis courts.”It won’t be done all at once,” Felice said. “We’ll keep picking away at it.”The landscaping plans incorporate drought-tolerant plants and xeriscaping methods, Felice said. “We want to do this right the first time. It’s hard to make things grow here without a lot of water. I don’t want to plant things that we can’t maintain.”Another project Felice would like to complete is the addition of field turf behind the school. “Right now the east doors open onto a dirt field. Middle school kids want to run and play; this would give them a place to go.”In addition to fundraising, Felice said Pioneer Sand & Gravel will donate landscaping materials at cost, and he hopes to receive in-kind donations from other local businesses. Felice said the FMS Beautification Project has also received cash pledges like the $5,000 offered by Rock Family Church.Dean Hawk, Rock Family Church pastor, said he learned about the beautification project on the local news. “We have an outreach program called Dare to Care with the goal to invest $1 million back into the community,” Hawk said. “We’re a family church and we believe in kids and teenagers and we love to invest in schools.”Hawk said the contributions for Dare to Care come from Rock Family Church members and are above and beyond regular tithes and offerings. Rock Family Church has donated $160,000 since June 2008 to charities and families throughout the greater Colorado Springs area.”We always ask, ‘How can we touch the most people?’ This $5,000 affects kids and their families,” Hawk said.Felice said the first project is the firebird sculpture, which is on schedule for completion this spring. Additional landscaping will be finished throughout the summer. The completed statue will stand 4 feet high with a 6-foot wingspan and sit on a pedestal near the FMS entrance.The firebird will be the centerpiece of the additional landscaping, which will enhance the front of the building and wrap around to the northwest.”I look at this as the broken-window theory,” Felice said. If the building looks nice, the students will treat it with respect, he said.Also at Falcon Middle SchoolIn an effort to boost student performance, Felice said FMS created the Student Achievement Center. Open Monday through Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m., Felice said the center is staffed by five hand-picked, solid educators, and 50 to 60 students attend each day.The program is one of the many tools the Student Success Team, a taskforce of teachers and parents providing academic intervention for struggling students, uses to help improve student achievement. While some of the students have been identified by teachers as needing extra tutoring, the center is open to all students on a walk-in basis.”What we’re finding is that it is not just for kids who are struggling,” Felice said. “It’s being attended by some A-students who want an environment to get their homework done.”The Student Achievement Center is too new to gauge its success, but Felice said he is encouraged by the number of students who pass through the center. “I believe we will see student assessment scores rise; the kids will get caught up and have better grades,” he said.

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Weather Cams by StratusIQ

Search Advertisers