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Irvington Community School News & Events

Inaugural ICS Luau Draws Several Hundred Attendees

The weather was picture perfect on Friday, June 6, 2014, for the inaugural Irvington Community Schools Luau. The fun-filled event took place at Irvington Community Elementary School, running from 6-7:30 p.m. Jodie Lannan, ICS Director of Title I Services, says, “The purpose of this unique event was to bring our current and new families together to promote a sense of community that fosters greater parental involvement.” What’s more, it provided an opportunity to underscore the critical role parents play in their children’s literacy development.

The outdoor Parent Resource Center had an array of reading tools and giveaways to help keep ICS students active in their reading comprehension growth over their summer break. ICS Title I staff members provided handouts to families that included:

K-5 Summer Reading Activity Packet

6-8 Suggested Summer Reading List

Educational bookmarks for K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 students

Smekens Education Comprehension Cards

Smekens Education Vocabulary Cards

A representative of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library was also on hand, offering information about the library’s Summer Reading Program.

As with any Hawaiian-styled luau worth its leis, so to speak, the ICS version featured limbo, hula, beach volleyball, and island music. Craft tables entertained many young visitors.Aramark, the ICS food vendor, served delicious pulled pork sandwiches and other local delicacies such as potato chips and chocolate chip cookies. Audio Inferno – featuring IPA Music Teacher Jennifer Shuck’s brother David as deejay – delivered beats of a distinctly tropical variety.

With the exception of the $2 photo booth print expense to users, the event was free to our families, a cost underwritten by the U.S. Department of Education Title I Program as a community outreach.

ICS CEO David Nidiffer comments, “The luau was a huge success for being a first-time event. It was great to meet so many new ICS families and to reconnect with our current families. I look forward to this becoming one of our annual traditions.” 

Summertime is the Right Time for…Reading!
On Friday, May 30, 2014, Irvington Community Elementary School hosted its first annual Summer Reading Kickoff.  ICES families enjoyed dinner and a night full of fun reading-centered activities, with the purpose of encouraging students to develop a “reading habit” over their summer break. 
Representatives from the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library and Barnes & Noble Booksellers joined ICES faculty and staff to share information about their respective summer reading programs. Paws & Think, a local nonprofit organization that provides trained therapy dogs for students to read to in order to gain confidence in reading, was also on hand.  Additional Summer Reading Kickoff activities involved a QR code scavenger hunt, Reader’s Theater, Mad Lib Mania, and Make-Your-Own Bookmarks. 
Through a grant from Target and First Book, ICES was able to provide students three new books and an activity packet.  UPS Mail Innovations graciously donated bags, pens, and bookmarks for students.  Other organizations who kindly donated items to the event include Mass Ave Toys, Indianapolis Speedrome, Maximum Growth Gardening, and Donatos.

The two Indiana Pacers/ICS fundraisers this year were extremely successful, with ICS profiting $8,000 for technology improvements. Plans are to continue this promotion during the 2014-2015 school year. Special thanks to Ms. Pryor for her yeoman’s effort in coordinating these events. The Pacers will undoubtedly look forward to our participation next year, as the team won on both the January 16th and April 2nd games!

IPA Choir - Performing

IPA's Show Choir, under the direction of Ms. Shuck, proudly sings "The Star-Spangled Banner" before  the Indiana Pacers home game crowd on April 2nd, 2014, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Largely thanks to our service-minded students at IPA, the 6th Annual Jesse Terry Memorial Blood Drive was a HUGE success. The Indiana Blood Center reported that 41 units of blood were collected (which represents 41 donors), with only nine defaults (unsuccessful donor attempts). This was an all-time ICS blood drive record!

The IBC’s target is to collect 550 units daily, so our contribution to this lifesaving cause was significant. Our deepest thanks to all students, staff, and community members who donated the gift of life yesterday.

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IPA Senior Cody Runciman is "caught in the act" of donating blood during the 6th Annual Jesse Terry Memorial Blood Drive at IPA on Wednesday, April 9th.

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IPA Director of Operations Ms. Pryor showed her "Raven spirit" by joining students to participate in the blood drive.


Mrs. Pittman, IPA TAP Master Teacher, donates blood for the first time, along with many other IPA students who were first-time donors.

Last month, Energizing Indiana visited all three Irvington Community School campuses to conduct an energy assessment and install energy-saving equipment. The installation project resulted in nearly $7,000 worth of free CFL lamps, occupancy-sensing power strips, lighting occupancy sensors, and LED exit signs. As well, Energizing Indiana provided an in-depth analysis recommending how ICS could enjoy further energy cost reductions through other measures.

Energizing Indiana involves a coalition of participating utility companies and consumer organizations promoting energy efficiency programs throughout the state. The organization provides education, tools, and incentives for energy conservation. We are encouraging ICS community members to contact Energizing Indiana for a free Home Energy Assessment, which can help improve your home’s energy performance, air quality, and increase your home’s value. The energy advisor will install energy efficient CFLs, faucet aerators, and showerheads, as well as water heater pipe insulation. What’s more, ICS will receive $25 as the nonprofit organization of choice once your home assessment is complete! For more information and to schedule your assessment, visit

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