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School Notes: Bestselling author helps Centennial school; Girls' school smashes stereotypes; $100,000 for school supplies; Lane's Nguyn is a Promise

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Butler Creek library gets boost from author

Butler Creek Elementary School in the Centennial School District received a $2,000 grant this week from best-selling author James Patterson to support its school library.

Patterson, author of the Alex Cross thriller series and other books, has donated $1.7 million this year in small grants to 467 schools nationwide, according to a news release.

In addition, Scholastic Reading Club will match each dollar of Patterson’s donation with “bonus points” that teachers can use to acquire books and other materials for their classrooms.

Butler Creek Elementary School was selected from 27,924 applications for funding grants.

St. Mary’s event seeks end to macho tech culture

More than 600 students at an all-girls Catholic school participated in a week dedicated to learning coding, robotics, 3D printing and design.

St. Mary’s Academy’s Computer Science Education Week featured 14 speakers, many of whom expressed the desire for gender diversity and an end to the “era of brogrammers,” in the male-dominated tech field.

“We wanted to dismantle the stereotypes of people who study computer science and to get our students exposed to tech careers they might not have thought to consider,” said organizer Mike Bedney.

The school expanded last year’s Hour of Code to a full CSEdWeek, which is a global computer education movement to reach students and, especially, girls.

FamilyCare donates $100,000 for school supplies

Jeff Heatherington, FamilyCare Health’s president and CEO and an Oregon Symphony board member, has presented $100,000 to Schoolhouse Supplies, a Portland organization that offers a free store of classroom supplies to teachers and students.

Earl Boyles Elementary in the David Douglas School District celebrated the donation with a Dec. 18 holiday assembly. Oregon Symphony resident conductor Paul Kim led a performance by all third- to fifth-graders at the school on recorders purchased with the new funds.

Heatherington says the insurance company wanted to donate to boost music in schools, according to a news release. “This is preventative medicine at a very fundamental level,” he says.

Lane middle-schooler in Promise campaign

Alex Nguyn, a student at Lane Middle School in Portland Public Schools, is one of four students statewide featured in The Promise of Oregon campaign.

The campaign through the Oregon School Boards Association aims to put a face on K-14 public education. See more at promiseoregon.org