default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Reese Elementary School shows successful program to congressman

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2002 10:00 pm

Affinity diagrams, run charts, mission statements and weekly goals may not sound like standard classroom tools.

However, Reese Elementary School educators are using the business practices to teach students responsibility and organization - two qualities needed for the workforce.

Lodi Unified School District officials showed off the successful program Thursday morning to Congressman Richard Pombo, R-Tracy.

Pombo toured several classrooms at Reese Elementary School, which was the first district school to adopt the Koalaty Kid program in 1998.

Ten Lodi Unified schools are currently using the program and several more schools are expected to be trained in the practices in the next year.

Catherine Pennington, Lodi Unified's assistant superintendent of elementary education, said the program is expected to take shape at all district elementary schools in the next two years.

The Koalaty Kid Alliance was founded by the American Society for Quality, a nonprofit Wisconsin-based business group.

The approach began at Carder Elementary School in Corning, N.Y. during the late 1970s. ASQ became involved and in 1994, the program was officially launched. More than 200 schools in the country use the program.

In Lodi Unified, Reese started the Koalaty Kid approach after receiving a $10,000 grant from the Bank of Lodi.

A $400,000 grant from Lodi Gas Storage, LLC, which will be donate over five years, is helping district officials expand the program to the rest of Lodi Unified schools.

Reese Principal Joan Morrison said the program's goal is to teach students how they can make a difference in their learning. A familiar saying at the school is "If it's to be, it's up to me," she said.

In several classrooms, Reese students showed how they used lotus diagrams to brainstorm and analyze story characters and charted their math progress with run charts.

In Donna Bennett's third-grade class, students sat on the classroom floor listening to a book about renowned Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh.

Afterwards, Bennett passed out purple sticky notes to each student. "What would be one important fact that you would include in writing in a paragraph about van Gogh?" she asked her pupils.

The students wrote down the facts and posted the notes on a chart paper. Their responses ranged from how van Gogh painted with dark colors to "he was so sad that he cut off his ear."

Bennett organized the notes in columns, matching similar facts about van Gogh. That information transformed into an affinity diagram, which students would later use to write paragraphs about the artist.

Pombo learned of the innovative program used by Lodi Unified from a staff member and decided to check it out while Congress is out of session for the next month.

"It's really interesting to see. It's like a quality control program for education," Pombo said.

The Koalaty Kid approach could help other schools raise school academics to meet requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act, signed by President Bush earlier this year, he said.

Pombo said the program teaches goal-setting and positive thinking, skills needed for academic success. "Looking at the school's test scores, it's proven to be successful," he added.

Some students were glad to display their work, especially for a Congressman.

"It's pretty cool," said 7-year-old Christopher Gatschet about Pombo's visit.

Comments about this story? Send mail to the News-Sentinel newsroom.


To subscribe to the Lodi News-Sentinel, fill out our online form or call our Subscriber Services Department at (209) 333-1400.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories



Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists