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Forsyth fifth-grade class wins winter preparedness contest

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* Mashburn’s video:

* Kelly Mills’s video:

FORSYTH COUNTY — Two Forsyth County elementary schools put a new twist on classic holiday melodies, emerging as finalists in an inaugural video contest.

Karen Jones’ fifth-grade class at Mashburn took home top honors in the Winter Weather Jingle Contest with its rendition of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” by transforming into a preparedness-themed jingle called “Plan, Be Prepared and Stay Informed.”

Rose Bulau’s fifth-grade class at Kelly Mill was among the five other finalists statewide. Bulau’s class, called the Thundering Colts, “looped up” with fourth-graders to rewrite the words to “Jingle Bells.”

As part of December’s Winter Weather Preparedness Week, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security’s Ready Georgia campaign asked students in third through fifth grades to share their knowledge of how to get ready for winter by creating a two-minute video for the statewide competition.

“Every morning at Mashburn, all of the students go to differentiated class sessions. This time it’s called our Bear Necessities time,” Jones said. “I teach a fifth-grade Bear Necessities class, and it was with this group of 29 kids that we made the video.”

Jones said the English language arts class focuses on integrating science with writing.

Contest entries ranged from original and class-themed jingles to interactive and animated performances from teachers and students.

Ready Georgia organizes this and other initiatives throughout the beginning of December to motivate people to prepare their homes, workplaces, schools and communities for cold weather-related emergencies.

Jones’ class gave tips like stocking canned food and keeping flashlights on hand while changing words to the classic song. It won a free pizza party as reward.

At Kelly Mill, Bulau credited two of her students who are “really into weather.”

“We refer to them as the Weather Dude and Weather Chick, so we put them in charge,” she said. “… When they finished writing the lyrics, they shared them with the rest of the [28-person] class.”

Bulau said the experience was a “good learning instrument.”

“We studied weather extensively last year, and this was a great way to review,” she said. “There is never a bad time to review safety procedures.”