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Webster community mailbag

16 Apr

I need to start today’s mailbag with something of an apology.

Many of you may have noticed that my blogs of late have been somewhat sporadic. I have not been my normal loquacious self. But I do have a good excuse. My husband and I are in the middle of purchasing a new house, and selling our family home of almost 23 years.

So naturally, I’ve been a little distracted. But there is light at the end of the tunnel with regards to both deals, and the move itself should commence sometime next week. So hang in there and I’ll soon be my normal, annoying self once again.

In the meantime, here’s what’s happening around town (and sorry again, some of these are repeats; I’m taking a few shortcuts even today).

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mailbag iconIf you’re interested in running for the Webster Central School District Board of Education, you’re reminded that petitions are due this Monday April 22. Packets can be picked up from District Administrative Offices at their new temporary location in Towne Center Plaza (Target/Kohl’s Plaza), at the former Paychex location.

For more information, visit the WCSD website.

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Earth Day 2019 is this coming Monday April 22. You can help the Webster Public Library celebrate the occasion by lending a hand on Saturday April 20, as they clean up their outdoor space and plant their garden.

The entire family is invited to join in from 1 to 3 p.m. Crafts and activities will be provided for the kids, and there will be information about the seed library. Don’t forget to dress for the weather!

Reminder that the Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale happens Thursday April 25 through Saturday April 27.

Hardcover books are just just $1 each, paperbacks only 50 cents, and credit cards are accepted. Shopping hours are Thursday April 25 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Friday and Saturday you can fill a whole bag for just $4.

Visit the Webster Public Library website to get more information about these and lots more April programs. The library is located at 980 Ridge Road, on the back side of the plaza off of Van Ingen Drive.

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The next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser at the First Baptist Church of easter rabbit in egg clipartPenfield, on Saturday April 20, is going to be a special one.

From 8 to 10 a.m., enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, sausage and more for just $5 per person. Plus, at 9 a.m., children up to fifth grade can also participate in an Easter egg hunt, rain or shine.

April proceeds will benefit the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf, a supplemental food relief organization serving the 14526 and 14625 areas and families of children in the Penfield school district since 1997.

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St. Rita School will be hosting a Sticky Lips fundraiser on Saturday April 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the school, 1008 Maple Rd., in Webster.

On the menu that night will be BBQ chicken, pulled pork, fresh cornbread, two homemade sides as well as a coupon for a free appetizer card when you visit the restaurant.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the school, or through the school’s website.

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It must be chicken BBQ season.

St. Martin Lutheran Church on Bay Road will host its Spring Chicken BBQ and kids’ FunFest on Saturday May 4 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The dinner will include a half chicken, salt potatoes, cole slaw, roll, butter and beverage. Pie slices and other desserts will also be available for purchase. A hot dog dinner for kids is $2.00.

Dinners are eat-in or take-out. Tickets are $10 and can be reserved by calling the church office at 671-1899, or purchased at the event while supplies last. Proceeds support St. Martin’s Christmas Stocking Project, which reaches more than 500 youth in Monroe and Wayne counties.

St. Martin is located at 813 Bay Road in Webster.

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Finally, here’s a reminder about the free English classes being offered the Pickled Paintbrush in the village, for adults looking to improve their English language skills.

The classes will run on Monday evenings from April 29 through May 20. Each session is 90 minutes long, and are designed to help adults improve their English skills through interactive activities, while getting to know people living in your community.

One of the best parts of the program is that childcare will be available during these sessions, for potty-trained children ages 4 and up. The Pickled Paintbrush will provide an art program for children while the adults are in class.

logoAll skill levels are welcome to join the classes. There’s no charge, but participants are asked to register in advance so they know how many adults and children to expect. Click here for more information and to register. You can also call The Pickled Paintbrush at (585) 704-8809 or email thepickledpaintbrush@gmail.com.

If you’d like to check out the Pickled Paintbrush ahead of time, owner Marissa Birke is hosting an open house on Monday April 22, where prospective students can meet the instructor and kids can check out our studio space. The adults will complete a brief questionnaire to get a better feel for their English needs. We’ll also provide an art project for the kids while their parents are meeting with the instructor. If they’d like to enroll, registration will also be available that day.

The Pickled Paintbrush is located at 36 East Main St. in the village of Webster.

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Plank North teacher earns Golden Apple

8 Apr
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Plank North kindergarten teacher Cindy Barnard with Brooklyn

I am pleased and proud to spread the news that my good friend and Plank Rd. North Elementary School teaching colleague Cindy Barnard received a Golden Apple Award from WROC-TV Channel 8 Friday morning!

Cindy was in the school library with her kindergarten class, lured down there by an admitted “fib” from Principal Craig Bodensteiner,  when Channel 8 came in to present the award.

Brooklyn Lown’s mother Lindsay nominated Cindy for the award.

It was clearly an emotional moment for Cindy; after the requisite interviews and photos were completed, she had her class help her do some mindful breathing to calm her nerves.

Afterwards, she told me, “I feel blessed to have been working for Webster for 22 years, and I have been at Plank North the entire time. I call everyone at Plank North my family.”

The presentation and interview were captured on camera, and will be aired in a few weeks. As soon as I know when it will be on, I will be sure to share that information.

 

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Webster Community Mailbag

2 Apr

mailbag iconThe Webster Central School District invites community members to complete an engagement survey to help guide the district’s strategic plan.

The Community Engagement Survey, which is now available online here, will help guide the district’s implementation of new district initiatives and evaluate ongoing programs that impact all students and families.

The survey can be accessed on the school district website, and will be available through Thursday April 11. WCSD staff members and students will complete a different version of this survey in school.

The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Paper surveys will also be available at all 11 school buildings, the Webster Aquatic Center, Webster Recreation Center, Webster Public Library, and Penfield Public Library. Accommodations can also be made if you would like the survey translated into another language. Visit the WCSD website for more information.

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The next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser at the First Baptist Church of Penfield, on Saturday April 20, is going to be a special one. 

From 8 to 10 a.m., enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, sausage and more for just $5 per person. Plus, at 9 a.m., children up to fifth grade can also participate in an Easter egg hunt, rain for shine. 

April proceeds will benefit the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf, a supplemental food relief organization serving the 14526 and 14625 areas and families of children in the Penfield school district since 1997.

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St. Rita School will be hosting a Sticky Lips fundraiser on Saturday April 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the school, 1008 Maple Rd., in Webster.

On the menu that night will be BBQ chicken, pulled pork, fresh cornbread, two homemade sides as well as a coupon for a free appetizer card when you visit the restaurant.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the school, or through the school’s website.

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It’s April, so all sorts of fun events are popping up at the Webster Public Library. Here are a few:

The Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale happens Wed. April 24 through Sat. April 27. This is an excellent opportunity to stock up on some new books for your home library, for just a few bucks!

Hardcover books are just just $1 each, paperbacks only 50 cents, and credit cards are accepted. Members of the Friends are invited to beat the crowds at special hours, Wed. from 5 to 8:30 p.m. (If you’d like to join the Friends that night, memberships will be available at the door.)

The general public is invited to shop on Thurs. April 25, from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Friday and Saturday you can fill a whole bag for just $4. 

And here’s a quick reminder about the library’s Volunteer Fair, taking place Wed. April 3 at the library.

If you’ve ever thought about spending an hour or two a week — or more — using your many skills to help out a worthy organization, this is your chance to find the perfect fit. You’ll be able to connect with almost a dozen local agencies including Friends of the Webster Public Library, Friends of Webster Trails, Heritage Christian Services, Maplewood Nursing Home, Never Say Never Foundation, Webster Comfort Care Home, the Webster Arboretum, Webster Museum and Historical Society, and the the Webster and West Webster fire departments.

No registration is required; you can pop in any time between 3:30 and 6 p.m.

Visit the Webster Public Library website to get more information about these and lots more April programs. The library is located at 980 Ridge Road, on the back side of the plaza off of Van Ingen Drive.

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Webster Thomas grad in the news

18 Mar

sutera

Proud momma Maria Sutera sent me this update on one of Webster’s own, Phil Sutera, who is making his mark in the field of science.

Phil, a 2010 Webster Thomas grad, is the first author of a cancer-focused research study, which was published in the January edition of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics.

Maria reported in her email that the study focused on “findings regarding stereotatic radiation therapy for oligometastic cancer (one to five metastases).” The clinical trial indicated that “a newer, more aggressive form of radiation therapy – stereotactic radiation – can extend long-term survival for some patients with stage-IV cancers while maintaining their quality of life.”

At least a half dozen news outlets have reported on the findings (you’ll see a few of those links below).  In addition to his recent publication, Phil recently received American Society of Radiation Oncology’s “Best of Astro” award for this research, chosen from more than 2,000 entries.

After graduating from Webster Thomas, Phil attended the University of Rochester, where he received dual Bachelor of Science degrees with highest distinction, in chemistry and neuroscience. He is currently studying at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and will graduate in May. Philip hopes to match into a radiation oncology residency program.

“WCSD played an important role in Philip’s success,” Maria wrote, adding,

The teachers and staff at Webster laid a strong educational foundation, helped foster his scientific curiosity, advised him regarding his educational future, reinforced strong character traits, such as the desire to aid others (staff at Willink encouraged/recognized this with their annual Make a Difference Award, circa 2005), as well as awarded him various academic scholarships, which helped alleviate some educational expenses. We are extremely grateful and fortunate Phil had his start at Webster Central.

Click here to see the whole article, “Initial Results of a Multicenter Phase 2 Trial of Stereotactic Ablative Radiation Therapy for Oligometastatic Cancer.” And here are a few links to some news reports about their findings:

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-02-stereotactic-feasible-oligometastatic-cancer.html

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190131101051.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6349603/

https://appliedradiationoncology.com/articles/study-high-dose-radiation-therapy-improves-long-term-survival-in-patients-with-stage-iv-cancers

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Webster’s SparX team heads into competition season

2 Mar
SparX

Webster CSD’s SparX robotics team

Webster’s high-flying robotics team is heading to space.

The One Webster high schools 1126 SparX FIRST Robotics team has been working hard for weeks to prepare for this year’s competition season, which begins the weekend of March 14-16 with the Rochester area regionals at RIT.

This year’s theme is “Destination: Deep Space.” The goal is to use the 130-pound robots to deposit cargo (13-inch playground balls) into a rocket ship and cargo ship. Each match lasts 2-1/2 minutes, and robots can score extra points by climbing up blocks. Six robots from different teams compete for points at the same time on the same field.

Our Webster SparX team is comprised of 47 students and 21 adults, who for the last six weeks have been working together to design, build, test, and practice operating a robot capable of completing the Destination: Space challenges. Following the RIT competition, the team will travel to Cleveland’s Buckeye Regional the weekend of March 28.

All SparX events are free to attend, and these kids would love to see (and hear) some Webster fans in the crowd.

For more information about the robotics program, visit www.FIRSTInspires.org, and to learn more about our local team, visit www.GoSparX.org.

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Webster Museum will host two new young Webster authors

28 Feb
Kathyrn

Kathryn Rider and Emerson Ormond

Two young authors will be at the Webster Library on March 9 to talk about their new book, Our Wendy.

Kathryn Rider, a seventh grader at Willink Middle School, and Emerson Ormond, a ninth grader at Webster Schroeder High School, released their first collaborative novel in December. Best friends for pretty much their entire lives, both young ladies have been writing stories since their childhood.

Based loosely on the famous adventures of Peter Pan, Our Wendy tells the story of a runaway boy named Peter, who’s created a new life in the woods with several other “lost boys.” When pretty, bright-eyed Ever Kingsley stumbles into their camp, Peter is determined to keep her by any means possible, and make her their Wendy Darling.

In their talk, scheduled on March 9 from 1 to 2 p.m., Kathryn and Emerson will discuss our wendythe challenges they had to overcome while writing the book, and the secrets they used to get it published. They’ll have several copies of the books there for sale (and signing), and all proceeds will be donated to the fight against children’s cancer.

The Webster Library is located in the Webster Plaza, 980 Ridge Road.

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Webster community mailbag

23 Feb

mailbag iconOur new friends over at Lala of Webster have let me know about a few fun events coming up, the first one happening this afternoon (Saturday), actually.

It’s a make-your-own Essential Oil Lava Bead Bracelet event, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $15 per person and Lisa asks interested participants to call ahead at 585-236-1604 so they now how many people to expect.

On Wednesday, March 6, from noon to 3 p.m., Robyn Miller from Green Gorilla CBD Oil & New Chapter Supplements will be on hand for a “Snacks and Mocktails” visit (just pop in anytime), and on Saturday, March 9, Lala will hold a Peace and Pear Journaling Class from 2 to 3 pm. Registration for this is also $15, and you’ll want to register ahead of time because space is limited.

Lala of Webster is located at 38 East Main Street in the village.

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There’s nothing much better than free pancakes.

Get some for yourself and your kids on Tuesday March 5 when St. Martin Lutheran Church holds their free Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. The meal includes sausage and applesauce, and unlimited pancakes of course, served from 5 to 7 p.m. at the church, 813 Bay Road. In honor of Mardis Gras, beads will be provided, and you can even make your own masks. Guests are also invited to wear their best Mardis Gras attire.

While the pancakes are free, guests are asked to bring a free will offering for the Little Free Food Pantry at the church. Call the church at 671-1899 with questions or to reserve seats .

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bowlingDust off those bowling balls and shoes and save the date for an enjoyable afternoon of bowling, all for a great cause!

On Sunday, April 28, Webster’s Special Education Parent-Teacher Association (SEPTA) will hold its annual bowling fundraiser to raise scholarship funds for graduating Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas High School seniors who are part of the district’s special education family.

Join Webster’s special education faculty and staff, students, parents, and Webster families from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at AMF Empire Lanes in Webster. Your donation of $30 includes two hours of bowling, shoe and equipment rental, a t-shirt, pizza, soft drinks, and even free raffle tickets for prizes.

At this point, organizers are looking for teams to sign up, and businesses who would like to sponsor the event and/or provide raffle prizes. For more information, click here to download a flyer.

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Don’t forget about the Webster United Church of Christ’ Pet Food Pantry’s open house!

The awesome UCC Rebel Beat youth group there took it upon themselves to create a pet food pantry from the ground up, coordinating with Meals on Wheels to deliver pet food to their clients who have dogs and  cats at home.

Since the pantry began last summer, it has continued to support Meals on Wheels with a large monthly delivery so that the family pets of home-bound individuals can get much needed pet food and supplies. In the beginning they served more than 50 clients each month. Since then, that number has increased by about 30%. They hope to eventually cover all Meals on Wheels clients in Monroe County.

The Pantry is holding an open house on Saturday March 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. It’s a great opportunity to meet these incredible young people and take a tour of the pantry. And if you stop by, please bring along a bag or box of dry cat food to add to the collection; they’re trying to collect 2,400 pounds of cat food, which will meet the needs of the Meals on Wheels for Pets program for the rest of 2019.

The United Church of Christ Pet Food Pantry is located at 570 Klem Road.

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News from the schools

21 Feb
gyus and dolls

The Guys and Dolls, Jr. cast features Aidan Jacobs as Sky Masterson, Madeleine Tischner as Sarah Brown, Sam Nagar as Nathan Detroit, and Analiesse Brown as Miss Adelaide.

The Webster schools’ musical season continues in early March when the students of Spry Middle School present the Broadway classic Guys and Dolls, Jr. 

Three shows are scheduled, Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 9 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Spry Middle School auditorium, 119 South Ave.

Spry productions usually sell out, so if you really want to attend, make sure to get your tickets early. They’re available online here beginning Feb. 25 for $7.

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Parents of incoming kindergarteners in the 2019-20 school year are reminded that the Webster CSD Kindergarten Parent Orientation and Registration Night is Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at your student’s school. Please note that this night is for parents only.

After Parent Orientation and Registration Night, kindergarten walk-in registration is available Wednesday-Friday, February 27-March 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., also at your student’s school.

For more information, go to Central Registration’s 2019-20 Kindergarten Registration webpage.

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And here’s another reminder about the upcoming information nights for the school district’s new Wondercare before and after-school childcare program. It’s being introduced next year at each of the district’s seven elementary schools in conjunction with the new start times.

Several information nights have been scheduled, and parents are asked to attend the one associated with their school if at all possible:

• Monday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. for Plank Road North and Plank Road South at Plank North
• Wednesday, February 27 at 7:00 p.m. at Dewitt Road
• Thursday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Klem Road South
• Monday, March 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Schlegel Road
• Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m. at Klem Road North
• Wednesday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. at State Road

These evenings will be geared for parents only. (Family meet and greet nights will take place in August.) If you cannot attend your home school date, you may attend at another location.

For more information about the program, including pricing, visit the WonderCare webpage at websterschools.org, email wondercare@webstercsd.org or call 216-0017.

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Finally, thank you to Heather Dale for sending along this news and photos from St. Rita:

Throughout Catholic Schools Week St. Rita School participated in the Great Kindness Challenge, a national movement that empowered students to create a culture of kindness. The students did teamwork and cooperative activities with their buddy classes, reading and building structures out of all sort of creative materials.

On the final afternoon, classes came to the gymnasium for a Kindness Pep Rally and partake in a cooperative activity called Powerball, using small balls to move a large ball across the other teams line. Then to show our school love, we made a kindness tunnel leaving the gymnasium where each class got to go through and receive high fives from all the other classes.

In addition, families of St. Rita Schools also donated many cans of soup on soup-er bowl weekend, and there were other “spirit” days that included wearing ties that reminded them they are “tied up in teamwork” every day.

SRS School Great Kindness Challenge 2

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Congratulations to nine St. Rita School alumni, class of 2013, who received the Hands of Christ Award this year.

These seniors are active members of St. Rita, Holy Trinity and St. Stanislaus Kostka Parishes, and have consistently demonstrated a Christian attitude by word and example.

This Hand of Christ Award is a recognition program to assist parishes in affirming their high school seniors who have been the “Hands of Christ” in their church, home, school and community.

SRS Alumni Class of 2013

Standing with Bishop Matano are Julia Spagnola, Lauren Quatela, Hannah Tette and TJ Tytler. Other St. Rita alumni who received the award are Brandon Connor, Taylor Loiacono, Meghan McAliney, Esther Moore and Jacob Russo.

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Webster pre-K students celebrate 100 days by giving back

19 Feb
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Chris McNamara (left) and Ann Meers help their Schlegel Elementary School UPK kids show off the cans they collected and their can chain.

Celebrating the first 100 days of school is an elementary school tradition. It’s not only a fun way to recognize the fact that the school year is more than half over, but it’s also a good excuse to practice counting to 100 in different ways and with a variety of items.

Two Webster pre-K teachers — Joanna Sero at Klem Rd. North and Chris McNamara at Schlegel Rd. — came up with a unique way to help their young students mark the occasion, while helping the Webster community at the same time.

On Feb. 4 they began a two-week long can drive, encouraging their students in each of their classes to donate 100 cans of dog food, which they would then donate to Joyful Rescues.

In a letter she sent home to parents, Sero explained the project and how it would be incorporated into the curriculum:

In the past few months we have learned about friendship, kindness and generosity, as well as wants and needs. As we prepare to celebrate love and friendship on Valentine’s Day, we are inviting our Pre-K friends to show kindness to pets in need. … Our goal is to collect 100 cans (so we can work on sorting/counting them in groups of ten)! We will also connect this project to our study of environmental print.

As you can imagine, the students enthusiastically embraced the project. At Schlegel, the students made a canned-food chain, marking each new donation with a new link on the chain. At Klem North, Sero’s class created a pet shelter/vet clinic dramatic play center, and read books about rescued animals.

By the end of the two-week donation period, both classes had reached their goal (although I suspect the teachers might have had a hand in that). Last Saturday, Sero and McNamara — accompanied by many of their pre-K friends — took them all to PetSmart in Webster and handed them over to some very grateful representatives from Joyful Rescues.

This was a great project in so many ways. It was a fun way for the kids to practice counting to 100, and it was a terrific lesson in community involvement. But it touched on so many other skills as well.

Case in point: When Sero told her class that the Schlegel students had collected 96 cans to their 81, several of them said “they’re beating us!” But then one little guy noted, “It’s okay because we are collaborating with them, and the dogs get all of the cans!”

Here are some photos from the can delivery:

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Webster students head to national ninja competition

13 Feb

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Two Dewitt Elementary School students will be headed to Hartford, CT this weekend to compete in the 2019 World Championships of the National Ninja League (NNL).

Grayson Schoeffler and Megan Stupplebeen, classmates in Mrs. Krieger’s second grade class, will be competing against kids from all around the world in the 6 to 8-year old division.

Grayson and Megan both train at the Warrior Factory in Henrietta, where they qualified for the national NNL competition with top-three finishes in local competitions.

Both Grayson and Megan have been ninja warriors pretty much their whole lives. Grayson’s mom, Alison, says her son

started his ninja career when he was 10 months and climbing out of his crib. From there he basically has been swinging and climbing off anything in his way….All great ninjas have a ninja name and Grayson is known as the Hardway Ninja, (because he usually does everything the Hard Way).

Megan’s mother Cathy describes her daughter (AKA “MEGatron”) as an “8-year old dynamo.”

She enjoys training with several friends and her brother, Peter (age 11) during open gym at The Warrior Factory…. We have converted the majority of the basement to be ninja central where Megan works on ring toss, cliffhanger, climbing walls, balance obstacles and whatever the newest challenge is. Megan works with her dad and brother on building new obstacles.

The four-day long competition, held Feb. 15-18, is divided into several age categories from the youngest (6-8) through masters (40 and over). Competitors typically tackle up to ten obstacles on every course. If you want to check out the kinds of challenges these kids might face, click here to see a video of a past (very young) first-place competitor. If you ever watch these ninja competitions on TV, I think you’ll recognize some of the elements.

From reading their emails, it’s clear to me how proud both families are of their young ninja warriors. But both moms also emphasized how positive and supportive the young ninja community is.

“One of our favorite aspects of ninja is how all ninjas cheer each other on, it’s such a positive community,” Cathy said. Alison added, “It has been such a positive sport for (Grayson) as everyone is so encouraging of each other.”

Check back here after the weekend for an update on how MEGatron and the Hardway Ninja did!

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