Leaf Tea Lounge to sponsor health class and tea tasting

The Leaf Tea Lounge is hosting a “Healthy Habits for the New Year” class by Janet Renae Jackson, and a tea tasting, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, 605 N. Main, Newton.

During this learning and tasting, instructor Janet Renae Jackson will combine her enthusiasm for tea with her knowledge of the intricacies of each tea type’s attributes as it may apply to your health and enjoyment, a news release stated.

Learn about the antioxidant values of each tea, which tea can be good for depression, substitutes that may satisfy coffee drinkers, how to choose the best tea for you, what tea is good for those with high cholesterol and other health tips from the time-honored tradition of tea drinking.

Jackson is a practitioner of East Asian Medicine, having completed a 3,200 hour, four year graduate degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine at Five Branches University in California. She is licensed to practice in California, Washington and Nebraska. She also is an avid tea enthusiast.

This event is free, but reservations are requested.

NHS graduate Jennifer Mitchell honored for teaching

The Kansas State Department of Education has named Jennifer Mitchell, English teacher at Wyandotte High School, a 2012 Kansas Horizon Award recipient.

The award is given to exemplary beginning teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding. Mitchell is one of only 32 teachers from across the state of Kansas to be recognized. Mitchell is a 1999 graduate of Newton High School.

Mitchell received the award during class, in front of a packed class of students and colleagues.

When many staff are heading home for the day, Mitchell can be found working with students in her classroom, or providing a safe and comfortable place for them to study and work independently while she works on lesson plans, a news release stated.

She has incorporated multiple strategies for communicating with both students and parents. For parent teacher conferences, she sends home letters to parents both in English and Spanish, makes phone calls and facilitates student-led conferences. She invites parents to visit her class on regular school days. She also took the responsibility of being the sponsor of the school’s Color Guard.

One of her students said, “Mrs. Mitchell takes out time to find ways for me to understand what needs to be done. She encourages me to push myself and learn new things everyday. Because of her, I now enjoy doing English assignments.”

Mitchell will receive her award during the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network conference in Topeka on Feb. 22.

Citizens Bank of Kansas, customers donate to food banks

It started as just an idea to help those in need during the holidays, and quickly blossomed into local efforts with big results. Citizens Bank of Kansas and its customers donated nearly $4,000 worth of peanut butter to local food pantries this week — half from customers with a matching amount from the bank.

“Our ‘Spread’ the Holiday Cheer with CBOK, Part II, was again a great success,” said Mark Keeny, CEO. “We collected over 50 percent more than last year and more people were involved. We’re proud to have played a part in this wonderful demonstration of communities helping their own.”

The campaign ran from Dec. 1 through 28, 2012, with containers of peanut butter donated at all of CBOK’s branches. The bank matched all donations of peanut butter collected, and delivered to the following area food pantries: Pretty Prairie Food Bank, Winfield Food Pantry, Joseph’s Storehouse in Burden, Caring Hearts & Hands in West Wichita, Kansas Food Bank in Wichita, Medicine Lodge Food Pantry and Kingman Food Pantry.

Citizens Bank of Kansas, N.A., which has banking facilities throughout south-central Kansas, has a strong tradition of community service, a news release stated.