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News for 5/29/2019

Thunder Ridge Students traveled to Washington D.C.

Team Opportunity was honored to be a part of the National Geographic Challenge, competing at the national level. They were one of 16 teams in the Nation tackling plastic pollution with their ideas of innovation!

Meet Team Opportunity: Ryan Epple, Ava Wiehman, Sydni Rust, Alex Keshmiry, and Zach Barnes. These five teenagers, recently promoted from 8th grade on May 6, and will be entering freshman year in the fall. With their robot TRASHI, and plan for battling plastic pollution, they made a grand trip to Washington D.C. the week of May 19-23, 2019.

Day 1 consisted of setting up their projects, team building and mentoring in their “pods”, a welcome meeting/reception, and short walk to the White House! There was a lot to take in on the National Geographic campus.

(L-r): Zach Barnes, Sydni Rust, Ava Wiehman, Alex Keshmiry, Ryan Epple.

Day 2: There were mentoring sessions with a National Geographic cartographer and engineer. They were also given ideas from National Geographic officials on campaign/advocacy and sciencetelling. They had student excursions in their pods and wrapped up with rehearsals.

Team Opportunity pictured with Tracy R. Wolstencroft, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society (NGS). He oversees the institution’s global strategy to achieve its vision: A Planet in Balance.

Day 3: Tuesday morning was their presentation and appraisal. Though they didn’t make the top three, these students did a great job and represented our school and state so well. They even shared their idea with Tracy R. Wolstencroft who is President and CEO of the National Geographic Society (NGS). He oversees the institution’s global strategy to achieve its vision: A Planet in Balance.

They got to relax and enjoy the national zoo Tuesday evening and expeditions around Washington DC Wednesday. During the Geo Championship Final on Wednesday, Sydni Rust was presented with a Sportsmanship Award.

Congratulations to Sydni Rust on receiving a sportsmanship award!

Veterans Community Project

Special Presentation to be held at the St. John Lutheran Church in Kensington on Sunday, June 2, from 9:00-11:00am.

Our congregation is hosting Brandonn Mixon, co-founder of Veterans Community Project of Kansas City to present more about their group, what they have been doing and what the future looks like for them. We invite anyone interested in hearing more about this great endeavor to join us for worship service at 9:00am followed by a brunch meet and greet in the parish hall.

Plan to join us for the Veterans Community Project Mission Presentation on Sunday, June 2, from 9:00-11:00am at St. John Lutheran Church-Elca Kensington, KS.

All 4 Luv Lunch

The United Church youth plan to hold a spaghetti dinner on Sunday, June 2, 2019 from 11:30am to 12:45pm immediately following church service. Located in the United Church basement, the menu offers spaghetti with meat sauce (gluten free available), green beans, French bread, and dessert. The public is invited to attend and please note there is elevator access on the south side of the church. Donations lovingly accepted for the Church Youth Fund.


Don’t forget Kensington Community Vacation Bible School is this week, May 28-31, from 9:00 am to 11:30 am.

VBS locations:

PreK-K (must be potty trained) @1st St John

1st-3rd @United Church

4th-6th @North St John

Program to be held at the United Church on Friday, May 31, at 11:00am.

Community Blood Drive

There will be a Blood Drive on Friday, May 31 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Kensington Community Library Classroom. To schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit and ThunderRidge. Donors may also call the high school at 785-476-2217 or email Kathi Boden at

For this community drive, they are also collecting Double Red Cells so the information below is for anyone interested in becoming a Double Red Cell Donor.

The 2RBC is the double red donation which is only for specific blood types (O negative, O positive, A negative or B negative) and it counts as two donations. Through the automated process, red blood cells are separated from the other blood components. Two units of red cells are collected while the plasma and platelets are returned to the donor. Most people who do the 2RBC’s usually like it better. Some donors report feeling better after giving double red cells compared with other donation types because other blood components and saline are returned to the donor during the process.

Kensington Community/School Library Info

*Now open Summer Hours: Mondays from 2-8pm, Tuesday through Saturday 9am-2pm.

Dear Parents: Please plan for your child or children to attend our Summer Reading Programs at the Kensington Community/School Library. We will be exploring outer space and things out-of-this-world with “A Universe of Stories!” every Tuesday and Thursday in the month of June and the first two weeks in July. Stop by the library to sign your children up and get a copy of the calendar for our reading program this summer. Or call the library at 785-476-2219 to preregister.

Kensington American Legion

This week at the American Legion we will be having chicken bacon ranch baked penne, pea casserole, strawberry salad and cherry cheesecake. Our extra salad will be bacon cucumber tomato salad. We open at 6 and would be more than happy to make your supper to go by calling 785-476-3204. We hope everyone had a good Memorial Day and got to see lots of friends.

Kensington Lions Club Continues to Impact the Community

The Kensington Lions Club meets each month and continues to find ways to help the school and community. In the past couple months, the club has found many ways to do just that. They agreed to pay the registration fee for the high school girls' basketball team so they could participate in the Beloit Summer League. They also offered funds to a middle school student so he could attend a math/science summer camp that he qualified for at Fort Hays. The club held a highway 36 cleanup day April 28 with the help of some of the TR KAY members. Birthday/Anniversary community calendars have been compiled and are ready to deliver. A donation to the library's snack fund for their summer reading program was given. The club will also give a donation to the American Legion in memory of Roy Wangerin. Roy was a founding member of the club and an active member of the American Legion. After hearing a talk at a monthly meeting from the Spirit Task Force, the club voted to give a generous donation to this organization to use as needed. A contribution was given to help the Kensington girls' softball team purchase new jerseys. The club also agreed to pay the registration fee for five TR students to attend the Kansas Lion's Band Camp this summer.

The Kensington Lions is a vital part of our community! Please consider joining us. We meet the first Monday of each month and strive to make a difference by serving the people around the community. Contact Joan Nech if you are interested in becoming a Kensington Lion!

Jayden Stauffer and Riggs Reneberg sign in with Bob Bearley for hwy clean up.

Group picture: county law officers discussed safety procedures of cleaning along the highway.

KAY members helped lions clean hwy 36 on April 28.

TR Pre-K Learned About Safety

Thunder Ridge Pre-Kindergarten had a huge year! The biggest accomplishment has been learning all about safety in our everyday lives. As young and growing minds become more and more curious about their surroundings it is important to share safety tips and tricks. Planting and harvest seasons are quickly approaching and what better way to end the school year than to have equipment brought to our classroom for the students to explore? We would like to give a huge thank you to our friends at Lang Diesel in Smith Center for providing the class with an exciting learning opportunity. Safety tips that Mr. Justin discussed were to wait until the person running the machine sees you before you go anywhere near equipment. He also shared with the class that you don’t climb on a machine while it is running. There are many moving parts and you can easily get caught in the machine. The best part of the entire experience of course was learning where the horn is! Not only did the class get to experience safety with equipment but the class also learned about the many different farm animals. The class would also like to share a huge thank you to Hunter Farms. Mrs. Hunter has given a grand tour of her animals every year for many years, and the students love to experience the many animals that make up farms. Our programs and exciting learning experiences wouldn’t be possible if not for our amazing community.


Special Notice: Please get your news items to Erica no later than Sunday afternoon at 5:00pm. Her schedule is changing for summer and she needs to submit the news Sunday night. News submitted after Sunday will be in the paper the following week. Send your info to Erica Barnes at with subject line: NEWS; or feel free to call 785-476-8185. To see the full, in color, version visit


Erica Barnes

Library Director; K-3 & HS Librarian Kensington Community/School Library

785-476-2219 or 8185 (cell) The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.

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