KSAT Kids: Local 5th-grader with prosthetic plays violin; teen writes self-published book

KSAT Kids banner (henry keller, KSAT)

Good morning parents, teachers and students!

My what a busy time of year it is! With school in session, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo underway and Fiesta right around the corner, how do we ever find time for it all?

This week in KSAT Kids, we have some amazing stories. KSAT had the pleasure of interviewing a Villarreal Elementary fifth-grader who is inspiring others through his positive attitude and passion for music. It’s a can’t miss story.

Also new this week are stories about a Castle Hills Elementary teacher who uses animals in his classroom and a story about a San Antonio teen who was one of eight winners in a New York Times’ personal essay contest. Click on the link or scroll down for more.

Sometimes, we receive word about a story we can’t wait to share. Yesterday, the North East Independent School District announced that an anonymous donor has paid off the cafeteria debts at all their elementary schools. That’s incredible!

Parents: On a side note, don’t forget that the 2020 census is taking place this spring. Children are often not counted, so don’t forget to include them. It’s important.

KSAT also still has its KANGAROO CAM of Omeo and Libby, two tree kangaroos at the San Antonio Zoo. Click below to watch and keep scrolling for all the latest KSAT Kids content.

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WATCH: Live look inside the tree kangaroo habitat at San Antonio Zoo

Do you have an idea for a lesson or feedback? Email me with new content, lessons, story ideas or tips!

Here’s what can be found on KSAT Kids for Thursday, February 13:

Student showcase

Fifth grade musician with prosthetic honors late father by playing violin

The Northside Independent School District says they have a legendary student that walks the halls of Villarreal Elementary. Fifth-grader Kevin Gonzalez was born without his lower left arm, and yet began after-school violin classes this school year.

Fifth-grader Kevin Gonzalez image. (KSAT)

San Antonio teen writes self-published book for a bigger purpose

San Antonio is now represented in the New York Times’ first-ever personal narrative essay contest. The challenge called for teenagers to write short stories about meaningful life experiences. There were over 8,000 entries from around the world and Maria Fernanda Benavides from Saint Mary’s Hall was one of eight winners.

Maria Fernanda Benavides from Saint Mary’s Hall, winner of New York Times’ first-ever personal narrative essay contest. (KSAT)

Do you know a classroom or school that is doing amazing work and deserves to be featured in KSAT Kids? Nominate a student, teacher or school by emailing ksatkids@ksat.com.


‘You have to touch science to learn it’: Castle Hills Elementary teacher uses animals to engage students

It’s all about “hands on” learning. Castle Hills teacher Steven Kirkpatrick says his motto is “you have to touch science to learn it.” And, that seems to be working for the fifth graders at Castle Hills Elementary.

Castle Hills teacher Steven Kirkpatrick says his motto is “you have to touch science to learn it.” (KSAT)

San Antonio Zoo’s nature-based preschool receives Educational Award of Excellence

The San Antonio Zoo’s Will Smith Zoo School, one of the largest nature-based preschools in the country, has been recognized as a leader in education for its innovative curriculum. Students at the school spend more than half of the day outside exploring the zoo and learning about plants and animals in “wild classrooms.”

UTSA program aims to teach students about environment around them

The EYES - Educating Youth in Environmental Science - program is centered around outreach and providing local students the chance to learn about environmental issues, in a hands on way! Representatives from the program travel to local schools to visit with classes from kindergarten to high school. To read more, click above.


12 interesting facts, history behind SA’s iconic ‘World’s Largest Boots’ sculpture and artist

They are iconic and larger than life. The World’s Largest Cowboy Boots celebrated their 40th anniversary at North Star Mall. Here are 12 interesting facts about the sculpture.

boots history image. (KSAT)

Rodeo Remembers: Birthplace of the Cowboy

Cowboys are found throughout many South Texas towns, but one very close to home claims to be the birthplace of the ‘Cowboy’. Learn the history here.

Spanish films, iconic performances, desegregation: More interesting facts about SA’s Alameda Theater

The Alameda Theater is one of the last symbols of San Antonio’s Golden Age for grand movie palaces. The theater opened in March 1949 and has stood in downtown on Houston Street for decades. It was the largest movie palace ever dedicated to Spanish language films and the performing arts.

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About the Author:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.