Spotlight on The Great Shake at Northeast Elementary

Last Updated by Kate Spears on

This week on the Get Ready To Learn radio show, host Cindy Putman welcomes a full studio of very special guest co-hosts.

Putman is joined by Northeast Elementary School (NES) principal Dr. Melissa Palk and assistant principal Tera Brooks as they discuss a special event that recently took place at NES-The Great Shake.

Last week fourth graders at Northeast participated in the Great Shake, an initiative that challenged them to shake hands and make conversation. The idea is that one day, students will be faced with a situation in which they are required to make conversation with a complete stranger, for example in a job interview.

Volunteer helpers selected four fourth graders as the top candidates. On Tuesday, these four were “interviewed” by Erin and Josh Carwile from Carwile Mechanical Contractors. They did a fabulous job!! Winners of Northeast’s The Great Shake were Silas Pirkle and Kobe Tolliver.

Silas and Kobe are both 4th graders at NES and as a special reward they were invited to be guest co-hosts on WCTE’s Ready To Learn Radio show. The boys greeted everyone at Zimmer Broadcasting with a firm handshake and great eye contact. It was evident that they had learned important social skills from their experience at school.

Silas and Kobe were naturals on the radio and shared their thoughts on the following interview questions:

  • What exactly is the Great Shake?

  • What is the favorite part of your school day?

  • What is something that you would change about your school?

  • What do you want to do when you grow up?

Then the tables turned and the two fourth graders asked Putman, Dr. Palk and Mrs. Brooks some questions. Silas and Kobe instantly came up with some great questions that they wanted to know from the three adults in the studio. Palk and Brooks agree that the skills learned by students during the Great Shake will help them in all areas of their lives-inside and outside the classroom.

Want to encourage your child to develop conversation skills and how to shake hands when meeting someone? Check out theses handshake tips from PBS Parents.

They include things like making eye contact, keeping your elbow flexible and smiling. Something else to consider is to squeeze the hand of the other person as if you are gripping the handle of a gallon of milk--firm enough to not drop it but not so firm that you crush the plastic.

It might seem simple, but these simple things have a big impact as children learn and grow. By equipping kids with the tools they need, they will be more successful in life.


Tune in each Saturday morning at 9:30 for the WCTE Get Ready To Learn Radio Show, with host Cindy Putman on Zimmer Broadcasting's The HUB 107.7 FM and 1400 AM

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WCTE’s Educational Team can customize workshops or professional development trainings for your group or organization. For workshop information, or to inquire about scheduling a workshop, call 921-528-2222 x. 227 or email us.

Topics are listed below:

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