Bats in Danger

Bats in Danger tells the story of Brownie the Bat.  Her friends are dying. While Brownie is a creation of 5th-grade authors, her plight is not.  Kaitlyn Desrochers visited Mammoth Cave when she was in 3rd grade. She learned about the effects of white-nose syndrome on the bats and the images spurred her into action.  She partnered with a classmate, Kennedi Emery, who had helped author the year before a book about Sr. Lyn’s Beehives. Kennedi volunteered to work with Kaitlyn and write a children’s book. They wanted their friends to know why we need to save the bats.  The two went out in search of a mentor to help them

They discovered a scientist and biology professor, Dr. Cassandra Miller-Butterworth, at Penn State Beaver.  She is one of Pennsylvania’s leading bat experts. Kaitlyn and Kennedi see her as a superhero. They worked together to craft the story of Brownie and the difficulties facing bats, particularly in Pennsylvania.

Dr. B was close to their elementary school, Baden Academy, so Kaitlyn and Kennedi visited.  While they were there, they got to see first hand the techniques she used with electrophoretic gel to extract and study DNA. Her research may help her and other scientists determine where the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome will spread next.

After their visit, Kaitlyn and Kennedi worked to edit and illustrate draft after draft of the storybook with Dr. B’s help. They used a green screen and photographed a stuffed bat in a variety of poses to begin to illustrate the book.  Bats in Danger help them raise awareness and funds.  All profits go to Bat Conservation International.

You can buy the book through Lulu at . Kaitlyn and Kennedi  would be thrilled to visit your classroom, library, or community event to share their story and read aloud their book.

About Baden Academy Charter School
This public charter school in Western PA works to inspire personal excellence. They cultivate the inherent gifts and talents present in all children by providing a curriculum which integrates the arts and sciences in a highly interactive, hands-on environment.

About Grow a Generation:
Grow a Generation partners with schools, classrooms, and students to make meaningful projects possible.


In The News

Beaver biology professor is the star of a book published by local fifth-graders

Beaver biology professor stars in a book published by local fifth-graders


Fred the Fruit Fly Visits Dr. Furbee’s Lab

Carter Catalano and Hoby Schweikert came into the lab with questions about genetic research using animals and insects.  They learned bizarre stories and heard from people afraid of “GMOs,” before they turned to actual scientists engaged in real genetic research.  What they discovered inspired them.  Dr. Emily Furbee invited them to visit her at the Computational Biology Department at the University of Pittsburgh.  They learned about the genetics of fruit flies and how three generations of scientists have been discovering Nobel prize winning insights into how the genes of all living organisms are mutated, modified, and studied to find answers to questions about reactions to radiation, human and fruit fly development, our sense of smell, our immune systems, and even our biological clocks.  What inspired them the most was the work Dr. Furbee was doing to help with cancer research.
After their visit, Carter and Hoby worked to craft a storybook for children with Dr. Furbee’s help. Fred the Fruit Fly visits Dr. Furbee’s Lab introduces kids to some difficult concepts of DNA through fun metaphors and an engaging story.  All profits from book sales are donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
You can buy the book through Lulu at .  Carter and Hoby would be thrilled to visit your classroom, library, or community event to share their story and read aloud their book.



Six Incredible Baden Academy Teachers

Six teachers from Baden Academy Charter School were recently honored for the completion of year-long Distinguished Educator Research Fellowships through Grow a Generation.

Meghan Holl 3-D printed representations of mathematical numbers and symbols to use in her kindergarten classroom.  Using the 3-D printed numbers and symbols, her students were able to compare/contrast and recognize the structural features of each numeral to reach mastery.  She demonstrated how student’s visual pattern recognition and visual placement associated with these numbers helped her children learn sequencing and make predictions.  The printed 3-D numbers created a hands-on approach for helping her students decipher numbers based on their shape and physical attributes. Visit for more information.

Johnny Gallagher, the Director of Theater Arts and Shakespearean Performance, initiated an enrichment program for 5th and 6th graders in which they were the playwrights, directors, set designers, customers and actors of an original theatrical piece performed for a live audience on the stage of the  Baden Auditorium. Visit for more information.

Emily Sable, part of the 3rd grade teaching team, expanded and experimented on project based building projects to encompass the next generation science standards of the Engineering Design Process and the topic of sustainability.  Special thanks are extended to Dr. Angela Fishman, the Penn State Beaver professor and SCC campus program coordinator for the Penn State’s Sustainability Institute. Emily also pulled information from the Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge from Sustainable Pittsburgh.  She was assisted by two amazing third grade students, Matthew Minnitte and Noah Schweikert. You can visit “Emily Sable and the Sustainable Tree Houses” on YouTube for some great highlights of this year!

Hannah Kimmick followed up last years 3-D printed alphabets by asking her class to focus in on just one letter, the letter A, in a book project.  The Amazing Letter A was published with the help of the entire class and chronicles the history, artistry, and phonetics of just one letter.  We sometimes forget how complex and rich written language is. You can buy the book through a link on her website and discover more about her great work with letter recognition in kindergarten at  Profits from the book are donated to We Charity.

Karie Walaan spent the year evaluating the acceleration programs at multiple schools, seeking out the best recommendations for curriculum, and consulting with gifted education leaders at the Berin Blank Center.  The result is a comprehensive acceleration program and an outline of additional services to the Baden Academy gifted and talented students at

Kelli Keriotis published her third book this year, partnering with her kindergarten class to explain for kids Goethe’s Theory of Color. Visit her website to view how this amazing teacher introduces her young students to the kaleidoscope of learning about the science, technology, and investigations into color science. Her book, How Colors Make Us Feel:  Goethe’s Theory,  is available through Lulu and Amazon.  Profits are donated to We Charities.

About Baden Academy

This public charter school in Western PA works to inspire personal excellence. They cultivate the inherent gifts and talents present in all children by providing a curriculum which integrates the arts and sciences in a highly interactive, hands-on environment.                       

Student written Opioid book receiving wonderful support

I am very proud of the hard work of Quincy, Angelina, and Clayton (and the bravery of Aleenia to inspire them with her story). Their story is one of compassion, one of hope, and one of science – reliance on Addiction Scientists to come up with evidence-based help to try to end this terrible epidemic.

The ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) has featured the book as one of their resources and purchased copies to supply at various conferences and training.

Our local news station, WTAE, sent one of their reporters, Sheldon Ingram, to Baden Academy.  There interview aired as part of the State of Addiction.

Reprinted from

Local 5th graders come together to raise awareness of opioid crisis through new children’s book

Updated: 6:38 PM EDT Jun 8, 2018

Everyone involved is thrilled for the support.  May the parents, siblings, children and friends of those suffering with addiction find hope in their pages.



How Colors Make Us Feel – Goethe’s Theory of Color by Kelli Keriotis

Congratulations to Kelli Keriotis on her 3rd published book.
Enjoy her reading it aloud to her class.
How Colors Make Us Feel explores Goethe’s Theory of Color with kindergarten students from Baden Academy Charter School in Western Pennsylvania. Enjoy the poetry and art of Kelli Kerotis’ 2018 kindergarten class. Buy the book on Lulu…/how-c…/paperback/product-23609969.html and find out more about Mrs. Keriotis at

Student written Opioid Book to be featured at county Drug Prevention Night

Baden Academy students Quincy Sirko, Angelina Dioguardi and Clayton Russell will be on hand with their new book, “What the Heck is Opioid Addiction.” at the BVIU Drug Prevention Grant – Parent Night.

Please come support them, and find out what you, as a parent, can do to help end this epidemic.   
Our students’ book can be found at  (Use the code FIFTEEN to save 15%).  Profits go to the American Society of Addiction Medicine. 

The BVIU Drug Prevention Grant Committee is offering a “Parent Night” to  further educate our community on the impact of the opioid epidemic.  The Parent Night will have specific information for parents and will include the Saltworks’ Off Script production and a “Show & Tell” from the Beaver County Anti-Drug Task Force.

The event will be held at the Central Valley HS Auditorium on May 16, 2018.  Registration & Refreshments will start at 5:30 PM.  The program will run from  6:00 – 8:00 PM.


·         5:30 – Registration – Refreshments – Anti-Drug Task Force Table

·         6:00 – Opening Remarks – Phil Little, PA Office of Attorney General

·         6:15 – Saltworks “Off Script”

·         7:00 – County Resource Overview – Kate Lowery, Beaver County Behavioral Health

·         7:15 – Testimonial – Ashley Potts – F.B.I. H.O.P.E. Initiative

·         7:45 – Refreshments and Anti-Drug Task Force Table

You may register for the event using the following link: