Friday, March 22, 2013

Putting dad to work during Reading Month

Mrs. Scarpace's first-grade class at Holland Elementary School, like so many others in Taylor, has been celebrating March is Reading Month. 

One of the things the pupils are doing in the class is inviting guest readers, including staff and parents, to participate. 

Aaron Baum, a pupil in the class, invited his dad Jeff to read "The Lion King." 

Jeff coaches basketball at Kennedy High School and is also a substitute teacher in the district. Aaron was proud to have his classmates listen to his father read the popular children's book.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

'Literacy and Language Luau' scheduled for April 17

The "Literacy and Language Luau" is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17, at Kennedy High School. It is a can't-miss event for parents and friends of the Taylor School District.

Every year the Title 1 Parenting Facilitators in the system put on a large-scale family project. It marks and opportunity for students and families to come together and learn about the community and services available to them, as well as learn about the positive things going on in the Taylor School District. Local agencies are also involved and set up tables to highlight their own organization's work in the area of literacy.

The luau will feature face painting, Ronald McDonald, free popcorn, balloon animals, prizes and giveaways, a photo booth, games, a free bagged dinner and student performances. Parents can purchase books for children from the Scholastic Book Fair.

Doors are open between 4:30-7:30 p.m. Exhibits and activities run from 4:30 to 7:15 p.m. Family workshop sessions are scheduled at 5:30 and 6:15 (and are closed when full).

Workshop topics include:

  • Journaling your life
  • Storyteller Ivory Williams
  • Reading with your child by Dr. Mary Bigler (you can purchase books that evening)
  • Learn to make balloon animals
  • Create a project with Home Depot

There is also a Title 1 parent meeting and door prizes to be drawn at 7:15 p.m.

Holland pupil raises $200 for American Heart Association

Rayna, a pupil at Holland Elementary School was the top fund raiser in the school's recent American Heart Association Hoop and Jump for Heart activity. 

Rayna raised $200! In fact, Rayna captured so many prizes, she had trouble carrying them all back to the classroom, according to school officials.

As a school, Holland raised $2,400 during the event.

Plenty of Dr. Seuss in the building!

Mrs. Fesler's preschool class at Blair Moody Elementary School also received a visit from the Cat in the Hat recently.

Two of the featured books were "Green Eggs and Ham" and "One Fish, Three, Four, Five Fish" based on the Dr. Seuss series.

Dr. Seuss books, book marks and stickers were donated by the staff of MediLodge of Taylor.

Now here's a school that can really jump!

Raising nearly $7,000 is never an easy task, but that's just what Randall Elementary School recently accomplished during its participation in the second annual Jump Rope for Heart event.

Randall raised a total of $6,795.29!

The top individual fund raiser in the school was Alyssa Williamson, who collected $346.

Mrs. Bordeau's class raised a total of $928.

Free national parenting workshop scheduled March 27

JUST A REMINDER: The following is aimed specifically at Taylor School District parents!

"Talk Early & Talk Often," a free nationally recognized parent workshop designed to help parents and caregivers of middle and high school children develop better skills when dealing with abstinence and sexuality, is being offered at Truman High School from 6-8 p.m. March 27.

To register for the event, email Truman Parent Liaison Mary Logan at The workshop will be held in the Truman Media Center. 

The program will aim at specific issues:
  • Increased communication skills

  • Recognize opportunities to "open the door"

  • Recognize "teachable moments"

  • Gain confidence with your new skill set
It is never too late to improve a relationship with a child or teenager. Parents should never underestimate the great need that children feel to have a close relationship with their parents. Children want guidance and support -- and this program will help interested parents develop their own support plan.

Parents are the prime educators of their children and continue communication at home is vital in helping unprepared children avoid serious problems.

For nearly a decade, "Talk Early & Often" has consistently received high praise from parents, educators and community leaders. The workshop was developed with support from several state agencies.

MediLodge staff visits Blair Moody preschool class

Mrs. Long's preschool class at Blair Moody Elementary School recently received a visit from the staff at MediLodge of Taylor, a skilled nursing center, to celebrate March is Reading Month.

MediLodge volunteered to visit the classroom and they also donated books to the classroom libraries. Some staff members even dressed up like characters in "Cat in the Hat."

Actor reads 'The Cay' at Hoover Middle School

Hoover Middle School takes reading seriously -- so seriously, that teachers are inviting actors to come out and participate in reading with the students.

Langston Fishburne, an actor and son of noted actor Laurence Fishburne, recently visited Hoover thanks to an invitation from a friend of his, Ms. Betke. 

After Hoover students finished reading "The Cay," Fishburne visited the building to read the story with his genuine Caribbean accent. He's lived in the Caribbean and managed to bring the musicality of the accent alive for the students and staff who attended the reading.

"The Cay," a children's novel by Theodore Taylor published in 1969, centers on 11-year-old Phillip Enright, who is traveling with his mother to America from Curacao after World War II breaks out. The ship they are traveling on is torpedoed, and Phillip is blinded and stranded on an island with a old black man named Timothy and a black cat named Stew Cat. Thanks to his own racial prejudice, Phillip has problems dealing with Timothy, but the two learn to overcome their disdain for one another as Phillip depends heavily on Timothy. Eventually, their roles reverse. When the old man is killed, Phillip is rescued and surgery gives him back his sight.

In addition, after Hoover classes finished reading "The Hobbit," the entire school took a field trip to see it on opening day. The book, published to critical acclaim in 1937, remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature. Personal growth and forms of heroism are its central themes. It was eventually followed by "The Lord of the Rings."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eureka! These students were perfect!

Eureka Heights Elementary School recently honored pupils who registered perfect attendance during the second trimester of the school calendar. Principal Hall was on hand to award each one of them with a special certificate!

Eureka Heights takes a look at the future

Eureka Heights Elementary School hosted a "look into the future" recently -- potential 2013-14 kindergarteners visited the school for an open house. A preschool teacher, two student council members and Principal Hall were there to greet the preschoolers and their parents on March 20, and they all received free "On my way to kindergarten" T-shirts courtesy of PNC Foundation and the Taylor Reading Corps.

Students take MME/ACT exams

Juniors and some seniors at the Titan Alternative High School completed the Michigan Merit Examination and the ACT nation college administrations testing during the week of March 4.

The MME is a state assessment exam administered to juniors and some seniors each March. Part of the MME program provides for free ACT testing (if students compete the MME, they receive an opportunity to do the ACT). 

The ACT is one of two boards (the SAT being the other) that provide a nation-wide college entrance testing standard in English, Math, Reading and Science. Students who seek to improve their scores are free to take the tests are many times as they want. They can also take both the ACT and the SAT.

Blair Moody hosts 'the future'

Blair Moody Elementary School took a trip into the future recently when it hosted potential 2013-14 kindergarteners.

The children had a chance to experience a kindergarten classroom, sing songs and perform special activities. Parents were able to spend time gathering information on the Taylor School District and ask questions of kindergarten teachers.

All the children received a special free "On my way to kindergarten" T-shirt as part of the PNC Foundation's "Grow Up Great" program. The PNC is a key partner in the Taylor Reading Corps' adult volunteering mentoring program aimed to aid the reading proficiency of elementary-school-age pupils in the Taylor School District.

'Little Mermaid' is on Holland's schedule

A few classes from Holland Elementary School will be attending "The Little Mermaid Jr." at The Village Theater in Canton on Monday (March 25).

The special attraction: Two pupils from Holland, Kylie and Chloe Scarpace, who are performing in the play. Kylie plays the role of "Flounder" and Chloe plays the role of the "Seahorse."

Disney's "The Little Mermaid Jr." tells of a magical kingdom fathoms below the surface of the ocean, where a beautiful young mermaid lives -- but longs to leave for the world above. First, she has to defy her father, The King, make a deal with an evil sea witch and convince The Prince that she's the girl with the enchanting voice.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

McDowell readies to raise money to fight cancer

Students, teachers and parents at McDowell Elementary School will be raising money to fight cancer in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society throughout the month of April.

Mrs. Park and Mrs Siegel are currently organizing the "Pennies for Pasta" campaign at the school.

The campaign will feature competition between classrooms, with the class that raises the most money receiving a pasta party, compliments of the Oliver Garden. The goal this year is to reach a total of $2,500. 

This Student Council-sponsored event will provide support for research into the prevention of childhood cancers.

If you are interested in participating or donating, call the school at (734) 374-1240.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Taylor Parks celebrates literacy

Family Literacy Night is scheduled for Thursday, March 21, at Taylor Parks Elementary School.

Dr. Mary Bigler ("Raising Readers") will be on hand for the presentation, which will begin at 6 p.m. and is aimed at kindergarten through fifth-grade pupils.

Bigler is an internationally known literacy expert and author. She offers a humorous approach to teaching today's children how to love reading and writing.

Last Thursday, Taylor Parks celebrated "Grandparents Day." Kindergarten and first-grade pupils spent a half-day with their grandparent(s). According to school officials, the turnout for the special event was very impressive. Grandparents toured  the building, had snacks with the pupils and participated in a classroom project. They also had their photos taken with their grandchild.

'All Green' for pizza!

Eureka Heights Elementary School pupils who were "All Green, All Month" earned a chance to have pizza with Principal Stacie Hall. Two pupils were randomly selected from each class and were excited to enjoy a "yummy pizza pie" with Mrs. Hall for their outstanding efforts.

Titan eyes are on Gleaner's, Blessings in a Backpack

Titan Alternative High School students lent a hand to the Gleaner's Food Bank program recently, loading and unloading food packages at Focus Hope in Detroit.

In addition, the students work every week as part of the "Blessings in a Backpack" campaign, which also provides weekend food for elementary school pupils in the Taylor School District. As part of the program, Titan students help the "Blessings" campaign every Thursday.

Titan students visit Holland elementary

Students at Titan Alternative High School have been very active in the community this year, including two different stops at Holland Elementary School. Titan students visited Holland at the start of the year to read with the kindergarteners and then enjoyed a Halloween party together.

DECA attends state conference with four members claiming state-wide honors

The Truman High School DECA Club attended the state conference in Grand Rapids over the weekend and four members won four state overall finalist medals.

Autumn Carson, Robert Helton, Dennis Kaminsky and Ryan Scarcliff claimed the state-wide honors, leading the DECA contingent of 40 members.

"Our students really behaved professionally," said DECA Advisor Carly Lundgren. "They represented Truman well and it was a great opportunity for all of them."

The DECA members had a chance to compete for scholarships and network with other marketing students, teacher and business professionals. They visited vendor booths from businesses and colleges and traveled around Grand Rapids.

They also took part in setting a new record for the most people doing the Harlem shake while wearing professional dress.

"The weekend was a success and I am very proud of all the students hard work and dedication this year," Lundgren said. "Thanks to all the people who have supported us in our fund raisers. Thanks to everyone who helped our students."

Enjoy power of reading program March 27 at Sixth Grade Academy

The Gratitude Steel Band "Underground Power of Reading," a state and federal Title I program, will be held at the Sixth Grade Academy (13500 Pine Street) Wednesday, March 27.

The program is "a trip with music under the sea, camel territory and into mountain caves."

It will start with food at 5:30 p.m. The actual program will run from 6 to 7 p.m.

Students must be accompanied by an adult and a sign off sheet must be filled out and returned to the school's main office by Monday, March 25.

Sixth Grade Academy is "hands on"

The Sixth Grade Academy hosted an Ann Arbor Hands On Museum "Math & Science Night" on March 6.

The event was very well attended with 235 parents and pupils, a dozen staff members and 26 high school student volunteers. Naturally, plenty of hands-on activities were on the schedule, including volume- and density-related work, fraction tile creations, measurements and film canister creations.

Principal Hernandez awarded each of the 26 trained high school volunteers with a "certificate of appreciation" for participating in the events.

Other events on the Sixth Grade Academy schedule:
  • Spirit Week (March 11-14) included PJ Day (March 11), Hat Day (March 12) and Sports Team Day (March 13).
  • T-Shirt Day topped off Spirit Week plus the school's staff vs. students basketball game. Both sides had plenty of fun and the students were very pumped up to face their teachers. At halftime, "Minute To Win It" was played, where selected students were picked to perform a given activity. One part of the halftime game had students putting a gingerbread cookie on their forehead and then trying to work it down to their mouth. Numerous attempts failed -- much to the delight of the crowd -- before a couple of students had success.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

There's nothing like ice cream!

Mrs. Silva's third-grade class at Holland Elementary School has been busy recently,

They celebrated a victory in a spelling competition with an ice cream party and are practicing a play they plan to perform for the first-graders at the school.