Friday, July 12, 2013

TRC SUMMER READING PROGRAM: Plenty of activity, plenty of photos

The Taylor Reading Corps' Summer Reading Program is in full swing, housed at McDowell Elementary School.

Recently, the children in the program finished up moon prints and alphabet constellations. More recently, it was "On the Farm" week as they created paper plate chickens, and made farm themed silly stories focusing on a letter of the alphabet.

The children also recently played a homemade board game where they had to sound out letters and name words that started with the letter they landed on.

They also made farm animal books and worked on sequencing.

The TRC is always seeking volunteers and donations. Next year, its in-school tutoring program expands to the second grade. This year, it included preschool, kindergarten and first-grade students. Next year's expansion marks a critical need for new volunteers in the program.

Volunteering in easy. Just get in touch with the TRC, located at 22755 Wick Road, by calling (313) 769-6730. You can also click on their Web site by clicking here or go straight to the TRC volunteer page by clicking here.

DECA FUNDRAISER: Support DECA and the Penrickton Center for the Blind on July 30

Looking for a nice night out? How about trying Tuesday, July 30 at the Texas Roadhouse during a fundraiser for the Penrickton School for the Blind?

The fundraiser is for several great causes, in fact. It marks the first Truman High School DECA Club fundraiser. According to Marketing Teacher and DECA Advisor Carly Lundgren-Barnard, the students chose the Penrickton Center to be the benefactor of the evening as a community service project. They will fundraise and promote for the center, then write a paper about the program to compete in during DECA competitions.

What's in it for you? During the 3:45-10:15 p.m. period July 30 at the Texas Roadhouse in Taylor, 10 percent off of your total bill will go directly to the fundraiser.

Texas Roadhouse is located at 14660 Pardee Road. Call ahead seating is offered by phoning (734) 374-5500.

This event is also tied into the ongoing "Christy's Legacy of Hope" campaign in Taylor. That campaign is dedicated to the memory of the late Christy Lynn DePriest Wright, a highly honored former Taylor student at Holland, Hoover and Truman, who passed away in 2010 from a rare form of cancer. 

Legacy of Hope events target needy children around the world. We'll be getting into some upcoming campaign events in future blogs coming soon.

For the Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser, print out and present the attached coupons to your server at the restaurant. And enjoy yourself while getting a fine meal and supporting a great cause.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

SUMMER ENRICHMENT ACADEMY: Class digs in for dinosaurs

Students in Mrs. Farkas' and Ms. Blair's Taylor Summer Enrichment Academy class are digging in ... for dinosaurs and fossils, that is.

The photo accompanying this post shows the dinosaurs' marks designed by the class. The masks were based on dinosaurs that each student researched through literature studied in the class.

Students also learned about "Dino of the Day" and have created dinosaur eggs, skeletons, growth charts and model drawings.

The class runs through July 11. Below is a short video discussing how studying dinosaurs benefits humanity.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

SUMMER LITERACY: Take the advice of former NFL coach Tony Dungy and jump right into children's books

The summer is a great time to help your child read. I've been reminding people a lot about that lately with this blog. Proficient reading skills are the key that opens the door to your child's future. The better his or her reading skills, the better the child usually will perform in school. And those who are not proficient in reading by the third grade stand an increased chance of failure in later grades and high school.

So, now is as good a time as ever to just jump right into the reading fray -- plan some time each summer day to read with your children. If my word isn't enough, read on.

A lot of people know Tony Dungy as the former Super Bowl winning coach of the Indianapolis Colts. But most know rest of his background -- his upbringing in Michigan, college days as a quarterback, conversion to defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers and now, in retirement, his campaign to aid literacy.

Personally, I remember Dungy as a great high school quarterback at Jackson Parkside, where he was an All-State selection as a senior (my junior year at neighboring Edsel Ford High School in Dearborn). Dungy went on to the University of Minnesota as a multi-purpose quarterback, where he played very well before being drafted by Pittsburgh, where he was converted to a defensive back by the Steelers of Chuck Noll and company.

But, as anyone who has listened to Dungy knows well, there's much more to him than just football. While he still excels as a analyst for NBC's Sunday Night Football (he's one of the best on the air today), he and his wife, Lauren, have devoted their off time to "hoping that the next generation follows their dreams," just as he once did.

Growing up in Jackson, Dungy was a devotee of Dr. Seuss. According to a story by ESPN, the creative writing in the Dr. Seuss series inspired a young Dungy. Now Dungy is turning the tables, and he and his wife are creating a series of inspirational books for children 6-8.

They recently toured the Midwest, East Coast and Southeast to promoted "You Can be a Friend" after the success of their first children's book, "You Can do It," which is about the story of Dungy and his young brother, Linden.

Like many others, the Dungys started reading and campaigning for improved literacy when he was coaching in Indianapolis, where they noticed the low high school graduation rates. Lauren had always volunteered to read to young school children, and the couple decided to focus children's books on material that was fun and interesting, but with a message.

They have a deal to write six more books for Simon and Schuster, which will include children working through issues and parents helping them out.

For more information about the Dungys' books, click here to go to the Simon & Schuster booksite. 

In the video below, the couple reads a book during one of their promotional tours.

Monday, July 8, 2013

EDUCATIONAL VIDEO: Learn your numbers from 1 to 50

Want to get your preschooler reading for school? Here's a neat little video, Learn Numbers 1 to 50, which is part of a You Tube learning series for children.

Take some time and enjoy it with your child. A great learning experience for summer moments.