Saturday, September 26, 2015

KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL outstanding readers earn Kindles

Four Kennedy High School students were awarded with a new Kindle Fire 6HD this week, thanks to their outstanding reading efforts this summer. 

A contest was announced last spring when students were given free books to take home and read over the summer. Students returned this fall with their written entries and a drawing was held to determine the lucky winners. 

Left to right, they are Kyle Hoffman, Dana Favot, Shabnam Chohan and Amber Campbell.

KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL: Fundraiser for pressbox scheduled Oct. 3

Kennedy High School – specifically its football stadium press box -- is planning to rise from the ashes.

In the early hours of September 7, the press box and wiring to the scoreboard were destroyed by a suspicious fire that may have been linked to other arsons committed on the same night up and down Telegraph Road.  The school is asking that the community come together and raise the funds to rebuild a bigger and better pressbox.

The Taylor Fraternal Order of Eagles, 23900 Goddard Road, is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, October 3, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The event will include a spaghetti dinner, raffles and 50/50.

Prices are $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. 

Donations are needed for raffle prizes. Please contact Dennis Schlemmer at (313) 409-5496 or Kristen Blalock (313) 472-7031 if you are interested in helping out. 

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL gets each day off nicely

McDowell Elementary School morning announcements are exciting!

Every morning the day starts with a rousing broadcast by the "Bulldog News Crew."

First up we have a rotating group of students dancing to the latest tunes followed by important school news, weather, health tips and positive behavior helps and a drawing.  

Ms. Hutchison was the special guest recently and she inspired the students with her favorite book display board about the "Screaming Machine" by Joy Cowley.

She is challenging all of the pupils to read this book and begin to think of their favorite books and what they could write about them.

JOHNSON CHILDHOOD CENTER getting off on the right foot

Preschool at Johnson Early Childhood Center is well underway in preparation of the first day of school. Families are coming in for classroom visits, teaching staff is visiting the homes of their preschool children and bulletin boards are going up. We are very excited at Johnson Early Childhood Center to begin our school year!


Taylor Parks Elementary School had an awesome turnout for their annual Watch D.O.G.S. pizza social and sign up. 

All male figures with children attending the school were invited to sign up be a Watch D.O.G.  WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) is the father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering that organizes fathers and father figures in order to provide positive male role models for the students and to enhance school security.

Today, more than 2,276 active programs in 41 states participate in the WATCH D.O.G.S. Program.

Who are Watch DOGS? Fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, uncles and other father figures who volunteer to serve at least one day a year in a variety of school activities as assigned by the school principal.

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL receives new supplies from Yanfeng

Holland Elementary School recently received some new school supplies by their friends at Yanfeng USA. The staff and pupils are greatful to have supportive community members.

Yanfeng USA has been operational in the U.S. market since 2010, with two facilities in the state of Michigan, Harrison Township and Warren. These facilities currently support Chrysler and GM programs. Our core business is interior automotive components. Yanfeng USA Automotive Trim Systems, Inc. (Yanfeng USA) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Trim System Co., Ltd. (Yanfeng Visteon), headquartered in Shanghai, China.

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL pupils get a workout

Students are having plenty of fun with the fitness centers at Holland Elementary School.

Students are using Quick-Fit muscle toners, hula hoops, Spooner Boards, jump ropes, the pull up bar, fitness dice, juggling scarves, and the student favorite, Top-L-Tug, to keep active and in shape. 

What a great job for a large group. Keep up the good work.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

TURN OFF THE VIOLENCE event is October 1 at Heritage Park

The 21st annual "Turn Off The Violence" family picnic will be held on Thursday, October 1, at Heritage Park. It is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Taylor.

The event is set for 4-7 p.m.

It’s free, with plenty of free food and refreshments including hot dogs, pop, juice and chips.

Free finger printing as part of Taylor Masonic's child ID program. The West Middle School Band & Chorus will perform. Face painting, crafts, magic shows, puppets, moonwalks, the Taylor Police K-9 Unit, Taylor Fire's aerial truck, and more.


The Taylor Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force and the Taylor Police Department will be partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Sept. 26.

Members of the community will be able to dispose of any unused, expired or unwanted medications free of charge at the TPD, 23515 Goddard Road, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday, September 26. 

Senior citizens and their families also can drop unused, unwanted prescriptions off at the Ford Senior Citizens Activity Center, 6750 Troy, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, September 25. The senior collection is being held a day early as the Ford Center is closed on the weekends. Task Force members and Police personnel will be on hand to properly dispose of medications.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, Police Chief Mary Sclabassi said. “The program allows residents to safely and anonymously drop off expired or unused prescriptions and any other controlled substances.” 

Drugs dropped off at the police station and Ford Center will be sealed and taken by the DEA to be safely destroyed, at no cost to the city.

“We are regular participants of the DEA initiative, “Sclabassi said. “We’ve participated each year over last five years. We encourage people to dispose of any medications that are no longer needed.”

Simone Calvas, Project Director for the Task Force, said they’ve collected more than 500 pounds of drugs at the previous Take-Back Days. She noted that often, when an elderly or ill family member passes on, the family is left with their unused medications. In addition, when people switch or only take medications for a limited period of time, users will find themselves with some leftover drugs.

“The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is held to help remove expired or unwanted prescription medications from possible abuse or misuse,” Sclabassi said. “We want to help keep these drugs off the streets and dispose of them in a safe manner.”

In the Great Lakes Region, proponents strive to keep the drugs out of the region’s waterways. Flushing medicines down the drain can affect wildlife and interfere with wastewater treatment plants. In addition, medications thrown in the trash are often retrieved and used illegally.

While Taylor participates in the Take-Back Day event to promote awareness, the Task Force and TPD also operate a permanent drug take back box at police headquarters. Residents can safely dispose of unwanted meds throughout the year by taking them to the police station.

Several other communities are partnering with the DEA and Taylor for the September 26 National Prescription Take-Back Day. Downriver police stations collecting unused, unwanted prescription medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. include:

Taylor Police Department
23515 Goddard
Taylor, MI 48180

Lincoln Park Police Department
1427 Cleophus
Lincoln Park, MI 48146

Ecorse Police Department
3860 West Jefferson
Ecorse, MI 48229

Melvindale Police Department
3100 Oakwood Blvd.
Melvindale, MI 4812

Community members can bring all unwanted prescription meds to participating Police Departments to receive proper disposal. Medications can be left in their current bottles or packaging. DEA officials ask participants to not bring any sharps items, such as needles, or compressed inhalants in metal containers.

PUBLIC SAFETY FAIR and open house at WCCCD

A Public Safety Fair and Open House will be held at the Wayne County Community College District's Downriver Campus, 21000 Northline, on Saturday, September 26.

It will take place from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

This will involve educational fun for the whole family, including activities like fire extinguisher training, home emergency preparedness and hands only CPR. Those attending can meet firefighters, EMS personnel, law enforcement officers and college EMS and fire students.

Admission is free.

For more information, call (734) 946-3500 or click on

COMEDY NIGHT to benefit educational foundation and task force

The Taylor Public Schools Foundation for Educational Excellence and The Taylor Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force are holding a Taylor Comedy Night Fundraiser to be held at 7 p.m., Friday, September 25, at the Taylor Knights of Columbus Hall, 24900 Brest Road. 

The proceeds of this fundraiser will benefit the following programs:
  • The Foundation’s Project Support Program to assist the Taylor School District with high quality projects and programs for grades K-12 in Taylor schools.
  • The Taylor Summer Arts & Prevention Academy which provides art instruction, drama, dance, exercise, nutrition, gardening and substance abuse education to at-risk youth in grades 6 through 12 in Taylor.

Tickets are $20 each and will feature nationally known comedians Kevin McPeek and Sal Demilio. 

Tickets are available during regular business hours at the Taylor School District Administration Office at 23303 Northline Road, Taylor, or by calling (734) 374-1200, ext. 4 or (313) 295-7313. 

Basket raffles, a 50/50 raffle, soft drinks, beer, wine and pizza will be available. 

Doors open at 6 p.m. and showtime begins at 7 p.m.

DSO OFFERS FREE concert at WCCCD September 24

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will bring its free "DSO in Your Community" tour to the Wayne County Community College District's Downriver Campus at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 24.

The performance will be held in the Heinz Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center on the campus, located at 21000 Northline Road.

Anyone who plans to attend must reserve a free ticket by calling (313) 576-511 or by clicking on

TAYLOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE offers annual forum September 24

The Taylor Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force is set to hold its annual community forum to address underage drinking, prescription drug use and other drug trends in Taylor. 

 The “Driving Out Drugs” community forum will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, September 24, in the Ray Mix Room at Wayne County Community College District – Downriver Campus, 21000 Northline Road.

This “Town Hall” forum will include presentations and a panel discussion on the frequency and risks associated with youth substance use and abuse. The Task Force will give an overview of their activities and accomplishments in 2015.

Everyone in attendance can view Taylor youth responses to recent surveys addressing their perceptions of harm and past 30 day use of drugs and alcohol. The panel discussion will include members from law enforcement, government, drug court and substance abuse prevention.

Everyone is invited to attend. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call (734) 942-2273, ext. 228 or visit 

About the Task Force
The Taylor Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force is a coalition of concerned residents and interested persons who are invested in the health, safety and success of the community. The task force upholds a core belief in no illegal or high risk use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs and supports this mission through collaborative, proactive prevention efforts. Residents and community volunteers are encouraged to participate in Task Force activities.

Monthly task force meetings are held at 10 a.m. on the second Monday of every month at Journey of Hope Community Church, 8900 Pardee Road, Taylor. For more information email and visit the Taylor Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force Facebook page or Twitter page (@taylor_task).                  
The group’s motivational school reading program, called "Reading with the Angels," is featured with educational demonstrations.


The Fur Angels made a visit to Eureka Heights Elementary School recently.

The "Fur Angels" are a group in southeastern Michigan and a 501(c) non-profit organization, solely comprised of volunteers offering compassion through pet therapy. They train their own dogs to succeed in the mission.

The standards require all of our dogs to be evaluated and temperament tested, as well as pass specific tests know as Canine Good Citizenship (C.G.C) and Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dog Certification, before they can become a "Fur Angel" and earn their wings.

The group was formed in November 1998 with only a handful of caring people.  Today they can say they have grown considerably, enabling them to extend out pet therapy to more facilities and a wider range of programs, such as visiting numerous hospice centers, nursing homes and hospitals.

HOOVER MIDDLE SCHOOL: Davis is winner of Kindle Fire

Alexis Davis from Hoover Middle School was the winner of a brand new Kindle Fire for completing the Summer Reading Program. Congratulations to Alexis!

HOOVER MIDDLE SCHOOL celebrates Constitution Day

Constitution Day was recently celebrated at Hoover Middle School.

On September 17, students learned about the United States Constitution.  In Mrs. Lecznar's class, eight-grade students had to decipher the Bill of Rights as a team and determine how they would illustrate it. They were very creative and artistic with their illustrations.  

In Mrs. Claypool's computer class students had the opportunity to ask questions and meet Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Students were able to take a virtual field trip to the Constitution Convention Center through LIVE streaming.  


Here are the recent Eureka Heights Elementary School Summer Readers Raffle winners!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

TOMMIE SAYLOR: A simple act of kindness can go a long way

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
-- Princess Diana

By Tommie Saylor
Kennedy High School Principal

The power of kindness can go a long way.

Last week, the first week of school, was very hectic. It seemed as if I was going in a hundred directions at the same time. People constantly filling my office needing this, wanting that and asking questions. The district needed information, reports that must be completed. Then there were technology issues, repairs that must be expedited and a press box that was vandalized. One could only imagine how my mind was working overtime trying to find solutions to every concern, consumed with getting this year off to a good start.

Through all of this, I decided to do something that I rarely get to do. I decided to go and get something for lunch. I needed a few minutes, a break from all the worry, the opportunity to go pick something up and then get back into the game.

On my way out of the building, I saw a young man and what appeared to be his father. In the young man’s hand was a folder that we all can easily recognize as the district folder given to new enrollees at Pupil Accounting.

It was not hard to draw the conclusion that this was a new student and his parent coming to the building on their last leg of a journey to get the student enrolled at Kennedy High School.

I could have just walked by. They did not know me. I was after all taking a small mental break. But for some reason, I just could not pass by these two individuals without a greeting.

So I stopped, introduced myself, shook the father’s and new student’s hand, welcomed them to Kennedy High School, explained to them that all they had to do was push the door buzzer and say that they were here to enroll a new student and needed to go to counseling. I assured them that they would be well looked after. Following an additional round of handshakes, I departed, off to find my lunch.

Later that same day, following an afternoon of organized chaos, one of our counselors entered my office and told me that the new student and his father that I greeted earlier were an out-of-district school of choice family. She went on to say, that following their meeting where the student was assigned classes and granted a locker, the new student’s father offered some rather encouraging words.

He stated that he was so very glad for making the choice to bring his student to Kennedy, that everyone was so kind, helpful and polite.

According to this counselor, the father stated that he has never experienced such kindness nor has he ever felt so welcomed by a school. He was pleased to have made Kennedy High School his school of choice.

All this took was a few seconds of our time. A few seconds of greeting on my part, a kind word by the counseling secretary and a smile with helpful efforts on the part of the counselor.

That extra step, that extra effort makes a different. Simply, kindness counts.

How and where will you lead them. Making Kennedy the school of choice. Excellence by design.

MCDOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL's recess brings the outdoor's inside

McDowell Elementary School's inside recess can be a big hit. What do you do if you can't go outside to find the fun? They bring the fun right to the class. Here is Mr. Tomassion's fifth-graders enjoying a break.

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Student works on water color skills

Delian Johns works on his water color skills in Mrs.'. Stewart's class at Holland Elementary School.