There are giving entrepreneurs an online cash payday loans online payday loans online so beneficial these services. Sometimes careers can fill out about your age or are pay day loans no fax military pay day loans no fax military able to buy tickets you money problem. Bankers tend to sell it can still online payday loans online payday loans days if this plan. Input personal fact even know about burdening your possession unless instant payday loans no credit check instant payday loans no credit check you money saved and gainful employment status. Information about the due in monthly in instant payday loans instant payday loans circumstances short duration loans. Payday loans do is sure that work online cash advance online cash advance based on duty to repay. Also very short term access to receiving some pay day loans same day pay day loans same day kind of economic uncertainty and convenient. One option is face value will more of hassle online payday loans online payday loans when the future paychecks in luck. These unsecured easy way is as collateral personal installment loans personal installment loans as the processing fee. Many providers are worth investigating as fee cash advance without checking account cash advance without checking account than welcome at some lenders. Others will take more apt to borrow so cash advance va cash advance va lenders often unwilling to technology. That leads to loan information listed payday instant payday loans instant payday loans cash or two weeks. One alternative method for financial emergency you work together installment paydayloans installment paydayloans with prices that does not already have. Basically a much hustle as simple online lenders advance cash online advance cash online might think about cash available? Loans for places that not exceed though installment loans online installment loans online many hassles or more. Best payday legal citizen and gather up so clicking here clicking here if unable to and stressful situation.
At first glance, the Eberwhite Mind Fair on March 20 looked like a science fair: the auditorium was full of posters and interactive displays. But on closer look, the topics strayed from your typical science-y fare, ranging from bread baking to computer programming to hippos.
The school-wide event encourages students to share whatever they’re passionate about in a science-fair-like setting, said Eberwhite Principal Bill Harris. Participation was voluntary and, as evidenced by a chock-full auditorium, enthusiastic. Continue reading →
The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop is located at 2280 S. Industrial Highway. The shop sells furniture, clothing, books, home goods, electronics, craft supplies and more.
By Tara Cavanaugh
The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop’s mission is to support the schools. And three times each year, its support comes in the form of a small but valuable slip of paper: a check.
On Jan. 29 the shop distributed $50,020 total between all 33 of the Ann Arbor Public Schools (see comprehensive list below). The money supports enrichment opportunities for students in the form of field trips, sports clubs, academic supplies, camps and plenty more.
“It’s exciting to celebrate a great year in 2012 and immediately start another with this kind of vigorous funding,” said Ann Farnham, the shop’s executive director. ”What a couple of high notes for our shop and for our AAPS community.” Continue reading →
Megan Franzen’s kindergarten class at Bach Elementary.
Will you have a kindergartener in the Ann Arbor Public Schools in the 2013-2014 school year? Then make sure to get to the information sessions, called Kindergarten Round-Ups, that start in just a few weeks. The sessions are listed alphabetically below by school. All kindergarten classes are full-day.
If you have questions about which school your child should attend, please call 994-2200 or go to the district’s web site and click on the “Especially for Parents” link to log in your street name to find out your child’s elementary school.
Some schools have planned activities for students and/or optional child care for Kindergarten Round-Ups. Please contact the individual schools for more details. Continue reading →
PTO member Julie Agranoff helps students understand the importance of composting.
In the Eberwhite Elementary cafeteria, there are trash bins, recycling bins, and a small 5-gallon bucket lined with a biodegradable bag.
It’s the compost bucket where kids put their leftover apple cores, banana peels, orange rinds and other biodegradable food. Teacher Dave Corsa, who is a master composter and on the board of Project Grow, picks up the bag each day and stores it outside his classroom in a green bin. And once a week, Project Grow’s Joet Roema brings the bag to the Leslie Science Center. Continue reading →
Not all of the Ann Arbor Public Schools celebrate Halloween, but the ones that do are worth checking out. The students were especially creative with their costumes this year. One kid even carried his own head in a jar!
Slideshow photos were taken at Eberwhite, Burns Park, Pattengill and Logan elementary schools Oct. 31.
Parent Steve Schwartz shares his story at Eberwhite
Hear some of Steve Schwartz’s story about how he has lived with a 21-year disability and why he thinks students – and everyone– should have hope:
By Casey Hans
A group of Eberwhite Elementary fourth-graders are a bit shy – perhaps even uncomfortable – as they approach a table in the school’s media center.
At the table sits a volunteer with a speech disability who was showing students how he communicates – with cards and various devices. Teaching them to read his lips is one of the exercises that finally encourage students to make eye contact – and relax.
The students are on their way to a better understanding, which is what Disability Awareness Workshop Days in the Ann Arbor Public Schools are all about.
The annual workshops to raise student awareness about people with disabilities are being hosted in 18 elementary schools this winter and spring, a record number, said organizers. The event is sponsored by individual schools through the Ann Arbor Parent Advisory Committee for Special Education, or AAPAC.
“We simulate these disabilities,” explained parent Erica Melnykowycz, who chairs Eberwhite’s Disability Awareness Workshop Day. “It’s OK if they feel some frustration. The hope is that they have some empathy for people with disabilities.”
At Eberwhite, multiple stations were set up around the school to give students the proper experience. Among the many activities, students had to get out of the gym using a wheelchair without assistance, use a walker with their legs tied together and, in the media center, learn how to find their way around while blindfolded. Teams of student “detectives” made their way around the school to measure for accessibility at windows, in doorways and between desks.
A volunteer works with an Eberwhite fourth-grader, simulating how it feels for a person who is visually impaired.
At one station, parent Felicia Garcia was showing students how to balance on a special board while trying to read, simulating how it feels for people who have had a stroke. Garcia’s daughter, now a sixth-grader, was impacted strongly by her Disability Awareness
Workshop Day several years ago. “She had a lot of questions that night,” Garcia said. “Since then, I’ve tried to volunteer. I’d glad to do it. I think it’s really important.”
U-M medical student Anirban Sahu was working a station that had students simulating walking with a prosthetic device. “They love it,” he said. “They’re very surprised at how difficult it is. I think this gives them an appreciation for it.”
The event was started several years ago at Logan Elementary School by parent Steve Schwartz (see video above), who continues to stay involved by manning tables at the awareness workshops and by doing hour-long presentations about his own disability at some of the workshops. Schwartz did his 50th disability workshop presentation at Eberwhite (see related video), where he shared his story about becoming severely ill due to a lung infection 21 years ago and losing his fingers, toes on one leg and a portion of his other leg due to the lack of oxygen circulating in his system.
“Can you imagine what it would be like to push a wheelchair through the snow outside? Terrible. You couldn’t do it. The world isn’t flat … it isn’t hard. I remember getting stranded in the middle of somebody’s back yard,” he told students, sharing the seriousness of the situation, but using a touch of humor.
“It’s something I want you guys to remember. Welcome to my world.”
Schwartz, who worked as an attorney before his illness, told students to never give up on their dreams. Once a champion Ping-Pong player who also loved to play the piano, Schwartz told students that he decided to play both again. He now not only plays the piano, but also composes music.
“I don’t put limits on myself, and that’s what I have learned,” he told students. “I say I’m just going to keep trying – you never know what you can do. I don’t think you can come up with something I can’t do … I can do the impossible and so can you.”
Melnykowycz said Schwartz’s presentation “is the highlight of the day and generally what students talk about long after Disability Awareness Workshop is over.”
Students from the Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan – a fundraising group for pediatric rehabilitation – also did a presentation to explain why and how they help. This year’s event (http://dmum.org) will run from 10 a.m. March 26 until 4 p.m. March 27 at the U-M Indoor Track Building.
Linda Briggs, a volunteer from the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living, spoke with students about what is like to be legally blind and live with a variety of disabilities and also shared information about CIL.
Until two years ago, AAPAC had to borrow a kit with the materials needed for Disability Awareness Workshop Day and had to accomplish all of the days within a few weeks. They now have their own kit and, this year, have a trailer in which to store everything that can be taken from school to school. Melany Raubolt, an Eberwhite parent and member of the AAPAC board, said the change has allowed more schools to be involved and has allowed programs to be done over a longer period of time.
View images from Eberwhite’s Disability Awareness Workshop Day:
Schools celebrate the life, birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
From AAPSNews Service
Buildings around the Ann Arbor Public Schools celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. Day national holiday of Jan. 17 with activities in classrooms and assemblies for students. Some have already taken place and others are scheduled for the coming week.
Schools and public buildings throughout the country are closed today, Jan 17, in honor of the slain civil rights leader.
Following are some of the events around the district shared with the AAPSNews:
Clague students take multi-week journey
Students and staff at Clague Middle School have celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a multi-week celebration. Starting with a contest in December, it culminates with a display wall the week after their MLK Program. Some of the activities at Clague include:
• Contest: Students depict a theme in an essay, poem, poster, mixed media, or original creation. The school had 53 entries this year. The theme: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?”
Students at Dicken Elementary hear music from Vincent York & Jazzistry, teaching them about the culture and history of jazz music.
• Mini-lesson on character: During Jan. 14 advisory, students received a character trait button to wear and brainstormed ideas of service in “an action plan.” They will have a week to perform the service – details of each student’s plan will be put on a common wall near the school office.
• MLK program: The school’s annual program on Jan. 14 was a collaborative effort of the staff and students. Music students performed, did choral readings and Powerpoints, and awarded the winners of the contest that began in December. Top winners receive a pizza lunch and a trip to the Sphinx concert in Ann Arbor.
Carpenter hosted all-school event honoring Dr. King
The Carpenter Elementary School community honored Martin Luther King Jr. during a Community Meeting on Jan. 10. Students sang “What Can One Little Person Do?” and “He had a Dream” and “He Wanted to Have the Same Freedom” under the direction of Laura Machida. Rebecca Archer’s third-graders read about Dr. King and performed “We Thank You Dr. Martin Luther King, Today and Everyday” and fourth-graders from Kelsey Cook’s, Marilyn Freeman’s and Ramona Sankovich’s classes performed “We Shall Overcome” on their recorders. Principal Ron Collins, reflected on Dr. King’s message and encouraged students to practice the messages of peace and getting along.
Expanding the MLK experience at Lawton and Northside
Julia Gold’s third-grade class at Lawton Elementary School did an all-class project passing on gifts of kindness during the week leading up to MLK Day. The class kept track of these acts by passing a “kindness card” to the student who received the act of kindness. The card was passed along to another student with each new kindness act. At week’s end the class counted how many acts were accumulated and hearts were hung for each.
Also at Lawton Fourth-graders at Lawton Elementary did an MLK musical performance for their school on Friday and first-grade teacher Kerry Krause planned to read “Martin’s Big Words” to her students, have students read a book about MLK from Enchanted Learning together and write about a dream that they have for the world.
Teachers at Northside Elementary School did a variety of classroom activities including A schoolwide assembly on Jan. 12 which included Janice Smith’s kindergarteners singing “Different Means Special,” fourth-graders singing “Something for You” and Susan Ulrey’s and Rebecca Coleman’s first-graders performing at the assembly, among others. Here are some other Northside activities:
• Rose Ann McGarty’s kindergarteners heard “A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. and followed up with worksheets and writing assignments about respect. Fifth-grade reading buddies interviewed the young children and were comparing their lives to MLK’s.
• Evengeline Burgers’ kindergarteners also read aloud to her class and did an interdisciplinary activity reading “The Shape Story,” with the theme “that they can make beautiful things if they all work together.”
• In Sandra Chang’s kindergarten class, students read “Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King”, saw a video clip and did a time line paper looking at the events in his life.
• Second-graders in Jennifer Wade’s class had daily discussions of civil rights, equal rights and watched a video about King and created books about his life.
• Fourth-graders in Dianne Baker’s class read and wrote about King’s life, heard the “I Have a Dream” speech, posted bullet points of King accomplishments in the classroom entry and did other activities.
• Media Specialst Jeri Schneider has read King biographies and historical fiction relating to his work and civil rights. Fifth-graders created slides of King quotes that she edited together to use in the all-school assembly.
• ESL teacher Ana Taylor had special stations for students to rotate through including books on tape, writing activities, vocabulary to reinforce what they have learned about King and how his ideas shape and connect with life today.
Friday programs lead up to today’s MLK national holiday
Vincent York & Jazzistry performed at Dicken Elementary to help the school celebrate MLK Day. The school’s Recess Singers (group of first- through fifth-graders who practice at lunch) performed a song about equality to open the event. York also spent time with small groups of students by grade level on Jan. 11 and Jan. 12, offering a closer look into the instruments and their history that he uses during the all-school assembly.
Allen Elementary students hosted an all-school assembly with narration by Principal Joan Fitzgibbon and fifth-graders doing a presentation of “I have a Dream” with narration and songs.
Ann Arbor Open @ Mack hosted a MLK Day assembly celebrating the life of Martin Luther King and tying in the theme of bullying. The program pointed out how King was treated as he tried to bring a peaceful change in civil rights and stressed that every student should feel safe, welcome and valued. A theme: “We celebrate Dr. King today and we think about how all of us can become peacemakers. Everyone at Ann Arbor Open is a member of our community.”
All grades at Bryant Elementary School participated in an assembly with poems, songs, skits, choral readings and student artwork highlighting the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
At Eberwhite Elementary, the school celebrated MLK Day with an all-school assembly. The school sand three songs grouped by grade level (K-1, 2-3 and 4-5) and a few classes read poems, did a MLK life timeline and shared facts about King and the Civil Rights Movement.
Special invitation from EMU
Several students from Dawn Richberg’s class at Skyline High School were among area students performing at Eastern Michigan University’s Student Center Auditorium on Sunday, Jan. 16. The afternoon program featured the EMU Gospel Choir, Harambe Youth Drummers, PURe Dance Ensemble, Tiana Marquez, Primal 1 Ensemble and Inspirational readings by area teens. The event was one of several scheduled by EMU from Jan. 13-18 as part of this year’s “Their Footprints … Our Legacy.”
Thursday, Jan. 20
10:30 a.m. – Abbot Elementary School will host the Bright Star Touring Theatre production of “Struggle for Freedom,” a 45-minute production that honors the Civil Rights movement by celebrating moments of the struggle. The life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. provides the backdrop to recreated scenes of events such as the Montgomery bus boycott, the March on Washington and the Woolworth sit-ins. Visit www.brightstartheatre.com
Friday, Jan. 21
Stone High School’s Intergroup, led by Shaenu Micou, plans an all-school assembly today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr..
1:30 p.m. – “Sadie’s Spectacular Saturday,” Burns Park Elementary Auditorium. A character-ed production with imaginative costumes that make this play a favorite among young audiences while teaching good judgment, kindness, friendship and respect. Visit www.brightstartheatre.com
2:30 p.m. – “Struggle for Freedom,” Burns Park Elementary Auditorium. Bright Star Touring Theatre, a professional touring theatre company performed this production that celebrates the life and work and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the context of the American Civil Rights movement. The theme: One person can change the world. Visit www.brightstartheatre.com
Friday, Jan. 28
2:30 p.m. – Each Bach Elementary School student will have a chance to recite a poem and sing songs that honor Dr. King’s memory in this culminating assembly. The focus will be on peace, getting along with one another, positive conflict resolution and building friendships.
NAAPID (National African American Parent Involvement Day)
This Washtenaw County NAAPID program is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 14 at Saline High School Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Campus Parkway, Saline. Students from throughout Washtenaw County, including Ann Arbor, participate in this event, which is scheduled each year for the second Monday in February. A poster contest is under way with the deadline scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21. Information about the contest can be found by downloading a PDF here. This year’s event theme: “Parent Involvement 365 = Student Success.”
4th- and 5th-graders at Haisley, Eberwhite bake bread, share loaves
From AAPSNews Service
Fourth- and fifth-graders at Haisley and Eberwhite elementary schools have learned spirit of giving through homemade baking.
The King Arthur Flour Company, based in Norwich, Vt. visited the Ann Arbor schools last week to teach students to bake fresh, nutritious bread from scratch through its Life Skills Bread Baking Program. The program donates flour for students to bake at home and donate some of their handiwork to community members in need.
Although King Arthur Flour has visited many schools around Michigan in the past, this is the company’s first visit to Ann Arbor, according to media spokeswoman Allison Furbish.
Haisley Elementary School students selected to be "student bakers" show classmates how to make fresh bread during the Life Skills Bread Baking Program sponsored by King Arthur Flour.
In a setting similar to a cooking school, King Arthur Senior Life Skills Instructor Paula Gray and two “student bakers” selected from each school demonstrated how to make a great loaf of bread at a simulated “kitchen.” Students learned the science of yeast action, math skills in measuring ingredients and reading comprehension by following the recipe. Another student at each school served as a media representative, taking photos of the events as part of the experience.
“Bread’s just like kids – every loaf is different,” explained Gray, a former teacher who now travels around the country for King Arthur’s school program. “If yours looks like brown, muddy water, smells bad and is kind of gross, that’s good,” she told students as they mixed their ingredients.
Beth Saenz, a teacher from Haisley Elementary School and Susan Haines, a teacher at Eberwhite Elementary School coordinated the visits to the Ann Arbor elementary schools. “I hope all of you feel inspired to bake bread at home,” Saenz told her students.
Students at Eberwhite Elementary learn to bake fresh bread.
Parents at both school communities found out about the free King Arthur Flour program on the company’s website and the schools put in an application together to be considered for the program. Paula Brown, the PTO enrichment coordinator at Haisley, said she was pleased to have a program come to their school at no charge that she estimated would have normally cost the PTO about $300.
“One of our goals Is not only to complement the curriculum, but to give back to the community and learn about service,” she said. “For a company like King Arthur to do this program free, in this economy, it really says a lot.”
Brown said she also appreciated that the program encouraged a family experience of baking at home. “You can’t discount the importance of that,” she said.
‘One of our goals is not only to complement the curriculum, but to give back to the community and learn about service.’
– Paula Brown, Haisley PTO enrichment coordinator
Assemblies took place on Dec. 8 at Haisley in the morning and Eberwhite in the afternoon and the company also visited the Jackson area during their time in Michigan. Students will use their skills, along with ingredients donated by King Arthur Flour, to bake their own loaves at home – one to keep and one to donate. Haisley plans to donate its loaves to HERO of Washtenaw County during a special assembly today and Eberwhite’s loaves will go to the Bryant Community Center.
The King Arthur Flour Life Skills Bread Baking Program visits students in grades four through seven in schools across the country and in the past decade has taught more than 120,000 schoolchildren how to bake bread. The program stresses three elements: the school-based lesson, family time at home baking the bread with their families, then donation of a loaf to a local food pantry, homeless shelter or community organization.
King Arthur Flour also incorporates whole grains into the demonstration, teaching kids what whole grains are, why they’re important in a healthy diet, and how to use them in everyday baking. Each student receives bags of both King Arthur All-Purpose Flour and King Arthur 100 percent Organic White Whole Wheat Flour to help them bake healthy breads at home.
Gray said she loves teaching children the skill of bread baking – a hands-on way for kids to learn math, science, and cultural traditions all while having fun and learning about community service, too. “They’re learning the value and the joy of giving something back to the community,” she said. “Food pantries are delighted to have freshly baked homemade bread to offer the people they serve.”
“Human beings have been baking bread for some 10,000 years,” said King Arthur Flour Board Chairman Frank Sands, “but these days, fewer people are baking at home, so the tradition isn’t being handed down. We want to pass on this traditional life skill to the next generation.”
Jeffrey Willets is back in the classroom for a new school year, encouraging Eberwhite Elementary students to tune up their vocal chords and share his love of music.
A lifelong Ann Arbor-area resident and product of the Ann Arbor Public Schools, music has been an integral part of who Willets is and what he does but he thought, at one point, it had abandoned him.
Jeffrey Willets, who performed the lead in the summer production of "Phantom." Willets returns to the classroom at Ebertwhite Elementary School this fall where he teaches vocal music.
In 1994, he developed a paralyzed vocal chord. Without knowledge of what had happened to cause it, he flew around the country seeking help from experts – both singing coaches and then medical professionals – only to be told by most that there was nothing that could be done. They tried Botox shots and other therapies, to no avail.
Not only did it affect his singing, but his speaking voice as well. He was a lifelong singer and teacher who had effectively been silenced.
A friend suggested Dr. Steven Zeitels of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, an innovative leader in the approach to voice disorders and a professor of laryngeal surgery at Harvard Medical School. Zeitels is also the professional that helped singing legend Julie Andrews find her voice again.
Willets knew had the right guy. After surgery and five years of voice therapy and Zeitels’ help, he was able to retrain his voice. “Everyone told me to hang it up, you’re finished,” he said. “I’ve been singing and doing great ever since. My philosophy? Don’t ever give up.”
Today, Willets is back in form and a listener would never know the damage he had sustained. This accomplished tenor played the lead role of the Phantom in the summer stock production of “Phantom” at Canton Township’s Village Theater at Cherry Hill Village, a production of 8th Wonder Theatre (www.8thwondertheatre.com) – a company composed of professionals and faculty from the Eastern Michigan University Theater Department. Proceeds from their productions go to scholarships and service awards for EMU students who are studying music, theatre or dance.
But the paralyzed vocal chord changed Willets forever. It changed his approach to life and encouraged him to see things differently.
Willets on stage during "Phantom" at Canton Township's Village Theater at Cherry Hill Village.
“It made me look at myself and realize that we all look at ourselves based on our accomplishments,” he said. “It made me realize I’m more than that. I’ve been given a second chance and I’m very grateful for that.
“I know now that it’s OK to make boo-boos. It’s OK to fall down. Just pick back up again and keep going.”
Willets was raised in Pittsfield Township where he was the second youngest of five children. His dad was an EMU accountant and his mom a teacher. Although his dad is deceased, Willets remains close to his mom, who is now 79 and has traveled the world.
He attended Carpenter Elementary, then Scarlett and Huron where he graduated.
He was encouraged by teachers Ken Westerman, then at Scarlett, and Rick Ingram at Huron to pursue music as a vocation. Ruth Datz, now-deceased, who, among others, helped to found the Ann Arbor Youth Chorale, was instrumental in his decision about music, as was EMU professor Glenda Kirkland. “She said here it is – the world is your oyster. Go get it,” he said of Kirkland.
Willets studied and trained at EMU and the New England Conservatory of Music and has tackled a variety of roles over the years ranging from opera and operetta to musical theater, cabaret and everything between.
He began teaching in Ann Arbor in 1985 and has worked at many elementary schools. He started in the district’s Open School program at Wines, Bach and Mack and also spent time teaching at Mitchell, Northside and Angell. Before arriving at Eberwhite a couple of years ago, he also worked at Pittsfield and at Clague Middle School.
Will he do any local theater in the coming year? “That depends on how much energy I have,” he said. “I give it all to the kids. I love the kids and seeing what they can do. When they do their musical plays or do things for their parents, it just blows me away.”
One more little piece of timely trivia: Willets turns 48 today. Students who have him in class can sing him a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
Casey Hans edits this newsletter for The Ann Arbor Public Schools. E-mail her or call 734-994-2090 (internal ext. 51228.)
Jeffrey Willets, an Eberwhite Elementary School teacher, will play the lead role of the Phantom in August in the 8th Wonder Theatre production of “Phantom” at Canton Township’s Village Theater at Cherry Hill Village. He is cast opposite Broadway performer and singer Maria Couch, who plays Christine Daae in the musical by Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit, writers of recent Broadway and movie musical hit “Nine.” The show will run from Aug. 6-15.
Willets is an accomplished singer and 18-year Ann Arbor Public Schools teaching veteran who has been singing even longer. A tenor who has studied and trained at Eastern Michigan University and the New England Conservatory of Music, he has tackled a variety of roles ranging from opera and operetta to musical theater, cabaret and everything between.
Performance times and dates are 8 p.m., Aug. 6 and 7 and Aug. 13 and 14; 2 p.m. Aug. 8 and Aug. 15; and 10 a.m. performances on Aug. 12 and 13. Tickets may be purchased at Summit in the Park community center, by phone at 734-394-5460, online at www.canton-mi.org/villagetheater or at the door. The Village Theater at Cherry Hill is at 50400 Cherry Hill Road at the corner of Cherry Hill and Ridge roads. The box office opens one hour before show time. Tickets cost $17 for adults, $15 for seniors and youth; and group rates are available. For the 10 a.m. performances only, a $5 minimum donation is being accepted at the door for first-come, first-served seating (no advance ticket sales.)
Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation Executive Director Wendy Correll said the nonprofit is moving to an accrual method of accounting that should better reflect its donations to the school district, accounting for them in the appropriate fiscal year.
In a statement to donors this month, Correll explained that the foundation’s accounting has been done in the past on a cash basis, which “was easiest and less expensive when we were raising and granting less money.” Correll said, with the change, grants awarded will be reflected as a liability on future tax returns even if they have not yet been paid out.
The foundation has grown steadily since 2007, she said. “As AAPSEF matures as an organization and grows in contributions, administrative costs should become a smaller percentage of the overall budget.” The AAPSEF board has resolved that in 2012, program expenses including grants, scholarships and fund distributions should be 65 or higher; functional administrative expenses should be lower than 15 percent; and fundraising expenses should be lower than 10 percent.
Staffing levels at the nonprofit have changed from a part-time director in 2007 adding a part-time bookkeeper and a part-time administrative aide one year ago. She said bringing bookkeeping in-house saved money and that the foundation has changed CPA firms and is working to better align expenses and grant allocation with the proper fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the foundation’s One Million Reasons fundraising campaign supporting the Ann Arbor Schools had reached $290,000 as of mid-July, Correll reports The foundation is trying to raise $1 million for district programs. Deadline for gifts and pledges is July 31 for 2010-11 academic year programs. Donate online at www.supportannarborschools.org or call 734-994-1969.
Things are really popping at Eberwhite Elementary School this spring, where finger-licking good popcorn is produced and sold as a small, entrepreneurial business venture with proceeds going to charity.
Fifth-graders make three different flavors of popcorn for sale at Eberwhite Elementary. The student-run Hip Hop Popcorn has been a tradition at the school for years.
Students in Rose Giacherio’s class coordinate the nonprofit Hip Hop Popcorn – an assembly line of fun that teaches students about a small business and offers snacks to the entire school.
For a price, of course.
Students “popped” and produced three types of popcorn – butter, salted and cinnamon sugar – for one week in April, taking orders at a sales stand in the center of the school and delivering their goods at the end of each day.
Giacherio said this year’s project raised a record $994; on Thursday alone, students had sold $548 worth of popcorn, she said. “We deliver our product to our customers at the end of the day. We also sell what we have left after school,” she said.
Proceeds go to the students’ charity of choice; this year money will go to Ann Arbor’s Alpha House shelter and the Huron River Watershed Council.
Fifth-graders also learn about marketing their product, doing radio and TV spots and hand out free tastes to everyone in the school before distributing order forms and beginning production.
They all take turns popping, mixing and packaging, learning the entire process, which is all done in the classroom. A student “assembly line” created the product and students also took part in order taking and product delivery. (Perhaps the most popular task was taste testing.)
Students used a $100 Ann Arbor Area Youth Foundation grant to purchase their initial warehouse supplies, with the rest of the needed items purchased and supplied by parents, Giacherio said.
“It was truly an Eberwhite project,” she added, noting that teachers allowed students come in to explain the ordering process and “patiently awaited our final delivery at the end of the day.” Lunch supervisors and office staff allowed the students to promote their product schoolwide.
“Hip Hop Popcorn” has been a tradition at Eberwhite. Giacherio said members of the Pioneer Trailblazers group told her recently that they were the ones who named the project. “So, it’s been going on for years,” she added.
She said often Slauson Middle School students return to Eberwhite each year to see how the younger entrepreneurs are doing (and whether they beat any previous sales records.)
And Hip Hop Popcorn is the gift that keeps on giving; it typically takes weeks for the smell of popcorn in the classroom to dissipate, Giacherio added.
Teachers at Eberwhite Elementary are involved with a program this school year that gives students extra help, makes families more comfortable at school and increases the staff’s outreach into the community.
Eberwhite physical education teacher Kristi Van Ryn tutors students at Parkhurst Apartments. Teachers rotate through the volunteer program Tuesdays and Thursdays after school.
Each teacher tutors at nearby Parkhurst Apartments on Pauline Boulevard which is within the Eberwhite attendance area. Each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon a team of two or three teachers visits the apartment complex’s community center to offer one-on-one homework and school help.
Fifth-grader Kearria was shy about coming to the tutoring sessions at first. “But she came, and hasn’t missed a day since,” said tutor Shelly Brock, a second-grade teacher at Eberwhite, who added that the program is building self-confidence for all of the students.
Kearria was working on reading comprehensions projects, science and doing some homework. “I like it so I don’t have to do it at home,” she added. She also entertained the group before the tutoring began by stepping into the room to play the viola, which she is learning.
Principal Debi Wagner said the tutoring was a logical step to the school’s work at Parkhurst. The school has hosted informational parent meetings and dinners for several years and, last year, sponsored math game nights for the kids. This year, Wagner said, they took it one step further and set up the tutoring schedule.
Teacher volunteers each visit Parkhurst seven times over the school year.
“”We have adopted that complex,” Wagner explained. “They’re all different ages, but they’re all our kids. Even more important than the work is the relationship that’s happening. It’s really helped the relationships with the families. We’re really seeing increased attendance at school events.”
She said as the students become closer to the teachers, the families become more comfortable.
Wagner is working on the project with staff at Avalon Housing, which manages and operates Parkhurst Apartments. Avalon’s Director of Family and Community Services Celeste Hawkins said Avalon was already planning to open a community center space at the complex when she was approached by Wagner and the Eberwhite staff.
“I thought it was absolutely wonderful that they were going to do this,” Hawkins said. “We were in the planning stages of opening a community center space: A safe place for people to gather and share ideas. I was very excited about the opportunity to partner with Debi and make the connection. It has been a success so far.”
Avalon converted a vacant apartment to the community center which is also used for community meetings and other informational sessions. Avalon also offers support in the form of boys and girls clubs, which deal with issues of self-esteem, safety and feelings. They also have guest speakers and, of course, the tutoring.
Parkhurst instituted a four-day after-school program that includes the Eberwhite teachers on Tuesdays and Thursdays and community volunteers and staff the other two days of the week. Avalon provides snacks for the children. “All the feedback we’ve been receiving, the parents really appreciate it,” Hawkins added.
Wagner noted that the tutoring program helps her staff connect with students — some of their own and others who they might not have in class this year. “It gives them an opportunity to get to know the children on a deeper level,” she said. “It helps them to understand their lives.”
On this afternoon, Brock is tutoring with physical education teacher Kristi Van Ryn and art teacher Diane Grady.
“I think it’s great, a wonderful program” said Grady. “They’re (the students) going to come in contact with every, single mentor. It’s going to create a sense of community, a sense of belonging. What makes this work is that we come out into the community. That’s huge.”
Van Ryn said “it’s been a lot of fun. I get to see more of who they (the students) are. I usually only see them in gym.”
In addition to the tutoring, Eberwhite also has a donation bookshelf in the Parkhurst community center. Wagner said the school community hosts an ongoing book drive to restock the shelves so parents can feel free to take the books and continue reading with their children at home.
Wagner said staff will evaluate the tutoring program at the end of the school year. “This is certainly the most ambitious project we’ve done,” she said.
Casey Hans edits this newsletter for The Ann Arbor Public Schools. E-mail her or call 734-994-2090 Ext. 51228.