School Bells: Pioneer Theatre Guild hosts ‘Hairspray’ in November

The Pioneer Theatre Guild will present the musical “Hairspray” on Nov. 6-7 and Nov. 12-14 at Schreiber Auditorium at Pioneer High School.

The Guild is the first theater company in the area to perform the show. The story takes place in 1962 in Baltimore, following the story of teen Tracy Turnblad who fights for equality on a local television show, not only for herself but also for anyone who varies from the stereotypical television star of the 1960s. Tracy’s family and friends join together to form a mismatched group of rebellious civil rights activists, and against all odds, they triumph, and racial equality triumphs with them.

“Hairspray” performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, Friday, Nov. 12 and Saturday, Nov. 13; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7 and Sunday, Nov. 14.

General admission tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for students, seniors and Pioneer High School staff. Reserved seating will be available starting Oct. 26 online. Tickets will also be on sale at the door one hour before showtime.

All direction for “Hairspray” is done by The University of Michigan Musical Theatre and Dance students.

Community High sets $10,000 goal for Food Gatherers

For the second year, students at Community High School will raise money for Food Gatherers, Washtenaw County’s food bank and food rescue program.

This year’s fundrdaiser has expanded in scope and expectation: They have set a $10,000 fundraising goal throughout October.

More than 12 student Forum groups will participate in the project coordinated by teachers Cheryl Grace and Tracy Rosewarne. Each forum will have four weeks to research effective fundraising strategies, organize a campaign and solicit funds. They will present their donations to Food Gatherers on November 9.

This is the second year Grace and Roseworne have organized the student-led fundraiser for Food Gatherers.

Rosewarne was inspired to start the first campaign in 2009 after reading an article in The University of Michigan’s LSA Magazine about an organizational studies class given one week to design and implement a plan to raise as much money as possible for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit.

“The U-M students in that class, including one CHS alum, raised over $13,000 in only a week,” Grace said. “Tracy and I thought this was a great idea that could be easily transplanted into our school through our Forum classes.

“Food Gatherers is such a perfect charity because it’s local and students are inspired by the idea of only $1 buying 3 meals.  They see money going such a long way that every dollar they raise will have a big impact. ”

Community’s 2009  campaign included just eight student Forums and lasted two weeks. Groups sold handmade items, collected bottles, donated their lunch money and personally asked friends and family for donations. As a result of their combined efforts, more than $5,000 was collected for Food Gatherers.

Food Gatherers Director of Development Mary Schlitt said she is pleased to be working with Community students. “I am inspired by the thoughtful questions posed by the students and their eagerness to participate, and I look forward to hearing about their experience raising money.”

Students numbers up in fall count

The Ann Arbor Public Schools showed an increase of 96 students during its fall count in September. The district counted 16,536 students, an increase over the 16,440 during the fall 2009 count. The numbers will be audited and finalized this month.

The fall enrollment count makes up 75 percent of the formula for state funding for schools; it is blended with another count taken during second semester to determine per pupil funding from the state.

During its first year as a schools of choice district, Ann Arbor gained about 120 students. This is the first year the district has participated in the choice option, which allows students from other parts of Washtenaw County to attend The Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Farm and garden group offers grants and scholarships

Nonprofit organizations involved in horticultural and environmental educational programs or related community projects are invited to apply for grant and scholarship funds from the Ann Arbor Branch of the Woman’s National Farm & Garden Association. The application deadline is Nov. 1, 2010.

The grant application form, along with additional information about the AAF&G program, can be found online at

Since 1946, the Ann Arbor Branch of the Woman’s National Farm & Garden Association has donated more than $450,000 to encourage and sustain educational and community projects related to horticulture and the environment.

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