Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Blessings: Hook and Laurinec Family Updates

I'm delighted to report that Roxane Hook is home in time for Christmas, enjoying her time with the boys. The leukemia has officially gone into remission -- although she will be going for additional therapy in January. They have been deeply touched by all the ways the South Arbor community has reached out to them during Roxy's hospitalization.

I understand that Chris Laurinec's surgery was successful -- today Stephanie received word that they got all the cancer, which is a wonderful Christmas gift for the whole family! They expect Chris to be coming home soon.

Thank you for continuing to remember these two families in your prayers.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Life According to Charles Schultz (Creator of "Peanuts")

My sister-in-law Barbara sent this to me today.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4 Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do? None of us remember the head liners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish... Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier? The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.

Pass this on to those people who have either made a difference in your life, or whom you keep close in your heart, like I did.

Special Visitor Spotted at South Arbor Today - Zero Hero!

Look! Up in the sky! No wait ... in the Parent Room!

It's not a bird, or a plane, or a flying mop!

It's ZERO HERO, who flew in first class (okay, it was on the Booster dime, so it was coach) to tie up ten unsuspecting kindergardeners to teach them the number TEN!

Thanks, Mr. Hero ... whoever you are.

Recipe Books and Gingerbread for South Arbor Staff

Today Boosters distributed the gingerbread treats and gift cards that parents ordered for teachers. Thank you to the forty families or so who placed an order! And thank you to Stephanie Howell, Beth Peterson, Monica Rem, Kim Fink, and Ryon Maples who volunteered to help distribute the cookies.

In addition, Boosters/SALT gave each teacher and staff member (who did not already receive at least one from a parent) a gingerbread treat as well as a cookbook for their holiday gift. The teachers seemed very happy to get these!

Tomorrow hospitality is hosting a holiday lunch for the teachers at school. Boosters will be holding a special store in the morning, with coffee and donuts available in the Parent Room for just fifty cents. Come and get your last-minute gifts -- there are a handful of gingerbread men left for purchase, too!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

South Arbor now on Facebook!

Laura Holliday has started a Facebook page for the South Arbor Charter Academy community. If you're on Facebook, be sure to join us!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ginger Boys and Girls for Sale!

Here is a picture of the darling gingerbread boys and girls that Boosters is selling all next week for teacher gifts and student treats. We will be hand-delivering them next Thursday to those who pre-ordered the cookies ... And we will be selling the remainders at the Booster Store on Friday.

Boosters thanks Nancy Davis and her sister, who baked and hand-decorated the gingerbread girls for us. It was a lot of work ... and she did a spectacular job!
It's not too late to place your order! Pick up a "Booster Special Delivery" form on the Bulletin Boad in the Parents Room, and put the form with your money ($6 per cookie) in the Booster Mailbox on the back of the bathroom door. Questions? Contact Heidi Saxton.

Christopher Coman: Gingerbread House Winner!!!

Congratulations, Chris, on winning the Gingerbread House Raffle! Chris plans to share his house with Ms. Swygert's class on Monday.

Thanks to all those who participated in the raffle. Don't forget that hand-decorated gingerbread cookies will be available for purchase all next week -- order them through the "Special Delivery" service, or pick up any available leftover cookies at a steal on Friday morning at our special "Booster Store."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Make your own gingerbread?

Gingerbread is "in" at South Arbor Boosters. We'll be drawing our gingerbread house raffle on Friday, and gingerbread treats will go on sale!

Would you like to make your own gingerbread house? Check out simple directions here.

Yesterday on "Martha Stewart Living," Martha showed how to make the cutest gingerbread girls using a garlic press for the hair ... Darling!
I'd like to thank Nancy Davis, who made 50 gingerbread girls for the Booster Store and teacher's gifts. Thanks so much, Nancy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Messiah Community Sing on Saturday!!!

Here's some holiday "News You Can Use!" The 45th annual Messiah Community Sing will be held this Saturday at 2:30.

Dr. Richard Ingram will be conducting. Each year community members gather to sing (orchestra and choir) selections from Handel's "Messiah." Musical scores are provided. Just bring your voice, a plate of holiday treats to share ... and a friend!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What to Get Teacher for Christmas: Parents Magazine

The current issue of "Parents" magazine has a news blurb I thought would interest South Arbor parents.

"We asked educators to weigh in on Here's what they want:"

* A gift card .......... 63%
* Something crafty/homemade ........ 25%
* Cash .................... 8%
* A big gift that a few families pitched in on ..... 4%

HINT: We still have some gingerbread treats available for purchase ($6), and you can attach the gift card of your choice! Just come to the school store on Friday afternoons!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

SAVE THE DATE! Spring Auction is February 27!

The date for the Spring Auction has been set for Saturday, February 27. This is one of our biggest fundraisers each year, and is truly a fun event! Childcare will be available through Explorer's Club.

Allen Morgan and Lisa Egmon, who are co-chairing the event, can use all the help they can get! If you're interested in lending a hand with securing prizes or setting up the event, please contact them at

If you have any autographed books you'd be willing to donate for our autograph table, please let me know! You can reach me (Heidi) at

Where's the Money Going? December SALT meeting

At the SALT meeting today, we approved funding for the following expenses.

* $175 for spelling bee expenses (previous meeting)
* $525 for Giving Tree (to supplement donations and NJHS raffle money)
* $850 for Science Fair (table rentals, prizes)
* $300 for National Junior Honor Society induction expenses
* $400 for 2nd and 3rd Quarter House Pizza Party
* $185 for Band Registration Fees (Band Festival on March 4 or March 20)

If more families contribute to the Giving Tree fund, there will not be a need to spend this allocation -- so if you haven't yet contributed to the Giving Tree, please plan to do so by Friday, December 11. The committee is requesting cash donations ... you can drop them in the Boosters Box, or at the Boosters Store on Friday.

Thanks in advance for helping us give our South Arbor kids a memorable holiday season!

Terracycle: Recycle ... and Help Our School!

Thanks to Chris Victory, who passed along information about the "TerraCycle" program, which allows families to collect snack wrappers and juice pouches, which are turned into products for sale at major retailers like Walmart, Target and Home Depot! For more information, check out their website.

Or check out this video!

Special Delivery ... Thursday, December 17

Boosters is offering a special "Holiday Delivery" for orders placed by Monday, December 14. Just fill out your order form and drop it along with payment in the Booster Box. This merchandise make great holiday gifts: water bottles, travel mugs, cook books, gingerbread boys or girls, or ceramic mugs.

Afraid your child might lose your order? Boosters is also having a special store on the morning of December 18. We will also be serving coffee and donuts, and have our "cash and carry" scrip cards on display for you to take with you. (If you buy a mug, your coffee is free!)

Don't forget to place your order for scrip to take care of the rest of your shopping, too! To place your order electronically, just go to "Shop with Scrip" and set up your personal account. Orders placed by Friday (either electronically or paper via Booster Box) can be picked up the following week.

Gingerbread House Raffle Has Begun!

The Gingerbread House that is going to be raffled off at the Booster Store on Friday, December 11 is now on display in the school office. To enter the raffle, just pick up a form (in the office or on the bulletin board in the Parent Room) and fill out the number of tickets you want. Tickets are 1 for $2 or 3 for $5.

You need not be present at the drawing to win!

Just put your form with payment (cash or check payable to SABC) in the Booster Box.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Curves of Saline Supports South Arbor!

Thanks to Jerlee Bond, who set up an "honor water bar" at Curves of Saline (Michigan Avenue near Busch's). We supplied her with a couple cases of water -- she set up a donation jar where patrons can put in $1 and get a cold drink!
Thanks to the staff of Curves, and especially the owners John and Cindy, who allowed Jerlee to set up this fundraiser for South Arbor! (And thanks to trainer Lisa, pictured here, for helping us as well.)

If you are interested in setting up an "honor water bar" at your office or other location, contact Heidi Saxton.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Boosters Plus: Free Jean Day Ahead!

If you joined Boosters Plus this year, you should have received a coupon for a "free jean day in November."

Today Mr. DiLaura told me that you can choose between two days: Either wear your jeans on Thursday, November 19 . . . Or if you're in the Blue House and already get to wear jeans that day, you can wear them on Wednesday, November 24.

If you have not yet joined Boosters Plus, but would like to get in on the free jeans day, just put your $100 check in the Boosters Box in the Parent Room this week!

Questions? Contact Heidi.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Holiday Store a Great Success!

Newsflash! Our treasurer informs me that we have deposited a little over $1800 to the Boosters account from the sales of scrip, merchandise, and concessions that we made at the Holiday Store. Thank you, South Arbor Parents!

It was a lot of work, noise, and ... well, pizza. (I don't think I can look at another pizza for at least a month.) By the end of the second day, my seven-year-old had the mother of all melt-downs, and my kitchen looked like a flour bomb had exploded. I'm still digging out of that one.

There are still about 60 Gingerbread Cookies that can be ordered for teacher's gifts - first come, first serve. Just put your order in the Boosters Box. We can also deliver recipe books through your child's teacher . . . just put your order form and payment in the Booster Box, and we'll take it from there! (The tasting was a lot of fun . . . thank you to all the parents who brought in their recipes to sample!)

Holiday Store was also kind of fun. Andrew Tucker did a masterful job of keeping the kids entertained. Stephanie Howell, Monica Rem, Roxane Hook, and Jerlee Bond joined Kathy Tucker, Jackie Ham, Cassie Kennedy and me selling merchandize in the Parent Room. Kathy tells me we made an $800 deposit the very first day! I'd also like to thank Mr. DiLaura, Mr. Hudson, the Explorer Club, and Mrs. Arnold and other staff who worked with us to make the first Holiday Store run smoothly.

I'd like to recognize the 8th Grade Moms who hosted the "Santa Workshop" in the Art Room, especially Angie Verges and Colette Hayes, who with Kathy Tucker sorted, tagged, and sold their hearts out. Next year we'll have to think about setting it up during school hours... Right, Mr. DiLaura?

Special thanks goes to the South Arbor Family businesses that set up tables: Kathy Tucker (her "Future Knight" t-shirts for younger siblings of students were just $7), Laura Holliday (Pampered Chef), Georgia Gerain (Grumma's Embroidery), Colette Gaba (Gaba Enterprises), Andrea Sims (Goldfish Jewelry), Kimberly Kratzer (Rodan & Fields skin care), Patti El-Amin (Tastefully Simple), Joelyn Welch (Ardent Designs).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Anonymous Donor contributes $1300 to Boosters Plus!

Yesterday the most amazing thing happened ... The pastor of the church that meets in our school stopped by the office and handed me a check for $1300, which an anonymous donor had given to the Boosters Plus program!

What a blessing to our whole school! And how inspiring to know that such generous hearts are remembering and supporting us during these hard times, when we are working so hard together to meet our goal.

Today and tomorrow we will be holding our Holiday Store in the Parent Room, our "Santa's Store" (hosted by the 8th graders to fund their Washington Trip), the Scholastic Book Fair, and the NJHS Jean Day Raffle (to contribute toward our Giving Tree, which has been set up in the hallway by the library). A number of South Arbor Families have also set up tables to sell their products and services -- be sure to stop by!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Holiday Store During Conferences Next Week!

Be sure to stop by the Parent Room next week during conferences ... We have special events going on the whole time!

* Free popcorn for those who purchase scrip. You can place your order electronically and pick up your scrip at the store, or you can place your order at the Holiday Store and pick it up at the regular Booster Store the following Friday.

* Pick up your "South Arbor Family Recipes" books for personal use or holiday gift-giving. Be sure to stop by on Thursday from 4-7 -- we'll be sampling recipes in the cookbook!

* Pre-order handmade gingerbread treats for teacher gifts. Only 100 gingerbread men will be made for this purpose - orders filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

* New School Merchandise! Pick up your South Arbor stainless-steel water bottles ($10) and free-refill travel mugs ($8).

* Pizza, snacks, hot chocolate, soda . . . and chocolate-covered apples. Yum!

* Other event will be posted on the board outside the Parent Room. See ou there!

Monday, October 26, 2009


In the Parents Room tonight at 7 pm. We will be discussing Holiday Store, security procedures, and Spring Auction. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

South Arbor Family Recipe Book: Business Directory ad sizes and prices

Ad sizes and prices for SOUTH ARBOR BUSINESS DIRECTORY (included in cook book) (5”x8” trim size)

½ page spot ($80, includes link on Blog): 4” (tall) by 5” (wide)

½ page banner ($80, includes link on Blog): 8” tall by 2-1/2” (wide)
¼ page spot ($40, includes link on Blog): 4” (tall) by 2-1/2” (wide)
¼ page banner ($40, includes link on Blog): 2” (tall) by 5” (wide)
1/8 page (business card, $20): 2” (tall) by 2-1/2” (wide)

Please submit artwork in jpeg format to Submit payment (cash or checks payable to SABC) to Booster Box in Parent Room.

Deadline for reserving ad space: Monday, October 26.

Deadline for submitting ad copy: Monday, November 2.

Thank you!

Monday, October 19, 2009

News You Can Use: Ann Arbor Treasure Hunt!

Thanks to Sam Misiak, who sent around this announcement through the South Arbor E-Community list:

There are still almost two weeks left in October, and plenty of time to complete the 2nd annual Ann Arbor Treasure Hunt. Once you have gathered the solutions to all of the clues, send it in and you could be the winner of a Pirate's chest filled with Awesomness that has been donated from lots of Ann Arbor's great local shops. The Hunt is FREE to play, and is just a fun way for families, groups of friends, or a combination there of, to go downtown on any Fall day in October, and have a good time solving clues and creating fun memories. You can get your free treasure maps on the official blog at , or by clicking here... TREASURE MAPS . Once you've "captured" all of the clue's solutions on film, just send them into the address printed on the map by October 31st.... and you will be entered into the drawing to win Lavish Pirate Loot!!! So, get ready to set sail on a fun voyage through the wild seas of Ann Arbor... Ahoy!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Family Day a Great Success!

Thanks and congratulations to Craig Bergman and Beth Peterson, who co-hosted the first South Arbor Family Day. Lots of people out there, raking mulch and pounding through clay to plant 200 tulip bulbs.

Many thanks to the families who showed up to help!

News You Can Use: Sam's Club Policy Change

If you are a regular Sam's Club shopper -- or even if you're just thinking of picking up some holiday gifts there this year -- please be aware that their return policy is changing NOVEMBER 1. A sales clerk told me about this when I was in there today, returning some fancy hot chocolate...

Before November 1, there is no time limit on when you can return electronics (such as Wiis or televisions) -- if you have the receipt, you can return it anytime.

If you purchase the equipment on or after November 1, you have just 90 days. So get out there and SHOP!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Special Adoption Book

Today in Mr. Heires class I made a special presentation about adoption, reading a book that is a family favorite entitled "I Don't Have Your Eyes," by Carrie Kitze. The class had been studying genetics, how the traits of parents are passed to their children . . . well, often. But not always.

My husband and I foster-adopted Christopher and Sarah when they were very little. And today in Mr. Heires class I told the story of how as a young woman I had dreamed of having a little girl with chocolate brown eyes, and a little boy with steel-blue ones. I told them of how I traveled all over the world, and saw how so many children needed families to love them.

And I told them of how I returned home and discovered that there are 500,000 children right here in the United States who need temporary or permanent homes. And one day, when the time was right, Chris and Sarah came into our lives and nestled there. You see, I never carried them in my body -- but from the beginning God created a place for them in my heart, and in the heart of my husband.

I have placed a copy of this special book in the library at South Arbor Academy, for teachers and parents who wish to share it with their children. I will also be placing a number of resources pertaining to foster care and adoption, for those who wish to explore it further.

If at any time you would like to discuss becoming an adoptive or foster parent, I am only too happy to do so. I've recently been invited to join the board of an exciting new foster agency in Ypsilanti called "Fostering Futures." If you are inclined to find out more about foster or adoptive parenting, please do let me know -- or feel free to check out my blog for foster, adoptive, and special needs parents called the "Extraordinary Moms Network."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Frosty's Village - Conference Fun for Kids!

During Fall Conference (November 11-12) Boosters will be sponsoring our first Holiday Store. You can get scrip for holiday shopping, pick up a copy of the "South Arbor Family Recipe" book for holiday gift giving or personal use, and order handmade gingerbread treats for teacher gifts.

On Thursday from 4-8 in the gym, we will be holding a "Super Store," including a special area for kids called "Frosty's Village." For $6/child, you can have an hour free to attend conferences, go to the Scholastic Book Fair, and shop at the Holiday Store. Your South Arbor student will ...

* Enjoy a slice of pizza and juice box
* Make a gift for a family member
* Visit with their friends under the supervision of adults and older students
Sorry, but we are unable to accommodate unattended children younger than age 5. You may enroll pre-school age children if they are accompanied by an adult -- they can eat pizza and make a craft with their older siblings, so long as you or another responsible adult are present. Cost is still $6.

South Arbor Family Day This Weekend!

Come and help enhance the outside of your school! Parents, bring your kids and help us dig holes to plant 400 tulip bulbs for next spring. In the holes we dig, red bulbs will be planted by our students during Red Ribbon Week which was started by the Reagan administration in an effort to reduce drug, alcohol, and tobacco use in youth.

The Health Committee's plan is to use the tulips as an object lesson with the students at South Arbor. We want to emphasize that good choices made today help dreams "bloom" in the future. We will provide cider and doughnuts bring your bulb planter and help make a difference for our kids and our school. See you there! Questions: (734)449-5338.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Art Auction ... and a Story of Unexpected Beauty

The Art Auction was last night. I would like to publicly thank Anne Bouse and Chelle Hamel as well as the many other volunteers and participants. The early-bird raffle winner (drawn from the names of those who paid for their tickets by 9/25) was Mrs. Hurst. The teacher with the most parents and friends represented was Mrs. Rea. Both these people won $25 Target certificates. Congratulations!

Sadly, we did not meet the 150 person attendance we had hoped for -- we had less than 100 people there. Which means that, financially speaking, Boosters took a hit on this one. And yet, we also learned something about where our priorities need to be. In a word, Boosters needs to do a better job at encouraging families to see South Arbor as a place that supports not just teacher and students, but families.

I was touched to see MANY Boosters Plus families, who could have stayed at home because they had already made their contribution at the beginning of the year. Many of the South Arbor leadership were also present: Mr. and Mrs. DiLaura and Mr. Hudson as well as most of the SALT leaders, and a few teachers and board members came and gave their support. Their presence was greatly appreciated.

I only wish there had been more of you!

The day after our Art Auction, this short story seems especially appropriate ...

On a cold January morning in 2007, in a Washington, DC Metro subway station, a man stopped among the throngs of morning commuters, pulled out his violin and began to play. The man played several Bach pieces, with the beautiful sounds echoing off of the subway station walls like the shell of a well-build amphitheater.

During the time he played, over two thousand people went through the station, most lost in their busy thoughts, hustling their way to work. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin valued at $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the price of seats averaged over $100.
This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.... what else are we missing?

As reported in the Washington Post. Submitted by Lorin K.If enjoyed this story, please forward it to your friends and ask them to subscribe to to begin receiving their copy of these blessings.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ShopWIthScrip Program Is Now Online!

We would like to welcome all South Arbor families to take a look at our new scrip fundraising program – An informational letter will be sent to you through the school, which introduces the program. These links will take you to the website and the instructions to sign your family up.

To register your family with the ShopWithScrip programm, click here. When prompted, you will need the South Arbor Boosters enrollment code: C1EE28FF2669

You can pay for your scrip orders one of two ways. Either you can turn in a paper check with your order form on Fridays at the Booster Store (or put them in the Boosters Box in the Parent Room by Friday at 3:15). Or, if you like the convenience, you may pay with electronic check through the "Presto Pay" option on the Great Lakes scrip website (there is a thirty-nine cent fee per transaction for this service). For more information, including a couple of tutorial videos - click here.

Any orders placed and paid for prior to 3:15pm on Friday, will be available for pickup at the school store the next Friday. You may turn in paper order forms (available at the school store) also prior to 3:15pm on Friday with payment and those orders will too be available the next Friday.

I just registered our family after watching the videos, and found the process very quick and easy. However, if you would like to ask questions about the program, we invite you to an informational meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 20th at 6:30pm in the Parent Room.

Friday, October 2, 2009

South Arbor Family Recipes/Business Directory

Do you like to cook? Or do you have a family holiday tradition you'd like to share with the South Arbor Community?

Please send me your recipe! You could win a free copy of the book (we hope to have it available for the Holiday Store). Preorder one or more copies for $10 each until October 23. After that, they will be $12 each.

Submit your recipe electronically (via e-mail attachment), by October 23, and win additional chances by . . .

Submitting pictures with your recipe (either image of the finished recipe or a food-related picture of your child; include your child’s name and teacher on the back of the picture if you want it returned)

Submitting a food-related family story, tradition, or memory

Participate in the South Arbor Family Business Directory, which will also be included in this book.

Submit as many recipes as you wish for each category:

· Breakfast Favorites
· He Cooks (Dad’s specialties)
· Simple Suppers
· Treats and Snacks
· Baker’s Corner
· International Favorites
· Healthy Alternatives (recipes altered to lower fat and/or sugar content)
· Family Fun Night (recipes you make with the kids)

How to Enter: Electronic submissions preferred (attach recipes in WORD or rich text format; attach images in jpeg format). At the top of each recipe list your name and e-mail (e-mail will not be published). Be sure to include oven temperature, cooking time, number of servings, and pan sizes. If the recipe is from a published source, include cookbook name, publisher, date, and page number.

Send electronic submissions to Hard copy submissions and pre-orders for cookbooks may be turned in to the Boosters Mailbox with this form. Deadline is Friday, October 23. We must have your recipe by that date to participate in the drawing.

For more information about the South Arbor Family Business Directory, contact Heidi Saxton or Kathy Tucker.

South Arbor Community Holiday Store . . . Coming Soon!

I'm delighted to report that Boosters is sponsoring its first annual Holiday Store during Fall Conferences this year: November 11 (4-8 pm) and 12 (1-8 pm). The best time to visit will be Thursday from 4-7 -- that's when we'll open up the gym to accommodate the largest possible number of local merchants and vendors!

Why not join us, and get your holiday season off to a great start? (If you have a home-based business and would like more information about setting up a table to sell your products, just drop me a line.)

· Find the perfect gift for teachers, students, and the whole family!
· Purchase scrip for your holiday shopping.
· Get a slice of pizza, cocoa, or other treats to enjoy while you shop.
· Pick up a copy of “South Arbor Family Recipes” for your favorite cook!
· Order handmade gingerbread and gift cards for teachers’ gifts at the Booster store – no need to buy, wrap or deliver!
· Support South Arbor family businesses: Avon, Pampered Chef, jewelry, and many more.
· Scholastic Book Fair in the library from 8 a.m. -3 p.m. both days.
· Credit cards, debit cards, checks, and cash accepted.

Questions? Contact Heidi Saxton ( or Kathy Tucker ( Or call Heidi Saxton at 429-2952.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

SALT meeting results

Yesterday was our September SALT (South Arbor Leadership Team) meeting. Here are some of the highlights:

We allocated $400 to purchase a Cricut machine for the Teacher's Resource Room. These machines cut multiple sizes of letters, numbers, and other images for use on bulletin boards and for other classroom use. (At present our die cuts have only one size of upper-case letters, no numbers or lower-case.)

We also voted to spend $100 for start-up costs for a South Arbor Boosters website, which will allow parents to purchase scrip and apparel and make donations using credit card or PayPal. Special thanks to Ryon Maples, who is donating his time to create the site.

We welcomed Craig Bergman as the new Building and Grounds Chairman. He is working with Beth Peterson on the Red Ribbon Week activities (October 17-25), and secured a large quantity of red tulip bulbs from Lowes to plant in front of the school. Craig is also instituting "School Pride Days" on the third Saturday of each month, from 9-11, when families can come and help around the school -- painting and fixing things up. This is a great opportunity for parents who would like to help the school, but whose work schedules don't permit them to volunteer during regular school hours. The first School Pride Day is Saturday, October 17 from 9-11 a.m.

We allocated a total $2200 for the bi-monthly teacher lunches and conferences meals. Last week's Teacher Luncheon (thanks, Applebees, who gave us a great deal!) was a big hit! Thank you Stacey Foley, our Hospitality Chairwoman, for your hard work.

FISH t-shirts will be subsidized ($900) again this year for our 6-8th graders. The shirts, which normally cost $16, will be just $8.

The Holiday Store ($500 allocated) will be held in Heroes Hall and the Parents Room during conferences November 11-12. We plan to have a special section for teacher gifts (including handmade gingerbread men and women, with optional gift cards), and our first South Arbor Family Recipes book ($150 allocated for printing supplies), which will include a business directory of all companies owned or operated by South Arbor families. Stay tuned!

There are some significant expenses coming up, which we will only be able to cover if more families join Boosters Plus: the teachers are requesting 2 LCD players ($1200 each), our student ID badge machine is 10 years old and in need of replacement ($2000-2300), and our soccer posts are needing replacement ($1500). We also want to do some special assemblies and subsidize year-end field trips. If you haven't already done so, please send in your check today!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Booster News

Tomorrow is the monthly SALT meeting, and I've been busy getting ready for it.

* I sent a survey to teachers and Boosters Plus families, asking them where they would most like to see Boosters money spent (in addition to the existing programs). I received twenty responses, which ranged from additional LCD players, a new tag machine for the library, and additional money for field trips, teacher classroom allowance, and special assemblies and mixers. We can do these things to the extent that our parents support Boosters, especially the Boosters Plus program. We currently have about 100 families participating; have you sent in your check yet?

* We are planning a special Holiday Store during conference time. Stay tuned for more information!

* We will soon be holding an information meeting about the new SCRIP program, which allows you to support Boosters by buying gift cards for the things you buy every day: gas, groceries, and eating out.

* Art Auction is fast approaching. If you haven't purchased your tickets yet, it's not too late!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

MAPS Week Treats a Big Hit!

Yesterday was a big day for Boosters, and I want to thank all those who helped us by making, distributing, and purchasing treats:

* Our popcorn makers: Nancy Davis and Margaret Michael

* Our treat creators (a.m.): Angie Verges, Ryon Maples, Anne Bouse, and Judy McCammon

* Our treat distributors: Julie Mulholland, Jennifer Whitted, and Stacy Sucarski

* School Store helpers: Shari Luckey, Anne Bouse, Kathy Tucker, and Ryon Maples

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Question of the Day: Which Fundraisers are for Boosters?

Some parents have raised questions about (a) what fundraisers are "Boosters" fundraisers, and (b) where the money goes. These are great questions!

At the beginning of the year, we explained that Boosters Plus was meant to replace third-party vendor selling (pizza kits, cookie dough, and so on). We want every penny that comes to the school to stay in the school.

However, of the $50,000 we intend to raise this year -- 1/10th of the state funding that was lost -- we are only about 20% there. This means . . .

(a) We need more Boosters Plus families (right now, about 80 of our 700 families are participating), and

(b) We will need to have other events to help us raise the balance. The three events we have planned right now are ...

* Art Auction: This Boosters event is October 10, with advance ticket sales deadline 9/28. This will raise money a number of ways: The ticket sales will cover the refreshments, mailings, and other minor expenses associated with the promotion of the event ($7.50 a person). If we get at least 150 people, Marlin Arts guarantees that we will receive a minimum of $2000 for the school -- or more, depending on how much art is purchased. Conversely, if we do not reach our minimum attendance goal, Boosters could lose money on this event! Finally, those who would like to purchase art for gifts, or for business or personal use, but are unable to attend the auction may purchase art from October 11, 2009 and October 10, 2010, and designate South Arbor Boosters as the beneficiary, and we will receive a cut. If you have questions about the event, contact Anne Bouse or Chelle Hamel at

* Booster Store: This event is held each Friday afternoon in the school breezeway from 2:00 to 3:00. In addition to school merchandise (house shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, pencils, etc.) and snacks, this will be "scrip central," where you can order and pick up scrip orders. Other special orders (Beanie and Mug Treats, etc.) will be filled through the store as they come up. This is also where we will be promoting "Family Nights" at local restaurants.

* Spring Auction: This event will be held in March 2010. More information will be forthcoming on this event -- If you have a lead on a special prize, or can create a basket for the auction, contact Allen Morgan.

In addition to Boosters, a number of other groups in the school will be raising money for their particular needs. Examples of these include Athletics, Junior Honor Society, and 6-8th Grades (to pay for their year-end trips and camps). We have invited these groups to set up a special table and sell special products and treats during the same time the Booster Store is running -- however, these monies are NOT a part of the Booster Fund.

Where does Boosters money go? All the money we raise is spent by the heads of various school committees under the leadership of Matt Hudson, called SALT (South Arbor Leadership Team). However, parents who care enough to contribute should be kept informed of where their money goes, and there are several ways that you can find out where your money is going. The easiest and best way is to check back here often.

However, if you'd like to talk about special concerns or ideas, please join us at the next Boosters Meeting, to be held on Monday, October 19 at 7:00 pm in the Parents Room. All are welcome!

Scrip Program

South Arbor Boosters is offering a scrip program this year through the Boosters Store. (We are currently working on getting a website where orders can be placed online, and picked up on Fridays for weekend shopping.)

When you purchase scrip, you pay the face value of the giftcard and use it like cash (available denominations listed below). The school gets a percentage of your purchase (between 2% and 20%, depending on the store). Boldface stores offer returns of at least 8%.

Buying scrip is easy, and a great way to budget for travel and gifts over the holidays (you can set aside a set amount each week or month to buy the cards), or to purchase gifts for long-distance friends and family. Best of all, it is an "invisible fundraiser" -- since you shop at these stores anyway, it costs you nothing but a bit of time to get the cards.

To get your cards:

* South Arbor Families: Pick up an order form from the Parent Room, and drop it with your money in the Booster Box by Friday to pick up your cards the following Friday at the Booster Store. Cards ordered by 3:15 on Friday will be delivered to the School Store the following Friday.

* South Arbor Friends and Extended Family: Or you can print out this email, circle your choices and send it with your check payable to South Arbor Boosters Club, PO Box 261, Milan MI 48160. If you are outside the school community, be sure to include your e-mail and phone so we can make arrangements to get the cards to you.

The following stores and giftcard amounts are available:

* 675 Minute Access Phone Card ($20)
* ACE Hardware ($25, $100)
* Advance Auto Parts ($25)
* Aeropostale ($25)
* ($100)
* AMC Theater ($9.50, $25)
* American Airlines ($100, $250)
* American Eagle Outfitters ($25)
* American Express ($100, $200)
* Applebees ($25, $100)
* Arby's ($10)
* Auto Zone ($25)
* Avis Car Rental ($50)
* B Dalton Booksellers ($10, $20, $25, $100)
* Babies R Us ($20)
* Banana Republic ($25)
* Barnes & Noble ($10, $20, $25, $100)
* Baskin Robbins ($2)
* Bass Pro Shops ($25, $100)
* Bath & Body Works ($10, $25)
* BDs Mongolian Barbecue ($20)
* Bed, Bath & Beyond ($25)
* Best Western International ($25, $100)
* Bob Evans ($10)
* Bonefish Grill ($25)
* Borders ($10, $25)
* BoRics ($25)
* Boston Market ($10)
* BP Gas ($50, $100, $250)
* Brueger's Bagels ($10)
* Budget Rent-a-Car ($50)
* Build-a-Bear Workshop ($25)
* Burger King ($10)
* Cabela's ($25, $100)
* California Pizza Kitchen ($10)
* Carrabba's Italian Grill ($25)
* Carson's American Bistro ($25)
* Casual Male XL ($25)
* Camps Sports ($25)
* Chili's ($25)
* Chipotle ($10)
* Chuck E Cheese ($10)
* Circle K ($25)
* Claire's ($10)
* Clarion Hotels ($50, $100)
* Cold Stone Creamery ($10)
* Comfort Inn ($50, $100)
* Comfort Suites ($50, $100)
* Country Buffet ($25)
* Courtyard by Marriot ($50, $100, $500)
* Cracker Barrel ($10)
* Crate and Barrell ($25, $100)
* CVS ($25, $100)
* Damon's Grill ($25)
* Darden Restaurants ($25)
* Dell Computer ($100)
* Denny's ($10)
* Dick's Sporting Goods ($25)
* Disney ($25, $100, $1000)
* Domino's Pizza ($5)
* Domino's Pizza & 2 Liter deal ($14 -- 25% to school!)
* Dressbarn ($25)
* Dunham's Sports ($25)
* Dunkin' Donuts ($10)
* EB Games ($25)
* Electronics Boutique ($25)
* Exxon ($50)
* fye ($25)
* Fairfield Inn ($50, $100, $500)
* Family Christian Stores ($25)
* Fashion Bug ($25)
* Fiesta Salon ($25)
* Fire Mountain ($25)
* Foot Locker ($25)
* Gander Mountain ($25)
* Gandy Dancer ($25)
* Gap ($25)
* GFS Marketplace ($25, $100)
* GNC ($25)
* Gordon Food Service Marketplace ($25, $100)
* Great Clips ($25)
* Great Harvest Bread ($10)
* Gymboree ($25)
* Home Depot ($25, $100, $500)
* HomeGoods ($25)
* Hometown Buffet ($25)
* Honeybaked Ham ($10)
* Icing ($10)
* iTunes ($15)
* JC Penney ($25, $100)
* Jiffy Lube ($30)
* Jo-Anne Fabric ($20)
* KFC ($5)
* Kid's Foot Locker ($25)
* KMart ($25, $50)
* Kohl's Department Store ($25, $100)
* LL Bean ($25, $100)
* Lady Foot Locker ($25)
* Landry's Seafood ($25)
* Land's End ($25, $100)
* The Limited ($25)
* Little Caesar's ($20)
* Logan's Roadhouse ($25)
* Lowe's Home Improvement ($25, $100, $500)
* Macy's ($25, $100)
* Marathon ($25, $100, $250)
* Marriott Hotels ($50, $100, $500)
* Marshall's ($25, $100)
* Max & Erma's ($20)
* MC Sports ($25)
* Menards Home Centers ($25, $100)
* Mobil ($50, $250)
* Muer Seafood ($25)
* Noodles & Company ($10)
* O'Charley's ($25)
* Office Depot ($25, $100)
* Office Max ($25, $100)
* Old Country Buffet ($25)
* Old Navy ($25)
* Olga's ($20)
* Olive Garden ($25)
* Outback Steakhouse ($25)
* Panera Bread ($10, $25)
* Payless Shoes ($20)
* Petsmart (25)
* Pier One Import ($25)
* Pizza Hut ($10)
* Pottery Barn ($25, $100)
* Pottery Barn Kids ($25, $100)
* Qdoba Mexican Grill ($25)
* Quality Inn ($50, $100)
* Radio Shack ($25)
* Red Lobster ($25)
* Red Robin ($25)
* Renaissance Hotels ($50, $100)
* Residence Inn ($100, $500)
* Rite Aid ($25)
* Ritz-Carlton ($50)
* Ruby Tuesday ($25)
* Ryan's Grill, Buffet and Bakery ($25)
* Sally Beauty Supply ($25)
* Sam's Club ($25, $100, $250)
* Shell ($25, $50, $100)
* Sleep Inn ($50, $100)
* Speedway ($25, $100)
* Spring Hill Suites ($50, $100)
* Staples ($25, $100)
* Starbucks ($10, $25)
* Steak and Shake ($10)
* Subway ($10, $50)
* Suncoast Smoothies ($20)
* Sunoco ($50, $250)
* SuperAmerica ($25)
* Super Cuts ($25)
* TJ Maxx ($25, $100)
* Talbots ($25)
* Tanger Outlets ($25)
* Texas Roadhouse ($25)
* TGI Fridays ($25)
* The Great Indoors ($25, $100, $250)
* Town Place Suites ($50, $100)
* Toys-R-Us ($20)
* United Artist Theater ($9.50, $25)
* VISA ($25, $50, $100)
* Vons ($25, $100)
* Wal-Mart ($25, $100, $250)
* Waldenbooks ($10, $25)
* Walgreens ($25, $100)
* Wendy's ($10)
* Williams-Sonoma ($25, $100)
* Williams-Sonoma Home ($25, $100)
* Willie G's ($25)

Thank you for your order!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

News You Can Use:

I just found out about this great blog for local parents, which is run by one of our South Arbor parents, Tamara Mayrend. offers tips and deals for local events. Be sure to check it out!

2009-2010 South Arbor Boosters Officers

Congratulations to our new Boosters officers, who were elected last night at our first Boosters Meeting of the school year.

* Heidi Saxton: President
* Jackie Ham: Vice President
* Cassie Kennedy: Secretary
* Kathy Tucker: Treasurer
* Ryon Maples: Member-at-Large

There is always room for more volunteers -- our next meeting will be Monday, October 19 at 7:00 pm. Hope to see you there!

News You Can Use: Free Museum Passes!

Looking for something fun to do with your family this weekend? Did you know you can get free museum passes through your local library through the Museum Adventure Pass Program?

You can get four free passes for the following museums:

* Anton Art Center
* Automotive Hall of Fame
* Detroit Children's Museum
* Museum of COntemporary Art Detroit
* University of Michigan Natural History Museum
* Ypsilanti Historical Museum
* And many more!

You can get a free pair of passes for the following museums:

* Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
* Cranbrook Institute of Science
* Detroit Institute of Arts
* Edsel and Eleanor Ford House
* Ford Rouge Factory Tour
* And many more!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Art Auction: Get your free tickets while they last!

This Friday, 9/25, is the LAST DAY to get half-price Art Auction Tickets, as well as buy-one-get-one tickets for Boosters Plus families. Have you bought yours yet? Remember . . .

* If we have 150 people in the gym at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 10, the school makes a minimum of $2000 dollars even if no one buys a single piece of art. Just show up between 6:30 and 7:30, sign in at the registration table, enjoy the refreshments and look at the art, and don't leave until the head count is taken at 7:30. That's it!

* Boosters Plus and Boosters Pledge families ($25/month) are eligible for ONE FREE TICKET when you purchase one at the discount rate. Limit one free ticket per South Arbor family.

* Art Auction tickets will cost $15 after Friday -- and may be purchased at the door.

* If you will need childcare, it is available through Explorer's Club for $5/child. Contact Chelle or Anne at for details.

* If you want to do a little early Christmas shopping, a wide variety of art is available, much of it for less than $100. Sports memorabilia, famous artists, African American artists, photography, lithographs -- art to fit every budget and taste.

* If you purchase the tickets and then for one reason or another cannot attend, someone MUST use the tickets if the school is going to get "credit." The teacher of the class with the highest number of art auction participants will receive a $25 gift card for classroom use, courtesy of Boosters.

Life after SAA: An Online High School Alternative

A friend recently told me about "virtual charter schools" that are available in many states. Although the public school (free) version is not yet available in Michigan, it could be an option for those who are considering home-schooling.

Corporate Matching: Double Your Booster Money!

Did you know a number of corporations have donor-matching programs for their employees, such that a $100 Booster Plus donation can be turned into $200 for the school? We had one family do this for us already!

The following is a partial list of companies that offer matching programs. If your employer is listed here, be sure to contact your HR department or company website to get the details. You will probably need our Federal ID number. The FID for South Arbor Booster Club (a 501(c)3 organization) is 38-347918800-01.

Alco Standard
Allied Signal
Allstate Insurance
Altria Group, Inc.
American Express
Andersons Inc
Arco Chemical Co
Archer Daniels Midland
Automatic Data Processing, Inc.
Avon Products
BP America, Inc.
BancAmerica Corporation
Bell & Howell Co
Brunswick Corporation
Buckeye Pipe Line
Burroughts Wellcome Company
CNG - Consolidated Natural Gas
Carter Hawley Hale Stores, Inc.
Centerior Energy Corporation
Chubb & Son, Inc.
Coco-Cola Company
Community Mutual Blue Cross & Blue Shield
Continental Group
Cooper Industries Foundation
Cooper Tire and Rubber Co.
CPC International
Corning Inc.
Corning Glass Works
Dart Industries
DeKalb Genetics Corp
Digital Equipment Corporation
Dow Chemical Co
Dun & Bradstreet Corp
Eaton Corporation
Emerson Electric Company
Equitable Agri-Business Inc.
Equitable Life Assurance Society
Ernst & Young LLP
Firemans Fund
First Energy Corp
Frederick S Upton
Gannett Foundation
General Electric Foundation
General Mills, Inc
Georgia-Pacific Corporation
Gulf Oil Corporation
Gulf & Western
HCR - Health Care & Retirement
HJ Heinz Company
John Hancock
Hoechst Celanese Corporation
Home Depot
IDS Financial Services, Inc.
Illinois Tool Works
IBM Corporation
International Minerals & Chemicals Corp
JC Penney Co, Inc.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson Controls
Kennemetal, Inc.
Key Corp.
Kidder Peabody
Lamson & Sessions
Land O'Lakes
Libbey, Inc.
Lucent Technologies Inc.
Mallinckrodt, Inc.
Maritz, Inc.
Martin Marietta
Mass Mutual
McDonald's Corporation
McGraw-Hill Inc.
Merck Company
Merrill Lynch
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing
Phillip Morris Inc
Mutual Life INsurance Company of NY
Malco Chemical
NCR Corporation
Nordson Corporation
Norfolk Southern
OI-NEG TV Products
PPG Industries
PepsiCo, Inc.
Pitney Bowes
Premark International, Inc.
Rockewell Automation
Stanley Works
Sundstand Corporation
Tandy Corporation
Techneglas, Inc.
Therma Tru
Time, Inc.
The Toledo Edison Company
Travelers Corporation
United Parcel Service
United Technologies Corporation
Warner Lambert

Friday, September 18, 2009

Booster School Store: A Great Success!!!

Thank you to all those who came and purchased treats and school merchandise from our very first school store -- it was a great success!

Starting this week, we have a school scrip program. Just fill out your order form (a supply will be in the Parent's Room) and put it in the Boosters Box along with your money by 8:15 on Monday morning, and your cards will be ready for you to pick up at the store on the following Friday.

Beanie Treats are now completely sold out -- no more orders will be accepted. Any additional orders will be filled with "surprise" beanie treats (if I can find a source for them") or MAPS Mug Treats. I apologize for any disappointment this may cause.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MAPS Week Mug Treats for 4-8th Graders!

Would you like to send your older student a MAPS treat, too?

Our new, blue South Arbor Spirit Mugs will arrive this week -- imprinted with the South Arbor Creed. Send your student a popcorn-filled gift mug on Friday, September 25 for just $6! Each mug comes with a South Arbor pencil and a special surprise treat!

These ceramic mugs are dishwasher safe, and make a great pencil-holder in your student's study area.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Coming Soon: South Arbor Booster Store Friday, September 18

Our Booster Store will open for business on Friday, September 18 at 2:00. Snacks and treats, drinks (Diet Coke!) and school merchandise will be available. The library will also be selling used books at rock-bottom prices. Come and check them out!

At that time, we will be selling Art Auction tickets as well as scrip. I also have gift cards available in the indicated amounts for the following stores:

Arby's ($10)
Bruegger's Bagels ($10)
Burger King ($10)
California Pizza Kitchen ($10)
Chucky Cheese ($10)
CVS Pharmacy ($25)
Dick's Sporting Goods ($25)
Panera ($10)
Pizza Hut ($10)
Ruby Tuesday ($5)
Qdoba ($25)
Subway ($10)
TCBY ($5 - five $1 certificates)
Wendy's ($10)

These make great gifts for long-distance birthdays, or other special treats! Boosters gets a percentage of each of these cards ... and you redeem them at full face value.

If you have been meaning to bring by your Boosters Plus money, we will have receipts on hand.
Don't forget, all Booster Plus families are entitled to one free Art Auction ticket, when you buy one at the Advance Sale price ($7.50).

Special Edition "MAPS Week" Beanie Treats!


UPDATE: I was just informed the younger kids are tested the SECOND week of MAPS, so we would distribute the Beanie Treats on 9/25. But get your order in soon -- it will still be first-come, first-served!
Does your child love Beanie Babies? Would you like a special way to reward your child for completing a hard week of MAPS testing?

South Arbor Boosters is offering a one-time, limited edition supply of "MAPS Week" Beanie Baby Treats, which you can give your child on Friday, September 18 (at last day of MAPS testing). This test is given each year to all students, grades K-8.

MAPS Week Beanie Treats are $5 each. Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. (You can either print out a copy of this post and put it in the mailbox with your payment to be sure you get your first choice, or fill out the flyer that should be going home to K-1 parents on Monday.) Parents can pick up their "treat" at the first "School Store" on Friday, Sept 18 from 2-3 (morning Kindergarten parents can pick up their order in the office on Friday at 11:15). Only pre-paid orders will be accepted. Please indicate both your first and second choice, as there are limited numbers of each animal. Your choices include:

"Red Robin" has a tag reading: "You're so 'tweet'! Good job on finishing your MAPS tests!"

"Happy Rhino" has a tag reading: "CHARGE! MAPS week is over . . . Time to play!"

"Scuttle Bug" has a tag reading: "MAPS week is over! Those tests won't bug you any more! Good job!"

"Rainbow Lizard" has a tag reading: "You did your best work this week! Good job -- I am so proud of you!"

"Silly Goat" has a tag reading: "Your MAPS test is done? Can I eat it? Congratulations!"

"Scary Spider" has a tag reading: "You finished your MAPS tests! See, they weren't so scary! Congratulations!"

If you have questions, contact Heidi Saxton at

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ten Good Ways to Slash Your Food Budget!

One of my very favorite blogs, "Scribbit," has a wonderful post today that has ten ways to slash hundreds of dollars from your food budget, including tasty and healthy recipes.

She writes from Alaska, where food tends to be more expensive . . . but there are lots of good ideas for us Michiganders as well! Enjoy!

(Speaking of yummy recipes, be sure to check out my recipe for crock pot applesauce and apple dumplings at "Extraordinary Moms Network"!)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Text of President Obama's Speech

For those of you who are interested in reading the text of the president's speech to school children today, here's the link.

I was happy to see that the president stayed on the subject -- encouraging kids to stay in school and do their best -- without meandering into more controversial subjects. The White House could have headed off a lot of unwarranted criticism if they had simply released the text of the speech in advance, so parents could view it before their children saw it the next day.

In any event, I hope you'll take time to read this through, and share it with your kids as you deem appropriate. As for me, I'm glad that my kids go to South Arbor -- where this kind of encouragement and positive role modeling is something they get every day through their teachers and parents!

Booster Elections . . . Thursday, September 21!

Elections for Boosters officers for the current school year will be held on Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 pm. At our last meeting, as some of you may recall, no nominations were accepted for the President or Treasurer positions (the two women who had been intending to run both declined, citing personal reasons). I was elected Vice President, and Cassie Kennedy was elected Secretary.

As of the last SALT meeting, I've been fulfilling the President role in my capacity as Vice President. Kathy Tucker has continued to fulfill the role of Treasurer, though her term expired August 31. If you know someone who might be interested in this volunteer position, contact Kathy (

Based on the current needs Boosters, I plan to resign as Vice President at the September meeting, and run for the President position. I'm grateful that Jackie Ham has agreed to run for the Vice President slot, which will have primary responsibility for our new school store.

Boosters has changed quite a bit this year -- no more catalogs or pizza lunches, with an emphasis on direct contributions. Consequently, the focus of our officers must change as well. Previously, the VP was primarily responsible for fundraising, and President represented Boosters at SALT meetings. The President needs to take a stronger goal-setting, team leader role. This is done in three main ways:

* Communicating our goals and accomplishments to our community (via newsletter, blogs, and in person). This kind of leadership, which involves long-range planning as well as communication, is best suited to the President slot -- even though I've been doing as the Vice President.

* Finding ways to get needs met that have been identified by those on SALT, working with the other committee heads to (a) keep down costs and (b) maximize revenues and other resources generated so that teachers and students receive maximum benefit for each dollar spent. The President and Treasurer attend SALT meetings, whereas the VP does not. So it makes sense for the President to handle this task.

The current Boosters team has been doing this. For example, SALT recently allocated $300 for a secure cabinet in the storage room for the Booster school store supplies (the cost in the Staples catalog). But we didn't just take the money and run to the store. Instead, we checked U of M supply, Ann Arbor Recycle Center, and advertised thru the South Arbor Parent distribution list to find out if there was a less expensive alternative . . . and when nothing suitable was available, we found a less expensive model for just under $200. Cassie and Kevin Kennedy volunteered to pick up the unit and set it up, so we avoided delivery charges as well. Thanks, Kennedy's!

* The President would represent Boosters to those outside the school, presenting what we need and asking for donations of money, goods and services for various Boosters events. Typically correspondence for this kind of request would rightly come from the President, not Vice President.

When I ran for Vice President, I didn't fully appreciate how important the SALT meetings would be to meet our $50,000 Boosters goal, as it involves getting all the committee heads to work together toward that goal. So . . . I decided to step up and take the President's spot.

So . . . I invite you to come on out to our next Boosters meeting (especially if you're good with numbers, and are interested in the Treasurer job!) So far we've raised about 20% of our goal for this year . . . We need all the help we can get to meet that goal!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thought for Today: Courage!

"It takes no courage . . . to be a critic and a skeptic, being a doubter is easy. Only the courageous are willing to believe and to keep believing in order to get to where they want to go. However, once the courageous ones are there, the skeptic will tell you that they either already knew that, or they were always cheering you on. Words are cheap in an armchair looking on." --Dov Baron

Thursday, September 3, 2009

















South Arbor Families!!!

We received our final four donations today! That means we have met our first Boosters goal for the 2009-2010 school year! It also means we are eligible for the $800 grant!

For those of you who have not yet sent in your checks ... It's not too late! We want to raise $50,000 this year -- 1/10th of the money that was lost through state funding. No gift is too small; every gift is appreciated . . . and tax deductible!

Stay tuned for additional Boosters Plus challenges, coming soon to a classroom near you!

Orientation Night Was a Great Success!!!

I want to thank all our terrific South Arbor families who attended Orientation Night last night, and responded with such generosity to the Boosters Plus program.

As I mentioned last night, South Arbor lost about $500,000 in state funding for this school year, due to across-the-board budget cutbacks. Our goal for Boosters this year is to make up 1/10th of that . . . $50,000. More than ever before, we need to work together to give our teachers and kids the resources they need.

We have received a "challenge grant" from two South Arbor families, which would give us an additional $800 if we manage to get four more families by Friday morning. You can send your check to our PO Box (261, Milan MI 48160), or you can drop off your check in the Boosters Mailbox in the Parents' Room (the plastic box on the back of the restroom door).

We are also still looking for families who are willing to donate $25/month between now and December, and receive their $100 contribution tax receipt in January. Even if you cannot give the full $100, we appreciate donations of any amount. Thank you for supporting South Arbor Boosters!

Friday, August 28, 2009

News You Can Use: KCF Broasted Snack Pack $1.99

Starting August 31, KFC is introducing a new "snack pack" - just $1.00 for broasted chicken leg and potato wedges. Additional coupons are available here.

Just in time for those Labor Day picnics!

"The Case for Charter Schools" Today at

Do you ever have friends or family members ask you about your decision to send your kids to a charter school?

Check out my article, which was published today at

Is there anything I left out?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Booster Plus .... "Challenge!!!"

Boosters has received $800 in matching grants from two anonymous South Arbor families.

The first seventy-two families who donate at least $100 on or before Orientation Night can release this money! Each time 18 families sign up, South Arbor Boosters will receive an an additional $200 donation. That's $8000 for our teachers and kids!

Are there any other challenges out there? Let's work together and make Boosters Plus a success! Send your check today to ...

South Arbor Boosters Club
PO Box 261
Milan, MI 48160

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

News You Can Use: Art Auction BOGO Tickets!

South Arbor "Boosters Plus" families who have paid their $100 pledge by September 15 will be eligible for a special "buy-one, get-one" deal for Art Auction tickets. Just pay for one ticket for yourself . . . and your "significant other" gets to come along for free!

This is going to be a fun evenings for parents, with child care provided through Explorer's Club. For more information, contact Anne Bouse or Chelle Hamel.

News You Can Use: South Arbor "Family of the Month"

We had the first SALT (South Arbor Leadership Team) this week, and one of the exciting developments was the creation of the "Family of the Month" Award, which will recognize one South Arbor family each month who (a) personifies the "global virtues" we teach our kids at South Arbor and (b) has contributed generously of their time in service to the school.

Nominations will be made by teachers and staff, and the winner will be randomly drawn from the nominations received each month. Winning families will receive a $25 award from Applebees! They will also be featured in the "Boosters Corner" of the school newsletter and here on the Boosters Blog.

Our sincere thanks to Applebees on Carpenter Road for donating the prizes for this award! Be sure to mention it the next time you stop by with your family.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pass and Punt Cookies!

Are you looking for a fun dessert for your next tailgate party? Head on over to "Extraordinary Moms Network" for a fun recipe -- edible footballs and soccer ball cookies!

For these and other fun ideas, check out a great magazine I've recently discovered, the "Family Fun Magazine"!

Back-to-School Brain S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-R-S!

Is "Study Island" a distant memory? Looking for ways to get those brain cells up and running before school kicks in? Here are a few ideas ....

Spanish Twister! Get out the Twister Mat! Or make one out of a plastic tablecloth and with paper-plate size dots in red (rojo), yellow (amarillo), green (verde) and blue (azul). Spin the dial, and see what fun knots your kids can tie themselves in. Helpful words:

Hand/hands: la mano/las manos
Foot/feet: el pie/los pies
Right: derecho
Left: izquierda

Math Bingo! Create bingo cards with numbers from 1-50 in rows (five across, five down), and a set of math problems (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) simple enough to be done in the head. Use coins to cover over the squares as children figure out the problems as you call them out. First one to get five in a row, wins!

Chalk Spelling! Write each spelling word to be reviewed on a slip of paper, then put the slips in a hat. Draw them one at a time, and have kids write the words in chalk on a sidewalk. Or create a grid of six by six squares, writing a random letter in each square. Kids hop from square to square to spell out words -- getting one point for each word they create (or spell correctly).

Soccer (or Basketball) Math or Spelling! Got a goalie or guard in your house? Call out a problem, and if the student gets the right answer, kick or shoot the ball and let the student try to block!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

News Alert: Boosters Plus Is On the Way!

The Boosters Plus mailing should be hitting your mailbox any day now! I'd like to thank those who helped me get this new Boosters program off and running: Laura Holiday, who designed the letterhead, and Kathy and Marley Tucker and Jerlee Bond, who worked for four hours to get the letters ready to mail. (Thanks also to Andrew Tucker, who babysat our children so we could focus on the mailing!)

This year we're asking each family for a tax-deductible donation (rather than having a lot of smaller, less-profitable fundraisers during the school year).
Be sure to bring your checkbook to the New Parents Picnic or Orientation Meetings. Let's work together to meet our goal!

If $100 seems like a stretch for you right now, why not challenge your kids to find ways to raise a few bucks? A garage sale or lemonade stand, a bake sale, mowing a few lawns ... At South Arbor, we get a private school education for the cost of a public school. Let's all do our part to support our school!

South Arbor Boosters Plus

The South Arbor Booster Club is a non-profit (501 c 3) organization that supports the teachers and programs at South Arbor. Last year we funded or subsidized the following:

Science Fair
Writer’s Fair,
Teacher Appreciation Activities,
Parent Orientation,
Dad’s Pizza Night,
Chess Club,
House Picnic,
Field Day,
Special assemblies,
Quarterly house pizza parties,
Library bags for new students and kindergarteners,
New tuba for the band,
Hands on Museum night,
Accelerated Reading Program,
Drama Club (subsidy),
Spelling bee,
Middle school fish t-shirts and discipline incentive program,
Soul food dinner,
Playground upkeep.
Won't you please consider making a tax-deductible, annual $100 donation to support the South Arbor community? Bring your checkbook to Orientation, join Boosters Plus, and get a thank-you gift! Or send your check, payable to "South Arbor Boosters Club" to
South Arbor Boosters Club
PO Box 261
Milan, MI 48160

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Queens Grant Community School - an NHA success story!

This morning I spent some quality time with Staci McDaniel, who runs the "Invest in the Life of a Child" program at Queens Grant Community School in Mint Hill, NC -- another NHA school.

Staci gave me lots of good advice, which I hope we will be incorporate in our Boosters program for the coming year. Thanks, Staci -- and thank you, Mr. DiLaura, for helping us make this connection!
Staci has done amazing things in getting corporate sponsors and incentives to inspire their families to participate in the QGCS program. Thanks, Staci, for being so generous with your time!

Shoestring Living: What to do with outgrown clothes?

"Shoestring Living" has a great article on how to make the most of your family clothes budget. Be sure to check it out!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kids Eat Free at IHOP!

From now until mid-September, IHOP (International House of Pancakes) is running a deal: Kids eat free from 4 pm to 10 pm with a paying adult. For details, click here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Supply List Update for 2009-2010!

Thanks to Mrs. Boss, the supplies lists for all classes have now been updated to include the most current information. If you need to go school shopping, just click on the link below to find out what your child needs!

1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade
5th-8th Advanced Placement Class

Thursday, August 6, 2009

JCPenney - Click this coupon and save!

Are you planning to shop at JCPenney this week?

Here are $10 and $15 coupons to lessen the load on your wallet!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

4th Grade Supply List (2009-2010)

Personal supplies -- please put your child's name on everything.

  • Pencil bag (no boxes, please)
  • Pencils (12)
  • Pens (red or green ink - 2 pens)
  • Colored pencils
  • Small, hand-held pencil sharpener (captures the shavings)
  • Glue (1 small bottle or glue stick)
  • Crayons
  • Highlighter
  • Scissors
  • Two 1-subject notebooks (spiral bound)
  • One 3-subject notebook (spiral bound)
  • Three 2-pocket folders (no metal brads), 3-hold punched and labeled: "Home/Math," "LA/Reading," and "Science/SS"
  • One yellow, two-pocket folder labeled "Spanish."
  • One 1-1/2" binder
  • Expo Dry Erase Markers (1 pack)
  • Tissue (3 boxes)

We would also like the following donated items for classroom use:

  • Anti-bacterial wipes
  • Band-Aids
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Vis-a-vis markers
  • Paper towels
  • Ziploc bags
  • Hard candy (no chocolate or peanuts)
  • Treasure box items

Buying School Uniforms?

Have you seen those cute jumpers and polo shirts with the South Arbor logo on them? These are available through Lands End. Best of all, Boosters receives a percentage of your bill if you simply use our "Preferred School" code: 900065400.

They have some good deals going on right now . . . be sure to check them out!

If these are a bit out of your budget (and your child doesn't want a logo), be sure to try Target -- and if you shop online, don't forget to use our "Take Charge of School" code: 113584. They offer free shipping!

For additional deals, be sure to check out "Coupon Mountain." Or head over to my favorite place to shop for school clothes: The Salvation Army Superstore! Located on State Street just north of Eisenhower, this thrift store is offering a 50% off all clothes deal on August 8!