Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Welcoming Fall with Moon Cakes and Lights

Just a quick note about an upcoming event!

My friend Linh Song works with the Mam Non Organization and they are putting on a most fantastic sounding Mid-Autumn Moon Festival on Friday, October 2nd. It's a wonderful way to welcome Fall, eat the most wonderful Moon Cakes and enjoy a breathtaking lantern parade (200 Vietnamese lanterns at night!) You can find out more about it here:  Enjoy!
Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
Friday October 2, 2009
6:45PM (Teen and Pre-Teen Meetup)
Three Cedars Farm
7897 Six Mile Rd.
Northville, MI 48167

  • Mooncakes
  • Crafts
  • Lantern Parade
  • Hayride
  • Corn Maze
  • Bonfire
  • Facepainting
  • Performers
  • Storytelling by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang
  • Breakdancers
  • Pair of Bananas

Monday, September 14, 2009

Feed others with your brain

This is a site that is so geared to kids that like to challenge themselves and help out at the same time.  My friend send me an email with a link, so I thought I would pass it on:

I just came across this cool site today. Many of you may have already
seen this, but I thought it was pretty neat. Basically you go to and you can take a number of quizzes (spelling, math,
etc) and for every answer you get right, they donate rice to those in
need (they are partnered with the World Food Programme)....the more you
know, the more they FEED.

I can see this being a great way to 'do good' and have fun with your
kids....and educate them about the world around them too!!!
Sounds like a cool project and a great way to get kids excited about using their brains for good. I love that idea: use your brain to help others.  What a great idea!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Begin the Beginning of a Journey Full of Light

Amid the bustle of this incredibly busy and exciting first week, I had a minute or two to gather some glimpses of what families are thinking and feeling about our community. So many of our children are new to S-K, and their excitement is palpable.  Comments like "My child came home the first day and taught me what he'd learned in french, he's just soaking it up!" and "I have been amazed at the many conversations I've had with my child's teachers--already! How amazing it is that I can reach out to them with questions or just to check in."  Other parents told me about the excitement their children felt about school. One student woke up at 6am every day dazzled with excitement about what lay ahead while another sighed "Isn't school WONDERFUL?" as she rested in the evening with her brother.  Time and again, I heard parents say that this school feels meant for their child in all the right ways.

For students new and old, this is a tremendous time of discovery. Reading Renata's blog gives me chills when I think of the diversity of things students in her classroom took to explore last week.Walking through the lunchroom and seeing Ruth's diagrams of geometric patters found in North African art demonstrates the synergy in learning here.  It's not just math or art or writing or science, each in their own separate silos.  It is the weaving of learning across all of these disciplines, the warp and woof of a student's learning and the creativity and joy of discovery.  (I suggest subscribing to all of the blogs, even if it's not your child's classroom--it's so exciting to see what everyone is doing!)

Leaving the picnic in the park today, I was struck by the faces I love seeing and the many friendships we have forged over the past year. But, I have a confession to make. When we were considering where to send David to school, I was anxious about not choosing our neighborhood school.  "Will he still have friends in the neighborhood? Will he miss being able to walk to school every day? How will it be with him having friends all over?"...all of these thoughts would work their way into my mind on a daily basis. I was most worried that he would have to choose between a community at school and another in our neighborhood. Today as I watched my little guy race down the soccer field with teammates from our neighborhood team and then, not much later, defend "Water World" with buddies from school, I realized that my concerns were for naught as he truly has the best of both and, for that, we feel incredibly lucky.

So, thank you, again, for being part of this community of ours, special as it can be.  Here's to an auspicious start to a really fabulous year!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Have a Little Time to Research Grant Options?

Hi all,

We need a volunteer to research grant opportunities to fund programs and scholarships at Summers-Knoll.  You can either do an online search through the Foundation Center or go to the NEW Center (where there is a librarian to help).   If you are also interested in grant writing (or learning to write grants), that would be a huge plus too.

The time commitment would likely be 8-10 hours, but can be spread out over days.

If you have time to help with this important initiative, please email Fran Loosen at fran.loosen(at) Thanks for getting involved!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Welcome, welcome one and all!

Hello Parents and welcome to Summers-Knoll!

My name is Fran Loosen and I am mother to David, a 1st grader in Ms. Anita's class and a member of the Board of Directors.  I also dabble a little bit here on the parent blog as a way to keep the parent community engaged from a "parent's" perspective.

It's hard to believe that Tuesday is the first day of school.  I am sure for many of you it's hard to believe that your child is embarking on a new experience in a new learning environment. As filled with intrepidation as these first days can be, our community of teachers, staff, parents and students is here to welcome you!

If you are new to the school or have been at S-K for years, you may notice some excitement in the air this year. We have opened a new (second) K/1 classroom, we are blending new faculty with our fabulous core team of talented teachers, we have gained even more visibility in our local community for what an incredibly special and amazing place S-K is for children and parents alike. 

My son David came here for his first year last year.  In Elaine's capable hands, he had one of the most important years in his personal development.  He literally ran into school every day, smile on his face, eager to learn and explore.  He met amazing and wonderful friends and grew so much in a year that we could barely keep up with him. His experience was an amazing amalgamation of great teaching, a warm and thoughtful community, progressive pedagogy and a spirit of discovery that has kept his mind and person engaged and excited. His experience brings a strange yearning to me, making me wish that I had had this same opportunity when I was love learning and feel challenged, to be appreciated for talents, to learn to work as a community and support each other's gifts and strengths.  This is a truly special spot at a very important time in a child's life and I am thankful, every day, that David has this school to call his learning home.

So welcome to S-K. In the coming weeks, I hope to meet and connect with every new family and reunite with all returning ones. In the meantime, if you have any parent-related questions, do *not* hesitate to email me at fran.loosen(at) And, please sign up to follow the blog so you can keep up with what is going on in the parent community.  Welcome!