Monday, December 7, 2009

A Peek Into the Future

A couple of weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of going to a "wall walk" for the UM School of Information 501: Contextual Inquiry and Project Management class.  Summers-Knoll has been paired with an amazing team of information specialists (of all sorts of stripes) who are helping us to figure out a more workable registration process for our ever-growing (fantastic) summer camp.

I smiled hardest as the presentation began. There stood a group of five bright, talented, thoughtful students who could have been our own all grown up. They had been thoughtful in their inquiry, had considered all the important angles, had synthesized the information to form excellent conclusions and presented it in an inviting and inclusive manner. Each had his or her own special skill to contribute to the team, each had a role in the work that was vibrant and important. They were so excited about what they had experienced at SK, too. The team noted, each of them, that they wished they'd had the chance to learn in such a cool, creative, and engaging environment as the one they had seen at SK. Which, in my mind, is the biggest compliment there is.

Sitting there, taking it all in, I couldn't help but smile thinking of our 2/3 classroom students (who spend so much time on teamwork) and imaging any one of our wonderful students doing the same presentation, some time in the future. In that moment, I imagined Erin and Lea and Lukas leading the discussion, Atty and Ian throwing in the color commentary, Trent and Freya pointing out some interesting detail, Selden and Stanley giving the data to support the findings, Noah and Melissa making the audience crack a smile and Toussaint coming up with a story to connect it to the organization. Any combination of those children working together, doing what they loved and felt passionate about, helping an organization like SK that provides a place of learning that resonated with their adult selves as much as it did when they were children.  It gave me goosebumps, frankly. It was incredibly cool.

So let me say a huge "thank you" to Purdom, Ben, Jessie, Isabela, and James for their great work and for their interest in helping us with this project.  The School of Information should be proud of the excellent students that represent its vision and work.  We look forward to future partnerships!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Be sure to GoodShop!!!

JIT for your holiday shopping! Summers-Knoll gets a cut of every purchase that runs through GoodShop. All you do is put the name "Summers Knoll" in the "who do you goodshop for" box and the site pops up a number of great stores. You are then sent to the stores' websites and can place your order. And the...they are really good stores that you all frequent...and good donation amounts!

It really adds up.

Even easier, you can add the GoodShop toolbar to your browser (I use Firefox) and every time you go to a site to purchase something, you will see how much of that purchase will go to Summers-Knoll. Which is really sweet if you are the type of person, like myself, that only remembers to go to the GoodShop site after she's clicked the button.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Only the Shadow Knows...

About half of our population at the school hails from Ypsi, did you know that?  I'm not sure if it is half, but let's just say that there are many very cool families who come from Ypsi for school at SK. And Ypsi is full of awesome stuff, in part because of these fantastic families who, you guessed it, are at our school.

One such thing is happening this weekend, the Shadow Art Fair, which is produced by a group called the Michigan Design Militia (hmmm, know anyone in that picture?), sponsored by another fabulous creative group called VGKids  (ooh, who is that guy in the last picture at the bottom?), featuring such cool organizations as FLY Childrens Art Center (hey, we know the fly mama who runs that!) and demonstrating the craft of ultra-cool zine artists like Linette Lao (yeah, that Linette).

Legend has it that its the coolest art experience around, about 40 amazingly creative local artists whose work is on display for purchase. So go, if you can, and if you need any enticing, check out the fantastic Flickr feed.

It's at the Corner Brewery, too.  That's a serious bonus.  Saturday, December 5th, 12p-12a. See you there.