Saturday, January 28, 2017


To celebrate another successful quarter of our students being safe, respectful and responsible, PTA outdid themselves with an amazing carnival right here in the Horace Mann gym.  There were two sessions, one for students in grades PK-2 and another for kids in grades 3-5.  Each session was 75 minutes packed with fun!

Students were able to choose the activities they wanted to do, including face painting, tattoos, sack races, ping pong ball toss, guess the amount of candy in a jar (the closest guess from each class got to keep the jar of candy), bean bag toss, bead bracelet making, Legos (a quiet activity in the hall for kids who wanted a break from the noise and active play inside), drawing on a huge poster (another quiet activity in the hallway), balloon animal making, a popcorn machine, and more.  PTA Event Chair Kristy Gibbons and her amazing team of volunteers were able to put together an event that will be talked about for years to come.

There is still one bit of suspense from the carnival:  Which class will win the pizza party?  Each time a student participated in a station, s/he received a ticket.  Teachers collected the tickets, and the class with the most tickets will win a pizza party.  We plan to announce the winner on Monday :-)

Thank you to everyone who made this event a total blast.  It was a true instance of our school motto:  All In...ALL THE TIME!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Sounds of Music at The Mann

Where can you find a ukulele, boom whackers, a guitar and a bunch of kids having a great time?  Music therapy at Horace Mann, that's where!

Through district and grant dollars, as well as matching funds from the Beck Center, all students in the CHAMPS classrooms for Lakewood students with moderate-intensive disabilities enjoy weekly music therapy sessions.  Last week, the sessions culminated with individual class performances, with invitations going out to families, school district administrators and Beck Center staff.

The students showed their love of music--and their Music Therapist, Mr. Anthony Seward--by playing, keeping a beat and singing.  I saw plenty of smiles on the faces of all the adults who were able to visit, too!

We are grateful to be part of a community that values enriching experiences for all children.  Many thanks to the Beck Center, the Center for Therapeutic Arts, Lakewood City Schools, the teachers and educational assistants in the CHAMPS classes, families and, of course, our amazing students :-)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

4th Grade Resolutions

Dear Readers,

Recently, Mrs. Rolfe's 4th graders thought about their New Year's Resolutions.  Each student chose a quality s/he wanted to emphasize and then chose three specific ways to make it happen.  Hopefully parents will save these...I'd love to know what my 4th grade self (at Edison Elementary in Willoughby) thought I should improve :-)  Here are a few examples:

 Taking a cue from the kids, let's all try to be happy, calm and healthy all year long!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Horace Mann PTA Grants Teacher/Staff Wishes

There are countless ways that the Horace Mann PTA, led by President Nora Katzenberger, enriches the lives of everyone in our community.  They plan fun events for students, prepare materials to assist teachers, network with each other and with new families/families in need, and so many other valuable roles.  I cannot overstate my appreciation for our PTA, both as an organization and for each of the individual people who bring in their unique personalities and perspectives.  It is a diverse--and fun--group that really knows how to make good things happen!

One example of "making things happen" is the Teacher/Staff Grants program.  For the past several years, the Horace Mann PTA has made funds available to staff members who would like to add something to the students' school experience.  I'm amazed at their ability to find sales, use coupons and even go pick things up to avoid shipping charges in order to stretch their budget.  This year, items totaling about $2500 have been provided to 11 staff members who submitted requests.  There are a few requests that exceeded the budget, and the PTA and I are working together to find resources so that 100% of the grants can be funded.

The items requested are as varied as the students in our school.  They include books for classrooms, storage units, new blocks for preschool, spare clothes for the health center, technology, and sensory items.  Interestingly, several staff members requested carpets.  The one for the library, in tune with the Fantasy & Fairy Tales theme the students chose last year, is particularly fetching:
Many thanks to our Horace Mann PTA for everything they do.  For parents who may not be involved in PTA but are interested, please write to for information.