Monday, April 29, 2013

Graphic Arts students learn about printing at McKay Press

Students in the Graphic Arts class at the Clare-Gladwin Career Center were exposed to the world of print during their tour of McKay Press in Midland last week. The students saw the multitude of machines used by McKay press, including a web press, letter press, folders, binders, cutter, stitcher, wide format printers, and more.

“Many students have no idea what happens to a designed piece when the project is being produced,” said Graphic Arts Instructor Andrea Boettner. "If a graphic designer has a better understanding of the output of a business card, for example, then he or she can design the job to those specifications. My students needed to see the production side and explore all of the career choices it has to offer."

Graphic Arts student Lacey Marteniz said she had fun and, “it was really interesting to see how they make all the different kinds of prints.”

Graphic Arts is one of nine career and technical education (CTE) programs offered to high school juniors and seniors at the Clare-Gladwin Career Center, a program of the Clare-Gladwin RESD. The students spend half of their day at their CTE program and the other half at their local high school. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Area School students celebrate writing progress with CMU speech-language pathology department

Clare-Gladwin Area School students in Melissa Kleiman’s class recognized each other’s writing accomplishments from the school year during the annual Writer’s Workshop Author Celebration on April 18 at the Area School gym. The celebration was the culmination of a year’s worth of weekly workshops with Dr. Janet Sturm and graduate students from Central Michigan University’s speech-language pathology department.

Throughout the year, Dr. Sturm and her students offered mini-lessons to the Area School children, such as how to select a topic to write about, or how to critique the writing of their peers. The students would then break into groups to brainstorm writing ideas and begin to compose their piece. At the end of each workshop, every student was able to share their writing from the “author’s chair” and receive feedback from their classmates.
During the celebration, the students read aloud their best piece of writing from the year to their peers. Their classmates then had the opportunity to ask questions and make comments.
“The Writer’s Workshop is a great way for all of the students to have an outlet to express their thoughts and ideas. The students exhibit various levels of writing, and this program facilitates writing development on all of their levels,” said Kleiman. “This celebration was a great avenue to showcase each student's talents and accomplishments with regards to writing.”
According to Kleiman, the partnership began four years ago. Each semester, four new clinicians are assigned to work with the students, giving the kids the chance to gain writing guidance from up to eight different people each school year.

Monday, April 22, 2013

April is Autism Awareness Month; More than 100 people attend Sensory Friendly Family Movie Day

April is Autism Awareness Month and more than 100 people from four area counties attended the first annual Sensory Friendly Family Movie Day on April 2 at Celebration Cinema in Mount Pleasant; organized by the early childhood partners of the Clare-Gladwin and Gratiot-Isabella Great Start Collaboratives.  

With the sound turned down and the lights turned up, Sensory Friendly Family Movie Day offered local families affected by autism the chance to spend a day at the theater while being free to walk around and talk as they wished. Sponsored in part by Early On, Clare County Youth Council, Clare-Gladwin RESD, MidMichigan Health, and the Michigan State Police, everyone in attendance received free admission, free popcorn, and a free beverage as they watched the movie, “Despicable Me.”

“Sensory Friendly Family Movie Day was a big success,” said Clare-Gladwin Great Start Collaborative Director Heather DuBois. “It was heartwarming to see so many families enjoying a morning at the movies together. Plus, the support from the organizations that made this event possible was a wonderful testament to our local communities’ commitment to Autism Awareness.”

Officers from the Michigan State Police, Mount Pleasant Police Department, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police Department, and the Central Michigan University Police Department greeted families with a sticker and a smile as they arrived at the theater. “I believe that building relationships with families and children affected by autism is very important,” said Community Service Trooper Michael White of the Michigan State Police. “Participating in the Sensory Friendly Family Movie Day gave the children the chance to have a positive experience with the police in a fun, non-threatening environment.”

Students and their families wore blue to the event in honor of Autism Awareness Month, World Autism Day (April 2), and the global effort to help increase awareness about autism known as, “Light it Up Blue.”
Following the show, the Blu-Ray/DVD of, “Despicable Me,” was raffled off to an audience member.

Gratiot-Isabella Great Start Parent Liaison Jennifer Peska (left) and Clare-Gladwin Great Start Parent Liaison Rachel Haltiner (right) greeted families attending the Sensory Friendly Family Movie Day in the lobby of the Mt. Pleasant Celebration Cinema on April 2.

From the left, Mount Pleasant Police Department Officer Tim Standen, Central Michigan University Police Department Officer Laura Rico, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police Department Officer Jim Post, Mount Pleasant Police Department Officer Mike Williams, and Michigan State Police Community Service Trooper Michael White handed out stickers as families arrived at Sensory Friendly Family Movie Day. 

Community Service Trooper Michael White of the Michigan State Police welcomed a local family to Sensory Friendly Family Movie Day.

Health Occupations students tour Mid Michigan Medical Center Midland

The Health Occupations class from the Clare-Gladwin Career Center was given an informational tour at Mid Michigan Medical Center Midland this month. The students visited a variety of units within the hospital, including intensive care, the emergency room, labor and delivery, physical therapy and rehabilitation, the morgue, and a detailed presentation in the Gamma Knife area.
“I hope the students have a better idea of what options are available to them in the health field, specifically in relation to a hospital,” said Health Occupations Instructor Carrie Balcirak. “The experience allowed them to see first-hand actual work environments and gave them the chance to ask questions.”

Balcirak said the students were also given information regarding job shadowing opportunities at the hospital. “It is my understanding that the list of the professionals that students can observe is tremendous, ranging from a surgeon, an emergency room doctor or nurse, an x-ray tech, and so on. This is a very good opportunity for health occupations students to take advantage of.”

Health Occupations is one of nine career and technical education programs offered to local high school juniors and seniors at the Clare-Gladwin Career Center, a program of the Clare-Gladwin RESD. Students spend half of their regular school day in CTE and the other half at their local high school. For more information, please visit

Graphic Arts students create books for local first grade class

Students in the Graphic Arts program at the Clare-Gladwin Career Center recently created 25 books for students in Mrs. Todd’s first grade class at the Renaissance Public School Academy in Mount Pleasant.

“Every semester, the Graphic Arts class completes a service learning project,” said Graphic Arts instructor Andrea Boettner. “The students learn the skills related to the curriculum and find a way to help the community out. We made the books as an introduction to the binary unit and found a class with the need for them.” According to Boettner, the first grade students are currently using the books as science journals.

Graphic Arts student Julie Lester said, “It was nice to make a project that gave us real life experience and helped our community.”

Graphic Arts is one of nine CTE programs offered to local high school juniors and seniors at the Clare-Gladwin Career Center, a program of the Clare-Gladwin RESD. Students spend half of their regular school day in CTE and the other half at their local high school. For more information, please visit

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monte's Family Restaurant receives 'Family Friendly' award

Monte’s Family Restaurant is the most recent recipient of the Great Start Collaborative Family Friendly Five Star Award. The award recognizes businesses within Clare and Gladwin counties that support and encourage children and families through their business practices.

The Clare-Gladwin Great Start Collaborative presents the award to a local business six times per year.

Monte’s Family Restaurant is located at 3897 N. Clare Ave. in Harrison.

To nominate a local business for the Family Friendly Five Star Award, please contact Great Start Collaborative Director Heather DuBois at 989-386-8613 or

Pictured from the left, Great Start Parent Liaison Rachel Haltiner, Monte’s Family Restaurant Owners Lorena and Marco Criszullo, and award nominator Roxie Greenman. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

RESD receives 18-acre donation and purchases adjacent 4 acres; Land to be used to increase student opportunities

The family of the late John C. Magnus has donated 18 acres of land to the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District (RESD) to expand and improve the learning opportunities available to local kids through the RESD’s student programs. In addition to the donation, the RESD has purchased an adjacent four acres, which was sold by the Magnus family in 2000.  

Located at 3200 S. Clare Ave., John’s father, Edward Magnus, purchased the land in 1923 where he housed a saw mill and began selling Model T Fords. In the 1940s, John and his brother, Edward Jr., joined the family business, which eventually became Magnus Tractor Sales.

Known for selling and repairing Ford tractors, Magnus Tractor Sales also offered snowmobiles, campers, lawnmowers, and all-terrain vehicles through the course of its existence. At one time, John even raised potatoes on the property for Central Michigan University’s food service.

“I enjoyed going down there to work,” said John’s wife, Verna Magnus Green. “Our customers weren’t just customers, they were like close friends.”

By 1975, following the retirement of Edward Magnus Jr. and third business partner Lee Foster, John became sole owner of the company. Verna said John, whom she called an honest businessman and a hard worker, continued to run the business until his passing.

Verna and her family considers
it a “privilege” and a “blessing” to be able to contribute the property for the benefit of Clare and Gladwin Counties’ kids. “I know John would be so pleased,” she said. “We are all so excited for its future!”

Both the 18-acre donation and the prospect of purchasing the adjacent four acres came about in early 2013. “The RESD is always searching for effective yet affordable ways to develop our programs to improve the educational experiences for students,” said Clare-Gladwin RESD Superintendent Sheryl Presler. “When these opportunities came to us, we could not pass them up. The price of the additional property was right and we were able to negotiate a 15-year installment purchase plan with the bank,” she said. “Ultimately, the purchase combined with the Magnus family’s tremendous generosity creates the perfect foundation for us to pursue many of our long-term goals.”

The land contains multiple outbuildings, a barn, and a house; many of which will be used to further the skills of the students in many of the RESD’s programs. For example, the construction trades students from the Clare-Gladwin Career Center, a program of the RESD, will begin by repairing the house and making it handicap accessible for students from the Clare-Gladwin Area School. The Area School students will use the space to work on life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, money management, lawn care, and more.

Although they are still in the early planning stages of the project, Presler said the property has enormous potential. “The magnitude of the possibilities and opportunities this incredibly unselfish donation creates for kids is overwhelming,” she said. 

“When speaking with the Magnus family, you can feel their love for John and for the family business. To be given a treasured piece of their family history is something we truly appreciate and will honor as we move forward.”