For the 2012-2013 school year, TLA provided grants to local schools to help with Science Education.

We received this letter from the Bellaire Public Schools: Letter of Appreciation

Here are some of the projects that TLA helped fund in Bellaire:

Bellaire Elementary School – First/Second Grade

Dear Three Lakes Association,
I want to thank you for the grant money you provided that allowed me to purchase the Scholastic Science Brain Boxes for my first and second grade split classroom.

When the boxes first arrived in the classroom shortly after Spring Break, I put them on the counter and did not open them. At the time of their arrival we were in the middle of a Social Studies unit and I wanted to finish that up before jumping in to this new Science experience. Of course, with a name like “Brain Boxes” you can imagine the questions that arose from my students. They wondered what was in the boxes and I replied, “What do you think?” Their answers included: a real brain, some activities that help us build a brain, things that will make us think, and the ever typical answer that comes from young children with a sense of hope…Legos???.

We discussed together the size of the boxes, which is small. They are rather like a 12 inch cube shape. This led to some fascinating discussions and to one child even looking up the size of a human brain to determine if, in fact, a real brain could fit inside. He determined that, yes a human brain could fit inside it if you squeezed it a little. At this point then everyone wanted me to open the boxes so we could see if it was a “real” brain.

After this type of discussion, I wondered if when I finally opened the boxes if the children would be disappointed that there were only “books” in the boxes. But this was not the case. The children were very excited to see the books and wanted to know all the titles of the books. After reading all the titles, one of my second grade girls said, “You know what Ms. Smolinski, these are all about science!” I asked her to explain that statement and she said, “Well, some of these books are like the ones we have in our tub on the shelf called Science Books and I also read on the front of the box that it says Science. So these books are all about science things.” I then explained that she was correct and that not only were they science books, but that after they read each book they would have activities to do based on what they learned in each book. Well, they all just wanted to dive into these books right away!

I am including some pictures to show you the children as they read and some projects they completed as a result of this learning experience.

I want to thank you and your association again for the wonderful opportunity to not only increase the number of nonfiction books within my classroom but for providing a fun and unique opportunity for independent learning for my students.
Ms. Karen Smolinski
First/Second Grade Split Classroom
Bellaire Elementary School

Bellaire Elementary School – Fourth Grade

The traveling trunk from the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland had the materials needed to teach a unit on Wetlands. The tub included materials for all age levels…(materials could be adapted for any size group.) The tub was filled with enough materials to help anyone teach a unit on wetlands and be successful.

The students looked forward to each day and what might appear out of the tub. Some of the other items which were included were: Muskrat pelt and skull, realistic looking frog, realistic silk wetland plants, a large 3 ring binder of activites, lessons, and information about wetlands, and many other demonstration materials.

Sue Mills
Fourth Grade
Bellaire Elementary Schools