October 2016 Family Friendly Community Guide

Field trip grant to connect area youth to public lands


Sand Point in the Hiawatha National Forest is shown.

Hiawatha National Forest is collaborating with Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Clear Lake Education Center, Michigan State University Extension and Seney National Wildlife Refuge to connect fourth grade students to their public lands by utilizing a 2016 field trip grant awarded through the National Park Foundation.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Hiawatha National Forest were selected to receive the grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to support the Every Kid in a Park program. The grant is part of the foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program.

“These grants are planting the seeds for lifelong relationships with national parks and their programs,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, in a press release. “By providing access to transformative experiences like listening to the sound of birds chirping, walking the halls of a school that tell a civil rights story, looking up at a dark night sky or pitching a tent with a friend for the first time, these children are forever impacted. We appreciate the power of national parks and, through our support, the National Park Foundation hopes to share them with as many kids as possible.”


Geese swim inside the Seney Wildlife Refuge

Fourth grade classes within the Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District, Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District and Marquette Alger Regional Educational Service Agency will receive transportation funds to take a field trip to one of the national treasures found in their backyard.  By the end of this school year, 750 students will have engaged in hands-on activities that will provide multiple avenues to explore, learn and play.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant and work with our partners to connect fourth graders to public lands in the Upper Peninsula,” Interagency Education Specialist Melissa O’Donnell said in the press release. “Every fourth grader that participates in this program will receive the Every Kid in a Park pass.”


Miners Castle at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is pictured.

The Every Kid in a Park pass – which features a new design for this year’s students – is valid for a full calendar year starting September 1. The pass grants free entry for fourth graders and up to three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) to most federally managed lands and waters, including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries.

The Every Kid in a Park website has links to educational activities, trip planning, field trip options, the downloadable pass and additional information in both English and Spanish. After completing a fun educational activity, the child can download and print a pass. The paper pass can be traded for a more durable pass at participating federal sites nationwide.

For more information, visit www.everykidinapark.gov and follow the program on Twitter @everykidinapark, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. For additional information about participating in this program, contact O’Donnell at modonnell@fs.fed.us or at 202-0199.


Caleb Eckloff of the Marquette DNR speaks to the team about their “Animal Allies” project—how humans and animals can improve how they work together. Students Nathan Voss, Matthew Jenkins, Benjamin Faber, Conner Bye, Bryn Leukuma, Isabella Roti, Katie Cookman and Amelia Leukuma. (Photo courtesy of Paula Schneider)

North Star Academy introduces FIRST Lego League Junior


Three new FIRST Lego League Junior (FLL Jr.) teams for students in kindergarten through third grade have been organized at North Star Academy this fall. Together with several new teams in the Houghton area, the students will participate in an Expo in Houghton on November 5. The FLL Jr. Expo takes place together with the FIRST Lego League robotics U.P. Qualifying tournament, a competition for upper elementary students. This season, FLL Jr. requires that each team learn about honeybees and then select an animal related in nature to honeybees. They then build a Lego display that includes a motor and involves basic computer programming. The team also prepares a poster that explains their display and shows what they’ve learned. Each team consists of two parent coaches and up to six team members. At their recent meeting the students discussed three types of bees, built models of bees, flowers, and pollen and identified animals related to and similar to bees.

On Saturday, October 22, North Star Academy will host a scrimmage for FIRST Technology Challenge teams for middle school students. The Marquette West Rotary Foundation has donated a 12-foot-by-12-foot robot field for the Marquette area teams to share. The high school robotics team, Cold Logic, will give a demonstration with their robots, and the FLL and FLL Jr. teams will also have a display that includes FLL teams’ robots practicing on their Lego table. Call North Star Academy at 226-0156 for the day’s schedule.

— Laura Farwell

Haunted bog walk to benefit Moosewood

Moosewood’s Haunted Bog walk is returning for another year of spooky surprises from 7:30 to 10 p.m. October 21 and 22 at the Moosewood Nature Center on Presque Isle Park in Marquette. Roughly 15 people at a time are led through the Haunted Bog Walk. On the 18 to 20 minute walk, expect ghouls, ghosts, spirits and other scary creatures of the night. The Haunted Bog Walk is Moosewood’s biggest fundraiser of the year, attracting thousands of attendees throughout the community. This fundraiser helps pay for costs needed to operate the year-round nature center, update  exhibits, keep resident educational animals well cared for and fed and provide public programming and school field trips to the greater Marquette and surrounding areas. Many programs take place at the same bog where the Haunted Bog is held.  Tickets can be purchased prior to the event or at the door. The event, though family friendly, is not intended for very young children.

— Moosewood Nature Center

Getting along with others in school

One secret to success in school is getting along with others. Children who have experience with rules, being respectful, courteous, generous and affable will have an easier time and be happier in school according to school psychologists.

Adults can help children form these virtues by setting an example at home and helping children practice some basics.

Words and actions matter

Act polite and you’ll be polite.  Using words like “please, thank you, no thanks and excuse me” with a kind voice sets a tone of niceness and respect. Adults can help children use words to ask for help or express feelings. Teach the difference between telling an adult if something is not right, bullying or unsafe and being a constant “tattle-tale.”  Practicing these suggestions around the home makes a difference but takes patience say psychologists.

Use kind language. Give sincere compliments and express concern. Talk about how kindness makes others feel good and then they are more likely to be kind to you.  Adults may need to remind that some words kids hear are off limits and inappropriate in your family and at school.

Help children practice listening silently when someone else is talking and looking at the person’s face. Adults can kneel or sit down to children’s height when talking with them to show how this is done.  Role play with stuffed animals or practice at mealtime and praise good listening.

Greet and say “good-bye” to people.  Smile. Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic is a Dale Carnegie tip for a successful life.

Share and tidy up

You can start the sharing habit by asking your baby to share Cheerios. Little ones love this game. Cut treats in half to share or share space on the couch.

Let another person go first if there is a tie for first in line. The water fountain will still be there.

Participate in helping to pick up toys, clothes and clearing the table.  Make it a game by singing a pick-up song, playing favorite music or having a contest as a part of an established routine.  Point out when materials are picked up they are easier to find next time. This is known as a “kid reason.”

Play games where taking turns is expected like cards and Candyland. Practice, “now your turn” at meal time, while sharing crayons or choosing a show.

Hang up clothing or backpacks. Make this easy by setting a good example and providing kid-friendly pegs and containers.

Demonstrate and practice inside, outside and whispering voices. There will be classmates who have not yet learned these virtues, but your kids can show them how it’s done.

For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com and wnmufm.org/Learning Through the Seasons live and podcasts.

— Grandparents Teach, Too

Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes seeking new scouts

As summer draws to a close and parents and caregivers begin preparing for back to school, Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes is inviting girls to register for Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts gives girls a supportive space to take chances, try new things and learn to succeed through failure—improving all aspects of their lives.

When girls are given a safe and supportive environment to take chances, despite the potential for failure, they’re able to experience the emotional impact of risk without damaging consequences. Girl Scouts provides a place for girls to feel safe trying new things and overcoming fears, making them greater challenge-seekers, more academically proficient students, and, eventually, more successful adults.

Visit gsnw.gl/join to join or volunteer.

— Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes

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