Archive for August, 2012

“It takes a Village!”

 Welcome Back to School Browning the Best students & staff!  This year, we will be encouraging our students to explore the world!  In so many ways, the world is their canvas so we hope to help broaden their horizons by introducing them to different cultures, languages, customs, etc.!  Please join us for the many family fun events &/or help us incorporate this theme into activities throughout the school year.   Keep an eye out for our monthly newsletters, check the PTA bulletin board outside the office, &/or visit our website ( for a listing of upcoming events!

One of our highest priorities as a community is our children and their education.  Supporting your PTA is just one step you can take to help our students, staff, and school succeed.  We have a lot of fun and educational activities planned this year to supplement the classroom environment.  Just a few examples include:

  • Field trips
  • On-Site Learning Opportunities
  • Balloon Launch
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Donuts with Dad/Muffins with Mom
  • Support School Clubs (i.e. Recycling, Student Council, Junior Honor Society, etc.)
  • Picture Lady Program
  • Assistance with items not covered in the dwindling school budget (i.e. classroom needs, staff appreciation, 6th Grade Graduation, service/safety squad, etc)

By sharing ideas about programs, activities, and opportunities that benefit our children, we can strengthen the connections between our children, parents, staff, and the community.  TOGETHER, we can make a difference.

Every parent, student, and staff member at Browning Elementary is a member of the W.B. Browning PTA!

What is the PTA?

The Browning PTA is a local group of concerned parents, students, teachers, and staff dedicated to improving the learning environment and strengthening the connection between home and school.  Our focus is to provide opportunities for parents and teachers to work together to support the education & social well-being of all of our students…..NOT just fundraising!   It is our goal to build the kind of community where everyone feels welcome, valued, and a part of the “team.”  In 2012/2013, we hope to provide outdoor learning environments for students, staff, & families to enjoy (i.e. trails, gardens, new playscapes & fitness equipment, and much more.)Burke Playground IN-2113

Why should I get involved?

Research shows that when parents get involved in their children’s education, good things happen.  Grades go up, test scores go up, and discipline problems go down.  Children with involved parents are more likely to graduate and go on to higher education.  Schools with strong parent involvement are more successful, and teachers report it’s a much better working environment.

There are many reasons to get involved. Here are just a few examples:

  • I like to have a voice in school decisions that affect my children.
  • I get the chance to meet and share ideas with other parents & the Browning staff.
  • I can help bring opportunities to the students that they may not otherwise have.
  • It keeps me updated with information about the school.
  • It shows my kids that school is important & worth my time.

What do you want from YOUR PTA?

EVERYONE at Browning is a member of the PTA!

We want to ensure not only your monetary contributions but also your volunteer time are utilized for initiatives and activities our members want.

Please complete this brief survey to help us understand what you want from your PTA & help us acheive itOur Children Create our World!

Your input would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance for your support!


Parents save money & our school raised much needed funds (>$6,000) for PTA sponsored projects like off-site learning opportunities!  Entertainment Book proceeds account for 20% of PTA income so your support is greatly needed & appreciated!

Top selling students are eligible for great prizes!

The  2012 Entertainment book will be sent home with your child the 1st week of school.  More info to follow……..

Many thanks to Sue Medina & Dawn Neubacher for co-chairing this profitable fundraiser!

Questions?  Please email them at [email protected] or  [email protected] .

Balloon Launch

Our Annual Balloon Launch Fundraiser is scheduled for Oct. 31st in conjunction with Halloween Parade & Class Parties.  It is sure to be a wonderful morning of memories & lots of activity!  We welcome you to join us to help tie balloons (9am) or just watch them soar with students (10am.)  Hopefully, Mother Nature will bless us again with a beautiful day as she has in years past.   As a reminder, this is meant to serve as our major fundraiser & all donations are 100% tax deductible!

We Love Volunteers!

The opportunities that we provide for our students would not be possible without volunteers.  There are a variety of ways you can contribute from small tasks to large ones.  Any and all assistance is greatly appreciated.

Volunteers are needed for the following initiatives/events:

  • Recycling Club Parent Volunteers to help students & sponsors
  • Adventures in Art Presenters
  • National Junior Honor Society Sponsor/Parent Volunteers
  • Go Green Night Chairperson
  • Golf Outing Volunteers & Sponsors (proceeds to benefit Playground Structure Fund)
  • Playground Structure Committee Volunteers
  • Staff Appreciation Week Chairperson & Volunteers
  • FUN FAIR Chairpersons & Volunteers
  • Market Day Distribution Volunteers
  • Pumpkin Patch Chairperson & Volunteers
  • Beautify Browning Chairperson & Volunteers
  • Restaurant Night Coordinator
  • General Event Volunteers

If you are interested in volunteering, chairing an event, have an idea to share, or would like more information, please send one of our parent leaders an email or contact us.  “It takes a village raise a child” and give them the best learning opportunities possible!

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Nine steps to a Smart Start of School Year

With a little planning, you can make going back to school simple and stress-free!

By GreatSchools Staff

As the lazy days of summer slip away, it will soon be time to put away the beach chairs and corner lemonade stands and prepare for going back to school. Here are some tips to make the transition easier.

Adjust to the new routine

Ease into the school-year schedule. Getting back into the school routine can be a challenge for everyone in the family. To make the adjustment easier, start early.

  • A few weeks before school starts, move bedtime back to an earlier time.
  • Put a positive spin on going back to school. Talk about the fun things your child will learn, the old friends he’ll see and the new friends he’ll make.
  • If your child is anxious about starting the next grade, reassure her that other children have these feelings too.
  • Don’t make plans for big trips right before the start of school.
  • Establish school-day schedules for homework, TV, baths and bedtime.
  • Arrange play dates with friends from school to re-establish connections that may have been dropped for the summer, or to create new ones.

Get organized

Take advantage of the slower pace during your time away from school to set up for the busy school year ahead.

  • Many schools send out school information and a packet of forms to fill out before school starts. If you can discipline yourself to fill out the paperwork several days before it’s due, you’ll avoid a last-minute panic.
  • Have the necessary immunization records available for easy reference.
  • Update school emergency contact and health information for the coming year.
  • As you read through all the school information, mark important dates (such as back-to-school night, parent-teacher conferences and school holidays) on the family calendar.
  • Start a folder for school newsletters and other papers so that you can easily find and refer to them if necessary.
  • Establish a “get ready the night before” policy. Pick clothes for the next day and pack the backpack every evening before bedtime, and you’ll save precious time in the morning.

Shopping: take advantage of sales

School clothes

It’s always a great idea to buy what you know you’ll need early, if you can. Go through your children’s wardrobes and weed out everything they’ve outgrown. By reducing the clutter, you will be able to get them dressed quickly and easily.

Keep in mind school dress codes while shopping. Some schools prohibit short skirts and tank tops for girls and “sagging” (baggy trousers that hang low) for boys. Schools may also have rules regarding printed words or phrases on clothes.

School supplies

Although it’s difficult to predict what different teachers will require, you can get ahead of the game by buying certain staples. Here’s a general list of items that elementary school students usually need:

  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Eraser
  • Colored pencils
  • Box of crayons
  • Kleenex
  • Water-based markers
  • Ballpoint pens
  • Notebooks
  • Binder
  • Loose-leaf notebook paper
  • Pocket folders
  • Printer paper
  • Drawing paper
  • Construction paper
  • A plastic ruler with English and metric measurements
  • Pencil sharpener
  • School box (for storing items)
  • Scotch tape
  • Stapler
  • Backpack

Here are some additional items middle and high school students usually need:

  • Two combination locks (one for the hall locker and one for the gym locker)
  • Binder dividers
  • Calculator

Nutrition: plan healthy meals

Get creative with easy, healthy ideas for school-day meals. If you plan and gather what you need on the weekends, you’ll make life a lot less stressful and meals more nutritious during the week.


Remember the most important meal of the day. Fruit smoothies make a quick and healthy addition to the usual fare.


If you will be packing a lunch from home, be sure to have a sturdy lunch box or a supply of paper bags on hand. Here are some quick and creative ideas for making school lunches healthy and fun:

  • For the younger child, use cookie cutters to make sandwiches into interesting shapes.
  • Sneak vegetables like lettuce, cucumber or zucchini slices into sandwiches.
  • Buy baked chips and low-fat crackers or pretzels. Avoid items with trans fats in them such as packaged cookies, snack cakes and regular chips.
  • Choose 1% or fat-free milk or 100% fruit juices.
  • Make fruit fun to eat by cutting it into slices and putting it on a skewer or include small containers of applesauce or pineapple packed in its own juice.
  • For the younger child, write a surprise message or draw a funny picture and put it in her lunch.
  • Get older children to help pack their lunches. You may need to arrange the morning routine (or evening routine if you do this the night before) so that you don’t do this chore by yourself.


Plan dinners for the week ahead and shop on the weekends to avoid last minute trips to the grocery store.

Set priorities and schedules

To make the best use of your time and keep life from being harried, think about priorities for family members and then schedule them into the week.

For children

  • Before school begins, discuss what extracurricular activities your child will participate in. If your child needs a little extra encouragement to audition for jazz band or to take that early morning Italian class, now is the time to go over the benefits of these activities. If, however, your child needs to have limits set, have her pick her favorite activities and forgo the rest. Be realistic and don’t fall victim to over-programming.
  • Make sure to leave enough time to do homework and for family time.

For parents

Determine how much time you can give to the school each month as a volunteer and involved parent: in the classroom, on field trips, for fundraising events and on school-wide committees.

For the family

Start a family calendar in a common area where each family member can write down his or her activities.

Prepare for the homework ahead

Having set routines and a place to study at home will make it easier for your child to be organized and successful at school.

  • Set up a well-lit, quiet place with a good work surface to do homework. Try to keep this place dedicated to homework and free of other clutter.
  • Establish a regular homework time. This will help your student to complete assignments on time.
  • Discourage distractions such as television, radio, the Internet or phone conversations during homework time.

Arrange for transportation

Everyone will feel better if transportation to and from school is addressed well before the start of the school year, particularly if your child is walking, riding his bike or taking the bus.

Walking or biking

  • Chart out a route to school or to the school bus stop.
  • If your child is going to a new school, take a dry run a few days before school starts.
  • Go over the rules of stranger awareness and traffic safety. Warn your child to always walk with a friend, and to avoid vacant lots and places where there are not a lot of people.
  • Be sure your child has your daytime phone number (including area code) and address, as well as the number of another familiar adult.
  • Scout out safe houses in the neighborhood where your child can go in case of an emergency.

Taking the bus

  • Remember to get the new bus schedule!
  • If your child will be taking the bus for the first time, discuss the bus route and bus safety rules with her.


  • If you will be driving your child, have a backup arrangement with another parent in case you are delayed for some reason.
  • Confirm carpool arrangements in advance and make sure your child knows who will be picking him up before and after school.
  • Become familiar with your school’s traffic safety rules, drop-off and pick-up procedures.

Confirm after-school care arrangements

Most after-school care arrangements must be made months ahead, frequently in the winter or spring before your child starts school. As the school year approaches, however, it’s a good idea to confirm your plans.

  • Make sure your child knows where he is going after school.
  • Double-check on your care plans and communicate with the provider a few days before school starts.
  • If your child will be home alone after school, establish safety rules for locking doors and windows, and for answering the door and the telephone. Make sure she knows to check in with you or another adult when she arrives at home.

BoxTop$ – Keep on Clipping!

Box TopsSince 1996, America’s schools have earned over $375,000,000!

Browning families saved enough BoxTop$ to provide >$2000 in 2011/2012 school year! The average school earns only approximaely$408 .

Last year’s Fall BoxTop$ Collection Contest generated >$1800! Keep clipping & snipping!  Our next contest will kick off after school starts & the top 3 classrooms will receive a class party!

Visit BoxTop$ for Education & see how you can help raise even more $ for our students.

We greatly appreciate Brenda Cox volunteering to coordinate this year’s BoxTop$ collection contests!  If you are available to help clip & count, please contact her at [email protected].

Kroger Rewards Program


Kroger Rewards Program

Please re-enroll to continue earning money for Browning Elementary in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. All participants must sign up for the program in order to earn funds for our group during 2012-2013. Even those of you who signed up for Kroger Community Rewards earlier this year must re-enroll to continue earning rewards during the coming year, 05/2012 to 05/2013.

It’s easy for you to enroll or re-enroll in Kroger Community Rewards. Please visit, click on “Michigan” and click on “Enroll” to register for the first time and “Re-enroll” to re-register. All participants must have a valid online account at and must sign up online to participate. You can no longer scan our group’s barcode at the registers or service desk to re-enroll.

Thank you for your support!

One Night – Support UCS Sports

Support UCS Junior High Sports

Please help support Utica Community Schools Middle school athletic program by attending a fantastic fundraiser.  One Nigh will be held at the spectacular Palazzo Grande Banquet Center.  To reserve your ticket for this important special event  Contact us here


  • Raffles & Prizes
  • Local Sports Celebrities
  • ** Includes Entertainment, Dinner & Drinks
  • Dress: Business/Casual/Cocktail
  • Time: 5:30 – 11:00 PM

one night

To reserve your ticket for this important special event  Contact us here