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Are you a Teen Poet Looking to Connect with Other Poets?

If you are looking for a way to share your poetry with teens all over the world onebillionpoets.com might be just what you are looking for. The website, created by an English and Global Studies teacher, offers users an opportunity to network, read and submit poetry, participate in contests, and much more.

Geraldine Ferraro Dead at Age 75

Geraldine Ferraro, the woman who made history in 1984 when she became the first female candidate on a presidential ticket, has died after a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma. Although best known for her VP candidacy, Ferraro was also a three time congresswoman, successful lawyer, and political activist. You can read more about Ms. Ferraro in her autobiography, Ferraro, My Story.

2011 Michigan Senior Citizen of the Year Award Program

Each year the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging and the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging join to honor outstanding contributions by Michigan's older citizens. The Senior Citizen of the Year Award highlights the contributions to civic and social life made by persons aged 60 years and older. Awards are given in two categories:

  • Leadership in the community
  • Service provided to others

Below are guidelines and nomination forms for the 2011 award. Nominations must be submitted by organizations and signed by the presiding officer, e.g., the executive director, CEO, or board president. Nominations must be postmarked by Monday, May 2, 2011 and sent to:

Rescue Dogs in Japan

American and British search-and-rescue canine teams have been busy in the quake and tsunami devastated areas in Japan looking for survivors. These teams also helped find the missing in Haiti after that earthquake struck near its capitol in 2010. Rescue dogs are specifically trained to find the scent of people who are still alive and trapped in rubble after a disaster. To learn more, check out Scent of the Missing.

Free Tax Services

The Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency and the Wayne County Asset Building Coalition are offering free tax preparation services for families with incomes under $48,300. Call (734) 284-6999 for a list of participating locations or to schedule an appointment.

March is National Collision Awareness Month!

Did you know that March is National Collison Awareness Month? Driving safely is living safely. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration promotes the use of seatbelts, child safety seats, and safe driving. It also reminds drivers to obey speed limits and heed safety tips to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce vehicle-related crashes.
Photo courtesy of eLibrary.

Children's Book Week (May 2-8)

Children's Book Week has been celebrated since 1919 as a way to promote a love of reading in children. There are book parties, storytelling festivals, special author and illustrator appearances… whatever communities feel will inspire young readers to read more. The idea for Children's Book Week really began in 1913 when Franklin K. Matthiews, librarian for the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the United States to promote higher standards in children's books. He enlisted the help of others in the publishing and library fields and a great event was born. As one supporter, Frederic Melcher, said, "A great nation is a reading nation." Although Children's Book Week has changed as to when it is celebrated time and how, this statement has remained true.

Need a Prom Dress?

…but Don't have the money to buy one? Hope Closet is a non-profit organization that provides young women with prom dresses regardless of financial constraints or limitations. The boutique will be open April 2-April 9, 2011. It is located at the First United Methodist Church in Royal Oak. An appointment is required. For more information, or to set up an appointment call (248) 347-1309 or visit the Hope Closet website.

Book Sightings!

Hey Kids,
How well do you really know your book characters, like Flat Stanley or Amelia Bedelia? One way to find out is to take some book quizzes given on the HarperCollins Children's Book Site. Lots of great books have quizzes you can take to test your knowledge, or there are also fun games to play. Look for secrets in the Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman object game or help Bernie feed the beast in The Rotten School Game. The more you read, the better you will do!

Kids Read Comics Extravaganza!

Attention Comic Lovers! Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 12th. From 10:00AM to 8:00PM at the Ann Arbor Art Center an awesome free event is being presented. Interact with real cartoonists, enjoy some great hands-on workshops and create your very own comics.
Learn more about this spectacular event by visiting the event website.

Blow Some Bubbles!

What comes in all kinds of colors and is really sweet and chewy? Bubble gum, of course. The 2nd week of March is Bubble Gum Week and it's not just for chewing. There's bubble gum ice cream, bubble gum slushies, bubble gum lip gloss… The possibilities are all over the place, and it's a favorite flavor for many kids. There's also the important job of blowing bubbles and competing with bubbles. There are even World Bubble Records out there. So if you have a lot of hot air, blow it into a bubble today, and watch it grow (or pop!).

March is College Admission Acceptance Month

If you are one of the many Americans applying for college you may be getting an acceptance letter this month. This can be an exciting and terrifying time for high school seniors. However, this article has some really great tips for dealing with college acceptance or unfortunate rejection.

Enter to Win: "What's Your Story?"

Tell us about your favorite book, story or character! One lucky winner drawn at random will receive a free personal audiobook to keep and your local library will recieve $500.00 worth of Children's or Teen audiobooks. Enter to win at: http://www.tapededitions.com/.
Hurry! Entry deadline is midnight March 15, 2011.

Sugar Snaps and Strawberries

Sugar snaps & strawberries: simple solutions for creating your own small-space edible garden by Andrea Bellamy; with photographs by Jackie Connelly — Have you started planning your garden yet? Even if you have, you'll want to check out this book to see some fabulous ideas and pick up some tips. Whether you're designing your garden space or picking out what to grow, this book is full of info and is illustrated with gorgeous photographs (given how grey it can be in Michigan this time of year, just looking at the photos is reason enough to pick up this book!). If you like this, you can also check out the author's blog, Heavy Petal.

Bubble Wrap on Detroit History!

A recent Detroit News Article highlights a collection of historically significant automobiles owned by the Detroit Historical Museum. Part of this amazing collection of cars in currently being stored at Fort Wayne in Detroit. The entire collection features approximately 60 cars that are rotated for display in the museum. While in storage, the cars are kept in plastic bubbles that help preserve these historical gems. Facinating on all counts, this article serves as a great reminder of just how historically rich the city of Detroit is.

IRS Ready to Accept All Returns

The IRS announced today that it is now ready to accept all income tax returns. "The IRS is now accepting all the 1040 forms," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. "We worked hard to update our systems and get the changes in place as quickly as possible. We appreciate the patience of those impacted by the delay. We urge taxpayers to use e-file with direct deposit, and they can get their refunds within days." In late December 2010, the IRS announced it would delay processing of some tax returns in order to update processing systems to accommodate the late tax law changes.

Loving our Pets

February is not just for Valentine's Day. It's also Responsible pet owners month. All those squeaky guinea pigs and fluffy kittens our relying on you, their owners, to take good care of them. You can also learn about different kinds of pets to have from library books like, Extreme Pets or The House of a Million Pets. Are you taking good care of your special pet?

Write On!

Learning to be a writer takes a lot of practice, whether you're a kid or an adult. Learning to be a nonfiction writer takes research and asking lots of questions. If you would like to learn how to write books for kids check out Writing World for tips on good writing. Author Fiona Bayrock's website is another good site to get information on writing nonfiction for children.

Kids! Score Tickets for the Red Wings or Pistons

Reminder: Deadline to enter for free Pistons tickets is April 4th. Tickets for the Detroit Red Wings are sold out.

Grow your own nutrition

Did you know that there are many really easy to grow veggies that are super-nutritious? Some of them are even extremely tasty, like the sweet peas (from my garden) pictured here. You may find yourself eating them right off the vine! Check out this Top Ten list and start planning your garden for this summer.

Homegrown vegetables, fruits, and herbs: a bountiful, healthful garden for lean times by Jim Wilson; photography by Walter Chandoha