• Summer Activities & Adventures

    Posted by Dr. Robin Buchler on 5/17/2018 2:30:00 PM

    The days are finally getting warmer and thoughts are turning to summer plans. Our minds and
    calendars fill with possibilities for these sunny days. If you are looking for some fun things to
    do with your children or for your children, we have collected a wide variety of trainings, shows,
    athletic activities, and educational experiences to choose from. Have a wonderful, safe summer!


    SPORTS

    ALOHA TENNIS:
    Aloha Tennis Camps are coming all the way from Hawaii to Mattawan this Summer: July 30th - Aug
    2nd and Aug 6th - 9th. Introduce your child to the fun and exciting lifelong sport of tennis! Aloha Tennis Camps
    are Hawaiian-themed tennis camps for students between the ages of 7-17. ATC offers elite tennis instruction
    designed around beginner and intermediate skill levels. Students receive fact-based, statistically proven, and
    biomechanical tennis instruction. Register today and reserve your spot! Limited space available.
    Visit: alohatenniscamps.com to register, contact, or get more information.

    MATTAWAN SUMMER TENNIS:
    Registration is now open for the Mattawan summer tennis program!! Open to all ages, including
    adults!!
    Featuring the famous alumnus Coach Matt Boven, this program is the most affordable program, and
    the most fun. Very flexible schedule. Sign up for any weeks that fit your summer schedule!! Please
    feel free to share with any friends/family.
    https://sites.google.com/a/mattawanschools.org/mattawan-summer-tennis/

    LAWSON ARENA & WEST HILLS:
    Swim/Dive/Tennis
    Click here for flyer

    YMCA:
    Flyer
    Registration Link

    COED YOUTH BASKETBALL CAMP:
    Registration Form

    ​KINGDOM SOCCER:
    Camp Website​

    LES/MS BOYS BASKETBALL CAMP:
    Click here for more information

    BALL RUNNING TEAM:
    Click here for more information


    ACADEMIC

    EARLY COLLEGE CAMP (KVCC):
    Middle School Grades
    Registration started Feb. 15
    Only 2 camps left with availability
    Hands on Summer Camp
    Click here for flyer

    KALAMAZOO VALLEY MUSEUM:
    Summer Happenings - Dinosaur Discovery

    ​ANTWERP LIBRARY:
    Click here for flyer​



    NATURE

    KALAMAZOO NATURE CENTER SUMMER CAMP:
    Summer Camp Begins June 18

    BINDER PARK ZOO:
    Safari Day Camps



    FUN

    BOWL FOR FREE:
    Registered kids bowl free twice a day
    To register, go to https://www.kidsbowlfree.com/, search and pick your location,
    complete registration form, receive email coupons.
    In our area:
    ​- Continental ​Lanes
    ​- Eastland Bowl
    ​- Rainbow Lanes
    - Airway Fun Center

    AIR ZOO:
    Camps & Classes

    CIVIC AUDITORIUM:
    Summer Day Camps

    OPENING ACT:
    Musical Theatre Camps

    PRETTY LAKE CAMPS:
    Summer Camp


    KALAMAZOO SUMMER CAMP GUIDE

    2018 Kalamazoo Guide to Camps

    Comments (-1)
  • The Great Benefit of Making Mistakes

    Posted by Dr. Robin Buchler on 4/9/2018 3:00:00 PM

    One of my earliest memories after making a mistake is my mom reciting that famous age appropriate quote, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  If I had a nickel for every time I heard that…and then later said it myself, I might just own a vacation spot on an island somewhere. Since then, I have made many mistakes. As a result, I have learned a lot! I continue to learn daily by allowing myself to take each mistake and learn something from it. 

    Swami Sivananda says, “This world is your best teacher. There is a lesson in everything. There is a lesson in each experience. Learn it and become wise. Every failure is a stepping stone to success. Every difficulty or disappointment is a trial of your faith. Every unpleasant incident or temptation is a test of your inner strength. Therefore nil desperandum. March forward hero!”

    As an educator, one of the most important lessons we can teach our students is the value of making mistakes. We need to encourage students to grab on to those mistakes and use them as stepping stones to new learning and new experiences. This can be a challenge for our young learners as perfection and getting that “A” provide measurable evidence of growth and intelligence. Can failure or mistakes lead to intelligence and eventual success? They often have a negative connotation and negative experiences; however, only if we allow this mindset to occur. True failure comes when we walk away from those mistakes without a second thought, a second question, or a lack of curiosity as to why we failed or were mistaken. Steve Harvey, the television personality, has had his share of failures in his lifetime. He has learned from each failure. In 2004, Harvey stated, “Failure is a great teacher, and I think when you make mistakes and you recover from them and you treat them as valuable learning experiences, then you’ve got something to share.”

    Making mistakes is a valuable part of any learning experience. We cannot learn without them. We must treat mistakes as opportunities to look deeper, maybe through a different lens. This is when the learning becomes lasting and rich. The best response to “I made a mistake” is “So. Now what? What is your next step?” Getting back up and moving forward takes strength, thought, and even courage. Strength, thought, and courage leads to more strength, thought, and courage. These are valuable tools to use the next time and the next, eventually bringing the success which was the initial goal.

    “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.” ~David M. Burns

    Get back up, dust off the pieces and parts that went into making the mistake, make a plan, and move forward. Then you will recognize and appreciate the great benefit of making mistakes. This is when the true learning begins.

     

    Empowering the Future… With Mattawan Pride,
    Robin K. Buchler, PhD

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  • Let it be Kindness

    Posted by Dr. Robin Buchler on 3/1/2018 3:40:00 PM

    Our world is full of variety.  It is full of colors, shapes, tastes, sounds, and smells. We have our country music fans, rap fans, oldies but goodies fans.  We have those who cheered on the Patriots and those who were diehard Eagles’ fans.  We have those who love to sing and others who warn friends and families before they belt out a tune.  We have our cat people and our dog people.  We have those who love science fiction and those who love fantasy and history. We have our athletes and those who would prefer to spend their time on the stage. We have students who come from large families, others from small, and yet others from a mixed family who come together as one.  Our crayon box from our early years of learning did not include just one color.  And with it, man, did we draw and explore and appreciate what those colors could create!  

    Here at Mattawan, some may say we do not have a diverse student body or teaching staff when it comes to the color of our skin. We may not have a diverse population, but we need to celebrate we do have…every single day.  We cannot tolerate racism. We cannot stand behind bullying, whether it’s face-to-face or behind a screen.  We are so blessed with a multitude of personalities, strengths and weaknesses, talents and dreams. We need to recognize and celebrate even the smallest of acts and gifts. What would our schools be like without color, without different interests and career goals, without the unique characteristics that make up the people we learn with, perform with, or compete with on the field?  Helen Keller once said, “The highest result of education is tolerance.” We have so much to learn, so much to teach. We can all do our part to teach tolerance and value difference when so many come together creating one voice.

    If there is one thing, one trait, one characteristic that could create an atmosphere of safety and belonging, of well-being and peace, a world where all the colors in the crayon box got along, it would be kindness. Kindness just for the sake of being kind.  Kindness brings tolerance.  Kindness brings an open-mind.  Kindness eliminates prejudice and judgment.  There is no ranking or hate that comes as a result of kindness.  There is a sign in my office that reads, “You will not regret being kind today.”  I do not believe I have heard anyone feel bad about being kind.  Our students, as well as our staff, come to us with many personal stories and experiences.  We do not often know their unique day-to-day needs but we do know there is always a need for kindness. 

    With kindness in your hip pocket, tolerance of others will become a natural response.  Tolerance means accepting and valuing the differences between people, appreciating that these differences enrich us.  It recognizes that each of us has a limited perspective on the world and together, our tapestry of insights and virtues is greater than those of any one person, tribe, or culture alone. We are able to delight in the otherness of strangers and our intimate companions knowing that our own lives would be less rich if everyone were more like us. 

    “Tolerance is the mindful capacity to love, respect, accept the differences that make people unique.  This tolerance exists so that all people can live in harmony without the exclusion of one over the other or the will of the few disaffecting the lives of the many.” ~Byron R. Pulsifer 

    Tolerance and kindness are free. To be tolerant and kind does not require training, and the impact remains long after the act.  If a difference is to be made in how we treat each other, I believe it starts with tolerance and a random act of kindness. We owe it to each other and we certainly deserve it for ourselves.

     

    Empowering the Future…With Mattawan Pride,
    Superintendent Robin K. Buchler, PhD

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  • Keeping Children Positive About School

    Posted by Dr. Robin Buchler on 1/31/2018 12:30:00 PM

    It is hard to believe we are into the second semester of the 2018-2019 school year already! Our students have worked so hard these past five months that it can be easy to let their guard down and start to grow weary of the rigor and pace.  There will be times your children come home frustrated with a certain teacher, course, or homework assignment.

    Research about learning has revealed that stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on the brain's growth.  This lack of growth affects memory, engagement, and positive motivation. Each child's stress level varies according to the type of support they receive from adults, as well as their environment.

    According to an article "Academic Motivation: Strategies for Students" by Michael B. Brown, "letting your child know that you think school is important and providing recognition for their effort and successes can motivate learning." Brown suggests that the following ideas can help you increase your child's positive motivation to learn:


    Encourage positive family relationships and responsibility

    • Help your child become more independent and responsible.  Assign chores and maintain high expectations for proper behavior.
    • Do fun educational things with your child and the entire family.
    • Praise your child for trying hard and for being successful.  Everyone needs continuous encouragement.
    • Celebrate often.  It can be as small as extra one-on-one time with you to an extra 30 minutes of screen time on their favorite device.


    Model the importance of learning

    • Let your child know that school is important by making it your child's highest priority
    • Let your child see you read books, newspapers, and magazines.  Set a common reading time for your family.  Talk about what you have read.
    • Talk to your child about school and do not accept "it was fine" as the only answer.
    • Talk about career interests and research the education need to be successful


    Teach habits that encourage learning

    • Have a set routine for school work.  Kids need structure.
    • Set-up a "cool" learning environment in your home.
    • Make sure your child finishes homework at home.
    • Provide opportunities for success to encourage your child to try new things.
    • If you are unable to help your child with his or her homework, you can help by showing that you are interested.  Help with organization, provide the necessary tools, ask about daily assignments, have them try to teach you, praise their efforts, and communicate with your child's teacher.


    Work with your child's teacher to enhance academic motivation

    • Show your child that you respect his or her teacher.
    • Talk regularly with the teacher so your child sees that you are communicating and that his or her learning is of utmost importance to you.
    • Develop a system to give reinforcements at home.
    • Encourage your child to read.
    • Doing part or all of your child's homework for him or her will not help in the long run.

    Parents and family members are not alone in creating a positive learning environment for their child.  Partnering with your child's teacher and other school personnel is very important.  Together, we can provide a wealth of academic support for your child to gain the tools needed in today's complex, competitive world.

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  • Communication

    Posted by Dr. Robin Buchler on 1/31/2018 12:30:00 PM

    Communication is the oil that successfully keeps a vehicle running at peak performance.  We are so fortunate that you have chosen Mattawan Consolidated Schools to educate your child and we know that frequent, clear communication is key to your child’s peak performance. With this in mind, I am introducing two additional avenues of communication.  The first is a Superintendent’s Monthly Message, which you can find on our website, www.mattawanschools.org under the “Our District” tab.  This page will have educational topics, current research, or strategies to increase the achievement and well-being of our students. The first topic is on keeping your child positive about school, based on an article called “Academic Motivation: Strategies for Students” by Michael B. Brown.

    Secondly, I would like to provide two opportunities for parents, family members, students, and community members to stop in and talk.  This is an opportunity for me to learn from you and connect with those that have an interest in our school system.  It is a great time to celebrate your children's achievements, reflect, and give input regarding our schools.  We can become better when we are able to learn from others – all members of our community are critical to our success.  Come share your ideas to support academic success for all students and discuss the latest topics impacting MCS and public education.  All parents, students, and community members are welcome to attend.  There will be two dedicated times to stop in and talk:  The first and third Tuesday mornings from 7:00 – 8:00 AM or the first and third Thursday afternoons from 3:00 – 4:00 PM. These meetings will begin the first full week in February. Please stop in when you get the chance.

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