Be On the Lookout for Academic Support Letters!

This week, letters will be sent out to families to let parents know if their child will receive Academic Support Services now that grade level Fall Benchmark assessments are finished. Some new students will be eligible to receive support. Some students who received support last year and during September and October will continue receiving help from the instructional aides. Other students who have made gains may be discontinued at this time. Those children will be monitored and if they need more help in the future they can reenter the program and their parents will be notified at that time.

If you received an Entry Letter, please return the Parent Contact Information Page as soon as possible.

Have you clicked on some of the links in the top menu of this blog? Explore them and you’ll find some resources and sites for both parents and students. If your child is new to the program you can also “meet” the Instructional Aides and me by clicking on the links at the top. Resources will be added along with new posts at least monthly throughout the year.

There will be a Parent Advisory Team meeting on  Thursday, November 14 at 8:45 a.m. We will review and update the Bennie School Compact. All parents with students in the program who have time available in their schedules that morning are invited to attend. Sign in at the Bennie Office and you’ll be directed to the correct room.

Please support the Scholastic Book Fair that is run by our Bennie PTA. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the children to get some new books or for you to shop for books for holiday gifts.


Sandy Artman, Bennie Reading Specialist Academic Support Services



Literacy Walk Final Results

An amazing $15, 477.05 was raised to buy new book sets for Bennie Bobcats!

Thank you Bennie Families, Friends and Staff for working together to provide books and literacy materials for our Bobcat Readers. In addition, the Business Sponsors/Donors listed below are to be commended for their generosity in supporting the 2019 Literacy Walk. All Bennie Students will benefit from having new reading material to learn from and enjoy!


The Taco Stand Taqueria, AP  *   Joe’s Carpet Service, Taylor   *   The Visionary, Allen Park

Signarama, Allen Park   *   Bill Brown Ford, Livonia   *   Law Offices of Miller and Miller, P.C. AllenPark

Burger Law Offices, Allen Park   *  Wishbone Restaurant, Allen Park   * Major Tomato, Allen Park

Allen Park Dental, Drs. Greg & Joanne Szalai   *  Tim’s Coney Island, AP   *

Liberati’s Italian Deli & Bakery, Allen Park  *  Sam Quisenberry State Farm, Southgate   *

Wayne County Bail Bonds, AP   *  Bambi’s Flowers, Allen Park   *   Sam’s Club, Southgate

Thank You Rotary Club of Allen Park!

Great News! The Rotary Club is going to donate a book each month for the entire school year to ALL first graders in Allen Park! Rotary Park members attended the Allen Park School Board Meeting on Monday, October 14 to share information about their generous donation. The board meeting was also attended by some first grade teachers and students who came to represent all first grades and thank the Rotary Club. Mrs. McCall and Mrs. Rader from Bennie joined Mrs. Latigo and Mrs. Rose from Lindemann and me in assisting the students and thanking the Rotary Club for the new books. Eight students from all three elementary buildings went to the microphone to thank the Rotary Club and shared what kind of books they like to read the most.

Books for Bobcats

Bennie Bobcats Thank Our Generous

Literacy Walk Business Donors/Sponsors:

The Taco Stand Taqueria, Allen Park/Taylor

Joe’s Carpet Service, Taylor

The Visionary, Inc., Allen Park

Signarama of Allen Park

Bill Brown Ford, Inc. Livonia

Law Offices of Miller & Miller P.C., Allen Park

Burger Law Offices P.C., Allen Park

Liberati’s Italian Deli & Bakery, Allen Park

Wishbone Restaurant, Allen Park

Major Tomato, Allen Park

AP Martial Arts Center

Allen Park Dental, Drs. Greg & Joanne Szalai

Tim’s Coney Island, Allen Park

Sam Quisenberry State Farm, Southgate

Wayne County Bail Bonds, Allen Park

Bambi’s Flowers, Allen Park

Sam’s Club, Southgate

Want to become a business sponsor? Cash donations or Checks made payable to Bennie Elementary can be mailed,

dropped off at the office or will be picked up by a Business Team staff member by calling Bennie’s office at 313-827-1300.

‘Books for Bobcats!’

It’s a great day to be a Bennie Business Partner

& Make a Difference!

Bennie Elementary

17401 Champaign

Allen Park, MI 48101



2019 Literacy Walk is this Thursday, October 10th!

Attention Parent Volunteers:

If you would like to help out at the Literacy Walk, please click on the link below and fill out the time you are able to help:

Sign Up for Literacy Walk Parent Volunteers


Parents, Grandparents, etc are welcome to come to cheer on the Bobcats as they walk/run around the High School Track. Sign in at Bennie’s Office for a Visitor’s Badge and then walk or drive over to the High School Track.

Literacy Walk Schedule for October 10th:

8:50-9:30               4th Grade

9:35-10:15             5th Grade

10:20-11:00           3rd Grade

Volunteers’ Lunch Break

12:15-12:55            1st Grade

1:00-1:40                2nd Grade

1:45 – 2:15              Kindergarten/Young 5s

(Rain Date: Tuesday, October 15th, if necessary.)

It’s a Great Day to Get More Books for Bobcats!

Did you know that donations can come from other countries, too? Last night someone in Canada donated money to buy new books for the Bobcats to read! How nice!

As of October 7th, family and friends have donated from:

Michigan              California

Ohio                      Florida

New York             Tennessee

Indiana                 Minnesota

Wisconsin           Pennsylvania

Oklahoma            South Carolina   

Missouri               Idaho     

Arizona                Texas              

16 STATES!!!                              

And, Ontario, Canada!!!    

Did you know…

  • Mrs. Metzger will dress up in a chicken costume and do the Chicken Dance for the Bobcats to show how happy she is after we reach our goal and are able to buy lots of new book sets for the Literacy Library?  These books will be checked out by the teachers and read by our students for years to come!
  • The top fundraising upper and lower el classrooms will earn a pizza party?
  • The top fundraiser from each grade will earn Lunch with the Principal?
  • Superstar fundraisers will enjoy having an ice cream sundae with Mrs. Artman after reaching the Goal of $150?  There are already 19 Bobcats who have reached this goal!
  • Any student who is registered and their webpage shared at least one time receives a small incentive prize?
  • All students will have a Flav-R-Ice freezer pop, a Bobcat Sticker and a fun time visiting the Jags’ track at the High School?
  • Pledges can be made using cash, checks payable to Bennie Elementary and charge through the site? Donations are accepted for the walk through October 18th!

Academic Support Team Supports Brett Bowman

Bennie’s Academic Support Team wore purple shirts to show support for AP & Jags alumni Brett Bowman, who received a double lung transplant recently. Anyone attending the Jags football game tonight is encouraged to wear purple to show support for Brett and raise awareness of cystic fibrosis. The game will be Friday, September 20th at 7 pm at APHS.

WELCOME to the 2019-2020 School Year!


The first week of school is an exciting, fresh, new beginning! Students are eager to see their friends and new teachers. There is some nervous anticipation and some mixed feelings about leaving home/family to go back to school…on the part of both and teachers!

Classroom teachers are establishing routines and norms this week. Fall assessments will begin the second week in order to obtain information about which students gained, stayed the same or lost some skills during the summer months so we can meet their individual current needs. Some assessments that will be given during September are the letter and sound identification for kindergarten students, NWEA-Reading and Math MAP tests, DIBELS -indicators of early literacy skills, and the BAS Benchmark Assessment System which indicates a reading level which would be a comfortable fit for each student. A couple paper/pencil short math assessments are also given to students in grades 3-5.

The Academic Support Program will begin in September and October by servicing students who were in the program last spring and did not meet spring benchmark scores. After the teachers are done with fall testing, some students may no longer need help and new students may be added to the Academic Support Program. Parents will receive letters at that time to let them know whether or not their children will continue to receive help from our instructional aides. Usually, most of these changes are made towards the end of October. As the year progresses, children may continue to be discontinued or added depending on how they are doing. Flexibility is important to meet children’s ongoing needs!

Students in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade may be eligible to receive reading support within the classroom by our highly qualified instructional aides. (Read more about them by clicking on Meet Our Instructional Aides in the menu at the top of this blog.) In addition, some students in grades 3-5 may be eligible to participate in computer adaptive math support using Reflex Math and/or Learning Farm programs to shore up basic math facts and to practice math skills which are needed for State of Michigan requirements. More information about these programs will follow.

There will be a Title I Annual Meeting on Meet-the-Teacher Night, Thursday September 12 at 5:45 p.m. in the cafeteria. At that time information will also be given regarding the Third Grade Reading Law. Program design will be discussed, Mrs. Metzger and I will be available to answer questions, and opportunities to volunteer and be involved on the Title I Parent Advisory Team and in other ways will be explained. This Annual Meeting will be held in the Bennie Cafeteria and is open to all parents/guardians. Please join Mrs. Metzger and me there!

This year I will be working closely with classroom teachers modelling strategies and supporting them in various ways. Working with them and your children is an honor. I consider myself lucky to be an Allen Park teacher and look forward to sharing information with you about literacy strategies and how you can support your child’s education at home throughout the year.

You can email me during the year at or leave a message for me by calling me at Bennie at 313-827-1300. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Sandy Artman

Bennie Elementary Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach

Academic Support Programs Coordinator

Summer Resources and Preventing Summer Slide

What is Summer Slide?

Summer Slide is when students lose reading and other academic skills throughout summer months when they are not in school and do not read or utilize math skills on a regular basis. Gains made throughout the school year decrease and students have to work in the fall to regain what they lost over the summer. Struggling readers and readers from households without access to reading material are especially at risk for Summer Slide.

What Can You Do to Prevent Summer Slide?

1. Use the Learning Farm Subscription

If your child is receiving Academic Support and is in first through fifth grade, he/she has a free subscription to Learning Farm which will be available all summer. (There are a few kindergarteners who will also receive a note to participate.) Take a few minutes to check out Learning Farm, which is web-based and can be used on a computer or tablet. Learning Farm has objectives that correlate to the State of Michigan’s academic goals. Children can watch mini-lessons and practice skills and play games in the areas of reading, math, science and social studies. Each student has his/her own log in name (student id#) and password to access the program. The academic material given will get easier or more challenging depending on the student’s correct or incorrect responses.

Students can use Learning Farm at home not only during the rest of the school year but also throughout the summer months.  Here is the link to use to log on:   Your child needs to use their student ID# for their user name and their regular computer password. (If your child has difficulty remembering how to log in, send Mrs. Artman an email and the log-in information will be sent back to you.) One year subscriptions for additional children are available through Learning Farm for $50 for one year.

Learning Farm   

Image result for learning farm

2. Reflex Math Continues to Be Available Throughout the Summer – Take Advantage of It

If your child received Math Support in grades 3-5, they can continue to access their Reflex Math account during the summer. It will be checked periodically to see students’ progress and move them up to higher levels if/when ready. Children who practice their math facts using Reflex Math and who practice other math skills using Learning Farm at least three days per week should maintain or improve their skills over the summer months. These resources are available to you for free so be sure to take advantage of them! (If you know that your child will NOT use Learning Farm at all this summer, please let Mrs. Artman know so that the subscription can be reassigned to a new student.


3. Read To and Read With Your Child Every Day

Set aside time for your child to read alone and to read with you. Yes, even if your child is in 4th or 5th grade. Yes, even if your child would rather play video games or play outside. There is a lot of time available for other family activities during the summer, so be sure to schedule at least 20 minutes of reading each day. Children who do not read, write or do math over the summer months usually return to school in September and are behind where they left in June. This has been shown through research and I have personally observed it happen with some students every year, as both as classroom teacher and reading specialist,. Students can self select books based upon interest and enjoyment. Adults usually don’t take textbooks and work-related books to the beach to read. They pick easier and enjoyable books, newspapers, magazines etc. Students can read books/magazines etc.  they are interested in and motivated to read as long as they are reading! With younger children you can read to them, take turns sharing the reading on different pages or read a book that they listen to while you read. Variety makes it more fun and by reading to your child they are exposed to richer vocabulary and plots than they would be able to read independently.

4. If your child needs extra help, consider hiring a tutor. Here’s a list of tutors who are in the area:


5. Visit your local library.

Allen Park and most local libraries offer summer programs and activities. Sign up for a library card, visit the library with your child and take advantage of the free resources and programs.

Allen Park Public Library website

Melvindale Public Library website/hours

Southgate Public Library website/hours

Taylor Public Library website/hours

6. Michigan Virtual Summer Learning

Home based virtual learning classes are offered on-line. Below is a link to an email I received that has more information. You can sign up for a parent account to view what courses are offered and whether the ones you are interested in are free or low cost.

Michigan Kids’ Summer Virtual Learning Opportunities

7. Summer Bennie Book Exchange (Grades Young 5s to-Grade 4) and Learning Camp (Summer School) at Bennie – Grades K-2

More information will be coming about both of these activities. Children will receive some books before the end of the school year and will be able to visit Bennie throughout the summer if they want to exchange them for new ones to read. Mrs. Metzger will provide information on the days and times of this program in her blog and through Remind.

If your child is eligible for summer learning camp, (summer school) you are encouraged to sign him/her up. This is a wonderful free opportunity for them to get help in small groups and 1:1. The teachers and instructional aides working the program are experienced and will help keep your child from falling behind this summer.  Funding is available for Bennie to offer Summer School to targeted Academic Support Program students in Kindergarten through Second grade who are most at risk of falling behind in reading during the summer months or who need to make the most gains. Invitations will be sent home if your child is eligible after spring benchmark assessment scores have been submitted by the classroom teachers (probably the last week of May or very beginning of June). The invitations will give the dates and times and other information.

Please sign up promptly to save a spot for your child! If you have any questions about the program, don’t hesitate to contact Mrs. Metzger or Mrs. Artman.

8. Look at the June/July/August Daily Activity Planners for activity ideas that will help your child learn each day.

Find the links to the Helping Children Learn newsletters and the Activity Planners in the menu at the top of this blog. Even if you don’t do the activities in the exact order suggested or every single activity, it’s worth taking a look and using the ones that you choose with your children.

9. Visit or Revisit the Parent Resources located in the menu at the top of this blog.

During the school year, you may have been too busy to utilize these resources with your child. But, if you’re looking for ways to keep your children busy and learning this summer, check out the links and resources listed on this blog.

 10. Remember……..




Marvelous May

Does Your Child Need a Tutor this Summer?

Here is a list of individuals who are available to tutor. Parents need to contact these individuals to see who would be the best fit for their child. The list is provided as a courtesy but specific recommendations cannot be made. The teachers on the list included their areas of expertise and experience to help with selection.

Click to see SUMMER TUTOR LIST 2019


Advisory Team Meeting  – May 7th

A Title I/Academic Support Program Parent Advisory Meeting was held on Tuesday morning, May 7th. The meeting was held at 8:40 in the Media Center Conference Room. Survey results were shared and discussed.

Below is a link to the slide presentation that was shared at the meeting:

Academic Support Program End of Year Report

New May Parent Newsletter & Daily Planner Available Now – Click Links Below

May Helping Children Learn Newsletter

May Daily Activity Planner

(Paper copies were also sent home with Academic Support Program students.)

Benchmark Assessment Continues

Benchmark Assessment is continuing throughout May. All students in the school participate. The tests used for Benchmark testing include NWEA-MAP, DIBELS, and BAS.  Students who are currently in the program and who do not achieve benchmark spring goals will continue to receive service in the fall. If they achieve proficiency on fall benchmark assessments, which are given to all students in September and October, they may then be discontinued from the program at that times and parents will be notified.

Congratulations Tempy and Isabel!

Mrs. Metzger congratulates Tempy and Isabel for achieving their most recent Reflex Math goals. Great job, girls!