Winter Break: Catch Up on Your Studies

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For AAPS students, you may still have some major assignments hanging over your head during the winter break. After all, the semester isn't over until January 28! If you need some skill building or additional support from a tutor, don't forget about our free tutoring subscription to Brainfuse. Finding time to meet up with a free tutor won't get any easier than this.

Thurston Chess Tournament - Calling K-8 Students in Ann Arbor

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This largest-of-the-year local kids chess tournament is open to chess players in grades K-8 and directed by chess teacher Ray Garrison. It is an excellent low-key opportunity for families to experience their first kids chess tournament, and a timely warm-up for those who want to play in the upcoming statewide competitions. There are four sections based on age and chess level, with afternoon-only sessions for newer players (including one section dedicated to K-1 players) and all-day sessions for more experienced players. The tournament typically draws 80-100 kids, and all players receive a participation certificate. Fees range from $8-15, with all profits to the Thurston PTO. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Visit wwwThurstonChess.com for more information and registration options. 9:30am-5pm or noon-5pm. Thurston Elementary School, 2300 Prairie, Ann Arbor. For more information, call 663-6326.

Brainfuse Demonstrations on aadl.org!

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Curious about Brainfuse but not sure how it works? A Brainfuse Demonstration is just a click away! You can see a general overview of the program; get a gander at the Brainfuse Writing lab, or view a demonstration geared toward adults studying for the GED. A GED demo is also available in Spanish! While tutors are available from 2:00pm-11:00pm every day (minus holidays), these demonstrations may be viewed any time you log on to aadl.org. This subscription to Brainfuse is one of the many benefits to having an AADL L card. It's fast, fun and free to work with a Brainfuse tutor!

Extended ESL Class Registration

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The Ann Arbor Public Schools Adult Education has extended registration for ESL classes. Enrollments will be accepted through Monday, August 30th. Students must be 19 years old and have a passport with a visa, a green card or a Social Security card. ESL classes start Tuesday, Sept. 7, and run every weekday, Monday through Friday. There are no night ESL classes. You do not have to live in the Ann Arbor Public Schools district to take classes. Those interested in registration should call 997-1250 or visit the AAPS ESL website.

Registration for fall GED and ESL classes

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Registration for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Adult Education programs, including GED preparation and English as a Second Language classes, is taking place in the weeks before school begins.

Those interested in Adult Education classes do not have to live in the Ann Arbor Public Schools district to take classes. Registration takes place in Room 206 at Stone High School.

Brush Up on Bicycle Safety!

Ride RightRide RightJoseph Kane's Famous First Facts, a wonderfully informative and interesting resource, notes that it was on this day in 1896 that the first reported automobile accident causing injury in the United States occurred. This first injury accident was an automobile-bicycle collision resulting in a fractured leg, and represents a cautionary event that's still relevant 114 years later.

Keeping cyclists safe is everybody's responsibility. Even way back then, the law relied on cyclists to be visible in traffic and to pedestrians, and to outfit their bikes appropriately for the conditions. According to an article in an 1899 edition of the New York Times, that city's own squad of bicycle policemen had made 65 arrests by 10pm on June 4th, most of which were for cyclists riding without a light and bell.

To help cyclists of all ages try to avoid the various road and traffic hazards, the AADL offers many helpful resources.

Try this search to get you started on bike safety materials for young and beginning riders. There is also a Safety Town run jointly by the Ann Arbor Police Department and the Ann Arbor Public Schools Community Education & Recreation Department. Safety Town was founded in my hometown of Mansfield, Ohio in 1937 by a traffic commissioner and a kindergarten teacher, and "includes pedestrian safety, bike safety, stranger safety, drug awareness, fire safety, school bus safety, outdoor safety and seat belt safety." I remember having an absolute blast riding my tricycle around the miniature town (with Mansfield landmark buildings and working stop light!), obeying all the rules of the road I'd just learned. If the program is anything like it was back then, I can strongly recommend it for any young person.

Even we old(er) cyclists need to keep reminding ourselves how to stay safe. Here are a few books that might help us stay upright and moving forward. Parts of David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling are actually very relevant to bicyclists (and anyone in traffic). I haven't read anything anywhere that's had a better effect on my understanding of visibility, sight lines, and awareness.

For a little perspective, Kane reports that almost exactly three years after that first accident, a bicycle officer made the first ever arrest of a driver for speeding. The driver was traveling at the "breakneck speed" of 12mph on NYC's Lexington Ave.

Oh, and did I mention that speedster back in 1899 was an electric car?

Amazing Brainfuse!

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It's 9:00 p.m. Your 8th grade child pulls out her math homework and divulges she 'doesn't get it' and of course, it's due tomorrow. They call it Everyday Math, but you know YOU don't use it every day. There's tears, fear and anxiety as you try to remember what you learned in 8th grade, about a million years ago. Relax, Dad! Have your student visit AADL's new LIVE homework help called Brainfuse. This service is available from 2 pm-11 pm EVERY DAY of the week from home or at AADL sites when we're open! Core subject tutoring is offered for grades 3-12 and it's quick, secure and FUN! Try it TODAY!

Brainfuse Writing Lab

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Perhaps you've tried Brainfuse for Homework Help, but did you know they offer a Writing lab? Yep, you can upload a paper or writing assignment you are working on to send to a live, on-line tutor. Tutors are available from 2:00 pm-11:00 pm every day (minus holidays). Papers can be uploaded & within 24 hours a tutor will provide you with constructive feedback about your writing. You can even include your resumé! If you just need to brush up on Language Arts you can still use the skill building portal of Brainfuse. It's fast, fun and free to work with a Brainfuse tutor !

Bridges to Success

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The Ann Arbor Public School Adult Education is offering a free class to assist in job searching and career development called Bridges to Success. In the class, you will create a resume, explore goals and career possibilities, plan for your future success, get comfortable with computers, and learn how to apply online for jobs, college, and financial aid. You'll also hear from guest speakers who will share with you how they got their GEDs and used them to change their lives. Classes begin Tuesday, March 2nd and will be held on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 pm at Stone School. You can register at Stone School in room 406 on Thursdays between 6 and 8 pm. If you have questions, call 997-1250 or 216-0365.

Brainfuse Break

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Brainfuse will not be available from Wednesday December 23 after 7:00 EST through 12/26/09. Live on line tutoring resumes 12/ 28 & 29 from 2:00 pm-11:00 pm & closes early on 12/31/09 at 7:00 pm. Tutors are available again on January 3, 2010. Our research databases will be here 24/7, or take a look at opposing viewpoints in preparation for that long standing argument with your parents.

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