Season’s Best Wishes To Our Jewish Brethren on Rosh HaShanah - 2011

A very Happy and Prosperous New Year (שנה טובה Shana Tova Umetukah) to all our Jewish friends around the globe and other planets!


May this Rosh HaShanah bring everlasting peace on our planet!

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Ben Franklin Elementary School 50th Anniversary

Author: Natasha HK

Ben Franklin Elementary School 50th Anniversary
By: Natasha HK
[An alumnae of Ben Franklin Elementary]

On Saturday, September 24, 2011, Ben Franklin Elementary School kicked off the celebration of its 50th anniversary. The current principal of this school, Mr. Chris Turnbull, got 5 of BF's previous principals to come on this special day and share what it was like to be a principal in those days.
The principals that were able to come were:
 Lawrence “Mr. K” Ksanznak 1961-1964
 Joseph Stromen 1966-1968
 Dr. Ernest H. Smith Jr. 1968-1974
 Dr. Richard Graja 1974-1985
 Russell Stanley 1985-1989
 Chris Turnbull 2010-present

They all had very interesting stories to tell and answered many questions. Mr. Ksanznak was the first BF principal. During his leadership, the Lawrence township community people would come and volunteer to make food for the kids. Also, if you brought in a dime on Monday, it would pay for the entire week's milk! They said being a principal was no easy job, yet it had its moments. Some things they said were quite funny, like when they said some had no idea how to control kindergarteners.

Dr. Ernest Smith stated that he was the first college graduate in his family. His dad told him to work hard, and always try your best. He was a 6th grade teacher, 5th grade teacher, and once he had to babysit a kindergarten class, so he was clueless. The kids helped him, and were laughing, singing, and dancing with him.

Mr.. Stanley, the 6th principal, shared that he lives in Florida now! He also mentioned that the BF playground was an airfield where helicopters landed! Once, a helicopter landed during school, awing all the students.

Mr. K said on his first year at BF, he told the students to be careful on Halloween, and not to take candy from strangers. Then he said, “If you don't have anywhere to go, come to my house, and I'll give you some candy.” He stayed a little late in school that day, and his wife called. She was running out of candy, and said that there were about a hundred kids waiting outside for candy. So his kind neighbors came and gave them all their candy, helping them make popcorn in the kitchen and hand things out. Mr. K never advertised his address ever again to his students on Halloween. He also stated that he had done almost everything in life; he had been a basketball coach, he had swept floors, he taught, was the assistant superintendent, the superintendent, and the first ever principal of his favorite school, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, also known as the Friendly School.

There were several questions asked by students and parents. One of them was, if there was ever a dress code and what it was. Mr. K said that many people wanted a dress code, but when he looked at the crowd, he saw everyone was wearing something different. A blue dress here, green shorts there, purple pigtails at the back, and so on. He thought that was what made Ben Franklin so special. If they all wore the same thing, you would not be able to tell what color they may like at the first glance. They would all be forced to look the same, which would make BF a little less special to him and the kids.

Another question was by a little girl, and she asked who thought of famous Amos? The principals concluded it was somewhere in the 1990s before Mr. Buss. The principal decided that the school needed a mascot. At that time the movie “Ben and Me” was very famous, so Amos the mouse was chosen.

One thing in common with all the ten principals of BF was that they all enjoyed the challenges and above all, they all loved the students and staff. All the 6 principals present agreed this was the best part of the entire school. The bricks and desks made it easier to learn, but staff and students actually did the work.

Mr. K challenged the current and former students of BF to make a new song for Ben Franklin Elementary. The reason behind this was because the current BF song was made by students themselves in the last 50 years to the tune of “O Christmas Tree”. Students of many generations have learned and sang this song proudly. Most still remember the words, and will never forget it, like me.

Towards the end of this memorable event, the principals happily autographed yearbooks and other memorabilia brought in by children and took pictures with everyone. To be honest, I think the principals enjoyed this event most because they saw all their old friends, secretaries, staff and students. It made them proud when they see that their students are basketball players, or math professors or teachers because they feel they have some part in what has happened to the students, and how well they have turned out.

After the autographs, everyone went outside BF to see its Peace Garden and tree. The Peace Garden was planted in memory of Martin Luther King Jr., and the tree was a Cleveland Pear Tree, commemorating the 50th anniversary. The current students of Ben Franklin made ornaments for the tree. Each class chose one date from 1961-2011 and researched it. They put all fun facts about that one year on a piece of paper which was laminated and everyone who wanted to could pick a date and hang it them selves on the tree. One day, when the tree will be tall and strong, those memories would still be there.

Mr. Turnbull also mentioned that all former students and current students could buy a brick. “Why a brick?”, you may ask. Well, they are going to build a memorial wall, right outside BF. What's to remember? The 50th anniversary of the friendly school, of course. When you buy the brick, you can write anything school appropriate on it and it will stand (hopefully for more than 50 years) and last a long time.

The Ben Franklin School is much like a quilt. It has been woven by many students, principals, teachers, staff, volunteers, and more. This year, they hope not only to celebrate the past 50 years, but to believe that the next 50 years will build upon the solid foundation of the first 50 years.

The above is written by 11 year old, Natasha HK.

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9/11 - We Will Always Remember!

Source: theFundooGeek:

As we approach the 10th anniversary of the event known as "9/11", our hearts, good wishes & prayers go to each and every family and person who lost someone - a family member or friend or neighbor or colleague. We can never be able to comprehend the sorrow and the loss but we will always stand firm together; now and forever - long after terrorism is vanquished. And terror will be defeated!

The fear will diminish and once again we will build the trust that was all but lost in the aftermath of "9/11".

We, at pay our heartfelt tribute to all the heroes who fell on "9/11". We honor and salute those who have since made the ultimate sacrifice to keep the world safe and so we can enjoy our freedom.

Peace and Happiness to every earthling!!!

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Seals of Various US Government Departments - Federal and Local

One of our avid Fundoo geek forwarded her collection of department seals. She wanted us to publish on her behalf. So here they are for your viewing pleasure.

Please note that these seals are copyright of the respective departments.

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