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Pen Pal Update

penpalFor those of you who have been patiently waiting to hear from your Taiwanese Pen Pal, please read this email I received from Helen, one of the teachers at Raey Guang:

Dear Mrs. Reagan,
I’m very happy to hear from you again and I’m doing fine. Thank you. The reason that your students received no feedback from any one of our students is because we were on winter vacation. And our students need the assistance from English teachers to read and write you back. We’re going to start the pen pals activity this afternoon. I’m sure that your kids will soon receive information from us.

I’m very excited to tell you that we’re making a plan to visit Georgetown Elementary next year!  I will write more later.


If you have not heard from your pen pal by March 5, please get in touch with me and I will email Helen again.  Also, this is exciting news that teachers will be visiting Georgetown!  I will let you know details once I receive them from Helen.

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Message From Taiwan

Pingtung MapWe have received two emails from Raey Guang Elementary following the typhoon disaster of early August.

The principal, Chung Wen Yu, shared the following:

Thanks for your kind care about the typhoon in Taiwan. Places near sea and in mountains were severely destroyed after this typhoon. Our school is located in downtown area, and luckily nothing was really damaged. But, we all really concern the people who are suffering from this disaster. We’ve been trying to provide what we have to people there to help them. We also really appreciate your international rescue team; they worked really hard cleaning the mess and helping people rebuild their house and lives. Thank you again!

And, from Sarah:

Thank for your caring. It’s all fine in Pingtung urban center. The most terrible disaster is in the mountains. So far. there were much mud in some villages, and many soldiers, volunteers help clean the mud. However, there is anthoer potential crisis-infection disease, like H1N1. Anyway, hope everything and everybody are safe and well.

Please continue to keep the thousands of people who are homeless and dealing with the loss of loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.

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International Artists

AubreyIn April of 2009, Mrs. DeWeerd invited our school to enter an international art exhibition in China.   Our  sister school  Raey Guang is in Pingtung, Taiwan, and  she felt this would be a natural connection for our students.

Mrs. Brouwer, our art teacher, selected five works of student art and submitted them to the 40th Annual World School Children’s Art Exhibition. This exhibition is held each August at the National Taiwan Arts Education Center in Taipei, Republic of China, and features children’s artwork from all over the world.

SheriTWO of our student pieces were selected for display in the exhibition – Aubrey’s “Happy Robot” and Shari’s “Winter Pine”.

Selection for the Taiwan exhibition is a great honor and our Georgetown artists deserve congratulations for their hard work!  Their pieces were selected from over 30,000 submissions (yes, thirty thousand!) from 53 countries. Aubrey and Shari will be given a “Certificate of Merit” sent to me from the Republic of China for their participation in the Exhibition. Congratulations, Georgetown Artists!

We received a beautiful catalog that contains color images of the World School pieces that were awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in the competition. It will be on display in the art room….stop in for a look at the award winning artwork created by children living in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Bolivia, Brunei….and 47 other countries!

Both pieces of art will now be added to our permanent collection so that they can be appreciated and honored for years to come.

Many thanks to Mrs. DeWeerd for encouraging us to submit work, to Mrs. Brouwer for taking the time to safety pack and ship this work to China, and to our artists (Shari & Aubrey) for creating the work that showcased our wonderful school and country!

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Blog Spotlight

I would like to highlight a very special blog this week:  Families that Blog Together, Learn Together.  This site matches Georgetown families with Raey Guang families — the intent of fostering an appreciation and understanding of one anothers family lives.  Our sister school, Raey Guang Elementary, is in Pingtung, Taiwan.

Michele DeWinter, a parent and paraprofessional in our school, is responsible for creating, hosting and managing this blog.  She has matched families and creatively works to overcome the communication barriers (English vs Mandarin).

A Raey Guang teacher, Chia Pin Chen, recently added a class post to our Blogpal site.  The post helps us to learn about their interests–foods, activities, and pets!  Please take time to read the post and leave comments sharing your interests.  In addition, Chia Pin Chen, created a class blog with photos of the children in his class.  This blog is in early stages of development, but very much worth a visit.

We look forward to sharing all that we learn about our friends in Pingtung, Taiwain through our blogs.

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Christmas Greetings from Taiwan!


I woke this morning to find Merry Christmas wish to us from our friends in Taiwan!  Enjoy their greetings and have a wonderful Christmas with your families–both in Taiwan and Michigan!  Mrs. Reagan




I’m Alexander, or you can call me Grasscarp – yes,it’s a big fish.
’m 12 years old.  My favorite subject is SCIENCE.
ike fish.  
self intruduction?)  
’m a student in Raey-Guang.
o everyone:  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
 know everyone likes Chrismas in America, me too!
y the way,  Happy new year!
n Chinese is:shing-nien-kwai-lah

Hope you Happy everyday.

from Taiwan, Alexander




I am, jessie, a student in Raey-Guang. I always hope that it could snow here in Ping-Tung,but it could’nt become true。I hope I can visit Georgetown Elementary School too. From jessie


Well, merry christmas!!

From Brian


Hello! Georgetown Elementary School. My name is Anna. Today is Taiwan`s Merry Chirstmas. I am so happy on Chirstmas. Are you happy?

From Anna




I am, Chuck, a student in Raey-Guang. I always hope that it could snow here in Ping-Tung, but it couldn’tt become true。I hope I can visit Georgetown Elementary School too. From Chuck


Hello my name is Ginnie!
erry chirstmas!*-*
 am very Happy !



I am Johnny, a student in Raey-Guang.I am very happy and surprised.
erry Christmas



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We made the Taiwan News!

Joan Jang, a student from Taiwan who attends Purdue University, shared through email that we had made the news in Taiwan!  Mrs. Yu Wen, the principal of our sister school, Raey Guang Elementary, was interviewed about our partnership.  The photo in both articles shows her holding our student artwork (a gift from Georgetown to Raey Guang) that was presented during her visit to our school in October 2008.

Both articles cite our blogs–the one you are viewing right now and our blogs set up for FAMILY BLOGGERS (matching families from each school to communicate with one another) and SCHOOLS THAT BLOG TOGETHER (blog communication between the students/teachers of both schools).  The articles (below), are in Chinese and English.  I wanted you to be able to see both versions–and appreciate the beauty of the written Mandarin language.  Please be aware that the English translation is close…but not exactly true to the elegance of the Chinese language.  The message of collaboration and appreciation of both countries and cultures is strong and clear in both languages.  Enjoy!  Mrs. Reagan

Taiwan Yahoo! News:Chinese

Taiwan Yahoo! News:  English 

Liberty Times:Chinese

Liberty Times: English

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Wintery Photo of Georgetown

I thought I would update the photo of our school on the front page of our blog.  This will help our friends in P’ing Tung, Taiwan to visualize our snowy weather.  If you peak at the weather in Taiwan right now (see upper right tab at the top of this page), you will see that our sister school lies in the Tropic of Cancer–which means it does not snow there!

Another reason for updating the picture is that the spring like picture was driving our trepid and fastidious custodian, Mr. Rob, CRAZY!   He did not like the fact that I posted a photo in which the lawn was not mowed.   Oh how we love Mr. Rob and the great pride he takes in keeping our building clean, tidy and just right for all of us.  He is one of a kind.  Thank you, Mr. Rob, for all you do!

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From Hudsonville to Pingtung

Our sister school, Raey Guang Elementary, has a very important piece of student art work on display in their school. Mrs. Chung Wen Yu, the principal, came to Georgetown on October 22, 2008. Mrs. Yu was presented with the art work as a gift.  Upon her return, she presented this to the students and staff and has it on display at the school.  This special gift that was created by our students with Mrs. Brouwer’s assistance.  As we work to establish communication between the schools, I will update parents via the blog.