Back to school
"Back to school" means shopping for school supplies. Anthology, a new shop at 218 State St., offers novelty folders, recycled-paper notebooks and a button-making station for personalizing backpacks and tote bags. Among the store's most popular items are attractive folders and stickers from Japan. "I'm not sure if it ties in with the manga culture or if there is just something about Japan that appeals to the preteen," says Laura Komai, Anthology's co-owner. Inventory changes rapidly, but that's part of the charm. "I think there is appeal in shopping at a locally owned store, where the two people who stand behind the register have had a hand in making, selecting, buying and displaying everything," says Komai, adding that Anthology includes items sold on consignment by about 20 local artists.
Shelly Trowbridge and Kelli Betsinger have been looking forward to the waning days of summer for a long time. At 8 a.m. on Aug. 8, their efforts to raise more than $200,000 for Wisconsin's first Boundless Playground will pay off. That's when construction crews, donors and plenty of kids are expected to descend on Elvehjem Elementary School to break ground on an elaborate, sensory-rich play structure. Measuring 81 by 56 feet, it will feature sunshades, poured-in-place rubber surfacing and ramps that will allow every child, regardless of physical ability, to reach the highest deck. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is slated for Sept. 5. "This is really a community playground," says Betsinger, whose son Noah is one of several Elvehjem students who use wheelchairs or walkers. "It's on school property, but the businesses, families and individuals who've donated have been from all over." LVM Dreams Big (playgroundsupport.com) will remain intact, continuing to accept donations for maintenance and upkeep, as well as for modifications to parks and playgrounds in other communities. "My kids are friends with kids who have special needs, and they are learning at a young age what inclusion means," Trowbridge says about her involvement in this project. "I just think that's the coolest thing."
To make books accessible to more children, Kohl's Department Stores has issued an inexpensive edition ($5 each) of four hardcover picture books by award-winning author Eric Carle (of Very Hungry Caterpillar fame).
Each takes as its hero a different kind of bear (polar, panda, baby and brown) interacting with other members of the animal kingdom. It's part of the Kohl's Cares for Kids program, with proceeds to benefit hospitals. Carle's bold, bright paint-and-cutout illustrations of all different animals - blue horses, gold fish, flying squirrels - will engage kids in the world of nature and the imagination. There's lots of movement but little moralizing; lessons are mostly implicit.
Available at Kohl's and through kohls.com.
- Linda Falkenstein
Sept. 2 is the first day of school in Madison.
New students at East, La Follette, Memorial and West high schools begin registering Aug. 15. District-wide elementary enrollment day is Aug. 21.
Registration for grades 6-12 is Aug. 20-28. Call 608-663-1879 or check www.madison.k12.wi.us/register.htm for details.