Friday, December 6, 2013

     ECAREA      Eau Claire Area Retired Educators
ECAREA Unit Meeting
Florian Gardens
December 2, 2013
12:00 p.m.

The meeting began with Chris welcoming everyone and leading us in the table prayer.  We enjoyed a delicious dinner before the short business meeting was held. 

Business Meeting

A.  First time attendees and new members were welcomed and asked to introduce themselves.

B.  Treasurer: Judy reported that as of today we have a balance of $1636.27 in the checking account and $1656.61 in the savings account. 

C. Committee Reports:

Social:  Loreen thanked Florian Gardens for the delicious meal and announced that our next meeting will be in February at Chapel Heights.   

Membership:  Ruth welcomed new members and asked that they encourage other retirees to join us at future meetings.

Legislative:  Owen reported that there are no legislative alerts at this time.  He mentioned the governor’s intent to hold a special session in December in relation to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act whereby our legislature and the governor have refused to accept increased Medicaid funding through the ACA, and several other recent legislative proposed amendments that we might be interested in following.  He ended with a hopeful message about a possible increase in our pensions due to the rise in stock market performances.

Past President:  Cathy was absent.

Health:  Marlaine had nothing to share.

Education:  Carla was absent.  

Newsletter:  Jeanette reminded committee members that articles are due to her by January 15th for the newsletter.

Website:  Cheryl was absent.

Bottle caps/labels:  Carol informed members that some of the box tops we collect have expiration dates on them, so we should bring them to our meetings in a timely manner.  She also announced that we collected $150.00 at today’s meeting for recess games along with the ones brought in on the back table.  She shared that the games will go to Robbins School and also some to Mondovi schools.

D.  Old Business
            1.  Chris shared that our March meeting will be held at DeLong Middle School and Amy Traynor will speak on her experience of being voted Teacher of the Year in 2012.

            2.  Chris reminded everyone to send her a listing of their volunteer hours.  She shared her email address and referred them to an email they had received from Cathy Hoffman.  These hours will be submitted to the State the end of December.      

E.  New Business

            There was no new business at today’s meeting.
The business meeting was adjourned for the program.

G.  Program

            Kathy Burkey introduced the cello quartet that played a medley of beautiful Christmas music.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, Secretary.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

     ECAREA      Eau Claire Area Retired Educators
ECAREA Unit Meeting
First Baptist Church
October 7, 2013
10:00 a.m.

The meeting began with Chris welcoming everyone and asking first time attendees to introduce themselves.  34 people were in attendance. 

Business Meeting

A. Minutes:  The minutes from the August Unit meeting were approved and will be recorded as submitted by Sally.

B.  Treasurer: Judy reported that as of today we have a balance of $1281.26 in the checking account and $1656.59 in the savings account. 

C. Committee Reports:

Social: Loreen thanked the servers for the excellent brunch we had today.  She then announced that our November meeting will be at our new location at Chapel Heights.      

Membership:  Ruth thanked the previous members for joining us again this year and welcomed the three new members attending today’s meeting.  She shared that our membership is now at 71.  She asked that anyone aware of present/past members living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or who have deceased to please inform her or a member of the Board. 

Legislative:  Owen began by inviting anyone who might be interested in legislative issues to join him on this committee.  He welcomed the new members and encouraged them to bring a friend to future meetings.  Owen then handed out a copy of his report to all members and shared that there are currently no Legislative Alerts.  He reported that the Legislative page on the WREA website is currently “under construction.”  The topics Owen addressed at today’s meeting were the performance of the Wisconsin Retirement System, the latest information of school vouchers, and study by the Legislative Committee of the new school standards. 

Past President:  Cathy had no new information to share.

Health:  Marlaine passed around a book written by George Burns that had a comical flair and shared the 10 exercises he promoted.    

Education:  Carla read parts of a letter from the Eau Claire Leader Voice of the People, written by past State Superintendent Burt Grover addressing the issue of the large number of experienced teachers who are retiring or leaving the profession.  She also showed a report card of the districts within the State and told the members that they could find it on  Carla addressed research findings in regards to children who are reading before entering 4K and 5K programs.  It indicates that they level out with other students around 3rd grade and that some students will even regress. She also reported on changes in 1st grade reading instruction.  Carla voiced how important it is for us to continue to support our teachers during this time when they are being attacked.     

President:  Chris promoted the Chippewa Valley Book Festival that will be running October 14-20 and handed out programs to anyone interested in attending.

Newsletter: Jeanette had nothing new to share.

Website:  Cheryl affirmed that the minutes from past meetings can be found on the website. 

Bottle caps/labels: Carol encouraged members to keep saving labels and bottle caps, etc. and bring them to meetings.

D.  Old Business
            1.  Chris shared that she and Judy Fadness will represent ECAREA at the President/Vice President meeting on October 29.           

E.  New Business

            1. Chris asked if there was anyone interested in keeping a look-out for educational opportunities in the community and then bringing/sharing that information with our members at our Unit meetings. 

F.  Raffle

Kathy conducted the drawing and reminded members that half of the money goes to the WREA Foundation to provide for scholarships and grants.
The business meeting was adjourned for the program.

G.  Program
            Carol Suberta, the District 3 Representative was the speaker today.  We played a game with questions about the WREA and she encouraged all members to look at and take advantage of the member benefits that are offered by a number of different business/organizations.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, Secretary.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

BACK TO . . . 

The back to school sales are on and it's time for us to have our first meeting of the new year.  We hope that many of you will be able to join us.  As usual you will be able to renew your memberships (dues are remaining at $15) at the meeting or you can, of course, use the form found in your newsletter and mail it in to Ruth Hofland.  

Date and Time:  August 26, 1:30PM

Place:  Chippewa Valley Museum, Carson Park

Program:  Local historian, Frank Smoot, on Fur Trade in the Chippewa Valley

Charge:  None but free will donations to the museum will be accepted

RSVP:  None 

We have met often at the museum and it's a very popular site for us.  The programs are very interesting and you will have the opportunity to tour the museum and see the new exhibits.  

Looking forward to seeing you on the 26th,
Cathy Hoffman
Past President

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I make these all the time and I NEVER feel guilty about them! They are egg-less, dairy-less, flour-less, with no added sugar and they are DELICIOUS

sweet treats 
   with coffee or tea or milk
        add a friend
              you have a blend
                that cannot
                    be beat

Retiring in Eau Claire

The first thing that attracts many retirees to Eau Claire is its affordability. The cost of living is nearly 10% below the national average and the median home costs just over $127,000. But the town has plenty going on, too, thanks in part to the presence of The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. People 60 and up can audit classes at the university, and the school opens its planetarium and many of its music and speaking events to the public.
The city’s arts offerings, including an 1,100-seat theater, symphony orchestra and free summer concerts, are big draws as well, says retired professor Miller, who relocated here 20 years ago. “In the past 10 days there have been 11 or 12 shows here; the local talent is quite good and we get traveling shows,” she says. The best part: “You don’t have to make reservations days in advance, you can just pop down to a show, and they’re very affordable.” The downtown has experienced a rebirth in the past 10 years with dozens of new restaurants and shops, and you can take a roughly two-hour car trip to Minneapolis-St. Paul for more to do.
Eau Claire is a safe city that hosts two hospitals and a strong volunteering community. “I volunteer a lot at the state regional arts center, and there are so many other organizations you can help out with,” Miller says. These include opportunities at the theater, library, parks and the visitor’s bureau, says Linda John, the executive director of VISIT Eau Claire, the area’s tourism office. The city’s senior center is open to people 50 and older; “you can take language and computer classes, dance and exercise classes and go on trips,” John explains. The biggest downside of Eau Claire is its weather: The average January low is 4.7 degrees F., which is even lower than the state’s average.
By the numbers*:
  • Population: 65,883
  • Median home cost: $127,600
  • Cost of living: 9.8% lower than average
  • Unemployment: 5%
* Source: Sperling’s Best Places; Bureau of Labor Statistics
Read them & join the conversation

Why Teaching Is Harder Than It Looks

Today's opinion piece explores why teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there.
by Brianna on 07/24/2013
Submitted By: Denise Hong
This piece was inspired by a heated discussion I had with a man who believes that teachers have an easy job. Please feel free to share it with others if you agree with the message.

I used to be a molecular biologist. I spent my days culturing viruses. Sometimes, my experiments would fail miserably, and I’d swear to myself in frustration. Acquaintances would ask how my work was going. I’d explain how I was having a difficult time cloning this one gene. I couldn’t seem to figure out the exact recipe to use for my cloning cocktail.
Acquaintances would sigh sympathetically. And they’d say, “I know you’ll figure it out. I have faith in you.”
And then, they’d tilt their heads in a show of respect for my skills….
Today, I’m a high school teacher. I spend my days culturing teenagers. Sometimes, my students get disruptive, and I swear to myself in frustration. Acquaintances ask me how my work is going. I explain how I’m having a difficult time with a certain kid. I can’t seem to get him to pay attention in class.
Acquaintances smirk knowingly. And they say, “well, have you tried making it fun for the kids? That’s how you get through to them, you know?”
And then, they explain to me how I should do my job….
I realize now how little respect teachers get. Teaching is the toughest job everyone who’s never done it thinks they can do. I admit, I was guilty of these delusions myself. When I decided to make the switch from “doing” science to “teaching” science, I found out that I had to go back to school to get a teaching credential.
“What the f—?!?,” I screamed to any friends willing to put up with my griping. “I have a Ph.D.! Why do I need to go back to get a lousy teaching credential?!?”
I was baffled. How could I, with my advanced degree in biology, not be qualified to teach biology?!
Well, those school administrators were a stubborn bunch. I simply couldn’t get a job without a credential. And so, I begrudgingly enrolled in a secondary teaching credential program.
And boy, were my eyes opened. I understand now.
Teaching isn’t just “making it fun” for the kids. Teaching isn’t just academic content.
Teaching is understanding how the human brain processes information and preparing lessons with this understanding in mind.
Teaching is simultaneously instilling in a child the belief that she can accomplish anything she wants while admonishing her for producing shoddy work.
Teaching is understanding both the psychology and the physiology behind the changes the adolescent mind goes through.
Teaching is convincing a defiant teenager that the work he sees no value in does serve a greater purpose in preparing him for the rest of his life.
Teaching is offering a sympathetic ear while maintaining a stern voice.
Teaching is being both a role model and a mentor to someone who may have neither at home, and may not be looking for either.
Teaching is not easy. Teaching is not intuitive. Teaching is not something that anyone can figure out on their own. Education researchers spend lifetimes developing effective new teaching methods. Teaching takes hard work and constant training. I understand now.
Have you ever watched professional athletes and gawked at how easy they make it look? Kobe Bryant weaves through five opposing players, sinking the ball into the basket without even glancing in its direction. Brett Favre spirals a football 100 feet through the air, landing it in the arms of a teammate running at full speed. Does anyone have any delusions that they can do what Kobe and Brett do?
Yet, people have delusions that anyone can do what the typical teacher does on a typical day.
Maybe the problem is tangibility. Shooting a basketball isn’t easy, but it’s easy to measure how good someone is at shooting a basketball. Throwing a football isn’t easy, but it’s easy to measure how good someone is at throwing a football. Similarly, diagnosing illnesses isn’t easy to do, but it’s easy to measure. Winning court cases isn’t easy to do, but it’s easy to measure. Creating and designing technology isn’t easy to do, but it’s easy to measure.
Inspiring kids? Inspiring kids can be downright damned near close to impossible sometimes. And… it’s downright damned near close to impossible to measure. You can’t measure inspiration by a child’s test scores. You can’t measure inspiration by a child’s grades. You measure inspiration 25 years later when that hot-shot doctor, or lawyer, or entrepreneur thanks her fourth-grade teacher for having faith in her and encouraging her to pursue her dreams.
Maybe that’s why teachers get so little respect. It’s hard to respect a skill that is so hard to quantify.
So, maybe you just have to take our word for it. The next time you walk into a classroom, and you see the teacher calmly presiding over a room full of kids, all actively engaged in the lesson, realize that it’s not because the job is easy. It’s because we make it look easy. And because we work our asses off to make it look easy.
And, yes, we make it fun, too.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

     ECAREA      Eau Claire Area Retired Educators
ECAREA Unit Meeting
Monday March 4, 2013
1:30 p.m. Grace Lutheran Church

The meeting began with Chris welcoming everyone and leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Two first time attendees were introduced.  23 people were in attendance. 

Business Meeting

A. Minutes:  The minutes from the February Unit meeting were approved and will be recorded as submitted by Sally.

B.  Treasurer: Judy reported that as of today we have a balance of $955.76 in the checking account and $1656.52 in the savings account. 

C. Committee Reports:

Social:  Loreen thanked the servers for today’s meeting.  She announced that the April 1st brunch will be at Lake Street Methodist and that reservations must be made/cancelled by March 28th.  Steve Betchkal will do a presentation on birds for our program that day.  Loreen also reminded everyone that the May meeting will be a noon luncheon at Avalon in Chippewa Falls.  A representative from Irvine Park will be our program.     

Membership:  Ruth welcomed the new members to today’s meeting and reminded everyone that you do not have to have taught in Eau Claire to be a member of ECAREA.  It is an organization for all area retired educators.  She asked everyone to encourage friends to attend our meetings.

Legislative:  Owen kept us up to date on issues involving annuity adjustments in both the Core and Variable Funds, Legislative priorities set for 2013-14, an article from the Leader-Telegram stating that the EC School Board is not planning to make changes to the benefits of those currently retired, and encouraged everyone to contact their Senator or Representative in opposition to the School Voucher Plan.

Past President: Cathy had nothing new to share.

Health and Education: Chris introduced Carla Pfund to the members as the new Education Chair.  She will share this position with Marlaine.  Carla addressed the topic of gun control and the fact that our retirement fund is invested in gun manufacturing.  She shared that Wisconsin is included in the 35 states that have Common Core State Standards and that along with State Report Cards there will also be District Report Cards. Carla also spoke of an article that tried to disprove the positive effects of the Head Start program despite the inability of determining the progress of those children had they not been in the program.
Marlaine thanked Carla for joining her on this committee.  She reminded members of the location at the Law Enforcement entry to the courthouse for the outdated medicine drop-off.  She passed around an article related to the affects grapefruit and cranberries can have on prescription drugs, and encouraged members to read books by August Derleth, a Wisconsin author.  

President:  Chris reminded members of the ECAREA website address.

Newsletter:  Jeanette had nothing to report.

Website: Cheryl was absent.

D.  Old Business
            1.  The retirement session will be held at Memorial High School on Tuesday March 12 in the Little Theater.  There are presently 40 people signed up        

E.  New Business

            1.  Carla Pfund was welcomed as the new Education Chair.

            2.  The State Convention will be in Stevens Point on May 7-8.
3.  Chris invited anyone who has an idea for a program for next year to share it with a member of the Board.

4.  Chris shared a letter she had received from the State indicating they were having some problems with money. 

F.  Raffle

Kathy conducted the drawing and reminded members that half of the money goes to the WREA Foundation to provide for scholarships and grants.
The business meeting was adjourned for the program.

G.  Program 
            Mark Ruddy and John Stedman presented the 11X15 Prison Population Reduction program and how it is a part of the JOHAH (Joining Our Neighbors Advancing Hope) project. and are two recommended websites.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, Secretary.

Monday, February 25, 2013

ECAREA March Meeting

When:  Monday, March 4, at 1:30PM

Where:  Grace Lutheran Church meeting room

John Stedman from JONAH speaking about their prison population reduction plan to reduce the number of prisoners by half by 2015.  JONAH is a local group that works on justice issues within our community. 

There is no charge for this meeting and no RSVP is needed.  We will take up a free will collection for JONAH at the meeting.  

Please bring a friend or two and join us next Monday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

March winds may blow, 
   but ECAREA members know
      they will make it safely through the snow.

Monday, March 4th is the next meeting of ECAREA.
   Program: Justice and how to reduce prison      
      Meeting will be at 1:30PM at Grace Lutheran 
      Church on the corner of Second and Grand Aves.
         Refreshments will be served. 

Upcoming program:
   April 1 Brunch at 10AM at Lake Street Methodist 
   Church Hall. 
   Reservations are required and can be 
   made with Loreen Yager (
   Cost of the brunch is $9.00 (If you make a reservation, you must pay.)
     Program: Steve Betchkal of TV 18 will share his 
   knowledge of Wisconsin birds.
   Please us and bring a friend.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

     ECAREA      Eau Claire Area Retired Educators
ECAREA Unit Meeting
Grace Lutheran Church
February 4, 2013
1:30 p.m.

The meeting began with Chris welcoming everyone and leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. 22 people were in attendance. 

Business Meeting

A. Minutes:  The minutes from the December Unit meeting were approved and will be recorded as submitted by Sally.

B.  Treasurer: Judy reported that as of today we have a balance of $1242.10 in the checking account and $1656.57 in the savings account. 

C. Committee Reports:

Social: Loreen thanked the servers for today and announced the servers for our March meeting.  She reminded members that the April meeting will be a brunch at Lake Street Methodist and the May meeting will be a luncheon at the Avalon Chippewa Falls.

Membership:  Ruth shared that as of today we have 88 members in our unit.  She encouraged everyone to invite retired educators to attend our meetings and also to notify her if they know of members who have moved away, deceased or are in a nursing home.  

Legislative:  Owen was absent, but had asked Chris to remind everyone of a note in the newsletter stating that Legislative Hotline notices only go out to those individuals who are members of the WREA State organization.

Past President:  Cathy had nothing new to share.

Health and Education:   Marlaine encouraged members to take smaller steps and walk carefully on the snow/ice.  She also shared that it is better to use hand cream on sore, cracked fingers instead of hand lotion.  When taking old unused medicine to be discarded she said we need to go to the new entrance to the jail and we will find a drop-off inside. 

President:  Chris encouraged everyone to come to the March meeting at Grace where the speaker, John Stedman will address the issue of reducing our prison population. 

Newsletter:  Jeanette shared that the cost of the newsletter came to $122.83 after she used a 25% savings coupon.  She had newsletters available in case someone hadn’t received theirs. Thank you Jeanette for getting all of the worthwhile information out to our members.

Website:  Cheryl was absent. 

D.  Old Business
            1.  Carol and Loreen shared that they had taken the games and the $161.00 that was donated and delivered 22 games to Locust Lane School.  They were very grateful for this donation.  Jeanette also showed a picture from the Mondovi paper that highlighted the elementary school there receiving the games that went to them.

            2.  Chris announced that the retirement session at Memorial will be on March 12 with Roger Byers.  Flyers have been sent out to all local schools and we should encourage anyone we know who is considering retirement to attend.

E.  New Business

            1.  6024 hours of volunteer service were reported from our unit.  Only 25 people reported hours.

F.  Raffle:  Kathy conducted the drawing and reminded members that half of the money goes to the WREA Foundation to provide for scholarships and grants.

The business meeting was adjourned for the program.

G.  Program:  We watched the American Teacher DVD that introduced teachers across America and addressed the trials and tribulations of teachers both in and out of the classroom today. 

Minutes respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, Secretary.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Eau Claire Area Retired Educators' Association
ECAREA is a unit of Wisconsin Retired Educators' Association
“Your Voice, Your Choice”
Greetings from your President     By Chris Kondrasuk, President
Happy 2013!  It is hard to believe that we are starting on the second half of our membership/programming year.  I hope you were able to attend some of our fall programs, ending with our lovely holiday lunch at Florian Gardens.  Our 2013 program will start with a program on education.  We will watch some of the video American Teacher hosted by Matt Damon and have a round table discussion following.  I'm really looking forward to that!

As we begin the second half of our year, I would like to thank all of the board members who do so much for our organization.  Where would we be without a treasurer, a legislative chair, hospitality, newsletter, health, education, and membership chairs?  They help keep our ECAREA functioning so well.

Also thanks to all of you who turned in Volunteer hours which totaled over 6000 hours for this past year!  Carol Friday has been nominated as our Volunteer of the Year.  She works at the Chippewa Valley Museum and the Food Pantry, as well as collecting labels for us.

As always our group will continue to be vigilant in regard to our pension.  Perhaps you signed up for the Legislative Alert network at our December meeting.  You must belong to the state WREA to be included on that list and get any alerts that are sent out.

Once again, I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!  I also ask you to consider becoming more active in our local group.  On one hand I find it very rewarding, but on the other I am somewhat discouraged that we can't find some new members to step up and take their turn in a leadership role.  Thanks to those who have!

Membership Update    By Ruth Hofland
Happy New Year to all of you!  We certainly hope 2013 will be a year of health, happiness, peace and prosperity for  all.

We appreciate all of the members who have joined us this year, and those who have faithfully renewed their membership as well.  However, to date we only have 88  members.  As the old saying goes, “There is strength in numbers,” so if any of you are aware of either new or veteran retirees who would like to be a part of our ECAREA Unit, please encourage them to join.  We welcome new members to come to our meetings at any time.

Thank you again for being a ECAREA member, and the best to you for the New Year.

Legislative Report        By Owen Moyer, Chairperson
Election's over, what's next?
I'm sure you all know how the recent national, state and local election contests turned out!  So, with continued divided government in Washington and total Republican control in Madison, ECAREA members can feel confident that WREA and AARP/NRTA will be carefully monitoring and intervening on our behalf with respect to proposed changes to the Wisconsin Retirement System and to Social Security and Medicare.

ECAREA members will also need to be vigilant with respect to all proposed changes relating to schools, universities, and educational funding, as well as pensions.  We need to continue supporting our parent organizations with our memberships and money. 

We should also register our opinions with our representatives on any controversial legislative proposals that may arise as they return to work in the new year.  (An example,  are you aware of the possible impact of going over the so-called “fiscal cliff” and  how any legislation will impact your personal finances and entitlements.)

You can respond to all such legislation by signing up for legislative alerts from WREA and following up as necessary by contacting your representatives in Madison or Washington.  You will need a computer and/or help from me (Owen Moyer) or one of our officers while I am in Florida (January/February).

We are all hopeful for a good new year.

Treasurer's Report     By Judy Fadness, Treasurer
The financial report is as of December 31, 2012 includes a balance in the checking account  of $1415.66 and  a balance in the savings account of $1656.50.

The Christmas donation was $161.00 plus games brought to the Christmas luncheon.  A total of 22 games was given to Locust Lane School.  Mondovi retirees gave their games to the Mondovi Elementary School.

Bottle Caps, Boxtops for Educ., Moola Strips, Campbell Labels
And Used Computer Cartridges           By Carol Friday
Are YOU saving  1)Land O Lakes 5   milk bottle caps, 2)General Mills “Box tops for Education” coupons, 3)Campbell's “Labels for Education, 4)milk Moola strips and your  5)used computer and printer ink cartridges?   Every year we donate them to different school (usually a Title One school).  With the revenue from these collections, they are able to purchase many valuable resources for their classrooms or media room.

So far this year, we have collected close to 1000.  Let's try to break our record.  The schools are very appreciative or our efforts.
Hospitality/Social Activities Report    By Loreen Yager
        February 4th, and March 4th  2013 are two regular meetings at 1:30 PM scheduled at
 Grace Lutheran Church Hall.  Servers for those meetings are:
                    February  Donna Kraemer and Maureen Opper
                   March  Jeanette Scheuermann, Bonnie Miles, and Janet Bethke
We would like to thank our servers ahead of time for volunteering.

     April 1st  Brunch 10:00 AM at Lake Street Methodist Church Hall     337 Lake Street
      **Reservations  due by Thursday, March 28th            Cost is $9.00
                   to Loreen 715-836-7801  or email

     May 6th Luncheon  12 Noon at Avalon Hotel and Conference Center (Bridgewater)
                                                        1009 West Park Avenue, Chippewa Falls
     *Reservations due by Wednesday, May 1st          Cost is $15.00
              to Loreen 715-836-7801  or email

Remember:Reservations or cancellations for the April Brunch and May Luncheon must be given to Loreen by the deadline dates above or you are responsible for the cost of the meal.

Cancellations of Meetings
The afternoon 1:30 PM meetings will be canceled if the Eau Claire Public School System is closed.   Brunches and luncheons will not be canceled because of food preparation.

ECAREA Programs for February-May 2013
February 4 1:30 pm     American Teacher DVD/Discuss         Grace Lutheran Church Hall
March 4  1:30 pm      Justice Program on cutting prison population     Grace Lutheran Church Hall
April  1 10:00 Brunch  Steve Betchkal (TV 18) on Wisconsin Birds     Lake St. Methodist Church Hall
May 6  Noon luncheon        Director of Irvine Park Zoo            Avalon Hotel (Bridgewater)
                                                                                                    1009 West Park Ave. Chippewa Falls
As you can see we have many interesting programs on our schedule.  Invite a friend and make time to join us the first Monday of each month.

Officers/Board Membership
President—Chris Kondrasuk  715-835-1683               Treasurer—Judy Fadness 715-834-6772                                                 
Vice President—Vacant                                                 Health/Education—Marlaine White
Secreatary—Sally Gordon 715-834-6140                              715-832-3173
                                    Website—Cheryl Poss 715-286-9413
Past Pres./Communication—Cathy Hoffman             Hospitality—Loreen Yager 715-836-7801
Membership—Ruth Hofland 715-835-5054     Legislative—Owen Moyer 715-831-0609                                           Collector of coupons/boxtops for Educ.
Newsletter/Phone Tree-Jeanette Scheuermann                   Carol Friday  715-835-0817

In Memory of
The Eau Claire Area Retired Educators Association want to remember a faithful past member who has passed away in the last six months

Paul Nagel

Paul spent 43 years in the field of education as a teacher, principal and professor of UWEC.  Dr. Nagel wrote several books, some of which are used in textbooks.
A  donation in Paul's memory has been sent to the WREA Foundation.

Health and Education are always in the news, especially at this time of year.  Have you gotten your flu shots?  It's not too late and no, there is no shortage locally.  It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to fully activate.  To help prevent the flu, wash your hands often and refrain from touching your face and mouth.  Exercise is another very important item for us to stay healthy.  Our bodies need to move and walking is one of the best exercise. Stretching and minimal weight lifting is also needed.  Reading, doing puzzles or word finds, playing cards and games all help to keep our minds  alert.  Eating lots  of fruits and vegetables and drinking water and juices are important in the winter, especially as we get older.

                                 Education            By Chris Kondrasuk
On the education front there is always something new.  WREA encourages us to volunteer at all schools and from elementary through high school, classrooms can use our help!  The middle schools have been participating in National History Day in late February for some years now, and are always looking for teachers to serve as judges for the students' projects.  I have done this for a few years and thoroughly enjoyed it.  This year's topic is Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.  Even if you can't judge, watch for the dates at each of the schools and take some time to visit and see the excellent work these students produce.  It is very uplifting  to have this contact with students and see their excitement about the learning process!

              On a lighter note...

A Prayer from Tweety Bird:
Dear Lord,
So far today, I'm doing all right.  I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent.  I have not whined, complained, cursed, or eaten any chocolate.  I have charged nothing on my credit card.   But I will be getting out of bed in a minute, and I think that I will really need your help then !
       (Isn't that true?)

Do you think you're forgetful?  Read this latest study!
     The Door
Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was? Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses.  Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what's known as an Event Boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next. Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.
Thank goodness for studies like this.  It's not our age, it's that doggone door! 
Hmmmm? I just walk through the door...Did I write this once before in a newsletter???

         What's it like to be “old”?
My granddaughter asked me what it was like to be old.  So I told her  “Put cotton in  your ears and pebbles in your shoes.  Pull on rubber gloves.  Smear vaseline over your glasses.  AND there you have it: instant OLD AGE!

     Helpful Hints:
To help cure a burn, after it area is cooled, cover with whipped egg whites. It helps healing.

To clean that scallop potato casserole pan, fill with water and put in a dryer sheet,let set awhile and the pan will wash clean.   

   Cut the program/meeting dates, times and places list below and post by your calendar.
February 4th  1:30 Grace Lutheran Church Hall   American Teacher DVD/discuss
March 4th  1:30 Grace Lutheran Church Hall Justice Program on cutting prison population
April 1st  10:00 Brunch at Lake Street Methodist   Steve Betchkal (Ch.18) on Wisconsin birds
May 6th  Noon  luncheon at Avalon Hotel/Bridgewater  1009 West Park Ave, Chippewa Falls
                            Program by Director of Irvine Park Zoo

ECAREA Newsletter
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Eau Claire, WI 54701