A Weekly Update for Families
In this issue...
Summer Office Hours
"Like" Us on Facebook!
Performing Arts Recap
GAI Summer Camps
TCGIS Library Summer Hours and Reading Program
Outreach Committee
Concordia Language Villages Opportunity
ElternbriefJune 16, 2011

Dear Families,


Performing Arts Program The campaign to support our Performing Arts fund continues.  Our May 21st Performance at St. Thomas More highlighted what magic comes together when music, dance and theater programming are integrated into the curriculum.  Although, the school is deeply dedicated to maintaining this program, our budget requires us to raise funds beyond our state dollars to continue our our Performing Arts program in the 2011-2012 school year.


We are highly fortunate to have raised $15,000 to match your donations dollar for dollar until July 1st, 2011.  We are fortunate to have already raised $5,000 of this matching money.  Thank you to those who have come forward.  We would love to have  80% of our families participate. Please donate as you are able to help us raise the remaining $10,000.  The $1000 make a difference and the $35 donations make a difference. We are happy to accept a check at school.  In addition you can click on Tcgis-Performing-Arts-Fund-Drive-2011 to donate online.   THANKS for supporting an Arts culture as a vital component of a German Immersion education.   Please consider forwarding this link to grandparents or other relatives who may be interested in financially supporting our school.  Our extended community is a vital component of our support.


School Survey  Part of our contract with our Authorizer requires that we collect information from families each year so that we can remain responsive to identified needs within the community.  You have recently been sent a link to this survey.  Some people's got buried in their spam folders.  The link is sent to one adult within each household.  If you believe your family has not received this survey please contact us at school and we will ensure you are sent another copy.  The survey gives you an opportunity to give feedback on the school as a whole as well as to your child's classroom teacher.  Your voice is important to us.  We value your taking the time to tell us both what works well and what could work better. 


Thank you and enjoy those long summer days!



Frau Annika Fjelstad
Twin Cities German Immersion School


Summer Office Hours


Office hours this summer will be between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm Monday through Friday.  Someone will probably always be here after that, but please call before you drop by if it's after noon!  

"Like" Us on Facebook!


Twin Cities German Immersion School has started a page on Facebook.  Learn more about our school and receive notifications about upcoming events.  Come join our page! 


Performing Arts Recap


Dear parents:


The first year of the Performing Arts program at TCGIS is over.

It is a good time to review what was done, to make reflections and to think about new plans.
For me it was a busy season, constantly filled with events, but on balance a very successful year.

First of all I have to thank you to all TCGIS students for their incredibly hard work! We did a lot of performances this year which best warrants the name of the subject: Performing Arts. The effort paid off with joy and fun! Thanks again!

Thank you also to all my colleagues, the TCGIS staff! I can't imagine this year being successful without their cooperation and support.

Thank you last but not least to the TCGIS community, you dear parents, for your support and commitment! You know it better than anybody else that the Performing Arts program started because of the initiative of the parents and exists thanks to your financial support.

In the beginning of the year I set some goals for the Performing Arts program, and I'm glad to report you about the progress: 

  • It was possible to unite 3 focuses: music, dance and drama, and this combination could benefit every grade.
  • Students were able to learn Performing Arts through the variety of cultural and historic forms.  In PA classes, we literally traveled through times and continents.
  • The connection between PA + German and Social Studies was from my perspective very successful. We did a lot of interdisciplinary projects that included reading German texts, writing scripts, rehearsing, performing etc. I'm looking forward to exploring new ways of collaboration next year.
  •  Students contributed to public work and did numerous public performances this year.
    Students also made their contribution to fastening the partnership with other cultural and educational organizations such as the GAI, the GACC, the International Institute of Minnesota, Spielmannszug, St. Mark's School, and Anishinabe Academy.
  • I was fortunate to invite other artists who shared their skills and talents with our students: Nicole Bachman (Belly Dance), Theresa Borgren (Tango), Little Thunderbirds (Native American Drums), Flemming Fold (Yodeling), and Avalon Rock Band. 

In conclusion to this part I would like to say that it was a good start, but I also recognize that it will be a long way before we can create a well working and constantly progressing Performing Arts program.

Beside regular classes with plenty songs and dances we did with children a lot of projects: 

  • The 2nd graders shined on the St. Martinstag at the Landmark Center.
  • The 5th grade enriched the Halloween celebration with Totentanz.
  • The 3rd graders prepared German fairy tales as Shadow Puppet Theater: Rotkäppchen, Froschkönig, Dornröschen, Schneweißchen und Rosenrot.
  • I was fortunate to work with Frau Grimm on the Hans im Glück project in 2A.
  • The 1st grade successfully performed German fairy tales Frau Holle and Aschenputtel.
  • To finish the topic fairy tales: Our little ones KB put together and presented Schneewittchen.
  • The 4th grade worked on Till Eulenspiegel and could perform two scenes from this one of the oldest German printed books.
  • The 3rd graders started working on the musical Ritter Rost and could show the songs from this musical. I hope next year we will continue working and present you some day a real musical. 

In addition to projects mentioned above we prepared two school-wide concerts Carnival of Cultures/Karneval der Kulturen and Kinderland. By occasion thank you to the St. Thomas More School who hosted us this year! I think I don't need to tell you about these concerts because all of you had a chance to see them, but I would like to feature the fact that 5th and 6th grades put together two drama pieces and performed them in German within both concerts: Nathan the Wise by G.E. Lessing and Midsummer Night's Dream by W. Shakespeare.

I am very proud that we managed this year as well to be a part of the Festival of Nations. We participated in the German Culture Booth (4th grade) and also in the Dance Performance (dance group Blumenkranz - 4th and 5th grades). Next year that could be only better!

Extracurricular activities:

Initially I started the Blumenkranz in February 2011 to be able to perform at the Festival of Nations in May. I asked 4th and 5th graders to do it voluntarily, and they sacrificed their recess time and weekends to get our dance program ready. The performance was a big success, and we immediately got more requests. As a result we also performed at the Glockenspiel during the Maifest, at the Kinderland concert, at St. Mark's Childcare and finally at Deutsche Tage at the GAI. Next year, I'm going to continue this project and expand our dance repertoire. My goal is that children could discover dance as a phenomenon in diversity of its cultural, historic, ethic etc. forms.


I was fortunate to help Sylvia Oxenham with the String Group this year. In my opinion this group is one of the best features of TCGIS. I wouldn't even try to list all the performances that these kids took part in, but I know for sure that they never failed when they were asked to perform. I hope to be able to continue working with String Group and to transform it someday into a TCGIS Band or Consort.


My dream for the next year is to build a strong performing group that would be based on Blumenkranz and String Group. The primarily goal of this group would be to represent TCGIS at public events.


I didn't complete planning for the next year yet, but I can already uncover some information:


I will continue working on the goals that I pointed out. I hope to do plenty of interdisciplinary projects next year. In lower grades there will be a lot of fairy tales (what a surprise!). Because I am committed to fasten the cooperation amongst teachers in upper grades there will be some projects about the Ancient World and the Middle Ages.


As a part of Middle School Team I am going to offer an enriched German class for those who would like to be challenged in German. This would be basically a German literature course with elements of comparative literature, media-oriented approach and connection to the Performing Arts. You will see more announcements in August.


In the summer I will teach two Summer Camps at the GAI:

  •    Zauberberg und Wunderwald (The magic mountain & enchanted forests) June 27 - July 1
  •  Willkommen in Deutschland (Welcome to Germany) July 18 - 22

You are welcome to join these camps!


Thank you once again!

Happy summer!

GAI Summer Camps


The GAI will again be offering week-long summer language camps from
June 20-August 26 for children ages 6-12. 


Beginner to bilingual campers welcome.
Camps meet Monday-Friday from 9am-12pm with optional Kinderclub care available at 8am or until 6pm. 

Camp themes include: 


June 20 - 24: Europareise (A journey through Europe) 


June 27 - July 1: Zauberberg und Wunderwald (The magic mountain &
enchanted forests) 


July 11 - 15: Die Umwelt und ich (The environment and me) 


July 18 - 22: Willkommen in Deutschland (Welcome to Germany) 


July 25 - 29: Sport und Spiele (Fun with sports and games) 


August 8 - 12: Abenteuer im Mittelalter (Adventures in the Middle Ages) 


August 15 - 19: Ich mache Musik (Fun with music) 


August 22 - 26: German Safari 


Register now online at www.gai-mn.org or by calling Language Services at 651.222.2979.


Click here to see the flier! 


TCGIS Library Summer Hours and Reading Program   


The Library Committee would like to welcome current students to stop by the TCGIS Library this summer and check out some German books. We will be open for service from 3:00-6:30 pm on the following days:
June 29 (W)
July 19 (T)
August 10 (W)

Library volunteers will be there for you from 3-6:30 pm on each of these days.

Students will be able to check out up to three books at a time and all books will be due back to the Library by the evening of the Open House on August 25th.
Hope to see you this summer!


Sign up for the TCGIS German Summer Reading program!  Read German books and win prizes.  See the attached reading chart for details.

Outreach Committee    

Do you and your family enjoy TCGIS? Would you like to spend two hours building a stronger community? Please join us for an outreach brainstorming meeting. It's a great chance to be creative, meet other TCGIS families and have fun while helping us generate more interest and awareness about the school. No prior marketing or outreach experience necessary. Meeting date TBD. Contact Molly Illes at
mollyilles@gmail.com for more info.

Concordia Language Villages Opportunity    


Concordia Language Villages is the premiere language and cultural immersion program in the United States. The Villages attract over 11,000 participants annually from all 50 states and across 40 countries.


Currently, we have summer transportation staff positions open in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. As a member of our summer transportation staff team, you can enjoy a fun and rewarding experience by helping these world travelers make their way safely to Concordia Language Villages.

PLUS, as a summer seasonal employee with Concordia Language Villages, you can earn tuition discounts for your children to be used toward summer language immersion programs in any of our 15 languages.


Apply online to begin your summer adventure with Concordia Language Villages now!

Elternbrief Submissions

Please have all articles pertinent to the TCGIS community submitted to the Elternbrief by Monday at 9 am prior to Wednesday publication. Submissions may be sent to aberge@tcgis.org.