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Grosse Ile Township Schools

THe Bridge Linking School & Community

“You have the opportunity to be a powerful influence on the lives of other people, no matter your position in life”. ~ V.J. Smith

Mrs. Malinda Murphy is a dedicated and accomplished third grade teacher at Meridian Elementary. Her great curriculum ideas add depth to instruction and provide learning opportunities for all types of learners. Visual learners, auditory learners and kinesthetic learners each have the opportunity to reach their best potential in her classroom. Malinda integrates technology into her lessons, driving her instruction into the 21st century to meet the needs of the children of this digital age using digital video streaming, SMART board technology and assesses students instantly with her integration of CPS remote control answering system to further engage her students, Students in her classroom understand the expectations of a third grader, but can also receive a hug on a bad day, tell her about their exciting weekend, or share a joke. Her rapport with the students is evident in their respect for her as a teacher and a person. She has served on many district committees with teachers from kindergarten to the High School, as well as administrators. She is wellrespected throughout the district as a knowledgeable professional who gets the job done.

Grosse Ile High School is proud to announce that this year’s Teacher of the Year is Ms. Jean Alred. Ms. Alred is the model of an exemplary teacher. She has been with Grosse Ile Township Schools for almost forty years as an outstanding science teacher. The best testament to her success is her relationship with students, who regularly return to GIHS after graduation and thank Ms. Alred for the quality education she provided There are many examples of her dedication, but perhaps the most telling are the many students who are in her classroom almost every day… after school. Students know that Ms. Alred wants and expects her students to succeed, and that she is available to help them be successful. She is dedicated to improving her teaching and effectively implements new strategies. As a leader in utilizing technology, she was one of the first teachers to use a SMART board regularly in recognition that today’s digital learners learn best with digital instruction. Over the years she has taken on such varied and challenging tasks as directing school plays, leading the Science Club, Science Olympiad and Recycling Club. Under her guidance as the Science Department chair, our entire Science department has provided our students with strong foundation. Jean’s colleagues cherish her, and several young teachers have benefited from her mentoring and “taking me under her wing”. There is no higher praise in education than the respect and admiration of students and peers, here at Grosse Ile High School.

March, 2010

It is an honor to introduce Ms. Missy Bringard our 2009-2010 Middle School Teacher of the Year. Ms. Bringard is a 6th grade English Teacher. The middle school teacher of the year is selected through a competitive nomination process where other teachers nominate colleagues for this special honor. Miss Bringard’s multiple nominations included impressive descriptions of her as a classroom teacher. “Miss Bringard brings a higher expectation to the writing in 6th grade through her intensive Collin’s writing examinations and thoughtful, insightful editing.” Miss Bringard …”has a calm, nurturing way of handling issues in the classroom with students having troubles academically or emotionally.“ Miss Bringard is the most positive person I have ever met!” “Miss Bringard uses technology in the classroom and also the computer lab to teach each unit.” Ms. Bringard began teaching in Grosse Ile Schools in 2000, where she taught at both Meridian Elementary and Parke Lane Elementary before joining the staff at our Middle School. She says, “I love the profession of teaching, especially students, colleagues, and working for Grosse Ile schools.” Ms. Bringard participates in the School Improvement Team, coordinates the Literary Journal Committee, and serves on the Grosse Ile Educational Foundation.

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From the Superintendent’s Office…

Dr. William F. Weber, Interim Superintendent

I have been in the Grosse Ile Township Schools for just over a month as the Interim Superintendent of Schools. During this short time in the District I couldn’t help but be impressed with the many outstanding programs and opportunities being provided for the students. I have visited all of the schools and have also had the opportunity to meet many parents and I have found everyone to be very friendly and welcoming. The Grosse Ile Township Schools have always enjoyed an excellent reputation and from my perspective it is well deserved. The academic performance of the students is among the highest in the State. This does not happen by accident. High performing school districts such as Grosse Ile Township Schools have multiple programs in place from kindergarten through twelfth grade to help ensure the success of students. These school districts also have very involved parents and supportive communities---a benefit we also enjoy. The school district has continued to offer quality programming despite losing over $2,800,000 over the past three years due to declining enrollment and State funding cuts. Next year alone we are anticipating the loss of another $1,700,000 for a total loss of approximately $4,500,000 over a four year period. To counteract the loss of revenue, the District has been aggressive in implementing cost containing measures including the elimination of four administrative positions, reduction of teaching and support staff positions, consolidation of bus stops, implementation of student activity fees and the renegotiation of employee contracts. These reductions will result in District savings of about $2,250,000 per year. I mention the financial condition of the District because the Board of Education will be facing some very difficult decisions in the next few weeks as it relates to the programs and services for the next school year. Through the years the District has done an admirable job in diligently managing the finances of the District. It is becoming increasingly apparent, that given the reduction in funding from the State, the district will not be able to support all of the programs and services that it has in the past. As you are aware, this year the busing services were reduced, athletic activity fees were increased, textbook purchases were put on hold and there were layoffs and reductions in personnel. No doubt there will have to be additional reductions in the upcoming year. As mentioned above, major factors have led to the precipitous decline in revenue. First, there has been an ongoing decline in enrollment over the past several years which has also been happening throughout the State. In Grosse Ile many families who moved here years ago to raise their families and have their children attend the schools have stayed while their children have graduated and moved. Also, given the current economy there isn’t a great deal of movement of young families to the Island. Second, Grosse Ile was one of just a few districts throughout the State that received supplemental State Aid funding through a mechanism commonly referred to as 20j. Grosse Ile received $281per/ student which brought in approximately $518,000 in revenue. These funds have been eliminated by the State. Third, the amount of funds that Grosse Ile receives on a per student basis was reduced by $125/pupil and next year we will lose another $268 per/pupil. Also, the State has recently notified us that the retirement contribution rate will increase by close to 15% next year. None of these developments at the State level bode well for the District. A question that I hear repeatedly is what can we do about the funding at the local level? Although districts may no longer go to the electorate for general operating millages there are other options that can be exercised that will enable the community to continue to support their schools. Under current law districts may go to the electorate for Homestead millage on residential property, NonHomestead millage on commercial property and Sinking Fund millage on all property Currently Grosse Ile levies all three millages and they are all set to expire within a year. The Homestead and Non Homestead millages generate about $2.4 million while the Sinking Fund millage which is used for maintenance and capital improvements generates about $.6 million. It is anticipated that these millages will be brought before the electorate in the next few months for renewal purpose. It should be noted that these will be renewal millages and will not be an increase in the tax rates. Passage of these millages will enable the District to provide programs and services that otherwise may not be feasible. In closing, Grosse Ile is a special place and it is important that we all join in keeping it among the premier districts in the State.

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March is READING MONTH By: Dr. Pat Nordstrom The Downriver Science Fair was held on March 3rd at the Flat Rock Community Center. Grosse Ile students were well represented among the winners. The following students placed first, second or third in their grade level in the competition among several districts: 3rd grade winners: Jacob Reich ~ 2nd place Megan Ferguson ~ 3rd place

4th grade winner: James O'Brien ~ 3rd place

5th grade winners: Abbigail Reich ~ 2nd place Maddy Mackowski ~ 3rd place

6th grade winner: Emily Reich ~ 2nd place

7th grade winners: Annie Rodgers ~ 1st place Sydney King ~ 2nd place

8th grade winners: Sarah Byington ~ 1st place Luke Barwikowski ~ 2nd place

First place winners are given a trip to NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. Second place winners are given a Tiger baseball family pack. Third place winners were given a $50 savings bond. The event is sponsored by the Education First Credit Union.

Our theme at Parke Lane E l e m e n t a r y i s “READINGWOOD.” We are planning lots of activities for March to help celebrate and encourage reading much like Hollywood celebrates movies. Our students are the stars. One of the activities is “Lunch with the Principal”. Students earn tickets for reading and the lucky winners are drawn weekly.

Positive Behavior

Grosse Ile Township Elementary

Carnival 2010 March 26, 2010 ~ 5:00 to 9:00 pm at the Grosse Ile High School Auditorium and Gymnasium Tickets sold at the Door Sponsored by your local Grosse Ile Kroger Food Market

Meridian Students have a lot to be happy about. They started off the second semester with a Positive Behavior Assembly. We want students to Be Responsible, Be respectful, and Be Safe! Students will be given star tickets for exceptional behavior. They can then use their tickets at the School Store, or enter them for a monthly drawing. February's prize was a pizza lunch with Dr. Sanford. Please continue to encourage your students to follow the rules.

KINDERGARTEN ROUND UP WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24TH If you have a child who will be five (5) years old on or before December 1, 2010, you and your child are invited to attend Kindergarten Round Up at Parke Lane Elementary. Two sessions are available – either 9:30 am or 12:30 pm. You must register for Round Up by calling Patti Kilar in our Administration Office at 734-362-2580.

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The Bridge ~ Linking School and Community

Camp Invention is coming back to Grosse Ile Schools July 26 - 30, 2010 Register online at or call 1-800-968-4332 Register before March 31, 2010 to receive $25 off the base price! engage- (PROMO CODE: RERD) ment was

student amazing

to see. It was so different than

This summer, invest in the skills that will help your child achieve his or her full potential throughout the school year. Nonprofit Invent Now Kids’ premier program, Camp Invention, is a weeklong adventure in creativity. Led by qualified educators, this exciting program is being hosted by Meridian Elementary this summer for children entering grades one through six. The Camp Invention program is a unique opportunity for your child to experiThis year’s brand new INN OVATE program features: Power’d™ It’s alive! In a secret lab, build your own motorized creature and bring it to life while helping a mysterious scientist harness the power of nature. Hatched™ The Hatched online virtual world is disappearing! Help save the avatars by creating, marketing, and selling goods in this extraordinary marketplace. SMA rt: Science, Math & Art™ What do soap bubbles, honeycombs, and lightning bolts all have in common? Explore their surprising connections in the Pattern Kingdom. I Can Invent III™ Take apart a broken machine and see what’s inside. Then use its gears, guts, and gadgets to invent a machine that’s never been seen before. Global Games™ Explore soccer and other sports as they were first played in ancient times. Add your own twist, get out of your seats, and get ready to play!

Availability is limited. Each registrant receives a free Camp Invention T-shirt. If you have any questions contact Marcia Daily, director, at or 734-362-2721. We look forward to another summer of working with your young scientists and inventors.


Meridian’s Detroit News 2010 Spelling Bee O-B-V-I-O-U-S…That was the final word that placed Zoe Gaertner into the Detroit News 2010 Spelling Bee representing Meridian Elementary. Meridian fifth graders battled for their chance to compete in the regional spelling bee on Saturday, February 27th at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The students did a fantastic job and enjoyed cheering on their classmates. As the words became more difficult the two finalists fighting for that final position were Zoe Gaertner and Mathew Balogh

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Close to “Home” Sabrina Gurney, Middle School Art Our 8th Grade Students recently created model homes using foam core, poster board, and hot glue guns. They embellished their houses with paint and accessories of their choosing. Some houses included helicopter pads, waterslides from second story windows, holiday themes, candy Raccoon House land, castles, BMX Park Rooftops, beach-front homes, and even raccoon-face shaped houses. Inspiration came after learning about two artists who are currently turning Detroit’s abandoned homes into works of art.

Candy Land House Fun House

New York photographer Gregory Holm, and architect Matthew Radune are building the “Ice House Detroit.” It is an architectural installation and social change project that has taken one of Detroit’s 20,000 abandoned homes and frozen it in solid ice. The purpose is to call attention to Detroit's housing crisis and to promote solutions, such as deconstructing rather than demolishing. In honor of February’s Black History Month, students learned about urban artist, Tyree Guyton, who started “The Heidelberg Project” in Detroit in 1986. Guyton began to clean up and transform the street into a massive art environment. Vacant lots literally became “lots of art” and abandoned houses became “gigantic art sculptures.” Guyton not only transformed vacant houses and lots, he integrated the street, sidewalks, and trees into his mammoth installation and called his work, "The Heidelberg Project", after it's location on Heidelberg Street. The project continues to exist, evolve, and grow - providing hope and inspiration to the local community and the community of the world.

Through this process, students learned that art can have an impact on an entire community, but even more so…inspire change.

Senior Citizen “Gold Card” Event passes, Senior Citizen Gold Cards, are available to all senior citizens in the Grosse Ile Township School District compliments of the Board of Education. The Gold Card will allow all Grosse Ile senior citizens to attend Grosse Ile Township School District sponsored athletic contests, dramatic and musical productions held in any of the district facilities “Free of Charge”. Senior citizens must be at least 62 years of age and retired. Gold Cards will be available at the Reception Desk at the Administration Office, located at 23276 East River Road, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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To Toacknowledge acknowledgeGrosse GrosseIle IleSchool SchoolBoard BoardAppreciation, Appreciation,the theGrosse GrosseIle IleMiddle MiddleSchool SchoolStudent Student Council Councilhas hasdonated donatedthe thefollowing followingbooks booksto tothe theMiddle MiddleSchool SchoolMedia MediaCenter. Center.

National Geographic Bee Winners

Spelling Bee Winner and Runner-up

Melissa Chao (8th) and Nick Camilleri (7th)

Winner David Hernandez (6th) Runner Up Michael Krzeczkowski (8th)

“Patriot’s Pen” Essay Writing Contest Pat Bryan, Grosse Ile Middle School G.A.T.E.S. teacher

Grosse Ile Middle School’s G.A.T.E. 8 class participated for the fifth time in the Veterans of Foreign Wars annual essay-writing contest, the “Patriot’s Pen.” This competition is the middle school equivalent of the high school level’s “Voice of Democracy” competition. The requirement was to compose a 300-400 word essay on the theme “When is the Right Time to Honor our Military Heroes?” The content judging was based on three criteria: knowledge, development, and clarity of the theme. Precision of language skills was also an important factor. Renee Scavone’s essay was chosen as the first place winner of Grosse Ile Middle School. She received $50.00 and will advance from the local V.F.W. Post to the district level. The second place winner is Mitchell Williams, and Noah Gilreath is the third place winner. Both students received $25.00. All of the G.A.T.E.S. 8 students received a certificate of participation.

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The Racers and their Designers: Cheeze-it: Noah Gilreath, Olivia Koklanaris, and Alex Moyer Oh, Snap: Joey Lafayette, Kayla McMahon, and Alissa Rhode Rat Rod: Lyle Antieau, Tony Christou, and Nick Martinelli

“Build a Better Mousetrap” Pat Bryan, G.A.T.E.S. teacher

Pie Baby Legs: Missy Coolsaet, Nicole Marek, and Renee Scavone

Several pinched fingers later, the G.A.T.E.S. 8 stu- Mouse Mauler: Jack Gatti, Chad Schultze, dents managed to make a mousetrap attached to a and Mitchell Williams wooden block move. This team project involved problem-solving skills and knowledge of physics to construct a vehicle ready to compete in a horizontal distance race. After much contemplation, material changing, and trial-and-error, the student trios built mousetrap racers comprised of fishing line or string, wire coat hangers, CD’s, vinyl LP albums, roller blade wheels, wooden dowels, and, of course, duct tape. During the course of assembly, the students kept sketches of changes, a log of testing progress, and a final report of Newton’s Laws of Motion, the forces, and simple machines employed in t heir vehicle. The project culminated in a race to see who did indeed “build a better mousetrap.” The top racers were Cheeze-its (with an average distance of 10.4 feet) and Rat Rod (with the greatest distance of 19 feet).

Congratulations to the Cheeze-its

Copy Center Available to GI Community Grosse Ile Township Schools has an IKON copy center located in the Administration Building. The copy center primarily services the needs of our staff and students. Now, however, if community members have any copying needs, the copy center offers pricing in line with other commercial copy centers. They are open from 7 a.m. To 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can drop your materials off at the center or send them via email to If you have any questions about our services please contact Brad Rioux, Ikon Site Leader, at 734-362-2809.

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Teacher has Big Start to the New Year Grosse Ile High School English and Social Studies teacher Greg Loselle has had a big start to the new year. January saw the publication of his short story, Lazarus, in The Saturday Evening Post, as part of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, which he won in July. "It was doubly welcome," he says, "since the Post worked very closely with me and I felt very supported as they went to print. I even got paid for the publication in addition to the prize!" Mr. Loselle wasn't quite ready, however, for the publicity the story would bring. "I've received a few dozen emails--fan mail, if you can believe it--and even a few phone calls from strangers. It's been a little challenging." The January/February issue of The Saturday Evening Post is on newsstands now--but it isn't Mr. Loselle's only recent publication. His chapbook, Our Parents Dancing, a short book of poems, was published in February by Pudding House Press. "it's made up of odds and ends, really," he says, "but I'm glad to have the material out and accessible." Mr. Loselle plans to give a reading to benefit the GIHS library later this year.

Helping Hands Health Occupations 1 students from the Downriver Career Technical Consortium at Grosse Ile High School participated in community service recently. Amber Jones, Reed Czinski, Katie Thomas and Paula Fogarty, parents, Stan Czinski, and Janis Fogarty with instructor Sonnie Payton went to World Medical Relief on Saturday February 13, 2010. They met the CEO George Samson and helped the team of medical workers unpack medical supplies and repack them into crates to be sent to Haiti to help after the devastating earthquake a month ago.

Grosse Ile High School teachers have received several major awards this past year. We would like to recognize these fine teachers for going above and beyond to make our school community the best it can be: Golf Coach & Math Teacher ~ Mr. Jim Bennett ~ National Golf Coach of the Year Art Teacher ~ Mrs. Laura Macintyre ~ Won top tier for her 2 dimensional drawing amongst secondary art teachers throughout Wayne and Oakland Counties. Also, under her guidance the GIHS yearbook won commendation from Walworth Publishing. Government & History Teacher ~ Mr. Ray Walker ~ has been named Civic Educator of the Year this past week at the Michigan Center for Civic Education annual conference. The criteria for this award was for the applicant to demonstrate expertise and enthusiasm in motivating students to learn about the U.S. government, the Constitution, and public policy. Congratulations to all of our hardworking and dedicated teachers!!

The Bridge ~ Linking School and Community In honor of the stateside celebration of Parenting Awareness Month, members of the downriver Community come together at this annual event to entertain and exchange information with families about the important role of parenting children. All activities are family friendly and free Browse through more than 50 exhibits

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Healthy Downriver Family expo 2010 Saturday, March 27, 2010 9:30 a.m.—12:30 p.m. Holiday Inn Southgate 17201 Northline Road Southgate, MI

Tips, Tools and Resources to Build Strong

Special Attractions for Children Carey Ann the Clown and Mister Ro


Happy Tom’s Learning Jamboree

Happy Tom, Grosse Ile’s own School Psychologist, Thomas McHenry will be appearing with his band around 11:00 and he’d like to see some Grosse Ile boys and girls at the show. This year, “Happy Tom” is going “unplugged” with an all acoustic set of silly songs sprinkled with layers of learning from his CD, “Tot Rocks If you’re still skeptical, feel free to ask Dr. Sanford for a critique of the show, as she was in attendance and seemed entertained by the wacky music. For further information regarding the Expo, feel free to contact Lisa Horvath at 734-785-7705, ext. 7112.

Technology Continues to Invade Classrooms By Jennifer Park, Technology Director The next few months will be exciting as technology continues to invade classrooms across the district. Interactive Whiteboards and document cameras are transforming our classrooms into 21st century learning environments. At the beginning of this year a handful of classrooms across the district had this technology and there was no budget to add more. The Grosse Ile Educational Foundation awarded a $36,000 grant to the district for the purchase of SMART Boards and document cameras (ELMOs). GIEF recognizes the role that technology plays in not only educating today’s Digital Generation, but also in the jobs that the students will hold in the future. The ELMOs were purchased first and began arriving in classrooms in February. Thirty ELMOs have made their ways into classrooms across the district. Each time the Technology Department rolled in with the new equipment students would stop and ask excitedly, “What’s that? Is my classroom getting one?”, other student comments included, “Cool!” and “Does our classroom get to keep this?” Those were just the comments of the students, teachers were equally excited. A few teachers called it, “Christmas all over again” and “Exciting”. With the ELMOs in place, it is now time to install the SMART Boards. The boards have arrived and installation should begin next week. Many teachers attended one or more training sessions over the last 2 ½ years and are eager to begin teaching with the new instructional technology. Many teachers have already been locating interactive resources and planning lessons for use with the SMART Board. For Jennifer Park, the district’s Technology Director, it is exciting to hear experienced teachers talking about how the SMART Board will be a welcomed tool for their classroom. Summer training sessions and a SMART user group will help ensure that the integration of this technology is successful. Today’s students are preparing for a world that does not exist yet. They will work in jobs that have yet to be created and technology will be a large part of these new jobs and job fields. Because of technology’s role in the current and future job market, it becomes a necessity that the Grosse Ile Township School District provides it’s students with valuable technology skills.

The Bridge ~ Linking School and Community Grosse Ile Township Schools 2009-10 Board of Education

Dr. Daniel P. Murphy


Mrs. Collie Hooper-Yan


Mrs. Terese Hunter


Mr. William Tuinier


Ms. Marianne Malone


Dr. Gregory Goyert


Mrs. Suzanne Sassack


VISION FOR THE FUTURE The Grosse Ile Township Schools will continue to be an A+ school district that offers the very best educational opportunities to the children of this community. The physical environment must support learning in facilities that are safe, developmentally appropriate and technologically able to prepare students for their future. The Grosse Ile Township Schools will continue to be a community focal point of pride. Our Mission Statement The Mission of the Grosse Ile Township Schools, in cooperation with students, parents, and community, is to teach the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary for every student to lead a successful life.

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Administration Office……...362-2555 23276 East River Road Interim Superintendent: Dr. William Weber Business Mgr./Bldg. & Grounds: Tony Krukowski Executive Assistant: Sharon Warren Student Services/Curriculum: Patti Kilar Payroll/Benefits: Susan Richardson Bookkeeper/Accounts Payable: Shannon Fowler Secretary to Business Manager: Judy Ventro Technology Director: Jennifer Park Network Technician: Ryan Moore Receptionist/Secretary: Grace Nashlen Grosse Ile High School (9-12)………..362-2400 7800 Grays Drive Principal: James Stewart Asst. Principal: Terry Flint School Hours: 7:30 a.m-2:30 p.m. Half Day: 7:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Grosse Ile Middle School (6-8)..........362-2500 23270 East River Road Principal: David Tucker School Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 2:25 p.m. Half Day: 7:30 a.m. -10:55 a.m. Meridian Elementary (3-5)................362-2700 26700 Meridian Principal: Dr. Diane Sanford School Hours: 8:10 a.m. - 3:05 p.m. Half Day: 8:10 a.m. - 11:35 a.m. Parke Lane Elementary (K-2)...……..362-2600 21610 Parke Lane Principal: Dr. Patricia Nordstrom School Hours: 8:10 a.m. - 3:05 p.m. Half Day: 8:10 a.m. - 11:35 a.m.

ENERGY ESSENTIALS UPDATE We held a “Planet Protectors” conservation assembly at our elementary schools last spring to increase awareness about recycling, conserving energy, and being responsible stewards of our planet. We are tracking our utility usage through a Utility Direct software program which allows us to compare our energy consumption from year to year. Our Energy Essentials group is meeting quarterly to share ideas, promote our program and increase awareness to administrators, staff and students. Plans are underway for projects and activities to promote Earth Day and encourage people to take the ENERGY CHALLENGE! Remember to REDUCE, REUSE and RECYLE at home and at work. To increase your own home energy efficiency and help reduce your CARBON FOOT PRINT, go to for money saving tips and ideas.

The Bridge March 2010  

The Bridge March 2010

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