Nature-based preschool to open in August

IMG_0312Discovery Woods Preschool, a nature-based preschool and after school education facility, will open at 67 St. Francis Ave. in Tiffin this month. The non-profit program aims to prepare children from 18 months to 5 years for school, teaching traditional childhood education combined with a nature-based approach.

Discovery Woods Preschool offers several programs in a nature based curriculum with an emphasis on project based learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

The school is split into four different programs:

  • Caterpillar Cove – Infant/Toddler Program for children 18 – 30 months – Provides children a positive environment to explore with the guidance and support of an infant toddler teacher who designs developmentally appropriate lessons to help children become more familiar with their world. Staff encourage communication, walking, exploring, and learning.
  • Butterfly Landing – Preschool class for children 2.5 – 3 years – Introduces children to flexible routines with circle time, small group work, and center based exploration to develop their project based interests. Activities include dramatic play areas – such as a grocery store, hair salon, or flower shop – building with blocks and natural items, water table exploration, painting, and science lessons.  Part Time and Full Day Program available.
  • Rainbow Path – Kindergarten Readiness Program for children 4 – 5 years – Encompasses more structured play based routines with two circle times, small group and a morning work time to prepare children for Kindergarten.  Children will be introduced to the Pre-K Ohio Department of Education Content Standards.  They will learn the alphabet, letter sounds, patterns, numbers, and reading basic color and sight words. This program also includes the project approach where children participate in a year long project or two based on their interests, which guide the teachers lessons.   The children’s projects are displayed at the end of the year Watch Me Work at Night event.
  • Tree Top Trail – After School Enrichment for students K-5th grade – Includes tutoring in a child’s specific area of need, engaging STEAM projects such as creating robots, drawing in 3D, and tending to the school garden.

The staff is trained in childhood development and first aid, and the Kindergarten Readiness Program is taught by educators with an Elementary Teaching license. All staff also participate in continuing education classes related to the growth and development of the age level they teach.

While their official grand opening and family open house is set for August 12, families are invited to participate in a nature scavenger hunt at Hedges-Boyer Park on August 5 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. for a day of fun and to learn more about the programs.

For more information, visit their website.

Seneca County Fair celebrates 175 years

fair logoThis year marks the 175th Seneca County Fair, making it the second oldest county fair in Ohio. At seven days, it is also one of the longest county fairs in the state. The event features livestock exhibitions, live entertainment and other activities for people of all ages.

Seneca County Fair Board member Aaron Howell says this year will have several special features. “A glass-blower will be there, creating commemorative items for the event, there will be a raffle for rides on the Re/Max hot air balloon, and we have invited every previous fair king and queen we could find to a special dinner,” he said. “We’re even bringing back the cow chip throwing contest and dunk tank!”

The Seneca County Fair began 175 years ago as a street fair located first at Rock Creek, and later on Frost Parkway.  The fair found it’s permanent home on the current property, in 1885. Today, it sprawls across 80 acres and attracts 50,000 guests each year.

Every year, more than a thousand kids from across the county participate in the fair through 4H and the Junior Fair Board, exhibiting animals and hands-on projects they work on throughout the year. Additionally, there are children’s rides (only 50 cents per ride), a wide range of food vendors, antique farm equipment, and live entertainment every night of the week. There is live music in the entertainment building Tuesday through Sunday, with acts including Nashville Crush and the Eric Sowers Band, two nights of rodeo, harness racing, horse and tractor pulls, and more. This year’s demolition derby is on track to be one of the largest yet.

Admission to the fair is just $7 per day or $22 for the whole week. Veterans get a special discount on Monday and Seniors on Tuesday, just $2.

Bilger’s Lawn and Landscape

Bilger's Ribbon CuttingMeet Brian Bilger, owner of Bilger’s Lawn and Landscape, located at 1761 N. SR 53 in Tiffin. Brian started his landscaping business out of his parents’ garage in 1999 and 17 years later the business is still going strong and growing.

He began mowing lawns in his neighborhood when he was nine, and continued throughout high school. He started the business in his parents’ garage and attended classes in landscape contracting and horticulture science at Ohio State University and Columbus State Community College during the off-season.

Bilger soon outgrew the garage, moved to a larger space, and finally rented a space on SR 53 North of Tiffin. Last year, they built and moved into their own building at  1761 N. SR 53 (a $300,000 investment), giving them more room for storage, including their new storage building and swing set installation services. The company currently employs 18-20 individuals, and Brian says they are comfortable at that number. “We are working on our internal system and setting a standard of quality,” he said.

Brian is also actively involved in the Tiffin community. Several years ago his design skills landed him on a sub-committee of Tiffin Tomorrow, a group dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Tiffin. In 2014, it was absorbed by SIEDC, with the original group serving as the downtown leadership board, and Brian is still a key member of the board. He is also a member of the Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group, the group responsible for the purchase and revitalization of the Laird Arcade in downtown Tiffin.

Additionally, Brian is a part of the Seneca County Home Builders Association, a group of building professionals who hold educational and networking events for their industry partners as well as assist community organizations. He also takes part in their yearly Home Expo event.

“Tiffin is home,” he said. “I love everything about it. I feel fortunate to be here, and everyone has been really great. I want to give back.”

Bilger’s is able to help with all of your landscape needs including digital landscape design, installation, maintenance, lighting, water features, paver patios/retaining walls, drip irrigation, lawn treatment programs, swing sets/storage sheds and retail landscape materials. Check out their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or visit their website.

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Tiffin and Seneca County win $220,000 for road improvement

20170629_151509.jpgGrant supports $1M commercial access project

TIFFIN, OHIO – July 5, 2017 – The City of Tiffin has been granted $220,000 through the Ohio Department of Transportation Jobs and Commerce for an improvement project on US 224; a 25 percent match with the city for a project totaling $1 million. It will provide access to a 60-acre site for potential commercial development annexed by the city earlier this year.

The grant is the first received by the Seneca County Transportation Improvement District (TID) created by Seneca County Commissioners in September 2015. “The district was put in place with the future of the county in mind,” Commissioner Shayne Thomas, head of the county’s transportation sub-committee, said. “This project is the first of many for which we plan to secure TID funding.”

Last year, Tiffin, Fostoria and Seneca County representatives collaborated to update and reprioritize the county’s Transportation Improvement Plan. Originally created in 2001, the plan was revised with a clear focus on key projects throughout the county. The revision was approved by all groups, as well as the TID Committee, composed of engineers, elected officials, and economic development organizations from each jurisdiction.

Charlene Watkins, Executive Director of Seneca Regional Planning Commission Executive Director commended the partnership between Seneca County organizations in securing the grant. “The foundation is in place and all parties are working to implement the plan,” she said. “We appreciate SIEDC’s work with different entities to gather information and submit the application, as well as the involvement of State Representative Bill Reineke and State Senator Dave Burke, and everyone else who had a hand in the process.”

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Tiffin awarded $1.6M grant for streetscape project

City of Tiffin LogoMiami Street improvements slated for 2018

TIFFIN, OHIO – July 3, 2017 – The City of Tiffin has received funding for the reconstruction of Miami Street through the Ohio Department of Transportation Small Cities Program, up to $1,636,850, which covers 95% of the $1,723,000 streetscaping project.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is looking forward to beginning the project. “This is a long overdue project that will increase the safety of the road as well as beautify the area,” he said. “The City of Tiffin continues to apply for grants like the Small Cities Program to continue improving our infrastructure while easing the burden on taxpayers.”

The proposed work consists of road reconstruction, new curbs, sidewalks, and lighting, over an approximate length of 2000 feet on Miami Street, from Nelson Street to just east of Clay Street, where the previous project terminated.

This will be a cooperative project with Tiffin University, which will be paying a proportionate share of the local contribution, and covering the costs of non-grant covered items that are of an aesthetic nature, which primarily consist of decorative lighting and textured crosswalks.

“We are excited to partner with the city on this project,” Tiffin University President Lilian Schumacher said. “The continuation of the streetscape enhances our campus and improves walkability of the area for our students.”

Design is expected to conclude early in 2018, with contract award to take place by June of the same year. This schedule may be extended if problems are encountered in the design phase.

Seneca County to hold second Manufacturing Showcase

Local manufacturers to demonstrate skilled trades to high school students

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 27, 2017 – The Seneca Department of Job and Family Services/OhioMeansJobs is partnering with local organizations and manufacturers to hold Seneca County’s second Manufacturing Showcase on October 13, 2017 at the Heminger Center on the Tiffin University campus. The event is an opportunity for area students to learn about careers in manufacturing and participate in hands-on skill demonstrations.

Carol Kern of Seneca DJFS is looking forward to another successful event: “Last year we were able to introduce more than 700 students to skills used in manufacturing careers in Seneca County. With the feedback from last year, we are confident that we can provide another positive experience for students and local companies alike.”

The showcase will focus on six skills: team building, lean practices, employability, machining, supply chain and mechanical engineering/electrical trades/automation. For each skill, there are six spaces available for a hands-on demonstration.

Eleven schools within Seneca County will send nearly 800 students to participate in the showcase. The event will last a full day, with students split into one morning session and one afternoon session. Lunch will be provided at no cost.

Several manufacturers are already on board; Callies Performance Products, and The Mennel Milling Company of Fostoria have signed on as well as National Machinery, Webster Industries, and Toledo Molding & Die of Tiffin. If you would like more information, to make a donation, or to sign up for a space at the showcase, please contact Carol at 419.447.5011 ext. 322, or visit http://senecashowcase.wordpress.com.

 

2017 Sentinel’s most successful year yet

sentinel logoThe 2016-2017 school year was another record setter for Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers. The stats for the Tiffin campus are astounding:

August 2016 – May 2017

  • 96% Skill Attainment/WebXam (CTE end of course exam) passage rate among 2017 graduates.
  • 99% 12pt. industrial credential passage rate among 2017 graduates. Industrial Credential Examples: Pro Start, NATEF/ASE, NCCER, NIMS, AWS, STNA, APCO-911, to name only a few.
  • 94% or higher retention rate from the first day of school to the last.
  • 2016-2017 total enrollment: 532, with 180 Career Technology Education graduates.
  • 2017 placement rate: 50% Career, 35% College (2/4 year/or apprenticeship program) & 15% military.
  • 43 State Champions among career technical student organizations (SkillsUSA, FFA & Educators Rising).

Sentinel Career & Technology Center Director Elissa Heal is looking forward to another successful school year this fall, expanding business and industry relationships and offering new outlets for students.

“Continuing to strengthen relationships with the business community is a priority at Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers,” she said. “Each of our 15 career programs have a business advisory team made up of industry/educational representatives from their career field. Offering high quality career technical education to students in our community is a top priority.”

Expanding upon character education – one of the pillars of all VSCTC programs – Drug Free Clubs will be offered starting this fall in addition to other programs designed to serve both the students and community.  VSCTC is also rolling out the “Bronze-Platnum” program model, which will expand options for students and provide opportunities to area businesses and industries. The program is still in development; more information will be provided this fall.

About VSCTC
Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers have been providing quality career technical education since 1968.  The district provides students with specific, marketable skills to begin a career, pursue further training or attend college.  For more information about programs, or to apply to be a student, visit www.vsctc.org.

DC Weld Tech to offer welding basics

Welding it togetherLocal welder Dave Clark is hoping to make a difference in his community with a training program for out-of-practice or aspiring welders. The aim of DC Weld Tech is to enrich the community by offering a cost-effective training program in the field of welding in a one on one setting.

From Dave:

“We feel this important to the community to offer a skilled trades training which will open to doors to those individuals looking to better themselves by obtaining a better job or if they choose to further their education in the field.

“We have been a family owned and operated welding and fabricating company for over 20 years. Now we would like to share what we have learned over those years with our community with our new company DC Weld Tech. This new venture will allow us to to give back to our neighbors by offering a skilled trades training program in the field of welding. This course will be cost effective in a one on one setting. These individuals will be able to obtain a job in the field, the knowledge to take a certification test, or to further their education at a higher level. Our hope is to be able to offer this course to anyone with a willingness to learn who may not be able to afford college and would benefit from a one on one setting.”

For more information, visit www.dcweldtech.com.

Evenings in downtown Tiffin

Tiffin 2Spend an evening in downtown Tiffin! There are many businesses – restaurants, retail and attractions – open late during the week.

Open after 5:30 p.m. on weekdays:

Food and Drinks

Retail

  • Avon at Cabin Creations (Open late on Thursday) – Retailer of Avon products.
  • The Beanstalk & Company (Open until 6 p.m. Thursday) – Children’s clothes, toys, and accessories store.
  • Cabin Creations (Open late on Thursday) – Supplies for arts and crafts.
  • Cabin Creations Gift Shop (Open late on Thursday) – Gift shop items.
  • Burns Electric (Late hours Monday and Thursday) – Appliances, lighting, custom cabinetry, countertops and flooring.
  • Deckers Furniture (Late hours Monday and Thursday) – Whole home furnishings, accessories and carpeting.
  • Lee’s Floor Covering (Open late on Thursday) – Offers and installs all types of floorcovering including carpet, tile, hardwood, vinyl, laminate, custom blinds and drapes.
  • Level Up – Buys, sells and trades video games, movies and music and sells new skateboards and parts.
  • Line Drive Sports Cards – Buy, sell and trade sports cards and collectibles. Friday Magic tournaments, Saturday Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments.
  • Ma Chere Claire Boutique (Open late Wednesday and Thursday) – Women’s and children’s clothing, accessories, jewelry and more. Located at the back of Ye Crimper’s Shoppe.
  • Paper & Ink –  Book seller featuring bestsellers, local authors and history, periodicals and collectable/trading cards.
  • Phillips Electric (Open late on Thursday) – Retailer of all major brands of home appliances.
  • Ralph’s Joy of Living – Appliance and mattress store, featuring kitchen accessories, wine and craft beer.
  • Simply Susan’s (Open late on Thursday) – Women’s boutique selling clothing and accessories, as well as crafted consignment items and scrapbooking supplies, and hand dipped chocolate.
  • Washington Street Outfitters – Women’s and men’s clothing, accessories, vinyl records, gifts and more.

All of this information and more can also be found on the Discover Tiffin! mobile app, available from Google Play or the iTunes App Store.

Tiffin event planning assistance

Event Prep Packet(1).jpgSIEDC’s Downtown Marketing Committee in partnership with the City of Tiffin has made available a guide to event planning in Tiffin. The checklist includes vital contacts to ensure that an event meets all city regulations as well as additional items that you may want for your event.

The form is designed for a downtown event, but could easily be used for any type of event.

Stop by the Tiffin City Municipal building at 51 East Market St., or download it here.