Tag Archives: Jan Ray

Letter: Sugar Grove donors response

Your blood donations were so needed and so important, and on March 1 you responded.

Our blood drive was a huge success, due in part to the Sugar Grove Firefighters Auxiliary, the Sugar Grove Fire Department, the Heartland Blood Center staff, and all of our extra helpers.

We send a special thank you to our donors for sharing the gift of life: Carolyn Abruzzo, Jeff Babich, Shawn Beyer, Kate Boehmer, Steve Boehmer, James Budzyn, Jennifer Calabrese, Perry Clark, Clara Cooper, Pat Davis, Lee Drendel, Jick Eckert, Tara Evers, Steve Good, Denise Goress, Mark Goress, George Hannemann, Susan Hayden, Jack Holleran, Mike Janco, John Jandovitz, Jane Johnson, Laura Keske, Ted Koch, Kim Kriceri, Sally McClellan, Suzanne McCracken, Sean Michels, Brandon J. Mires, Lisa Molitor, Russell Molitor, Jennifer Mourousias, Clarance Nolan, Crystal Quiroga, Jan Ray, Andrew Reynolds, Judy Rios, Brian Schiber, Erin Schiber, Damon Schultz, Christy Seawall, Don Sommerville, Christine Steenwyk, Jeff Steenwyk, Andrea Strobert, Marisa Tenorio, Renee Tonioni, Rachel Warren, Dana Weber, Molly Wolf, Annettee Wood, Dan Wurtz, James Zablocki, Scott Zaeske, Steve Zick.

We also deeply appreciate those who attempted but were unable to donate blood. The next Sugar Grove blood drive is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 13.

Joy Rubo
Blood Drive coordinator
Sugar Grove

Preschool students give Brightest Stars an A+

by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove resident Linda Ray may be only 3 years old, but she knows what she likes. Linda started classes at the Brightest Stars Preschool in March.

“There isn’t a day that my daughter doesn’t come home raving about Miss Amy,” Jan Ray said.

“Miss Amy” is Amy Peters, educator and owner of the Brightest Stars Preschool, located in Sugar Grove. The preschool opened in September 2008 with morning and afternoon classes.

While some other preschools and day care centers are seeing a recent drop in their enrollment, Peters said that if anything, she is gaining students. She said she thinks it is because her classes are educational.

“Parents will give up other things to continue with their child’s education,” she said.

Peters’ goals for the children are to help them gain the skills, confidence and independence that will prepare them for kindergarten, and supplement the learning experience of half-day kindergartners.

Although the parents like Brightest Stars because the children are learning, the children like it because they are having fun.

Peters sings and plays the guitar and other instruments, and incorporates music and movement, as well as puppets and sign language, into many of the activities she does with the children.

“I love seeing them light up and they don’t even realize they’re going to learn,” she said.

Interspersed with the music, the children have opportunities to explore the computer, learn basic math skills, create art projects and practice writing.

Parents may choose the combination of days their child attends the school, as well as how many days per week, based on availability.

Linda recently attended a session Peters offered free of charge at the Sugar Grove Public Library. The theme was spring, and focused on birds and flowers and rain.

Youth services manager Sarah Barbel said Peters added two sessions so everyone could participate.

“There’s always a big waiting list (for her programs),” Barbel said.

Peters said she will offer monthly programs once the new library is open, and has scheduled two summer sessions through the Sugar Grove Park District as part of her community outreach.

“I always say after each session, ‘I don’t know who had more fun—me or the kids,’” Peters said.

Brightest Stars Preschool
474 Division Drive
Sugar Grove
Sessions are Monday – Friday
9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 – 3 p.m.
For more information, call 466-8668 or visit

Miss Amy combines music and movement for preschoolers at Brightest Stars Preschool in Sugar Grove. Photo by Susan O’Neill