Thoreau Announcements- 9/1/2020

PTG Co-Presidents’ Message and News

Hello Thoreau Community and welcome back to what is definitely going to be an unconventional year, to say the very least! We hope that everyone is in good health and that you all found ways to have enjoyment this summer while staying safe at the same time. We are so very appreciative and thankful for everyone that put in countless hours this summer to come up with the safest plans to get our teachers and children back into the classrooms together!! Whether you have opted for in-person or remote learning, we will be keeping our Thoreau community connected in unique ways this year. At this time, all PTG meetings will be held virtually via zoom and we hope that you will be able to join us for our first one of the 20/21 school year on Monday Sept 14th at 9:30 am.

Remember to check Apsen after 5:00 pm today for the classroom assignments for this year. And Mrs. Charles has also released the Thoreau Reopening Handbook, so be sure to check that out as well.

Our amazing Staff Appreciation chairs, Jordan Binder and Heather Chiancola, have come up with a lovely idea to welcome back our wonderful teachers and support staff. Be sure to sign up to make a sign for the “welcome back garden”!

Other upcoming dates:
Sept 3rd: parent forum hosted on zoom by Mrs. Charles 3-4pm
Sept 8th: first day of school (remote for everyone)
Sept 9th: first day of school in person
Sept 14th: PTG Welcome Back zoom
Upcoming: Meet the Principal/Q&A zoom for new families

Evy & Danielle
Thoreau School PTG Co-Presidents

Thoreau News

Thoreau Welcome Back Garden

Help plant a “garden” of welcome signs for the Thoreau School community! The Staff Appreciation Committee has purchased 100 blank yard signs, and we need Thoreau families to help personalize them with happy, welcoming messages of appreciation and Thoreau pride. Can you imagine how wonderful all 100 signs will look “blooming” in front of the building?!

Use the link below to volunteer to decorate a sign!

Thoreau Community Service Project Needs YOU!

Hi Thoreau Families! We hope everyone is enjoying these last days of summer. Just a reminder that we are currently hosting a community service project to provide school supplies to children in Boston. Information on how to participate are detailed below. Although we are still not together in person, we can join together to support others.

What is involved in this Community Service project?

We are partnering with Friends of the Children-Boston to help meet the needs of the children they serve. These youth in Boston are significantly impacted by COVID and are in need of basic educational and enrichment materials at home. These materials would help families who are both managing a summer without access to many programs and activities in which the children would typically engage and also preparing for a school year with so many uncertainties.

Who is Friends of the Children-Boston?

Friends-Boston is a non-profit whose mission is to impact generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles through relationships with professional mentors — 12+ years no matter what. Children are selected for the program during their kindergarten year and remain in the program through high school graduation. Mentors work closely with youth, families and schools to help these children navigate the challenges that threaten their ability to reach their full potential.

To learn more about the model, check out this short 3 minute video:

Who does Friends-Boston serve?

Friends-Boston is currently serving 144 children living primarily in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan. The newest program participants will enter 1st grade this fall while the 2020 graduating class is venturing out to the workforce and to various local colleges and universities. The first youth in the program to be accepted to an Ivy League School will begin her studies at Columbia! While the primary program participant is the youth, the siblings and caregivers also receive supports in various ways that have obvious ripple effects.

What is the need?

COVID-19 has had a significant and negative impact on the youth and families at Friends-Boston. As studies have indicated, people of color are more significantly impacted by COVID. In addition to health risks and lack of access to quality medical care, a large majority of these families have also experienced job loss, unstable housing and a general lack of access to needed resources including food, cleaning supplies and the technology needed to support remote learning. Friends-Boston has worked relentlessly since the beginning of the pandemic to provide necessary support to ensure the families are safe and have what they need, but as the pandemic continues, so does the need. We are looking for Thoreau families to provide educational and enrichment supplies to these families to help alleviate some of the stress these families are experiencing.

How do I participate?

Just click on the Amazon Wish List below. It will take you to a list of needed supplies, compiled by Friends-Boston. You simply complete the check-out process and the item will ship directly to the organization. So easy!

How to make this a meaningful experience – and not just a click of a button.

We had hoped to roll out a school supply drive last spring, in conjunction with participating classrooms that would allow for conversation with students around who would receive these supplies, why they were needed and how they would help. Then families would have the chance to take their child(ren) shopping for a hands-on experience in purchasing the requested items. Unfortunately, like so many other things, we have had to change our approach in light of the pandemic. We hope this email provides you with some language and information you can use to share with your Thoreau students to explain what we are doing, why we are doing it and the impact it will have on the youth at Friends-Boston. We believe that while we are not able to roll out this initiative as originally planned, there is still opportunity to make this meaningful and to work together as a school community to help provide for others.

Please know that we understand this entire experience over the last 5 months has been incredibly stressful and difficult for everyone. We recognize that right now is particularly stressful as we are all navigating the decisions before us for the upcoming school year at Thoreau. This service project is completely optional and no family is in any way required or expected to participate if it is not a good fit for your family at this time.

Please let us know if you have any questions!
Rachael Hollander, 5th Grade Teacher
Rachel Levesque, School Social Counselor
Julie Lynch, PTG Service Learning Chair