April 30, 2015


We hope that everyone had an enjoyable Spring Break!  Don’t miss our May PTG meeting tomorrow, Friday, morning at 9:00am in the Cafeteria.  Come join us to learn about new roles for next year and opportunities to get involved. Also, save the date for our Spring Mom’s Night Out – May 27, at 7:00pm, details to come.

Carla and Trish


Help celebrate and thank our wonderful Thoreau Staff:

Sunday, May 3, 12:00-2:00pm: Chalking of the Sidewalks (weather permitting).

All are invited to bring a picnic lunch and help with this Thoreau tradition.  We will “chalk” names of teachers and staff along with decorations and cheerful notes outside the school.  These will greet teachers and staff on Monday, May 4. Parents and kids can also make a note or card for a special Thoreau teacher or staff. Cards will be collected and distributed on Friday, May 8.

Give thanks through a card or note (May 4 – 8): We encourage all students – and parents – to give a short note or thank you card to favorite teachers, specialists, and staff.  You can directly give your cards to recipients anytime throughout May 4 – 8. Don’t forget classroom teachers, specialists and specials teachers, service workers, and administrators. Notes of thanks are a great way to show appreciation!

We hope you will take a moment to say “thanks” to teachers and staff who serve the students every day.  Thanks for your help!

— The Staff Appreciation Committee


Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week – it’s the perfect time to donate a book through the Library Gift Book Program! Select a book in honor of a special teacher (or teachers) you wish to acknowledge. Swing by the library to choose a book from the Gift Book Box and write a check to the PTG. Questions? Speak with the librarians or contact the PTG Gift Book Coordinator at fennwei@yahoo.com.


On your Mark.  Get Set.  Thoreau!  Get ready to run Sunday, May 17 at the Thoreau School 9th Annual Road Race.  Start training now with the whole family for the Kids’ Fun Runs (.5 and 1 mile) and 5K followed by fun food by Firebox BBQ, games, bouncy house, awards ceremony with medals for top winners and more!  Race, walk, jog or stroll, ALL are welcome!

11:00 am – 5 K run

Kids Fun Runs:

12:00 pm – 1 mile run 6+ GIRLS

12:15 pm – 1 mile run 6+ BOYS

12:30 pm – ½ mile run 5 and under

Register TODAY to avoid lines and save on the registration fee.  Go to https://www.thoreauptg.org/road-race/

Spread the word and bring friends!

To volunteer, contact Jill Yates at jillhamilton@gmail.com or Mitzi Johnson at mitzifowler@yahoo.com  Any family needing financial assistance in order to participate in this event should contact Rachel Levesque, school Social Worker, at rlevesque@colonial.net or (978) 318-1300.

— Mitzi Johnson and Jill Yates, Road Race Co-chairs


Thoreau students crushed it over Earth Week, simply by taking the time to sort and compost their food scraps, recycle more thoroughly and (for some) bring less waste from home! The results were astounding:

  • 83% Reduction in Trash (instead of dumping 15 bags to landfill, we were just under 3!)
  • Over 25 gallons of food went to our school garden’s compost bins, to be converted into new garden soil
  • 126% increase in Recycling

Wow! Wouldn’t be awesome if this could happen EVERY week?! If it’s something you support, let the PTG know!

Parents: thanks to all who attempted to increase re-usable lunch containers and bags. Moving forward, if parents reduced sending Ziploc bags alone, we’d see a lot less trash at Thoreau! Consider buying/reusing plastic containers for your kids’ foods, or have them return the bags home and wash/re-use.

Finally, thanks to the fearless cafeteria and custodial staff for their support, as well as parent volunteers Kimber Lynn Drake, Anne Remington, Carla Macy, Nikki Morrissey and Trish Siefer.

— Carolyn Wilkins for Thoreau-ly Green


The Grounds for Learning was created in 1997 as a restored natural area, including butterfly garden, water garden, meadow, woodland with meeting space and trails on Thoreau School property along the Assabet River. This classroom by the river allows children to explore a native New England meadow and woodland right in their own schoolyard. We are hoping to have two parent volunteers (weather permitting) each Wednesday and Friday in the spring from April 29th to June 24th. Parent volunteers will host children in the garden during lunch recess (11:40-12:25, K-2nd recess and 12:45-1:40 3-5th recess). Instructions for GFL volunteers are available. Click the link to sign-up to volunteer: http://thoreaugfl.wikispaces.com/Grounds+for+Learning+Sign+Up If we do not have a volunteer on a specific date the garden remains locked. As of today we have NO volunteers. Please help us support this amazing resource for our children!


While it may seem as though the Geography Quests have disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle, in reality, they are just a casualty of a busy spring! I’m looking for a crew to help me grade the Quests. We can either meet altogether or I can distribute packs for correcting. Can you help out? If so, please contact Liz Wei at fennwei@yahoo.com. Thank you!


Monday, May 4         Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Tuesday, May 5        NO LUNCH

Wednesday, May 6  Homemade Beef Burrito with Cheddar Cheese

Thursday, May 7      Popcorn Chicken Bites

Friday, May 8            Homemade Cheese Pizza with Topping Choice


Discovery Day for Young Families at the Playscape at Ripley

Discover Concord’s newest park and playspace at this fun afternoon with activities for the whole family (including families of children with special needs), including an art activity from Musketaquid, animals from Drumlin Farm, and a Storywalk. Event is free and open to the public.  Sunday, May 3, 2-4 p.m. at the Playscape at Ripley, 120 Meriam Road at the Concord Public Schools Administration Building.  For more information and to RSVP: www.ripleyplayscape.org.

Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) Business Meeting 

SEPAC for the Concord Public and Concord-Carlisle Regional Schools will hold its next business meeting on Monday, May 4 from 9:30-11am in the Concord Main Library (lower conference room) located at 129 Main Street, Concord, MA.  This event is open to everyone.  To get more information or to join the SEPAC email list:  concordsepac@gmail.com Please visit our website at concordsepac.org for information on upcoming events!

“Today’s Social Media – Windows into a Violent World: How to Talk to Our Youth About What They See”

Tuesday, May 5 at 7 pm, Concord-Carlisle High School Learning Commons: “Today’s Social Media-Windows into a Violent World: How to Talk to Our Youth About What They See” with David Perna, PhD and Elizabeth Barcewicz, PsyD.  Two local psychologists will share ideas and strategies for opening up dialogue to help young people 10-18 who may routinely encounter images of violence via social media. There is no fee for this special presentation.  Sponsored by the Adult & Community Education Dept, CCHS.  Advance reservations suggested, (978) 318-1432 or online at www.ace.colonial.net (event # 4573).

SEPAC Coffee- Ripley Playscape with guest speaker Jennifer Saxe                        

On Wednesday, May 6 from 9:30-11am (rain date May 13) at the Ripley Building, Meriam Road, Conference Room 1, learn about the research behind the Playscape, its accessible features, and how each feature benefits special needs children.  Hear about the project from the architect, Jennifer Brooke, and have your questions about the project answered. We will then take a tour of the playscape.  See you then!  Please RSVP for planning purposes to concordsepac@gmail.com, but walk-ins welcome!

Community Chest Open House – Thursday May 7, 9am-2pm

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest invites all community members to visit its new office space at 19 Main Street (second floor) in Concord Center from 9am – 2pm on Thursday, May 7.  Refreshments will be provided and all are welcome to attend.   We look forward to sharing our new “home” with the community!

Concord Family Network’s Mother’s Day Diaper Drive May 4 – 8

Announcing the Concord Family Network’s Mother’s Day diaper drive, collecting diaper donations for Mary’s House family shelter in Waltham MA and its support network for families transitioning out of homelessness.  Keeping babies comfortably diapered is a huge challenge for countless families across the country. The average baby goes through 2600 diapers each year, yet diapers are not covered by SNAP (food stamps), WIC, or any other government subsidy. Daycare centers, essential for working parents, often require diapers to be provided. All too often, hygiene must be compromised to save money, and children’s health suffers. This is preventable suffering. In honor of Mother’s Day 2015, let’s all pull together and offer some help, from one community of parents to another.

Mary’s House Family Shelter supports up to eight resident families, and offers a support network to families transitioning out of homelessness. They particularly need diapers in sizes 4, 5 and 6, but any size is greatly appreciated.  Drop off locations, hours:

  • The Barn Co-op Nursery School (The Concord Scout House, 74 Walden St.): M-Th, 9am to 3pm
  • Concord Carousel (Harvey-Wheeler Building, 1276 Main St.): M-F, 9am to 6pm
  • Or order them online and have them delivered to the following address: Concord Family Network c/o Sophia Garmey 330 Main St., Concord MA, 01742

Actively Parenting Your Young Child

Center for Parents and Teachers, 8 Part Series for Parents of 3 to 6 yr old children: Actively Parenting Your Young Child, facilitated by Patricia Marquis, LICSW.

8 Monday mornings April 27 through June 22 (skipping Memorial Day) from 9:15 to 11:15am at convenient Concord location.  Pre-registration is required by emailing cpt@colonial.net and typing “Actively Parenting” in the subject line.   Location will be given upon registration. This 8 part series will offer parents new understandings about child development and will offer strategies on how to effectively respond to common parenting concerns.  Have you hoped that your morning and evening routines with your child would go smoother?  Are you feeling a bit frustrated in eliciting your child’s cooperation?  Would you like to decrease the number of power and control battles you are having?  Would you welcome some new ideas on how to increase your child’s autonomy, resiliency and self-esteem?  Would you be open to gaining a fresh perspective on handling your child’s anger as well as your own?  Would you like to have more satisfying parent-child interactions by learning effective skills in communication?  If so, please register for this small group course.  Our facilitator, Patty Marquis, is a highly popular and effective presenter.  She has over 30 years of experience working with parents and teachers.  Patty offers practical suggestions and insights based on powerful research that parents truly benefit from.  Please be sure to respond by emailing CPT quickly as spaces are very limited.

 Concord Recreation’s Touch a Truck / Safety Day

Concord Recreation’s Touch a Truck / Safety Day, sponsored by the Lamont family, has changed locations.  It will take place at The Willard School at 185 Powder Mill Rd., on Sunday May 17 from 1-4pm. It features a Concord Police Car, Fire Truck, Mail Truck, moving van and other Town Department Trucks.  There will also be a bounce house, ice cream truck and food truck.  Cost is $5.00 per person with at $20 maximum and includes the bounce house and giveaways.  The event is rain or shine.

It’s Back… The 2015 PMC Kids Ride Concord

After a 1-year hiatus due to construction at Middlesex School the PMC Kids Ride Concord Team has decided to move the ride to the Willard School and hold the ride again this year on Sunday June 14, 8:30am- 12pm!  Kids ages 5-15 can ride 1,4,8 or 12 miles to support the Jimmy Fund and the goal to conquer cancer.  Registration is open and is $15 with a minimum fundraising of $25 required.  To register go to http://www.kids.pmc.org/concord.

The PMC Kids Ride includes young cyclists in the Pan-Mass Challenge mission of raising money for cancer research.  The program engages youth in philanthropy and promotes physical activity.

MySchoolBucks Lunch Account Balance: https://www.myschoolbucks.com/

Math Resources for parents: http://thoreau.colonial.net/Teachers/Link/ParentResources

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on May 7, 2015. Submission deadline: 9pm on Monday, May 4, 2015. Submissions must be school or community related and not commercial in nature. Submit your item in the body of an email (no attachments); it should be brief, single-spaced and have minimal formatting.  Please no bullet points, numbering, or underlining. Email your submission to announcements@thoreauptg.org.