December 20, 2012


We wanted to take the opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy school vacation! We hope you enjoy the Holidays with your family and friends, and take the time to relax, and appreciate all that we have to be grateful for. The PTG is thankful for your support for our wonderful school community. Come back to school in January energized and ready to dive into some great events: Bingo Night, Spelling Bee, Cake Walk and much, much more! All our best,
-Jen and Shelagh


We are planning a trip to Symphony Hall for the wonderful BSO Family Concert! This year’s family concert is Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 10:15am. Adults are $20 (plus $2 service fee and postage) and kids are FREE. This year’s theme is From the Inside Out: A Musical Look at Courage, Competition and Character featuring music of Wagner, Brahms, and of course John Williams! Pre-concert activities including the Instrument Playground, instrument demonstrations, and much more are available for all ticket holders from 9-10am.

If you would like to attend, please send a check payable to Jennifer Montbach for $22 per adult and specify the total number of seats you need (i.e. 2 adults, 1 kid, $44 enclosed). Mail to 45 Pine St., Concord 01742. I plan to order tickets on Friday, January 11 and will remind you again in the first Thoreau Announcements in January. If you miss the deadline you may still be able attend, but won’t be able to sit with the group. Any family needing financial assistance in order to participate in this event should contact Rachel Levesque, school social worker, at or (978) 318-1300. Email me at with any questions.


The annual Hobby Fair is right around the corner!  This is an event for 4th and 5th graders to share their hobbies, collectibles, art and other interests with teachers, family and friends.  Each year we see an amazing array of fun and interesting exhibits, from displays of sports memorabilia to exhibits about music, dance, arts and crafts, and writing. The Fair will be open to the Thoreau School community on the evening of Monday, January 14. 6:30-7:30pm, when family and friends may view the many great exhibits.  On Tuesday, January 15, the fair will run 9:00-11:30am, during which time all classes will have time to visit and enjoy the Fair.

So, 4th and 5th graders: start thinking about your exhibits! Perhaps get together with a friend and plan an exhibit together. (Please note that participation in the Hobby Fair is optional).  Permission slips will be sent home soon, and should be returned to your child’s teacher no later than Wednesday, January 9.  If you have any questions or need another permission slip, please contact Karen Brown at or 978-318-9663. Also, any parents interested in helping to set up or clean up would be greatly appreciated, so please let me know!


Going away for the Holidays? Over the River and through the woods? If so, keep our Thoreau school library and the Vacation/Travel Book Program in mind! Have your child pick out a book from your destination that can be donated to the school library when you return after the Holidays. This is a great way for families to learn about other towns, cities, or even other countries! A special bookplate will be given to your child to fill out for the dedication. Thanks to the following families for their recent travel book donations: Paddle-to-the-Sea from Veronica and Nicholas Moy; Palace Princesses and Old Irish Country Life from Sydney Brown; and I Spy With My Little Eye Minnesota from the Root Family.
Happy Holidays and Safe Travels
–Jen Johnson


Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday break along with a gigantic thank you to the following families for their contributions to the Annual Appeal: Jones; Steffens/Kelliher; Wei; Carey; Beveridge; Grace; Derosa; Ubaldino; Sullivan/Tuby; Umina; Noordzij and Muno. If you haven’t already, please consider giving soon. Your donation goes directly to activities and supplies that benefit your child. Send a check to the school or donate online at Thank you so much for your support! 


The update from School Committee following the meetings of November 13, 27, December 11, 2012 is posted on the PTG website: . Topics include:

  • School Budgets
  • Town Meeting Warrant Articles
  • CCRSD Stabilization Fund Transfers
  • Human Resources Report
  • METCO Report
  • CCHS Building Project
  • Rivers and Revolutions
  • Other Reports/Business


Coats for Kids Drive
Concord Middle School’s Coats for Kids Club needs the elementary schools’ help in collecting coats for Anton’s Cleaners 18th  annual Coats for Kids  drive. Last year the students at CMS collected approximately 200 coats.  This year we are hoping to double that amount.  There is a collection box located in the front lobby at Thoreau School. We are accepting all winter coats – kids, adults and babies – that are in good wearable condition.    Please donate coats that you would give a friend to wear. Coats are being collected now through January 12, 2013. This holiday season as we visit with family and friends, let’s spread the word that we are collecting coats for those in need.  Your donations are greatly appreciated!

Tree Pickup and Recycling by Concord Boy Scouts and Holy Family Parish Youth Ministry
To arrange for us to pick up your tree on Saturday, Jan. 5, email or call: 978-369-7442 x228. Requested Donation: $15 – $25. Checks made payable to Holy Family Parish. Please reserve pickup by 5:00 Jan. 3. We can only pick up trees in Concord. All donations will be used for Concord Troop 132 Boy Scouts and Holy Family Parish Youth Ministry Programs.

Parent Toddler Program
Looking for something fun to do with your toddler this winter? Join early childhood educators, Ingrid Wheeler and Vicki Davidson at Ripley School in Concord for two different weekly classes. The Parent Toddler Program is open to parents with children 1-2 years old (as of Sept. 2012) and meets Fridays for 12 weeks, 9:30-11:00am from January 18 through April 12, 2013. The class includes time with toys, crafts, outdoor or gym play, snack, and a fun interactive singing time.  While the children play in the same room, parents participate in a discussion group.

The Parent Preschool Program allows 2- and 3-year-olds the chance to play together in a nursery school classroom every Thursday morning from 9:30-11:30 a.m., starting January 17 and ending April 11, 2013.  They learn what it’s like to be part of a group and what “school” is like. Parents take turns parent helping in the classroom assisting their child’s teacher. When not parent helping, moms (dads are welcome too) meet separately with their own facilitator for a parenting group and refreshments. Non-mobile siblings welcome. For more information and registration go to or call Ingrid Wheeler 978-369-7597.  Community Education classes are a student funded community service of the Concord-Carlisle Schools.

Winter Family Festival of Music and Art
The Concord Children’s Center presents a Winter Family Festival of Music and Art, sponsored by both Cambridge Trust and Middlesex Bank. The family festival is at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center, 1276 Main Street, Concord, MA. The event is Saturday January 12, 2013, 10am to 12pm. Admission is $10 per person/$35 max per family. Tickets are available at the door or in advance by calling the Concord Children’s Center at 978-369-6790.

Come escape the cold and enjoy live music, arts and crafts, yummy treats and hot chocolate provided by Reasons to be Cheerful. There is music entertainment by the kid’s retro-rock band Karen K and the Jitterbugs at 10am. Back by popular demand and winner of a Parent’s Choice Silver Award is children’s rock band Rolie Polie Guacamole at 11am. The Concord Children’s Center is excited to partner with 77 Arts Academy and Musketaquid Arts and Environment, who will each provide a free art activity for children at the festival.

Plays to Benefit Linawo Children’s Home
On Sunday, January 13th at 2:00 PM,  Middlesex School will present a fun performance of two one-act plays for children of all ages: Willabella Witch’s Last Spell and Cinderella Wore Combat Boots.  Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children and can be purchased at the door. All proceeds will benefit Linawo Children’s Home in Cape Town, South Africa. 

17th Annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature at the Concord Museum through January 1
A love of books and reading is a lifelong treasure passed from adult to child.  The 17th annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature at the Concord Museum gives Concord’s renowned literary tradition a creative twist. Through January 1st, the Museum’s galleries are filled with 38 trees decorated with inspiration from acclaimed children’s storybooks.  Don’t miss the special Barefoot Books tree created by Sophie Fatus, the French illustrator of a delightful book, The Story Tree. Sophie made her first visit to North America from her studio in Florence, Italy, just to decorate this tree!  For further information about hours and admissions visit:

Fa La La Lacrosse
CCYL is happy to announce that Spring 2013 registration is open. Please go to for more information on programs. Space is limited, so register TODAY.

The Center for Parents and Teachers
The Center for Parents and Teachers invites you to a 4-part parent education series beginning in February, “Fostering Self-Reliance in Our Young Children: How Parents Can Build Children’s Skills that Promote Self-Esteem, Competence and Mastery.” This program will offer parents of young children (K through Grade 3) a perspective on why the development of self-reliance is so important for a child’s success in school … and in all areas in life.  Striking the balance between a connected dependence on family and a healthy budding independence can mean a greater sense of self-esteem for a child, a growing feeling of competency in the classroom and with friends and family, as well as a much greater ability to handle transitions with a higher level of ease.  Life is full of challenges, including both successes and disappointments.  This series will offer parents insights on how parents can best help their child handle inevitable feelings of disappointment and frustration, building inner resilience as children internalize a sense of “I can handle this!”.

By participating in this four-part workshop, parents will gain more confidence in their parenting skills to elicit their child’s cooperation and initiative. They will be able to establish realistic expectations about their child, create discipline strategies that foster self-reliance, and understand better what motivates their child’s behavior. This all leads to more satisfying parent-child interactions as parents come to be more effective in mobilizing the child to accomplish what is needed to be done.

Led by popular and effective workshop facilitator Patricia Marquis, LICSW, Family Therapist, Parent Educator, Teacher Trainer, on Wednesday evenings, February 6, 13, 27, and March 6, 2013 (please hold March 13 as a snow date),  7:00 to 8:30 PM at Ripley Administration Building, 120 Meriam Road, Concord, MA 01742. Pre-registration is required!  If interested, email us at and write “fostering self-reliance” in the Subject Line.   Let us know the age of your child(ren) and their grade.  Limited Spots!  Be sure to sign up soon as this is filling up quickly. Fee:  $120  for all 4 sessions, including materials. If a family has difficulty with this fee, please inquire about a full or partial scholarship by emailing us. Please make check out to: “Center for Parents and Teachers” and send to Center for Parents and Teachers, 120 Meriam Road, Concord MA 01742

The Center for Parents and Teachers, Inc., a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is supported by the Concord Public School System as its “Parenting Education Partner”, an effective public-private partnership.  CPT is grateful to receive funding from the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

Concord Public Schools Integrated Preschool
Preschool slots are available for the 2013-2014 school year. You are invited to attend an Open House on Friday, January 11, 2013 (snow date: Friday, January 18), 2-4pm and 6-8pm. Children are welcome!

Come see our facility, talk with our staff, and ask questions about the program. We are located at the Ripley Building, 120 Meriam Road in Concord and we have half-day AM & PM sessions and a full-day program available.

Children who are 3 by September 1 and who are not yet 5 by August 31 are welcome to apply. Applications are available at the Open House, at each of the Concord Elementary School offices, the Special Education office in the Ripley Building, and on our web site,  Applications must be returned by January 25, 2013 to be eligible for the lottery.

We look forward to meeting you at our Open House!  If you have further questions, please contact half-day session teachers Jennifer DeFrancesco (978-202-1148, and Nancy McGregor (978-202-1184, or full-day session teacher Christine Brown (978-202-1141,


The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on JANUARY 3, 2013. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, DECEMBER 31, 2012. Submission guidelines: 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 and have minimal formatting – no bullet points or underlining, please. Email your submission to