January 24, 2013


Geography Quest 2013: Lewis & Clark’s Expedition begins next Friday. Look for Quests in backpacks then! (There is also a copy on the PTG website.) The Quest is a fun way to discover geography, history, and culture in the context of Lewis and Clark’s expedition. Everyone who participates in the Quest, regardless of the number of questions they answer, will be awarded a prize! The suggested goals for the number of questions to be answered by grade level are: K – 1-5 questions; Grade 1 – 5-15 questions; Grade 2 – 10-25 questions; Grade 3 – 20-40 questions; Grade 4 – 30-55 questions; Grade 5 – 40-74 questions. The Quest runs through March 4; completed Quests will be collected in the Thoreau School library.


On Friday, January 25, the Children’s Programming Committee is excited to introduce an All School Assembly by the Lion Dancers from Wah Lum Kung Fu of Concord! Wah Lum Kung Fu of Concord is a traditional Chinese Martial Arts school that specializes in traditional Chinese Lion and Dragon Dance. Their all school performance will be in celebration of Chinese New Year and this year, 2013, is the Year of the Snake!  This traditional Chinese martial art emphasizes respect, of both self and others, and humility, not just martial or fighting techniques.  The Wah Lum system focuses on these personal development aspects of the art in order to improve an individual’s physical, mental and emotional health as well as learning proper and effective self-defense skills.  We are excited for the entire school to see this fascinating performance in celebration of Chinese New Year!


On Friday, January 25 from 9-11 am, please stop by for coffee and refreshments, to connect with other Kindergarten and 1st grade parents, and to learn about upcoming PTG events and volunteer opportunities!  Trish Siefer will host the event (along with Kindergarten rep Pam Goar and 1st grade rep Julie Miller) at her home at 1405 Main Street (corner of Main and West Streets; park on West). Younger siblings are welcome. Please RSVP: Kindergarten, pamgoar@yahoo.com; 1st grade,   jhayenmiller@yahoo.com. Food donations welcome; please confirm with RSVP. We look forward to seeing you!


I would like to recommend the Lice Program being offered by the Willard PTG on Tuesday, February 5 from 7 pm – 8:30pm in the Willard cafeteria.  Everyone is welcome to attend this free, informative program.  “Come learn how to avoid them and what to do if they find you!”

When calling the absence line, please let us know if your child has a communicable or infectious illness.  We do keep track and notify class families if there is a cluster of these illnesses i.e. strep throat, influenza, conjunctivitis, pneumonia, etc.

As you know, the flu season is in full swing.  Please keep your child home if they are sick for their own health and recovery and to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses.  Temperature must be under 100 a full 24 hours without any Tylenol, Motrin, Advil, etc.  before returning to school.  However, take note of your child’s condition as they may need additional time to recover.  Sites to check out:  Health Office web site at http://thoreau.colonial.net; www.flu.gov; or www.mass.gov/dph/flu; or www.concordma.gov – for most recent information on flu.

Also, please review Concord Public Schools Elementary School Handbook p 41 for information on school attendance and communicable diseases. Stay Well!! -Nicki Morina Richards, RN, MS, Thoreau School Nurse, 978-341-2490 x 3158.


Thank you to the following families for their donations in the past few weeks:  Logan, Newton and Kerry Johnson, Robichaud, Reeves-Chandler, Kang, Glazer, DeGreeff, Larry and Jennifer Johnson, Miller, Haddad, Feinstein, Anjoorian, Kerimo/Levin, Bishop, Sonnen, and Sharakan. If you haven’t already done so please consider donating now.  It’s easy and 100% tax deductible. Also, if your employer offers a matching gift program, please take advantage of it to match your contribution.  You can either send in your check made out to “Thoreau PTG” with “Annual Appeal” in the memo and mail it to Thoreau School, 29 Prairie Street, Concord, MA, or drop it off in the PTG box inside the school office.  You may also go online using PayPal on www.Thoreauptg.com.   Thank you so much for your support.


Thoreau Family Bingo night will be Thursday, February 7 at 6:30 pm.  Families are invited to come for a night of bingo fun, pizza, ice cream and prizes!  For questions, please contact chriseconomos@gmail.com or suzysymons@yahoo.com.


All 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are invited to participate in our Annual Thoreau Spelling Bee scheduled on Saturday, March 9. This is always a fun and low-pressure Bee, so be sure to give it a try. 3rd and 4th graders participate in teams–usually 2 or 3 per team; 5th graders compete individually. The Bee will take place on the afternoon of March 9, with 3rd grade first, likely at 3, followed by 4th grade at  430 and 5th grade at 530.  Registration forms will be on the PTG website soon; or please contact me at hrothermel@me.com.  Registration deadline March 1st. –Holly Rothermel, Spelling Bee Chair

LUNCH MENU Week of January 28-February 1

  • Monday: Baked Chicken O’s
  • Tuesday: Early Release Day
  • Wednesday: WW Pasta with & without Meatballs & Tomato Sauce
  • Thursday: Chicken Fajita with Mexican Rice and Corn
  • Friday: TBD (check next week’s Announcements)


Shamrocks for Shannon

School families are coming together to organize a fundraiser to benefit the family of Alcott teacher Carol Curly. Her 6th grade daughter, Shannon, who attends Peabody was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. This effort is looking for 2-3 volunteers from each school to help with acquiring auction items. The fundraiser will be held Friday, March 29 at Joe Sent Me in Waltham. If you can volunteer to help with the committee or have items to donate, please email dawnmccullough@me.com.

“Babies and Books” Series

Calling all families with babies/young children!  Concord Children’s Center and Concord Family Network will co-host a monthly “book group” – for babies!  These informal drop-in events will be held the morning of the 4th Saturday January – March (January 26, February 23, March 23) from 9:00-11:00am. Each event will feature a special guest who will provide age-appropriate entertainment and tips for fostering early childhood development, with a focus on fostering a life-long love of reading.  Come enjoy select stories and music and meet other local families.  Coffee and snacks provided.

Recommended for children age 0 – 24 months old. Siblings welcome; alternate activities will be available for older children.  Parent or caregiver must accompany all children. Concord Children’s Center, Emerson Site: 134 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner, Concord (across from the entrance to Emerson Hospital).  For more information, please contact Anne Remington, annee567@yahoo.com.  RSVPs requested but not required – please drop in and join us!

“Second Saturday” Playspace

Looking for a Saturday get-out-of-the-house activity? Concord Children’s Center and Concord Family Network will co-host a monthly “2nd Saturday” morning indoor play space.  It’s free! It’s fun! Come let the kids engage in informal play/activities, and meet other local families.  Recommended for children age 0 – 6 (sibs welcome).  Parent or caregiver must accompany all children.   Second Saturday of the month (February 9, March 9, April 13), 9:00-11:30am, Concord Children’s Center, 1300 Main Street (next to the Harvey Wheeler Building), West Concord.

For more information, please contact Anne Remington, annee567@yahoo.com.  RSVPs requested but not required – please drop in and join us!

A Visit with Abraham Lincoln at the Concord Museum

On Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 18, the Concord Museum is pleased to once again host Steve Wood and his amazing performance as Abraham Lincoln.  Matching Lincoln’s height and beard, Wood bears enough of a resemblance to our 16th president to make heads turn. His first-person historical interpretation, “A Visit with Abraham Lincoln,” includes stories of Lincoln’s early life, his campaign debates, the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and concludes with a stirring reading of the Gettysburg Address.  1:00 – 2:00; recommended for all ages, by reservation only (978) 369-9763, ext. 216; reserve early as space is limited. Nonmembers $10/$5 child; Members $7/$3 child.  Be sure to stop by the Museum Shop to purchase your own stovepipe hat! For further information visit: www.concordmuseum.org

 A Teddy Bear Tea at the Concord Museum

On Friday & Saturday, February 22 & 23, delight your child or grandchild with an afternoon of tea for just the two of you!  Make the day a special outing by sipping cocoa or tea in the Concord Museum’s elegant Brooke Hall while enjoying sweet treats.  Bring a favorite teddy or stuffed animal to join you and decorate a tiny tea cup for your teddy to take home for your own tea parties.  Seatings at 1:30 and 3:00; by advance reservation only; (978) 369-9763, ext. 216.; $20/person; Members $15/person.  For further information visit: www.concordmuseum.org.

Parent Education Seminar “Caught in the Middle”

Mark your calendars! The Center for Parents and Teachers,  in collaboration with the Concord Middle School PTG, presents “Caught in the Middle” with Jeanine Fitzgerald, Author, School Consultant, Parent Educator, and National Teacher Trainer. Thursday February 7, 2013 from 9:15 to 11:15 AM at the Concord Middle School Peabody Forum, 1231 Old Marlboro Road, West Concord (be sure to go to the Peabody Building, driving past the Sanborn Middle School Building also on Old Marlboro Road). Free and open to all.  No pre-registration required.

Our presenter will explore with parents the sensitive developmental phase of the middle school student, the various ways their brains are changing and developing (and how this affects their behavior).  She will offer ways we as parents can help them build resiliency as they engage more independently with the world.  As our presenter puts it, “We can all relate to the middle school years because we have all been there.  When I think back, I was awkward, unpredictable, fearful, and at times, volatile and defiant.  Life was a roller coaster ride of emotions, thoughts and behavior.  I needed structure but wanted independence.  So what makes these middle schoolers different from the adults they will become and the young children they once were?  This session explores research findings that topple previously held assumptions, as well as strategies that can used effectively in guiding our middle schoolers to their maximum potential.”

Jeanine has presented many times in our area for parents of younger children as well as for teachers in our school district and early childhood educators throughout the region.  Ever popular, she is a national presenter with over two decades experience working with students in both public school settings and in private practice.  Her humor will get you laughing as you relate to all the scenarios presented. You will come away with insights that are sure to assist you in navigating this delicate period of time.  Please be sure to mark your calendar for this highly beneficial program!

Education Series for Parents of Young Children (K-Grade 3)

Mark Your Calendars! The Center for Parents and Teachers invites you to a 4-part series beginning in February on “Fostering Self-Reliance in Our Young Children: How Parents Can Build Children’s Skills that Promote Self-Esteem, Competence and Mastery.” Wednesday evenings, February 6, 13, 27, and March 6 (please hold March 13 as a snow date); 7:00 to 8:30pm.

This program will offer parents 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

Location: Ripley Administration Building, 120 Meriam Road, Concord. Pre-registration is required!  If interested, email us at CPT@COLONIAL.NET 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 at cpt@colonial.net. Please make check out to: “Center for Parents and Teachers” and send to Center for Parents and Teachers, 120 Meriam Road, Concord MA 01742. Learn about more of our program offerings by going to www.centerforparentsandteachers.org.

Concord Carlisle Youth Soccer Spring In-Town Program

Concord Carlisle Youth Soccer is now accepting registrations for our Spring In-Town program.  In-Town offers outdoor soccer for players in Pre-K through Grade 6.  Games are played on Saturdays from April to June.  We are a non-profit volunteer-run organization and we need parents to help with coaching and other various staff roles.  Details about our program including eligibility, scholarship information and access to on-line registration can be found on our website at www.ccysoccer.org .  Register early to secure a spot on an In-Town team this spring.  For answers to questions, check out our website or call us at 978-369-7978.

Collections for Cradles to Crayons

Please bring your gently used baby and children’s items to donate to Cradles to Crayons.  Family drop-off day is Saturday, February 9 from 9am -12pm at First Parish, 20 Lexington Rd, Concord. Cradles to Crayons creates KidPacks that are hand-selected with care to meet a local boy or girl’s specific needs and wants.  Accepted items include: boys and girls clothing from newborn to youth size 14; winter coats, hats, and gloves; pajamas; shoes and boots; baby equipment; books; and baby toys.  No stuffed animals, cribs or old car seats, please.  All donations must be free from rips and stains and in good working condition.  For a list of most needed and accepted items go to: http://cradlestocrayons.org/boston/donate-goods/items-we-accept .  Volunteers will be available throughout the morning to help unload your car.  Tax receipts will be available at the event.  For questions, email abbygwhite@comcast.net .

Callen Tennis Program Coming this Spring

We are excited to let you know that the Callen Tennis program will be offered again after school on Thursdays this spring for kids in K – 3rd grade.  Program dates are April 25 – June 13.The K-1st grade group class will run 3:30PM – 4:15PM and the 2nd-3rd grade class will run 4:15PM – 5:15PM.  In addition, we will offer the same Saturday Match Play program as we did last spring beginning April 27 (2:00PM-4:00PM).

Please be on the look out for registration information in the coming weeks. Registration will start in March and will be on a first come, first serve basis so be sure to sign up early. We hope your kids will participate this spring! Thanks! -Jen Beveridge & Heather Swartwood

Cell Phones for Soldiers Collection Drive
Holy Family Parish Youth Ministry and the non-profit Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc. are asking Concord residents to help troops call home by donating gently-used cellular phones. Although the military landscape is ever changing, as many as 290,000 troops are serving in the U.S. military overseas around the world. By donating to Cell Phones for Soldiers, we can provide troops with that precious connection to loved ones back home. January 1-31, Concord residents can donate their phones at the specially marked boxes at the entrances to Holy Family Parish Church in Monument Square or at the Holy Family Parish Offices at 55 Church Street in West Concord. Funds raised from the recycling of the cellular phones are used to purchase prepaid international calling cards. On average, Cell Phones for Soldiers distributes 12,000 calling cards each week to bases around the world, care package programs, deployment ceremonies, and VA hospitals. For more information, please contact Patty Bruttomesso at patty@bruttomesso.org.

CCYBS – Registration for Spring Baseball and Softball is OPEN
Registration for 2013 Spring Baseball and Softball is now open until February 22, 2013. Make sure we have a place for your son or daughter – signup now! Register and pay online using our online registration systemAll details about our various age groups, costs and game dates and times are at our information page: http://www.ccyb.org/.


The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on JANUARY 31, 2013. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, JANUARY 28, 2013. 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 announcements@thoreauptg.org.