March 24, 2011


Published by the Thoreau School Parent Teacher Group           March 24, 2011

Dear Families,

Greetings.  Thoreau students and their family members are invited to participate in two school-wide fundraising efforts created to help recent victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  Please read below to find out more about our efforts.

As many families may already know, the town of Concord has a very special relationship with the town of Nanae, Japan.  Teachers and students from Concord-Carlisle High School have visited our sister city and many citizens and students from Nanae have visited Concord.  While Nanae did not suffer any real damage from the horrific earthquake and resulting tsunami, the northeast portion of the island of Honshu (south of the island of Hokkaido where Nanae is located) suffered devastating damage. 

Many people have asked how they can help.  Beth Murphy, our physical education teacher, is hosting an annual and very FUN basket ball hoop-a-thon during gym class for all students.  We are inviting students to gather sponsors for the number of baskets students shoot in one minute.  Ms. Murphy has provided all students with a sign-up sheet to gather sponsors and she will be responsible for collecting all of the donations and sending them directly to International Medical Corps. 

Thoreau CARES for Japan Read-a-thon is another fundraising effort that will be taking place to raise money that will be sent to ShelterBox USA (   ShelterBox provides a tent for 10, stove and cooking/eating utensils, tool kit, water purification equipment, blankets and groundsheets, and even a kids’ activity kit.  Japan has specifically requested aid from ShelterBox for residents in the areas that have lost their homes from the earthquake and tsunami.   Ms. Susan Erikson, grade 4 teacher and Ms. Pettyjohn, School Librarian will be responsible for collecting these funds and sending these donations to ShelterBox.

Both fundraising events are voluntary.  Once the fundraising events are completed, we would like to hold an all school assembly for students and staff to celebrate these wonderful philanthropic efforts as well as share the total amount raised. 

If you have any questions about either fundraising efforts, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Kelly Clough



Spring has arrived, though you wouldn’t know it by the weather.  Our newly refurbished sandwich board was put out last week, and it looks amazing.  Thanks to Bob Zuffante, who not only manages the sandwich board all year, but also worked to repaint and repair it.  Check it out.  Many thanks also go to Erin Duggan and Kristin Keilty for their efforts organizing the Sports Recycle Sale this past weekend.  We hope some folks’ de-cluttering begot treasures for others.  March is a busy month at Thoreau, so far we have had Math Night, the High Five Auction, and the Sports Recycle Sale.  Next up, Cake Walk.  Start planning your cake ideas as the Cake Walk is this Saturday from 2 to 4 at Thoreau.  See the Cake Walk announcement for details on submitting a cake.  Last week we went to the joint elementary school PTG meeting at CCHS. We went for a tour of the high school and saw a great presentation on the new building project for the CCHS. Check out what is happening at, as well as find out dates of upcoming tours and presentations.  You can also support the building project by visiting  This is an organization created to support and advocate for the building of a new CCHS. Get informed today!  Have a great weekend – Karen and Melanie


SCHOOL DIRECTORY CO-COORDINATOR A volunteer has stepped forward to work on the directory’s database/computer-related tasks, but would like to work with a co-coordinator to validate and solicit the data. Much of this job involves verifying the data received by the school, soliciting correct data when errors are found, and soliciting data that has not yet been sent to the school so that the directories can be printed in time for Back-To-School Night. The job also involves arranging the production and distribution of the directories. This position is labor intensive during August and September with smaller amounts of time possibly needed on an ongoing basis. We all know what a valuable communication tool the Thoreau School Directory is, so it is imperative that this very important position be filled. Please contact Karen Brown at or Melanie Bettencourt at if you are interested or need further information.

THOREAU ANNOUNCEMENTS CO-EDITOR The PTG is looking for a co-editor of the Thoreau Announcements for the next school year. Responsibilities include collecting and editing submissions, and posting the Announcements on the PTG WordPress site for email distribution. Currently co-editors alternate months, and the job takes about 2-3 hours per “on” week. For more information, contact Laurie Garrison ( or Anne Mullaney (


Are you interested in becoming more involved in the Thoreau Parent Teacher Group (PTG)?

Consider a PTG Board position.  Positions open for the 2011-2012 school year are: Second Grade Representative, Kindergarten Representative, 2 Co-Fundraising Chair positions, Treasurer, Vice-President and a Co-President position.  If you want to learn a little more about the positions check out the PTG By-laws and the PTG Volunteer Booklet on .  Please note that the volunteer booklet is in the process of being updated, so there are some changes to the job descriptions.  If you are interested in learning more about the board positions, please e-mail or call Melanie Bettencourt, Co-President.  978-369-7124

Another way to get actively involved with the PTG is to participate or chair a PTG activity or event.  Keep your eye out for open PTG Committee Chair positions for the 2011-2012 school year.


Come and join us for an afternoon of fun and games at the Thoreau Family Festival and Cake Walk on Saturday, March 26th from 2pm to 4pm at the Thoreau School.  If you have never taken part in the cake walk, this is a much loved Thoreau School tradition that shouldn’t be missed.  It’s really like a game of musical chairs.  Numbered pads are arranged in a circle on the floor of the gym.  As music plays, participants parade around the circle.  When the music stops, our masters of ceremonies, Tom Hourihan and Karla Keefe, pull lucky numbers out of a hat.  Participants standing on pads with a number that is called win one of the fabulous prize cakes.

Where do we get the prize cakes?  From YOU, and we need LOTS and LOTS of cakes:  300-400!  You can also enter your cake(s) into the Cake Decorating Contest!  All cakes entered into the Contest must be decorated by a Thoreau Student and dropped off to the faculty dining room on the ground floor of the Thoreau School between 12:30 and 1:30pm on March 26th.  Judging will begin at 1:30pm and prizes will be awarded in the following categories:  Best Animal Theme, Best Book Theme, Most Colorful, Most Creative, Best Food Theme, Best Nature Theme, Best Sports Theme, Best Movie Theme and Best Historical Figure/Theme.

The Contest winning cakes will be displayed at the Festival and the names of the winning student decorators will be published in the Thursday Announcements.  The Contest cakes that do not win will be used as prize cakes for the Cake Walk.  Each cake should be wrapped in plastic wrap and labeled with the student’s name, grade, teacher, category being entered, and the flavor of the cake.  Please do not use cake plates or decorations that you would like returned to you.  Bring as many cakes as you like, not all need to be in the Contest.  We will have a limited amount of allergy-free prize cakes available upon request.

In addition to the Cake Walk, there will be carnival games, crafts and refreshments.  Get ready to test your strength on the High Striker and your luck on our Wheel of Fortune!  Tickets for the Thoreau Family Festival and Cake Walk will be sold in the main entrance of the school during the event and will be 50 cents each.  Tickets can be bought individually or in sets of $5 or $10.  The tickets can be used for all the attractions – to play games, buy refreshments and to take part in the Cake Walk.

Please note that no child will be excluded from this event on the basis of monetary needs.  Any family, who wishes, may see Rachel Levesque in confidence to learn more.

If you have any questions about the Festival, please contact Beth Symko at


There are only two weeks left until the Book Character Parade! Everyone is hard at work on masks, simple costumes and props to represent a favorite book character. Families are invited to watch the parade as it moves through the school on Tuesday, April 5, beginning at 11:00 A.M. Check next week’s Thursday Announcements for parade route information, or talk to Karen or Cathy in the Library.


A huge thank you goes out to Maralee Glitzenstein and her family who very generously have bought 4 gift books for the library:

Lauren Child’s I Will be Especially Very Careful  in honor of Ms. Silven

Ryan and  Jimmy and the Well that Brought them Together by Herb Shoveller in honor of Ms. Jackson

My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School Around the World by Margriet Ruurs in honor of Mrs. Collins

Joyce Sidman’s poetry book Red Sings from Treetops in honor of Ms. Pettyjohn

With Spring in the air it’s not too early to think about end of the year teacher gifts or a gift for the library in honor of your child’s school year.  For more information about the Gift Book Program, contact Laurie Garrison at or stop by the library to check out the selection of gift books awaiting your purchase.


Help usher the next class of kindergartners into Thoreau!  This year’s orientation sessions will take place on Thursday, March 31 and Tuesday, April 5, and we need a handful of volunteers for each.  Tasks will include registering families, photographing the kids, and directing parents from 12:30 to 2:00.  If you can help on either day, please contact April Robb at 


Turtle Night is Coming to Thoreau School:  On Tuesday, April 12th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Thoreau School Cafeteria, come learn about the turtles in our community.  Find out how you can be more aware of the threatened and endangered turtles that live around us.  Meet turtles from Drumlin Farm, hear how our high school students are helping Blanding’s turtles, play turtle video games, create a “green” turtle, discover all the wonderful national wildlife refuges all around us and how they are aiding the Blanding’s turtles, and attend “Turtle Talks” presented from turtle experts from all over the state.  Pizza and salad will be available for purchase as well as other items to help support the Blanding’s turtle head-start program.  There is no cost to attend this program, but donations will be accepted so that the head-start Blanding’s turtles can be outfitted with radio trackers so that biologists can keep data on this threatened species.  For questions, please contact Susan Erickson at

After School Gym Program-Sign-up Online!

Thoreau PTG is currently offering an organized after school gym program. Students in grades 2-5 are invited to join the fun Tuesday through Thursday from 3:15 to 4:15 and on half-day Tuesdays from 12:25 to 1:25.  Activities take place outdoors or in the gym and range from soccer, kickball, dodgeball, and hospital, to tag, tennis baseball, and even scavenger hunts, plus many more kid favorites! Sessions run for six weeks.  The next session will begin on Tuesday April 5th and run until Thursday May 19th.  If interested please click on the link below to sign your child up for one, two, or three days a week.  Please feel free to email Lauren with any further questions at

Click the link below to sign-up using our online sign-up form!


March 22 Gr. 4 Long Composition
March 23 Gr. 3 and Gr. 5 ELA
March 24 Gr. 4 ELA
March 25 Gr. 3 and Gr. 5 ELA
March 28 Gr. 4 ELA
May 9 Gr. 3 and Gr. 5 Math
May 11 Gr. 3 and Gr. 5 Math
May 12 Gr. 4 Math
May 13 Gr. 4 Math
May 18 Gr. 5 Science
May 19 Gr. 5 Science


LUNCH MENU Week of March28-April 1

Monday        Meatball Sub

Tuesday        Chicken a la King

Wednesday   Macaroni and Cheese

Thursday      Hamburger/Cheeseburger or Veggie Burger

Friday           UNO Pizza Slice



This summer I will be offering 2 weeklong art courses through Community Education.  If you have questions about the curriculum feel free to contact me at or If you are interested in signing up please contact the community Ed. Office for more information.

Kate Hiltz Art Teacher

Printmaking – July 11th-15th 9am-Noon (grades 2-5)

Kate Hiltz, Instructor

This course goes beyond the rubber stamp to some creative joys of printmaking. Students will explore various methods and indirect properties of printmaking. Projects will include stamping of man made and natural materials as well as more complex printmaking techniques using additive and subtractive processes. Students will use some prints to create more complex mixed media works including books and collages.

Creative Art with Needle and Thread -July 18th-22nd 9am-Noon (grades 2-5)

Kate Hiltz, Instructor

Kids love the colors and textures associated with buttons and fabrics and learning to sew can bring them hours of enjoyment. It’s best to start with hand sewing projects. In this class students will rediscover the lost art of sewing while learning the basics of threading a needle, tying a knot and sew


Joe Bodenrader, the Girls Varsity Basketball Coach at CCHS, will be running the girls basketball program at Star Camps again this summer.  This program is for girls ages 8-16, and will be offered during Session 1 of the camp (July 11-15).  Girls can attend either half day (9 AM – 11:45 AM) or full day (9 AM -3 PM).  Star Camps is held at CCHS.  To register, or for more information, go to

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be edited by Laurie Garrison. To submit an item, email You will receive an e-mail acknowledgment that your submission has been received. Submissions must be school or community related and not commercial in nature. Submissions should be brief, with minimal formatting – no bullet points or underlining, please! Deadline: 9 pm Monday, March 28, 2011.