May 26, 2011

Published by the Thoreau School Parent Teacher Group


The long Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and summer beckons from just around the corner.  It’s that time of the year when we reflect back on all the hard work and tireless efforts of the wonderful people in our Thoreau community who have given so much to our children and families over the school year.  First up is the Bus Driver/Crossing Guard Appreciation Breakfast next Friday, June 3rd.  Families and children are welcome to make cards at home to help thank the folks who assist our students in getting safely to and from school each day.  The Staff Appreciation Lunch will be held at the lovely Siefer home on Tuesday, June 14th.  Please sign up to volunteer your time or contribute something to help make it a special afternoon as we acknowledge our beloved teachers and staff for their dedication and commitment to our children and community.  The PTG is still looking for parent volunteers to serve in various Board and Event/Committee Chair positions for the next school year.  PTG activities and events can’t happen without your help!  Check out the Help Wanted section below and please step up.  Our children and our school need you! Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge some parents who have coordinated wonderful enrichment programs and activities for Thoreau’s students and families at various times throughout this school year.  Many thanks to Jennifer Montbach, our BSO Coordinator; Karim Kovacevic, our Chess Club Chair; Carla Macy, Trish Siefer, and Karen Bates, our Children’s Programs Co-Chairs; Anne Mullaney & Carla Macy (again!), our Geography Quest Co-Chairs; and Sara Neville, our Lego Club Chair. Enjoy the long weekend! Karen and Melanie


There are currently a number of PTG board positions open for the 2011-2012 school year. These positions must be filled in order for the PTG to continue supporting enrichment opportunities for the 2011-2012 school year. Please consider volunteering for one of the open PTG Board positions. You benefit from being on the board by being actively involved in decisions regarding PTG events, sponsorship and budget spending.  All board members are required to participate both in PTG meetings and PTG Board meetings (approximately one meeting each month). In addition to attending meetings, each position has specific job responsibilities.  We hope you will consider taking on one of these essential positions.  If you are interested in any of the positions below or have questions, please contact Melanie Bettencourt, PTG Co-President at . 

Open Board Positions: Co-President, Vice President, Treasurer, Co-Fundraising Chair (2 open positions)

There are also open event and committee chair positions open for the 2011-2012 school year.  Please review the positions below and visit the PTG Volunteer Booklet at for more information.  Please note that the volunteer booklet is in the process of being updated, so there are some changes to the job descriptions as well as some additions.  If you are interested in learning more about open positions, please e-mail or call Melanie Bettencourt, Co-President.  978-369-7124

Open Committee and Event Chair Positions:  Turkey Trot, Bus Driver/Crossing Guard Breakfast, Thoreauly Green, Thoreauly Green Kids, Vacation/Travel Book Program, Kindergarten Registration, Gift Wrap, Adult Social, Grounds for Learning Garden Maintenance


1. Susan Erickson and Thoreau 4th grade students reported on their Blanding Turtle Project and on taking second place in the 2010-2011 Disney Planet Challenge Contest! Congratulations to them!

2. Seating and organization of Concord School Committee remains the same for next school year.

3. For school year 2011-2012, Thoreau and Willard enrollment slightly up and Alcott enrollment slightly down. Thoreau projected at 451, Willard at 459 and Alcott at 391.

4. Superintendent Rigby’s annual evaluation will take place at one of the upcoming June School Committee meetings.


Thank you to the Jacobs and Schmidt family for their recent donation to the Thoreau 2010/2011 Annual Appeal.

Natalie Gekle and Maria Scichilone, Fundraising Co-chairs


It’s that time of year when we want to celebrate our wonderful staff at Thoreau School with a special luncheon on Tuesday, June 14th at 12:30pm, graciously hosted by the Siefer Family.  High Five to our 5th year at our new Thoreau campus- can you believe it?  We need your help to put on a fabulous luncheon and to make sure that everyone has a good time with plenty to eat and drink.  Most importantly, we want our staff to know how much they are appreciated!

We will need volunteers to help set up, serve, and clean up, as well as a variety of food, drink, flowers, gift cards, and door prizes! Please click on the link below to help or contribute – Many thanks!

“Thoreau Staff Appreciation Luncheon” The link to your poll is:

Margaret Cho McMorrow,   Leanne Winkler,                       Erin Duggan   


Many, many thanks for all the pictures of your 5th graders throughout the years for the yearbook and DVD.  With submissions from parents and many Thoreau teachers, I have just over 3,000 pictures to sort through and select from to capture the kids’ tenure at Thoreau!  With that amount of photos, I trust that you understand I cannot include all of them!  Looking forward to finishing up the project and presenting the kids with the yearbook and DVD later in June.

Carol Wipper, 5th Grade Rep


For the 2011-2012 School Year

If you would like to assist your child’s teacher and class as a room parent for the coming year, please complete the form below.  Assignments will be made in the order in which they are received, with 2 people assigned per class (3 for grade 5).  You will hear more details after class lists are distributed, before the start of school.

The room parents are expected to help the teacher with anything that she/he deems necessary. This may include scheduling parent helpers, making plans to help with parties, field trips, etc. Also, each room parent is responsible for assisting the PTG with certain events or fundraisers.  In addition, you may be called upon by the PTG to assist the PTG by informing your assigned class of pertinent events.

Additional questions??  Please call Jennifer Johnson at 978-371-0770 / email at or Margaret Ferren at 978-369-5513/email
Below, please give the information about the class in which you would like to be a room parent.  If you have children in different grades or twins in different classrooms, please indicate First and Second choice in order of preference.  Please circle YES or NO here to indicate whether you are willing to serve both classes.

the completed form (hard copy, not e-mail) to Jennifer Johnson, 39 Edgewood Road, Concord, MA 01742.  If you have any questions, please call me at 978-371-0770 or at

First Choice:
Child’s Name _________________________________

Your Name ___________________________________  Grade: ________

Phone: work:___________________ home:_____________________ 



Second Choice:
Child’s Name _________________________________

Your Name ___________________________________  Grade: _________

Phone: work:___________________ home:_____________________



5th GRADE PARENTS: Please mark your calendars for the following musical activities

Wednesday, June 1st – The 5th grade Fine Arts evening.  Your child’s art work will be hung up around the school  for you to view. The band, orchestra and chorus will perform that night. Doors open at 6:40. Concert starts at 7:15 pm. Students in the band, orchestra and chorus are asked to wear dark on bottom and white on top.

Friday, June 3rd– The band, orchestra and chorus will perform a concert for some of the classes at Thoreau.

The concert will start at 9:15 and end by 10:00. Students in these performing groups are asked to come to school in their concert attire; dark on bottom, white on top.

“Sing”cerly,  Roseanne Swain


Electronic (e) invitations to the 5th grade outing at Kimball Farm in Westford, MA were sent to all 5th grade students last week via their parents e-mail addresses.  The event is planned for Tuesday, June 7th – rain or shine – 12:30 pm – 5:30 pm.

Many people have already sent back their RSVP.  Thank you!  If you have not RSVP’d back to me, please do so ASAP!  If you have not received the invitation for some reason, please let me know immediately.  I want to make sure that everyone has the correct information and is included in this fun event.

Carol Wipper, 5th Grade Rep


It is time once again for the annual Bus Driver/Crossing Guard Breakfast!  This year it will be held on the morning of Friday, June 3rd in the Cafeteria.

The bus drivers and crossing guards love and look forward to this event every year. In addition to the breakfast, goodies, and gift cards they receive, one of the most appreciated things we give them is cards from the kids.  In previous years, some of these cards were created at home, and some were done in the classroom during “free choice” time, however, this year all cards need to be made at home and brought into school before the morning of the breakfast.

It only takes a few minutes, and as we said, it means so much to the drivers and crossing guards.

If your child chooses to make an appreciation card, it is due by Thursday, June 2nd, but can be dropped off any time between now and then to the school Office. Cards can be placed in the PTG milk crate where there will be a file called “BUS BREAKFAST.”  If the kids are delivering the cards to the office, either Maria or Donna can help make sure that the cards get to the right place.

To help us deliver the cards to the appropriate driver or crossing guard, please write the bus driver or crossing guard’s name and bus number on the card.  Of course, kids can draw pictures, write a note or whatever, and sign their name.

We know it is a busy time of year, with lots of commitments for everyone, but it would really be MUCH appreciated if you and your child take a few minutes at home to participate.

Any questions?  Please let us know.
Thanks very much, 
Carol Wipper and Jen Johnson
Bus Driver/Crossing Guard Breakfast Chairs 2011


Field Day is coming! Cheer on Thoreau students as they participate in games and activities at this fun-filled event, Tuesday, June 7, 9:30 to noon. (Rain date: Tuesday, June 14.) Parents and siblings are invited to watch the action. Please apply sunscreen to your children before school, since most of the activities will take place outdoors. 

Interested in helping? Volunteers are needed to fill water balloons in advance of the event. (We’ll supply the balloons.) We also need a small group of volunteers to help with clean up and popsicle distribution (11:30-12:30 pm). If you can help, please contact Julie Sinclair ( or Anne Mullaney ( Thanks!

Julie Sinclair and Anne Mullaney, Field Day Committee


As the school year starts to wind down, consider giving a gift book to the library in honor of your teacher or your child’s school year.  Stop by the library and check out the great assortment of books available for giving.  Contact Laurie Garrison at for more information.

LUNCH MENU Week of May 31 – June 3
Unavailable at this time



A Day of Family Fun: The Willard Carnival

Sunday June 5, Noon – 4 p.m.

The Willard Carnival has something for everyone. Students, parents, and friends of all ages are welcome to join this day of fun. Held on the beautiful grounds of the Willard School, 185 Powder Mill Road, Concord, the festival features Carnival games, crafts, food, music, entertainment, a raffle and much more. This year, there will be a number of exciting games, booths and activities, including the ever-popular Cake Walk. The Silent Auction is a great opportunity to bid on Red Sox tickets, golf and spa certificates, a sunset cruise in Boston and much more. All proceeds from The Willard Carnival benefit the Willard PTG, making the day a truly rewarding celebration. Hope to see you there!

For more information, please contact


We hope you have seen the newly renovated Library in West Concord.  Now you can purchase beautifully painted original 1930’s roof slates at Fowler Library.  All proceeds go to the Campaign @ Fowler.  There are a just a few left so please stop by during regular Library hours.

Carousel Preschool Celebrates 25 Years

The Concord Carousel Preschool is pleased to announce its 25th Anniversary. Beginning as a playgroup operated by the Concord Recreation Department, Concord Carousel was formally established and licensed in 1986.   Twenty-five years later, Concord Carousel continues to thrive, offering a high quality preschool experience for children from Concord and the surrounding towns.

Carousel is inviting all students and families of Carousel, past and present, to attend our Anniversary Celebration and Open House On June 4 from 10 AM to Noon at the school at 1276 Main Street.  Singer Hugh Hanley will provide entertainment for all. Those of you who haven’t been here in some time will enjoy visiting our renovated classrooms and seeing our yearbooks from years ago. It will be fun for all!

Please spread the word! We’d love to see alumni of all ages! If you can, let us know that you’re coming by responding on our Facebook page (Concord Carousel Preschool) or sending an email to Anita at or calling the school at 978-318-3045.

Please feel free to forward along any photos you have from “back in the day” that we can include in our displays on that day. Also, forward this message on to any alumni that you know – we’re looking forward to seeing lots of friends!


CCM is now enrolling for summer and fall lessons for new students.  Parents and children are invited to an Open House on Saturday, June 4, 1:00 – 3:00 PM.  This is an opportunity to meet the CCM faculty, learn about the extensive programs available for children 6 months through adults. 

The event will include the beginner Suzuki violin and cello program, as well as the introductions to the piano, guitar, traditional violin, viola, cello and voice programs.  Instruments will be available for students to try.  The faculty will also meet with each family and answer questions about the programs and instrument options. Lessons are also available on percussion, and wind instruments.

Summer and Fall semester registration is currently underway.  For more information about the Open House, and about The Concord Conservatory, please visit, or call 978-369-0010.  The Concord Conservatory of Music is located in the West Concord Union Church at 1317 Main Street in West Concord.  

Kate Yoder, Director   The Concord Conservatory of Music


Children Working Together

Please join us on Friday, June 3rd from 6 to 8pm at Alcott for a family event to raise money for Save the Children, an organization which is helping to meet the immediate and longer-term needs of the 100,000 children and their families affected by Japan’s massive earthquake and tsunami.

Inspired by a group of Alcott students who want to help their peers in Japan, the evening’s festivities will include an opportunity to try on a traditional kimono, make origami animals, write Japanese poetry, send letters to Japanese children, and learn the art of karate.  We will celebrate the Japanese culture and give our children a chance to take part of this very important fundraising effort.

For more information or volunteer opportunities, please contact Irene Todd (

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on June 2, 2011. It will be edited by Anne Mullaney.

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 Deadline: 9 pm Monday, May 30, 2011. You will receive an e-mail acknowledgment that your submission has been received.