MEETING WITH CONSULTANT
There will be an opportunity for parents to meet and greet Consultant Meg Anderson, from The Center for Collaborative Education, Northeastern University, on Friday, October 26, 8:15am – 8:45am in the school library. Superintendent Diana Rigby will also be here to introduce Meg to our parents.
As this is not a meeting for children to attend, but is before school hours, we are very fortunate that Music teacher Roseanne Swain has agreed to host the kids of parents attending the meeting. Mrs. Swain with the help of Mrs. Pettyjohn, will choose a music DVD to show in the music room beginning at 8:15 a.m.
We hope you can attend the meeting! No need to RSVP to the meeting or to Mrs. Swain.
— Shelagh Moskow and Jen Johnson, PTG Co-Presidents
REMINDERS FROM THE OFFICE
Students are not allowed to take someone else’s bus. Also, walkers are not allowed to ride a bus home with a friend.
Notes regarding changes in dismissals should be sent in with the student on the day of the change. This also means that play dates should be arranged before students come to school so the proper notes may be brought in with students. Last minute phone calls to the office and relaying message to teachers is very disruptive to the classrooms.
If you have an emergency and must report a change in dismissal after the student has left home, please call the office and do not email the teacher or the office, for we might not be able to read the email in time. A substitute teacher would not be able to read a teacher’s emails.
To report an absence, please call 978-341-2490, and immediately enter extension 3690 (do not enter 3100 for that is not the absence line). This information is on the front cover of the School Directory.
BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION
Many thanks to the families who have been collecting their Box Tops coupons over the summer and early fall — your deposits in the collection box are making a huge difference! Our first submission deadline for this school year is coming up, so please make sure to gather up any remaining Box Top coupons you may have and drop them in the box just inside the door of the school by the end of the day on Friday October 26.
Some “how to” reminders: What you’re looking for on each label or box is a little rectangle containing the Box Tops for Education logo and the tiny words “official coupon”. Put the clipped coupons in a small bag or envelope and please include your child’s teacher’s name in or on the bag so that their classroom gets credited for the Box Tops. We will be tallying coupon counts by classroom, with the top-collecting class from each grade winning a prize! If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 978-831-3058. Meanwhile, thank you for your support of this program — and keep clipping those Box Tops!
ALL SCHOOL ASSEMBLY TOMORROW
There will be an All School Assembly this Friday morning, October 26, in the cafeteria. There will be two performances by Losst Unnown that will consist of four basic elements: street dancing, MC, DJ and art. Losst Unnown is an urban entertainment company dedicated to preserving all aspects of real talent. They have performed previously at Nashoba Brooks, Fenn School and Willard and are currently conducting workshops at the Emerson Umbrella. Losst Unnown Self Expression Project is a movement aimed to empower people of all ages, cultures, nationalities and economic backgrounds to embrace their unique differences, talents and passions regardless of the materialistic definitions of beauty, power and wealth that surround us. The Self Expression Project was founded by dancer/DJ, Fadayz, in Boston, MA. If you have any questions, please contact the Children’s Programming Committee.
Your children’s pictures have arrived and should travel home in their backpacks, if they haven’t already, by Friday, October 26. Please note that you can keep the class photo whether you have purchased pictures or not. Picture retake day will be on Friday, November 16. Please send the pictures back in with your child that day (complete set) to give to the photographer if you’d like your child’s picture retaken. Parents with questions (late orders; missing orders, refunds etc.) should contact the “Lifeguards” at Coffee Pond Photo directly: 1-800-632-2323 ext 0, Lifeguards@coffeepond.com, or by mail at Lifeguards, Coffee Pond Productions, Inc., 19 Strathmore Road, Natick, MA 01760
A reminder: Some parents ordered the digital sharing file (and no prints). In those instances, students will receive an envelope with a small notice indicating that no prints were included in their order but that their photos will be e-mailed to the e-mail address provided by the parent. If you have any questions, contact Coffee Pond’s Customer Care department.
–Robin Grace, Picture Day Coordinator
THOREAU’S ONLINE BOOK FAIR IS NOW OPEN
If you were not able to attend the Book Fair in person, now is your chance to shop online for a limited time. Books will be shipped free of charge to the school and delivered to your child’s classroom. Teachers wish lists are posted online if you would like to purchase a book for your student’s classroom. It’s a great way to support the Thoreau classrooms and library. Visit the Book Fair home page at Scholastic and simply click the shop online button. The Online Book Fair ends November 7. http://bookfairs.scholastic.com/homepage/thoreauelementaryschool
THANK YOU FOR A SUCCESSFUL BOOK FAIR
This year’s Book Fair Family night and classroom visits were a big success. Our deepest thanks to the many dedicated volunteers that contributed their time, energy and talent to ensure the Book Fair ran smoothly. We are also grateful to the many generous families that purchased wish list books for the staff, classrooms and library. This year’s fair raised over $5,000 for the PTG and qualified for nearly $1,000 in new books for the school. We are also pleased that the Thoreau community raised over $450 for Thoreau’s Gift of Books. This money purchased new books for the Boston chapter of the Pajama Program, and Scholastic will match every dollar we raised with a book donation to national charities that serve children and families in need. Thank you again!
–Dorothy Bisbee, Kristin Moore Scholastic Books co-Chairs, Fiona Stevenson, Used Books Chair
TRICK-OR-TREAT FOR UNICEF – COMING SOON
Orange collection boxes for UNICEF will be distributed to all students via their classrooms in the next two weeks. Donations collected during trick-or-treat time on Halloween will be put to great use for children in need of security and help.
UNICEF works in over 150 countries, including the United States. Now in its 62nd year, this campaign has raised more than $167 million and remains an inspiration to the young. Participants learn about the often life-threatening realities faced by children in developing countries and are empowered to take action. It is a unique opportunity for education and service. Please consider having your child participate in this wonderful program. Thank you!
–Jean Easterday, UNICEF Coordinator
SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE
The School Committee’s Update, following the October 2 and October 9 School Committee meetings is posted on the Meetings and Minutes page of the Thoreau PTG site, https://www.thoreauptg.org/meetings-minutes/. Topics include:
- Celebrating CPS and CCRSD
- School Budgets
- 2012 MCAS Report
- TELL Mass Survey
- Student Transportation
- CCHS Building Project
- Other Business/Reports
LUNCH MENU Week of October 23-November 2
- Monday: Spaghetti with Marinara or Meat Sauce
- Tuesday: Beef or Bean Tacos
- Wednesday: Hamburger or Cheeseburger
- Thursday: TBA
- Friday: TBA
Community Chest Pumpkin Roll
The Community Chest Pumpkin Roll is happening this Sunday, October 28, 2:00-4:00pm at Emerson Field. Some of the agencies we support will be running the events — face painting, a sack race, pumpkin shot put, pumpkin balancing, and a costume parade. Bring a pie to enter in the pie-baking contest, or a carved pumpkin to enter in the Jack-O’-Lantern contest. The agencies will also be collecting donations (see the form for details), so your children can help someone in need with a small donation. So come celebrate the season and support these agencies! Register NOW, go to www.cccommunitychest.org!
Fenn Sports Sale
Don’t miss the 44th Annual Sports Sale at The Fenn School gym in Concord on Saturday, November 3. We’ll have a wide selection of gently-used sports equipment for boys and girls covering a variety of sports including hockey, soccer, and baseball – all at low prices! Representatives from Hardy’s Ski Emporium will be on hand to offer an assortment of brand new skis, boots, and poles at great pre-season prices. Gym doors open at 9am and close promptly at noon. Come early for the best selection. The Fenn School is located at 516 Monument Street in Concord.
The new neighborhood bulletin just for Concord families, Concord.OurCommonPlace.com, is designed to make it really easy for Concord families to stay in the loop about what’s happening in town. Any parent can post to it to share needs, announcements, events, offers and we’ve been working hard to get as many families and civic leaders on board so that everyone can stay connected in one ‘common place’ online for Concord. We’ve been so excited by how Concord is using the platform. We’d love to get you involved: Go to Concord.OurCommonPlace.com to sign up. It only takes a minute and it makes the network stronger for everyone. You’ll instantly plug into what’s happening in town and be able to share and connect with the folks around you. Otherwise, email us with thoughts, questions, encouragement if you support our mission of creating tools that help people plug into the Concord community. For a lot more information about our mission, check out our intro presentation: Everything You Need to Know about Concord’s Shiny New Community-Building Tool. Up with civic life!
Free Lecture by Dr Peter Gray
The public is invited to attend a free lecture, “What Have We Done To Childhood?” by Dr Peter Gray, Professor Emeritis, Dept of Psychology, Boston College, on Thursday November 8 at 7pm at Temple Karem Shalom, 659 Elm Street in Concord, Massachusetts. Plan to attend! It’ll be a great evening!
Children by nature are curious, playful, and sociable. They are designed, by natural selection (or by Mother Nature, if you prefer), to learn through self-directed play, exploration, and questioning. Think of all they learn through these means in their first three or four years of life, without any deliberate teaching at all! Children’s instinctive drives to play and explore —and thereby to learn—do not end at age 4, or 5, or 6, or even 12.
Through active play, especially play with other children, away from adults, children learn about the social and physical world around them. They practice skills crucial to success in the culture in which they are growing. They exercise their imaginations and creativity as well as their physical bodies. They learn how to get along with other people. They learn how to control their impulses and emotions, for social play is always an exercise in self-restraint. They learn how to take charge of their own lives. These are the most crucial things that everyone must learn to grow into successful adulthood, and they cannot be taught in school. They can only be learned through children’s own, self-directed efforts—their free play and exploration. Children are naturally motivated to do this, but they need opportunity. They need lots of free time, access to other children (preferably age-mixed groups of other children), and freedom from adult direction.
But look what we as a society have done. We have turned childhood into a time of résumé building rather than a time of joyful play. Social scientists have documented the evidence that children today are far less free to play and explore than were children 25 years ago; and children 25 years ago were far less free to play and explore than were children 25 years before that. Over the last half-century we have seen a continuous decline in children’s opportunities to play freely, and over that same period we have seen—and research has documented—a dramatic rise in anxiety, depression, helplessness, suicide, narcissism, and other psychological disorders in children and adolescents. Psychologists have also, not surprisingly, documented a sharp decline in children’s creativity over the past 20 to 30 years.
In this talk, Dr. Grey will present evidence for all of these effects and will explain the mechanisms through which free play promotes children’s emotional, social, and intellectual development. He will also present some ideas about what we can do, both as individuals and as a society, to restore children’s birthrights to free play. Researchers have found that young monkeys that are deprived of opportunities to play freely with other young monkeys grow up to be emotional and social cripples—unable to deal with stressful situations, unable to interact peacefully with peers. Right now we are subjecting our children to play deprivation to a degree unknown in the past century in this country. We are crippling our children. How can we stop doing that?
This event is sponsored by the Concord Area Preschool Association, First Connections, Concord Children’s Center, the Center for Parents and Teachers, Acton Public Schools, the Acton Boxboro Harvard & Littleton Early Childhood Council, and the CFCE Regional Early Childhood Council. For more information about this event please call Betsy Sweet at 978-287-0221.
Principal Kelly Clough’s Blog: http://principalclough.wordpress.com
MCAS Schedule: https://www.thoreauptg.org/mcas/
NutriKids lunch account balance: https://www.mynutrikids.com/Login.aspx
K-5 Booklists: http://thoreau.colonial.net/Teachers/Pettyjohn/Booklists
The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on NOVEMBER 1, 2012. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, OCTOBER 29, 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 email@example.com.