Thoreau Announcements 1/26/2017

In this week’s announcement

Thoreau News: Box Tops, Winter After School Programs, School Committee Subscriber List, Boks Volunteers Needed, Art Room Request, SPED Basic Rights workshop, Trip to Symphony Hall
Around Town: Special Funding Request, Before School Chess Club, Technology Tuesdays, CCYB/S Softball, Lunch and Learn “Suicide Prevention”, CFN Valentine Party, Cooler Concord Fair, Bookmakers Book Group, Are You Ready for Overnight Camp lecture, CC Community Chest Adventures in Philanthropy, Shamrock Ball, Flag Rugby

Message from the Co-Presidents:
Thank you:
Thank you to Catherine Bradshaw-Holden and all the volunteers who made the Hobby Fair a success! What a wonderful display of our 4th and 5th graders hobbies.
Mark your calendar:
1/31 – 6:30pm, School Committee Meeting, Public deliberation on superintendent candidates with vote to offer position
2/3 – Bingo Night
2/14 – Staff Appreciation Event hosted by K/1 families
2/15 – 9am, PTG Meeting, Thoreau Cafeteria, School committee members will be present to discuss the CPS budget, K-5 Spanish, and any other topics of interest to you

2017-2018 School Calendar
The school calendar for the 2017-2018 was approved by the school committee on Tuesday night. You can find the calendar by clicking here:

Cooler Concord Fair:
Many of you have read about the Cooler Concord Fair happening on 2/4 at CCHS. What you may not know is that Thoreau has a chance to win $1000 dollars. Here are the guidelines for winning the $1000:  If 10% of Thoreau families (34 families) attend the Cooler Concord Fair, Thoreau can win $250; if 20% attend (68 families), Thoreau will be awarded $500.  AND, Thoreau can win another $500 if those families choose to take simple and cost effective energy saving actions.  An easy to use tool will help Fair attendees prioritize what makes sense for each family. So mark your calendar! Call for volunteers: If you have a little time to help make the fair successful, contact Jill Appel at or (978) 371-7270. Go to: or read their submission in our community section to learn more!

Help Thoreau Win the Box Tops Sweepstakes Again – Now Through January 28th
The Market Basket e-Box Tops Sweepstakes continues through January 28th.  Please visit any participating Market Basket store and pick up an entry form at the courtesy desk for a chance to win 5,000 e-Box Tops for Thoreau School. That’s worth $500!  The chances of winning may seem low, but it’s not out of reach:  Thoreau actually has won this contest FOUR TIMES – so never say never!  We can’t win if we don’t enter, though, and we’re much more likely to win with LOTS of entries, so we need your help!
Entries must be postmarked by January 28th.  If you can’t get to a Market Basket store before the 28th but you want to help, please email me at for an entry form. Past Thoreau winners of this contest have not received any unwanted postal mail or spam email from submitting an entry form.  Visit for a complete list of Market Basket stores in Massachusetts.
Thanks in advance for your help, and good luck to all!  – Kimber Lynn Drake, Box Tops for Education Coordinator (978) 831-3058Winter After School Programs

Bingo Night! Join us on Friday February 3rd from 5:30 to 7:30 for Bingo Night in the cafeteria!  This year, your host will be Officer Ron Holsinger! Everyone’s favorite DARE officer. We’ll have pizza! We’d love your help with a few salads or desserts too. Use the below sign up genius to put your name down. Come one, come all! Who doesn’t love Bingo!?!
Sign up to bring a salad or dessert here!

There is still room in two of our after school activities! 
Introduction to Yoga and Mindfulness: Ivy Child’s Yoga and Mindfulness program is designed to provide students with a fun, creative, and educational experience. The program will combine simple postures, breathing exercises, meditation, games, and other mindfulness activities to help students: improve focus and attention, increase self-regulation, and strengthen their minds/bodies. No prior experience necessary.
Japanese Crafts and Culture: Come experience Japanese culture, crafts and food in this class led by Ms. Burns. Kids will be introduced to traditional arts such as origami, sumie, and shuji/shodo. They will learn about Japanese Manga and Anime, and will study Miyazaki. Finally, kids will try some Japanese cooking!
Both courses are for children in grades 3-5. Courses will run from January 30 through March 30. Register at

Join the School Committee Subscriber List!
Stay up to date on School Committee Activity and receive periodic information regarding the district. Joining this list will provide you with the latest information from our School Committee on issues that are important to you and your children. Click here: or visit the district home page, http://

BOKS Volunteers Needed – Help Kids Boost Brain Power
Nikki Morrissey has graciously volunteered to lead another BOKS session this spring. However, we will NOT be able to run this popular program without additional parent volunteers as happened in the fall. Volunteer are needed before school 1-2 times per week. This is a great opportunity for working parents to get involved. Please contact Adrienne at if you are interested. BOKS is a nationally-recognized, before-school fitness program. Studies show that engaging in physical activity before school boosts kids ability to learn and retain information. After the first session at Thoreau, Thoreau teachers reported a positive difference in kids enrolled in the program! To learn more, visit

ART room requests:
The art room is in need of plastic egg cartons, animal or landscape calendars and textured paper/wallpaper scraps for some fun upcoming art projects.  If you have any of these items laying around the house, we will be accepting them anytime throughout the year and would greatly appreciate the donation.
Thank you in advance,
Kate Hiltz
Art Teacher

Basic Rights in Special Education (Free Workshop) | Thursday, January 26th
7-9pm Workshop/Q&A, Parent Mingle 6:30pm | CCHS Learning Commons | Presenter Seetha Burtner. Presented by the Federation for Children with Special Needs, the workshop will provide a basic understanding of the complex special education laws and procedures. It is designed to help parents learn how to be effective partners with their child’s school – and to plan, make decisions and monitor their child’s progress in school. Learn your rights and responsibilities under Massachusetts Education Law. Hosted by the Concord Carlisle Regional SEPAC. For planning purposes an RSVP is appreciated but not required: https://www. workshop-tickets-30853873767

Trip to Symphony Hall for the wonderful BSO Family Concert on Saturday, April 8th at noon.  Adult tickets are $20, and children attend free.  This year’s theme is “Common Courtesy: Minding our Musical Manners.”  Any family needing financial assistance should contact Rachel Levesque, Thoreau social worker, at or (978) 318-1300.  Details and sign up form can be found at  Email with any questions.

Around Town:
SPECIAL FUNDING REQUEST – Challenge Success for Middle Schoolers
Dear families,
We are writing for your support of an important initiative put forth by the School Advisory Council for our current and soon-to-be middle school students.  CMS PTG supports many activities for our students; however, this unique opportunity is out of budget, but also a critical initiative to benefit our kids and their education.
CMS has the opportunity to become a part of the Challenge Success program, an organization that partners with schools and families to provide kids with the academic, social, and emotional skills needed to succeed now and in the future.  Challenge Success believes that society has become too focused on grades, test scores, and performance, leaving little time for kids to develop the necessary skills to become resilient, ethical, and motivated learners. They provide families and schools with practical, research-based tools needed to create more balanced and academically fulfilling lives, with success measured over the course of a lifetime, not at the end of a semester.
Your contribution will fund the initial step in the program, which is an anonymous survey of our students, measuring perspectives on homework, extracurricular activities, sleep, physical health, stress, parent expectations, academic engagement, academic integrity, and teacher support. Over 70,000 students from more than 100 schools have taken the survey since 2009, and schools have gained a great deal of information from the results, including what students see as stressful and challenging as well as sources of support within the school. Survey findings help to guide schools in their decisions about which policies and practices may be effective and which are in need of improvement.
The total cost to fund this initial phase of the program is $5,000.  We hope you will consider making a one-time $20.00 donation to support this very important initiative.
Thank you so much for your ongoing support!

Before-school Chess Program
Join us for the second (winter) session of before-school Chess program in Thoreau. The teacher is Vadim Martirosov, a highly experienced Chess Master, who teaches Concord Carlisle Chess Club and the before-school chess class in the Willard school. The class will meet once per week for a 10-week session, with a start date on Jan. 30 or Feb. 6. Please Let me know if your kids are interested.
Date: Monday
Time: 8:00am-8:50am
Grades: open to all grades
Number of students: maximum 16
Cost: $80 (if 16 students attending, as Mr. Martirosov charges $125 per lesson)
Meet place: Thoreau school

 The Concord Free Public Library is pleased to offer three technology Tuesdays for kids in grades 4 – 6. 
The classes will be taught by instructors from Empow Studios.
* January 31, 2017 will be a Lego Robotics Class from 1:30 – 3:30 pm at the Fowler Library, 1322 Main Street, Concord
To register:
* February 7, 2017 will be a Scratch Programming Class from 1:30 – 3:30 pm at the Fowler Library, 1322 Main Street
To register:
* February 14, 2017 will be a 3D Modeling and Printing Class from 1:30 – 3:30 pm at the Main Library, 129 Main Street, Concord
To register:

Spring is right around the corner! Softball registration is OPEN. Registration will close on March 31st. CCYB/S is open to girls in grades K-8 in Concord and Carlisle.  The season officially kicks off April 24th and runs for approximately 6 weeks.
For more information or to register go to

CC Youth Services and the Center for Parents and Teachers invite all interested adults to a free “Lunch and Learn” program on Thursday Feb 2nd from 11:30 to 1 PM on the topic:  “Talk Saves Lives:  A Brief Introduction to Suicide Prevention”.  Participants will learn the warning signs and risk factors of suicide and how, together, we can help prevent it.  In order to plan for lunch and materials, RSVP is required. Please email  Free light lunch provided.  Location:  Ripley Building, 120 Meriam Road, Concord.

Concord Family Network invites you to a Valentine’s Day party on Saturday, February 4th, from 3:30-5:00pm at the Hunt Recreation Center, 90 Stow Street, Concord, MA! Bring the kids to do some Valentine’s Day crafts and gather on Ed “The Music Man” Morgan’s magic carpet to sing along and dance their sillies out! Refreshments available
We will again be collecting pantry items to benefit the Yawkee Family Inn at the Boston’s Children Hospital. Show your Valentine’s Day love by donating pantry items such as granola bars, oatmeal, packaged cookies, cereal, fruit cups, tea, and K-cup coffee (single servings work best). In addition, quick dinner fixes such as mac and cheese, soups, pasta and sauces would also be appreciated. A collection bin will be set up at the door.
All Concord-area families are invited. Free for CFN members, non-members pay only $3/child up to $10/family (Fee will be waived with a pantry item donation). For more information please contact or

Announcing the Cooler Concord Fair 
Plug into Big Savings and Help Our School Win $1000!
RSVP NOW for the Cooler Concord Fair-
Sat, February 4, 2017
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM 
Our school will be able to win up to $1,000 if a significant number of parents attend and take action at the Cooler Concord Fair. The Fair will showcase simple and significant ways to save energy and money. Community experts and vendors will help you get stuff done quickly and easily. There will be 10 major exhibits as follows: home weatherization, high-efficiency home heating and cooling, hot water heating, LED lighting, solar power, transportation (including new electric cars), home appliances, sustainable yards, reduce/reuse and eat less meat. Workshopson specific topics will be held throughout the day. And, this is a not-to- miss event for families! Students from all the schools are eager to show parents their own creative and compelling exhibits. Exciting kids’ activities are planned including crafts, races and hands-on projects. There will be many free prizes, including a
weekend in lovely Stowe, Vermont, and delicious snacks. Students (middle school and up) and parents are needed to volunteer for short shifts. Send a note to to join the action. Community service credit is definitely available. The first 100 people who register have a chance to win a free dinner at a lovely Concord Restaurant! Stay informed at Facebook/Cooler Concord and invite your local friends! RSVP
NOW at

You’re invited to Concord-Carlisle Community Chest’s first-ever non-profit innovation challenge called “adVentures in Philanthropy” on Tuesday, February 7th at 7:30 at the Fenn School, 516 Monument Street, Concord.  Local non-profits have proposed exciting new initiatives to meet human services needs in Concord and Carlisle with three selected to present their program to a panel of five community leaders with the chance to secure a share of up to $30,000 in funding.  WE NEED YOUR HELP!  The event will include both an adult and student Fan Favorite.  Adults and students will have an opportunity to vote and award their favorite presenting non-profit $1,000.  Register today for this FREE community event by visiting our web site at or call 978-369-5250 to reserve your ticket.

BookMarkers Book Group for 4th/5th Graders
February 7 from 1 pm – 2 pm
Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, Concord
Let’s talk about new books for the New Year!
Activity: Make giant fortune cookies
For more information call (978) 318-3358

How to Know If Your Child (and YOU!) Are Ready for Overnight Camp
Wednesday, Feb 8 at 7 pm *dessert reception; lecture at 7:30
Needham Historical Society, 1147 Central Ave, Needham
Are you wondering if your child is ready?  Are you wondering how to figure out what is the best fit for your child? Are you not sure how long to send your child? This presentation will help you understand the many benefits of overnight camp. You will learn what to ask when speaking with different directors, what to look for when you go on tours.Let us help you eliminate some of your anxieties about sending your child away to overnight camp. This presentation will be open for questions as well.
This workshop is presented by Jill Vetstein, a licensed clinical mental health therapist specializing in children. She has a B.S in Education and a Masters in Social Work. She is also a writer, blogger, professional speaker and a mother. Jill has been working with parents and children in many settings for over 25 years. One of Jill’s favorite settings to work in has been at summer camp. Jill has over 20 years of experience in the camping world both as a camper and as a professional.
This is a lecture to help parents get general information about readiness for overnight camp and to answer questions and allay anxieties. It is not representing any camp in particular. Camp Specialists is a FREE referral service to help families find the best fit for their child and has no bias for one specific camp over another. For more information on our services, please email Our services are 100% free of charge.

Tickets for The Shamrock Ball, presented by Concord Recreation, will go on sale Friday February 3rd at 9:00am. The event is Saturday March 4, 2017 at The Westford Regency from 7:00pm-9:30pm and is for girls in grades 2-6 and an adult guest.  Tickets are $90 per couple and $20 for each additional family member.  Register online at .  We suggest you set up your account prior to the registration date if you have not already done so. Tickets are also available at the Hunt Recreation Building, or by phone 978-287-1050.  Proceeds benefit Concord Recreation scholarships. Tickets sell out quickly.

Parents who have a child with a special need (ages 4-9 years old) are invited to attend a six week support program led by Patricia Marquis, LICSW.  Members of this group will meet other parents who can offer immediate empathy for the unique challenges they face on a daily basis and over the long haul. It will be held on 6 consecutive Monday mornings at the Ripley Administrative Building in Concord MA from 9:30-11AM, from March 6 through April 10, 2017.  The program is free of charge.  Please click on (or cut and paste into your browser) the following website to pre-register:
PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.  Questions?  Please email the Center for Parents and Teachers at for more information.

Flag Rugby– Grades K-8
MetroWest Youth Rugby’s Spring Season is almost here! Come experience the newest Olympic sport in a fun, friendly environment. Experienced rugby players and coaches will teach your child flag rugby through interactive games and drills.Grade divisions: K, 1st/2nd, 3rd /4th, 5th/6th, 7th/8th . First half of each session will be drills and skills and the second half using those skills in real flag rugby games. No experience necessary, open to players of all levels. Season runs Sundays April 30th – June 11th at Lincoln Paddock Field, 8:30-9:30 grades K-6th, 8:30-9:45 grades 7th/8th. To register visit: www.
Free Introduction to Flag Rugby Clinics – Grades K-8
MetroWest Youth Rugby is holding two free clinics as a kickoff to our Spring Season. Experienced rugby players and coaches will teach your child the basics of flag rugby through fun, interactive games and drills.   No experience necessary. Please wear shorts, t shirt, sneakers and bring a water bottle. Dates: Sunday March 19th and Sunday April 2nd at The Fieldhouse Sudbury. 8:15 am check in, clinic runs 8:30- 9:30. Max 75 kids each session. To register visit: