Zervas Notes -- December 11, 2018




Upcoming Events





Notes from the Principal



Notes from the Co-Presidents

Co-Presidents Newsletter December 2018

December 2018

Dear Zervas Families,

We hope you had a nice and long Thanksgiving break.  Wherever you traveled or however you celebrated, we hope you found some time to eat good food and enjoy kind company.  The Zervas PTO is thankful for our outstanding community.  Each year brings a new opportunity for us to foster a warm and welcoming school, and, as we reflect on the fall months now behind us, we love seeing the community that 2018-2019 has become.

Before we get too far into the letter, we want to encourage all you home bakers and food shoppers to heat up your ovens or run to your local bakery and donate a batch of cookies or favorite holiday treats to our very popular Zervas Teachers Cookie SwapContact Sanskriti Singh if you plan to contribute.  All treats should be delivered to the first-floor staff lounge Wednesday morning, December 5th.

I want to say a huge thank you to Merrill Barnes and our Kindergarten Soccer Team: Tara Karyanis, Matt Feiner, & Santhi Gollapalli.  Their efforts often go unnoticed so today we will highlight the work they do.  Started in 1993, Kindergarten Soccer is a Zervas PTO volunteer-run program that is a big fundraiser for us.  It takes hours of work to lead and manage this busy community program.  This year Merrill is finishing up a two-year tenure as coordinator and we cannot thank her enough for her tireless energy and steady organization.  Thank you to the whole team for a great 2018!

We are grateful for our big roster of Room and Grade Parents who have been busy coordinating teacher appreciation events, keeping classrooms in the know about things happening in the rooms, and getting the parents together for social events. There are too many of you to list but please know we are seeing your efforts. Thank you to PTO board member, Freddy Hinck, for keeping this group well-organized.

We hope you caught one of the Variety Shows organized by Darlene Nedeljkovic and music teacher, Ken Mignone. We are always impressed by the bravery and talent of the young performers. Thank you, Ken and Darlene, for making these nights run smoothly.

Thank you to all of you who came out for Dynamic Diversity Night.  It was a nice evening filled with engaging conversations and good fun.  Amy Behrens and Kim Hermesch, we thank you for taking the lead on this community-building event and also thank the rest of the Dynamic Diversity team: Delia Cheung Hom, Elisa Derby,  Valerie Graf, Kristin Hovis, Ben Mahnke, Serena Toh, principal Diana Beck, teachers Harriet Howell, Chris O’Rourke, and Maggie Williamson, and music teacher Ken Mignone for providing microphones.

Inclusive Schools Week is coming up December 3rd-7th.  It is a time that our school will come together to learn more about inclusion and celebrate our dynamic community.  In honor of the week, our entire Zervas staff will be invited to a PTO-hosted lunch on the 5th, to provide them with an opportunity to eat and come together as a group.

You have until Thursday, December 13th to donate a new, unwrapped toy for a child (newborn to age 12) in need. Thank you to our Social Action Committee, Tanya Ianniello and Jackie Washington, for organizing this drive for Toys for Tots. Toys for children ages 0-2 and 9-12 are especially needed, and you can drop them off in bin outside the office in the Zervas lobby.  Jackie and Tanya also coordinated the UNICEF collection for Halloween which raised $876 for UNICEF’s emergency relief work.

Class are starting to organize holiday gifts for the teachers and aides using the class dues collected at the beginning of the year. If you would like to acknowledge your student’s teacher individually, consider participating in the Zervas Library Winter Gift Book Drive. You can purchase a title selected by librarian Rebecca Kinney, and then donate it to the library in honor of a teacher or staff member.  Ms. Kinney will create a bookplate to put inside the cover acknowledging the Zervas staff member of your choice.

And don’t forget to add Zervas as your Amazon Smile recipient if you are shopping online this season! There are instructions on our website for how to do it.

If you have any questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to contact us at pto@zervaspto.org.

We wish you a wonderful December.

Jenn Martin & Maggie Schmidt
PTO Co-Presidents

 

 

 




Notes from Zervas

Reminder: Newton Public Schools Staff Gift Policy

This December, the PTO would like to remind families of the Newton Public Schools Staff Gift Policy. The full policy can be found here.

Gifts to an individual staff member from a family should be in the form of a “sentimental token”, such as something handmade or hand-baked, and not have commercial value. Most room parents use class dues to purchase a gift or gift card for the classroom teacher(s) from the whole class in both December and June.

Other options to honor your child’s teacher or other Zervas staff include a donation in their name to the Newton Schools Foundation or donating a book in their honor through the Zervas Library Gift Book Drive.


Thank you from the teachers

Zervas teachers and staff pass along their thanks to all the families who brought in cookies for the annual cookie swap last week!

The cookie swap was preceded by a PTO-hosted staff lunch as part of Inclusive Schools Week, a week both to celebrate the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, and to discuss what else needs to be done in order to ensure that Newton continues to improve its ability to successfully educate all children. The teachers thank the Zervas community for the lunch.


Zervas Toys for Tots Collection – last week!

Want to give a gift to a child in need around the holidays?  Donate a toy to Toys for Tots, a holiday toy drive sponsored by the Marine Corps Reserve.  Toys for Tots accepts new, unwrapped toys for newborns through age 12.  They are especially in need of for toys for children in the 0-2 and 9-12 range; they prefer not to accept realistic looking toy weapons.  Toys are distributed to families in our community around the holidays.

There is a donation bin outside the main office through December 13th.  Contact Tanya Ianniello tianniello@gmail.com or Jackie Washington jackielee617@gmail.com with any questions.

 


Library Gift Book Drive

The Zervas Library Winter Gift Book Drive is open through December!  Please consider donating a book in honor of a teacher, staff, family member, friend.  Each book donated will contain a bookplate with a personal dedication honoring the person of your choice.  If you would like to see one of your favorite books added to the wishlist, please reach out to Becky Kinney (rebecca_kinney@newton.k12.ma.us) or Chris Detjen (cmdetjen@yahoo.com).

Click here to donate a book: https://www.btsb.com/sosl/zervaselementaryschool7

 


Amazon Smile

A reminder that the PTO is using Amazon Smile for fundraising.

If you are an Amazon shopper, please change your Amazon page to Amazon Smile and select Zervas as your charity to donate to Zervas each time you shop! It is easy and free!

Follow the steps below for the first time only. Then bookmark the smile.amazon page and remember to go to that page instead of the regular Amazon page for future visits. If you forget and fill up a shopping cart on the regular Amazon site, you can switch to the Amazon Smile site at any point before your purchase is confirmed and Amazon Smile will recognize your shopping cart.

After following these steps once, Amazon will automatically remember your charity and donate to Zervas each time to shop using the smile.amazon page!
1. Go to www.smile.amazon.com next time you are shopping on Amazon.
2. In the “Your Account” drop down on the top right, select “Change Your Charity.”
3. Where it says “Pick Your Own Charitable Organization,” type in “Zervas.”
4. Select “Zervas School Parent-Teacher Organization.”
5. Add smile.amazon.com to your bookmark or favorites menu.
6. Always use the www.smile.amazon.com page when shopping Amazon instead of www.amazon.com

Any questions? Email us at pto@zervaspto.org.


Library Gift Book Drive

The Zervas Library Winter Gift Book Drive is now open!  Please consider donating a book in honor of a teacher, staff, family member, friend.  Each book donated will contain a bookplate with a personal dedication honoring the person of your choice.  If you would like to see one of your favorite books added to the wishlist, please reach out to Becky Kinney (rebecca_kinney@newton.k12.ma.us) or Chris Detjen (cmdetjen@yahoo.com).

Click here to donate a book: https://www.btsb.com/sosl/zervaselementaryschool7

 


Co-Presidents Newsletter December 2018

December 2018

Dear Zervas Families,

We hope you had a nice and long Thanksgiving break.  Wherever you traveled or however you celebrated, we hope you found some time to eat good food and enjoy kind company.  The Zervas PTO is thankful for our outstanding community.  Each year brings a new opportunity for us to foster a warm and welcoming school, and, as we reflect on the fall months now behind us, we love seeing the community that 2018-2019 has become.

Before we get too far into the letter, we want to encourage all you home bakers and food shoppers to heat up your ovens or run to your local bakery and donate a batch of cookies or favorite holiday treats to our very popular Zervas Teachers Cookie SwapContact Sanskriti Singh if you plan to contribute.  All treats should be delivered to the first-floor staff lounge Wednesday morning, December 5th.

I want to say a huge thank you to Merrill Barnes and our Kindergarten Soccer Team: Tara Karyanis, Matt Feiner, & Santhi Gollapalli.  Their efforts often go unnoticed so today we will highlight the work they do.  Started in 1993, Kindergarten Soccer is a Zervas PTO volunteer-run program that is a big fundraiser for us.  It takes hours of work to lead and manage this busy community program.  This year Merrill is finishing up a two-year tenure as coordinator and we cannot thank her enough for her tireless energy and steady organization.  Thank you to the whole team for a great 2018!

We are grateful for our big roster of Room and Grade Parents who have been busy coordinating teacher appreciation events, keeping classrooms in the know about things happening in the rooms, and getting the parents together for social events. There are too many of you to list but please know we are seeing your efforts. Thank you to PTO board member, Freddy Hinck, for keeping this group well-organized.

We hope you caught one of the Variety Shows organized by Darlene Nedeljkovic and music teacher, Ken Mignone. We are always impressed by the bravery and talent of the young performers. Thank you, Ken and Darlene, for making these nights run smoothly.

Thank you to all of you who came out for Dynamic Diversity Night.  It was a nice evening filled with engaging conversations and good fun.  Amy Behrens and Kim Hermesch, we thank you for taking the lead on this community-building event and also thank the rest of the Dynamic Diversity team: Delia Cheung Hom, Elisa Derby,  Valerie Graf, Kristin Hovis, Ben Mahnke, Serena Toh, principal Diana Beck, teachers Harriet Howell, Chris O’Rourke, and Maggie Williamson, and music teacher Ken Mignone for providing microphones.

Inclusive Schools Week is coming up December 3rd-7th.  It is a time that our school will come together to learn more about inclusion and celebrate our dynamic community.  In honor of the week, our entire Zervas staff will be invited to a PTO-hosted lunch on the 5th, to provide them with an opportunity to eat and come together as a group.

You have until Thursday, December 13th to donate a new, unwrapped toy for a child (newborn to age 12) in need. Thank you to our Social Action Committee, Tanya Ianniello and Jackie Washington, for organizing this drive for Toys for Tots. Toys for children ages 0-2 and 9-12 are especially needed, and you can drop them off in bin outside the office in the Zervas lobby.  Jackie and Tanya also coordinated the UNICEF collection for Halloween which raised $876 for UNICEF’s emergency relief work.

Class are starting to organize holiday gifts for the teachers and aides using the class dues collected at the beginning of the year. If you would like to acknowledge your student’s teacher individually, consider participating in the Zervas Library Winter Gift Book Drive. You can purchase a title selected by librarian Rebecca Kinney, and then donate it to the library in honor of a teacher or staff member.  Ms. Kinney will create a bookplate to put inside the cover acknowledging the Zervas staff member of your choice.

And don’t forget to add Zervas as your Amazon Smile recipient if you are shopping online this season! There are instructions on our website for how to do it.

If you have any questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to contact us at pto@zervaspto.org.

We wish you a wonderful December.

Jenn Martin & Maggie Schmidt
PTO Co-Presidents

 

 

 


Zervas Toys for Tots Collection

Want to give a gift to a child in need around the holidays?  Donate a toy to Toys for Tots, a holiday toy drive sponsored by the Marine Corps Reserve.  Toys for Tots accepts new, unwrapped toys for newborns through age 12.  They are especially in need of for toys for children in the 0-2 and 9-12 range; they prefer not to accept realistic looking toy weapons.  Toys are distributed to families in our community around the holidays.

There will be a donation bin outside the main office through December 13th.  Contact Tanya Ianniello tianniello@gmail.com or Jackie Washington jackielee617@gmail.com with any questions.

 




Notes from the Newton Public Schools



Community Notes

Shop for A Cause for Newton Schools Foundation

Shop for the holidays and make a difference for Newton’s students! Bring your friends and neighbors for a fun, festive evening of shopping and socializing. The Street, Chestnut Hill is hosting a Shop for a Cause night and a percentage of sales from participating stores will be donated to Newton Schools Foundation.

Participating stores include Copious Row, Legit Activewear, Simon Pearce, J. McLaughlin, Kodomo, Portobello Road, Vince and Polka Dog.

Register ahead of time and check in at Simon Pearce (between Juice Press and Splendid) the night of the event to receive your shopping pass and special treat.
For more information and to register click here.

December 12th, 5:00 – 8:00 pm


Newton Food Drive BREAKFAST FOODS for our Newton Food Pantries

Come to City Hall to help sort the food with the Mayor! Please help our neighbors facing food insecurity. Newton’s four food pantries provide meals for more than 1,800 people each month, and they need everyone’s help to keep up with the growing need right here in Newton.

Donate to the Newton Food Drive—the four pantries are asking for breakfast foods including cereal, granola, oatmeal, energy and granola bars, non-perishable milk boxes, coffee, tea, and peanut butter. (Sorry, no open or expired food can be accepted.)

Donations are being collected now through December 27th at City Hall and more than 30 other locations across Newton. A complete list of the sites can be found HERE.

Bring extra donations and help sort the donated food on December 31st from 10:00 – 10:30 am in the War Memorial at City Hall.  Everyone can help, from youngsters to seniors. Plus, enjoy craft making, face painting, and refreshments for the Mayor’s New Year’s Eve Open House until noon.


Community Service Camp

Community Service Camp is currently registering for their monthly service programs which are run on Saturday and Sundays and for the April vacation Camp. In addition, the summer program will be open for registration this weekend.

Each day focuses on a different service theme and you’ll work together on a service project, play games and have small group discussions about the different service organizations.

Winter and spring programs are for grades K-5 and their summer camp will have two age group offerings: K-3 and 4-8. Parents can learn more about program offerings and register here: https://sites.google.com/view/service-stars/home. See the program in action on here:  www.facebook.com/servicestarsnewton.


JCC School Vacation Camp – Space is Limited!

Worrying about what to do during school vacations? Don’t worry, JCC Greater Boston School Vacation Camp has you covered. Camp runs during the week-long break for December, February, April and Passover vacations. Kids get to choose up to three electives daily, including sports, swimming, arts & crafts, board games and more.

Registration for December break ends on December 19th and early bird pricing ends this Friday! Enrollment is always flexible to fit your family’s plans. Kids can join for a single day, several days or the entire week. Each day children play and learn through a variety of different activities. Options include swimming, art & crafts, cooking, dance and so much more! A Kosher lunch is available for purchase making your morning a breeze. Also, during the week there is a different special highlight each day.

Register at bostonjcc.org/schoolvacations.


What’s Happening at the Y

Try the Y – Thursdays in December are free! Present a valid ID at the welcome desk and use the facilities for the day. Plus, if you sign up for a Y membership in December, your first month is free.


Program Registration for Winter Session – Registration for Winter Programs at the West Suburban YMCA is now open to all members and non-members. The Winter Program Session starts the week of January 2nd. Some program highlights include:

  • Aquatics: Swim lessons for all ages, water polo, Masters Swim Team
  • Youth Sports Leagues & Classes: Basketball, flag football, tumbling, karate for all ages
  • Creative Arts: Rock Band class, dance classes, private music lessons
  • Fitness & Wellness: TRX classes, tai chi, personal training and small group training

Pick up a Winter Program Guide at the YMCA or visit wsymca.org for more information and to register for programs. More Info


Resolutions Fitness Challenge – New year, new you! Sign up for the Y’s Resolutions Fitness Challenge to jumpstart your health and fitness goals for 2019. Join a team led by one of the Y’s certified personal trainers, and compete against other teams to see whose team can lose the greatest percentage of weight and body fat during the eight week challenge.


School Vacation Week Programs – Do your kids need something to do while they are off from school for winter vacation? The West Suburban YMCA is offering full day and half day program options December 26th -28th. Sign up for a program from either our Child Care Department or our Sports Department, to ensure your child has a fun vacation and you have peace of mind! More Info


Winter Camp Extravaganza – Celebrate summer in the winter! Bring the whole family for this exciting event at the West Suburban YMCA. There will be three live shows from comedy magician Steven Craig, musical ventriloquist Kevin Driscoll, and Curious Creatures! In addition to the performances, there will be raffles, door prizes, auction items, face painting, balloon animals, Henna tattoos and more!

This event is open to the community – not just YMCA campers – and a suggested family donation of $20.00 is welcome at the door. All proceeds will go toward 2019 camper scholarships. More Info January 5th, 5:30 – 8:00 pm


Y Empower – free program for 10 year old girls. Y Empower is a new free program geared toward 10 year old girls. It is intended to provide a small learning community for them to explore their health holistically and be prepared to manage the stress that adolescence often brings. Half of the time is spent in a classroom setting with expert speakers about topics such as nutrition, social media safety, and self care. The second half of the time is spent trying specific fitness activities such as yoga, Zumba, and swimming. Contact Jane Carroll at janec@wsymca.org for more information or to register for this program. Starting January 2019, Tuesdays, 2:30 – 4:00 pm


The Body Project – free program for high school girls. The Y is proud to partner with MEDA (Multi-service Eating Disorder Association) to offer a six-week program that provides a forum for girls to confront unrealistic beauty ideals and engage them in the development of a healthy body image through verbal, written and behavioral exercises. Contact Jane Carroll at janec@wsymca.org for more information or to register for this program.  Starting January 2019, Mondays, 4:30 – 5:15 pm


Pickle Ball – The West Suburban YMCA hosts drop-in pickle ball on both Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-11:30 am in the gymnasium. Pickle ball is free for West Suburban YMCA members and $5.00 drop-in fee for non-members.


Work at the Y: The West Suburban YMCA is hiring for a variety of full-time and part-time positions. Great benefits, FREE membership, professional development opportunities. Please contact Laura Snow, Director of Human Resources, at lauras@wsymca.org or visit wsymca.org/about/work-here.

Financial Assistance is always available for Y Memberships and Programs – The West Suburban YMCA is a non-profit charitable organization and it is their mission to never turn anyone away due to an inability to pay. Please contact our Membership Department at 617-244-6050 x3653 for financial assistance with membership or program participation.


Finish 2018 on a high note

Let Next Level Up Academic Coaching help your student finish 2018 on a high note. NLU has been working with students in Newton since 2009. They have many success stories throughout all of the villages in the city. Student centered academic coaches are committed to filling in conceptual and fundamental academic gaps, establishing solid organizational and time management skills, as well as encouraging your student’s constant desire to improve. They can work with any age student in any subject.

If you would like to learn more about the program, please visit www.nextleveluptutoring.com, email info@nextleveluptutoring.com or call 781-540-1123.


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Waban Library Center Kids’ Book Club

Join us for our next WLC Kids’ Book Club! It will be Monday, January 14 at 6:30 PM. The book will be Front Desk by Kelly Yang.

This program is a monthly book club for elementary school kids. An adult should accompany each child, BOTH of whom have read the book and are ready to participate. The book will be aimed at about a third grade reading level. However, elementary school students from any grade are welcome to join. (The child can either read the book on their own or have it read to them.) There is no commitment to attend every month, just come when your schedule allows. At the end of the meeting the group who is there will choose the next book.  Please contact Alison Corkery, Kids’ Book Club leader, at alison.corkery@gmail.com with any questions. Refreshments will be served. We look forward to seeing you at the library!

Waban Library, 1608 Beacon St, Waban, MA


Waban Library Family Game Day – December 8

Family Game Day Saturday December 8th 10:30-12:00

Many of you know this event well from our many years of providing casual, exciting entertainment for all ages. This year we have added more games that will appeal to children in fifth and sixth grades. Always a low key way to spend part of your Saturday with friends and family, Family Game Day is a great way to get out of the house and catch up over board games, crafts, and free Starbucks coffee.  And it’s free!

Waban Library, 1608 Beacon St, Waban, MA