Co-President’s letter

Dear Zervas Families:

It’s hard to believe that Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving is on the horizon. We had a lot of activities in October and many people to thank for their contributions. Thanks to Jenn Martin who worked very hard with her counterparts at Angier to organize the A-Z Walk. It was a fantastic day for a walk and the kids enjoyed some dancing and games as well. Thanks to all the parents who came out to walk with the kids. The day ran very smoothly because of you. Another great season of kindergarten soccer has been in full swing this month. Debra Stump, Matt Goldstein and Scott Goddess do an amazing job organizing this program but they are feeling ready to move on. We are looking for some volunteers who are willing to take over from them. For the spring season, we need a few people to take over equipment management from Scott (getting the goals and other equipment to and from the fields on Saturdays, so perfect for some parents who are going to be at soccer anyway). For the fall 2014 season, we need some program organizers to take over from Debra and Matt. The current organizers are great teachers and can show you everything you need to know to run the program successfully, so please let us know if you are interested in finding out more about these important volunteer positions.

The Halloween Dance was the social event of the season for the younger crowd and the kids had a blast dancing, doing arts and crafts, and making mummies. A big thank you to Julie Kay and Rachel Conroy (and their families) for the all the hard work they put into organizing the dance, and to all the parents who helped out that night. For the more mature crowd, we had our own fabulous social event this past weekend with the Destination Dinner. Svet Levin and Erika Pond have done a terrific job organizing this memorable event for the last few years, and our heartfelt thanks go out to them as they pass the torch to Barbara Talvitie and Kim Neal. Many thanks as well to Tracy and Marc Miller who so graciously opened their home to a large group of parents for the cocktail party which kicked off the evening, and to Barbara and Kristian Talivitie who warmly welcomed parents at the end of the evening for the dessert party. And certainly a big thank you to all of our hosts who put on such a wide variety of wonderful dinners.

We also need to thank the parents who have been hard at work behind the scenes taking care of important PTO jobs. Meryl Miller once again worked tirelessly to produce the Zervas directory which keeps us all connected. This year she did all the legwork to move us to an electronic version of the directory in addition to producing the paper version. Sara Brown collected and kept track of the PTO dues (if you did not get a chance to pass yours in, you can still do so by putting a check for $30 in the PTO box in the main office). Leigh Gilligan organized the mini-grants program which awards small grants to teachers for curriculum enrichment. Edie Knight is managing the library volunteers, and Alice Wang and Bindiya Stancampiano are coordinating the room parents. Madhusudan Natarajan has been a huge help in managing our website, calendar, and weekly Zmails, and Bret Harsham has been updating our message board. Liz Beckett and Elizabeth Graham do a phenomenal job putting together the Creative Arts and Science program, and Amy Behrens and Jacqueline Butera have put a lot of time and energy into formulating activities for the Respect for Human Differences Committee. We also are grateful to Lisa DePalma, Carla Brigham, and Jen Harter for all their hard work organizing the Understanding our Differences program.

We hope to see many of you at Newton North on Thursday night for the presentation by Sarah Ward on executive function skills. The Zervas PTO and the Newton PAC are co-sponsoring this event and Lisa DePalma has been hard at work organizing the evening. It’s inspiring to see so many parents offering their time and talents to make Zervas a strong and vibrant community and we welcome new volunteers at any time and in whatever capacity you can help.

Helen Haley and Amy Waksler

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