Bushy Park PTA Newsletter

Leading with Kindness | December 4, 2019

Tonight is Family Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Night — 6:45-8:30pm

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In addition to our presenters, we are pleased to welcome friends from Running Brook Elementary in Columbia, Maryland. Please give them a warm Bushy Bear welcome.

Hearts Up Awards & Reflections

During our Winter Potluck on Monday, December 9th, 6:30-8:30pm we will be celebrating our Reflections student artists and our Hearts Up award winners.

Our Honorable Mentions and Finalists work from the Reflections art competition will be on display during the potluck. Please take a moment to congratulate them on their accomplishment.

We will also celebrate PTA members that exemplify "Leading with Kindness" with a Hearts Up Award. The recipients of the award have significantly impacted our organization and made our school and community a better place.

Running Brook Elementary: Blessings in a Backpack

From our friends at Running Brook Elementary in Columbia, Maryland -- Please share as appropriate:

"I hope this email finds you well as we approach this holiday season. Running Brook Elementary is a Title 1 school that has a large Free and Reduced Meal program population. Over half of our students rely on eating breakfast and lunch at school 5 days a week.

Each weekend we send a bag with kid friendly snacks and entrees to ensure that our students have food over the weekend. The kids love the snacks and our hard working, single parents love the brief respite that a kid friendly entree can bring.

I am amazed how this small gesture helps develop and strengthen relationships with both students and parents. My personal goal is to be able to continue to offer this program to every income qualified student who attends Running Brook.

This program is entirely funded by private donations. I hope you will consider donating to the Running Brook Blessings in a Backpack Program. It costs a little more then $100 to feed a child for the entire school year but any amount is truly appreciated.

Right now anyone who sponsors a student for an entire year ($100 or more) will receive a Vera Bradley backpack! (While supplies last) You can get yours when you drop a check (made to to Blessings in a Backpack) off at Running Brook Elementary or donate directly on-line to the Running Brook Elementary School account, at: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/blessings-in-a-backpack-inc/running-brook-elementary/bushy-park-pta. Please forward your confirmation to andrea_frank@hcpss.org and make arrangements to pick up your Thank You Vera Bradley Backpack!

We currently have Paisley, Butterfly or Grey Denim. They make great holiday gifts! Attached are pictures to help you make your decision.

Charges appear on your credit card statement as Blessings in a Backpack/Blackbaud Merchant Services.

We invite all donors to allow us to thank them publicly through our school newsletter, school functions and blasts to our community partners. We invite all corporate donors to be recognized formally though our HCPSS Partnership Program.

Warmest Regards,

Andrea Frank
Blessing in a Backpack Program Coordinator
Running Brook Elementary School"

Thank you!

Last month, we asked you to complete a brief five question feedback survey. Thank you for your your thoughtful feedback.


  • Almost everyone who completed the survey claimed membership to the PTA.
  • Events: The Bushy Bear Dash was the highest in attendance/supported, quickly followed by the Fall Book fair.
  • Programs: Before & After School Activities was the highest in attendance/supported, quickly followed by Spirit Wear.
  • We got a 4.7 out of 5 star rating.
  • Although the majority of the respondents skipped the open-ended questions/comments, those that did respond requested periodic (if not monthly) in-person PTA meetings.

Please mark your calendars for an in-person meeting Wednesday, December 18th from 6:30-7:30pm. A conference call number will be provided and the call recorded.

Here are the results in-full: https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-KYHQXPDW7

In Partnership,

Randee Wilding

BPES PTA Leadership Team, 2019-20

Randee Wilding, President

Kristin Baker, Treasurer

Voula Augustin, First Vice President

Gina Lease, Second Vice President

Michelle Sexton, Recording Secretary

Jaime Belmore, Corresponding Secretary

Support our Girls On The Run (GOTR) Team

Please join us in cheering on the Bushy Park GOTR Team on Saturday, December 7th at 8:30am.

For details, please visit: https://www.gotrcentralmd.org.

Register to run the 5K at: https://www.raceplanner.com/register/index/GOTRFall5k2019Howard.

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PWNP December: From our Kitchen with Love

We are excited to announce our December PWNP initiative, "From our Kitchen with Love."

Our Community Service Partner People Who Need People (PWNP) is collecting frozen home-made casseroles at Bushy Park on Monday, December 16th, 8:30-9:30am.


We are asking that you choose from the following three recipes:

  1. Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

  2. Vegetarian Baked Ziti

  3. Ground Beef Casserole


Please use a disposable 1/2 size aluminum pan (steam table pan).


Please label your casseroles with the type AND date prepared.


"Prepare the dish that you want to freeze. Spray your disposable aluminum pan with cooking spray so your food will not stick.

Place your prepared food into the disposable aluminum pan. Pack the container almost to the top, leaving enough room for expansion but not so much that ice crystals will have room to form. About 1/2 inch of space at the top of your pan is ideal.

Cover the pan with the matching lid or with a layer of aluminum foil. Ensure the pan is covered tightly and securely to prevent freezer burn."

Source: https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-freeze-in-disposable-aluminum-pans/

PWNP is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 2006 to serve the needs of women and children who are homeless by partnering with established charities in Maryland. For more information, please visit https://www.pwnp.org.

PWNP November: Share the Warmth Update

Thanks to your generosity, we collected over 90 blankets!

Thank you for helping us "Share the Warmth."

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FFN Winter Potluck with Damon Foreman

RSVP by tonight, December 4th at: http://evite.me/bCYtvzcc1E.

Make plans to bring your whole family to our winter potluck on Monday, December 9th, 6:30-8:30pm. We are thrilled to have Damon Foreman and other musical guests perform during our event. You don't want to miss this. Seriously. It's going to be amazing.

PLEASE NOTE: Please don't bring nuts or include them in your items. Additionally, we also ask that you list the ingredients of your dish on piece of paper. Thank you for your consideration.

If you have any questions, please email Randee Wilding at bpesptapres@gmail.com.

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The Leo Club’s Holiday Giving Tree

Can you imagine a winter without the basic necessities...hats, mittens, boots?

You can support the Bushy Park Leo Club and Howard County families in need by donating NEW hats, earmuffs, scarves, boots, mittens and gloves. Bring the items to school and hang them on the tree in the lobby during the month of December. The collection will end on Friday, December 20th

Thank you for your generosity!

New Culturally-Responsive Book Packs

The PTA's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee has purchased culturally-responsive book packs for 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. At the beginning of the year, the committee purchased culturally-responsive book packs for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades. Each book pack has two copies of twenty-five titles.

Chaired by BPES parents Christina Lawrence, Audra Miller, and Mya Frye, the committee's mission is to strive towards advocating for the uniqueness of all students.

The committee works with the executive board of the PTA to provide specific educational opportunities for every student and staff member in an effort to embrace diversity (respect others' differences) and acquire the skills, knowledge, and confidence to positively influence the larger community within and outside Bushy Park Elementary School.

Thanks to the DEI Committee for purchasing culturally-responsive book packs to donate to our school! These texts were purchased with funds earned from this year's Scholastic Book Fair and will provide both our Carson Reading Room and classroom teachers with new titles to add to the BPES collection.

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December Membership Drawing

"Be Kind" by Pat Zietlow Miller (Author), Jen Hill (Illustrator)

"From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving story explores what kindness is, and how any act, big or small, can make a difference―or at least help a friend."

The book is offered on AmazonSmile and by order at Books with a Past.

The PTA will be doing a drawing from all family memberships at the end of December.

Congratulations to November winner: The Akula Family! "The Elephant with a Knot in his Trunk" book, book bag and stuffed elephant will be delivered via kid-mail this week. This special gift was provided byour Business Partner, Mt. Airy Children's Dental Associates.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Do you have an hour to volunteer at school? Can you make an hour to volunteer? If you are able, please visit our Volunteer page for updated opportunities.

We have everything from event-specific to seasonal opportunities.

Volunteer Opportunities

Our Volunteer page is updated frequently. Please check back often.

Online Fundraiser: Mabel's Labels

From Mabel's Labels:

"Our Holiday 2019 line just went live, and parents in your organization will love supporting your fundraiser by simply purchasing all their holiday wrapping and labeling products online through Mabel’s Labels.

Supporters of your fundraiser can go online to browse the adorable festive designs, customize them as they like, then receive everything in the mail, ready for use throughout the holiday season!"

  1. Visit http://campaigns.mabelslabels.com
  2. Enter "Bushy Park Elementary PTA"
  3. Shop

That's it! The PTA will receive 20% of all sales and you will know that your towels, lunch bags and water bottles will always be labeled!

This fundraiser will close at the end of December 2019.

Amount raised as of 12/4: $165.98

Number of orders as of 12/4: 16

International Night Participation

International Night (Thursday, January 23, 2020) is an evening where we come together as a school to share our unique heritage with each other. A collection of countries will be represented and WE NEED YOU!

Your participation comes in the form of populating a table with anything that represents your country! Think poster board with statistics about your people; dressing you and your kid(s) in traditional outfits; sharing a favorite food! Anything that communicates what your country means to you will work.

If you want to share your culture with us, please fill out the following:


We will put you on our e-mail list and let you know additional details as they come available.

Upcoming Events

December 2019

4 FFN STEM Night 6:45-8:30pm

9 FFN Winter Potluck Dinner with Damon Foreman 6:30-8:30pm

12 Ident-A-Kid Photos

18 PTA Meeting (in-person and conference call) 6:30-7:30pm

20 Spirit Day: Pajama Day

January 2020

9 PTA (Online) Meeting 7pm

10 Bingo Night 6:30pm

13 FFN Story-time & Snacks 7pm

23 International Night 6pm

Website PTA Calendar: https://www.bushyparkpta.org/calendar

Facebook PTA Events: https://www.facebook.com/pg/BushyParkPTA/events/

The Bushy Park Elementary PTA would like to acknowledge our community partners and their generous support. Thank you!
Become a Community Sponsor

Are you a business owner or a sports league? The Bushy Park Elementary PTA invites you to become a business or sports sponsor. Our community sponsor program provides an opportunity to support the staff and students of Bushy Park Elementary.

Bushy Park Elementary PTA

Our PTA is here to build a bridge between home and school, integrating the efforts of parents, teachers, staff and our community. It is an integral part of the Bushy Park community by offering many activities and programs to our families.

Our mission is to promote a positive partnership among our educators, children, and community-at-large through advocacy efforts and programs focused on the education and well-being of our children.

Our vision is simple. Lead with kindness and let everything follow.