February 21, 2018
A message from our principal, Mrs. Fadeji
Dear Penngrove Families,
Oh, I have so much to say yet honestly, feel somewhat overwhelmed to the point of not knowing where to start. Ever been there? I sit here this evening, in the comfort of my home watching my sleeping baby boy, thinking of all this world has going on. Like you, I wonder how to help, what to focus on, where to spend my energy, and I think of a million things I can do, ways I can make our community stronger, areas I want to change or do a better job focusing on...the list goes on. It seems like my hopeful list of "to dos" gets longer and longer with each passing moment.
And then tomorrow comes. And tomorrow is filled with kids who need hugs. Students who forgot their snacks or maybe even their math notebook. Little faces who didn't remember to brush their teeth, are nervous to ask for help, want to be first in line. Kindergartners who left out letters in the alphabet, 6th graders who worry about junior high. Students who daydream in class thinking of a difficult family situation. A 3rd grader who just lost a pet, a 5th grader who struggles to make friends. I think of the six year old piecing together reading while overhearing way too much grown up talk, the 4th grader who is still upset from a wall ball game at recess. These are the things that can haunt me if I let them.
Our sweet little country school is filled with so many stories. Stories that deserve more. More support, more love, more kindness. For every forgotten snack, there is a staff member who bought an extra box of granola bars at Target last night. For every student looking for a friend, there is a parent sharing encouraging words of wisdom. For the 3rd grader who lost a pet, there's a counseling office with extra tissue and a plethora of stuffed animals. For the students working so hard to master reading, there are night time snuggles and good night stories. There are daily successes, huge wins, and even the smallest of accomplishments that earn continual positive praise.
I guess in times like this when it's difficult to hear the news, hard to talk to kids about life, when calendars are way too full...one thing we can all do is to stop. Just stop and be. Be present with each other, with your children, and with your families. We can listen to our little ones. We can harness their innocence and keep them young for a while longer. We can put down our phones and iPads and pick up a book or grab some fresh air together. Heck, we can even have dance parties in our kitchens and eat ice cream for dinner.
Last week, on Valentine's Day, our staff spent time in downtown Petaluma together as a team. We sipped lattes at Della Fattoria, nibbled on pastries, then moseyed on over to Copperfield's Bookstore to pick out some classroom treasures. Glamorous, huh? Don't get me wrong, we had the longest "to do" list back at the ranch. IEPs, SSTs, conferences, report cards, team discussions, new curriculum implementations, class placements for the new year, emails, reflections on best teaching practices, safety conversations, the list goes on. But for that afternoon, we chose connection. We chose to stop and just be. As I parked my car in the parking structure and walked to meet the group, the almost hidden sign pictured below caught my eye. It was subtle and nestled in between some lovely flowers. It read, "Now more than ever...be kind."
At Penngrove, we want your children to be academically strong. We want them to be socially mature. We strive to foster friendships, to teach confidence, and to strengthen skills that will make life long learners out of each and every one of our students. But above all else, when I stop and just be, I realize that all I really want for each and every one of our 399 students, is that they will now, more than ever, be kind.
What will you change? Where will you carve out more time? What statement can you make to show your children that you are never too busy, too consumed, too tired. They need us now. We know they are resilient and they likely won't cry out for help. But I'll cry for them. I'll beg. I'll keep fighting. I'll keep going until each and every one of them knows they are loved, they are treasured, and that they are our hope. I hope you'll join me. Because now, more than ever, they need us.
What's Happening at Penngrove?
When was the last time you checked your child's devices? Photos? Texts? Social Media? Be in their spaces!
2018 Penngrove Talent Show
The Talent Show is coming up! This year's show will be held at Kenilworth Junior High on Saturday, March 10 from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Even if your child is not a participant, it is a fun event to attend and see all our Penngrove students perform!
Loads of baked goods and drinks will be for sale at the show and all proceeds will go directly to Outdoor Education for the class of 2019! Thank you for your support.
Original Works Art Fundraiser coming soon!
Be on the lookout for Original Works order forms coming soon!
Parent Teacher Conference Reminder
BOX TOPS NEWS!
Thank you for your wonderful submissions! On December 15th our school received a Box Top check in the amount of $613.40!
We are halfway to our goal for the school year so please keep clipping!
Did you know that you can link your Safeway card/Just for U account to Penngrove school and earn digital box tops automatically?
Go to www.safeway.com/boxtops and enroll today!
See's Candy Fundraiser
Best of all, proceeds go directly to Outdoor Education fundraising for the class of 2019! Anyone can order: parents, grandparents, and neighbors too. Thank you for your continued support of Penngrove programs.
Orders are due next Wednesday, February 28. Candy will be delivered the week before we leave for Spring Break, and in time for Easter!
Spring Photo Session
Introducing Penngrove's Happy Healthy Club
Every other Tuesday at lunch, no matter how beautiful the weather or alluring the recess game, a small (and growing) band of kids forgo some of their recess time to gather together in Room 2 and share ideas about ways to make Penngrove Elementary a happier, healthier place for all. It's called the Happy, Healthy Club and it is powered by the boundless energy, innate compassion and unique insight of more than 20 kids from all grade levels.
The Happy, Healthy Club is a new club at Penngrove Elementary and it's mission is to provide a place for kids to learn about healthy choices, collaborate with each other about what that means for their school and feel empowered to make small changes in their school community that will have a big impact on improving health and well-being for everyone.
The club spent the first half of February turning the focus of Valentine's Day from candy and treats to a celebration of the heart and heart health. They shared ideas with their classmates about increasing fruits and vegetables and whole grains and adding physical activity each day. The club focuses on all aspects of health, especially the importance of happiness, so it was sure to include other important elements of heart health like finding gratitude, showing kindness and fostering friendship.
March is National Nutrition Month so there is sure to be some healthy food activities across campus, but until then, they are focusing their energy on raising awareness about the scientifically-proven health benefits of being kind. T-shirts, dance parties, healthy food tastings, games that increase fun and physical activity. These are just a few of the things the kids want to do this year.
Every meeting includes a healthy snack. Ms. Fadeji and Ms. Benedetti generously give up their lunch break to discuss ideas with the kids. All are welcome to the Happy, Healthy Club, including parents and teachers. The next meeting is Tuesday, March 6th at 12:30 p.m. Please feel free to come and join the conversation and the fun.
DEADLINE TOMORROW! Kindergarten Priority Registration
Westside Chorus Festival
From the PTA ..
Parents, it’s that time of year to step up and get involved! Being on the FOPPTA Executive Board is such an amazing experience. You get to work with a wonderful group of parents, make decisions that truly affect Penngrove and your kids, while learning the inner workings of a national nonprofit organization. Below are the board positions we will be holding elections for during our March PTA meeting. If you or someone you know seems right for the job please send your interest or recommendation to Afadeji@petk12.org.
VP of Parent Outreach
-monthly PTA communication to parent community
-yearly Honorary Service Award coordination
-keep meetings running smoothly
-advise board on bylaw restrictions as decisions are made
-review and oversee the revision of bylaws
We are also looking for volunteers for the following positions next school year.
- Back to school barbecue committee
- 1 photographer per grade level to help yearbook staff
- Logo Wear Chairman
- Financial secretary to aid treasurer position (good start of have interest in becoming treasurer in the future)
- Recess renaissance volunteers! We are always looking for more parents to come out during recess and run a game. There are many recess tools that cannot be brought out without a parent to supervise. Please email email@example.com if you are interested.
Next PTA Meeting
Ice Cream Social
Mark Your Calendar for the Ice Cream Social! Join the PTA on Friday, April 6th starting at 6:00 for an ice cream social family fun night in the Penngrove Multi. The theme is a 1950's style sock hop with lots of prizes and even more fun. If you are available to volunteer to scoop ice cream and clean up, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.