Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 24. Issue 5 September 23, 2016

Dear Thornhill Families,

Thank you so much for coming to the Walkathon. It was so great to see students and families doing their laps, supporting their school and being a community. We are so fortunate to have events like this that bring us together. What a special school we have!

This year we have been fortunate to be able to add a few more music classes before school. Thornhill will now offer Jazz Band on Tuesday mornings. And Pope, who teaches our African Dance classes, will be offering drumming for 4th and 5th graders on Wednesday mornings. You can find out more information by contacting our enrichment team.

Next week at this time we will have 24 students visiting from Fengshulu School in Hangzhou, China. I really appreciate the 12 Thunderbird families that will be hosting our visitors for five days. We know our visitors will have a great experience with you. The visiting students will be in 5th grade classes on October 3rd and 4th and then return to China on the 5th. I really believe that our Thunderbirds and our visiting students have a great opportunity here to connect as global citizens and cultivate relationships that will create a better world.

Thank you for all your support and making Thornhill a great place.


Mr. Daubenspeck

Welcome Brunch

Please join us at our upcoming events to welcome our visiting Chinese exchange students. Thornhill is hosting 24 fifth and sixth-graders from Hangzhou, China, as well as two teachers and an assistant principal, from Sept. 30 - Oct. 5. We will have an informal welcome and greeting at the school for the students once they arrive, around 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30. This will be a brief ceremony, as the students will have been traveling many hours. We’ll follow that with a welcome brunch on Sat. Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Please join us for one or both events. And a big thank you to all the Thornhill families that are hosting our visitors.

Welcome Brunch

Saturday, Oct. 1st, 10am-12pm

5880 Thornhill Drive

Oakland, CA

RSVPs are enabled for this event.


Hi Parents,

Just a quick update on our Back to School Donation Drive. We are currently at $26,000 -- great job! Our overall goal for the drive is $160,000, so we have a ways to go, but luckily there is still time. The fundraising drive will run through October 14th so please keep those donations coming!

The reason we ask for this parent funding so early in the year is to pay the salaries of our teacher aides, P.E. teacher, technology teacher, and librarian, as well as additional staff. Without your generous donations, we would not be able to provide these important experiences for our children.

Here is the link to access more information and our online donation form.

Please be sure to include your child’s name, teacher and grade so we can deliver your gifts.

Christine & Angela

Walkathon Update

Hi Thunderbird parents!

It was great to see so many of you at the Walkathon Saturday! Thanks for participating and supporting our school. We had a sporting good time and hope you did too!

One of the best things about the Walkathon is that it highlights the strong community that we are lucky to have at Thornhill. This event takes lots of effort, so we owe a huge thank you to everyone who made the day a success - parent volunteers, alumni walkers, teacher participants and of course all of the students with their exceptional fundraising efforts!

And the fun’s not over yet! Here are a few follow-up messages and reminders…

1) The Walkathon is over but you still have time to raise more money – you have until October 28 to make those donations count toward fund-raising prizes. Everyone with $100 in donations gets a Walkathon water bottle, and if you raise $250 in donations you’ll get an Olympic poster. Plus the class with the highest number of fundraising participants (of any amount) will earn a class party! Please make checks out to Thornhill PFC; mail them to Thornhill Elementary School; Attn: Walkathon; 5880 Thornhill Dr, Oakland CA 94611. If you’re not sure if you have outstanding donations, send us an email and we can check for you.

2) If you find your walker’s lap card in the laundry pile or under the bed, please put it into the gold Walkathon box in the office – we want to count all the laps to see which class walked the farthest. The winning class will earn a class party! Right now Mrs. Bernard’s class is the team to beat with 537 laps walked (that’s 134 miles!).

Thanks again to everyone for a great day!

Christa, Jen and Silvana

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Library News

The Wishlist

For the past three years, Thornhill has not been on the list of schools to receive Measure G tax funds for OUSD school libraries. This year, unfortunately, is no different. Our wonderful library program continues with your generous support through PFC fundraising initiatives, the book fair, and cash donations to buy books and supplies. We couldn’t do it without you!

Thornhill students love to read and, of course, they have an insatiable appetite for the new titles. Thornhill library has an Amazon Wishlist to make it even easier for you to donate a book! I encourage you to buy from a local, independent bookseller if you can. Each new book is proudly placed on the shelves with your student’s name on the bookplate. It’s a Thornhill tradition!

Author Visits

A Great Good Place for Books is bringing us more wonderful author visits this Fall. Local author Dev Petty will visit with TK-2nd grade students on October 18th, and the legendary Jon Agee will be here to visit with TK-3rd grade students on November 10th. Stay tuned for more info on these exciting visits!

Happy Reading,
Maura Hennessy

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Shoo The Flu!

Our school will be hosting a Shoo the Flu Vaccine Day!

All students and staff are eligible to receive a flu vaccine through Shoo the Flu. The vaccine is free, regardless of insurance, and is the same vaccine given at any doctor’s office. Due to a recent change in national recommendations, the nasal spray flu vaccine (FluMist) will NOT be available this year. This means all health care providers and Shoo the Flu will have only flu shots available. Getting a flu shot is strongly recommended and Shoo the Flu will have enough flu shots for all students with completed consent forms.

Consent forms are being sent home the week of September 19th. A Shoo the Flu Vaccine Day will be held here at Thornhill on Tuesday, October 11th. All you will need to do is complete the green consent form. Participation is optional - only students with a completed consent form will be vaccinated.

For more information visit

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Calling All Gardeners!

We hope you can join us to help revitalize the garden areas at Thornhill School.

As the first step in revitalizing the Thornhill garden areas, we are organizing a few times for parents to weed the garden beds and containers in the main garden area and in the back. We will also be bringing in new soil to improve the soil conditions on October 1st, and need to have all of the weeds removed before then. The classes will start planting in the garden areas in October.

Please sign up to join us for weeding the garden areas between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, or Friday, Sept. 30. Please also sign up if you are available to help move soil between 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday Oct. 1st. You can sign up through Sign Up Genius at this link.

If you are joining us for the weeding, please meet behind the portables at "Grannie Annie's Garden" and bring gardening gloves if you have them. If you will be joining us for the soil improvement, please bring a shovel and/or wheelbarrow if you have them.

Please contact Alexis Lavine ( or Erica Pedersen ( with any questions.

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eScrip Online Mall

eScrip’s Online Mall is your way to make a difference every time you shop online! It’s totally free and simple to use!

There are over 800 participating online retailers! When you shop, our PFC receives a percentage of the sale from the merchant. You pay the same prices, shop anonymously and help our school–all with a few clicks!

If you do ANY online shopping at all, PLEASE bookmark the eScrip online mall right now, and don’t forget to install ForgetMeNot. (This app is so cool – when you go to a store’s website it tells you at the top of the page how much you will earn for Thornhill.)

Any questions? Contact Amy Teeling:

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Dads Club News and Events

Dads Club T-shirts are still available by special order! Order yours directly online. Each shirt is only $20. This is a tax-deductible donation drive with all proceeds directly benefitting the school. Limited time offer! Act before September 30th and help us make our goal of selling 50 shirts.

Dads Club ran a very successful Walkathon BBQ so thanks to all our members who dropped in to help. Big thanks to Sean Parkin for running the show, and special thanks to gourmet chef Joe Schnell who upped our grilling skills to new level! Shout-outs to all our volunteers incl. Jason Harrison, Charles Heath, Carl Holmes, Nate Keller, Derek McDonald, Aerin Moore, Murali Moorthy, Thomas Vaquerano, David Wagner, Paul Walsh, and if I missed anyone, you too!

Thornhill Movie Night is back! SAVE THE DATE: Friday, October 21st in the MPR from 7-9PM. This is a “parents’ night out” event so don’t miss it! Plan to drop the kids off for a very special Halloween themed program. More details coming soon…

Thornhill Movie Night

Friday, Oct. 21st, 7-9pm

Thornhill Elementary, Multipurpose Room

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Save the date! Claremont Middle School Future Families Open House

Saturday, October 22

2:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Come learn about Claremont by seeing the school and hearing from students, faculty, and administrators. Great for families of 4th and 5th graders. More info to come, but mark your calendars now!

Latino Literature Read-In

A Citywide Reading Celebration, October 3 – 7!

In a city as diverse as Oakland, students need opportunities to see themselves – and all of their classmates – in the books they read. During the week of October 3, schools across the city will celebrate Latino writers and illustrators with a range of reading-based activities, including:

• Volunteer read-alouds in classrooms
• Family Literacy Nights
• Cross-grade buddy reading

Last year our 1st Annual brought 150 volunteer readers into 60 schools across Oakland, and we hope to top that this year.

Be a reader at one of our schools the week of October 3 – 7. Sign up here.

To get your school involved in the Read-In, fill out our form here.

Help us spread the word: Schools and volunteers, please share your Read-In experience on social media (using #OaklandReads and #OaklandLeemos), and be sure to email photos to

Questions about the Read-In? Please email Oakland School Volunteers Program Coordinator Lilly Smith (

About the PFC Newsletter

The Thornhill Parent-Faculty Club (PFC) eNews team publishes this weekly newsletter each Friday in the school year to communicate school, PFC and OUSD news, events and info. Email submissions to our Newsletter Chair, Rex Crum, at by 3 P.M. Wednesday for approval, including Word or Text files with links and no formatting and photos preferably as 150 x 150, 72 dpi JPG or GIFs only (not embedded in email or word file). Submissions may be edited for spelling, grammar, brevity and clarity. Advertising is not accepted. THANK YOU to everyone who submits articles and to PFC Board Members, Teachers, VP of Communications Mavis Scanlon, PFC Co-Presidents Shauna Fithian and Shanyn Lloyd-Gibson and Principal Steve Daubenspeck. Member of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).