Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 25, Issue 14, December 8, 2017

From The PFC Co-Presidents...

Happy Friday Thunderbird Families!

We want to thank the parent community again for all your fundraising efforts in these first months of the school year. We know there has been A LOT of focus on fundraising so far and we are very grateful for the support. Your donations make it possible for the PFC to fund salaries for our 13 PFC employees, and pay for other important enrichment programs like art, music, literacy, physical education, and technology.

As a way of saying thank you, the PFC is sponsoring a school-wide Hot Cocoa Hootenanny on Monday, December 11 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room. Hot drinks, holiday treats and fun activities are planned. We hope this is the first of several events this year where we can all come together as a school community just for the fun of it! Many thanks to VP of Community Support Becky Urbano for organizing this fun family event. We hope to see you there!

Thank you to Angela Engel and Kalkidan Gebreyohannes (TK/K Chairs) for their hard work organizing tours for prospective Thornhill families. Thanks also go out to the many parents who have volunteered as tour leaders. Our last tour happens next Wednesday and there are a few more parent volunteers needed to lead tours. Please consider volunteering – it’s a great way to show your Thunderbird pride.

We hope everyone has a great weekend,

Shauna & Shanyn


OUSD Board Meeting/Budget Discussions

The Oakland Unified School District will hold its regular board meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 13, and discussions about the budget situation will dominate the proceedings. For those wishing to voice their concerns or suggestions in advance of the Budget vote, all are welcome to attend: 5:00 p.m. in the La Escuelita, Great Room, 1050 Second Ave., Oakland.

Please be aware that the board will be voting on the final budget on this date.

Following the final vote, you are invited to a brief meeting with our school board representative, Nina Senn, and Mr. Daubenspeck on Monday December 18 at 8:40 a.m. The purpose of the meeting is to learn more about OUSD Budget impacts to Thornhill. Questions can be directed to Ms. Senn on that morning. Please email if you plan on attending so we can get a sense of the number of parents to expect.


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Come Join The Hot Cocoa Hootenanny on December 11!

The Hot Cocoa Hootenanny is almost here so mark your calendars for Monday, December 11 from 6-7:30pm in the Multi-Purpose Room.

We will have hot cocoa with all the fixings, plus tea and a few treats as well. On the screen will be an all-ages show to get you into the winter and holiday spirit. Come for an hour or come for 5 minutes, but come and share a moment with your fellow Thunderbirds. Costumes, reusable cups, PJs, and floor pillows/camp chairs are all encouraged.

This event is sponsored by the PFC and is FREE!! If you are feeling generous, consider bringing canned food for the canned food drive. Or if you feel so inclined, bring a few cookies or treats to share. We will make room - on the table and in our tummies.

Questions? Let us know at


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The Annual Fundraiser Auction – Tickets on sale!

Preparations for this year’s auction - “Heroes and Villains” are in full swing. Mark your calendars for Saturday February 24, 2018 at the Ascension Cathedral Community Center, 4700 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now! And the earlier you purchase your tickets, the less those tickets will cost.

For example, tickets are...

· $119 per couple until December 24 (Early bird special, $60 per single ticket)

· $129 per couple from December 25 until December 31 ($65 per single ticket)

· $159 per couple from January 1, 2018 ($80 per single ticket)

· $50 to sponsor a teacher

When you purchase of your tickets, you'll choose between meat, fish or a vegetarian dish for dinner.

Remember: You must purchase tickets in advance of the event! We won't be selling them at the door.

And don't forget: anyone can attend: parents, faculty and friends of Thornhill, so bring a friend, the grandparents, or whoever you like! The event runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., so plan accordingly!

Auction Donations: We need them! The form is up and ready to go on our website.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact the Auction Committee at:


Annual Thornhill Food Drive

Hello Thunderbirds!

It's time for our annual food drive to support the Alameda County Food Bank. Every year we see the big collection bins in the lobby filled with food that we distribute to the food bank with the goal of creating a hunger-free community.

Here are a few facts about the Alameda County Food Bank:

  • It has been in business since 1985 with a mission to have a hunger free community
  • It’s an organization that provides food for 240 non-profit agencies in Alameda County
  • The ACFB distributes enough food for about 380,000 meals weekly

Here are some ideas of what to donate:

  • Non-perishable items
  • Canned fruits and vegetables, or canned fish/meat/chicken
  • Bags or boxes of rice
  • Dried pasta
  • Boxes of cereal
  • Peanut butter and other spreads

No glass jars, please!

The food bins are in the Thornhill lobby now and the food drive will continue through the second week of January.

Yours truly,

Zoe Howard, 4th grade, and Diego Tisnado, 5th grade

Community Service Officers


Support Thornhill While Holiday Shopping

What’s on your holiday shopping list?

Well, whatever it might be, we have several partnerships set up that give a percentage of your purchases back to Thornhill, including:

· Shutterfly: Shop through and Thornhill PFC receives 13 percent. NOTE: we have $10 off coupon codes, email to get a code.

· Amazon Smile: Start at and set your charity to Thornhill Parent-Faculty Club and 0.5 percent comes back to Thornhill.

· Primary: Shop through and 15 percent goes directly back to Thornhill.

BONUS: Spend $50 and enter code SCHOOLPJS17 to receive a free set of pajamas.

· eScrip: Register your credit cards through and choose Thornhill Parent Faculty Club as a beneficiary and Thornhill PFC gets up to 5 percent back when you shop at Lucky, Piedmont Grocery, and several local restaurants.

Questions? Contact Erin Fredrick at


From Thornhill To Montera And Beyond

One of our former students, Sophia Bertoldo, who is now in high school here in Oakland, has written an op-ed piece for the East Bay Times about her experience at Montera Middle School. Sophia hopes that her article will cast a good light upon Montera, and let the parents of prospective students know that their children will get a good education there.

With some of our students heading into middle school next year, I thought you would find Sophia's article interesting and inspiring. You can read it by visiting this link.


Mr. Daubenspeck


Tips For A Sustainable Holiday...

Thornhill's Sustainability Team wants to offer some easy and helpful tips to make your holiday season as waste-free as possible!

  • Give “Non-Stuff” Gifts! (experiences, services, theater tickets, memberships, classes, donations, etc) Give More = Wrap Less
  • Did you know that most conventional wrapping paper cannot be recycled? If you are wrapping up a gift, consider using No Waste Gift Wrapping/Packaging (recycle newspapers or magazines, fabric, etc)
  • This holiday season, go No Crumb Wasted: reduce food waste and keep your meals from going stale!

More tips to be shared weekly through the holidays. If you have a great holiday recycling tip, please submit to:

Thank you for sharing in the spirit of a Green Holiday!


Library News...

The days are flying by here in the library. The first day of winter is less than two weeks away! Every year I look forward to sharing holiday stories with our students and discussing the many different traditions and ways we celebrate. The stories we share help us remember that our gifts of friendship, love, and understanding for each other might just be the most important thing during the holidays!


It was an amazing week of donations. In fact, it was the most ever!

Thank you to Ryan and Mason Pennacchio and family for donating these titles in The Imaginary Veterinary series: The Sasquatch Escape, The Lonely Lake Monster, The Rain Dragon Rescue, The Order of the Unicorn, The Griffin's Riddle, and The Fairy Swarm.

Hannes and Anna Doeppner and family donated some more books: Keeper of the Lost Cities and Lilly and Fin. Many thanks to the Doeppners and the Pennacchios for donating to the library, year after year.

TK student Kian Spina and family donated nearly 60 books, Magna Tiles, and an iPad! Wow!! The titles donated by the Spinas included: Snow & Rose; Princess Cora and the Crocodile; Stolen Words; The Lotterys Plus One; The Glass Town Game; Refugee; Ballet Cat, The Totally Secret Secret; The Wolf the Duck & the Mouse; Tortuga Squad, Kids Saving Sea Turtles in Costa Rica; Mercy Watson, Something Wonky This Way Comes; The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation; and The Curious Guide to Things That Aren't.

Please thank these families for their generosity to the Thornhill Library when you see them, and many thanks from Mrs. Hennessy and the students!

Check out the Thornhill Library Amazon Wish List if you would like to donate to the library before the end of the year.

Happy Reading,
Maura Hennessy

Thornhill Library

Thornhill Library Blog

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Big Thanks To Kian And His Family For All Their Donations!


Dates To Remember...

If you've gotten this far but still need a reminder of what's coming up on the Thornhill calendar, well...Here are some dates to keep in mind. Remember, you can always get information by visiting the calendar page of the school website.

  • Monday, Dec. 11: Hot Cocoa Hootenanny: 6-7:30 p.m.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 19: Winter Concert: 9 a.m.

  • Dec. 25 - Jan. 5: Winter Break (no school)
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    About The Thornhill 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 information.

    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 and items not related to Thornhill are not accepted.

    THANK YOU to everyone who submits articles and to PFC Board Members, Teachers, VPs of Communications Erin Proudfoot and Pamela Schwartz, PFC Co-Presidents Shauna Fithian and Shanyn Lloyd-Gibson and Principal Steve Daubenspeck. Member of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).