Thornhill Elementary PFC Newsletter

Volume 25, Issue 16, December 22, 2017

Editor's Note...

Well, the first half of the 2017-18 school year is at an end. Maybe it has gone quickly for you. Maybe you feel like you had to push and shove your kids out the door every school day morning of the last four months. Whatever the case may be...You now have your kids at home for (probably) every minute of the next two weeks.

Can't wait for January 8 to come around now, can you?

Whoever you are, you certainly have some plans for over the Winter Break. Maybe you're heading to the airport for the proverbial holiday visit to grandma's house?

Maybe you're finally going to get around to binge watching "Stranger Things" on Netflix?

Maybe you're taking your kids to see "The Nutcracker" this weekend? Maybe you're taking them to see "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" this weekend?

Maybe you're doing both of those things, and then making an awesome prime rib on Christmas Eve? And now, you know what action awaits me before Christmas Day on Monday. That Irish Coffee on Christmas morning will be very well deserved.

Whatever you do, keep an eye on the Big Picture, but don't forget the details that make the Big Picture possible.

Merry Christmas. A Happy Belated Hanukkah. And Happy Holidays to one and all.

(And, in case of interest...The photo above is called "Earthrise", and was taken by astronaut William Anders on the Apollo 8 mission to orbit the Moon in 1968. On Apollo 8, Anders, Jim Lovell and Frank Borman became the first people from Earth to travel so far into space. The mission was highlighted by Anders' photo, and the message the astronauts sent back to Earth on Christmas Eve, 49 years ago.)

Rex Crum

Newsletter Editor


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Annual Fundraiser Auction – Saturday, February 24, 2018

Still looking for a perfect holiday gift? Give tickets to our 32nd Annual Fundraiser on Saturday February 24 from 6-11 p.m. at the Ascension Cathedral Community Center

4700 Lincoln Avenue in Oakland. The theme of this year's auction is "Heroes and Villains."

Tickets are on sale here - discounted pricing available through December 24.


The auction would not be possible without the generous donations from Thornhill families, friends and the community! This year, we're asking each family again to focus on getting at least one thing to donate to the auction. The PDF form is here - send it to anyone that might have something to donate!

Want to help by calling a list of businesses for donations? Awesome! We could really use the help - fill out this super short google form to let us know you can help pick up the phone.

How to do it...

You can make a donation online by filling out this online form and fill it out with your thing. Bring it back to school and leave it in the office. (Not the wine. That's illegal. Contact us for pickup.)

All proceeds go to the kids, and it's also a great way to get to know Thornhill families, and/or publicize your business!


Many families create/host “Pay-to-Play” parties. These are events where many people can sign up at a set price per person and then everyone enjoys the party together. The costs are usually minimal (food/drink) so that most of the money goes to Thornhill. Start thinking of your fun party!

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


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Popcorn Sale Results Are In...

Congratulations to the winners of Thornhill's Popcorn Sale:

Matai Childs--2nd Grade

Clayon Urbano--5th Grade

Nyla Thompson--2nd Grade

The top two selling classes were Ms. Formoso's 2nd Grade and Ms. Gustafson's 4th grade!

Student prizes will be awarded before our winter break, and class parties will be scheduled in 2018.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated! Together we raised a total of $3,934.50 of much-needed funds for our students!

Thanks also to all our parent volunteers who helped distribute the popcorn.

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!!

Sandy Lowe and Becky Urbano


Thornhill's Annual 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


Enrichment Class Registration

With the new year comes a new round of after-school enrichment classes. If you are interested in signing your child up for one the classes, registration begins on January 8, with the spring session scheduled to begin on February 5. You can find more information on the enrichment class board in the school lobby and on our website in January.


Thornhill Is Launching A Parent-Buddy Program

For some of you, your first days at Thornhill are not so long ago. For others, it may seem like a lifetime has passed since you first came to the school.

We know that it can be challenging to get the lay of the land in terms of where to go for information, how to volunteer, who to ask about just how in the heck you are supposed to park around the school. This can be even harder for families who start at Thornhill mid-year.

With all that in mind, we are initiating a Parent-Buddy Program to help bridge the gaps and ensure a smooth transition for these families into our community.

We are looking for a Parent-Buddy Volunteer to represent each grade. What does this entail?

  • As new families enter Thornhill, you will be notified by the office staff and will then initiate contact with the family, letting them know that you are their Buddy.
  • You will be provided with a welcome packet that contains basic information/FAQs that you will give to new parents.
  • Beyond that, you can check in on the family periodically, make sure they're signed up for Konstella and the PFC newsletter, ask them how they're doing, plan a casual playdate, etc.
  • It's a great way to connect with new families!

If you would like to volunteer, please email:

Thank you for your support!


More 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!

Donate: It has happened to everyone – You receive a gift you don’t like, but you keep it anyway. After the holidays, consider donating any unwanted gifts, as well as older clothes and products that were replaced by a new gift or purchase.

Buy Used: Instead of purchasing new gifts, consider shopping used. This is especially useful for age-specific toys that kids grow out of quickly. Check out Craigslist, local shops like Lauren's Closet or Sleep Play Love to find great deals on unique and unusual items for friends and family. You’ll be saving money and reducing your carbon footprint at the same time!


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Library News

Happy Holidays! I received some great news from our PFC President Shauna Fithian this week: The Thornhill Library will receive a $5,000 grant from the Tarbell Family Foundation. This is a wonderful surprise and such a windfall for our students and the library! This grant will go a long way in refreshing our library collection and updating our technology.


Thank you to Fred Pullman and family for donating You’re Amazing, Anna Hibiscus! and Dog Man and Cat Kid. Check out the Thornhill Library Amazon Wish List if you would like to donate to the library.

Happy Reading,
Maura Hennessy

Thornhill Library

Thornhill Library Blog


Compassionate Kids' Club Returns To Thornhill!

Shortly before Thanksgiving break, a small but mighty group of dedicated fourth graders wanting to make a positive difference in the lives of others got together to form the Compassionate Kids' Club. The purpose of the club is to perform acts of kindness.

When asked what concerns they had, students expressed many areas of interest, some of which we will try to target from now until March. The areas were to help orphans, homeless, or those affected by hurricanes and fires, and to stop bullying.

The first project has been to put together "packages" with items of necessity. For example toothbrushes, snacks, water bottles, soap, caps etc. Each student contributed what they could and created a holiday greeting card to accompany their items. These will be donated to the Bay Area Rescue Mission, which serves homeless individuals.

If you'd like to help, please see the box marked "Compassionate Kids Club" in the school lobby.

Students give up their lunch time recess, to meet with me and work on projects. Let's hear it for Alex, Alice, Fiona, Jaden, Lila, Miles, Sabrina, Talia, Yiyi and Zoe!

We wish everyone a healthy, hopeful, peaceful holiday season and New Year!

Thank you for your support.
Keiko Nobusada


Operation Dignity

The third-grade girls in Girl Scouts Troop 31187 are working with Operation Dignity over the holiday season to collect new socks for homeless veterans. Each year around the holidays, the girls work with a local charity or organization to give back.

This season, their efforts will help Operation Dignity, the Emeryville-based nonprofit with a mission to house and support veterans. New socks are among the top items on Operation Dignity's wish list; clean, dry and warm socks can help prevent frostbite and foot infections. We've set up a collection box in the lobby, and hope Thornhill families can help us by donating one or more pairs of socks. The drive is open-ended as of now, but will likely run until the end of January.

Thanks for your kindness and support.

Sincerely, Troop 31187

Zoe, Maria, Lucia, Sam, Dakota, Stella J., Stella D., Julia, Ava, Jillian, and Bailey


Support Thornhill While Holiday Shopping

What’s on your holiday shopping list – clothes for kids, groceries, photo gifts, just about anything on Amazon? We have several partnerships setup that give a percentage of your purchases back to Thornhill:

· 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

· Sports Basement: Become a Basementeer (aka member) for FREE through the end of 2017 sign up in store or by clicking HERE -- members get 10 percent off every item everyday, plus Sports Basement will donate 10 percent of their annual profits to various schools and charities, including Thornhill

Questions? Contact Erin Fredrick through


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.

Saturday, Dec. 23-Sunday, Jan. 7: Winter Break.

  • Monday, Jan. 8: School resumes. Registration for spring afterschool enrichment classes begins. Registration continues until January 19. Classes start on February 5.

  • Monday, Jan. 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (no school)

  • Tuesday, Jan. 16: PFC Meeting (6-7:30pm)

  • Thursday, Jan. 25: Fall PFC Enrichment Classes End

  • Friday, Jan. 26: Staff Development Day (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).