Penngrove Press

September 18th, 2019

I hate goodbyes...

Dear Penngrove Families,

I'm going to miss our students, families, and staff so much over the next couple of months! While I'm home taking care of Baby Girl Fadeji, I know that you will be well taken care of by the amazing #TeamPenn which includes our Interim Principal, Mrs. Rudder. Many of you know Mrs. Rudder already and she adores all things Penngrove! Thank you in advance for welcoming her back to our community!

As fall break approaches, please make sure you set aside time to connect as a family, and be fully present with your kids! I hope you get creative with things that don't cost a thing except for your time and love...the things your children desire MOST. Read a ton, play outside, plan extra fun things like a backyard picnic, a surprise visit to see an old friend, a random act of kindness, or a spontaneous excursion to a new location. Whatever you choose, make it count!

Wishing you all an amazing October - December. I'll be back in January and can't wait to see all the learning and fun that's taken place at Penngrove.

WIth love,


One of the nation's leading kindness organizations, Think Kindness, has challenged the #PennPanthers to 30 Days of Kindness. Think Kindness is a non-profit dedicated to inspire measurable acts of kindness around the globe.

Julie Kelly gave us a motivational assembly on Monday. Julie not only tells a compelling message about bravery, acceptance and courage, but leaves us inspired to choose kindness EVERYDAY. Ask your student about our Call to Action.

Some talking points for you to use when conversing with your children:

  • Cotton ball comments: students described cotton balls as soft, fluffy, kind
  • Sand paper comments: students described sand paper comments as rough, harsh, mean
  • All students received a Kindness Is Awesome Journal to log their acts of kindness. The school’s goal is for each child to do 15 acts of kindness by October 18th to reach a school wide goal of 6,000 acts of kindness, making us one of the kindest schools in America.
  • We're collecting sneakers to send to send to Africa so students can attend school. Many students cannot attend school because they don't have shoes so we're collecting our gently used sneakers to see if we can help! Our goal is 250 pair of shoes.

Tri-Tip Dinner THIS Thursday, Sept. 19th

Take the night off, you deserve it! Let us do the cooking for you! The class of 2020 wants lighten your work load by offering a delicious Tri-Tip dinner with a twist. Enjoy a freshly bbq’d Tri-Tip along with bread and salad. You’ll find our pesto pasta to be a delightful twist to our annual bbq dinner. Feed your family, save your self some time, and help support the class of 2020! Order online at or return order form to the office.
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Join us this Monday 9/23, 2:00 @ Penngrove Park for our first committee meeting!

We have so many fall fun plans in store (including our first ever Chili Cookoff!) but we need YOUR help. Bring the kids to play while we plan & organize one of the years best events.

Can’t attend but still want to help?

Send Sara C. an email for more info @

8/26/19 PTA Association Meeting Recap:

We continue to have an awesome turnout from Panther Families this year! We truly appreciate the time you spend to be a part of these meetings. We are grateful to get to know more PTA members, and to hear your input and wonderful ideas! Remember, the best way to have your voice heard on all things #PennPanthers, is to attend our meetings

At our August meeting:

  • We heard from Mrs. Fadeji about the amazing resurgence of our Recess Renaissance program. The kids absolutely love getting a chance to do hands on experiments, play games & interact with different parents & family members. If you are available to help, we would love it! Please let us know you're interested here:
  • Lost & Found is out of control. Please take a minute to look at the fence by Kinder. Any unclaimed items left when we leave for Fall Break will be donated.
  • Mrs. Rudder (Interim Principal) is starting to join Mrs. Fadeji on campus to reacquaint herself with the staff & students.
  • The Kindness Assembly was held on Monday! We have asked each student to record 15 acts of kindness over a 1 month period.
  • Over break, we will have another round of Campus Clean-Up -- watch for updates on this!

#BecauseOfJog - it goes without saying, but the amount you raised this year is astounding, way to go! Here are just a few things that those funds have already starting going towards: Our Kindness Assembly, Mrs. Judson’s new classroom rug, upgraded parking lot cones (coming soon!) and so much more!

Lastly- did you know that by attending an Association meeting, you are entered to win a Penn Panthers Logowear shirt? August winners were Emily Lynch & Julieta Acosta. Congrats ladies!

We hope to see you at our next association meeting on October 28th - 6:00 p.m. in Room 3. We will discuss Jog-a-thon, our upcoming Harvest Festival & more!

Is your child interested in theatre arts?

Does he/she like performing in front of an audience?

We are considering implementing a small theatre arts program in the Spring of 2020. Please answer the short four questions on the google form below so we can get an idea of possible interest. Thank you for your time!

Fall Break Reading Tips

Thanks to our own Reading Specialist, Dana Gottlieb, for putting the following tips together:

There are so many ways for parents to help their child read at home. I've listed some websites that have suggestions to help parents. For beginning readers, It is really important that the parent continue to read aloud. Not only is this a way for kids to snuggle and enjoy time with their parents, adults are modeling fluency, developing comprehension and vocabulary, and exposing their child to content above where they can read themselves. During this reading, the parent can point out sounds, sight words, etc, but only to the point in which it feels natural.

I also can't emphasize enough the importance of developing phonemic awareness. So much of that can be done in fun, informal games that can be played in the grocery store line, in the car, etc (see below). Having an awareness of sounds will help kids eventually make the connection when reading and writing. But when played casually in early grades, can just be fun games.

Lexia can be a good enforcer of concepts at home. Starfall is a simple free website for beginners to practice.

Parents can check on Amazon, Target, etc for all sorts of games that reinforce sight words, abc puzzles, etc. You can also find such games for free on pinterest and other locations if you don't mind assembling them. Kids can also practice sight words with sidewalk chalk, watercolors, etc.

I would stay away from any program that says "Teach your child to read" as those typically are extremely phonics based. Although phonics is a critical component of reading, such programs can make kids over reliant on phonics which can negatively impact their ability to identify words in context and to use other word identification skills. Those programs also typically don't emphasize comprehension, which plays a critical role in reading. Remember that once kids learn to read successfully, their entire purpose for reading is comprehension.

Magnetic letters are great for so many things. Once kids know their sounds, they are useful for building word families (examples below)

-at, cat, mat, sat, etc.

-it, big, wig, jig, pig

-in, win, pin, spin, grin, chin

-op, hop, pop, stop, chop

If your family watches television, turn on the close-caption subtitles. Students will eventually make connections between oral language and print.

Some children enter kindergarten reading while others take much longer time for their skills to develop. Make sure to follow cues from your child--If they are really eager to read and want to put in the time, then great. But you don't want to push so much that a young student already feels burned out. So much about learning to read occurs as they listen to books, play games with rhymes, etc. Remember to enjoy those times together.

Click on links below for more tips on encouraging reading at home.


Parent information on reading.

Parent information on reading.

Parent information on reading.

Phonemic Awareness activities

Many of these simple oral activities can be done anywhere

More advanced phonemic awareness activities

A reminder as to why it is important for parents to continue reading aloud as kids develop more reading skills.

Story Online

Children can choose a variety of books to be read aloud by celebrities. The text of book is printed on screen in large font while book is being read aloud. While your child may not be able to read book, they are learning about the way things are written by following along (punctuation, capitals, beginning sound, etc). A great way to be exposed to literature when you don’t have time to read aloud.


Classic beginning phonics with extremely simple games, graphics, and stories.

Lots of diy reading games that you can make at home.

Sight word games to play at home

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Yearbook Cover Art Contest

The yearbook art contest is in full swing! Winner's art will be featured on the cover of the yearbook. Entries are due in the office by November 1, 2019. Contest guidelines are as follows:

1. Contest is open to all grade levels

2. Art must be done on standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper (portrait layout)

3. All art mediums accepted

4. Student name and grade written in pencil on back

All art will be featured somewhere in the yearbook.

Have fun and good luck!

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