Trailblazer Tribune

Bridge Valley's Newsletter

November 27, 2013


Winter weather is now upon us and that means it is cold at recess. Our district guidelines suggest that students remain outside for the full recess period provided the wind chill is above 15 degrees. A wind chill between 10 and 15 degrees will result in an abbreviated outdoor recess. Rain, snow or wind chills below 10 degrees will keep us indoors. The elevation and open space at Bridge Valley make windy days feel even colder, so we will be a bit more conservative about having students out for a full recess if the day is cold.

Please remember to send your children to school each day with coats, hats, and gloves. Older students may think a sweatshirt will keep them warm, but over a thirty minute recess, a sweatshirt does not provide the insulation needed to keep children comfortable. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Turkey Bingo - Another Year of Terrible Jokes & Holiday Fun!!!

On Friday, November 22nd, Bridge Valley staff, students, and parent helpers participated in another round of our annual Turkey Bingo. This year Dr. Garvin & Mr. Cochran were broadcasted live into the classrooms for calling the bingo numbers and delivering the awful holiday jokes!

Great fun was had by all! Thanks to everyone who helped to organize and facilitate this silly, but fun event!

A few jokes for the Thanksgiving table:

1. How did the Mayflower show that it liked America?

It hugged the shore!

2. Why did the Indian chief wear so many feathers?

To keep his wigwam

3. What sound does a space turkey make?

Hubble, Hubble, Hubble

We hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and/or friends and a relaxing long weekend!


Bridge Valley Works to be Bully Free

Bridge Valley, along with the Central Bucks School District, works to eliminate bullying from our school. Bullying is an age-old problem, but that doesn’t make it acceptable or easier to bear. Children may become bullies or victims of bullies for a multitude of reasons, and bullying occurs in a variety of ways.

Recently, our third and fifth grade students participated in an anonymous online bullying survey. We have reviewed these results and are using this information to help us better address the issue. The good news is that most of our students do not report being victims of bullying; however, students report that emotionally or physically hurtful actions by other students do exist. The survey also helped to support our perceptions about where and how bullying behaviors are presented. For example, the surveys report that the vast majority of bullying takes place away from the classroom. Areas in school where students observe bullying are: on the bus, in the lunchroom, and on the recess yard. The survey also reveals that most students who have been a victim of hurtful actions tell a friend, teacher, or adult at home.

At Bridge Valley we take a proactive approach to address bullying. Grade- level focused lessons are taught in every classroom. Miss Melberger delivers the Second Step social skills program to kindergarten and first grade classes, and the Steps to Respect program to second grade classes. Mrs. Applegate provides direct instruction to grades three through six utilizing our anti-bullying curriculum. In addition, select buddy lessons, morning meeting activities, NOVA cyber bullying lessons, and school wide incentive programs are also focused on anti-bullying.

Bullying most often happens in the presence of bystanders, who choose to merely watch the events unfold instead of doing something. All students need to realize that bullying is serious, and that a lack of action on their part will only give bullies more opportunities. Together, we need to teach our children that they each have a role to play. We need to empower the victims, encourage bystanders to take action, and teach children that their intended or unintended actions affect others. Together, we can all help to keep Bridge Valley a fun, safe, and supportive learning environment.

“Knowing what's right doesn't mean much unless you do what's right.”
― Theodore Roosevelt


Classes earn a point by following one of our three cafeteria rules; eat quietly, keep a clean space, and listen to directions. Each time a class is caught exhibiting one of these behaviors, they earn a point. The classes with the most points at the end of the month earn gold, silver, or bronze spoons. November’s gold spoon award winning classes were…

  • First Grade – Mrs. Lovell
  • Second Grade – Mrs. Slinka
  • Third Grade – Mrs. Kardohley
  • Fourth Grade – Mrs. Hall
  • Fifth Grade – Mrs. Scott
  • Sixth Grade – Miss Teeter

Toys For Tots

Bridge Valley is a Toys for Tots Site. Please look for the bins in our main office, front lobby and by the green doors.
The Marines will be collecting the toys on Monday, December 9th.

Your donations are greatly appreciated!!



Family Fun Night - Friday, January 31, 2014 (6:30-9:00pm)

For one night only, Bridge Valley’s cafeteria is transformed into Bucks County’s largest coffee house:


While you drink coffee, tea or hot chocolate and eat delicious Italian pastries from Nonno’s Café In Doylestown, listen to over 30 unique singing and instrumental performances from our very talented 5th and 6th graders.

Admission: $5 admission fee per person, which will include a free beverage and pastry. All proceeds will be donated to Hogar Inmaculado Corazón de María (, an orphanage in the coffee growing region of Sonsonate, El Salvador.

The proceeds will help build a permanent remote video linked classroom that will enable Bridge Valley teachers, students, and volunteers to remotely give the most valuable sustainable gift to these orphans - the gift of Education.

Join us as we bridge the hearts of our children with the children in El Salvador via a video link, which will enable all in the Coffee House to watch the orphans perform a special song for us.

Tickets will go on sale in early January 2014 (children 5 and under will be FREE).

The BV Coffee House will have direction from local singer-songwriter Christy Jefferson:

If you have any questions, please email Frank LaRusso ( or Nancy Cullen at (

Counselor's Corner - Miss Melberger

The winner of the Bridge Valley Boomerang Award for October was Nick Puig from Mrs. Teeter’s sixth grade class. He was nominated by Miss Teeter and Mrs. Tyburski, his P.E. teacher.

This person is a fabulous asset to Bridge Valley, his classroom, community, friends, and family. His positive presence is embraced by all. His hard work and dedication is noticed in the classroom, during Physical Education, the recess yard, and the football field. His peers look to this individual as a model student who exceeds expectations. He is a role model by showing genuine sportsmanship while working with peers of all abilities. This student is always striving to give 100% effort to improve both himself and his peers. Personal best is a top priority both on the field and in the school for this individual. Although he is injured, and unable to partake in extracurricular activities, he continues to commit himself to the sport he loves by supporting his teammates at practices and games. This is shown by coaching on the sideline through excitement and positive reinforcement. His family recognizes the enthusiasm football has brought to his life. Football has helped him to build leadership skills. We know he will continue to build these skills throughout his life to keep making positive impacts on others. His reputation exceeds him as students, teachers, family members, and the community widely accept his polite, kind, and respectful demeanor. We would like to congratulate Nick Puig.

~Written by Miss Teeter and Mrs. Tyburski

The asset being recognized for December is #17 Creative Activities: A student that participates in creative activities that positively impact others. If you’d like to nominate a student, please complete a nomination form in the front office or email

Honorary Trailblazer Award

Our Honorary Trailblazer for October was Fire Marshall Pfeffer. He was nominated because of the time and energy he puts into keeping our school and community safe. He does a safety check on our school every year to make sure everything is in working order. He is a valuable member of our school safety team and helps with our drills. He taught and organized all the events during Fire Safety Week. We appreciate the dedication Fire Marshall Pfeiffer has provided to our school and community.

On November 8, we were honored to present an Honorary Trailblazer Award to Veterans in our community for outstanding citizenship. The Veterans presented with the award were: Mr. Dean Anderson, Mr. Bob Aungst, Mr. Larry Bullard, Mr. Jim Drylie, Mrs. Gretchen Hakkinen, Mr. Ray Hawkins, Mrs. Pam Lacey, Mr. Bill MClellan, Mr. Jim McComb, Mr. Anthony Nocito, Mr. Robert O’Donnell, Mr. Robert Petrick, Mr. Ted Staudenmeyer, Mr. Frank Woodring, Mrs. Theresa Foster, and Mr. Mark Byelich. The students sang patriotic songs and presented the Veterans with Thank you cards.

Nurse News

Gift of Giving 2013

Dear Bridge Valley Families,

During this holiday season the staff and students of Bridge Valley Elementary School will share the spirit of giving with local families and their children. We will continue the tradition of a Holiday Giving Tree, the proceeds from which will be distributed to Bridge Valley Families. Through this cooperative effort we can share in the joy that comes from giving. Our Holiday Giving Tree will be placed in the lobby of our school. The trees will be decorated with tags. Each tag will have a child’s age and gender printed on it along with a gift suggestion. If your family would like to help a child in need, please take a tag. The gifts must be wrapped with the tag securely attached to the gift and placed under the Holiday Giving Tree and returned to school by December 16th.

In addition, each homeroom will be responsible for collecting food and/or non-perishable household items that will be distributed to the families along with the gifts. Many families will be assisted in this effort.

Tentative dates to remember

  • December 2nd: Gift permission slips sent home.

  • December 4th: Giving Tree gift tags available for children to take home.

  • December 5th: Student food requests sent home in Thursday folder.

  • December 16th: Deadline for food, household items and gifts to be collected

  • December 17th: Gifts and food to be organized in the LGI

  • December 18th: Gifts and food to be distributed to families

For those with questions feel free to contact Mary Horvath at

Thank you in advance for your generous support!

BVE Wellness

How to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

–by Sheila Garcia, HHC, CFT, CMT

In the face of so many delicious foods during the holiday season, many people overeat, indulging in rich, succulent foods. Luckily for you, I’m here to offer you a few tips to help prevent you from overeating during the holidays!

1 - Eat small meals every two to three hours to assist you in controlling portion sizes. This will help you to limit overeating. Stick to healthy, low-glycemic snacks or meals, such as apples, pears, whole grains, beans, nuts, brown rice, eggs, or chicken. This will help you to keep your blood sugar levels stable and stop you from craving unhealthy foods.

2- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep hydrated. By drinking water, you will feel full and will be less likely to eat unhealthy snacks that are loaded with sugar and salt or to overeat during mealtime.

3 - Make mindful choices when filling your plate with food. Start by putting plenty of vegetables on your plate and then see how much room is left. Go easy on the condiments, sauces, white pasta, potato or rice and other simple carbohydrates.

4 - Stick to your regular healthy regimen during the rest of the holiday season. Many people begin their holiday eating habits days before the actual holiday; even though it's that time of year doesn’t mean we have to eat unhealthily leading up to that special day or event. When the celebration or party is over, return your healthy diet.

5 - Practice mindful eating. But what exactly is mindful eating? Take time to notice what is on your plate; the color, smell, flavor and texture. Eat with chop sticks or put your fork down after each bite. Chew your food thoroughly and eat slowly - digestion begins in your mouth. Your stomach does not have teeth. The rule of thumb is to chew your food 25 times before swallowing. Avoid distractions while you eat; turn the TV off, don’t read the newspaper, emails or text messages. The more you are aware of what you are eating, the less likely you will want to get up for seconds. This is a great time to ask your kids how their day went in school and to share some funny stories.


Turkey & Squash Soup


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, chopped and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, (1 small to medium), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 pound turkey cutlets, cut into 1/2-by-2-inch strips
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leeks and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in broth, squash, thyme and cumin; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add turkey and corn; return to a simmer and cook until the turkey is just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add lime juice and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.


Per serving: 231 calories; 3 g fat ( 0 g sat , 1 g mono ); 30 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 24 g protein; 6 g fiber; 550 mg sodium; 692 mg potassium.

The Wellness Team


Our officers for the 2013-2014 School Year are as follows:


Vice-President/Assistant Treasurer



Professional Staff Representative

Support Staff Representative


As we enter the Holiday season, I would like to continue the message of thankfulness and gratitude that Leigh wrote about last month. Gratefulness is a chosen attitude that can be acquired which helps to build resiliency and reactions to crises and tragedies. Scientific research has found that people who view life as a gift and obtain an “attitude of gratitude” experience many positive advantages including greater emotional and physical health, greater life satisfaction and optimism, and lower levels of depression and stress. Grateful people have empathy toward others and are better able to take the perspective of others. Grateful people also place less emphasis on material goods, are less envious of others, and more willing to share their belongings. When we are grateful for things others have done for us, it increases the likelihood that we will offer hope and help in the future, even to people we do not know.

I cannot think of a better gift to give our kids this season than an attitude of gratitude! Thank you to our teachers and staff, students, parents and caregivers who give our children wonderful learning experiences every day.

Laurie Landis, Assistant Vice President & Treasurer


Whether you are new to our school as the parent of a Kindergartner or a 6th grader, starting at a new school can be a daunting prospect for both parents & children! To help you get your bearings, BVE’s HSA is pleased to feature a comprehensive Welcome Packet, easily accessible in the Home & School area of the BVE website or at New Family Welcome. New families are also invited to contact Welcome Committee members Meredith Eater or Patrice Mollick to get started with the help you need to feel at home at BVE!!


If you missed our November meeting, don’t worry! We will be posting minutes from the meeting on the website, as well as including a link in the Tribune.

Please join us on January 23 at 9:30 am for our General Membership Meeting. Our Technology Academy speaker is Mary Worthington from NOVA.


Check out the tab under Home & School Sign Up Genius Volunteer Opportunities. All current school-wide SUGenius links will appear on this page You may also find SUGs on the event specific page, but the Sign Up Genius tab is always a sure bet. Use this as a quick & easy way to sign up for the events for which you’d like to volunteer! We will also continue to send out emails via our CC’s.

We are looking for a few volunteers that would be interested in being on the BVE Anniversary Committee. This is a temporary committee that will be planning some spring activities to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. Be on the lookout for this SUG.

We are also looking for a Committee Chair for our new committee, Passive Fundraisers. This committee will oversee all of the passive fundraisers that we do such as: Box Tops for Education, Giant points, Coke Rewards, etc. You will still have individual people coordinating each individual fundraiser, but you will oversee, coordinate, and help come up with new ideas. If you are interested please reach out to either Leigh Vlasblom or Meredith Eater.

To learn more about the many committees or to join a committee, please visit the Committee Page under Parent/Students/Home and School/Committees or BVE Committees.

Current & Upcoming SignUp Genius BVE Sign Ups:

· Holiday Boutique

· Anniversary Committee


Our membership drive is down from last year! Please remember that we are doing this instead of fundraisers such as wrapping paper sales. We have a lot of valuable programs that the HSA supports and without your help, we may not be able to afford all of them or we may have to reinstate our fundraisers next year. It is not too late! I know back to school is a crazy time, so don’t hesitate to join if you are still interested. Additional forms are available at (2013 - 2014 Donation Letter). Your generous donations enable BVE HSA to supplement the outstanding instructional, cultural and enrichment programs at BVE and we appreciate your support!


Thank you very much …..

… to all of those who helped set up and decorate the Giving Trees in the lobby for 2013 Blazer Blessings.

… to all of the parents who donated their time or money to provide a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Luncheon during the Fall Conferences!

… to all of those who helped with the recent hearing screenings!


  • Market Day November Order (online)
  • Blazer Blessings – Giving Tree
  • December 2nd: Gift permission slips sent home by classroom teachers
  • December 4th: Giving Tree gift tags available for children to take home
  • December 5th: Student food requests sent home in Thursday folder
  • December 16th: Deadline for food, household items and gifts to be collected
  • December 17th: Gifts and food to be organized in the LGI
  • December 18th: Gifts and food to be distributed to families
  • Holiday Boutique, December 2nd – 6th
  • Bridge Valley Coffee House Night – January 31, 2014 – tickets to go on sale in January!!

Box Tops for Education

Next drawing is December 20th! We are giving away a Regal Entertainment gift card! Make sure your child is entered! Keep those collections sheets coming in – each one is making a huge difference for BVE.

Need additional collection sheets? They are available on the Bridge Valley website.

For more information on how you can help our school earn cash through Box Tops, contact Ellen Rackas, our Box Tops coordinator, at or visit Thank you for your continued support.



Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year! We look forward to a great year with awesome parents who help our Home and School by their volunteer efforts. One way you can help is to purchase Market Day products.

Bridge Valley is continuing to participate in Market Day, our monthly fundraising program. Thank you to all of you who have purchased these foods and/or volunteered their time and energy last year.

Each month, as a participating Market Day school, restaurant quality food products from the same vendors that supply many upscale restaurants will be available for purchase. We choose Market Day because:

  • It offers high-quality and nutritious food at affordable prices on a monthly basis.
  • By doing your grocery shopping with Market Day, you will be feeding your family while enhancing your child’s education. In fact, we’ll earn a minimum of 10% on every purchase you make.
  • Market Day offers a 100% quality guarantee on all products.

Participating in Market Day provides a service to you and our Home and School. The profits raised will help fund classroom and building technology, field trips, assemblies and other important educational needs.

Please consider purchasing Market Day for your family by going online for easy ordering at Our school account number is 20969, and along with a password of your choosing you can create your own account. If you have any questions please call Kimberly Leff at 215-794-3075 or email


Target rebates- Use your Target charge card and Bridge Valley HSA will receive 1% of your Target purchases. Please designate Bridge Valley Home and School as the school of your choice when you apply for your card. If you already have a Target card, go to the customer service desk and complete the paperwork to designate our group.


My Coke Rewards - My Coke Rewards for Schools is a way for parents, friends, and others in the community to support local K-12 schools by donating My Coke Rewards points which can be earned from hundreds of participating Coca-Cola products. Schools can turn donated points into a variety of rewards that support students. Donate your My Coke Rewards points and empower students to do, learn and discover more every day. Your points can provide our school with things like athletic equipment, books, classroom supplies and more.