ForWard - November 13th, 2015

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

November 13, 2015 

Dear Ward Parents,

Welcome to the latest edition of the Ward Elementary School Newsletter ForWARD for the 2015-2016 school year. 

* To stop receiving this newsletter, or update your email information please use the links at the end of the newsletter.

Ward School Banner
  • November 21, Kindergarten Potluck Dinner
  • November 21 - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new park at Waban Hill Reservoir (Ward St & Manet Rd), from 11 am - 12:00. Featuring activities for kids & a food drive.
  • November 25, School closes at noon - Thanksgiving Recess
  • November 26-27, No School for Thanksgiving Recess
  • November 30-December 4 - Ward Book Fair
  • December 3 - Early Release Thursday

Annual Fund Drive
We are kicking off our Annual Fund Drive which funds the majority of our budget each year including:
  • Creative Arts and Sciences programs and speakers
  • Community events
  • Classroom supplies 
  • Library support 
  • The Ward garden
  • Classroom technology including laptops and ipads.
Historically, the PTO has funded nearly all of the laptops and iPads used in Ward classrooms. Each year we continue to update and replace older hardware and fund any new technology requested by Principal Peller.  
Without the financial support and time contributed by Ward families, none of these activities would be possible.

Please contribute either online at the PTO website  (via credit card).  Or by dropping a check in the box in the Ward lobby--made out to Ward PTO.  
Contributions are tax-deductible.  

Questions? Please contact:
Diana Cohen ( or Linda Gillespie (

Thanksgiving Food Drive
Be on the look out for the Thanksgiving food drive benefiting the Centre Street Food Pantry.  Your child will be bringing a bag and a flyer home with them today. Please return your contributions next week.

2 Volunteers Needed for Understanding Our Differences!
Many thanks to those of you who have kindly offered to volunteer for the UOD (Understanding Our Differences) program on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 12:30-3:00pm.
I am in need of 2 more volunteers to help run the two (simple, easy) small group activities with the 4th graders.
Parent volunteers from ANY grade are more than welcome!
This unit, Chronic Medical Conditions: Allergies and Diabetes, will include:
- 2 presentations
- 2 small group activities
- A student guest speaker from Newton North High School who will share his personal experience with Type 1 diabetes.
UOD is a great opportunity to:
- Share time with your child and his/her classmates.
- Get to know other parents.
- Be a role model for inclusiveness.
- Learn to see the person not the disability.
- Learn more about the topic being presented through training and curriculum provided by the UOD program.
Understanding Our Differences is a nonprofit organization working in partnership with the Newton Public Schools to provide a unique and creative disability awareness program for elementary school children in grades 3-5.  Presented by volunteers, the program promotes inclusion, understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities and individual differences at our schools and in our community
Interested in helping out? 
Contact: Alexandra Novina, 4th Grade Coordinator,
Want to know more?  Visit:  

Grand Opening of Waban Hill Reservoir Park
Come to the grand opening celebration for the new Waban Hill Reservoir Park, with Mayor Setti Warren.  The new park is at the intersection of Ward St. and Manet Rd and the ceremony will be held at the northwest corner of the reservoir at Manet Rd. and Reservoir Dr.  Festivities are from 11 am to noon on November 21.  Family fun following the ribbon cutting; face painting & bounce slide.  There will also be a food pantry collection: Please bring a non-perishable food item to support the Newton food pantries.

Grade-Wide Potluck Dinners 
Please - We Need A Host for Grade 4!
As in the past few years, the PTO would like to organize grade-wide pot luck dinners. These nights are a great way to meet and socialize with the other parents in your child's grade. The evening is for adults only and hosts do not cook! They only need to supply paper goods and a big trash can and the guests do the rest.  Your home should be big enough for approximately 50 adults to squeeze in (sitting on the floor or standing is fine.) You choose the night and it can be any month that works for you (although we'd like to have them all happen by January). This is not a sit down meal but rather more of an informal gathering. 
Please contact Kathy Shields at  if you can host one of the pot luck dinners for your child's grade.  The Kindergarten dinner is coming up on November 21.  The 5th Grade dinner will take place on January 9, 2016, and the 3rd Grade dinner will take place on January 23, 2016.  The 1st grade dinner will happen on a date TBD in January, and the 2nd grade dinner will happen on a date TBD in February.

Cradles to Crayons Hat and Glove Drive
Help Cradles to Crayons collect 6,000 hats and gloves for local children in need.  For thousands of children in need, staying warm in winter is a struggle.  Help protect kids in your community by collecting new hats and gloves to keep them warm.

Bring new children's hats and gloves to the bin in the Ward School Lobby from November 2 to December 23.  You can also ship directly to Cradles to Crayons, Attention Mo Reilly, 155 North Beacon St., Brighton, MA  02135.  

Cradles to Crayons provides children living in low-income and homeless situations with the essentials they need to thrive - at home, at school, and at play.  For more information, see

Responsive Home Workshop
Practical strategies to promote positive behavior at home.

The tools of Responsive Classroom can be used to help create a calm, supporting and encouraging environment at home too!  Open to the Public - No Registration Required!  Workshops will be held on:
  • Thursday, November 19 - 6:30-8:30 pm
  • Thursday, December 3 - 9-11 am
  • Thursday, January 21, 6:30-8:30 pm
  • Tuesday, February 9, 9-11 am
All sessions take place in Room 210, The Education Center, 100 Walnut St., Newtonville.

Join us to learn useful steps for creating a Responsive Home, including: 
  • Family Meeting
  • House Rules
  • Interactive Modeling
  • Positive Language
  • Logical Consequences
  • Choice
  • Quiet Time
The workshop will be taught by Amy Kelly, District Leader of Social and Emotional Learning, Newton Public Schools.

For more information, please contact Kathy Marchi, SEL Department, or 617-559-6139.

Annual Ward Book Fair
The annual Ward Book Fair is coming ... November 30-Dec. 3 ... just in time for the holidays. Remember this is a PTO Fundraiser. A portion of the proceeds is used to purchase new books for the library and the classrooms in addition to supporting other PTO events. 

Packets should have gone home with your kids this week. Extras are on the table in the lobby if you still need one.

We need help from you to ensure that the fair is a success. We are looking for volunteers to help set up, staff and break down the fair. There is a sign up sheet attached to the packet that went home. Please leave the completed forms in the "Book Fair" box in the lobby.

Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!

Cindy Henry -
Shana Smythe -

Ward School Celtics Night - Save the Date
The Ward School night at the Celtics- Friday January 29th , 2016 at 7:30pm.

Flyers will be distributed to the child's classroom.  For more information please contact Diana Cohen at or Erin

Ward Art Committee Needs New Members!
The Art Committee needs your help.  Each May, we honor the arts at Ward with the annual Ward Art Show.  This event showcases the amazing art your children have worked hard to create.  
The time commitment is minimal.  We prepare all year long for this special celebration by stapling and framing artwork, but we can't do it without the help of parent volunteers like you. 
No Art Experience is necessary!

Particularly for parents of children in grades K-3 - the Ward Art Committee needs some fresh faces! Many of our volunteers' children will be graduating this year and we need to pass the baton to the younger grades in order to keep the Art Show alive.

Please contact Deb Gilpin at to find out how you can get involved.

Mrs. Packard Needs Your Help in the Library 
Parents, your help in Ward Library classes would make a big difference! Volunteers are needed to help with checking in books, shelving, finding requested books, research projects and making sure our new self-checkout system works smoothly. Library classes are only 30 minutes long and volunteers can really do a lot to help students be successful library users. 
Signup is easy: click on VolunteerSpot on the library website. 
Here's how it works in 3 easy steps: 
1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: 
2. Enter your email address. You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot. 
3. Sign up! Choose your spots.  VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy! 

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact your room parent and they can sign you up manually.  If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Bosco

Earn money for Ward when you shop at Amazon  
Shop at Amazon and up to 10% of your purchase goes to Ward.  Please bookmark this page and click here every time you shop on Amazon.  A percentage of your purchase (which varies by category) will automatically go to Ward. This link explains how much of your purchases go to Ward!

Community News and Advertisements  
If you're looking for news about local educational and non-profit events, or services offered by local tutors, merchants, and other service providers, check out theCommunity Notes page maintained by the Newton PTO Council.  Click here to link to their website, which you can search by category.