ForWard - December 22nd, 2017

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

December 22, 2017 

Dear Ward Parents,


Welcome to the latest edition of the Ward Elementary School Newsletter ForWARD for the 2017-2018 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
  • Walk to School - January 3
  • CAPP Parent Workshop - January 5 
  • Online Auction - mid January, date TBD
  • Second Grade Parents' Potluck Dinner - January 20
  • Moms' Night Out - January 25
  • Ward School Night at Trampoline Park - January 26
  • Dads' Night Out - February 2
  • Fifth Grade Parents' Potluck Dinner - February 10
  • International Night - March 22

From the Principal's Desk
December, 2017
I grew up in Somerville. My family was Jewish. My Orthodox Jewish grandmother who lived with us was the guardian of our traditions and practices. At that time, Somerville was made up of predominantly Irish Catholic and Italian Catholic families. I never really understood why my religious parents chose to live there, but as a child, I merely accepted this and didn't give it much thought. That was simply the way it was. I helped decorate Christmas trees and painted Easter eggs at friends' houses, and they had latkes, watched us light the menorah and partake in the Seder at my home.
In school, we were required to say the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. Being politically correct was non-existent. Did it make me uncomfortable? At times it did. I knew it was something my religion didn't say, and at some point, I simply bowed my head in respect during the Lord's Prayer. (I was allowed to do so.) However, there was something about the 23rd Psalm that I loved. I can still recite it today. I am sure I had no idea of the true meaning when I was in elementary school. I just liked the way it sounded.
I am sure my grandmother and parents cringed when I sang Christmas carols that were taught daily during the month of December in school. I thought they were beautiful and loved singing them, as well as our Jewish prayers and Hanukkah and Purim songs. To my family's credit, they never once asked me to stop singing carols, reciting psalms, or sharing in my friends' traditions that differed from ours. What they did by their actions was to teach me to be respectful of and understand those differences. My Orthodox grandmother and religious parents taught me there is still beauty and worth outside of our own beliefs. To become tolerant, one must learn about, not ignore, different cultures and traditions, I am grateful for that lesson, and just maybe that was the reason why my Jewish family chose to live in Somerville.
On behalf of the staff, regardless of what you may be or have been celebrating or observing during this holiday season, may it be full of peace, happiness, and the laughter of children.
Elaine Harold

Annual Fund
You must be so excited that the Annual Fund Campaign ends on Dec are we!
But we need your help to wrap up a successful campaign...we still have $5,000 to raise to meet last year's levels. In the famous words of that oh-so-great band Europe (, it is the final countdown!

We are in the final stretches of the Annual Fund drive.  Just think how much better you will feel once you have given to the Annual Fund and supported the events and resources brought to you by the Ward School PTO.  It is like puppies and warm apple pie and winning lottery tickets all rolled into one.  

A  gift of any size to the Fund is appreciated by us,
We thank you in advance for thinking of the PTO in your 2017 charitable giving, and thank you for your ongoing support of the WARD School.  

Principal Search: Submit Your Questions
We know many families who want to be included in our new principal selection process are unable to participate due to work responsibilities.  We still need and value your input!  
Please share your questions via this link. The selection committee will review and consider your suggestions as the process begins in early January. Questions may be submitted anonymously.  

Make Money for Ward When You Shop on Amazon
Simply bookmark this new link and click it every time you want to shop on Amazon:

Qualifying purchases made through the link above or on our website result in a payback range of 4% - 8.5% on total purchases through our link.

But you have to click the link EACH time you go to shop as the cookie expires after 24 hours.

Walk to School
Join us for the first Walk to School Wednesday of 2018 on Wednesday January 3rd! 

Moms' Night Out
Moms - are you ready for vacation but wondering what to do when you get back?  Afraid you will have some of those January blues?  We have the best plan for you!  
Show off your artistic or not so artistic skills, and have fun with us on January 25th at 6:30pm at the Paint Bar in Newton (823 Washington St., Newtonville). 
Sign up now, and don't forget to put "Ward School" in the section of ""With whom would you like be seated".  We will paint, have some wine, and have some fun!  

Please join us!

Dads' Night Out
Dads... this is your chance! Mark your calendars for February 2nd
Come to Terry O'Reilly's in Newton Centre. Live music and Celtics on TV. PM start. 
A great chance to meet other Ward dads and have a great night out! Thanks to Dave Gillespie and Jon Ufland for organizing!

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 the Community Notes page maintained by the Newton PTO Council.  Click here to link to their website, which you can search by category.