Friday, March 28, 2008

Help a Crocker Farm Soccer Star!!!!

A letter to the Crocker Farm community from Keith's family:

Hello Everyone,
I want to share with you some good news for my family. Our son Keith has been selected to be a Sports Ambassador for the People to People Ambassador Program. This means that he will be traveling to Austria to play soccer in the Friendship games this June. It also means that we need to raise a lot of money. Any contributions would be greatly appreciated, If you would like to send your contribution locally, we have opened an account for Keith Just for his Sports Ambassador trip, please make checks payable to Keith Dixon and mail to Northampton Cooperative Bank, 253 Triangle Street, Amherst, MA 01002, Attn. Maureen Bowler, Please write People to People Ambassador in the memo.

We are trying to get the word out to people so please feel free to email this to your family and friends.
Thank you,
Tory Dixon

The Dixons are also organizing a Spaghetti Dinner Benefit is to help raise money for Keith's trip:
When: April 13 4:00 - 8:00pm
Where: Shutesbury Athletic Club 282 Wendell Rd. Shutesbury MA
Details: Dinners will be $12 ALL YOU CAN EAT spaghetti salad and bread!!! There will be meat sauce and vegetarian tomato sauce offered!!! Music by the JUKEBOX JUNKIES !!! Raffles & door prizes too!

If you cannot attend the benefit but would like to contribute please contact Tory Dixon at This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Keith to play soccer at an International Tournament which is one of his dreams.

No Kidding - Vote on Tuesday

Town elections are being held this coming April Fool's Day (Tuesday April 1). Polls are open 7am-8pm. Let your voice be heard - be sure to take a look at the Amherst Bulletin website & the Amherst Town Government website for voter information including candidates, sample ballots, polling places, etc.: .

Earth Hour

Can you send a message in the dark? Express your concern about climate change by joining the Earth Hour effort. Join 35 cities across the US and turn off your lights between 8:00 – 9:00pm this Saturday night.

5th Sunday

The South Congregational Church of Amherst has very generously offered to help Crocker Farm with a playground clean up effort! If you would like to pitch in, just bring your energy & a rake if you've got one to the school at 10:45am on Sunday March 30th. Members of the congregation will be there to rake mulch, clean up trash & make everything look spiffy for spring.

Meet School Committee Candidate

Please join Chrystel Romero (one of the 2 candidates for School Committee) in the Main Lobby at Crocker Farm from 6:00 - 6:30pm on Friday March 28. She will be there to introduce herself and answer your questions. Catherine Sanderson is the other candidate & she came last week.

Coffee Orders Due Wednesday 4/2

Nnnnneeeeeeeddddd m m m ore C C C OFFEE!!!!

Fret not friends - It's CROCKER JAVA to the rescue!
Orders are due next Wednesday April 2.

Click HERE for order forms in English and Spanish. Just print one out, fill it in & send it to school with your kiddo for Delicious, Organic, Fair Trade, Locally Roasted Coffee for a GOOD CAUSE! You'll have your fix by April 9th.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Quidditch Game Friday

You’ve got to get going early to witness a real live Quidditch Game on the Pitch (well really the Freshman Quad) at Amherst College! At 7:00am this Friday Amherst plays Middlebury in a terrestrial version of the Harry Potter favorite. Rumor has it that the CBS Early Show will be there to cover the event so get there early & bring your capes!

Media, Body Image, and Our Kids

Fathers, Mothers, Guardians, Teachers and Staff of the Amherst/ Pelham Elementary School Community~ Join us to explore Media, Body Image, and Our Kids on Tuesday, April 8, 2008, from 6:30-8:00pm in the Middle School Cafeteria.

Erica Scharrer, Dept. of Communication, UMass Amherst and Tom Gardner, Dept. of Communication, Westfield State College will facilitate a discussion on the following questions: How is body image portrayed in the media? How does media imagery of bodies impact our kids, both boys and girls? What are ways to help kids think critically about messages in the media? We'll view parts of two films, "Slim Hopes: Advertising and the Obsession with Thinness" and "Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity," and follow with an informal discussion.

For more info, contact Chris Felton, 253-1242, or Sue Cairn, 253-9148, Childcare can be provided. Please contact Chris by April 4 if childcare is needed. Sponsored by: Diversity and Social Justice Committee of the Fort River Parent Council

Healthy, Stress Free Family Meals

Picky eaters and hectic schedules can mean frustrating meal times. Come join a dynamic duo of Alisa Braverman (Reg. Dietician) and Deb Jones (Pediatric OT), in an evening workshop. They will present ideas on how to simplify healthy meal preparation and how to broaden the mealtime repertoire through a simple and effective program. Weds. April 9, 7 - 8:15 pm at Whole Children, 8 River Drive, Hadley. Please preregister by calling 585-8010 or

Amherst Grows Green!

Come downtown and celebrate the Earth on Saturday April 26th! For details on all info, events & free tree seedlings, please see the “in the news” link at

Arbor Day festivities on the Amherst Common from 9:00am – 1:00pm and
Earth Day festivities on North Pleasant Street (Shopping area) from 11:00am – 3:00pm.

Go, Kids Art, Go!

Amherst Community Arts Center, Leverett Crafts & Arts, and Hampshire Franklin Children's Daycare Center are pleased to present:
Go, Kids Art, Go! Celebrating the artist in every child.
An exhibition of children's artwork from schools and organizations in the Hampshire-Franklin Region. On display in the Barnes Gallery at Leverett Crafts & Arts Saturday March 8-Sunday April 27, 2008; Gallery Hours: Fri-Sun, 2-5pm

Opening Reception & Party - Saturday March 29, 2008, 11am-5pm
FREE EVENTS for children and families, including: music, dance, art demos and face painting.
FEATURING: The Pop Rockets!
A raffle and bake sale will also be held to benefit the three organizations and Go, Kids Art, Go!

For further information contact Hillary Milens, Executive Director, Amherst Community Arts Center(413) 253-65,

Monday, March 24, 2008

Families + Math = Fun!

Remember that Family Math Night is this Wednesday March 26 from 6:00 - 7:30pm. Open to all students in grades PreK, Kindergarten, 1 & 2; this night will feature fun & exciting math activities!

MCAS Readiness

For the MCAS schedule for this week & next click HERE.

It is extremely important that your child comes to school on-time, well-rested and ready to d0 their best on the MCAS exams.
Please make sure that your child:
* Gos to bed on time
* Gets to school on time
* Eats a good breakfast (at home or at school)

You can also help by packing a healthy snack for your child. Many teachers have asked parents to help provide extra snacks and drinks for their classrooms.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

One World Festival Needs Volunteers

Are you already thinking of what your family will sing at the One World Festival on April 9th? Well, you should be! This event is a unique and wonderful Crocker Farm tradition where families share food, stories, dances and songs that represent their cultural heritage with the community. It's a great opportunity to sample tastes and sounds from around the world! And the more people participate, the better the event!

If you are interested in bringing a dish to share or performing please contact the event organizer Jose Gerena at 413-219-1815 or as soon as you can!

PGO Looking for a Secretary

Sadly, the PGO's Secretary needs to step down due to ever increasing responsibilities at work. If you are interested in taking on this job for the rest of the school year, or if you'd simply like some additional information please contact Erika Zekos at 256-1045 or

Thanks Jenn for all of your hard work so far this year!

MCAS Schedule

Monday 3/24
Grade 3 ELA

Tuesday 3/25
Grade 3 ELA
Grade 4 Compositioin

Wednesday 3/26
Grade 5 ELA

Thursday 3/27
Grade 3 ELA
Grade 5 ELA

Friday 3/28
Grade 5 ELA
Make-ups for Grade 3

Monday 3/31
Grade 4 ELA
Grade 5 ELA

Tuesday 4/1
Grade 4 ELA
Grade 6 ELA

Wednesday 4/2
Make-up day for Grade 4 Composition & other grades as needed

Thursday 4/3
Grade 4 ELA
Grade 6 ELA

Friday 4/4
Final make-up day

Friday, March 14, 2008

No School Monday

Remember everyone - Monday March 17th is a Teacher Curriculum Day. That means NO SCHOOL! Happy St. Patrick's Day & see you on Tuesday.

Principal Search

Here's a nice article in the Amherst Bulletin about the principal searches.

3 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Here are 3 great ways to catch a little early spring this weekend...

* Mount Holyoke College Spring Flower Show
-- thru March 16 in Talcott Greenhouse, Mount Holyoke College. Free admission. 538-2116.

* Smith College Spring Bulb Show -- thru March 16 at Lyman Plant House, Smith College, College Lane, Northampton. Hours: daily, 10-4. Free.

* Shearing Day -- Annual sheep-shearing festival March 15, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Winterberry Farm, 21 Teawaddle Hill Road, Leverett. Food, music, spinning and weaving demos; shearings at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Free; donations welcome.

Not Free, But For a Great Cause

* Amherst Monte Carlo Night -- 4th annual benefit for Amherst High School athletics March 15, 6:30 p.m.-midnight, Valentine Hall, Amherst College, College Street, Amherst. Food, games of chance, $10,000 in gifts and prizes; music by Four on the Floor; wine tasting and cash bar. $25 in advance. 549-3700.

Spring Riding Programs

Muddy Brook Farm has an April School Vacation Week Long Riding Program for your budding equestrians. The spring lesson schedule is also ready. Contact Kathy Roberts at or 413-537-7262 for more information.

For the Advanced Planners Out There...

On Tuesday, the Regional School Committee voted to approve the full calendar for the 2008-2009 school year. The first day of school for students will be Thursday, August 28. The full calendar is available on the district website.

School Committee Mtg. Rescheduled

The Amherst School Committee meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, March 18, has been rescheduled. The Amherst Committee will now meet immediately after the Regional School Committee on Tuesday, March 25. The Regional meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in the High School Library.

Amherst & Pelham Kindergarten Registration

The Amherst and Pelham Schools will begin KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION for the 2007-2008 school year on: Tuesday April 29, Wednesday April 30, Thursday May 1. (9:00AM – 2:00pm each day)

Amherst parents/guardians are urged to register at your neighborhood school. Due to overcrowding some children may be attending kindergarten in a school other than their neighborhood school.

There will be one EVENING REGISTRATION to accommodate those whose schedules prevent them from registering during the day. The evening registration will take place on: Wednesday April 30 6:00-7:00pm at Wildwood SchooL (There will be Khmer, Spanish, Korean and Chinese translators available to assist at the evening registration. Parents/guardians from any area of Amherst or Pelham may register their children at this evening session.)

Children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2008 are eligible to enroll in kindergarten for the fall. There are no exceptions to this requirement. An original birth certificate, proof of immunization, proof of residency in the district and a current physical examination are required for admission. The original birth certificate, proof of residency, and immunization record should be brought to registration. A physical examination can be performed up to the start of school and forms for a physician to fill out will be available at registration. If parents have questions concerning student eligibility, they are requested to direct their questions to the appropriate building principal. It is important that you register and make a screening appointment so placement can be made in a timely fashion.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

PGO Meeting & School Committee Candidates

The next PGO meeting is Thursday March 13th 6:30-7:30pm.

Come early at 6:00pm for an opportunity to meet Catherine Sanderson, one of the two candidates for School Committee.
Hope to see you there!

The two candidates for the single open seat on the School Committee are Chrystel Romero and Catherine Sanderson. We are working hard to set up a date when both can come to the school to meet and hear from the CF community.

We'll have free childcare in the cafeteria.

Drama Workshop

Join Multi-Arts for a fun morning of art and drama creativity with beloved teachers Titus Neijens (art) and Zach Sherwin (drama-playwriting).
Saturday, March 15, 10:00 am-12:30 pm Jones Public Library, Amherst
Cost: $10, $5 for families in need of financial aid, free for low income families. Space is limited
To register, mail payment to: Multi-Arts, PO Box 108, Hadley MA 01035
Plus the following information: Name of child, Age, Parent's Name, Phone
This program is supported in part by a grant from Amherst Cultural Council.

Multi-Arts Play Writing Competition

Multi-Arts will award $200 for a play written by children! As a way to inspire children and young adults to create stories and promote their imagination, Multi-Arts invites them to enter a play-writing competition. The winner will get $200 and the staging of their play by children in our summer program. Rules can be found on our website: Just click on the link to the playwriting competition.

Monday, March 10, 2008

6th Graders Invited To Learn About Russian Language at ARPS

The Russian language program will be holding an informational meeting at the Pelham library on Thursday March 20, at 7:00 pm. On hand will be students currently enrolled in the Russian language program at Amherst Regional High School. You will hear about the language program and Russian club activities, including information about the month long cultural exchange in which 14 ARHS students were participants. All current 6th graders in the Amherst Regional Public Schools and their families, are invited to come and find out more about the Russian language program.

This is an amazing program... This year 21 of the 28 Amherst students who entered the National Russian Essay contest won gold medals for their writing. There were 1,397 essays representing 66 schools. The essays of the gold medal winners will now be sent to the Pushkin Institute in Moscow for a second round of international judging.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

High School Musical!

The Hartsbrook School. High School Musical Grand Hotel . Thursday, Friday and Saturday March 6-8, 13-15. 7:00pm. 193 Bay Road, Hadley. Music and Lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest, book by Luther Davis. Based on Vicki Baum’s Grand Hotel by arrangement with Turner Broadcasting Co. with additional lyrics by Maury Yeston. For reservations, call 413-586-1908. Tickets: $8 adult, $5 student, $20 family.

Internet Safety and Savvy

Wednesday, 3/12 7:00PM - 8:30PM at Amherst High School Library. An important look into the online lives of are students! The ARHS Parent Center will be sponsoring a workshop for parents and guardians titled "Internet Safety and Savvy" teen's safety while surfing the Web, as well as posting to such sites as MySpace and UTube. Cynthia Boyle, Director of Community Education and Outreach for the Northwest District Attorney's Office, and an expert in this field, will conduct the workshop. Ms. Boyle is very up to date on the sites that are popular with ARHS students and other teens. This workshop will offer you an important glimpse into the online lives of ARMS and ARHS students. Other topics covered will include: social networking sites, cyber bullying, Internet lingo, online gaming, instant messaging, chat rooms, and bash boards. Online safety tips and family contracts regarding Internet use will also be discussed as important tools for keeping our young people safe while online now and in the future.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Principal Search Update

It has been confirmed and the Daily Hampshire Gazette is reporting this morning that Mike Morris has been named Principal of Crocker Farm. The other principal picks have still not been announced.

Here is a quote from the article by Mary Carey page B3.
“The meeting also included the announcement by Superintendent Jere Hochman that he has appointed Michael Morris, an assistant principal at Crocker Farm Elementary School, to the principal's post. A great cheer went up at the school, at the first announcement, Hochman said. He said he expects to name principal picks for Fort River and Wildwood elementary schools and Amherst Regional Middle School soon.”

Congratulations to Mike and to Crocker Farm!!

Next PGO meeting

Next PGO meeting is next Thursday March 13th 6:30 - 7:30pm in the Community Room. Join us!
Free Childcare
Friendly People
Occasional Snacks
& Good Ideas about what's coming up this spring!

Spring Events at Crocker Farm

Make sure that these dates are on your calendars so that you can participate in some of Crocker Farm's most exciting community events this Spring!

Wednesday March 26, time tba
Math Fun & Games for kids and families in grades K - 2!

Wednesday April 9, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Our fantastic evening of home made food and home grown performances from around the world, brought to you by Crocker Farm's own talented families. Contact Jose Gerena or Erika Zekos if you are interested in performing or cooking a dish.

ALL SCHOOL MUSICAL, "Kids on Broadway":
Thursday April 17 at 9:30am and 6:30pm
This year it's Broadway!

Wednesday May 7
A great opportunity to visit with friends, buy books cheap AND support classroom libraries at the same time.

ICE CREAM SOCIAL w/ a special performance by children's musician Roger Ticknell:
Friday May 16th, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
This fund raiser tastes delicious!

Saturday May 31, all day
Start setting aside all your gently used kid stuff (clothes, games, toys, sports equipment, etc.) because we're doing it again! This is a not to be missed opportunity to clean out your closets and support the school (not to mention go home with some great stuff)!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Stop&Shop A+ Bonus Bucks Update

Fantastic news folks! We now have 40 households signed up for Stop&Shop's A+ Bonus Bucks program. They've earned $466.03 for Crocker Farm by shopping at the store! The program will run for just one more month so it's not too late to sign up! CF's code is 05194.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

[remember, it's the 1st Wed. of each month...]

Click HERE for order forms in English and Spanish. Just print one out, fill it in & send it to school with your kiddo for Delicious, Organic, Fair Trade, Locally Roasted Coffee for a GOOD CAUSE!