Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Community Event: Select Board Candidate Forum

Come on out and hear the Select Board candidates talk about their positions on Amherst's future! There will be an informational meeting hosted by the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Thursday, October 16 at 6:00 - 7:30pm at the Amherst Regional Middle School. For more information call 413-253-0700 or email info@amherstarea.com

Friday, September 26, 2008

Next Week at Crocker Farm

Wednesday Oct. 1: Summer Read-a-Thon pledges are due. Make sure that your child collects his or her pledges for all their summer reading. All of the children will receive some fun prizes for participating in the program and all of the money they earned will be redistributed to the classroom teachers to help pay for beginning of the year supplies.

Thursday Oct. 2: Kindergarten Open House 6:00 - 7:00pm.
Come hear about what your kindergarteners are doing this year in school. Childcare will be provided for those who cannot make other plans. Please let the school know that you need a space for your child by calling the office: 362-1600 before 3:00pm on Monday Sept. 29.

Friday Oct. 3: Crocker Java Coffee Orders are due! Get your forms HERE.

Community Event: Make Sure You Child Doesn't Get Left Inside.

The Berkshire Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club is starting up hikes and other events to get kids outdoors. Our first outing will be a short hike at Buffam Falls in Pelham on Saturday, Sept. 27.

The goal is to have at least one kid-friendly event every month of the year. Possibilities include scavenger hunts, building fairy houses, and letter boxing. There is no cost for the hikes and you don't have to be an AMC member. Anyone interested in attending family events or helping with the program can contact Nancy Weld (a Crocker Farm mom), Family Programs chair (info below).

The Sept. 27 to Buffam Falls event will be a short hike at a slow pace, with plenty of opportunity to throw rocks and sticks into the water and explore nature. We may get a snack, lunch or ice cream afterward. We’ll start at 10 a.m.

Our second event, on Oct. 12, will be a hike up Rattlesnake Knob which is a smaller peak just east of Mount Norwottuck, part of the Holyoke Range in Amherst. We will meet at 10 a.m. and may gather for lunch afterward.

Contact Leader Nancy Weld for more information (413) 256-8728 or at familyprograms@amcberkshire.org.

Community Event: Harvest Festival

Sunday September 28th. 1:00 - 6:00pm is the North Amherst 3rd Annual Harvest Festival, being held at Simple Gifts Farm, Located on North Pleasant Street, North Amherst.

Community Event: Kendrick Park Ideas

The Kendrick Park Committee is looking for your input, thoughts and ideas for the best look, use and overall “feel” for Amherst’s newest park, located at the North end of downtown. Tell us your vision for the beautiful, 3.3 acre Kendrick Park located between N. Pleasant and E. Pleasant Sts. (across from Bertucci's).

School Community Meeting: Sun. 9/28/08 3:00 @ Kendrick Park

General Community Meeting: Tues. 10/14/08 7:00 pm @ Town Hall - Town Room

If you can't make the meetings, mail your ideas to:
Kendrick Park Committee
Town Manager’s Office Town Hall
4 Boltwood Ave.
Amherst, MA 01002

Election Reminders Nov. 4th

~Parents are responsible Citizens. Are you registered to vote?
~Do you know where to vote?
~Locally, you are needed too! Amherst Town Meeting needs more members in Precincts 1, 2, 5, 6 and 9. Please visit the Town Clerk for more information.
~And for Crocker Farm: be sure to help with the biggest Bake Sale ever on November 4th!

Fun, cool stuff for families to do around Amherst

Free passes family passes are available
at the Jones Library!! All you have to do is call or stop by to pick them up. Eric Carle Museum / Boston Museum of Fine Arts / Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum / Clark Art Institute / Historic Deerfield / Holyoke Children's Museum / Mass MoCA / Smith College Museum of Art / Springfield Museums at the Quadrangle / The Zoo in Forest Park / Mystic Aquarium/ Wadsworth Athenaeum

The Amhest College Musuem of Natural History is FREE to the public from 11am-4pm Tuesday - Sunday. Just stroll right in to see incredible, towering skeletons (including a wooly mammoth!) and the worlds largest collection of dinosaur footprints (many collected right here in Amherst).

Hitchcock Center: Nature's Storytime Tuesdays at 11:00am
Jones Library: Preschool Storytime Thursdays at 10:30am
Barnes and Noble: Preschool Stories and Crafts Thursdays at 11:00am
Barnes and Noble: Friday night Stories, Fridays at 5:30pm
Eric Carle Museum: Storytime, Tuesday, Friday & Saturday at 10:30am, Saturday & Sunday at 2:00pm
The Toy Box: Storytime Sundays at 11:30am


Junior Chess Club (grades 3 – 5) Saturdays from 2 - 3 pm (Oct. 4, Nov. 1, Dec. 6, Jan. 3, Feb. 7, Mar. 7)
Senior Chess Club (grades 6 & up) Saturdays from 3:30 - 5 pm (Oct. 4, Nov. 1, Dec. 6, Jan. 3, Feb. 7, Mar. 7)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Curriculum Night Schedule

6:00 Arrivals

6:10 Greeting by Mr. Morris

6:30 Specials/Resource personnel (for parents of grades 4 - 6) and Grades 1, 2, 3 presentations (in classrooms)

7:10 Specials/Resource personnel (for parents of grades 1 - 3) and Grades 4, 5, 6 presentations (in classrooms)

7:40 End of evening announcement in the cafeteria

Childcare drop off is in the Cafeteria.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Art Classes at ACAC

Spice up your fall with an art class at Amherst Community Arts Center!Classes for children, teens & adults begin the weeks of September 22nd & 30th. Classes include: drawing, painting, pottery & handbuilding, jewelry fabrication, mixed media, mask & puppet making, and much more. Great for any age or ability!Look for our class listings in the Amherst Leisure Times or visit www.lsse.org. For further questions please call LSSE at 259-3065 or ACAC at 253-9265. Registration going on Now!

Community Voices Budget Choices

Please consider this a personal invitation to help plan the future of Amherst. On October 2, 2008 at 7PM, please come to the Town Room of Town Hall to hear three possible budget scenarios for Amherst. The Facilitation of Community Choice Committee has been working for months to compile vast amounts of data so the public can make informed decisions about our budgetary future. At this meeting, you will not only be able to hear about the budget scenarios we are faced with, you will also have an opportunity to voice your opinion about what you believe is the most important direction for Amherst in the next five years.

We hope to hear from as many people in town as possible because these decisions affect each and every one of us,
Irv Rhodes , Facilitation of Community Choices Committee

Aye Matey!

Avast, me hearties, Friday Sept. 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day... we hear that some mates are making a weekend of it, arrrg!

Community Event: Amherst Bike Fair

The Commons Group invites you to the Amherst Bike Fair
Saturday, Sept. 20th
Amherst Town Common, 9am to 1pm

Join us to learn about Riding Bikes Safely (An actual half-hour class begins at 11:00), Rules of the Road, Our Speed Limit Petition, Area Bike Maps. And take a look at: A Unicycle Demonstration & a Hybrid Bike
Contact Mary-256-6005, Eduardo-687-8049

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Community Event: Latin Fest This Saturday, Families Welcome!

Latino Youth Media Institute Showcase, Friday, September 19, 5-8 PM, Fine Arts Center Concert Hall Lobby, Free! A showcase of work by young local Latinos that have been selected to participate in the Latino Youth Media Institute. Using various media, each project conveys an important personal experience relating to their family, their community and to society as a whole.

India: “The Princess of Salsa”& Jesus Pagan y su Orquesta, Sat, September 20, 8 PM, Concert Hall, Free Festival on the Plaza, 5-8 PM: Salsa lessons and demonstrations, live music by ARHS's Bomba Ensemble and dancing to music by DJ Bongohead (Pablo Yglesias). There will be Latin food provided by Salsarengue (children 10 and under eat for free) and free craft activities for children.

Exhibit: Nuestras Abuelas (Our Grandmothers): Their Hope, Our Strength
Photographs and Essays, Fine Arts Center’s Central Gallery, Sept 25 - Oct 25.:
An exhibit that reveals how the legacy of the Latina matriarca influences her granddaughters today.

Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18. With that in mind, the UMass Fine Arts Center will offer several events that celebrate Hispanic culture, food, music and art. This is a great opportunity for families to share and to learn more about Latino culture.

Thanks for Coming!

The Welcome Back Picnic was a lot of fun this year! The weather was fantastic & the crowd was great. The pizza & bake sale treats were pretty delicious too! Thank you to Jenn Chylack for organizing a wonderful event and to those of you who helped out or just showed up!

Next Week at Crocker Farm

Wednesday Sept. 24: Curriculum Night
Come meet your child's teachers and hear about what they'll be working on this year. This is opportunity to visit the classroom and to hear about their studies in Mathematics, English Language Arts, Sciences, etc.

Childcare will be provided for free, please call the office (362-1600 to let them know how many kids you'll be dropping off).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

TONIGHT! Welcome Back Picnic

It's time again for the Welcome Back Picnic!

Join your classmates, friends and neighbors on the Crocker Farm playground this Wednesday evening at 5:30pm!

Bring a picnic dinner (or buy a slice of pizza from the PGO). There's a bake sale table for desert and of course, there will be games and prizes for the kids.

Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Attention Summer Read-A-Thon Participants!

Thank you for all your reading!! Now it’s time to collect your pledges from your sponsors, and bring the money you collect in to your teacher. Soon you should receive an envelope with your name on it containing instructions—please bring your money in to the school by October 1. Remember, the money you raise will go to teachers to use in their classrooms. And the grade with the most participants will win a special trophy to display at school!

Grocery Shop for Crocker Farm

Good News! Stop&Shop and Big Y are back with their education support programs once again. When you do your regular grocery shopping at these stores with your card the stores donate a percentage of your purchase price back to Crocker Farm! It doesn't cost you any more, but it earns serious cash for the school. You should sign up today!

Big Y's Education Express is returning after last year's hiatus. This program earns the school "points" that can be converted into sports equipment, computers, etc. at the end of the year.

Stop&Shop's A+BonusBucks program sends a check to Mr. Morris at the end of the year. Last year 41 households earned Crocker Farm over $700!

Sign up on line by clicking the links above or stop at the Customer Service Desk at the store. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

1st PGO Meeting of the Year

The PGO is meeting this Thursday night & we've got a whole new year ahead of us to plan. Do you have ideas or questions to share? Please join us at 6:30 in the Community Room. Childcare is free & in the cafeteria.

Deans Beans Please!

We can only imagine what kind of condition you're in after whole summer of caffeine withdrawal... Well, shake and sweat no more - CROCKER JAVA is back and here to make your mornings pleasant once again!

The PGO sells Crocker Java coffee EVERY MONTH!

USUALLY orders are due at the school by the FIRST WEDNESDAY of the month. However, because we love you, this month we're giving you an extra week. GET YOUR
ORDER FORMS IN BY SEPT. 10TH!! You'll have your coffee by Sept. 17th.

Crocker Java is a delicious organic, kosher, Fair Trade coffee provided by Dean's Beans. Money raised supports the school!

Friday, September 5, 2008

School Events Coming Up

Here's what's on deck for Crocker Farm:

Monday 9/8 (8:30 - 9:00am): COFFEE WITH A PRINCIPAL

Join Principal Mike Morris in the Cafeteria for an informal conversation and a cup of coffee. This program is new to Crocker Farm. Mr. Morris or Mr. Smith will host a "Coffee" on the first Monday of every month. See the Calendar for the full list of dates.

Thursday 9/11 (6:30 - 7:30pm):
We'll be meeting in the Community Room to introduce the PGO and outline our plans for another year of supporting students, teachers and community. Newcomers welcome! Feel free to bring your children, we provide free childcare for you in the Cafeteria.

9/17 (5:30 - 7:30pm): WELCOME BACK PICNIC
This is a fun and casual event on the Playground to celebrate the new school year. Everyone's invited (many middle schoolers even come back for this one)! Bring a picnic dinner (or buy a slice of pizza from the PGO) and plan to meet your neighbors and your kids' classmates. The PGO provides fun games and prizes for the little ones too.

Superintendent Search Public Forums

A consultant, Jacqueline Roy of J.A. Roy Associates, has been hired to assist the Committee in the search process for a new Superintendent of Schools. Ms. Roy will begin her work in the district by meeting with a variety of groups, representing a broad range of constituencies within the school district and community in order to help define the qualities, skills and experience that the public and district staff is looking for in a new superintendent, along with information about the district’s current strengths and challenges. Each focus group meeting will last approximately 45 minutes to one hour.

Monday, September 15
6:30 pm Parent Forum – all schools + Leverett and Shutesbury at HS Library
7:15 pm School Councils & PTOs at HS Library

Tuesday, September 16
8 am Anti Racism Community Groups at Bangs Center
9:30 am Amherst Education Foundation at School District Central Office
11 am Community/Citizen Forum at Jones Library
2:30 pm SE Parents/Guardians at School District Central Office
5 pm ELL Parents/Guardians/Teachers/Paras at HS Library
7 pm Public Forum at HS Library

Wednesday, September 17
8 am Amherst Citizens for Excellence at School District Central Office
9:15 am Town Government at Town Hall

Community Event: Get On The Map!

Amherst GIS Viewer Training Seminars
The Amherst GIS Viewer is a powerful system at gis.amherstma.gov that can be used make custom maps, perform geographic analysis and to gather all kinds of information about anyplace in Amherst. Please join us for this hour-long public training seminar designed to teach you how to get the most out of the Amherst GIS Viewer.

Sessions are currently scheduled for the following dates and times:
Monday, Sept. 15, 10:00-11:00am, Town Room, Amherst Town Hall
Thursday, Sept. 25, 7:00-8:00pm, 1st Floor Meeting Room, Amherst Town Hall
Thursday, Oct. 2, 7:00-8:00pm, 1st Floor Meeting Room, Amherst Town Hall

What are some of the things that I can do with the Amherst GIS Viewer? Get Property Information, Sales Histories, Permit Histories, Street Histories, etc! Turn layers on and off to make custom maps Draw right on the map using the markup tools Make maps at various sizes in Adobe Acrobat PDF format E-mail maps to friends and colleagues Convert maps and markups into Google Earth KML format

Reservations are not required. Feel free to RSVP or just come by. For more information, please contact: Mike Olkin GIS Administrator, Town of Amherst 4 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, MA 01002 PH 413-259-3247 FX 413-256-4006 http://gis.amherstma.gov/ See Amherst in 3D: http://gis.amherstma.gov/3D

Community Event: Girl Scouts Registration Sept. 23

If you have an aspiring Daisy, Brownie, or Junior Girl Scout who is looking for a troop to join, you should attend the Girl Scouts of Western Mass registration night on Tuesday, September 23rd at 5:45 in room 101 of the Bangs Community Center. Aspiring troop leaders may also be needed, so moms are encouraged to attend as well!