Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! And welcome back to school. We're so thankful for all the great stuff that's been happening at school so far this year and can't wait for a great second half. With our second PGO Meeting of the year, the CF MLK Day celebration, Wednesday Clubs and the first Movie Night of the year, January is sure to be an exciting month.
2010 has been a year of great progress and change for CF- with everything from Redistricting to the new playground.  Thank you to all of you who volunteered to help make those efforts successful.   We also wish to thank everyone who has donated their time or money to the PGO.  Your support makes CF a stronger school.
Again, Happy New Year to all. Here's hoping our kids and our whole school community have a great 2011.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday Clubs

We hope you've seen the Wednesday Clubs Session 1 packets in your child's backpack this week. We are excited to be offering a great slate of clubs including LEGO, Winter Adventure, Knitting, Big Art, Futsal Soccer & Computer Animation. Please take a look and fill out your registration forms with your child! *****REGISTRATION FORMS ARE DUE BACK TO SCHOOL NO LATER THAN WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5th, 2011***** (If for some reason you didn't see the Wednesday Clubs info or you need an extra copy, send an email to Erika at & we'll get a packet out to you.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter vacation dates

There will be no school from Friday, December 24, through Sunday, January 2. School begins at the regular time on Monday, Jan. 3.

On Thursday, Dec. 23rd, dismissal time is the same as usual: 3:05.

Stay safe and warm and we'll see you in the new year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thank you, thank you

This is a two-fold thanks. One thank you is to the bakers who helped fill our bus and van driver appreciation bags with delicious treats.
The drivers were very happy to receive such a nice surprise and they (and we!) wanted to pass along thanks. You're wonderful bakers, Crocker families!

The second thank you is a huge one. Crocker dad Chris Garner organized his entire Amherst College men's tennis team to teach CF kids how to play chess.
This club started in November, continued twice a week, and ended today. It was hugely popular and a wonderful gift to our students. Thank you very, very much Chris and the Amherst College men's tennis team.

Thank you all.

Wednesday Clubs

On Monday we'll be sending home information about the first session of Wednesday Clubs so keep your eyes peeled for the detailed packet in your child's backpack. The correct dates for the first 5-week session are:

* SESSION 1: January 19, 26, February 2, 9, 16 (Wednesday afternoons from 1:20 – 2:30 PM)

Please get in touch if you are interested in being a Session 2 or 3 club leader or know someone who’d be great. Micaela ( or Erika ( Thanks!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Paying for school lunches

Can I pre-pay for my student’s lunch online? Yes, will set you up so you can take care of this piece of business from your computer. There is a small fee for processing, but for the convenience (oops ran out of checks or no cash on hand) this online resource is a really good deal. Plus like powerschool, you can view your account balance so you can stay ahead of the game.

A call for nominations

Earlier this month the PGO invited parents and guardians to nominate a teacher, administrator or staff member of the schools for the new Dr. Norma Jean Anderson Award, which recognizes a school employee who “promotes the ideals of a just and respectful community built on compassionate relationships.”  This is a great opportunity for families at Crocker to have input, show support, and affirm the importance of respect and equity in our children's education.  Please take a moment to nominate an inspiring person in our school.  Nominations are being accepted until December 28.  See the attached link for more information.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Art Fun for the Holidays

ETTA’s Holiday Arts and Crafts Show & Sale
Affordable Local Art: Jewelry, Ceramics, Ornaments, Photos, Prints, Felt Art, Paintings, Art Gift Baskets and More.
Opening Receptions: Sat. Dec. 11, 5-7 & Sun. Dec. 12, 1-5 Featuring Live Music & Baked Goods
Weekdays Dec. 13-23, 11-4 ( & Sat. Dec. 18 & Sun. 19, 1-4)

Take a Holiday Break - FUN Classes for Kids at ETTA

Drop + Shop (Dec. 20-23)
Drop your children off for creative play while you shop
$18 - 3:30-5:30pm: Explore Art Materials - All Ages welcome 5+ (Pre-Registration required).

Winter Art Madness “For Families” (Dec. 27-31)
Come make art as a family, or let your child create and play with the ETTA family of artists while you work or relax! Collage, Clay, Cartooning, Painting & More.
$55 per day, Mon – Fri, 9-3. (Sign-up for the full week @$45 per day - Save $10 per day!) Extended day 3-5 add $18 - All ages welcome 5+. (Pre-Registration required)

Call 413-230-3272, email: or stop by 534 Main St., Amherst

Bakers Needed for Bus and Van Driver Appreciation Day!

The next call for baked goods will be Monday, December 13th (this upcoming Monday) as we say thanks to all our amazing bus and van drivers with some yummy treats.  Donations of baked goods can be left in the office that day.  We will wrap and distribute them on Tuesday.  Can you bake for our CF bus and van drivers?  Please email the PGO at

Thank you, thank you, and Happy Weekend!!


Winter Clothing Share article from Amherst Media

Jo, an intern at Amherst Media (formerly ACTV) wrote a lovely article about Crocker Farm's Winter Clothing Share that took place on Monday. Here's a taste:

On December 3rd, Todd Cromack drove to Crocker Farm School with a pick-up truck loaded with bags full of donated coats, hats, jackets and gloves for those in need of the proper New England weather gear. Cromack, a silver-haired, benevolent member of the Amherst Lions Club organized the Lions Club component of the the Crocker Farm/Amherst Lions Winter Clothing Share, in conjunction with Erika Zekos and Micaela Henry of the Crocker Farm School Parent Guardian Organization who manned the school’s coat drive.

Read the rest of the article & see photos at Amherst Media's website.

Free Family Show

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nominations Invited for 1st Annual Norma Jean Anderson Award

Members of the Amherst elementary and regional school community are invited to nominate a teacher, administrator or staff member of the schools for the new Dr. Norma Jean Anderson Award.  The award will recognize a school employee who “promotes the ideals of a just and respectful community built on compassionate relationships.”  The award is presented as “part of the on-going work to remove systemic privilege based on race and class in our schools”.  It is presented by RaDAR (Race and Discipline Action Rights), a local group that is committed to promoting social justice and excellence in the schools.

This is the first year of what will be an annual award.  It will be presented at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast in Amherst, January 15, 2011.

The late Dr. Norma Jean Anderson was a dean at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a leader in addressing issues of educational diversity, opportunity and access.  She was instrumental in mentoring over 300 graduates from the School of Education.  She was a long-time community advocate for justice and equity.  She was a co-founder of the NAACP chapter in Amherst and of Hope Church in Amherst.

Nominations should be sent to RaDAR in care of Reynolds Winslow at:   They must be received by Noon, December 28th.

Those interested in making a nomination can obtain more information from Reynolds Winslow, Jackie Wolf (, Russ Vernon-Jones (, or at

Press contact persons for more information related to this press release:
Russ Vernon-Jones   -  413-687-4080
Jackie Wolf   -  413-549-2958
Reynolds  Winslow  -  413-549-2770

Monday, December 6, 2010

Amherst Youth Basketball

The deadline to sign up for Amherst Youth Basketball is Wednesday, Dec.8th! Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the fun. Teams are being formed right now. The first event of the year is next Saturday, Dec. 11th with a pre-season Jamboree (for those who sign up by 12/8). Look forward to seeing you on the court this winter!

Registration form and flyer with more information are attached.

You can still register online at!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District Proudly presents an Anti-Bullying Education Forum

Parents and Guardians are encouraged to attend a community discussion regarding the Massachusetts Anti-
Bullying Law.  Learn what measures of prevention, protection and education our schools are instituting to address bullying and cyber-bullying.

Chose to attend one of the following sessions:
Dec. 14 Fort River School Library  from 7:00 p.m.—8:30 p.m.
Dec. 16 ARMS Auditorium from 7:00—8:30 p.m.

These forums are free and open to all parents and guardians.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tonight - Merry Maple Celebration!

Friday December 3, starting at 4:15pm on the Amherst Town Common

Schedule of Events (times are approximate):
4:15 - Hayrides by Muddy Brook Farm
4:30 - Amherst Regional School 7th Grade Chorus (front steps of Town Hall)
4:45 - Tree Lighting!!! (Town Common)
5:30 - the UMass Minuteman Marching Band parade reaches the Town Common with Santa! Sing-a-longs and loads of fun for everyone!
6:30 - Visit with Santa at the Amherst History Museum (short walk to 67 Amity Street)

Will include the Annual Toy Drive Drop Off by the Amherst Survival Center. You are invited to bring NEW and UNWRAPPED toys, clothing, sporting equipment, books and games for infants through teens to the common and help local kids in need!

Holiday Appreciation Gifts in Honor of Special Teachers & Staff

Join the Amherst Education Foundation (AEF) in celebrating our teachers and supporting our schools!

Click here or check your child’s backpack for the flyer on how to make a holiday gift to AEF and honor teachers and/or staff. Your honored teacher or staff person will get a personalized gift card letting them know of your thoughtfulness. General end of year contributions to AEF are also welcome and appreciated! Last year, AEF gave over $40,000 to the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools to support teachers in all 8 schools to enhance the educational experience of our children. For more information, visit

(click on the image to print)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Boy Scouts Christmas Tree Sale

The Boy Scouts' annual Christmas Tree sale is in Kendrick Park in North Amherst.

The sale will run through December 24th or until we run out of trees. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 4-8 PM, Saturday-Sunday 9-5 PM. This is our major yearly fundraiser and goes a long way towards supporting programs for Amherst Boy Scout Troops #500 and #504 and Hadley Troop #550. As always, we will have very high quality trees at reasonable prices (6-8 ft trees are $35 and 8 ft-plus trees are $40). Wreaths are available as well ($11 for single variety, $15 for tri weave styles).

New Winter Farmers' Market at ARMS

Amherst Regional Middle School Farmers Market opening this Saturday 12/4

Who: 25 local farmers and producers

Where: Amherst Middle School, 170 Chestnut St., Amherst

What: A brand new Winter Farmers Market

When: Every Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM (starts December 4th )

Why: Because the market will be warm and cozy and have lots of great food!

Have you heard? There is an exciting new Winter Farmers Market at the Amherst Middle School. The grand opening is this Saturday, December 4th . There will be an unbelievable selection of delicious local food. Over 25 farmers and food producers have joined together to offer everything from beautiful baby salad greens and bok choi to artisanal cheese, sweet and crunchy carrots, grass fed lamb, pork, and beef. The list is too big to fit on this page -- Apex Orchard’s famous apples (have you tried their Honey Crisp?!?). Sidehill Farm’s luscious yogurt. El Jardin’s sourdough breads fresh out of the oven. Atlas Farm, Stone Soup Farm, Red Fire Farm, and Simple Gifts will have their wonderful veggie selections. Winter Moon Roots with their carrots, beets, and psychedelic watermelon radishes. Bug Hill Farm's Black Currant Cordials.....And if it gets cold, Balky Farm has hats, gloves, and mittens knitted from their own sheep wool!

Because local food is always a cause for celebration, we are making it a festive event with free music from Darlingside. There will be prepared local delicacies served by the Turkish Kitchen, Tom Hidas's (formerly of Amber Waves restaurant) curried veggies, and the Black Sheep Deli. Live music too. Don’t miss it!!!

If you'd like to sign up for the Winter Farmer’s Market newsletter follow the link below. This will keep you up to date on special events at the market, tasty new recipes, music, and more. We will also let you know about snow closings through this list. We will never share your name or this list with anybody else.

To find out about the Amherst Winter Market, just follow these 2 easy steps:

1) Go to: and write your email address and name.

2) Once you have registered, you will get a confirmation email. Just hit
“Reply” and “Send” and you will receive market updates.

Thanks for joining us at the Amherst Winter Market…and for eating local all year round!

What is happening this Friday?

There will be no school for students in Amherst but it is not a curriculum day and teachers and staff will not be paid that day. However you can expect MOST of them will be showing up to work since the business of schoolwork must get done.

Why is this not a paid day? Last spring as part of a community-wide effort to support shrinking budgets, the teacher’s union put forward a ‘give-back’ that would support the successful passage of the Prop 2½ override. There are many benefits including no mandatory study halls at the high school and sparing many programs. Plus it resulted in an FY11 budgetary savings of more than $335,000.

Another benefit is knowing all of the adults in our community support our schools and the services that make Amherst a great place to live. So thank you teachers and staff at our schools. We appreciate your work on our kids behalf.

Monday, November 29, 2010

No school on Friday

This Friday, Dec. 3, is a teacher work day so no school. Need childcare help? Check out LSSE -- but hurry! The deadline's Tuesday.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winter Clothing Distribution Next Monday

With the weather getting colder, the CF PGO and Lion's Club of Amherst are teaming up to help children of all ages stay warm this winter. Individuals or families in need of boots, jackets, snow pants, hats and/ or gloves are invited to come to Crocker Farm School on Monday, December 6th between the hours of 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM or 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. This event is open to the entire Amherst community. Questions? Email the PGO at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Homeless Shelter Benefit

Amherst Homeless Shelter Benefit
Wednesday November 24

at The HARP 163 Sunderland Road, N. Amherst
Suggested donation: $10 includes: All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet at 7:30 pm and Music by Joe Keenan and Friends, from 9:00 –


All proceeds will fund the cost of immediate renovations to keep the Amherst Homeless Shelter at the First Baptist Church-Amherst open this winter. Donations can also be made to: The First Baptist Church-Amherst, 434 N. Pleasant St., Amherst 01002; memo line: Shelter Fund.
All gifts are fully tax deductible

Library Book Dedication Club

The PGO is thankful for...

...all our gourmet bakers! Yesterday we filled almost 30 bags filled with treats for our paraprofessionals. Julia Child would be so proud.

(If you've still got the baking itch or if you missed this time around, next month we will be making goodie bags for our bus and van drivers. Keep an eye out for more info in a couple of weeks.)

Coffee Order Reminder

Next Wednesday Dec. 1 is the next due date for Crocker Java order forms!

Just in time for holiday gifts! We've got coffee, hot cocoa & dark chocolate java drops - all organic, Fair Trade & deeeelicious.

Click HERE to download an order form.

Fall/Winter After School & Home School Art Programs

Visit to learn more about these programs. Design your own program, by suggesting something you like but would like to see it offered at a different time or day! We may be very flexible!! To register: call 413-230-3272 or email:

**Puppet Skilz Club- learn to make and animate puppets of all kinds with Puppeteer, Anna Sobel
6 weeks, Nov. 29 - Jan. 10: Mondays 11am-2pm, Mondays & Thursdays 4:00-5:30pm. Ages 7-12.

**From Page to Stage: Creative Story Telling and Improvisation Theater for the Actor in all of us! with Ezzell Floranina, clown, stiltwalker, theater director.
6 weeks, Nov. 30- Jan. 12: Tues/Thurs at 11am-2pm & 3:30-5:30pm OR Wed/Fri 11am-2pm Take one, both or a combo! Ages 7-14 (Classes with mixed age groups available, but grouping for younger children and teens also possible.)

{Special Prices for daytime 11am-2pm classes: $220 (includes materials.) After School classes: $110 (includes materials) SIGN UP FOR 2 with 10% Discount on 2nd class!

**Comic Book Illustration –learn the skills of creating your own comics from a professional cartoonist, Rebecca Migdal.
7 Weeks, Dec. 3 – Feb. 4: Fridays 11am-2pm for Ages 8-11 / Fridays 2:30-5:30pm for Ages 11+ {$245 for 7 week session plus a $25 model fee} Also for Ages 8+: Mondays & Tuesdays, 4:00-5:30pm / Wednesdays, 2:00-3:30pm & 4:00-5:30pm
{$110 (includes materials) SIGN UP FOR 2 with 10% Discount on 2nd class! }

Monday, November 22, 2010

Winter Clothing Distribution

Great news! We are so pleased to be able to expand this year's Winter Clothing Distribution with the generous help of the Lions Club of Amherst.

We had our first distribution date last week and were able to help many kids at CF to find a parka, hat, mittens, snowpants or boots. Meanwhile -- the Lions have been collecting coats too & with our help, will be distributing them, not only to CF families, but to the whole school community on a second distribution date set for December 6.

Individuals or families in need of boots, jackets, snow pants, hats and/ or gloves are invited to come to Crocker Farm School on Monday, December 6th between the hours of 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM or 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. This event is open to the entire Amherst community. Sponsored by the CF PGO in partnership with The Lions Club of Amherst.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Picture Re-Take Day is Monday!

This Monday, November 22, 2010 is picture re-take day at Crocker Farm.  Please remember to return your student's pictures if you are opting to retake them and complete the form on the envelop. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Be Our Guest

No chess club next week!

If you've got a chess club member in your family, take note! Amherst College is on Thanksgiving vacation all of next week and we so won't have our wonderful instructors. As a result, there will be no chess club on Monday, the 22nd.

Or Friday the 26th but you probably knew that one already.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Coffee Coordinator Wanted

Our current Coffee Queen thinks it's time to hand over the reins to a new coordinator. It's a pretty easy job - certainly one of the easiest, best smelling & most caffeinated volunteer gigs that the PGO has to offer. It does necessitate a couple of visits to the school each month, but you can spend 30 min. or less each Wednesday of each month to get the job done:

1st Wednesday: Collect & call in orders (at school)
2nd Wednesday: distribute orders (at school)
3rd Wednesday: advertise in Chronicles (from home)
4th Wednesday: advertise on PGO Blog (from home)

If this is a job you think you'd be interested in pleae let Erika know & she'll hand over all the files & walk you through how to do each step during December.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Drama Class Offering

Clothing Drive Continues

Have your kids tried on last year's winter clothes yet? If you have any gently used items that you can donate to the PGO's Winter Clothing Drive we'd really appreciate it! We're collecting until Friday Nov. 12:
* coats * snow pants * snow boots * hats * mittens * gloves * scarves * snowsuits *

Drop off:
Anytime during school hours, through November 12 in the CF lobby.

Pick up: If you would like any of these clothes for your family or know someone in need, please plan to come by the school Monday November 15, 6:00 – 8:00pm or Tuesday November 16, 8:30am – 3:00pm.

Wednesday Clubs Need YOU!

For the past 2 years Crocker Farm has offered a few weeks of fun Wednesday afternoon club offerings each spring. We’ve had clubs like Chess, Art, Gardening, Knitting, Spanish, Science, Structures & last year over 140 children participated! This year we are excited to expand the program & are planning for (3) 5-week sessions in 2011.

Wednesday afternoons from 1:20 – 2:30 PM:
* SESSION 1: January 12, 19, 26, February 2, 9
* SESSION 2: February 16, March 2, 9, 16, 23
* SESSION 3: March 30, April 6, 13, 27, May 4

Now we need club leaders - especially for Session 1!! Do you have an interest in sharing your talents with a group of kids? It could be Web Design, Outdoor Nature Club, Knitting, Jump Rope, Arts & Crafts... ANYTHING goes!

Club Leader perks:
You receive a small stipend from the PGO
Your child(ren) will be sure to receive a spot in a club of their choice
You decide the age range of the kids you wish to work with (for ex. grades K-3 or 4-6)
You have a fantastic opportunity to be an important part of the Crocker Farm community!

Please get in touch right away if you are interested in being a Club Leader or think of someone who’d be great. Micaela ( or Erika ( Thanks!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November 13-14 Amherst Rotary Auction on ACTV

Crocker Farm and the PGO were fortunate this Spring to receive a $25,000 Community Grant from the Amherst Rotary Club to put our fundraising efforts for the new playground over the top!

 Funding for this annual grant was provided by a new fundraiser – the Amherst Rotary Auction, which is being held again this weekend online and on ACTV Channel 12 on Friday, November 12  (6 p.m.-9.p.m.) and Saturday, November 13 (12 p.m. to 9 p.m.)

This auction will offer some great bargains on over 400 items with a total value of over $60,000; and proceeds will go to fund next year’s Rotary Community Grant to another good cause. Please support the community and get a start on your Christmas shopping by participating in this year’s auction! 

Check out the auction’s catalogue in last week’s Amherst Bulletin, bid online now at, and participate live in the auction on ACTV Channel 12 this weekend!

ARHS Elementary Challange


On fields behind the Amherst Regional High School

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 (see time schedule below)

How far: 
 1K (.62 miles) for Kindergarten through second grade
1.5K (.93 miles) for grades three and four
2K (1.25 miles) for grades five and six

How much:  
Donation requested, but not required

Schools Invited:   
Crocker Farm, Wildwood, Fort River, Shutesbury, Pelham, Leverett, Common School, Amherst Montessori

Time Schedule
K-2 boys and girls (3:30)
3-4 boys and girls (3:50)
5-6 boys and girls (4:10)
(Please register as close to 3:00 as possible)

Sponsored by the Amherst Regional Boys Cross Country Team.

Day Light Savings Time Ends

Remember to set your clocks back 1 hour tonight! (And you thought we only kept you up-to-date on Crocker Farm)!

It's Not Too Late to Register your Stop&Shop Card!

Help CF earn money every time you shop.  Enroll on-line at by November 30th  and your school will receive credit for ALL of your November purchases!  CF's code is 05194.

Election Day Bake Sale

The results are in and the CF Election Day Bake Sale raised $407.00 for the Crocker Farm General Fund!  A huge thanks goes out to our amazing bakers and volunteers.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kindergarten Wish List - Ms. Newcomb

As we receive wish lists for teachers this fall, we'll post them here on the blog...

Here are some things that Ms. Newcomb's Kindergarten could really use!


paper towels

5 oz. paper cups


wet wipes for hands



washable markers

watercolor paint sets

masking and scotch tape

craft supplies (pom-poms, large tongue depressors, stickers, wrapping paper, etc.)

Thank you for any of these you can provide!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Guided Tour for Neighbors and Citizens of the Hawthorne Property

You are invited to attend a Guided Tour for Neighbors and Citizens of the Hawthorne Property. These 6+ acres were recently purchased for open space, recreation and affordable housing using funds from the Community Preservation Act. The property is ideally situated within walking distance of 3 out of 5 of Amherst’s public schools. A portion of the land may be transformed to multi-purpose fields or developed for another recreational use and although it may not be utilized down the road for a specific sport/activity of your interest it WILL inevitably affect how the entire inventory of the rest of our parks and recreation fields are used and maintained. The purpose of this meeting and a subsequent meeting on December 9th will be to gather input as to how the area should best be developed.

Please make every effort to attend this public session/walkthrough on Saturday, November 6th from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and give us your feedback.

ETTA Art Studio

Visual & Performing ART CLASSES for Youth & Adults:
Why?: Art is about life. It is about freedom of expression. Art is a way to develop creative thinking! Because there is an artist inside of everyone!
Where?: ETTA ART STUDIO, 534 Main St., AMHERST (corner of High St. and Main St.); 413-230-3272
When?: 2nd Fall Session begins on Mon. Nov. 15th - 4 or 6 week Sessions, after school and evenings. (NOTE: There are also some “one time” or “drop in” class options! Call to find out if this is possible for the class you want! Open for After School Classes: Mon./ Tues./ Thurs./ Fri. - 3:30-5:30 and Wed. 2- 5:30

A “Taste” of Classes this fall: (see full list on **********************************************
Tues.+ Thurs. 3:30-5:30 ** Theater Improv/ Comedy and Acting for the Stage! Class offered: 2 day or 1 day a week option! Sliding scale & 10% discount: for 2! Ages 11+ (Teacher: Ezzell FloraniƱa/Stilts performer, Stage Clown and Theater Director)
This class brings in the techniques and games from Theater Improvisation as well as acting basics of character development and storytelling techniques, voice, stage presence and use of props. Drawing from many sources and theories, this is a class about process and development and is for ALL Abilities. Guaranteed to have plenty of laughter!
Wed. 2-3:30 **Painting and Drawing Basics with a Twist of Cartoon Techniques!
For Ages 9+
(Teacher : Rebecca Migdal/Comic Book Illustrator + Graphic Novelist-Teacher)
This class will cover the basic skills of drawing and painting for self-expression and narrative processes. Special attention will be paid to storytelling, and to the human figure and the interaction of figures in space. We will also look at artists throughout history and in a range of cultures who have used representational images to portray stories and ideas.

Wed. 2-3:30 OR 4-5:30 **Clay, Clay and More !!!
(2-3:30 by Ezzell FloraniƱa / 4-5:30 Teacher: Dara Herman-Zierlein/Artist, painter, sculptor+Art Educator)
For ALL Ages
This is a fun class for the young artist to be able to explore the properties of clay and use of tools. The students will be pinching, rolling and scoring to create simply forms like cups and bowls. Students will also come to an understanding of 3-D sculptures and will explore making animals, masks , environments and other creative art works out of hand building with clay. **********************************************
SEE MORE CLASSES ON WEB or call for details:
YOUTH Classes: Mon. - Puppet Skilz with Anna Sobel -; Wed. – Clay, Clay and more with Ezzell and Dara (two times/day); Thurs.- Portrait Drawing with Katalina Each session is $98 for a 6 week session. Material fee $12. Some classes may be open for “drop in” or a one time experience!

ADULT Classes: **Metal Clay Jewelry Class: Wed. 6-9pm/4 weeks $140 Starting Nov 17th - Teacher : Ruth Levine

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don’t Let Your Jack-o-Lantern Languish in a Landfill!

He’ll be much happier with his buddies at Crocker Farm Elementary School. Instead of throwing Jack in the trash after Halloween, bring him to Crocker Farm on November 4. He will be mixed with fruit and vegetable waste, autumn leaves, earthworms and microorganisms. Next spring he’ll be reincarnated as nutritious, plant-loving hummus.

Bring your pumpkin to the designated “pumpkin round-up” area behind the school (Shays Street access) by 4 pm Thursday Nov. 4. Our crack compost team will take care of the rest!

Clothing Drive Continues

A quick reminder that the PGO is now collecting donations of warm winter clothes, especially:
* coats * snow pants * snow boots * hats * mittens * gloves * scarves * snowsuits *

Drop off:
Anytime during school hours, through November 12 in the CF lobby.

Pick up: If you would like any of these clothes for your family or know someone in need, please plan to come by the school Monday November 15, 6:00 – 8:00pm or Tuesday November 16, 8:30am – 3:00pm.

Hey, wanna play chess?

Come join the 2nd – 6th Grade Crocker Farm Chess Club!

Want to learn how to play chess? Already know the basics and want to hone your skills? Come play chess after school with the Amherst College men’s tennis team!

The dates & skill levels are:

Beginners Chess
Nov. 8 – Dec. 13
Mondays 3:15 – 4:15

Intermediate/Advanced Chess
Nov. 12 – Dec. 17
Fridays 3:15 – 4:15

Send us an email if your child would like to play at

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Calling All Bakers!

Pre-heat those ovens!  The PGO is looking for people to provide baked goods for Tuesday's Election Day bake sale.  This annual event runs from 8 AM - 8 PM. We need everything from muffins to desserts.  Baked goods can be dropped off anytime this Monday or Tuesday and our fantastic volunteers will sell them to hungry Precinct 7 voters.  Thanks in advance for your support and don't forget to vote!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Dance Thank Yous!

Tonight's dance was such a success!  Over 200 people attended and fun was had by all.  The PGO wishes to thank DJ Sam Becker for volunteering his time, spinning great tunes and keeping everyone on the dance floor.  We also wish to recognize the following volunteers for their contribution to this first ever event:  Ann Becker for the crafts, Pam Doyle for the spooky sensory table, Donna Rousso for awesome decorations, Anastasia Morton, Renata Shepard and Sylvia Keochakian for set up and break down assistance. Thanks to all the bakers and volunteers who stepped up to help sell yummy treats. 

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Halloween Dance Tonight!

The first ever CF Halloween Dance is tonight from 6:30 - 8:30 PM in the cafeteria.  Sam Becker, ARHS Student and CF sibling will play your favorite spooky kid songs.  A haunted courtyard and a "gross- what is that" feeling table will provide entertainment for those who need a break from the dance floor.  A bake sale will be held to benefit the CF Snack Fund.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Run on the Farm!

Come run and have fun on the farm! Join us this Saturday at Bramble Hill Farm for a 3 mile race and free kids’ fun runs. Events will begin at 9:30 and costumes are optional. T-shirts to the first 75 entrants for the 3 mile race, prizes (including best costume), and delicious post-race refreshments. Family rate available for families running the 3 mile course. For more information, go to: or call Nick Hopley at 256-0234. Hope to see you Saturday!

Music teacher wish list

Our wonderful Ms. Zsigmondi informs us she could really use:

Big bottle of hand gel for cleaning 5th grade hands
Several boxes of tissues
Small drinking cups

Can you help? If so, please bring any donations to the front office. Thank you!

AEF Trivia Bee Thursday!

Q: What organization raised and gave away $40,000 to the Amherst Regional Public Schools in grants last year?
A : Amherst Education Foundation!

Join AEF for Amherst’s “Not to Miss” Fall Event!
Thursday October 28th
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. in the Amherst Middle School Auditorium

Who will get an ‘A’ at the Bee? Under the direction of Ellen Story, 30 teams (including students, school principals & town administrators) will vie for bragging rights to be “Trivia Bee Champion”. The evening will include refreshments, lots of trivia and laughs. Admission is free with donations to AEF welcome. See you there!

It's Time For November Coffee Orders

Decaf or Regular in Whole Bean or Ground -- We'll take care of your coffee needs! This is Dean's Beans delicious, organic, Fair Trade, Kosher goodness in a 1-pound bag.

Order by Wednesday November 3 by clicking here to download your form & sending it into school with your child w/ your check. We'll send your order home by the following Wednesday.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Half-day alert!

Just a reminder -- this Thursday, Oct. 28th, and next Tuesday, Nov. 2nd, are early dismissal days. All Amherst elementary students will get out at 1:20 for parent-teacher conferences.

Crocker Cares Warm Winter Clothing Drive

It’s that time again – the weather is getting cooler and we’re thinking about winter. In an effort to ensure that all Crocker Farm children are toasty this winter season the PGO is collecting warm winter outerwear again this year. Please take a look in your closets for any gently used items (ALL sizes, children and adults are needed). We are looking for donations of: * coats * snow pants * snow boots * hats * mittens * gloves * scarves * snowsuits *

Drop off:
Anytime during school hours, October 27 – November 12 in the CF lobby.
Pick up: If you would like any of these clothes for your family or know someone in need, please plan to come by the school Monday November 15, 6:00 – 8:00pm or Tuesday November 16, 8:30am – 3:00pm.

Any left over items will be donated to the Amherst Survival Center. If you have any questions, please contact Erika Zekos ( or Micaela Henry ( Thank you for your donation!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Upcoming Bake Sales

The CF PGO is putting the call out for bakers for this Friday's Halloween Dance Party (Cf Cafeteria from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM), as well as for the Election Day Bake Sale on Tuesday, November 2nd from 8 AM - 8 PM.  The Halloween Bake Sale will benefit the newly established CF Snack Fund that aims to ensure that all CF students have access to a snack, while the Election Day Bake Sale benefits the CF General Fund.  If you'd like to help out both causes at the same time, simply bake extra for Friday, and we'll freeze the leftovers for Tuesday.

Baked goods for either day can be left in the CF office beginning this Thursday.  Thank you for your support!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Preschool needs/wish list

Three of the preschool classes are doing a unit on restaurants. If you have any of the following things not getting much action at your house, bring them to the CF front office. The preschoolers will happily put them to good use!

- play dishes-silverware, real or pretend/plastic
- cloth napkins
- small tablecloths
- small aprons
- plastic food
- small trays for serving
- dolls that reflect our diverse population
- magazines that have pictures of food we could use for menus etc.
- chef hats
- plastic vases/'fake' flowers

Thank you!

Thank you for lending a hand!

A HUGE thank you all of you who supported Crocker Farm by donating to the Lend a Hand annual fundraiser.  Thanks to our generous contributors the PGO will be able to fund many activitivities and materials that are not in Crocker Farm's budget. 

You have helped all of our children by giving them these additional opportunities!

Have you been meaning to write that check, but haven't gotten around to it yet?  Now is a great time to send a check to "Crocker Farm PGO" and:
- Drop it off with Cathy in the office.
- Put it in an envelope marked "Crocker Farm PGO" and put it in your kid's backpack.
- Send it through the mail to "Crocker Farm PGO, 280 West Street".
- Or donate online at by clicking on Donate.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2010 Amherst Biennial: Painting Amherst with Art!

Come view artwork throughout Amherst!

The Amherst Public Art Commission is running an exhibit of over 40 artists' work here in Amherst through Dec. 5th. The exhibit is entitled Amherst Biennial: Art in Unexpected Places.

Artworks are displayed at a wide array of venues around town including businesses, galleries, farms and Kendrick Park. The exhibition will end of Dec 5th with a projection by artist Erika Zekos on the East Street School building.

Here's a list of where and when to see the art on display.

-Amherst Town Hall 4 Boltwood Ave M-W 8am-7pm, Th noon-7pm, F 8am-4:30pm

-Hope & Feather Gallery & Framing 319 Main St. Weekdays 10am-7pm, Sat. 10am-5pm

-ETTA Gallery 534 Main St. Sat & Sun 1-4 pm

-Nacul Center 592 Main St. Weekdays 9am-4pm, Sat & Sun 1-4 pm

-East Street School 31 South East St. Weekdays 1-4 pm

-Thistlebrook Farm 784 Southeast St

-Swartz Family Farm 11 Meadow St

-Kendrick Park

-AJ Hastings

-J. Austin Antiques

-Bank of America


-Chopping Block

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Superintendent search open to all CF parents

If you are a parent at CF, you are a PGO member. As such, this letter is addressed to you!

Dear School Council and PGO Members,

As you may be aware, Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, has been hired to assist the Regional School Committee in the search process for a permanent Superintendent of Schools to begin his/her work in July 2011 or sooner. The consultants, John Connolly and Albert Argenziano will begin their work by helping define the qualities, skills and experience that the public is looking for in a permanent superintendent. To accomplish this critical task, Mr. Connolly and Mr. Argenziano will be meeting with a variety of groups representing a broad range of constituencies within the district.

I have scheduled a focus group with the consultants and the Crocker Farm School Council and PGO on Thursday, October 28 at 11:00 a.m. in the Library at Crocker Farm School. The meeting is intended to provide the consultant with information about the views of the School Council and PGO membership regarding the district’s current strengths and challenges, as well as to gather suggestions about the qualities and characteristics that the district should seek in its superintendent, as indicated above. We hope that the assigned date and time are convenient for you and the representatives from your group. Please contact Kathryn Mazur, Human Resources Director, at 362-1803 or by e-mail at to let her know who will attend the scheduled meeting. In addition to the group meetings, the consultants will hold two other public meetings to which you are also invited. These meeting will be held as follows:

Wednesday, October 27 at 2:00 p.m. in the Wildwood Library
Wednesday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the High School Auditorium

We appreciate your participation in this important endeavor.


Rick Hood, Chair
Regional School Committee

Amherst Regional Middle School searching for School Council members

The ARMS School Council is searching for a community member to add to this working group. The School Council advises the principal on the budget and works to build the school improvement plan. There are monthly meetings on one Thursday from 2:45 to 4:15pm. If you are interested in helping to shape the direction of the middle school, please contact Cathy Cullen at

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

School nurse needs assistance

Can you volunteer an hour this week and next to help our esteemed school nurse, Linda Stenlund? Crocker Farm has loads of new students with loads of new health records! In addition to the paper work, Ms. Stenlund also needs someone to measure student heights and weights. This one is easy to learn, pretty fun, and the kids love it. The day and time are flexible -- we just need you!

Can you help? Email us.

Math Survey

ARPS is encouraging all families of students in our districts to complete the Family Math Survey, a component of this year’s K-12 math review. The survey can be found at It will require about 10 minutes of your time, and we’re asking families to complete it by October 27.

Also, Dr. Andrew Chen will present a Math Night for the school community on Monday, November 1, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm in the Middle School auditorium. Dr. Chen’s presentation will include initial findings from his review.

For more information about the math program or other issues pertaining to teaching and learning, please Beth Graham, Director of Curriculum,
Instruction, and Assessment at 362-1810 or email her at

Boy Scouts Open House

The Boy Scouts of America is now 100 years old. Come join Boy Scout Troop 500 Amherst to see how Scouting is evolving as it enters its 2nd century. We are having an Open House for prospective scouts and their families Tuesday, October 26 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at the South Congregational Church, 1066 Southeast Street, Amherst. Troop 500 has a 50+ year history in Amherst working with school-age boys (grades 5-12). Troop activities are organized and run by the boys, including weekly meetings, monthly campouts, and projects in the community. Our Scouts learn practical outdoor skills and develop leadership skills while having a lot of fun. For more information, contact Scoutmaster Peter Crowley at (413) 253-0964.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Halloween Dance!

The first ever CF Halloween Dance Party will be held on Friday, October 29th from 6:30 - 8:30 PM in the CF Cafeteria.  This event is open to all CF families Pre-K to Grade 6.  There will be a DJ, games, a haunted house and more.  A bake sale will benefit the CF Snack fund.  Admission is free and costumes are encouraged.

Superintendent Search

Our school district is now in the process of searching for a new Superintendent of Schools to begin work in July 2011. Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates has been hired to assist the School Committees in this search process. Consultants Al Argenziano and John Connolly of HYA will begin their work by helping the community define the qualities, skills and experience that the public is looking for in a Superintendent. The work to develop this leadership profile will occur on October 27 and October 28, during which time a variety of meetings will occur with school, parent, and community groups. In addition, a public forum will be held on Wednesday, October 27 at 7:00 pm in the ARHS Auditorium. The list of groups scheduled to meet with the consultants will be announced in the next few days.
In addition to holding public forums, we are now posting an online survey to seek your input in the process of hiring a new superintendent. This survey is designed to gather your perception on the importance of various characteristics commonly found in effective superintendents. The information will be used by the School Committees to determine the "Desired Characteristics" of our next superintendent. Select the survey link below that best represents your relationship to the School District.


Please continue to check this site for updates as the search process occurs. We deeply appreciate your participation in this important endeavor.

Rick Hood, Chair- Regional School Committee
Irv Rhodes, Chair- Amherst School Committee Debbie Gould, Chair- Pelham School Committee

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Japanese exchange students looking for homestays

November 5th-8th a group of Japanese schoolchildren, aged 10-14, are coming to our area. They are hoping to experience our culture first hand by participating in a homestay.

Is your family interested in hosting a student or two for that weekend? This is a great opportunity for a cultural exchange. There are 60 in the group, but only six more families are needed, so act quickly!

Please contact Marie Lauderdale, a local ESL teacher and guide with PeopleLink, a non-profit organization that coordinates foreign exchange programs. Her phone number is 230-1121 or email her at

Friday, October 15, 2010

Box Tops for Education

Send in those Box Tops for Education! There's a white box in the main lobby for all your cut out tops. They'll be gathered up and shipped off at the end of October so please have them all in by Wednesday, Oct. 27th.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LSSE Halloween Festivities

Autumn in Amherst includes colorful fall foliage as well as a lively Halloween Parade set for Sunday, Oct. 31.The Amherst LSSE Department that sponsors the parade invites all pirates and princesses, super heroes and sorcerers to gather at 12:45 p.m. at Sweetser Park on Main Street for the parade that marches up Main Street, down North Pleasant Street to Kellogg Avenue ending at Bangs Center on Boltwood Walk.
Inside the Bangs Center, the fun continues from 1 to 4 p.m. at a carnival in the Large Activity Room with games, performance, a haunted house, prizes, and refreshments.

“Halloween is a favorite holiday for many children and when you can roll in a lively parade, trick or treating in downtown Amherst, performances, a haunted house and games, it just can’t get much better. This is a great way for families to have some fun and the whole town to get into the act,” said Linda Chalfant, LSSE Director.  The festivities began with Trick or Treating at downtown merchants from 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Children in costume will collect treats from downtown businesses located on North and South Pleasant Streets and Main Street.

The Halloween Fest is open to all ages and abilities. Costumes, instruments and noisemakers are encouraged. The activities are staffed by 50 to 60 volunteers from the campuses and community.  Those interested in volunteering should email Stacey Lecuivre, LSSE Youth Program Director at  The event is also supported by the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and Promoting  Downtown Amherst.  For information visit: or call 259-3065.

Volunteers are needed for the annual Amherst LSSE Halloween Parade and carnival that will be held Sunday.  Oct. 31. The parade steps off at 12:45 p.m. at Sweetser Park on Main Street and ends at the Bangs Center. The carnival is from 1 -4 the Large Activity Room at the Bangs Center and features games, performance , haunted house, prizes and refreshments.  Volunteers would decorate, plan and oversee the activities and help with the clean up. About 50 to 60 volunteers are needed.

For information or to volunteer call Stacey Lecuivre, LSSE Youth Program Director, at 259-3065.

Your PGO board

At the beginning of the school year, we posted PGO board openings (go here to read all about it). We're happy to announce that almost all of those positions have been filled. While every single Crocker parent is a member of the Parent Guardian Organization, this year's PGO board members are:

Chair -- Erica Boerman
Chair -- Becky Demling
Chair -- Lucy McMurrer

Treasurer -- Sue Bernier

Social Activities Coordinator -- Anastasia Morton

Fundraising Coordinator -- Micaela Henry

But wait! We are still without a Secretary. The Secretary position is only one year and s/he is responsible for taking minutes at meetings, keeping the PGO calendar, and managing the blog. Want to help out? We'd love to have you!

Let us know. Email us:

Hispanic Heritage Night - TONIGHT!

CF's Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration is tonight, Wednesday, October 13th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm in the CF Cafeteria.

Come and celebrate a night of Latino food, culture, music, and entertainment! Please bring a Latino or Latino-inspired dish or dessert to share.