Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Let your inner-artist out!

Halloween in Amherst offers a palette of colors and fun for artists of all ages with the traditional window painting sponsored by the Amherst LSSE Department.

The 36th annual window painting is scheduled Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The town perks up with color from the artists who decorate windows of downtown stores and restaurants. Individuals or teams can create a Halloween or fall theme on a good-sized glass canvas provided by the business community.

“Our Halloween Window Painting program unites children and parents in a wonderful way. Children can create their own unique Halloween-themed window art on a large glass canvas while parents play a supporting role planning and implementing the art work,” said Linda Chalfant, LSSE Director.

“Local businesses chip in providing the many-needed windows since 90 children arrive with paint brush in hand. Local merchants also contribute to ensure the success of the LSSE Halloween. The Amherst area Chamber of Commerce and Promoting Downtown Amherst are major supporters for all of Amherst’s Halloween events,” she said.

Individuals or teams (a maximum of three people per window) need to register by Oct. 15 before 4:30 p.m. Those registering after that date at placed on a waiting list. Windows are assigned by lottery and group size. The window painting rain date is Oct. 24.

The fee is $5 per participant.

For information call LSSE at 259-3065 or visit:lsse.org.

Don't forget to Lend a Hand!

 Support Crocker Farm by donating to Lend a Hand, the PGO’s annual campaign!

This is our big fundraiser of the year! We don’t ask our students to sell magazines, wrapping paper or chocolate. 100% of your donation goes to our teachers & students.

Wow! The PGO funds this and much more:

~ Community events (Welcome Back Picnic, Martin Luther King celebration, School Musical, Math Night, One World Festival, and more)

~ Class trips (Old Deerfield, Smith College, Fine Arts Center, Hitchcock Center, etc.)

~ Supplies & books for every classroom & the library

~ Wednesday clubs (cooking, architecture, gardening, Spanish...)

~ Special requests from teachers (an egg incubator, an ant farm, recorders for 3rd grade)

~ Publishing student stories via Crocker Press

How to donate:

~ Online at crockerfarmpgo.blogspot.com. Click on Donate.

~ Write a check made out to Crocker Farm PGO. Write “Crocker Farm PGO” on the envelope and send in with your child or mail to the school (280 West Street).

~ Send cash to school with your child in an envelope labeled “Crocker Farm PGO”.

Your PGO thanks you for lending a hand!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Crocker Farm's Class Parents 2010-11

Ms. Judith Newcomb
Erica Boerman elc77@hotmail.com
Carolyn Monteiro carolynmonteiro@gmail.com
Sue Bernier susanbernier68@comcast.net

Ms. Greta Wilcox
Sylvia Keochakian keosyl@hotmail.com
Demetria Shabazz dshabazz@comm.umass.edu
Asternette Albert

Ms. Kara McCloskey
Diana Demers-Slovin didave@comcast.net
Jessie Payne jessicapayne@comcast.net
Talya Kingston tkia@hampshire.edu

Ms. Stephanie Joyce
Isolda Ortega iob2009@gmail.com
Danielle Benedetto danielle@cs.amherst.edu
Soyeon Choi yjyck@daum.net

Dr. Alex Preston
Justyne Ogdahl justyne.ogdahl@baystatehealth.org
Jeni Kaplan jhkaplan@amherst.edu
Marla Jamate marlago@comcast.net

Mr. Michael Silverstone
Penny Coy

Ms. Hillary Ferro
Simone Flynn simone@spyeyes.net
Sylvia Keochakian keosyl@hotmail.com
Ruthie Killough-Hill rrfam@comcast.net

Ms. Lauren Mattone
Michelle Chandler gardengirlgarden@yahoo.com
Lisa Vote lisa@stevenvote.com

Ms. Jasmine Robinson
Yaniris Fernandez yfernandez@hampshire.edu
Erin Robson ekrobson@yahoo.com

Ms. Carol Carson
Diana Demers-Slovin didave@comcast.net
Michelle Chandler gardengirlgarden@yahoo.com

Ms. Kristen Schreiber
Kaye Dougan kaye@itd-amherst.org
Jen Veshia jnbus@comcast.net

Ms. Mary Donovan
Matt Cornell matt@matthewcornell.org
Simone Flynn simone@spyeyes.net
Micaela Henry micaela.henry@yahoo.com
Jessie Payne jessicapayne@comcast.net

Ms. Alice G-B
Jessie Payne jessicapayne@comcast.net

Ms. Sharri Conklin
Yaniris Fernandez yfernandez@hampshire.edu
Soyeon Choi yjyck@daum.net

Mr. Kip Prather
Jen Veshia jnbus@comcast.net
Karen Mack kmack@oit.umass.edu
Katie Zobel kazobel@comcast.net

Ms. Sanda Guiteau
Sue Kelly sekelly487@comcast.net
Penny Coy

Ms. Denise Harvey
Clare Bertrand clarebertrand@comcast.net
Monica Moran moran9@comcast.net

Friday, September 24, 2010

Need to get in touch?

If you need to contact your child's teacher, one way to do it is through email. Here's a Crocker Farm directory: http://cf.arps.org/node/998.

You can always call the main number, 413-362-1600, and be put through to your child's teacher.

Tin cans and a long string don't work very well, though.

Still need class parents for a few classes

Most classes are filled!  Thank you to all who volunteered!

We still need an additional class parent for:

Mr Silverstone
Ms. G-B
Ms. Guiteau
Ms. Harvey

Can you help?
Email Karen Mack at kmack@oit.umass.edu

PGO Sells Dean's Beans Coffee - Orders Due Oct. 6

Crocker Farm PGO has once again teamed up with Dean's Beans to offer special Crocker Farm blends of Dean’s delicious organic, kosher, Fair Trade coffee.  Each pound purchased raises money for PGO-supported programs at Crocker Farm (things like student field trips to local museums, the One World Festival, Crocker Press and more)! Dean’s Beans is a progressive local business that assists grassroots development projects in coffee-growing villages.

Products Available:
All coffee can be purchased whole-beans or all-purpose ground.

Crocker Java Coffee: $9.00/lb
A strong and exceptionally smooth cup of coffee from Nicaragua. Medium body and slightly dry.

Crocker Java Swiss-water Processed Decaf Coffee: $10.00/lb 
A full-bodied, but flavorful and aromatic Peruvian coffee. The best tasting decaf in the world!

Dark Chocolate Java Drops: $8.50/lb 
Vienna-roasted, shade grown Guatemalan and Mexican coffee beans, sensuously surrounded by pure dark chocolate. A mouthful of 100% organic pleasure. Half of the profits are returned to the indigenous cooperative in Costa Rica that provides the cocoa butter.

Hot Cocoa: $6.00/ 3/4 lb
Organic, creamy, chocolatety goodness in a mug. Half of the profits are returned to the indigenous cooperative in Costa Rica that provides the cocoa.

How it Works: 
1. Order forms are always available for download on the PGO's blog, or from the PGO mailbox in the Main Office. Fill in an order form and send it, along with check made out to “Crocker Farm PGO,” to school with your child.

2. Orders will be placed the first Wednesday of each month. Coffee will be roasted and shipped fresh in one-pound Kraft bags of whole or ground beans; we’ll send it home to you via your child’s backpack the second Wednesday of the month. (You may opt to pick your coffee up if you prefer; see order form.)

3. Order by the month, or for a few months at a time (see order form). Buy for yourself, for friends and relations, for holiday gifts and for every day. These products make fantastic gifts!

4. Questions? Email Crocker Farm PGO at crockerfarmpgo@gmail.com.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

501(c)(3) help

The Crocker Farm PGO is not a 501(c)(3) entity and we would really like to become one. If you have any ideas how to go about doing this, please let us know. We'd love any help we can get.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome Back Picnic Tonight

The Welcome Back Picnic is tonight from 5:30 PM until dark on the front playground.

Pre-school and kindergarten Open House

The preschool and kindergarten Open House at Crocker Farm will be held on the evening of Wednesday, October 6, from 6:00-7:00. We look forward to seeing you there!

(And just a reminder: grades 1-6 have their Open House on Wednesday, Sept. 29, from 6:00-8:00.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

LSSE fall offerings

For Kids & Teens:
Adventure Story Theater—Ages 5-7. This creative drama group will encourage children to use their imaginations, bodies and feelings in a creative and confident way. Wed. 3:00-4:15PM 9/29-11/17. Bangs Center. Pre-registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org

Make Me Laugh!—Ages 8-10. This class will give kids an opportunity to hone their improvisational acting skills in a humorous, playful, nonjudgmental and supportive setting. Wed. 4:30-5:45PM 9/29-11/17. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Magical Mystical Mermaids—Ages 8-10. In this class, we will sculpt out of clay, natural materials, and more to make tiny fairies, deluxe imaginative fairy houses, and fairy furniture! Tues. 4:00-5:30PM 9/28-11/16. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Fantastic Fairylands—Ages 5-7. In this class, we will create mermaids’ environments, hobbies they enjoy, pets they adore and more, using paper mache, watercolors, clay, fabric, pencils and sparkles. Thurs. 4:00-5:00PM 9/30-12/2. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Observing the Night Sky—Age 6+, Kids & Parents: Observe, identify, appreciate, & understand earth shadow, sky color, sky movement, the moon, planets, satellites, asteroids, comets, constellations, aurora, meteors, galaxies, etc. Fri. 7:00-9:00PM, 10/1-12/17. Bassett Planetarium/Mt. Pollux. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Around the World Story Time—This class will take children on a journey to countries around the world through international story. A related arts & crafts piece will accompany each story. Mon. 5:30-6:15PM, 9/27-12/6. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Cooking For Kids—Ages 6-9. In this class your child will have fun cooking and preparing quick, easy, and healthy recipes, as well as learn about cooking utensils, how to read simple recipes, and kitchen hygiene. Mon. 4:00-5:15PM, 9/27-11/22. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Youth Tennis—This class is designed to teach tennis in a relaxed, fun way. Instruction will focus on coordination, concentration, movement, and stroke fundamentals. Sat. 9:00-10:00AM, 10/9-10/30. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Beginning Fencing—Ages 12-18. This 8-week coed introduction to fencing includes basic actions, footwork, blade work, the rules and safety of the sport. Mon. 6:00-7:30PM, 10/4-12/6. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Curtain Up! Teen Improv—Ages 14-18. This class is designed for teens who wish to improve their improvisational acting and comedy skills. Have an opportunity to perform in informal settings around the area, join the Hampshire Improv Troupe for a fun night of collaboration. Thurs. 3:00-4:30PM, 9/30-12/2. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Youth Improv—Ages 11-13. This class will give participants of all levels of experience an opportunity to hone their improvisational skills in a humorous, playful, nonjudgmental and supportive setting. Tues. 4:00-5:30PM, 9/28-11/16. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

SAT Prep—Verbal sessions will provide practice in critical reading. Math sessions will build confidence through problem practice. Focus on “multiple choice,” “quantitative comparison,” and “student-produced response.” Tues. & Thurs. 3:00-4:30PM, 10/12-10/28. Amherst High School. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Driver’s Ed—This complete, fully certified course includes regulation classroom instruction, which prepares new drivers for the road test, observation time, and driving time. Session A: Sat. 9:00-3:30PM, 10/16-11/13. Session B: Mon-Fri. 2:30-5:45PM, 12/6-12/17. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

For Parents:
What are Your Kids Doing?-- This three hour seminar will give you a crash course in all the social networking sites that kids are using today: Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Wed. 4:30-7:30PM, 10/17. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

eBay for Beginners-- This hands-on class will show you step-by-step how to prepare your item for sale and list it on eBay. Wed., 7-8:30PM, 9/29-11/17. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Microsoft Word/Excel—In this hands-on class, you will learn the basics for many types of documents including letters, resumes, and flyers and how to organize information into tables and lists and create budgets and charts. Wed., 5:30-7:00PM, 9/29-11/17. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Intro to Spanish I and II – Both these 7-week classes offer a supportive environment for learning Spanish using listening, pronunciation, simple readings, fun exercises. Wed., 9/29-11/10. Amherst Middle School. Spanish I: 6-7:30PM; Spanish II: 7:45-9:15PM Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Beginning and Intermediate French - These conversational courses will focus on French grammar and vocabulary for everyday life and travel. Thur., 9/30-10/21. Amherst High School. Beginning: 6:30-7:30PM; Intermediate: 7:45-8:45PM. Pre-Registration required: 413-259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Toaster 101-- The Use, Maintenance, and Repair of Home Appliances is a six session class in household technology and DIY maintenance. Wed. 6:30-8:30PM, 10/6-11/10. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Sorta Dancin’ with the Stars--Learn a new dance every other week; Ballroom Waltz; the Fox Trot; Swing; Latin; Polka. Thur. 8:00-9:00PM 9/30-11/18. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Argentine Tango— Learn the basics with the teacher who brought tango to the valley. Tues., 6:00-7:00PM, 9/28-11/16. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Latin Salsa/Merengue— Learn the basics of one of the Valley’s most popular dances., 6:00-7:00PM, 9/30-11/18. Bangs Center. Pre-Registration required: 259-3065/www.lsse.org.

Donate to Lend a Hand!

Lend a Hand
The Crocker Farm PGO’s Annual Campaign

Support Crocker Farm by donating to Lend a Hand!  This is our big fundraiser for the year.  If you want to donate to our school, this is a great way to do it. 

100% of your Lend a Hand donation goes to our teachers and students by funding activities and materials for every grade.
  • Class trips - including Springfield Science Museum, Old Deerfield, Eric Carle museum, Fine Arts Center, Hitchcock Center & Smith College
  • Community events – One World Festival, Martin Luther King celebration, Welcome Back Picnic, School Musical, Family Math Night, etc.
  • Supplies & books for classrooms
  • Third grade recorder program
  • Special requests from teachers
  • Library books & shelves
  • Crocker press
  • Wednesday clubs
  •  And much more

How much should you donate? People have given from $1 to $300, and the most common donation is $100. We appreciate contributions of any size. 

How to donate:
  • Click on Donate on the right side of this page.
  • Write a check made out to Crocker Farm PGO. Put “Crocker Farm PGO” on the envelope and send in with your child or mail to the school (280 West Street).
  • Send cash to school with your child in an envelope labeled “Crocker Farm PGO”.

 Questions?  Contact Karen Mack at kmack@oit.umass.edu.

Apple Harvest Festival

Apple Harvest Crafts Fair and Children's Festival, Saturday September
25, 10 am to 4 pm, Amherst Town Common. Children's games, pony rides,
pumpkin decorating, baby scarecrow making, live entertainment,
crafters' booths. Sponsored by the Amherst Family Center, 256-1145

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Welcome Back Picnic

You are cordially invited to the annual Welcome Back Picnic on Wednesday, September 22nd from 5:30 PM until dark!  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), perhaps a dessert for the bake sale and plan to meet your neighbors and your kids' classmates.  Questions? Email the PGO at crockerfarmpgo@gmail.com or contact Becky at 230-3306.  See you there!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Free pre-school Spanish immersion program

WHERE: First Baptist Church, 434 North Pleasant Street, Amherst (413) 549-3596, 1st floor.

WHO: Pre-school age children (under 6yrs) accompanied by an adult.

WHEN: Every Friday starting September 17th, 2010, 9:30am to 10:30am.

WHAT: Spanish Immersion is a method of teaching where the majority of instruction is conducted in Spanish and the emphasis is on content instead of the language itself. Children will learn to interact effortlessly and efficiently in Spanish at the same time they learn the curriculum of a typical pre-school program.

TEACHERS: 1) Veronica Burbano has a Masters degree in early childhood education and speaks Spanish as her first language.

2) Lissa Pierce Bonifaz has a Ph.D. in Bilingual Education and speaks English as her second language.

For questions call (954)829-5233 or e-mail at veronicaburbano1@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

PGO Meeting this Thursday night

Come join us for our first (of only three!) PGO meeting of the 2010-2011 school year. We'll be in the Community Room, across the hall from the cafeteria, from 6:30-7:30.

As always, childcare is cheerfully provided.

Science Meets Art in Benefit for the Amherst Survival Center

Silent Auction of Eisner Prints to Benefit the Amherst Survival Center

Sunderland MA__Join fellow appreciators of art, science, and the Amherst Survival Center for a unique fundraising silent auction of photographic prints by renowned photographer and chemical ecologist Thomas Eisner on Thursday, September 23, 2010, from 5 to 7 pm at the Sinauer Associates’ offices at 23 Plumtree Road in Sunderland, MA. Light refreshments will be served.

Prints to be auctioned are on view at http://www.sinauer.com/auction/. Dr. Eisner has used scanning electron microscopes, 35 mm cameras, ultraviolet lenses, micromanipulators, chemical analytical equipment and color copiers to create these award-winning photos. Subjects include intimate details of insect life, leaves changing color, and butterfly wings. Many have been exhibited at the National Academy of Science's Annual Arts in the Academy show, Cornell University, and at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Tom Eisner is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Chemical Ecology at Cornell University whose photographs have adorned 15 covers of Science magazine. He is a world-renowned animal behaviorist, ecologist, pioneer of chemical ecology and insect chemical defenses, and recipient of the National Medal of Science.

The silent auction is made possible through the generous donation of these images by Dr. Eisner. Bidding on the 20 large prints will begin at $100, and all raises must be in increments of $10. The smaller prints are for sale to the first bidder at $50, $75, or $100. Forthose who cannot be present but would like to bid on a large print or purchase a smaller print, bids may be sent with the number and title of the print, the bidder’s name, phone number, and email address to the auction organizers at publish@sinauer.com, Subject: Silent Auction. Current bidding will be kept up-to-date at http://www.sinauer.com/auction/. Last online bids prior to the September 23 event must be received by 5:00 p.m. on September 22.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Spanish translation help needed

If you speak Spanish and have a little time on your hands, the PGO would love some help translating a one-paged document. Our "Volunteer Form" has been updated in English and just needs some adjustments in Spanish. If you can help, please send us an email.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Time Set for Police Forum at CF

The Amherst Police Department will host a community meeting on Monday, September 13th to address the rash of break-ins in town and to discuss ways for residents to protect themselves.  Since July 1, police say there have been 12 separate residential break-ins in South Amherst.  The area of the housebreaks covers all streets and neighborhoods from East Hadley Road southward, east and west to the Granby, Belchertown and Hadley town lines.  The majority of the break-ins occurred overnight, even when residents are home, police said. Robbers entered though unlocked doors, stealing purses, wallets and electronics.  The meeting will take place at the Crocker Farm Elementary School at 7 p.m.
Contact officer Michael Johnson at 259-2054 or officer William Laramee at 259-2068 for more information.

Become a Class Parent. Volunteer today!

Every class at Crocker Farm has one or two (or sometimes three) class parents to help the teacher. 

How you help is entirely up to you and the teacher.  The hours are flexible, you get to know your child's teacher in a special way and it is rewarding!

If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Karen Mack at kmack@oit.umass.edu

Thanks to all of you who have already volunteered!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Blog updates right to your inbox!

You get the Gazette in your newspaper box. You get letters in your mailbox. Why not get the CF PGO blog in your inbox?

To make life easier for parents, the PGO is happy to offer blog updates right to your email inbox. Many CF families have already taken advantage of this simple way to stay up on current Crocker Farm events. If you would like to subscribe, too, it's easy.

Sign up yourself up here. Then you *must* click on the link in the subsequent confirmation email to receive your blog update emails.

Happy reading!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Teacher Wish List

Ms. Donovan has requested the following items for Room 34:

Post-it stick-on notes - all sizes are good
Hand-held quiet pencil sharpeners
Hand sanitizer/wipes

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Amherst Police forum at CF

The Amherst Police Department needs your help.

The town has recently been experiencing a rash of house break-ins in the south sector. These incidents have taken place on Middle St., South East St., Potwine Ln., Carriage Ln., and Crocker Farm Elementary School. The incidents have been taking place between midnight and 6am. Easily carried items have been taken and a suspicious person was seen in the area of one of the incidents. This person is described as a white male, in his late teens or early twenties, tall and lanky. He wore a black backpack and was seen on foot after midnight walking south on Middle St.

The Amherst Police Department will be hosting an informational meeting on Monday September 13th, from 7-9 pm in the cafeteria at Crocker Farm. Could you all please keep your eyes open and take appropriate precautions, report any suspicious activity to the police at the time of occurrence? Could you also let your neighbors know about the informational meeting on the 13th? We are looking to spread the word.

Friday, September 3, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten Coffee

Sending your child off to kindergarten for the very first time this Tuesday? New Crocker Farm family? Old Crocker Farm family who's done this kindergarten thing before?

Please come join us for coffee and muffins right after you drop off your child. We'll be in the Community Room.

(And we'll have kleenex.)