Sunday, January 3, 2016

Crocker Farm PGO's December Letter to Families

                                                                                                December 2015
Dear Crocker Farm Families,

What a busy fall it’s been. Here’s a quick recap of some of the great events the Crocker Farm Parent & Guardian Organization (PGO) has held so far this year and the ways in which we’ve worked to support our school and school community.

Ø  Harvest Fest (October) celebrating Crocker Farm’s gardens and the fall harvest, included craft activities, and much delicious hearty fall food prepared by parents. Thank you, Crocker Farm bakers and craft organizers.  It was great seeing so many families there. 
Ø  Winter Coat & Clothing Share (November). The coat share was coordinated with the PGOs of all the Amherst public schools and the ARPS Family Center. We gave away most of the coats, snowpants, boots, hats, and mittens we collected; and passed on the rest to the other schools. Many thanks to everyone who donated items for the Coat Share, and a special thanks to the Evaluation Systems group at Pearson in Hadley who collected coats and other winter clothing on the schools’ behalf. 
Ø  Coffees with the Principal. We have had great attendance and great discussions at these monthly events this year. Thank you to Maria Kopicki and her helpers for organizing these gatherings. Among our special guests have been the Superintendent Maria Geryk, the Assistant Superintendent Mike Morris, School Committee Chair Katherine Appy, Guidance Counselor Tara Luce, and School Psychologist Amy Baver. Next Monday, December 21st, 8:45 am, Mike Morris will be attending again for a discussion about the elementary school reconfiguration project. All are invited to join us to learn more and share their thoughts. In January 2016, the Amherst School Committee is slated to take a vote on which grade configuration option they support moving forward.
Ø  Fundraising. In November, the PGO hosted a school bookfair at the Hadley Barnes & Noble. Thank you to Miss Leticia and her students for performing at the bookfair, and to Preschool Teacher Amy Coulthard for doing storytime. We also held a Crocker Farm night at the Toy Box toy store in downtown Amherst, and participated in the national GivingTuesday after Thanksgiving. Combined, these fundraisers raised about $800 for the PGO and our school. Donations to the PGO are always welcome and tax-deductible. Donations can be made through a link on our web site or by envelope addressed to the PGO. All the funds we raise are used to support our school community. The PGO has recently funded start-of-year donations for classrooms, a ball and jump rope cart for the playground, a clothing rack for the lost and found, family photo printing at Open House, and also helped with grant applications for field trip funding. 

Upcoming events and activities for the PGO (& opportunities to volunteer!) include:
·         PGO Coffee with the Principal and special guest, Assistant Superintendent Mike Morris, Monday, Dec 21st, 8:45 a.m., as described above.
·        Chess club. (For 1st-6th graders). The PGO is planning to run our afterschool chess club on Fridays, 3:15-4:15 pm from January 16th to April 1st,with 5 weeks for 4-6th graders & then 5 weeks for 1-3rd graders. Registration forms should be returned by Dec 22nd.  We are still in need of parent volunteers for both sessions (people can volunteer for just one), chess expertise not required.
·        Amherst Lions Club Ski & Skate Sale, at Crocker Farm, scheduled for January 8th (6-9 pm) and 9th (10 am -2 pm).  This is a major fundraiser for the Crocker Farm PGO, and also a fundraiser for the Lions Club to support their grants to the Amherst schools.  Volunteers are needed to help setup, cleanup, and during the sale. People will also be able to donate or consign their ski and skate items on Friday, January 8th, 4 to 6 pm. 
·    Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, in January. In the past, the PGO and families have helped provide food for the celebration breakfast.  Stay tuned for more information. 
·      Movie Night/Games night(s)  (January-March). The PGO has had great movie and games nights during the winter in the past. If any volunteers are interested in coordinating such an event, the PGO Board can help.  Please get in touch.   
More information on all the above activities will be coming shortly. Subscribe to the PGO’s blog ( or “Like” our Facebook page (Crocker Farm PGO) for all the latest news.  If you are interested in helping with any of the above activities, please get in touch with one of the PGO board members or email us at  All of our PGO’s activities are made possible only because of our volunteers and other supporters.  Thank you all!
One last item before closing this letter: the Crocker Farm Lost & Found. As mentioned earlier, the PGO purchased a new clothing rack for the lost and found area. Toby Bobbitt, School Adjustment Counselor recently organized all the lost items. Thank you, Ms. Bobbitt!  If your child is missing clothing or other items that came to school and never returned home, please come take a look. The school will be bagging up and donating unclaimed items to the Amherst Survival Center over the holiday break. 

Wishing you and your family happy holidays and a restful break.  See you in 2016!

Your Crocker Farm PGO Board
Tracy Zafian, Eva Fairchild, Amanda Lawall, & Alicia Lopez