Thursday, April 28, 2016

Yearbook Orders - Due May 16th. Great Opportunity for Local Business Advertising

Yearbook Order Forms available here:  YEARBOOK ORDER FORMS
All Yearbook Orders are Due by May 16th.   
Only a limited extra number of yearbooks are ordered, so please order by May 16th to ensure availability.

Also, are you a Local Business Owner?
Would you be interested in advertising in the Crocker Farm Yearbook?
The schools yearbook sells 100s of copies each year, and is a great way to reach Crocker Farm families & tell them more about your business.  

If you'd like to find out more, please read below: 

Hi Local Business Owner!
Yearbook Team here, moms & dads of the Crocker Farm 6th Grade Class. As the 2015-16 School Year comes to a close, it is a Crocker Farm Elementary School tradition to celebrate the graduating class bytaking the kids to an amazing field trip - this year Morse Hill in Shutesbury - and by hosting a graduationceremony at school. 

We also want to give our kids and the rest of the Crocker Students a 2015-2016 Yearbook - a little keepsake they will all enjoy for years to come.

Here’s how you can help:
We know you most likely get approached from many community schools this time of year, so any and all support is so very much appreciated. Your support helps make the celebration possible and the Yearbook accessible to all!

Yearbook Advertising
Full Page -  8”w x 10.5” h:  $200
1/2 Page - 8”w x 5.25”h: $100
1/4 Page - 4”w x 2.62” h: $50

Business Card or grateful support mention:  $25
Providing in-kind services - food and supplies for the graduation ceremony and the field trip, printing,photography, paper for the Yearbook and outright cash gifts are always welcome!

Make checks payable to: Crocker Farm PGO, Attn: 6th Grade
Send to: Crocker Farms Elementary 280 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002
Send Artwork by May 15th 2016 to:

For questions, please contact Kate at

A few recent snapshots from the halls of Crocker Farm

View other recent pictures here:

It's always so fun to walk through the halls & see all the great activities & great learning going on at our school.  

Amherst HS Ultimate Invitational - May 7th & 8th

Saturday May 7th, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday May 8th, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Come watch 32 teams compete in the 25th Annual Amherst Invitational, one of the oldest and most prestigious youth Ultimate Frisbee tournaments in the 
world.  And it all happens right here in Amherst, the birthplace of Ultimate!  Games will take place at both ARHS and ARMS fields, with the finals on Sunday afternoon at ARHS.  Free admission and awesome layouts!

Jones Library - Star Wars Events for Kids, May 3rd & 4th

Star Wars Faux Terrariums (ages 10- up)
May 3rd 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm in the Crafts Room
Make your own faux terrarium of the landscape of your choice! 
Endor, Dagobah, a fairy garden, or whatever you imagine! 
Please pre-register in the kids' room or at
Star Wars: May the Fourth Be With You
May 4th in the Woodbury Room
10:30 am-11:30 am Space-themed Storytime 
4:00 pm- 6:00 pm Star Wars crafts, trivia, video games and more!
6:00 pm-8:30 pm After-hours free movie screening, for fans of all ages. (Library can be entered through the back/ garden entrance)
Join Rey, BB-8, and old favourite characters on an epic adventure!

Mia Cabana
Head of Youth Services Department
Jones Library
43 Amity St.
Amherst, MA 01002

(Not a school or PGO-sponsored event) 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Crocker Farm Bus Driver & Crossing Guard Appreciation Breakfast - Thurs, May 5th

Next Thurs, May 5th, the Crocker Farm PGO is hosting our annual bus driver & crossing guard appreciation breakfast at the start of the school day. 

We are looking for families to help with providing baked goods & other breakfast treats & to help with serving on Thurs morning. If you can help, please email, & let us know. 

We love our school's bus drivers & crossing guards -- Let's show them how much we appreciate them.   
Thank you in advance.

Valley Gives - Tuesday, May 3rd - Great chance to support Crocker Farm

Please remember Crocker Farm and the other Amherst schools on ValleyGives Day: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 

Valley Gives Day is 24-hour event promoting philanthropic giving in Western Mass,  It is hosted by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.  

Since 2012, Valley Gives has engaged over 24,000 donors, together raising $5.8 million for over 550 area non-profits, and great community causes.  

Please visit Crocker Farm's Valley Gives donation site here:

There are special bonus prizes available as part of Valley Gives Day,
including a special $50 bonus for each of the first 500 new Valley Gives donors (first come, first serve).

** EACH of these NEW DONORS for VALLEY GIVES (a person who did not participate in Valley Gives in 2012, 2013, or 2014) will have a $50 prize added to their first donation of the day.  ***
New donors are determined based on email address. 

With this New Donor Prize, a $10 donation can be worth $60, or a $50 donation worth $100. Wow!!  
If you haven't given to the Crocker Farm PGO before through Valley Gives, this is a GREAT opportunity! 

Throughout the day, there are also Power Hours and Golden Ticket prizes which will randomly add $500 or $1,000 to a given donation.  More than 100 different organizations will receive these prizes.  

The Crocker Farm PGO is participating in Valley Gives through the Amherst Regional Public Schools PGO (501)c3, a non-profit consisting of the PGOs of Crocker Farm, Wildwood, and the Amherst Regional Middle School and High School.  

Amherst School Committee meeting, Tues, April 26th

Tonight, Amherst School Committee meeting
6 pm, ARHS Library

Agenda items include updates on the budget & on the elementary school building project. The full agenda is posted HERE.

Crocker Farm School Governance Council Meeting, April 27th, 8 am

Crocker Farm School Governance Council Meeting
Wednesday, April 27th, 8 am
Mr. Shea's Office, Crocker Farm
SGC meetings are open to the public

Effective Interventions for School-Aged Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Discussion, April 28th

ARPS Student Services Office & the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) present a discussion on

Effective Interventions for School-Aged Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Thurs, April 28th, 6 pm, ARHS Library

Panelists include:
Jennifer McIntire, SE Program Coordinator
Britany Samberg, ASD specialist
Melanie Collins, ASD specialist
Chris Peltier, ASD specialist

Raising a Happy Child, Tues, April 26th, 6:30 pm

TONIGHT, 6:30-8:30 pm, ARMS Auditorium
FREE for staff and families in Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools

Raising happy children is the goal of parents and educators alike. Happiness is a gift we gift ourselves and our children. Too often we hope it finds us or we pursue it in places or ways it will never be found. Together, we will be introduced to the pursuit of happiness for our children: defining it, examining attributes that lead to it and applying ways to behave that achieve it.

Come celebrate the beginning of summer with a thoughtful powerful exploration of how we influence, enhance, and support children of ALL AGES!

Jeanine Fitzgerald. As a certified Human Behavior Consultant and Specialist, and Owner of The Fitzgerald Institute of Lifelong Learning, Jeanine draws on more than 30 years of professional experience to empower teachers and parents to achieve more with children “at risk”.

Book Swap - a Great Success - Thank you!!

A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped with this year's Book Swap.  

This is one of the PGO's favorite annual events, and the community came through for another successful year.

Over 2 days, we gave away more than 1,500 books, and each preschool through sixth grade student was able to bring home at least 3 books.  The leftover books went to classes, the school's afterschool program and more. 

We couldn't have done it without the volunteers who set up for the swap and who staffed the swap as each class visited.   Thank you!

& we couldn't have done it without so many great book donations from the families, teachers and staff, and the Crocker Farm library (the library's discards).   We are awed by your generosity.  


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Book Swap this Week - Setup Today, Class Visits Wed & Thurs

More volunteers & books welcome

One of Crocker Farm PGO's favorite events of the whole year, the Book Swap, is happening THIS WEEK.

EVERY child in our school will browse among hundreds of donated books, used and new, and pick a few to take home, ABSOLUTELY FREE. 

Thank you to everyone who has contributed books and/or offered to help with the swap.   We are still collecting books today until fterschool. 

We are still seeking parent/guardian help to make this incredible process go smoothly, including set-up on Tuesday afternoon, & overseeing book tables when classes troop through on Wednesday and Thursday. If you can help, please sign up for a slot on SignUp Genius - even if you can only take half a slot, that's OK.

Signup to help here:
or for today, just feel free to stop by afterschool.  The more help we have, the faster it will go. 

THANK YOU for supporting the swap and helping all our wonderful Crocker Farm students grow in their love of reading. 


Crocker Farm t-shirts for sale -- fundraiaser for the school & Big Brothers & Big Sisters

Info on the t-shirts went home in backpacks on Friday.  
Orders are due by Friday, April 15th.   Order link below. 
The shirts are a great deal (less than $10 each), with a variety of colors & sizes available.
A nice way to show school spirit & support the school & Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County

Dear Crocker Farm families,

Our school has designed some t-shirts (thank you Ms. Travis) that we are selling to help celebrate Crocker Farm School and to raise some money for the school as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County. Please consider buying one or more t-shirts for your family. The orders are due by Friday, April 15 and we'll be handing out the shirts at the Daffodil Run in Amherst on Sunday, April 24th. If you can't make it to the run, the shirts will be available in the Crocker Farm Office on Monday, April 25th.

Thanks for considering a t-shirt!
Judah Hughes
5th Grade Teacher
Crocker Farm Elementary School           


Queridas familias Crocker Farm,
Nuestra escuela ha diseñado unas camisetas (gracias Sra Travis) que estamos vendiendo para ayudar a celebrar Crocker Granja Escuela y para recaudar algo de dinero para la escuela, así como Big Brothers Big Sisters del Condado de Hampshire. Por favor considerar la compra de uno o más camisetas para su familia. Las órdenes son debidos para el viernes, 15 de abril y vamos a estar entregando las camisetas al narciso Ejecutar en Amherst el domingo, 24 de abril. Si no puede asistir a la carrera, las camisetas estarán disponibles en la Oficina Granja Crocker el lunes, 25 de abril.
Gracias por considerar una camiseta!
Judá Hughes
5to profesor del grado
Escuela Primaria Crocker Granja

Regional School Committee meeting, Tonight, 6 pm

Tonight's Regional School Committee (SC) meeting includes updates on the MS & HS consolidation plans & a discussion regarding possible later times for the MS & HS.

The SC meets at the Amherst Regional HS library, at 6 pm.  

The full agenda & meeting packet is here:  MEETING PACKET

Amherst Elementary School Building Forum Presentation Link

If you missed the Elementary School Building Forum last week, the presentation is now posted online HERE

The current project timeframe calls for the project go to Town Meeting and then to the voters (Nov 8th election) this fall.   

Friday, April 8, 2016

Book Swap Next Week - Seeking more volunteers & more books

The PGO is still seeking volunteers to help with next week's book swap:
* Setup on Tues afterschool.   
* Helping classes "shop" for new-to-them books on Wed & Thurs? 
   It is great seeing kids so excited by reading & the books they get to bring home.  

Signup to help here. Thanks.

More book donations are welcome too.  PreK-6th grade books.  Fiction, non-fiction.   Picture books, chapter books.  The more we collect, the more we'll have to give away. 

For big donations, the PGO can arrange a pickup (email 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Lost & Found - Winter Clothes & More - Last Call to Reclaim Items

Ms. Bobbitt & others did a wonderful job last week organizing the giant collection of coat, hats, gloves, lunch boxes & other items  -- did you see their great display up in the lobby during Family Math Night?  

The items will be in the lobby for just a few more days (until this Wednesday!) before they get bagged up & if unclaimed, then donated to the Amherst Survival Center & the Salvation Army.  

As you can see by today's snow day, winter isn't over quite yet.  Those coats may still come in very handy.    If your child/children are missing items, please come take a look. 

ARPS Forming Food Services Visioning Group - Looking for Parent & Community Participants

The ARPS is seeking 1-2 parents per school to serve on a Food Services Visioning Group that will be meeting this coming summer & fall.    More details below.

From the ARPS Finance Director, Sean Mangano

March 31st, 2016

Good afternoon,

Food services are more complex than ever with various trends/movements rising to the surface: organic, buying local, nutritional standards, GMOs, service delivery... The district is forming a visioning group to identify goals and priorities and set a clear direction for the food service program. 

The group will include parents, School Committee members, community members, Wellness Committee members, and teachers.

I envision four or five meetings during the summer and fall with a recommendation to school committee in the winter.

Please email me if you would like to participate.
Thank You.
Sean Mangano


ARPS PGO Business Meeting, April 13th

The ARPS PGO is a 501(c)3 non-profit consisting of the Parent Guardian Organizations (PGOs) for the Amherst Regional HS, Amherst Regional MS, Crocker Farm Elementary & Wildwood Elementary.    The Fort River PGO is its own 501(c)3.

The upcoming meeting is a business meeting for the APRS PGO and is open to all.

ARPS PGO Spring Public Meeting
April 13, 2016, 4:45 – 5:45 PM
Location: Crocker Farm Lobby

* Call to Order
* School Updates
* Establishing a new Registered Agent
* Banking Protocols
* ValleyGives
* Potential VFW fundraiser
* UMACC giving total and thank you note
* Parent Booster USA Paperwork
* Other business not anticipated

Jones Library - April Events for Kids


Movie Matinee—The Good Dinosaur (PG)
April 19th 3:00-4:30 in the Woodbury Room
A free screening of The Good Dinosaur. When Arlo the Apatosaurus is separated from his father during a storm, he teams up with a human kid for a daring trek through a prehistoric world to find his family.

In Celebration of Emily Dickinson: A Reading with Jane Yolen and Burleigh Mutén
Wednesday April 20th 4:00pm- 5:00 pm in the Woodbury Room
Local authors Jane Yolen and Burleigh Mutén will be reading from their works about Emily Dickinson in a celebration of national poetry month, Amherst, and children's books. Jane Yolen is the author of My Uncle Emily and The Emily Sonnets: The Life of Emily Dickinson.
Burleigh Mutén is the author of Miss Emily. Jane Yolen and Burleigh Mutén were recently recognized by the Massachusetts Center for the Book for their Must-Read titles in 2015. Representative Ellen Story will join us to present this award.

Fused Plastic Bag Workshop (ages 9-12)
Thursday April 21st 2:00-4:30
Lou from Lou's Upcycles will lead a workshop showing how to turn old plastic bags into wearable and functional art. For ages 9-12.
Please pre-register in the Kids Room or at


Awesome Authors After School (recommended for ages 6-8)
April 7th 4:00pm- 5:00 pm in the Kids’ Biography Room
In April we will be sharing stories by local author Anna Alter and creating art inspired by her books. Anna Alter writes and illustrates picture books, and her Sprout Street Neighbors series of early chapter books are great choices for kids who are starting to read longer stories on their own. We will be making art that celebrates our neighbors and community. Kids can choose to send their art contributions to be displayed at the Odyssey Book Store during Children’s Book Week. 
Please pre-register in the Kids’ Room or at

Jones Library Makerspace (ages 8-12)
April 9th 2:00-3:30 in the Woodbury Room
Join us for our April makerspace event, featuring 3D printing, LittleBits™, and craft projects.
Please pre-register in the Kids’ Room or at 413-259-3091/

Lego Club (ages 6-up)
April 14th 4:00-5:00 Woodbury Room
Join us for a special after school session of LEGO club. Bring your ideas, we’ll provide the bricks.

After School Book Club (Grades 1 & 2)
April 26th 4:00pm- 5:00pm in the Kids’ Biography Room
Join us for a lively discussion of The Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale, followed by a craft
Please pre-register & pick up books in the Kids’ Room or at 413-259-3091/kids@joneslibrary

Saturday Stories Songs and Crafts  is back!
Saturday April 18th, 23rd, 30th  10:30am- 12:00 pm in the Woodbury Room
Join Music Julie and her ukulele for songs, seasonal crafts by Jess, and stories (lots of stories) that celebrate spring!
For children age 0-5 and their families.

Crocker Farm Jumprope for Heart raised $1,969 this year

Way to go, Crocker Farm!!

Spring Festival of Films for Humanity - 6 movies showing in April, starts this week

from the ARPS Central Office:

The Spring Festival of Films For Humanity! 

Amherst Together, the Amherst, Pelham and Regional Public Schools and the Amherst Human Rights Commission are pleased to present the Spring Festival of Films for Humanity. During the month of April, a total of six films will be screened that explore global perspectives on humanity. The festival is designed to create an opportunity for the community to contemplate and discuss important social issues that exist within our society. The Spring Festival of Films for Humanity launches phase two of the Amherst Together initiative, that is focused on advancing social literacy.

Ivory Tower, the premiere film of the Spring Festival of Films for Humanity screens on Tuesday April 5, 2016 at the Amherst Regional High School auditorium. Ivory Tower looks at the $1 trillion dollar student loan debt, while examining the business of higher education at the expense of students. Directed by Andrew Rossi. 

If You Build It follows designer Emily Pilloton and architect Matt Miller into one of the poorest counties in North Carolina to teach students the art of problem solving within their community. Directed by Patrick Creadon. Wednesday April 6, 2016. Amherst Middle School library. 

The Human Family Tree sets out to trace the ancestral footsteps of all humanity, traveling to one of the most diverse corners of the world, Queens, NY, to demonstrate how we all share common ancestors who embarked on very different journeys. Directed by Chad Cohen. Monday April 11, 2016. Amherst Middle School auditorium. 

More than A Month follows one man’s quest to end Black History Month. This film looks into how exploring history shapes how we treat it and how we value it while also shaping the narrative behind it. At the core of this film, it looks into what it means to be an American and to fight for one’s rights. Directed by Shukree Tilghman. Tuesday April 12, 2016. Amherst Middle School auditorium. 

The True Cost is a story about the clothing we wear everyday, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. This story questions who really pays the price for our clothing while also looking into how the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. Directed by Andrew Morgan. Wednesday April 13th, 2016. Amherst Regional High School auditorium. 

The House I Live In looks into the true cost of America’s losing war on drugs. This film offers a picture of the human rights implications of America’s longest war. Directed by Eugene Jarecki. Wednesday April 27, 2016. Amherst Middle School auditorium.

All film screenings begin at 6:30 p.m. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. A facilitated talk-back or opportunities for feedback will immediately follow. The film festival is free and open to the public. 

Please contact Carol Ross, Media & Climate Communications Specialist, at 362-1820 or for more information, or go to