Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Help support the Friends of the Jones Library

The Friends of the Jones Library are the folks who support so many events at and materials for our town libraries. 

Does your child participate in the Munson Library summer reading program? Have you ever taken your kids to Sing With Your Baby at the Jones? Do you sometimes out a pass for free or reduced admission to various museums? The Friends sponsor all those and more.

And now they're asking for our help in supporting both the Friends and downtown restaurants. Dine at Osteria Vespa on June 8, Chez Albert on July 27, or Judie's on August 10 and a portion of that evening's proceeds will go to the Friends.

Want more information? Click here.

(Or just click on image to enlarge.)

See you at a local restaurant this summer!

So. Amherst Religious Educational Director opening

The South Amherst Congregational Church (part of the United Church of Christ) is looking for an Education Director. Ideally this candidate is organized, enjoys working with children, can manage teachers, and is creative. The job is 25 hours a week (flexible hours) for 25k and four weeks paid vacation. Here is the list of responsibilities:
  • Coordinates the Sunday school calendar
  • Recruits, trains, and supports Sunday school teachers and nursery attendants
  • Designs and ensures the proper implementation of Sunday school curriculum
  • Maintains contact with current families and serves as an ambassador for the CE program to potential families
  • Works collaboratively with local churches to provide programming and faith formation for youth group
  • Assists the Pastor in maintaining an active social media presence to extend the reach of our ministry
  • Coordinates and encourages participation in programs that nurture our faith and family lives through education, service, fellowship and worship 
The South Amherst Congregational Church is an open and affirming progressive church that prides itself on its green initiatives.

If you or someone you know is interested in this position, please email Kerry.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Crocker Farm school musical - Wed, May 25th

The musical is this Wednesday. Come enjoy & see the amazing show that the 5th & 6th graders, teachers & staff have put together, & have been working so hard on these past few months. Free admission.

The 5th grade classes will be running a bake sale for charity at the evening show.  All proceeds will go to their selected cause, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, through Ocean Conservancy (   Learn more about the Great Barrier Reef and threats to its ecosystem HERE

ARPS Black Scholars Rising Celebration, TONIGHT, 6:30 pm

From the ARPS central office:

We cordially invite you to the Black Scholars Rising Celebration  on May 24 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the middle school auditorium.  At the event, we will collectively recognize all Black/African American students grades K-12.  There will be a rising ceremony for those students transitioning to grades 7 and 9 as well as graduating seniors.  This cultural event  will include food and entertainment.  Please RSVP by calling Yahidra Torres at 413-362-1810 or by email at

Thank you.

Cordialmente le invitamos a la Celebración de los Crecientes Estudiantes Afroamericanos el 24 de mayo 6:30-8:30 en el auditorio de la Escuela Intermedia. En el evento, se reconocer colectivamente a todos los estudiantes Afroamericanos de K-12. Habrá una ceremonia para los crecientes estudiantes en transición a los grados 7 y 9, así como para los estudiantes graduandos del duodécimo. Este acontecimiento cultural incluirá comida y entretenimiento. Por favor confirmar su asistencia llamando al 413-362-1810 a Yahdira Torres o por correo electrónico a


Friday, May 20, 2016

Last Call for Yearbook & T-Shirt Orders - DUE TODAY, May 20th

All orders due by the end of school today. 

The beautiful Crocker Farm CAREs T-shirts can be ordered at this link:  SHIRTS 

The yearbook order form is here YEARBOOK(should be printed out; no online orders at this time - sorry)
Few extras are ordered, so please place an order to ensure availability. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Crocker Farm t-shirt orders, Take 2, orders due by May 20th

Dear Crocker Farm staff and families,
The first t-shirt sale was quite successful. We sold well over a hundred shirts and raised $250 for Crocker Farm and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. We are going to run the sale a second time. Proceeds will be used to provide summer scholarships for Achievement Academy LSSE camps and to purchase equipment for the Crocker Farm recess cart. Please consider buying one or more t-shirts for your family. The orders are due by Friday, May 20 and we'll be handing out the shirts at Crocker Farm in late May.

The shirt is available in a variety of colors and sizes, from youth x-small all the way up to adult 4XL. There are also women’s cuts available. All shirts cost less than $10 (price varies according to color and size of shirt. Any “change” from cash or checks will be added to the scholarship fund). There is a t-shirt scholarship fund.  Please send in the form with the scholarship request marked and we will contact you to arrange for the scholarship.
Show your school pride while supporting Crocker Farm all at the same time!

Judah Hughes, Tara Luce and Toby Bobbitt

Crocker Farm Elementary School

Please order online at:

or fill out the paper form if you are using cash, check or requesting a scholarship.
With the paper form, please indicate your name & your child's name. Thanks.

Venta de Camisetas de Crocker Farm: 2nd Parte

Estimado personal y familias de Crocker Farm,
    La primera venta de la camiseta fue bastante exitosa. Hemos vendido más de cien camisas y recaudamos $ 250 para Crocker Farm y Big Brothers / Big Sisters. Vamos a ejecutar la venta por segunda vez. Las ganancias se utilizarán para proporcionar becas de verano para Achievement Academy y los campamentos LSSE y para la compra de equipo para la carta??? receso Crocker Farm. Por favor considerar la compra de uno o más camisetas para su familia. Las órdenes son debidos para el viernes, 20 de mayo y vamos a estar entregando las camisetas de Crocker Farm a finales de mayo.
    La camiseta está disponible en una variedad de colores y tamaños, desde los jóvenes X-Small todo el camino hasta adultos 4XL. También hay cortes de las mujeres disponibles. Todas las camisetas cuestan menos de $ 10 (el precio varía según el color y tamaño de la camisa. Cualquier "cambio" de dinero en efectivo o cheques serán añadidos al fondo de becas.) Hay un fondo de becas para las camisetas. Por favor enviar el formulario con la solicitud de becas marcada y nos pondremos en contacto con usted para concertar la beca.
Mostrar su orgullo mientras apoyan Crocker Granja, todo al mismo tiempo!  

Judah Hughes, Tara Luce and Toby Bobbitt
Crocker Farm Elementary School

Por favor, ordenar en línea en:
o llene el siguiente formulario si está utilizando dinero en efectivo, cheque o quiere solicitar una beca.

Yearbook Orders Due by Monday, May 16th

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.   Yearbooks are available at no cost for income-qualifying families; a yearbook order form is still required (the no cost request will be kept confidential). 

The Yearbook volunteers are still accepting business advertising for the Crocker Farm yearbook.  It is a great way to reach lots of elementary school families & costs as little as $25 for a small ad.  More details are available at this earlier post and on the business advertising form HERE.   

Two FREE Family Friendly Events at UMass This Friday night, May 13th

The UMass Amherst Department of Chemistry is hosting its 3rd Annual Chemistry Demonstration Night.It is sure to be full of exciting chemical phenomenon!   
When: Friday May 13th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.  
Where: UMass Amherst Campus, Integrated Sciences Building Room 135

Big Hero 6 Night will offer you a fun encounter with representatives of the UMass, Hadley, and Amherst police and fire departments. 
When: Friday, May 13th, starting at 5 PM
• 5-7:45 p.m.:  Free BBQ and the opportunity for all to explore the many interactive displays. Free Child Passenger Safety Seat Checkpoint.
• 7:45-9:30 p.m.:  Free outdoor showing of the movie Finding Nemo and free popcorn. Bring chairs and blankets to sit on.
Where: Southwest Horseshoe on University Drive at UMass Amherst.
Rain location: Curry Hicks Cage at UMass.

They'll have interactive displays for people of all ages to enjoy. Explore the public-safety vehicles, try on different gear used by public-safety personnel, and get all of your questions about police and fire-fighting work answered by those who do it.
This is not a school-sponsored event.

Starlight Theatre's Into the Woods, performances this weekend

** Numerous current Crocker Farm & other ARPS students & alums are in the show. **

Starlight’s Youth Theatre invites you to take a journey with them Into The Woods   

The success of Disney’s Into The Woods movie starring Meryl Streep has revived the original Tony-Award-winning Broadway musical version by Stephen Sondheim and you can see many of your friends on the Academy of Music stage. This musical brings favorite fairy tale characters such as Cinderella (Kira Cairn), Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk to life; they set off to make their wishes come true but soon learn to be careful what they wish for as witches, giants and wolves loom.   

Into the Woods at the Northampton Academy of Music
May 13 at 7 p.m. 
May 14 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. 
May 15 at 2 p.m. 

Tickets are $10 for children/seniors and $14 for adults, and are available at the Academy of Music Box Office or online at

Amherst & UMass Police Depts: Police Youth Adventure Academy, July 18-22nd

The Amherst and The University of Massachusetts Police Departments are pleased to announce the dates of the seventh annual Police Youth Adventure Academy!

The 2016 Amherst and Umass Police Youth Adventure Academy is a ONE week program, being held Monday July 18 to Friday July 22, 2016 from 8:30AM to 4:00PMYouth entering 6th, 7th, 8th grades are eligible to attend.  The cost is FREE and academy size is limited to 20 youth, so preference will be given to Amherst residents and Umass affiliated families (ex. parent/guardian are employees or students at UMASS). 

Similar to a Citizens Police Academy, students will attend morning classroom sessions held at both the Amherst and Umass Police Departments with lectures, role-plays and interactive demonstrations by Amherst and UMASS police officers in the areas of law, crime scene investigation, defensive tactics and patrol procedures
, to name just a few.  Most afternoon sessions will be held at our Adventure Based Ropes Course at the Norwottuck Range where we will promote teamwork, communication and offers opportunities to develop positive relationships with the police officers.  

The Amherst and Umass Police Youth Adventure Academy will provide those participating with lunch each day at the Umass Dining Common.

All students will need to have transportation to the UMASS Police Department each morning for a 8:30AM start (not earlier!), and picked up each afternoon from the UMASS Police Department promptly at 4:00PM.

Questions regarding the Youth Adventure Academy can be forwarded to Amherst Officer Yvonne Feliciano at 413-259-3000.  You can also contact UMASS Officer Brian Kellogg  at 413-545-2121.  

Applications can be downloaded at the link below or by contacting Officer Feliciano or Officer Kellogg.  The application deadline is June 8, 2016, so please don’t delay!

             2016 Amherst and Umass Police Youth Adventure Academy Application

(Not a school or PGO-sponsored activity)

Amherst Charter Commission Public Hearing this Thursday, May 12th

The Amherst Charter Commission will be holding its first public hearing on Thursday May 12, 2016 in the Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m., for a community conversation about Amherst and its values about Town government. 

We invite participants to share their thoughts on questions such as the following:

·         What aspects of Amherst's current approach to government do you like?

·         What aspects do you think could be improved?

·         What do you see as key challenges facing Amherst?

·         How can we improve our Town government’s ability to meet those challenges?

·         Any other thoughts or feedback you would like to provide?

Residents will be able to provide input verbally (2 minute limit each) and/or in writing at the event.  Residents can also provide their answers to the questions above using the Public Input Form link on the Charter Commission webpage (see below).

The work of the Charter Commission can be followed online at (look for “Charter Commission” on the “Boards and Committees” page). 

Feedback is also welcome via email at  Other opportunities for input from residents, staff, and other stakeholders will be forthcoming.

The Amherst Charter Commission:

Andy Churchill, Chair
Tom Fricke

Meg Gage

Nick Grabbe, Clerk

Mandi Jo Hanneke, Vice Chair

Irv Rhodes

Julia Rueschemeyer

Diana Stein

Gerry Weiss


Andy Churchill, Commission Chair, 413.461.6310

(Not a school or PGO-sponsored activity)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Coffee with the Principal this Friday has been canceled

The coffee with the principal scheduled for this Fri, May 6th, has been canceled & will be rescheduled shortly. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Crocker Farm & PGO events this week

Thurs, May 5th, 8:30 am. Bus Driver & Crossing Guard Appreciation Breakfast.

Thurs, May 5th, 6:30 pm. Kindergarten-2nd grade concert.

 Fri, May 6th, 8:50 am. Coffee with the Principal & Assistant Principal, in the school lobby. Topic: standardized testing.

Also tomorrow, May 3rd is Valley Gives Day, a day of philanthropy to support non-profit organizations and community groups in Western Mass.  Please consider giving to the Crocker Farm PGO on Valley Gives Day.  Donations as small as $10 accepted, & every donation is greatly appreciated.  Also, the Community Foundation of Western Mass will add a $50 bonus to the first 500 donations made by new Valley Gives participants (new donors determined by email address).  Valley Gives runs from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm on Tuesday.  Thank you for your support!

Next week:
MCAS start again for students in grades 3-6.  Check for the schedule.
May 11th: early dismissal day, 1:20 pm

PGO letter to families April 2016

The letter can also be viewed here. 

April 29, 2016
Dear Crocker Farm Families,

We hope that you all had a great April vacation week and enjoyed the lovely weather. 

Right before the April break, the Crocker Farm PGO held one of our favorite events of the year: our used book swap. Over two days, we gave away more than 1,500 books, and each preschool through sixth grade student was able to bring home at least three books to keep. The remaining books went to classes, the school’s afterschool program and more.  We couldn’t have done the swap without the volunteers who sorted and set up the books before the swap and who staffed the swap for each class visit. We are grateful too for all the wonderful book donations, both used books and new. Thank you all! 

Upcoming PGO events:

·         Tues, May 3rd. This is the fourth annual Valley Gives Day, a day of philanthropy to support non-profit organizations in Western Mass. Since 2012, Valley Gives has engaged over 24,000 donors and raised $5.8 million for over 550 area non-profits.  Please consider giving to Crocker Farm PGO on Valley Gives Day. ( Valley Gives Day includes special bonus prizes, including Power Hours and Golden Ticket prizes which will randomly add $500 or $1,000 to a given donation. There will also be $50 prizes added to donations made by new Valley Gives donors (a person who did not participate in Valley Gives in 2012, 2013, or 2014; new donors determined by email address). 500 such new donor prizes will be awarded (first come, first serve). If you have never given through Valley Gives before, this is a great opportunity and means that your $10 donation could turn into $60, or your $50 donation into $100. 

·         Thursday, May 5th. Bus Driver and Crossing Guard Appreciation Breakfast, at the start of the school day. This is the PGO’s annual event to say “Thank You!” to Crocker Farm’s bus and van drivers and crossing guards who help our children get to and from school and keep them safe every day. The PGO is seeking baked goods and other breakfast food for the event.  Please let us know if you can help.

·         Friday, May 6th, 8:50 am. Coffee with the Principal and Assistant Principal, in the school lobby. Topic: standardized testing. All parents and guardians are welcome; small children are too.
·         Wednesday, June 1st. PGO’s annual Teacher and Staff Appreciation Luncheon to say “Thanks!” for all they do throughout the year. The PGO will be seeking volunteers to help serve.
·         June, date tbd. Crocker Farm Field Day. The PGO will once again be staffing a watermelon and water table for Field Day. We will be looking for people to help out on the day, and to supply watermelons for each class. Mr. James is also often looking for volunteers to help with Field Day events.  Stay tuned for more info and watch for signup sheets soon.

The PGO is seeking still volunteers to serve on the Crocker Farm PGO Board for next school year, including as chair/co-chair, class parent coordinator, and other board members. If you are interested in serving as a PGO officer or in finding out more, please contact the PGO. There are also always other volunteer opportunities to help with the PGO in smaller ways.  The PGO appreciates everyone’s help so much!

Best wishes to all,
Your Crocker Farm PGO
Tracy Zafian, Chairperson
on Facebook: Crocker-Farm-PGO

Live Birds of Prey & Native American artirfacts - free presentation by Julie Anne Collier, May 5th, 5 pm

Carta del grupo de padres y guardianes en Crocker Farm

La carta también disponible aquí. 

29 de abril de 2016

Estimadas familias de Crocker Farm,

Esperamos que todos hayan tenido una gran semana de vacaciones de abril y hayan disfrutado del buen tiempo.  

Justo antes de las vacaciones de abril, la OPG (PGO) llevó a cabo uno de los eventos favoritos del año: nuestro intercambio de libros usados. Durante dos días, regalamos más de 1.500 libros, y cada estudiante de preescolar hasta sexto grado fue capaz de llevar a casa al menos tres libros. Los libros restantes fueron a clases, a programas después de la escuela y mucho más. No podríamos haber hecho el canje sin los voluntarios que organizaron los libros antes de la permuta y aportaron personal para el canje por cada visita a la clase. Estamos agradecidos también por todas las maravillosas donaciones de libros, tantos los nuevos como los usados. Gracias a todos!  

Próximos eventos de OPG (PGO):

·         Martes, 3 de mayo. Este es el día del cuarto año de gestión de Valle Gives, un día de filantropía para apoyar a organizaciones sin fines de lucro en Western Mass. Desde 2012, Valle Gives ha comprometido a más de 24.000 donantes y recaudado $ 5.8 millones de dólares para más de 550 organizaciones sin fines de lucro en la zona. Por favor, considere la posibilidad de donar a la escuela Crocker granja PGO en el dia de Valle Gives. ( Valle Gives incluye premios de bonificación especiales, incluidas las horas de alimentación y premios de oro de entradas que sumarán al azar $ 500 o $ 1,000 por una determinada donación. También habrá premios de $50 añadidos a las donaciones hechas por donantes nuevos (una persona que no haya participado en el Valle Gives en 2012, 2013, o 2014; nuevos donantes determinados por dirección de correo electrónico). Se otorgarán 500 de estos nuevos premios a donantes (en orden de llegada). Si nunca ha dado a través del Valle Gives antes, esta es una gran oportunidad y significa que su donación de $10 podría convertirse en $60, o su donación de $50 en $100.  

·         Jueves, 5 de mayo. Desayuno de Apreciación al Conductor del autobús y al Guardia de Cruce de calle, al inicio del día escolar. Este es el evento anual de OPT para decir "Gracias" a los conductores de autobuses y furgonetas de Crocker Farm y  a los guardias de cruce, que ayudan a nuestros hijos a llegar a la escuela y mantenerlos seguros todos los días. OPG está buscando productos horneados y otros alimentos de desayuno para el evento.

·         Viernes, 6 de mayo, 8:50 de la mañana. Café con el Director y Subdirector. Tema: las pruebas estandarizadas. Todos los padres y guardianes son bienvenidos; los niños pequeños también.

·         Miércoles, 1ero de junio.  Almuerzo de Agradecimiento anual de OPG al Maestro y Personal  para decir "Gracias!" por su gran labor durante todo el año. OPG estará buscando voluntarios para ayudar a servir.
·         Jueves, fecha para ser decidida. Día de Campo de la escuela Crocker Farm. Una vez más el PGO estará ayudando con agua y sandía para Día de Campo. Vamos a estar buscando gente para ayudar en el día, y para suministrar las sandías para cada clase. El Sr. James estará también en busca de voluntarios para colaborar con los eventos del Día de Campo. Estén atentos por más información, y para firmar las hojas de inscripción de voluntarios pronto.

El OPG aún está buscando voluntarios que formen parte del Consejo de la escuela Crocker Farm para el próximo año escolar, incluyendo presidente / co-presidente, el coordinador de padres de clase, y otros miembros de la junta. Si usted está interesado en servir como oficial OPG o en obtener más información, póngase en contacto con OPT. También  siempre hay otras oportunidades para voluntarios que deseen ayudar en forma más pequeña. Apreciamos mucho su colaboracion!

Con mis mejores deseos para todos,
OPG de la escuela de Crocker Farm
Tracy Zafian, presidente

Mothering with Ease: A Mini Retreat for Busy Moms - May 14th

Workshop run by Ginny Hamilton (Crocker Farm parent), and holistic psychotherapist Laura Pontani

Mothering with Ease: A Mini Retreat for Busy Moms              
In this small group, morning retreat, you will
ü Learn practical, simple tools to reduce stress, easy to integrate into your life starting now.
ü Form new connections and deepen existing ones in a supportive circle of mothers.
ü Find comfort and balance in your body.
ü Uncover your intention and create a powerful affirmation to support you in meeting your goals in the months ahead.
ü Leave feeling relaxed, renewed, refreshed – so that you can be more present for your kids as well as for yourself.
Designed for moms of infants through teens, this retreat is an opportunity to learn & embrace simple, effective, and lasting relaxation techniques, time & stress management skills, and tools to lead a mindful and self-compassion led life. The morning will be comprised of guided meditations, breathing exercises, simple yoga for pain relief and increased energy, prompted journaling for self-discovery, and encouraging and supportive discussions. All this, plus breakfast and a beautiful bag of goodies from local practitioners and businesses.
DATE:   Saturday, May 14, 2016
TIME:    9:00 – 1:00 (Registration and breakfast at 8:30. Program starts at 9.)
PLACE: Hadley Health Center 234 Russell St Hadley (across from Wildwood BBQ)
COST:    $120 for one person. Register with a friend by May 4 and each pay only $99! Register securely through PayPal.
“[This retreat] was a beautiful slow down…Hearing other mamas in various stages of parenthood was a great reminder that the experience is indeed universal in that we love, hurt, and want the best for our families all while we work every day to be our best selves. The struggle is real AND you all helped me remember the abundance of this experience.” – mom of two, past retreat participant
For more information and registration, please visit:
(Not a school or PGO-sponsored event)

Maine Arts Camp - residential camp for ages 9-16

We are a small, creative camp community of about 75 campers and 25 staff. We offer two 2 week sessions each summer. Our 1st session is almost full, but we have plenty of space in the 2nd session. Since there is space, I'm able to discount the tuition for any campers enrolling at this stage.  For some children/teens, camp is out of reach financially, so this is an amazing opportunity for them to join our small, creative camp community.

Dates for the 2nd session are July 24 - August 6.  Below is a short blurb about this opportunity.

Maine Arts Camp - discounted 2 week session available!

Maine Arts Camp is a  small, creative camp community of 75 campers and 25 staff. We offer two 2 week sessions for children & teens ages 9-16. The 1st session is full, but the 2nd session, which runs from July 24 - August 6, has space available for boys and girls. We are willing to offer discounts to students who are interested in the arts, music, theater, dance, technology, film making, cooking and more... Our camp is now in its 12th summer and is located on the campus of Unity College. Starting summer 2017, we will be moving to Colby College.
To learn more about this amazing opportunity, interested families should contact Rick Mades, Camp Director, at 561-865-4330 or

(Not a school or PGO-sponsored event)