Read-a-thon Logistics

The last week of March means the final stretch of our Read-a-thon … sponsor sheets and contributions will be collected starting Monday, April 2.

If you need a replacement sponsor sheet, there are some extras available at the EVCS office, or, to save you the four-flight hike, you can download one right here.

If any sponsors prefer to write a check, please make it out to “EVCS Parent Association.” (Also, if you want to bundle the cash and write a single check for the contributions, you are welcome to do so.)

Reading, of course, should be a part of home-time for all our children. The Read-a-thon is meant to draw attention to that work and give our kids a specific feeling of accomplishment around it. As a fundraiser, the Read-a-thon is a way to help our kids learn about how some of their favorite programs — theater, music, and Spanish — are paid for.

Thanks!

Parent Association Meeting: Wednesday After Drop-off

The March PA meeting will be full of important business. We’re looking for volunteers to help pull together our big Spring Gala, we’ll be discussing the importance (and controversy) of testing in the older grades, and we’ll need to form a nominating committee to start thinking of officer candidates for next year’s PA. Please join us in the auditorium on Wednesday right after drop-off.

Two Weeks Left for EVCS Read-a-thon

This week Allison Gordon dropped by all the classrooms to see how everyone is doing with the Read-a-thon. She was thrilled with the enthusiastic responses from students who are reading and getting sponsors!

From Family Contributions to Read-a-thon pledges, Fall Ball ticket sales to Spring Gala auctions, EVCS parents are being asked this year to raise a lot of money for our small school — more than ever before. If you’re wondering what it’s all for, the short answer is that nearly all of the PA budget goes to pay for enrichment programs that the school budget no longer covers: music, Spanish language, and theater arts. If it weren’t for parents providing all or most of the funding for these classes, they simply would not be available to our children. (You can read more about these programs on our website.)

If you haven’t had a chance to do so yet, please take a few minutes this weekend to go through the Read-a-thon materials with your child, and help them ask friends, family members, and neighbors to support our school. And since they are all probably reading every day, just remind them (or help them) keep track of their books or reading hours on the sponsor sheet.

There are just 2 more weeks in March — so let’s get our children excited about reading and about helping to raise money for programs that they love in school!

PA-Sponsored Programs: Theater Arts

Grades K-5 receive weekly theater instruction for half a year.
PA funding for 2011-2012: $13,750

Kelli Holsopple started InFlight five years ago with one class and she has grown the program every year to now include K-5th grades. The PA has supported the Theater program as it has grown, and this year the PA was awarded a grant from LMCC to cover part of the expense.

InFlight, a program of Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, is based on the idea that children’s natural inclination toward play and imagination is a powerful vehicle for learning. Using interactive, process-based theatre as a teaching method, students explore social studies topics combining content area exploration with social justice issues, critical inquiry, literacy, and community building.

Kelli collaborates with teachers to choose a unit of study to focus on. Students become characters tasked with a project, mission, or journey. They fully take on their roles and through interactive theatre they experience a journey during which they must interact with characters played by Kelli and the teachers, working together to creatively solve problems that arise.

This fall, the Kindergarteners traveled back in time to become workers on the Transcontinental Railroad, singing railroad work songs, building, meeting characters (including a prairie dog!), and solving problems along the way. After their journey they were hired to design green transportation of the future and the drama ended with a green transportation fair during which they shared their inventions and the story of their journey back in time.

Currently, Kelli is working with the 5th grade. The 5th graders are delegates to the United Nations from different nations in the Western Hemisphere. Last fall in social studies, they completed a nation study and now they are using that knowledge to research and write resolutions about current issues effecting the Western Hemisphere: poverty, environmental issues, education, unemployment, healthcare. The are presenting, debating, caucusing, writing amendments, and giving speeches in very lively UN sessions.

The 3rd grade are in-role as International Detective Agency Agents who are tasked with stopping an international thief from stealing world treasures. Their latest clue leads them to believe that the thief is headed to Kenya so they have been learning all they can! If you see a 3rd grader, find out what they know about Kenya!

PA-Sponsored Programs: Spanish

Grades K-5 receive weekly Spanish instruction for 30 weeks.
PA funding for 2011-2012: $12,375

EVCS has had a successful Spanish program for many years. The younger children in kindergarten and first grade are introduced to Spanish through music, movement, and games. For grades 2-5, the older children are introduced to more complex sentences and some basic grammar. The Spanish teachers work with class teachers to align the program to compliment social studies and class projects.

Spanish classes for Kindergarten, 1st grade, and Christine’s 12-1-1 class are taught by Alfonso Mogaburo. Alfonso is a native of Spain, and a talented musician. “I incorporate music, role-play like shopping at the market, and aspects of Spanish culture into the curriculum,” Alfonso says. He finds that keeping kids active with a variety of exercises helps the students stay focused and absorb more. “I don’t just make them sit and listen. They practice speaking and working with each other while using Spanish,” Alfonso explains.

Mary Talbot teaches to the 2nd through 5th grade classes. Many parents know Mary as the Parent Coordinator, but they might not know that before she came to EVCS, Mary lived and worked in Nicaragua, where she learned Spanish while teaching first grade and running an aid program. She enjoys teaching Spanish at EVCS. “There’s an energy to the language that kids pick up on,” she says. She uses a project-based curriculum, which means that the lessons incorporate music, singing, and art. “It’s a lively, kinetic course.”

This is Alfonso and Mary’s second year teaching Spanish. In addition to the language, they teach about the different aspects of Latin cultures, which are already a part of many students’ lives either through their own families or just from living in New York City.

PA-Sponsored Programs: Music

From Family Contributions to Read-a-Thon pledges, Fall Ball ticket sales to Spring Gala auctions, EVCS parents are being asked this year to raise a lot of money for our small school — more than ever before. Parents may wonder what it’s all for. The short answer is that nearly all of the PA budget goes to pay for enrichment programs that the school budget no longer covers: music, Spanish language, and theater arts.

If it weren’t for parents providing all or most of the funding for these classes, they simply would not be available to our children.

Grades K-2 receive weekly music instruction for half a year from Nina Stern of S’cool Sounds.
Grades 3-5 receive weekly music instruction for the full school year.
PA funding for 2011-2012: $11,625

Note: Nina will be hosting a music share about her Kenya project on Wednesday March 14th in the auditorium at 10:30. Parents are encouraged to attend.

On Wednesday, February 29, parents and children were treated to a great music share by the 1st and 2nd grade students who had completed their music program provided by S’cool Sounds. Nina Stern, who taught the classes, explained to the audience that the children had been learning about the basic skills all musicians need to be able to play together whether using percussion, their voices, or recorders.

Nina has just returned from Kenya where she is part of a team of educators building a school in Nairobi. She shared our EVCS CD “Songs from the East Village” (Amazon, Amazon MP3, iTunes) with the children there and has brought some of their songs back with her to share with our children. Her hope is to establish a long-term relationship between the two schools where the children can learn about each other’s cultures and traditions through music.

The older children at EVCS — 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders — have had weekly group violin classes with Sam Marchan from Third Street Music Settlement, the oldest community music school in the country. The children are being taught using the Suzuki method which was devised especially for groups of children and is used all over the world. We heard the 4th and 5th graders perform at the Festival of Lights and will hear all three grades at our year-end music share.

Third Street Music Settlement has many levels instructions for children and adults. Every EVCS student 6 years and older is eligible for their MILES program which gives two years of free classes at Third Street. Sign-up is at the end of May for classes beginning the following fall. Keep your eye out for information if you are interested in taking advantage of this program.

Read-A-Thon Sponsor Sheet Coming Home Today

Today your child will be coming home with the materials for the Read-A-Thon. Please be on the lookout for these and help your child find a safe place to keep the octopus sponsor sheet and the envelope for collecting donations. You’ll find instructions for the Read-A-Thon on the back of the sponsor sheet — and at the bottom of this post.

Also, inside the envelope you will find a bookmark and stickers to help reinforce your child’s progress. And remember, this fundraiser will go directly to the EVCS Parent Association to help pay for Music, Spanish, and Theater.

Happy reading!

What is a Read-A-Thon?

  • During the month of March your child will read 10 books (for Pre-K to 2nd Grade) or for 10 hours (for 3rd to 5th grade) and record it on the Octopus sponsor sheet.
  • Students will try to find sponsors to donate $1 per book / hour, which equals $10 from each sponsor. The sponsor will sign one arm of the Octopus. Try to fill all 8 arms! (Ask your child’s teacher for more Octopuses if you have more than 8 sponsors).

How can you help your child?

  • Go to the library — have reading time there or take books home.
  • Encourage your child to read a little bit every day.
  • Help your child ask relatives, neighbors, work colleagues, friends, local businesses, etc. to be sponsors.
  • Explain to your child that we are raising money for Drama, Spanish and Music in school.
  • Please use the envelope you received to save the money your child collects.
  • Inside the envelope, you will find a bookmark and stickers. Please reward your child with a sticker on his/her bookmark for every book/hour completed.

Money and octopus sponsor sheets will be collected at the end of March.