Calling All Musicians

This year the Festival of Lights will be at the Earth School Auditorium on Wednesday, December 19. The kids have already started working on their performances, and for the last three years the parents have provided accompaniment for some of the classes as well as cheerful, incidental holiday music as the classes get on and off the stage. We’ve also had a sing-along of a couple of popular holiday tunes for the whole community.

If you have an instrument and would like to play you are more than welcome to join our parents’ band. Email Martha Kessler, let her know your hidden talents, ideas, or requests. She will be scheduling a couple of different rehearsals to try to accommodate everyone’s busy December.

Holiday Shopping for EVCS

If you are doing any holiday shopping this year, there are a number of opportunities to raise money for our wonderful school while you’re at it!

#1: Order from the EQUAL EXCHANGE Catalogue that was sent home in your child’s backpack.

Why this is a good idea: This is shopping at its ethical best. Equal Exchange’s mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.

When you order from Equal Exchange THIS WEEK (by filling out the order form and giving it to your child’s teacher) EVCS will receive a whopping 40% of every purchase! Who doesn’t want to buy a bunch of delicious chocolate, anyway??!!

When this is a good idea: THIS WEEK ONLY!!!

The Catch: You must order from the catalogue, and hand in the hard-copy form. No online shopping.

#2: Order online from the GLOBAL GOODS website.

Why this is a good idea: Global Goods is yet another thoughtful, activist merchant that is using the monster of commerce to tame the beast of inequity. The company works with artisans in the developing world, providing them direct access to new markets — often their sole means of revenue. The EVCS partnership with Global Goods means that 20% of any purchase from their website — and 40% of any purchase from this school fundraiser page — goes to EVCS.

When this is a good idea: You can shop at Global Goods to benefit EVCS any time of the year, but now through Dec. 24, they are offering FREE SHIPPING!

The Catch: You must shop online. When you get to the checkout page, you’ll see a section labeled “Fundraising Program.” Click the link there to select EVCS from their list of beneficiaries.

#3: Shop local EXIT 9 @ 51 Avenue A (between 3rd and 4th streets) or 127 Smith Street in Brooklyn

Why this is a good idea: Support our local independent merchants who carry loads of cool items! Need I say more? OK, I’ll say more … when you shop at Exit 9 between December 1 and December 12, tell them at check-out that you want a percentage of your purchase to go to EVCS and it magically will.

When this is a good idea: DECEMBER 1 THROUGH DECEMBER 12 ONLY. Put it on your calendar! But don’t worry, we’ll remind you.

The Catch: Hm…can’t think of one.

#4: AMAZON

Why this is a good idea: Because everything I just said about fair trade and shopping locally is a lie! No, no, no. But, in the event that you, like me, have a blemish or two on your otherwise spotlessly ethical shopping habits, you might as well purify by making some of your purchase a donation to EVCS! Plus, it’s really easy. Bookmark this link now.

When this is a good idea: 365 days a year, if you enter through this link, 5% your purchase will benefit EVCS.

The Catch: You must enter Amazon through this URL for your purchases to benefit the school. It will not look any different than your usual experience of Amazon. You will not be alerted that you are shopping for EVCS. Your receipt will not indicate you have shopped for EVCS. It all happens in the Oz-like back-end of Amazon. Just be sure to use this URL every time you shop at Amazon. And tell your family to do it, too!

#5: OneCause.com

Why this is a good idea: Well…it’s complicated, and it may not be for everyone. OneCause is a subsidiary of corporate behemoth RakutanUSA, which makes its money through global online retail. OneCause (a for-profit LLC) has contracts with hundreds of online retailers — Target, The Gap, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Hannah Anderson, etc., etc., etc. Obviously, we aren’t talking local, fair-trade here. However, when EVCS registers with OneCause (which we have), some percentage (it varies depending on the retailer) of every purchase made by an EVCS “supporter” will go back to the school.

So — true story — just today I purchased a winter coat at REI in Soho. Later I was poking around on the OneCause site and, voila, there was REI on the list, there was the same coat, same price. If I had purchased the same coat through OneCause.com, it would have been money in the EVCS bank.

When this is a good idea: Any time you shop online, if you use OneCause as a portal, your purchases will benefit EVCS. (This is another good one to tell your family about.)

The Catch: You must register on the OneCause site. Please note that there’s a Profile section where you can set privacy settings and opt out (or in, I suppose) of email alerts.

November 2012 PA Meeting Notes & Minutes

We managed to squeeze a productive PA meeting in between the roar of motors from the corner lot and a lively Harvest Festival parade last Wednesday. Though there were no votes to take, there was good discussion about security issues following last month’s incident at Campos Plaza, updates to our after-school program, and a preview of holiday fundraising.
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Pick Your School Photo Now

About half of you have yet to select a school photo for the prints you have already ordered. You need to select a photo by Sunday, or Larry will pick one for you on Monday — otherwise, he won’t be able to get prints to you before winter recess.

Take a look at your child’s school photos here. And then go here for instructions on how to order.

If you did not pre-order, you can still pick a photo and create an order. If you did pre-order, you can add additional photos. Remember, a percentage of all orders gets kicked back to the PA.

This week and beyond at EVCS, November 19, 2012

Dear Families,

HARVEST FESTIVAL TOMORROW, WEDS, NOV. 21: Just one more day until the Harvest Festival! If you have cans to bring in for our all-school food drive and donation to the Trinity Church soup kitchen on East 9th Street, bring them in TODAY. We will be packing them up and getting ready for the procession tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. We hope you can join us for the walk over.

PARENT ASSOCIATION MEETING TOMORROW: Come hear about fund raising, safety measures at school and other important EVCS issues; in the lobby at 8:45 a.m.

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February recess reduced to long weekend

Didn’t that week without power and water around Halloween feel like vacation? No? Well too bad, because it was. And now that week off your kids were going to have in February has been reduced to a 4-day weekend.

Public schools are required to be open for 180 days, and the week off for Sandy threatened to limit class time for students even before we find out how much snow there will be this winter. So school will now be open on February 20, 21, and 22.

Please adjust your calendars.

Schools and the race for Mayor

Next year we’ll elect a new mayor, and the state of our public schools is bound to be a big topic. Michael Bloomberg, by consolidating authority to run the public school system, has dramatically changed the organization and functionality of the school system. All the people who want to succeed him have no choice but to grapple with that legacy.

Here’s an interesting article about an education forum five mayoral candidates attended on Monday, to get the conversation rolling.

Scratch that Save the Date!

Ok, scratch that — as many of you have noticed, December 8 is the first night of Hanukkah, making it impossible to hold an event for all of us. So you we’re moving our Winter Jubilee to the new year. (Also, apparently, December 8 is still autumn, so what were we thinking?) New date to come, but we’re looking at Saturdays in January.