Dear AmPark Community,
February may be short on days, but it is certainly not short on happenings! I am frequently struck by the vibrancy of our school community. For a comparatively small school, we have such a number of events taking place and opportunities to come together. Thank you for your participation and commitment to making these memories happen.
Last month, teachers Andrea and Casey opened up the PA meeting with the Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) initiative with families that we begun with staff and students. WIGs are an important piece of Year 2 Leader in Me work. Have you been able to make progress so far? Let us know how it is going! Leadership notebooks launched for students and we cannot wait to share them with you as they grow.
Along the social and emotional lines, February’s Book of the Month, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? aligns with our Leader in Me endeavors by supporting the creation of tangible school wide “Emotional Bank Accounts.” In the text, students learn about how words and actions can fill someone’s metaphorical bucket or take from it. Classrooms have created interactive displays where students can leave positive notes for one another and make deposits into the Emotional Bank Accounts of their classmates. Our staff has also followed suit. We know that all people are far more likely to do better when they are part of a high-trust community in which they feel valued and cared for. We are excited to use this practice as another way to contribute to these feelings.
Our Chipotle fundraiser raised $118 towards the 4th grade partnership with the New York Historical Society and our Parents Association generously offered to sponsor the balance. We are very grateful to all of of families for the willingness to support this type of hands-on social studies enrichment for our students. Celebrations of the program will be shared when the partnership begins!
We have had a number of volunteers for our National African American Read-In (with an Alvin Ailey theme this year!). While each class does have a reader at this time (or even two!) you are still welcome to reach out to me or Tahese if you would like to take part. This community building serves as an annual nod to the work of the civil rights activists. The Read-In is symbolic of the sit-ins used as a means to work for positive change in building equality for the black and brown people of our country. It is foundational to our beliefs in this community school that activism is taught into from an early age and our Read-In is a true orchestration of these efforts as families, students, and community members taking part.
A Message from the Wellness Committee:
Our next Wellness Committee Meeting will be held on February 7th at 1:30 in the K Cafe. Coming for the Read In? Consider staying for Wellness! : ) Of course that evening will be our Family Fun Fitness Night at 6pm.
This month, Chef Ricardo supported Zoe's PreK class in planting leafy greens in the hydroponic tower garden! We are so excited that our youngest Wellness students will get a chance to grow greens and then make a salad with them. Farm to table? We've got classroom to table here at AmPark.
Please check out this month's Alternative Lunch Menu here to see what is upcoming, healthy, and delicious in the cafeteria.
A Message from our PA President:
Please help us extend a warm welcome to Anna Goldman our new PA Secretary for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year. Thank you so much for stepping up Anna! We sent out a super detailed email regarding the Spring Auction and are hoping for more volunteers and attendees. Please reach out if you have any additional questions or need documentation to solicit donations. Join us this Thursday for Family Fitness Night hosted by the School and our amazing Admin and WITS Chefs. This week is also our Family Sweetheart Dance on Friday Feb. 8th from 7pm - 9pm. Here is the link for the sign up genius: AmPark Family Sweetheart Dance 2019. Be on the lookout for the AmPark's Got Talent Flyer that Dean created. As always we hope to see you at the next general PA meeting (Invite link: http://evite.me/Cr8cxdXam2).
Happy New Year! I wish you all the very best that 2019 has to offer.
As we roll into the winter season, please be reminded that both AmPark and the Department of Education are committed to active, outdoor recess whenever possible. This means that students may go out when it is wet and/or cold. Be sure that your child comes prepared each day with the appropriate outerwear for such conditions.
January’s Book of the Month is Ish by Peter H. Reynolds. This text teaches students about the value of creativity and standing by interests that you love. It emphasizes that doing your best is more important than doing things perfectly.
Our representative from The Leader in Me visited AmPark to meet with staff and check in on how our second year of implementation is going. We reviewed results from last year’s Measurable Results Annual Survey and it was wonderful to see how students, staff, and parents agree that students take on active leadership roles in the building and that parents are committed partners in the work. From now until June we plan to further “leader-ize” school routines and events by giving all students even more time to shine in established school leadership roles. For example, adding a classroom “greeter” as a leadership position in each room, as well as creating a Student Lighthouse Committee to support planning occasions such as Field Day and The Spring Arts Festival. Student Leadership Notebooks are launching this month which will be used to help students keep track of their own personal Wildly Important Goals (WIGs). We look forward to sharing more!
We have a number of upcoming happenings that are sure to bring some warmth to these colder months:
January 7th - PK-2 Sing
January 14th - 3-5 Sing
January 10th Wellness Committee Meeting (8:30 in K Cafe)
January 11th College Awareness Day: Take part in this annual DOE initiative by sending your child to school in gear from a favorite college.
January 21st Martin Luther King Jr. Day: School Closed
January 23rd General PA Meeting and Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) Night run by AmPark teachers
January 25th Family Tea and PA Recap
January 28th Chipotle Fundraiser: The fourth grade needs your help raising money for their partnership with the New York Historical Society. Grab some dinner from our local Chipotle between 4 and 8 p.m. Be sure to show the flyer to receive the donation! Copies going home, in main office and on website.
January 31st 4th & 5th Grade National Geographic Geography Bee
February 8th National African American Read In: This event is the nation’s oldest to celebrate diversity in literature and is done in recognition of the sit-ins of the civil rights movement. Please let us know if you would like to be a guest reader for this annual event. Be on the lookout for more details!
With warm wishes,
Kelly Fitzpatrick, Principal
A Note from the Wellness Committee
Please consider joining Caitlin, Chef Ricardo, and our student Wellness Ambassadors this Thursday, January 10th at 8:30 in the Kindergarten Cafe for our monthly Wellness Meeting. The Committee will be discussing initiatives for the 2019 year ahead and even begin planning into our spring Family Wellness Night featuring Alvin Ailey Dance (scheduled for May 30th)!
As always, check out this month's delicious offerings on the PreK-8 Alternative Lunch Menu here.
A Message from our PA President
Hello AmPark Families,
Happy New Year! We hope you all enjoyed the holidays. We have so many great things to look forward to and we're so excited to get back to work.
The SLT meeting will be held on Monday 1/7 at 5:15pm.
The next general meeting is on 1/23 and we will be holding elections for the Secretary and VP of Fundraising positions. Please join us and consider becoming part of the board. RSVP via the link: http://evite.me/mJ27NTFQU7. Also, Angie will be holding part one of her three part math workshop on 1/23. Time is TBD.
The Spring Auction will be on April 5th from 6pm - 9pm. Come enjoy a night of food, drinks and fun. Childcare is provided for AmPark students and tickets are currently $15 dollars.
Letters went out for the annual appeal back in December. Please help us reach our goal by submitting your appeal if you haven't already.
The Talent Show will be on 3/22. Start thinking of what you'd like to do.
We really need our awesome parents to volunteer for the events we have coming up like the Auction and the Family Sweetheart Dance coming up in February on 2/8. Please reach out to the firstname.lastname@example.org address. As always, we are so grateful for any and all volunteers.
As I shared at out PA meeting, November was truly a month of Thanksgiving. The many ways in which the community came together from candy collections to the Harvest Festival illustrated that vision of the “Beautiful Bountiful Bronx.” We are closing out 2018 with grateful hearts and a clear vision for continued success in 2019.
Inclement weather will make dismissal more of a challenge, especially at the Hillman entrance. While we do want our families to be out of the cold, please be mindful of arrival times. We have a very welcoming lobby, but need to encourage families to arrive no earlier than 2:15 as it is a high traffic area and school is still in session during this time. Our school safety agents have noted the difficulty when signing in visitors and monitoring the door when the area becomes congested for a prolonged amount of time. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
December’s Book of the Month is One Family by George Shannon. This text celebrates the beauty in all different types of families across the world. It spreads the message that family is who you love and who loves you back.
Our annual Festival of Lights will take place on December 21st in the Multipurpose Room. We will have two sessions in the afternoon, starting at 1:15. The first session will be from 1:15-1:40 with PreK, Kindergarten, 2nd and 5th Grades. The second session will be from 1:45-2:10 with 1st, 3rd, and 4th Grades and Javier's class. Please come and join us in a true community sing with all grades represented. We will not be serving any treats or hot chocolate this year, but focusing on the vocal merriment instead. If you are a musical parent, we invite you to bring your instrument and jam along with some holiday favorites.
Please be reminded that Winter Recess runs from December 22nd through January 1st. School resumes on January 2nd.
Happy Hanukkah to our families that are celebrating this weekend!
Current School Fundraisers:
5th grade Chipotle fundraiser
Boon Supply Fundraiser: https://www.boonsupply.com/collections/all?fundraiser=93086&complete
Our Weekly Owl Announcers reporting the good news at AmPark every Friday! Last week our leaders informed the community about how they can support our Food Drive efforts as we work to support our local food pantry POTS. As they do each week, our announcers also shared the current status of class "Feather Points" as everyone works to do their P.A.R.T. at AmPark.
Wellness Committee News:
Tomato Salsa Labs were a huge success last week with so many of our students not only making fresh tomato-corn-garlic salsa but also bravely trying... and loving it! We are so grateful to chefs Marion and Ricardo for coming to our PA meeting and sharing that delicious salsa with our parents and families. They led us in a WITS Bit on sodium that proved to be some truly vital food for thought!
On December 11th, Chef Ricardo will return to lead WITS Bits with our 4th and 5th graders on healthy eating habits through the holidays. We'd love to have you join us for the next Wellness Committee Meeting on December 10th at 1:40PM in the K Cafe!
Please check out December's Alternative Lunch Menu here to preview what's upcoming and delicious in our cafeteria this month!
Message from our PA President:
Hello AmPark Families,
The holidays are in full swing. We would like to take this time to recognize Anna Goldman and Mariana Swick for co-chairing the Harvest Festival. They did a fantastic job along with the rest of the Harvest Festival committee. We loved the new crafts and other elements they brought to the event. Thank you to all the families that donated food and came out to enjoy the day. Please make sure you head out to Chipotle on Monday for the 5th grade fundraiser and to movie night on Friday December 7th to see Elf.
Message from our Fundraising Team:
Thank you to everyone who helped with our Square1Art Fundraiser by promoting, purchasing or volunteering to help distribute orders in the coming weeks. This particular fundraiser is a favorite as it allows us to purchase keepsakes of our child's artwork while also giving us a percentage in profits. We are estimated to earn just under $2,000 and we could not have done it without all the families, staff and of course the children! Orders will arrive on Dec. 18th and non-breakables will be sent home that week. Please come by the office to pick up orders with breakables after 12/18 or come to the General PA meeting on 12/19 to pick them up. If you have any questions, email us email@example.com.
Our Spring Auction is scheduled for Friday, April 5th which is earlier than ever. If you own a business or provide services, or know someone who does, have access to desirable items or events or think you can contribute in any way, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. An auction cannot be successful without items to auction, and without you! Early bird tickets are on sale for $15 for a limited time and include childcare for AmPark students. Purchase your tickets on our website at www.amparkpa.org/auction/. Stay tuned for our next auction committee meeting over the next week. We desperately need two teams: One to focus on soliciting donations and one to focus on marketing and promoting to families. Both of these are so important and we need your help.
Coming up this month:
Food Drive continues and ends on Friday, December 7th!
Square1Art orders are distributed December 19-21
General PA Meeting on Wednesday, December 19th
Bake Sale on Friday, December 21st
Message from our 5th Grade Committee:
In addition to collecting dues from 5th grade families, our classes relies upon fundraising to help pay for the many exciting traditions former 5th graders have enjoyed. From a day trip to Club Getaway in Kent, CT to an awesome party celebrating their big achievement, the 5th grade cannot do it without everyone’s support. December is a busy month for everyone but supporting one or all of our fundraisers, can help you too! Check out our upcoming fundraisers:
· Chipotle Fundraiser – Why cook on a Monday? Simply show this Chipotle Flyer at the 237th street location on Monday, December 3rd from 5PM-9PM, and the 5th Grade will get a percentage of the sale! Spread the word!
· Pajama Movie Night – Friday, December 7th @ 6PM sharp, we’re showing the holiday classic Elf! Everyone is welcome to wear their favorite PJs and join us for some great fun and holiday treats! $3 admissions; hot food and drinks will be sold for purchase. Can’t make it? We’ll gladly take a donation! We’ll also have a raffle for 2 tickets to the Camden Aquarium and an Xbox Lego Worlds game! Click here for more info.
· Boon Supply – Don’t know what to get your aunt or co-worker for the holidays? Shop from now through December 30th for anything from vegan leather tote to beautiful 2-sided wrapping paper! Share this link with friends and family. Shop to give 50% to our 5th graders!!
In other news, we are coming along with getting our yearbook together. Baby picture submission has been extended to Friday, November 30th. If you’re having trouble sending pictures via link given, simply email the pictures instead.
We were also fortunate enough to secure the Multi-Purpose room for the 5th Grade Annual Holiday Breakfast! It is one of our personal favorite events as the classes get to join each other to have a yummy breakfast! Save the date…Friday, December 21st from 9AM-10AM. More info will come in the following weeks.
The 5th Grade class truly thanks you for your support!
AmPark's 2018 Wonderwalk - March for Babies Fundraiser
I have been so touched by all of the efforts of our community to spread kindness and support this month and wanted to take the moment to acknowledge the results of this tremendous work.
Pledges have still been coming in and we are up to $1600 in March of Dimes fundraising! This almost doubles our previous record. When we collected all of the posters we realized there was no way to have a poster contest winner and all are proudly displayed instead.
This month of remembrance began with a mountain of candy donated to Treats for Troops. A large portion was given directly to our local NY Army National Guard base on 195th street. They were so appreciative!
Today many students and staff members supported the GiGO Fund by wearing rocking denim for the Wear Jeans for Troops campaign. We also hosted our first event to honor veterans from our parent community and it was a truly memorable event in all of the best ways. Student ambassadors greeted veterans including Ramon Olivo, Gabe Speciale, Eva Maldonado, Rury Jabril, Kevin Guzman and Cynthia Lopez. After breakfast, our veterans visited classrooms and shared their stories of service. A huge thank you to our community veterans, their families, and all of our service members. AmPark, keep up this amazing heart work. It makes a difference.
This month has flown by! It’s hard to believe we are heading into Parent Teacher Conferences this month and the holidays are approaching. In this month of Thanksgiving, I would like to acknowledge how profoundly grateful I am to be a part of such an exceptional community. Thank you families for all that you do and the many ways in which you partner alongside the school as we continuously strive to create an optimal elementary school experience for our children. The generosity of spirit shown, the kindness shared, and the trust placed in the AmPark staff each day is appreciated beyond measure.
October brought a Parent Association Meeting where we touched upon hallmarks of our “whole child” approach to learning by checking in on the mood meter and introducing WIGs (Wildly Important Goals). If you have been walking the building lately you may have noticed the teachers displaying their personal goals as models for the students when they begin to set theirs in this format in the coming weeks. We are not leaving families out of the fun so please be on the lookout for our rescheduled WIG night. Chef Marion is also being booked for a PA meeting with a wellness presentation. Expect to see events this month and next focusing on these important aspects of self-care. Happy, healthy adults contribute to the growth of happy, healthy children!
Our annual WonderWalk Costume Parade to fundraise and increase awareness for the March of Dimes made more than a few eyes watery. Pledges are still coming in and we thank you all for your support. The beautiful handmade posters personalized the event. Thank you for taking the time to pledge, make posters, and participate as an enthusiastic audience. Our 2nd Treats for Troops drive brought in bags and bags of candy! These donations are sure to go a long way! What a beautiful display of kindness.
November’s Book of the Month is This is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson. This is the Rope is a story from America’s Great Migration that tells the story of one family’s history through a shared jump rope.
We love to share behind-the-scenes happenings in our school. Follow me and AmPark on twitter @amparkkelly!
Upcoming Events: (Please check the Calendar here!)
11/5 School Leadership Team Meeting
11/6 Schools Closed for Election Day
11/8 AmPark's Spelling Bee 8:30AM 2nd floor atrium
11/9 Veteran’s Day Event: PK Teacher Melissa has put together a special event to honor veterans from our community as well as to teach our students about the significance of Veteran’s Day. Veterans will be hosted for breakfast, read books to classes, and participate in a Q & A. A big thank you to all of our veterans and their families for their service. Please remember to wear jeans as part of our Wear Jeans for Troops Day to support the GiGO fund.
11/12 Schools Closed for Veteran’s Day
11/14 - 11/16 Fall Book Fair
11/15 Parent Teacher Conferences: Check out Habits for Highly Effective Conferences
11/17 Harvest Festival
11/19-12/7 Food Drive
11/19 PK - 2 School Sing
11/26 3-5 School Sing
11/22 and 11/23 Schools Closed for Thanksgiving
11/28 PA Meeting
11/27 - 11/30 WITS Salsa Labs
11/30 PA Recap and Family Tea
A Message from Our Wellness Committee
Our focus on Wellness this year at AmPark shone like a light during our amazingly HEALTHY Halloween celebrations! We were so impressed to see how many families made a point to keep our classroom parties full of fruit and whole grains and free of candy. Thank you so much for supporting our efforts to keep AmPark healthy even during the most often sugar filled times of the year! We've got WITS Tomato Salsa Labs during the week of November 27th, where you will be welcomed to come in and cook some delicious tomato recipes with your children! Schedule to follow! For more information on becoming involved with WITS at AmPark please reach out to HealthyAmpark@gmail.com.
Check out this month's November Alternative Lunch Menu here!
Finally, some parents were asking about what our Salad Bar looks like (which all students are welcome to visit as many times as they like every day)! Here's a quick picture that we snapped so you can take a peek at the delicious offerings your child has at lunch!
Parents' Association Corner
Thank you so much for coming out to the Costume Party and helping us make it such a great success. We earned $1,300 towards our goal of $17,000 this year! We also want to thank you for coming to our Movie Night last Friday and for sending in those Box Tops by the deadline. The winning class for the Fall collection was Zoe's! Start collecting them again as there will be another round in the Spring.
We have a lot to look forward to this month including our Harvest Festival, Square 1 Art Fundraiser, Food Drive and Book Fair. We hope to see you all at the events and at the next general PA meeting on 11/28.
If you haven't signed up to receive the Parents' Association emails, you won't want to miss out! We send updates, reminders and important information regarding school happenings, so please sign up today. All you have to do is send a quick email to email@example.com and ask to be added to our blasts.
Odaliz, PA President
In the next week you will receive an order form from Square1Art. The item pictured on the front is your child's original, custom piece of art. You can order your child's artwork on a variety of items! Orders will be distributed in mid-December, the week before winter break - just in time for the holidays! But don't stop there, you can plan Mother's Day, Father's Day and birthdays for the entire year! And to make this even better: AmPark will receive a percentage of every order! Keep an eye out for your child's order form, coming home theweek of November 13th. You'll only have two weeks to order so don't delay!
Our first Scholastic Book Fair of the year is next week! The book fair runsWednesday, Nov 14 through Friday, Nov 16th during school hours with night time hours on Nov 15th during Parent Teacher Conferences. Our kiddos LOVE going to the book fair and we love getting them to read! The book fair cannot happen if we cannot get the volunteers to run it, so please consider signing up for a shift or two. The book fair is one event that needs individuals who are around during school hours and these shifts are not easy to fill. We've even had some parents volunteer with another child in tow! Please help us bring a smile to our kids' faces while they further their knowledge. Sign up now: https://tinyurl.com/amparkluvsbooks
Please join us for AmPark's Annual Harvest Festival onSaturday, November 17th from 11am-2:30pm. This popular event is full of entertainment and fun - don't miss out! As always, we cannot do it without you. Please sign up for a short shift so we can make this event happen! Food donations are also needed for this event. A sign up link will be sent by the PA soon. Check out our flyer for more information.
AmPark's Annual Food Drive kicks off earlier this year with in-class involvement and preparation. The drive will run November 19th - December 7th. When planning your Thanksgiving shopping, why not add an item or two for those in need? Please take a look at our attached flyer.