January has the feel of new beginnings (even though in an elementary school it is more of a third-of-the-way-through marker). For many people it’s a time for resolutions. You may have even made a few of your own. It is a good time to honestly reflect on what you did the previous year, and to think about how to improve the good and minimize the rest. In that same vein, I am asking you to consider one more resolution, to be just a little more active in your PA. There are some very dedicated people that I have the great privilege of working with and am greatly indebted to, but I know that everyone else also has something to offer that would make our school a better place. In my high school, we had to take an ancient Greek pledge, the Ephebic Oath, and the last line has always remained with me. “I shall not leave my city any less but rather greater than I found it.” I think we can apply that to our school, and it can start with attending just one PA meeting.

What other resolutions can you make? Perhaps something below will strengthen your resolve…

• At our next PA general meeting on Monday, January 25 at 7pm, we will be holding our annual Camp and Activities Fair. Come meet and speak with representatives from various day camps and other activity providers about their summer programs. Your child’s summer 2016 adventure may just be there waiting for the choosing.

• Registration for the Spring 2016 After School Program (ASP) will begin on noon, Wednesday, January 13, on a first come, first serve basis. The tentative schedule is available at our website at www.pa144.com/afterschool.html. On this page you will also be able to view detailed class descriptions, the results of our Fall ASP survey, and our Frequently Asked Questions. If you are unable to register online and need a hard copy of the registration form, a limited number will be available in the Main Office beginning Wednesday morning. It is recommended that paper applications be handed to Ms. Kyne at drop off or delivered directly to the Main Office. Ms. Kyne is also available to help parents register online. Questions? Please first consult the FAQs to see if you can find your answers there first. If not, you may email the ASP committee at their new email address, afterschool@pa144.com.

International Night will be held on Saturday, February 6, from 3-7pm. International Night provides a great opportunity to celebrate the broad diversity of P.S. 144Q by highlighting the many different cultures that our student body represents. We welcome and encourage all P.S. 144 families to join in this exciting, informative, and delicious event to sample fabulous foods from around the world and participate in international crafts and cultural activities. If you have any questions or are looking to get involved, please reach out to our International Night committee at internationalnight@pa144.com.

Friday, February 12, from 6:30-8:30pm is the time for our lower grades to get their groove on. We will be throwing our second annual Valentine’s Day Dance Party for all students in Pre-K through 2nd grade. Come looking sharp and enjoy a live DJ, arts and crafts activities, and some light food concession. Please note that this is not a drop-off party; every child in attendance must have an adult present who is responsible for them. If you have any questions or are looking to get involved, please reach out to our Valentine's Day Dance Committee at valentinesdance@pa144.com.

Save the date! On February 27th from 12-3 PM, we’ll hold our third annual Science Fest, where we make hands-on science happen! Every year, parents and teachers have volunteered to share their favorite experiments or projects with our students. In the past we’ve made slime, elephant toothpaste, explored race-car physics, built domes and trebuchets, and so much more. All families are invited to run a table and light up some young minds. Stay tuned for more information coming soon through your child's folder.

Our Box Tops Scramble has begun! We’ve organized our school into teams by grade to see who can turn in the most Box Tops the fastest between January 11th and February 12th. The teams are K: Sammy Slide, 1st: Marky Marker, 2nd: Susie Scissors, 3rd: Paulie Pencil, 4th: Bobby Beaker, and 5th: Carla Computer. Send your Box Tops into school labeled with your child’s name and classroom so we can credit their team. Kids can check out the bulletin board in the cafeteria each week to see where their team is. Results will be updated each Monday morning. Teams will move forward a space on the board for every 25 Box Tops it brings in. The first grade to the finish line will win the Grand Prize (a special movie screening). There are two other opportunities for prizes on the way to the finish line.

• Thanks to continuing generous parental donations, our Annual Appeal has fully funded an additional five children since the December newsletter. We continue to accept donations to the Appeal so if you haven’t had the opportunity to contribute, you still can, at any monetary amount you feel comfortable with. Combining all the money the PA has been able to raise so far from the Appeal and fundraising events, we are at 40% of our fundraising goal for the year. We have managed to do this in four months. We still have a ways to go, but we can get there together; ensuring all our children have equal access to the PA sponsored enrichment programming. I thank you. The rest of the PA Executive Board thanks you. But most importantly, our children thank us all.

Enjoy your January. Stay warm, stay active, and stay happy. I look forward to a great 2016!
Resolutely yours,




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