News from MLK PTO, April 11-15

Dear MLK Families, Staff Members, and Friends,

  • Welcome to the MLK PTO weekly email. Lots of news this week!
  • Next MLK PTO meeting: TOMORROW! April 12
  • Gregg’s Restaurants fundraising night: Wednesday, April 13
  • Spring PTO fundraising kickoff: look for letters in backpacks
  • Congratulations to the Falcons basketball team!
  • Spring break next week – no school
  • Mt. Hope Learning Center vacation camp
  • MLK grounds and garden clean up day: Sunday, May 1
  • Belated congratulations to Future Chef competitors
  • Child Outreach screening for preschool

MLK PTO Meeting Tuesday, April 12 (TOMORROW!)
Come to the PTO meeting on Tuesday, April 12 from 6:00-7:00pm, in the library. We welcome everyone! We will be planning year end fundraising and other activities. We will also get updates from school staff about what’s happening in the school. Children are welcome and light snacks and drinks will be provided. This is a great way to get involved with the PTO.

GREGG’S BENEFIT NIGHT – Wednesday, April 13th

Dine with your friends from Martin Luther King Elementary PTO on Wednesday, April 13th at Gregg’s Restaurants in Providence (1303 North Main Street). This is the second of two fundraising nights at Gregg’s – many thanks to those who participated last week!

Present your coupon and 10% of all sales generated will be donated by Gregg’s Restaurants to the MLK PTO to support spring field trips for all students!

We sent home fliers with coupons – please check your children’s backpacks. You can also download and print the coupons here: GREGG’S BENEFIT NIGHT COUPONS

Please print and share these coupons with friends, family, and co-workers!

Coupons may not be distributed on Gregg’s Restaurant properties.

Spring Fundraising Kickoff!
In order to raise money for field trips, in-class enrichment, special projects such as the MLK lobby beautification project, and events such as the Harvest Fest and MLK International Potluck, the PTO has set a big goal of raising $10,000 to ensure that we can continue to robustly support our school’s educators now and in the future. We sent a letter home asking for your tax-deductible donations (look in backpacks for it) and we’ll be sharing much more in the weeks to come. Thank you in advance for supporting MLK Elementary. Go Falcons!

Congratulations to the Falcons basketball team: in championship game!!!
The MLK Falcons basketball team has once again made it to the final championship game, which will be played later this month (we will share the date as soon as we know it). Congrats on another great season and we will be cheering for you at the big game!

Spring Break – no school next week
There is no school April 18-22. We hope that you and your family have a restful and fun spring break!

Mt. Hope Learning Center Vacation Camp
The Mt. Hope Learning Center is running a camp with great activities for children during spring break next week. If you’re looking for childcare, check it out: http://www.mthopelc.org/april-vacation-camp/

MLK grounds and garden clean up day: Sunday, May 1, 2-4 pm
Join us on Sunday, May 1 from 2-4 pm to get MLK Elementary’s grounds, school garden, and flower gardens ready for spring! Bring gloves, rakes and clippers if you have them (and if you don’t, that’s fine!). Kids welcome!

Belated congratulations to Future Chef competitors
Last month, three MLK students participated in the Future Chef competition! Their food was delicious and they represented King with pride and skill. Congrats to fourth grader Mearah Smith, fourth grader Henry Eberman, and fifth grader Jaylaine Rosado. Fifth grader Astrid Berger was also chosen to compete, though she could not be present. Great job, everyone!

Child Outreach screening for preschool
Providence Public Schools recruits children without disabilities for its English and Bilingual Inclusion classes. There are two types of programming for Inclusion– Full Day and Half Day. In order to be selected for the inclusion program, a child must complete the Child Outreach Screening process. To learn more about PPSD preschool and Child Outreach, please visit http://www.providenceschools.org/Page/735.

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News from MLK PTO, March 14-19

Dear MLK Families, Staff Members, and Friends,

Happy Pi Day! We have four news items to share this week:

  • MLK PTO Meeting TOMORROW March 15 – planning meeting
  • Pennies for Patients
  • Reminder: Kindergarten registration ends TODAY!
  • Recess legislation: letters from families needed

MLK PTO Meeting Tuesday, March 15, 6:00 pm – Ice Cream Social postponed, but we are still meeting
The PTO will be meeting tomorrow at 6:00 pm in the library. We are postponing the planned ice cream social until spring really gets going and we can enjoy fabulous weather. Instead, this PTO meeting is for planning for the remainder of this year and next to discuss the best ways that the PTO can partner with the school staff and our parent community. If you have ideas and suggestions, even if you have never been to a PTO meeting, we warmly welcome you to join us for this discussion that will result in action items that will add value to your children’s experience at MLK. Children are welcome to accompany you, and we will have light snacks and beverages. Thanks!

Pennies for Patients 
Through March 24, MLK Elementary is participating in the Pennies for Patients fundraising effort to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Student Series campaign. Your support will help fund therapies and treatments that help save the lives of blood cancer patients today. MLK Elementary has participated in the Pennies for Patients program for many years, and has always contributed generously, thanks to your support. Our school’s goal is $2,500.

Earlier this month, students brought home boxes to collect donations, and we thank all families that have already sent back contributions. You can also give online:  http://events.lls.org/pages/ri/DrMartinLutherKingElementarySchool

MLK Elementary’s school nurse Rhonda O’Keefe also needs assistance. She is seeking volunteers available in the late morning to help count funds in the late morning, or to bring coins to the Coinstar machine (this can be done anytime during the day).

Thank you for your assistance and support!

Kindergarten registration ends today!
If you or someone you know is enrolling an incoming kindergartener in the Providence Public Schools, the registration deadline is TODAY! Please visit http://www.providenceschools.org/domain/60 for more information.

Rhode Island recess legislation introduced: support from families needed!
We’re sharing information from the Parents Across Rhode Island advocacy group about recess legislation that state representative Kathy Fogarty has introduced House Bill H7644, which would require at least 20 minutes of recess daily for all children in grades K-5 in Rhode Island. Here’s more information from Parents Across Rhode Island on the importance of recess for student learning and development, and here’s an article from today’s Providence Journal about the progress of this legislation.

You can help this bill pass by emailing House Health Education and Welfare Committee Chairman Joseph McNamara with your thoughts on the proposed legislation. Emails should be addressed to LCataldi@rilegislature.gov.  You can also help this bill pass by writing to your Rhode Island state senator and representative and asking them to support this bill. Click here to figure out who your legislators are and how to get in touch with them.

Please do this soon to show your support for recess for all Rhode Island kids. Feel free to share your personal experience with recess for your children. It’s important that the committee understand the issue and hearing from parents and students is the best way to ensure that happens.

All the best for a great week,

Jill Davidson (MLK PTO President) on behalf of the MLK PTO

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News from MLK PTO, February 22-26

Dear MLK Families, Staff Members, and Friends,

We have six news items to share this week:

  • Successful Flatbread Providence fundraiser!
  • MLK Elementary Tour on Friday, February 26, 9:30 am
  • Teacher of the Year Nominations
  • MLK PTO Ice Cream and Info Meeting! Tuesday, March 15, 6:00 pm
  • Annual MLK mosaic starting soon
  • Recess legislation: letters from families needed

Flatbread Company night out – thanks to all who attended
Many thanks to everyone who braved the wind and rain to attend last week’s fundraising event at Flatbread Providence – and many thanks to Flatbread for their generous support of King! We raised over $500 that will go directly to support spring field trips (that’s more or less the funding for transportation for an entire grade!).

Mark your calendar for upcoming fundraisers: April 6 and April 13 at Gregg’s Restaurant on North Main. We’ll be sharing coupons for those evenings soon.

MLK Elementary Tour, Friday, February 26, 9:30 am
We are offering a tour of King for prospective families and others who would like to visit. The tour will start at 9:30 am. Please share this information with anyone you know who is looking for schools for their children – thanks! More information and RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/539377336221701/

Providence Public Schools Teacher of the Year Nominations
The Providence Public School District is seeking nominations for the district’s teacher of the year. Please visit https://providenceschools.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/ppsd-seeking-nominations-for-teacher-of-the-year/ for information about how to nominate a teacher. Anyone, including students and family members, may nominate a teacher! Nominations are due by March 11.

MLK PTO Ice Cream and Info Meeting! Tuesday, March 15, 6:00 pm
Please plan to join Principal Lussier, Assistant Principal Cappuccilli and other school staff members for an ice cream social! We will be discussing King’s newly implemented student of the month and positive behavior support programs. We’ll also be joined by Mt. Hope Learning Center staff members to talk about our ongoing partnership with MHLC. Childcare will be available. Join us for some midweek fun and important information about school improvement efforts at King.

Annual Mosaic Project: starting soon!
Calling all fifth grade and other parents who would like to help support our annual mosaic project: we need volunteers who have a few hours free during the school day to help our fifth graders construct this year’s mosaic project! The students will start planning their theme and designs soon, working with their teachers and MLK Elementary’s artist-in-residence Jess Regelson. Please drop us a note at mlkpto@gmail.com if you’d like to know more, be involved, or support this wonderful work with a donation.

Rhode Island recess legislation introduced: support from families needed!
We’re sharing information from the Parents Across Rhode Island advocacy group about recess legislation that state representative Kathy Fogarty has introduced House Bill H7644, which would require recess for all children in grades K-5 in Rhode Island. This bill in consistent with the policy brief from Rhode Island Kids Count, which states: “Elementary school recess should be required to be a minimum of 20 minutes per day, allow for both structured and self-directed play, not be withheld as punishment or for academic reasons, and optimally be scheduled before lunch. Recess also should not be substituted for remedial or extra academic instruction as it may be counterproductive to achieving desired educational outcomes.”  Here’s more information from Parents Across Rhode Island on the importance of recess for student learning and development.

You can help this bill pass by emailing House Health Education and Welfare Committee Chairman Joseph McNamara with your thoughts on the proposed legislation. Emails should be addressed to LCataldi@rilegislature.gov.  You can also help this bill pass by writing to your Rhode Island state senator and representative and asking them to support this bill. Click here to figure out who your legislators are and how to get in touch with them.

Please do this soon to show your support for recess for all Rhode Island kids. Feel free to share your personal experience with recess for your children. It’s important that the committee understand the issue and hearing from parents and students is the best way to ensure that happens.

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News from the MLK PTO, February 8-12

Dear MLK Families, Staff Members, and Friends,

We have seven news items to share this week:

  • Flatbread Company MLK fundraiser – Tuesday, February 16, 5-9 pm
  • No School Monday, February 15 and Tuesday, February 16
  • Next PTO Meeting: Thursday, February 18, 6-7 pm
  • Welcome Betsy Skoda, MLK PTO Vice President!
  • MLK Lobby Improvement Project Update
  • Fox Point East Side Little League Baseball
  • Providence Performing Arts Center Arts Scholarships

Flatbread Company night out to benefit MLK! Tuesday, February 16, 5-9 pm
On Tuesday, February 16, Flatbread Company is hosting a fun night out and fundraiser for MLK Elementary. Flatbread Company has delicious, affordable pizza, salads, and more and is a very kid-friendly, comfortable, and spacious. It’s located at 161 Cushing, on the corner of Thayer Street, just behind CVS. Come out to enjoy a delicious dinner with the MLK community.  We’ll have a raffle, King trivia, arts and crafts, and more.

This is a great way to end the long weekend. Please come, bring your friends, and have fun while help us fund spring field trips for all King kids.

No School Monday, February 15 and Tuesday, February 16
Please note that there is NO SCHOOL next Monday and Tuesday!

MLK PTO Meeting Thursday, February 18
Please join us for the next MLK PTO meeting on Thursday, February 18, 6-7 pm in the library. We will be discussing King’s newly implemented student of the month and positive behavior support programs and our school’s partnership with the Mount Hope Learning Center. We’ll also be planning our annual appeal fundraiser, deciding about the status of the talent show (we need people to make this happen!) and other PTO business. Please let us know ASAP if you plan to attend and need childcare at the meeting. We are happy to provide it if so.

Welcome Betsy Skoda, MLK PTO Vice President!
We’re thrilled that MLK Kindergarten parent Betsy Skoda has joined the PTO executive board as vice-president. She’s working on the MLK PTO website and other projects. Thanks, Betsy! If you’re interested in heading up a PTO project or serving on the executive board (we still need a PTO secretary), please let us know at mlkpto@gmail.com.

MLK Lobby Improvement Project Update
Kristin Lussier and MLK parents Jill Davidson,Cheryl McGuinness, and Karlo Berger met with consultant Karen Feldman on January 20 to evaluate the lobby and ways to make it more beautiful, healthier, and welcoming. We are grateful for Karen Feldman’s ongoing volunteering of her consulting services!

IDEAS WE SHARED FOR HOW TO IMPROVE THE FOYER
1. Buy a sofa and place it on the left wall of the foyer just as you walk in from the Camp Street entrance. This would provide a place to relax, sit and wait for people. Find a tall and sturdy tropical plant or two to place alongside this soft and provide some greenery.

2. Repair what’s broken: Replace the missing or stained ceiling board.

3. Paint the walls of the foyer area a more warm and inviting color, including the brick. The foyer is the center axis of the school, and painting it a distinct and more welcoming color will help support this sense of centrality, arrival, and welcome.

4. Enhance the wall that has Martin Luther King’s portrait by adding more MLK memorabilia. As the school’s namesake, Dr. King is a spiritual resource for our school. We can honor Dr. King and celebrate his greatness, accomplishments, and connection to the school by sourcing more MLK-related items to put up on the wall. Ideas included a photo of him speaking at URI; a photo of him in a school classroom; and the story of how this school played a unique role in efforts towards citywide school integration. Install track lighting to shed more light on this wall and draw attention to it.

5. “Every Space is a Learning Space”: we are trying to bear this insight in mind as we improve the foyer. How can it be a better learning space?–(that’s not a rhetorical question–we would love to hear your answers to that question!)

6. We considered the idea of knocking down a wall near “King’s Corner” (a.k.a. “the Pit”) where seasonal displays are mounted so that visitors could directly interact with school administrative staff as they enter the building But some of us were concerned about logistics and budget, as well as the question of temperature control in the winter and summer seasons.

ACTION PLAN: NEXT MEETING FEBRUARY 10TH AT 2:00 PM IN THE FOYER
At this meeting we will size up the suggested improvements, bringing measuring tape, figuring out how much paint would be needed, etc., with a goal of getting some clear figures how much this would cost and what specifically is being proposed. When we have a proposed our group is going to see if the PTO budget has enough funds to implement it or if it will require additional fundraising.

If you can’t attend the meeting next week, we welcome additional feedback and ideas on how to improve the space, please email us at mlkpto@gmail.com with your ideas/concerns/vision.

End of February / early March: The group will have a proposed list of changes for Kristen and the PTO leadership to evaluate, as well as a proposed budget.

March-April: Fundraising (if necessary) for improving the foyer. Seeking volunteers and donors.

April-May: Work on the foyer.

June: Enjoy the foyer and see how it holds up!

For more, please see the ongoing discussion on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mlkpto/permalink/10153995775963619/

Fox Point East Side Little League Baseball – Discounted Registration Ends February 12!
For those who are interested in registering girls and boys for Little League baseball, Fox Point East Side Little League’s discounted registration ($80) is available for another week. On and after 2/13, the registration fee is $95. FPESLL is huge fun and open to all children who attend King (doesn’t matter whether you live in the neighborhood). Lots of King kids are FPESLL players! It’s a great way to learn and play the game. Visit http://www.eteamz.com/foxpointeastside/ for more information and registration.

Providence Performing Arts Center Arts Scholarships 
The Providence Performing Arts Center’s Community Outreach Committee is requesting applications to the 2016 ARTS Scholarships program.  The ARTS Scholarships program, sponsored by The Textron Charitable Trust and PPAC’s Annual Fund donors, awards up to $500 in financial assistance to each of 30 winning Rhode Island students (15 from Providence, 15 from other Rhode Island communities) for summer arts education programs. This program is open to students ages 11-14. Applications are due 2/26. More information is available here: http://www.ppacri.org/outreach/arts-scholarship

Jill Davidson (MLK PTO President) on behalf of the MLK PTO

Please mark your calendar for upcoming PTO meetings:

Thursday, February 18, 6:00 pm
Tuesday, March 15, 6:00 pm
Wednesday, April 27. 6:00 pm
Thursday, May 19, 6:00 pm
Tuesday, June 7, 6:00 pm

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MLK International Potluck TOMORROW!

The MLK International Potluck is TOMORROW,
Thursday, January 28, from 5:30-7:30 pm!

The MLK International Potluck our school’s annual event that celebrates Dr. King’s legacy and our the international heritage of King families. The evening features community, friendship, student performances and artwork, and fabulous food!

Please bring food to the potluck dinner that reflects your family’s heritage–or something that you love to make and eat at home! If you’d like to buy and bring something, that’s fine too. No nuts or peanuts, please.

This year, we’re re-establishing the MLK Elementary tradition of singing “We Shall Overcome” at this event. For many years, King students sang “We Shall Overcome” in honor of Dr. King, and now we will again. Get ready to sing!

Here’s a version of “We Shall Overcome” by the amazing Mahalia Jackson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTyKJjj2oC0.

Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s renowned “We Shall Overcome” speech, delivered on March 31, 1968, just four days before his death: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=130J-FdZDtY. During this brief speech, Dr. King observed, “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”
We Shall Overcome lyrics:

We shall overcome,
We shall overcome,
We shall overcome, some day.

Oh, deep in my heart,
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day.

We’ll walk hand in hand,
We’ll walk hand in hand,
We’ll walk hand in hand, some day.

Oh, deep in my heart,
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day.

We shall live in peace,
We shall live in peace,
We shall live in peace, some day.

Oh, deep in my heart,
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day.

We are not afraid,
We are not afraid,
We are not afraid, today

Oh, deep in my heart,
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day.

The whole wide world around
The whole wide world around
The whole wide world around some day

Oh, deep in my heart,
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day.

See you tomorrow!

 

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News from the MLK PTO, January 18-22

Dear MLK Families, Staff Members, and Friends,

We have eight news items to share this week:

  • MLK International Potluck – Thursday, January 28, 5:30-7:30 pm
  • MLK Student of the Month Program
  • MLK Elementary Tour – Tuesday, January 26, 9:30 am
  • Flatbread Company night out to benefit MLK! Tuesday, February 16, 5-9 pm
  • Middle School Open Houses and Information Meetings
  • Nathan Bishop Middle School Open Houses and Information Meetings
  • Providence Performing Arts Center Arts Scholarships for students 11-14
  • Get Kids to Read blog from MLK Elementary Librarian Patrick Tierney
  • MLK International Potluck – Thursday, January 28, 5:30-7:30 pm

The MLK International Potluck happening this week!
It’s our school’s annual event that celebrates Dr. King’s legacy and our the international heritage of King families. The evening features community, friendship, student performances and artwork, and fabulous food! Please bring a contribution to the potluck dinner that reflects your family’s heritage–or something that you love to make and eat at home! No nuts or peanuts, please.

This year, we welcome students from Providence’s Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts who will share their talents with us. We’re also re-establishing the MLK Elementary tradition of singing “We Shall Overcome” at this event.

Here’s what to do:

MLK Student of the Month Program
We’re happy to share this announcement about the MLK Student of the Month program from Principal Lussier and Assistant Principal Cappuccilli:

As part of our PBIS initiative here at MLK, we have decided to implement our “Fantastic Falcon” Student of the Month Program. The MLK Student of the Month Program is based on the four core qualities and behavioral expectations of our school community. The student of the month should demonstrate excellent behavior in and out of the classroom, be well mannered, and respectful to both peers and teachers. The student of the month displays excellent citizenship by working together with classmates in a cooperative attitude, and exhibiting good behavior. Lastly, the student of the month demonstrates honesty and loyalty while helping to create a positive school environment.

Each month the Homeroom teacher will nominate a student for that month. All Specialist area teachers will choose one student from grades K-2 and one student from grades 3-5. All students that are selected must meet the established criteria. Student of the month is meant to reach as many students as possible that demonstrate the four qualities of being a “Fantastic Falcon”!! Please be mindful of who has already been recognized as we want to try and recognize as many students as possible.

MLK Elementary Tour – Tuesday, January 26, 9:30 am
On Tuesday, January 26 at 9:30 am, we are hosting a tour for all who are interested in visiting MLK Elementary. Geared to prospective families, we also welcome any neighbors or others who wish to know more about King. Please let friends and family members know. More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/902707249836748/.

Flatbread Company night out to benefit MLK! Tuesday, February 16, 5-9 pm
On Tuesday, February 16, Flatbread Company is hosting a fun night out and fundraiser for MLK Elementary. Flatbread Company has fabulous pizza, salads, and more. It’s locted at 161 Cushing, on the corner of Thayer Street. Come out to enjoy a delicious dinner with the MLK community. Yay! RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/199466473740494/

Middle School Open Houses and Information Meetings
All Providence middle schools will be holding Open Houses for current fifth graders. Please visit http://www.providenceschools.org/Page/562 for dates, times, and more information.

Nathan Bishop Middle School Information Meetings
Nathan Bishop families are hosting an information and conversation meeting to help prospective families learn more about the school. Current students, alumni, and parents will be on hand to answer your questions. This session will be held at the Rochambeau Library, 708 Hope Street, at 6:30 pm on Monday, February 1. 4th grade families are welcome too! You can learn more and RSVP at the Nathan Bishop PTO Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NathanBishopPTO/

Providence Performing Arts Center Arts Scholarships
The Providence Performing Arts Center’s Community Outreach Committee is requesting applications to the 2016 ARTS Scholarships program. The ARTS Scholarships program, sponsored by The Textron Charitable Trust and PPAC’s Annual Fund donors, awards up to $500 in financial assistance to each of 30 winning Rhode Island students (15 from Providence, 15 from other Rhode Island communities) for summer arts education programs. This program is open to students ages 11-14. More information is available here: http://www.ppacri.org/outreach/arts-scholarship

Get Kids to Read blog
Patrick Tierney, MLK Elementary’s library, has created “Get Kids to Read,” a blog that helps students find books that match their interests. It features book reviews of kids and young adult books and is a great way to help your children find their next great book. You can explore Get Kids to read here: http://getkidstoread.co/

Stay safe in the snow!

Jill Davidson (MLK PTO President) on behalf of the MLK PTO

Please mark your calendar for upcoming PTO meetings:

Thursday, February 18, 6:00 pm
Tuesday, March 15, 6:00 pm
Wednesday, April 27. 6:00 pm
Thursday, May 19, 6:00 pm
Tuesday, June 7, 6:00 pm

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News from the MLK PTO, January 11-15

Dear MLK Families, Staff Members, and Friends,

Please accept our apologies for the delay of last week’s email! Here it is. We have eight news items from last week:

  • No School TODAY Monday, January 18
  • MLK Day of Service – TODAY Monday, January 18, 10 am-2 pm
  • MLK Elementary Lobby Improvement Meeting – Wednesday, January 20, 2 pm
  • MLK International Potluck – Thursday, January 28, 5:30-7:30 pm
  • Student Emergency Forms – Please Return
  • Upcoming PTO Meetings
  • Middle School Open Houses and Information Meetings
  • Nathan Bishop Middle School Open Houses and Information Meetings

No School TODAY Monday, January 18
In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, there is no school on Monday, January 18.

MLK Day of Service – TODAY Monday, January 18, 10 am – 2 pm
While school is not in session, join the community to celebrate the life of Dr. King at the fifth annual MLK Day of Service: The Impact of Service and the Arts, co-sponsored by the Mt. Hope Learning Center and the Rhode Island School of Design. The day is hosted by DJ Justin Case and will include arts and crafts, conversation, celebratory performances, and other activities. This event will happen at King, in the cafeteria.

MLK Elementary Lobby Improvement Meeting – Wednesday, January 20, 2 pm
In order to beautiful MLK Elementary, MLK parents Karlo Berger and Cheryl McGuinness have arranged for Karen Feldman from Urban Eden Design to meet with staff and family members to explore with us how we can improve the “look and feel” of the school’s lobby and entrance. Karen Feldman is graciously continuing to provide her services to the school pro bono. This will be an open meeting, and all interested parents are welcome to attend.

What is your vision of how the lobby should look and feel? What ideally should be the experience of a child, teacher, staff member, or visitor coming into the school? How can the entranceway be both secure and welcoming? We are focusing on the lobby in part because it often provides the first impression people have of our school.

After this meeting, our next step will be to agree on a course of action and put together a budget. Our goal is to complete work on the lobby by the end of this school year. If you can’t make the meeting, please send vision, ideas, thoughts, or concerns to mlkpto@gmail.com by January 20.

MLK International Potluck – Thursday, January 28, 5:30-7:30 pm 

The MLK International Potluck is our school’s annual event that celebrates Dr. King’s legacy and our the international heritage of King families. The evening features community, friendship, student performances and artwork, and fabulous food!

Please bring a contribution to the potluck dinner that reflects your family’s heritage–or something that you love to make and eat at home! No nuts or peanuts, please.

This year, we welcome students from Providence’s Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts who will share their talents with us. We’re also re-establishing the MLK Elementary tradition of singing “We Shall Overcome” at this event.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Put the date and time on your calendar!
  2. Check your kids’ backpacks for a RSVP form and return that to school OR visit http://www.signupgenius.com/go/409044babaf22a31-mlkinternational
  3. Talk with your family about what you’d like to share to eat that reflects your cultural heritage or family traditions
  4. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1093734657333241/ for updated info about the potluck and resources for learning about Dr. King and the Civil Rights era
  5. If you want to learn more about Dr. King’s life and legacy with your family, watch this short Kid President video together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xXZhXTFWnE. 

Student Emergency Forms – Please Return!
Students have brought home Student Emergency Forms. Please fill these out and return them to school. Thank you!

Upcoming PTO Meetings for 2016
Please mark your calendar for upcoming PTO meetings:

  • Thursday, February 18, 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday, March 15, 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, April 27. 6:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 19, 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday, June 7, 6:00 pm

Middle School Open Houses and Information Meetings
All Providence middle schools will be holding Open Houses for current fifth graders. Please visit http://www.providenceschools.org/Page/562 for dates, times, and more information.

Nathan Bishop Middle School Information Meetings
In addition to the PPSD Open Houses at Nathan Bishop on January 20, 8:45-10:45 am and January 21, 5:30-7:30 pm. Nathan Bishop families are hosting information and conversation meetings to help prospective families learn more about the school. Current students, alumni, and parents will be on hand to answer your questions. These sessions will be held at the Rochambeau Library, 708 Hope Street, at 6:30 pm on Thursday, January 21 and Monday, February 1. 4th grade families are welcome too! You can learn more and RSVP at the Nathan Bishop PTO Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NathanBishopPTO/

All the best for a meaningful MLK Day and a good week,

Jill Davidson (MLK PTO President) on behalf of the MLK PTO

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News from the MLK PTO, January 4-8, 2016

Dear MLK Families, Staff Members, and Friends,

Happy 2016! We have seven news items this week:

  • Future Chef Recipe Competition – submissions accepted through Monday, 1/11/16
  • PTO meeting – Tuesday, January 12, 6:30 pm + Upcoming PTO Meetings
  • Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Grant for MLK Mosaic Project
  • No School Monday, January 18
  • MLK Day of Service – Monday, January 18, 10 am-2 pm
  • MLK Elementary Lobby Improvement Meeting – Wednesday, January 20, 2 pm
  • MLK International Potluck – Thursday, January 28, 5:30-7:30 pm

Future Chef Recipe Competition – submissions accepted through Monday, January 11!
All third, fourth, and fifth graders are invited to create an original recipe to submit to the Sodexo’s Future Chef National Challenge. This year, the healthy recipe challenge focuses on breakfast. Students whose original recipes are selected by Soxedo’s judges will compete in a citywide cook-off in March. Children can pick up a recipe submission form in the cafeteria. Please note that Sandy Zarrella, MLK Elementary’s Head Cook, is accepting recipe submissions through Monday!

Last year, King had the largest number of recipe submissions among all of the elementary schools in the Providence Public Schools, and we also had the largest number of participants in the cook-off! You can read about last year’s competition and see a photo the MLK Elementary competitors here. Go MLK Falcons!

PTO Meeting – Tuesday, January 12, 6:30 pm + Upcoming PTO Meetings for 2016
Please join us at the January PTO meeting. Topics will include:

  • Continuing last month’s discussion of PTO organizing
  • Air and other environmental improvements at King
  • MLK International Potluck scheduled for January 28
  • Fundraising
  • Mosaic project for this year

Also, please mark your calendar for upcoming PTO meetings:

  • Thursday, February 18, 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday, March 15, 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, April 27. 6:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 19, 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday, June 7, 6:00 pm

Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Grant for MLK Mosaic Project
We’re delighted to report that the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts has awarded King with a $700 grant to complete our (nearly always) annual mosaic project. The mosaic creation process, led by the fifth graders, will start later this year and be completed before the end of the school year.
No School Monday, January 18
In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, there is no school on Monday, January 18.

MLK Day of Service – Monday, January 18, 10 am – 2 pm
While school is not in session, join the community to celebrate the life of Dr. King at the fifth annual MLK Day of Service: The Impact of Service and the Arts, co-sponsored by the Mt. Hope Learning Center and the Rhode Island School of Design. The day is hosted by DJ Justin Case and will include arts and crafts, conversation, celebratory performances, and other activities. This event will happen at King, in the cafeteria.

MLK Elementary Lobby Improvement Meeting – Wednesday, January 20, 2 pm
In order to beautiful MLK Elementary, MLK parents Karlo Berger and Cheryl McGuinness have arranged for Karen Feldman from Urban Eden Design to meet with staff and family members to explore with us how we can improve the “look and feel” of the school’s lobby and entrance. Karen Feldman is graciously continuing to provide her services to the school pro bono. This will be an open meeting, and all interested parents are welcome to attend.

What is your vision of how the lobby should look and feel? What ideally should be the experience of a child, teacher, staff member, or visitor coming into the school? How can the entranceway be both secure and welcoming? We are focusing on the lobby in part because it often provides the first impression people have of our school.

After this meeting, our next step will be to agree on a course of action and put together a budget. Our goal is to complete work on the lobby by the end of this school year. If you can’t make the meeting, please send vision, ideas, thoughts, or concerns to mlkpto@gmail.com by January 20.

MLK International Potluck – Thursday, January 28, 5:30-7:30 pm 
Our annual MLK International Potluck is coming up! We invite you to bring food to share that reflects your family heritage as we gather as a community to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Please check your kids’ backpacks for fliers, and we will send out a link to an online sign-up next week.

All the best,

Jill Davidson (MLK PTO President) on behalf of the MLK PTO

Posted in News & Announcements | Comments Off on News from the MLK PTO, January 4-8, 2016

MLK PTO Weekly Email 12/16/15, part 2 (two more things to tell you)

Dear MLK Families, Staff Members, and Friends,

We left two items out of the email that we sent earlier today (click here to read it, if you haven’t already)! Here they are — and again, happy holidays!

  • Future Chef Recipe Competition
  • Thank you to Hasbro for yesterday’s Day of Giving!

Future Chef Recipe Competition – submissions due January 8, 2016
All third, fourth, and fifth graders are invited to create an original recipe to submit to the Sodexo’s Future Chef National Challenge. This year, the healthy recipe challenge focuses on breakfast. Students whose original recipes are selected by Soxedo’s judges will compete in a citywide cook-off in March. Children can pick up a recipe submission form in the cafeteria.

Last year, King had the largest number of recipe submissions among all of the elementary schools in the Providence Public Schools, and we also had the largest number of participants in the cook-off, including Astrid Berger, who was a semi-finalist! You can read about last year’s competition and see a photo of Astrid and other MLK Elementary competitors here. Go MLK Falcons!

Thank you to Hasbro for yesterday’s Day of Giving
Yesterday, representatives from Hasbro visited students in elementary schools throughout Providence to deliver a new game to each and every child. The MLK Elementary School community thanks Hasbro for its generosity!
All the best,

Jill Davidson (MLK PTO President) on behalf of the MLK PTO

Posted in News & Announcements | Comments Off on MLK PTO Weekly Email 12/16/15, part 2 (two more things to tell you)

MLK PTO Weekly Email 12/16/15 – Happy Holidays!

Dear MLK Families, Staff Members, and Friends,

With two and a half days left before winter break, we have a final MLK PTO email for 2015 with six items for your interest.

  • Guidelines for food during classroom celebrations
  • Winter Recess – December 21-January 1 (school resumes January 4)
  • Follow up from December 9 PTO meeting
  • MLK International Potluck in January – we need your help!
  • Shop and support King!
  • Providence Public Schools Climate and Culture Survey – final reminder

Guidelines for food during classroom celebrations
On behalf of principal Kristen Lussier and school nurse-teacher Rhonda O’Keefe, we want to share information about the food policy at MLK Elementary. King has many students with many different food allergies. It has become increasingly difficult to be sure that food brought into school will be safe for all students. In order to provide for everyone’s safety, King does not allow any food items to be brought into school for classroom celebrations. If you wish to celebrate your child’s birthday in the classroom, you may provide non-food items. Be sure to speak with your child’s teacher first. Also, if your child’s teacher allows in-classroom snacks on a regular basis, please make sure that what you send is is nut-free, and remind your child not to share any food brought from home with other children. Thank you for your understanding.

Winter Break – December 21 through January 1
Reminder: The Providence Public Schools will be closed for Winter Break from Monday, December 21 through Friday, January 1. School resumes on Monday, January 4, 2016.

Follow up: PTO Meeting Wednesday, December 9, 6:30 pm
Many thank to those family, community, and MLK staff members who joined us at last week’s MLK PTO meeting, at which we discussed many opportunities for community involvement at King. We left the meeting feeling great pride in our school, which has been for several decades the center of our neighborhood and which also serves students from across Providence incredibly well. We’re eager to focus our energy on 2016 on making sure that King has a strong base of support both from current families and also from the many families whose lives have been touched by our school. We also want to make sure that the greater East Side, of which our school has been a part since 1967, is able to participate in King’s ongoing success. We will be scheduling further conversations on this topic; please look for a meeting invitation in early January.

We discussed creating several new committees within the PTO, including a fundraising committee, a family and community engagement committee, and a morning drop off/walking school bus committee. These ideas are fantastic and we’re excited to move forward with them. Look for more in early January and please get involved!

We also appreciated information provided by Mrs. Lussier and MLK Elementary’s math specialist, Lori Whalen, about our school’s math curriculum and PARCC test scores. We will be revisiting these two topics, and also discussing the English/Language Arts curriculum, during future meetings.

MLK International Potluck in January – we need your help!
We had a fabulous time at October’s Harvest Fest! Thanks to the many King families who came out to eat, dance, make friends, and have fun. Once we return to school, it will be time to get ready for another fantastic annual event, the MLK International Potluck. The International Potluck happens to celebrate our school’s connection to Dr. King, and also to celebrate the many countries of origin of our students. Families bring a dish from their cultural heritage to share, and we plan entertainment that includes student performances that honor the life and legacy of Dr. King.

This event happens in late January (we’ll announce the date soon). This year, we need your help! We need a committee of family and staff members to make the MLK International Potluck a success. If you would like to be involved, please email mlkpto@gmail.com. You can choose to help with food, entertainment, student performances, publicity/community involvement, or any other aspect of this wonderful annual tradition. Thank you!

Shop and Support King!
As you shop online for the holidays, please remember to use the MLK PTO’s Amazon Smile link, which is http://smile.amazon.com/ch/22-2505125. By clicking there, and regularly using Amazon Smile, every Amazon purchase will support the PTO. We’re gearing up for fundraising to make sure we can support another round of fabulous field trips, teacher appreciation, and more, and your participation makes a big difference. Thanks!

Providence Public Schools Climate and Culture Survey
Students have received copies of a climate and culture survey that the Providence Public Schools is conducting. Your input is very important. Please fill out the survey on paper or online before December 17 (tomorrow!).

Finally…

All the best for a joyous holiday season. See you in 2017!

Jill Davidson (MLK PTO President) on behalf of the MLK PTO

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