MLK PTO News 9/4/15 | Welcome Back!

Dear MLK Families, Staff Members, and Friends,

Welcome back to school! We hope that all of your children had a fabulous first week. We have two important reminders before the rest of the news. First, remember that school dismissal was at 2:11 pm today and is at 2:11 pm every Friday. Second, there is no school on Monday due to Labor Day.

Now the week’s news!
* 9/17 Open House + BCI check
* MLK PTO Events
* Fundraising: East Side Marketplace, Amazon Smile, and Box Tops
* MLK PTO Executive Committee (please join us!)
* Mount Hope Learning Center Before and After School Programs
* Girls on the Run Happening at King this Fall!
* MLK PTO Facebook Page

School Open House and September PTO Meeting: Thursday, September 17, 6:30-8:30 pm
Sign up to volunteer (a little or a lot!) for upcoming PTO events, visit your children’s classrooms, and meet their teachers and other parents.

During the Open House, we will also be facilitating state Bureau of Criminal Identification checks, which are required for all school volunteers. We strongly urge you to do for a BCI check so that you can participate in activities in school per Rhode Island state law. This includes chaperoning field trips, assisting in classrooms, participating in PTO events that happen during the school day, and more. In order to do a BCI check, you will need to bring your drivers license or some other form of valid photo ID and a check for $5 payable to “BCI.” We will collect applications on the spot and deliver them to the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office for processing. This allows you to skip a trip to the AG’s office, so come prepared! Thanks.

2015-2016 PTO Events
We’re happy to share dates for the events we’ve planned so far for this year. Please visit the MLK PTO website at www.mlkpto.org for a flier that lists these, which we’ll also send home with your kids next week. We are eager for your ideas for more!

TWO HOUR POWER! The MLK PTO asks every family to donate just two hours to support a school event. Look for our Two-Hour Power Pledge at the Open House on September 17, in our weekly email, and in your kids’ backpacks. We cannot do any of this without your support! Thank you in advance.

MLK PTO Executive Committee Organizing and Business Meeting | Wednesday, September 16, 7:00-8:00 pm | MLK Elementary School Library
Please join us if you want to have a leadership role in the MLK PTO or just want to learn more. Help plan events and fundraising, help decide how the PTO spends money to support the school, and share your ideas! We will hold PTO business meetings monthly (future dates to be announced soon).

School Open House and First PTO Meeting | Thursday, September 17, 6:30-8:00 pm
Sign up to volunteer (a little or a lot!) for upcoming PTO events, visit your children’s classrooms, and meet their teachers and other parents. During the Open House, we will also be facilitating state Bureau of Criminal Identification checks, which are required for all school volunteers.

Harvest Festival | Tuesday, October 27, 6:00-8:00 pm | MLK Elementary Cafeteria
We’ll have games, raffles, displays of student work, food, pumpkin and chrysanthemum sales, and other fun celebrations of autumn! VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

Scholastic Book Fair | November 16-20 | MLK Elementary Gymnasium
Students can purchase books during school, and the Book Fair is open to parents throughout the day and during the evening of November 18. This year, we’ll have an online book fair too, so that friends and relatives who cannot come to school can still support King and the joy of reading. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

Parent-Teacher Conferences | Wednesday, November 18
Visit King to meet with your child’s teacher and stop in at the Scholastic Book Fair! Stay tuned for the time of the Parent-Teacher Conferences and other details.

MLK International Potluck | Thursday, January 21, 6:00-8:00 pm | MLK Elementary Cafeteria
Bring food to share during our celebration of Dr. King, his legacy of peace, and our children’s families! We will have dancing, student performances, artwork, raffles, and much more. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

Other upcoming events include: Garden and Grounds Clean Up, Tech Safety Talk, Ristorante Pizzico Fundraiser and other fundraisers, PARCC Info Meeting, and more.

Fundraising: East Side Marketplace, Amazon Smile, and Box Tops
We think that every little bit helps, and we have three options for you to raise funds to support field trips and much more this year:
* East Side Marketplace (165 Pitman Street) contributes 1% of all purchases to the PTO through its Friendship Fund. Please save your receipts and send them in with your children or drop them off in the school office.
* The MLK PTO now participates in Amazon.com’s Smile program, which contributes 0.5% of all eligible purchases to the MLK PTO. Click here to sign up: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/22-2505125 and please spread the word to all friends and family who shop on Amazon!
* The MLK PTO also participates in the Box Tops for Education program. Please check packaged items for the Box Tops for Education logo. Clip it and send to school with your children or drop office in the office. Each Box Tops logo is worth 10 cents for our school.

MLK PTO Executive Committee + Officers
The MLK PTO will hold its first executive committee meeting on Wednesday, September 16 at 7:00pm in the school library. Please join us if you want to have a leadership role in the MLK PTO or just want to learn more. Help plan events and fundraising, help decide how the PTO spends money to support the school, and share your ideas!

Dates for future PTO business/planning meetings will be announced soon. If you are interested in participating, please let us know by joining our September 16th meeting or emailing us at mlkpto@gmail.com. Joining the executive committee is a great way to take leadership of a new or existing PTO event or project and participate in decision-making. Meetings will be brief and no more often than once per month during the school year.

Also, we are still seeking two officers to join the PTO this year. We hope that someone will step forward to be Vice President, and that someone else will join the PTO as Secretary. If you are interested or want to know more, please email us at mlkpto@gmail.com. Thanks!

Mount Hope Learning Center Before and After School Programs
The Mount Hope Learning Center (MHLC) offers before and after school care for all MLK Elementary Students. See the attached flier for more!

Before school services are new this year. They begin at 6:30 am and start on September 2, 2015. Breakfast is provided. Before school services are $25 per week. Please contact MHLC at 401-455-8875 for more information.

After school services are available every day after school and feature STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) based education and activities, community building, homework assistance, and social skill development. Fees are based on a sliding scale based on family size and income.

Girls on the Run Afterschool Program
Back by popular demand, this fall MLK Elementary will be having a Girls on the Run team. This non-profit organization works to encourage pre-teen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games, culminating in a celebratory 5k race. This fall’s program will be coached by two MLK parents — Erin Abrahamsen and Aeron Hunt — along with a community coach. This program is open to girls in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades and will meet after school on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30-4:45. We’re looking for parent and teacher volunteers to help with practice or consider running with a girl for the final celebratory 5K run, held in November.

Online registration is here, and sign up forms will be sent home with girls in 3rd-5th grade. These forms are also available in the school office. Space is limited, so sign up soon! For more information, please contact parent and coach Erin Abrahamsen at mlkpto@gmail.com .

MLK PTO Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/mlkptoPVD
We have changed the MLK PTO Facebook page! It’s now a page, rather than a group. If you were part of the previous group, you are not automatically added to the new page. You need to do that yourself! Please visit https://www.facebook.com/mlkptoPVD and click “like” so you don’t miss any news, events, or other happenings at school. Thanks!
Have a great long weekend!

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

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