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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