Friday, May 31, 2019

JFK PTO Update – May 31, 2019

JFK PTO Update – May 31, 2019

Important Dates:
MONDAY! June 3 - 8th Grade Picnic in Pines Theater - Volunteer Here
June 4 - JFK Chorus Concert
June 5 - JFK Band Concert
June 6 - JFK School Council meeting
June 13 - NPS School Committee meeting
June 14 - Last Day of School - Half Day

MONDAY! 8th Grade Picnic (June 3) – Volunteer Here
The Eighth Grade Picnic in the Look Park Pines Theater will be held on Monday, June 3 (with a June 4 rain date). A big shout out to Cooper’s Corner, Florence Pizza, Hillside Pizza and Big Y for donating to our picnic! All your picnic details can be found at this link or look for the letter that went home with your 8th grader.

Families of 8th Graders please pitch in to help make this event happen. We still need families to donate picnic items such as paper plates & cups and volunteer to help with picking up food donations, setup the water station and clean up. Sign up to help us make this a great day for our graduating 8th graders via Sign Up Genius at:

A few picnic reminders:
  • Dress should be casual but appropriate for school.
  • There is little shade in the Pines Theater so bring sunscreen and a hat (exception to the Dress Code).
  • Travel light – No backpacks.

Donations to the picnic can be sent to school in an envelope marked JFK PTO. Note “Eighth grade picnic” on the memo line. Or donate via Mighty Cause and note “Eighth grade picnic” in the comments section. Thank you!

Day of Service Recap
From our teachers: We had a great Day of Service last week. Students and staff spanned out around all of Northampton to complete community service projects that included: invasive species removal and garbage clean-up along the bike path and Fitzgerald Lake; visiting with residents at the VA, area nursing homes, and the housing authority; reading with elementary students; weeding Lilly Library; writing letters to soldiers and first responders; knitting hats for Cooley Dickinson's maternity ward; and JFK beautification, to name a bunch!

Thank a Teacher!

Thank you to all who have donated to individual teachers or to teams. So far our spring campaign has raised more than $1000. Thank you! It’s not too late to donate if you want to say thank you to a teacher and contribute to the JFK PTO teacher grant fund. JFK PTO teacher grants fund staff requests for equipment, school supplies, field trips, and more. Did you know that we had more requests for funding this year than we could afford to fund?

  • Send in a check made out to JFK PTO with your student to school or by mail.
  • Donate online through Mighty Cause:
  • The teacher(s) you choose to honor will receive a special note of thanks from the JFK PTO acknowledging their important contribution to the school. You can enclose a special message with your donation form if you wish and we will make sure to get it to the teacher(s).
  • JFK PTO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and your donation is tax-deductible. Gifts of any amount are deeply appreciated.

Donate today through Mighty Cause: and help us help our teachers!

JFK Global STEM Club Working to Replace Single-Use Plastic in Cafeteria
The JFK Global STEM club is working to replace single-use plastic in the cafeteria. Currently, they are conducting a Silverware Drive to replace the plastic cutlery with metal. Please consider donating in the Main Office or directly to Ms. Parrott or Mr. Masenior.

8th Grade Parents – The NHS PTO invites you to join for the 2019-2020 school year!
Why get involved? 
We focus on building community and supporting teachers. 
You’ll get to know teachers, administrators, and what’s going on at NHS. 
You’ll meet other parents and guardians. 
You’ll spend more time giving away money than raising it. We run a few annual successful fundraisers: Honor Thy Teacher, the Annual Appeal, Giving Tuesday, and Eat for Education and we don’t ask parents and students to sell things. You are welcome to attend our last meeting of the year on Tuesday, June 11 at 7pm in the NHS library. Email with any questions.

Step up to Volunteer with the JFK PTO in 2020
This year is the last year for our amazing PTO President. The PTO needs volunteers to carry on the great work we do. The JFK PTO is highly organized and ready to go; we just need parents who can help keep events happening. Send us an email and let us know you can help:

Did you see the news? Wednesday, August 28 is the first day of school for the new year. And that’s when we’ll need lots of new PTO volunteers! Email us and get involved in helping make JFK a great place to go to school.

Shop and Raise Funds for JFK
We collect Boxtops for Education all year long; your student can drop them off in the JFK office. Support JFK at Stop and Shop by using the link here. Big Y Express: Or, link to JFK MS PTO through Amazon Smile and donate to Parent-Teacher Organization of John F Kennedy Middle School Inc.


Florence Night Out (June 1)
Florence Night Out returns Saturday, June 1 from 5:30–8:30pm for a Florence village block party! New this year, a portion of Main Street will be closed off during the entire event. Designed to appeal to audiences of all ages, this street festival will include: Mobile Art Box installations, open art studios, art openings, live music, dance lessons, modern and cultural dance performances, poetry readings, short film/video screenings, theater performance, art demos, family-friendly activities, extended hours/special menus at local restaurants, and more. No matter the medium, FNO brings out the best of the Valley’s creative community. For more information please visit:

Northampton Soccer Evaluations for Fall 2019 Season (June 2-4)
Believe it or not, it is time to register for FALL 2019 evaluations! Register for the Fall 2019 Travel Team Evaluations for incoming grades 3-8. The dates are June 2, 3, and 4; see schedule by age group. There is no cost to register or attend evaluations. Registration for the travel season will occur after evaluations.There are no evaluations for U8-2nd grade. Coaches are all volunteers. In some age groups, we may need additional volunteers. The cost for U9-U14 is $140 plus the cost of a uniform. The cost for U8 is $100. A detailed question and answer document is available. For more information, visit:

Farm to School Institute with Grow Food Northampton (June 4)
To keep the momentum from the April summit going and continue the conversation in an informal way, Grow Food Northampton is offering interested community members an opportunity to gather in early June. We will have an informal follow-up to the April Summit on Tuesday, June 4 from 4:30-5:30pm (NEW TIME!) in the Grow Food Northampton offices, 221 Pine St., Suite 349 in Florence.

This will be an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming MA Farm to School Institute. A team from Northampton applied and was accepted! They will represent the District at the Institute and plan concrete action steps to improve Farm to School programming for each school. Come on June 4 to meet some of the team members and help generate ideas for them to carry forward.

Northampton Schools Emergency Community Forum (June 4)
Calling all parents, students, labor and community to come together to stand with the Northampton School Employees! 
As of Monday, May 20, the school employees began work to rule after they were unable to get the respect and dignity they deserved in their contract negotiations. We need to unite to create the schools our children deserve. At the event you will hear from a panel of educators about where things stand and how we can join together to reach a solution that lifts up all! We will break out into different groups to create a community wide plan. Bring your ideas, bring your classmates, bring your friends, bring your solidarity! We'll have free pizza and childcare available. Communities all over the country are rising up to make sure we fund our public schools, we are part of a growing movement! 

#FundOurFuture #TheSchoolsOurChildrenDeserve. Sponsored by: Pioneer Valley Workers Center, Western Mass. Jobs with Justice, and the Western Mass. Area Labor Federation. The event will take place Tuesday, June 4 at the Florence Civic Center from 5:30-7:30pm. RSVP at this link.

Celebrate 33 Hawley Street (June 9)
The Northampton Community Arts Trust invites the public to a free celebration on Sunday June 9. The celebration runs from 12-7pm at 33 Hawley Street, and has something for everyone. Starting at 1pm, local artists perform every half hour in the Flex performance/event space, while other activities are ongoing throughout the building and grounds, including chalk art for everyone and the collaborative construction of an outdoor sculpture. From 5-7pm there is salsa dancing, while at the same time Disney's Coco is screened in the Flex space. Food and beverages are available for purchase throughout the day from food trucks on site, and beer is available in a Building 8 Brewing’s beer garden. For more information visit:

FREE: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" at Pulaski Park (June 12)
Cinema Northampton presents a free outdoor screening of "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" on Wednesday June 12 at 8:30pm at Pulaski Park in Downtown Northampton. For more info, visit:

Northampton Education Foundation Spring Showcase (June 14)
Join the Northampton Education Foundation (NEF) on Arts Night Out Northampton at the Center for the Arts Building at 33 Hawley Street (Northampton Community Arts Trust Building) for an amazing showcase of some of the incredible projects funded through our Endowment Fund and Small Grants. Join us for some light snacks and meet people making a difference in our local Northampton Public Schools. 5-7:30pm. Refreshments included. Music provided by the Northampton High School Jazz Ensemble.

The 2019 Showcase will feature various projects, including:
  • Building a Mindful School Community (BSS)
  • Afterschool Science Super Group (JFK)
  • Identity Masks Revealed (JFK)
  • Florence Heights/Meadowbrook Family Engagement (Ryan Road and Leeds)
  • Summer Reading Success: It’s in the Mail! (Ryan Road and Leeds)
  • NHS Jazz Ensemble
  • Viking Runestone Literary Art Magazine (Smith Voke)
  • Bringing the Latin American Rain Forests to Life (JSS and JFK)
  • REAL (Racial Equity and Learning) Northampton (all schools)
  • Lassia-Tuolo Pen-pal Project (JFK)

The Northampton Education Foundation funds projects and programs that expand educational opportunities, foster creativity, and enhance academic experiences in Northampton's public schools. NEF also works to broaden community support for our public schools.

Circus Smirkus presented by North Star (July 9-10)
Buy Tickets By Phone: 1-877-SMIRKUS (877-764-7587). Tickets also available locally at River Valley Co-op (330 North King Street, Northampton) and A2Z Science & Learning Store (57 King Street Northampton). At Three County Fairgrounds. 1pm or 6pm shows.

Save the date! Transperformance 29: Lookstock (August 20)
If you have yet to hear the big news, this year’s Transperformance theme will be Lookstock, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the legendary music festival. Transperformance 29: Lookstock will celebrate peace, love and music while raising funds for arts enrichment programs in the Northampton Public Schools. Your favorite local acts will take the Pines Theater stage to perform 10 minutes of material from performers who graced the Woodstock stage 50 years ago. Groups can “transperform” anyone from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Ravi Shankar to Jefferson Airplane to the Who. Save the date for Transperformance 29: Lookstock on Tuesday, August 20 from 4-9:30pm. Join us to celebrate 29 years of bringing our community members together to support music and the arts. Help spread the word using this link.

Updates from the Northampton Prevention Coalition
NPC is seeking someone from the business sector to sit on our Steering Committee. Could it be you? No experience required. All you need is a desire to help prevent youth substance use through the promotion of healthy alternatives and education and have a local business affiliation. Contact Ananda Lennox at for details.

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