Dear Creeker Families,
It’s hard to believe but it’s already November! Fall has been so good to us, glorious just about every day. We’ve been through a lot this first part of the year, but together we are a strong and supportive community. There’s lots to share for the coming months, and I am excited about all of it! Thanks in advance for reading through to the end!
In this issue:
*A Big Thank You
*New Member of the Amity Team
*Honoring Loved Ones
*Talent and Variety Show–Date change!
*Family Night Bingo!
*Thanksgiving Meal at School
*Introducing Alisa (for those who don’t know her)
*Fall Clothing Exchange
*Dyslexia Screening Info
I want to start my monthly note with a heartfelt thank you. In August, just prior to the start of school we met as a staff to share our hopes and dreams for the coming year–the energy and excitement about this year was overflowing. Entering my third year as principal of Amity Creek, I was feeling so positive about all the amazing things we were discussing and dreaming about for the coming year, I could not have been more enthusiastic. But as life would have it, we had something else in store for the start of the year, a challenge we could never have expected. When Colby, Lindsey’s husband, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three days into this school year we completely lost our balance. The first two months of this school year have been nothing short of heartbreaking for us as a community, but our love for your children and our passion for what we do has helped us to get through. Your love and support during this challenging time means the world to us and we are forever grateful for your patience as we navigate this new way forward. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
New Member of the Amity Team–Welcome Beth!
Through a district grant we have been given 10 hours per week for office support, someone to help out Patti–yahoo! This week we welcome Beth Thomas to the team. Many of you already know Beth as she is the parent of current Grade 2 Creeker, Charlie, and also the parent of a recent Amity graduate, Callie. Beth will be working a flexible schedule and you will see her at different times throughout the week.
Talent and Variety Show–Date change!
We are changing the date for the annual Talent and Variety Show to March. Given the challenging start to the year, and the deep desire to have Lindsey involved with the show (she coordinates the lineup and the music!), we have decided to move from our December date to a date in March. We are waiting for confirmation on our new date and we will update you next week. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Honoring Loved Ones
As some of you know, I Iived in Mexico for two years prior to moving back to Bend in 2016. Many of you have heard me gush over my love for Mexico (probably more than once)–I truly love the country, the people, the landscape, the food (oh, the food!), and more than anything the rich culture. The culture is overflowing with ritual and meaning, and I loved being a part of it. I especially loved this time of year in Mexico as they celebrated Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. And one part of the celebration in particular had a deep impact on me–the Ofenda (oh-friend-ah). Ofrendas (ofenda means offering in Spanish), are an essential part of the Day of the Dead celebrations. While they are also called alters, they are not for worship or religious purposes, but rather a way to honor and keep the memory of loved ones in the present. Ofrendas are constructed to remember and honor the memory of ancestors and loved ones that have passed. It is a beautiful ritual, and one that truly honors those that have been a part of our personal history and journey. This year, with the help of Alisa (our fabulous art teacher) we will be creating an Amity version of an Ofrenda in the main hallway. One way that you can participate is by bringing in a photograph of someone you’d like to honor; and in keeping this kid friendly this could also be a family pet that is longer living, too. The idea is to honor our loved ones who are no longer with us. Things you can bring to add to the Ofrenda any time in the month of November:
*A photograph of your loved one
*Candles and incense (we won’t light either, they will be symbolic)
*Flowers, usually marigolds, but for our version any flowers will be welcomed
*A trinket that reminds you of your loved one, something that the person you’re honoring enjoyed in life–could something as simple as a food they loved, a golf tee, a deck of cards, or anything that reminds you of the person.
Day of the Dead information for kids: Day of the Dead
This month we honor our Veterans, and I wanted to share a thought. During this time of year I often feel a bit helpless in terms how I can help and support veterans. However, I recently met with Ron Ford, a Vietnam veteran who is involved with an amazing project here in Central Oregon called the Central Oregon Veterans Ranch (COVR). COVR is a 19-acre working farm that promotes the healing of combat trauma across the lifespan of a veteran, and is focussed on helping veterans deal with post traumatic stress disorder. This project gives me hope for our veterans in Central Oregon and COVR is an organization that is doing crucial work to enhance their quality of life. As Ron said to me when I met him, “I wish there were no wars, but in the meantime we need to look after those that have been affected by war. It’s more than saying thank you for your service, it’s about doing something to help them.” Ron will be part of a Community Education Forum on PTSD on November 7 at Bend High starting at 6pm–the event is open to the public. If you are interested in knowing more about COVR, or donating to support their work, here is a link: https://www.covranch.org
To celebrate and honor those who have served our country in the armed forces, Bend La Pine Schools will be offering lunch at no cost to any family member of our students or staff who are either active members of the military or veterans, on Friday, November 9th in all of our elementary schools. If you have a family member who is an active member of the military or a veteran, please invite them to join us for lunch. Lunch is served at 11:50am.
Our Sparrow, Alexander, will be visiting Amity over the coming months and we are so excited to be supporting him and his family again this year. Here is an introduction to Alexander–a must watch! https://youtu.be/qA22sf6S9tY
We are looking at a few ways to raise funds for Alexander and his family:
*Accepting donations at Family Nights and at the annual Talent and Variety Show.
*Coin Drive starting this week, and then presenting the family with the funds on November 26 when we celebrate Alexander’s birthday at Amity. There will be a large 5 gallon glass bottle in the hallway where you can drop off change that you have. We want to fill the bottle!
*Wendy will be organizing some volunteer opportunities that can count towards funding from donors. Stay tuned!
If you are not familiar with the Sparrow program, please read on: (From their website: Sparrow) Sparrow Clubs not only provides financial and emotional support for children and their families in medical need, but also empowers kids (elementary to college age) to help others through charitable service in their communities. The Sparrow Clubs program teaches life lessons in compassion and selflessness through building relationships between a Sparrow family, a school student body, and our community. Sick kids get help, healthy kids become heroes and communities experience change.
Auction Date is set!
The annual auction has officially been set for Saturday, February 23. The event will take place at the Boys and Girls Club and child care will be available! We are really excited about this year’s auction and we will share details as they develop. As always, we are going to need everyone’s help in one way or another, especially with donations. Start thinking about businesses or individuals you can approach for donations, and if you are ready to approach some of them please do! It’s never too early to start asking!
Family Bingo Night, November 14
Our annual Family Bingo Night is coming up in a few short weeks. Join us from 5-7pm for an evening of Bingo–don’t miss it, it’s tons of fun!
Thanksgiving Holiday Meal
Thursday, November 15th we will be having our annual holiday meal. Family members are welcome to join their Creeker for lunch beginning at 11:45am.
On the menu: Roasted turkey, turkey gravy, mashed potatoes, holiday stuffing, roasted corn, cranberry sauce and pumpkin bar. The daily salad bar and regular daily menu items will still be available.
Adult meal price: $4.00
Students & siblings: $2.75
**In an effort to keep the lunch line moving along, Wendy (lunch lead) will not be able to accept money while we are serving the holiday meal. Please pre-pay on your child’s lunch account (for you and anyone else joining you). Patti can assist you with this if needed. We appreciate your help with this and thank you in advance! No sign up or RSVP required! Hope to see you there!
Do you know Alisa?
In case you haven’t met Alisa, our amazing art teacher, I wanted to be sure you know who she is! Alisa has been part of Amity Creek for many, many years as a parent (her 3 children all went to Amity) and she has been our art teacher for the last 2 years. Alisa is responsible for much of the incredible art projects you see around school, and is in the process of helping to set up our Ofrenda (see related article in this newsletter). We are so grateful to have Alisa at Amity!
Fall Clothing Exchange this month!
Our annual Fall Clothing exchange is November 14-16. Come “shop” the exchange for free and get a brand new wardrobe! This event is open to ALL Creekers. You do not need to donate to be able to “shop”! Kids must have an adult present to be able to shop; however, if you are not able to be present to “shop” with your kiddo simply send a note in with your child giving permission for your child to shop with me (I actually really enjoys doing this!).
**Tomorrow is the last day to drop off donations–you can leave them just outside the nurse’s office.
By law all students must be annually screened for dyslexia. In the Bend La Pine School District we use a program called DIBELS to screen for dyslexia. DIBELS is the program that we have been using for years to track the progress of students in reading. The screening is done 3 times each year and it provides us with very valuable data on how your children are progressing in their reading. The data also helps us to evaluate the effectiveness of our reading interventions and can help us to identify when students may be struggling and in need of a different level of intervention.
Article of the Month
In keeping with the theme this time of year here is a great article on being grateful from the New York Times: Be Grateful
November 9: Picture retakes. If you missed the first Picture Day or don’t like the photo from the first round, you have a another chance. Forms in the office.
November 9: Veteran’s Day Lunch, 11:45am
November 12: Veteran’s Day, NO SCHOOL
November 14: Family Night Bingo! 5-7pm
November 14-16: Clothing Exchange–on the stage
November 16: College Day. Don gear from your favorite college!
November 19-23: Thanksgiving Break, NO SCHOOL
November 26: Our Sparrow Alexander’s birthday at Community Time
See you in the hallway!