From the PTO – January 30, 2020


  •  PEIRCE ELEMENTARY FOOD DRIVE: Monday, January 27, 2020 – Friday, February 7, 2020
    We are kicking off our annual food drive to benefit the Newton Food Pantry (NFP)!  The NFP serves over 750 Newton residents a month, including hundreds of children and seniors. It is privately funded and run exclusively by volunteers. We introduced the drive with a video depicting kids talking about hunger in the United States.  We thought it was really powerful from a kids’ point of view and wanted to share it with you so you can talk to your kids about hunger in America:
    From January 27 – February 7, please bring in unexpired, unopened items to donate to the pantry – the NFP especially needs:
         hearty, canned soups
         canned vegetables and fruits
         cooking oil, soy sauce and spices
         Household & Hygiene items: Shampoo, Laundry Detergent, Dish Soap, Sponges
    Please note: the NFP cannot accept perishable items, candy, soda or chips. Please NO travel size or oversized items.
    Collection Boxes will be placed inside the front and back entrances of the school.
    Thank you in advance for your generosity. If you have any questions, please contact Charlotte Stafford (, or Pam Sarian (
    The next Teacher Appreciation Breakfast will take place on Tuesday, February 11th and will be provided by the second grade families.  Please sign up to bring in breakfast entrees, goodies and supplies.  Items should be dropped off in the teacher’s lounge (on the left, just past the main office) that day between 7:45 AM and 8:00 AM.  This allows teachers plenty of time to enjoy the breakfast before the start of the school day.  Please follow this link to sign up for what you will be bringing:
    The teachers and staff really love these breakfasts. Thank you so much for making this a successful event!
    The Teacher Appreciation Committee: Jaime Mason, Sarah Cammarata, Jeff Miller and Julie Tremblay
  • SCREENAGERS MOVIE:  February 11, 2020, at 7PM at Newton North High School
    Peirce PTO is proud to co-sponsor a special screening of the movie “Screenagers – Growing Up in the Digital Age”.  The movie will be shown on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 7pm at the NNHS auditorium.  The presentation is free.  See the trailer at
    The PTO has a critical and immediate need for a parent volunteer with accounting or bookkeeping experience.  The PTO Treasurer role has grown too large and we would like to get additional resources in that area.  The work can be done remotely on your schedule – no in-person meetings required.  If you are willing to help, please email Valerie Davisson, PTO Tri-President at
    The Peirce PTO is forming a fundraising committee of about 8-10 people to partner with Kathryn Thorndike, PTO Fundraising chair.  The purpose of the committee is to identify new opportunities and strategies to raise funding needed to support the PTO’s annual budget. The first meeting will take place in January.  We expect the commitment to be 3 to 4 meetings/phone calls between January and late April and, potentially, another 2 to 3 additional hours of “working time” spread across this same period of time.  Please contact Valerie Davisson ( and/or Kathryn Thorndike ( to express interest in joining the committee.
    Peirce will hold its traditional annual parent-run education fair in the gym on March 18th this year.  This academic year, we have seen and heard in the news the effect climate change is having globally, along with high schooler Greta Thunberg inspiring the young and the older generation to take action and save our planet. In keeping up with this theme, and in alignment with the Peirce student/teacher-led Green team, this year’s education fair is titled: “Sustainability and Climate Fair”.
    If you are a Peirce parent who is an expert on this topic or just curious or passionate (prior expertise on this topic is not necessary!), we invite you to join our presentation team.   All you need is a passion for sharing an interesting aspect of this topic with children.
    As with our Health, Arts, STEM and Finance Fairs in previous years, we hope to spark the imagination of children while giving parents a chance to share their expertise/skill at a station. It is a six-hour commitment, as students will visit the fair with their grade and will cycle through stations in small groups.  Volunteers will need to be available 8:45AM – 2:45PM for this one day. The showcase/stations will be shared in a way the kids will understand.  Some examples of topics might be: 1) sustainable farming and food, 2) green materials, 3) renewable energy, 4) energy efficiency in buildings, 5) environmental science, 6) global warming and impact on water, land, air, 7) sustainable/clean transportation, 8) sustainable packaging, plastics, biodegradables, composting and more.
    If you are interested in volunteering at a station or would like more information, please contact parent volunteers Star Lew ( and/or Puja Vohra (

    We are excited to share that Mathnasium Centers of Newton has donated a gift basket including 6 free tutoring sessions (a $245 value).  The PTO will award the gift basket at the end of the annual appeal.  All families who donate before the 3/31 deadline will be entered to win – regardless of contribution amount.  Give today to be eligible to win the Math Basket. 
    So far, we’ve been able to raise $6,381 toward our goal of $28,000.  That means we have $21,619 to go.  Thank you to the families who have already generously donated to the PTO. 
    As a reminder, all donations are 100% tax-deductible and every child at Peirce benefits from the money raised.  PTO fundraising supports the Creative Arts & Sciences program, technology purchases, library books, community-building events, and much more (see details in the letter coming home tomorrow in your child’s folder).  There are several ways to donate.  The full PTO budget is available at   Please give today!

    Check:             mail to Peirce School PTO, 170 Temple St., West Newton, MA 02465
    Venmo:            to @Peirce-Treasurer
    Zelle:                pay to
    PayPal:            click on
    SEPAC “Listserv” Now on Google Platform!!
    Do you want to be kept up to date on ANY IEP related concerns and/or creative ideas.  Join or rejoin the SEPAC, where parents can interface with Board Members on what matters to them and their family.
    Yahoo listserv members must reenroll to the Google listserv.
    The EASIEST WAY is to send a message to the SEPAC list serve on Google Groups is to email
    Please email the SEPAC co-chair at if you run into any problems. You may also reach out to your very own Peirce SEPAC Liaisons Amy Fallon (1st grade mom) and Jami Jain (3rd and 5th grade mom), or


    Thank you to all of the parents and staff who participated in Dynamic Diversity Night!  We are so grateful to the FORJ Committee’s parents and teachers who shared resources and led discussions to help us all explore how to jumpstart healthy discussions with our children about race and difference: Lauren Dale, Karen Ghiron, Ayse Ayanoglu Takacs, Melina Crovo, Radha Tilva, Anne Carey, and Elsa Janairo.

    Here is a link to a partial bibliography of the books that were assembled for the evening: Please contact Ayse Ayanoglu Takacs ( if you are interested in receiving the handouts from the event.


  • 1/30 Fifth Grade Only: Winter Concert, 7pm
  • 02/06 Early Release: 12:30pm
  • 02/07 Walk to School Day
  • 02/14 Principal and PTO Coffee Meeting for Parents
  • 02/17/20-02/21/20 No School: February Break