Friday, November 18, 2011

Original Works Deadline Extended!

The deadline for Original Works orders has been extended to Monday, November 21. So if you were thinking about creating those special gifts from your kids for the holidays you have the weekend to get artistic! Contact Sue Borden at with questions, and click here for more information on the program.

Upcoming Early Dismissal Days

  • Fort River students will be released at 1:20 pm Wednesday, Nov 23 to start the Thanksgiving break.
  • Also, Tuesday, November 29 will now be an early dismissal day: students will be released at 1:20 pm to accommodate the rescheduled parent-teacher conferences.

Winter Clothing Drive

The Amherst schools are now collecting winter outerwear to ensure all our students stay warm this winter.  Donations will be accepted in the lobby at Crocker Farm School until Tuesday, November 29.   Fort River families needing warm winter clothing are encouraged to pick up items at Crocker Farm November 30 - Dec 2.  For more information, look here.

Volunteers needed to work at the Book Fair

If you love to read and want to share your enthusiasm with kids, we need you at the book fair! Volunteers are needed for shifts during daytime classroom visits or during the evening Book Fair at our new FORT RIVER READS!!! Book Event & Community Marketplace.

Tasks are varied and include assisting shoppers, stocking and arranging merchandise, pulling books for Teacher Wish Lists, checking out customers, or maybe even dressing up as your favorite book character! During slow times you might have time to read to kids! Volunteers are also needed to set-up and breakdown the fair and for other promotional and decorating tasks.
The Scholastic Book Fair will take place during the week of December 5th. We need lots of volunteers! Classroom visits will occur on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, December 6th - 8th. The evening Book Fair will occur on Thursday, December 8th, and includes book readings by featured guests, activities for your children, a delicious chili supper, dessert, coffee, and delightful company!

*NOTE* Not all classrooms have signed up for their Fair visit yet.
If your child's classroom teacher is not listed and you would like to volunteer during their Fair visit, please check the link again in a few days.

Please contact our Fair Coordinators with any questions:
All profits from our Scholastic Book Fair directly support the Fort River Library! Every child at Fort River will benefit from your participation in this great community event!

Yearbook Club

The Fort River Yearbook club would like your Fall candid class photos, send in Fall field trip and school event photographs. Please email digital photos to If email does not work for you, send in a CD to the PGO mailbox or contact us to borrow a yearbook flash drive. Our students are ready to sort and file digital photos, so please send them to us.
NEXT YEARBOOK CLUB MEETING IS WEDNESDAY, 11/30 in the FR cafeteria. We will work on cover design and editing the InDesign layout.  For more info, contact : Kathy Niedzielski, Yearbook Club Coordinator, or 253-3201.

Save the Date! Fort River Reads!

Save the Date! Thursday, December 8
The second annual Fort River Reads evening book fair event will take place on Thursday, December 8. The evening will feature delicious chili made by the new Lumber Yard Restaurant in town, book related crafts, special guest readers, and much more. This is a great community event and gives families a chance to check out the Scholastic Book Fair offerings. Details will follow, be sure to mark your calendars and plan to come!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

1st PGO Meeting of the Year

Wednesday marked the first PGO meeting of the year.  Please take a look at the minutes from the meeting, as well as the approved yearly budget.

We are always looking for volunteers willing to get involved with the PGO.  If you only have an hour or two to spare, please consider helping out with the Fort River Book Fair from December 2-9.  We need: set-up, cashiers, general help during class time, and breakdown.  The evening Book Fair event on December 8 will also need several volunteers to help with set-up, act as food cashiers, and help breakdown.  Look for Please Bring It sign up sheets on next week's blog.

If you'd like to have a larger role, we are currently searching for volunteers to fill the following positions:
  •     Movie Night Event Coordinator
  •     Volunteer Coordinator for Hour Power
  •     Data Manager for next year’s student directory
  •     PGO leadership for next year (Chair, Vice Chair)
  •     Yearbook Coordinator for next year
 Please contact Pam Rietkerk if you'd like to help out with any of these roles.

Annual Fund Update

The PGO extends a special thank you to the 28 families who have already supported our Annual Fund.  Your donations help to fund PGO activities including field trips, cultural events, books for the library, and the free directory your child just brought home! We have already raised $2,020 and still need contributions from more families to meet our budgeted goal.

Your help makes a dramatic difference in the lives of our children.  Remember that even a $1.00 donation helps increase our goal of 100% family participation! All contributions are tax deductible and you may opt to have your donation honor a particular teacher or staff member at Fort River. Checks (made out to Fort River PGO) or cash can be sent to the PGO mailbox in the main office or you may pay via PayPal on the blog.  Contact Catherine McGraw at with any questions.

Original Works orders due Nov. 15

Original Works order forms are due on November 15th.  This is a fundraiser where our kids (and even younger siblings!) can transform their artwork into individual full color products that can be shared with family and friends.  Items will be back in time for the December holidays.   Kids can create artwork for this at home or use artwork already created.  

Feel free to review the Original Works suggestions and introductory letter that were sent home with your child.  We also have answers to Frequently Asked Questions.  Price lists are available both in English and Spanish.  If you need an additional order form, they are available in the school office.  Contact Sue Borden at for more information.

WMECO Order forms due Nov. 16

Please return the order forms for the WMECO light bulb fundraiser by Wednesday November 16th to the PGO mailbox in the main office.  Thanks for supporting Fort River!

Monday, November 7, 2011

PGO Meeting - Wednesday evening at 7 pm

PGO Meeting
7:00-8:00pm, Wednesday, November 9
Fort River Library
Please join us for a short and sweet meeting to review PGO plans for the year and a brief budget, fundraising, and volunteer needs update. Please review the proposed 2011-2012 PGO Budget here.   The originally scheduled Math Curriculum Night to follow the meeting has been postponed to a later date.

Childcare will be available in the Cafeteria. Pre-registration for childcare is mandatory. Please call 362-1200 or email to reserve a slot for your child(ren).

Original Works workshop TOMORROW (Tuesday)

After School Art Session with Multi-Arts
Students will have the opportunity to create Original Works art in an after school art session being held with the Multi-Arts program TOMORROW Tuesday, November 8, from 3:15 to 4:15 pm.  This session is sponsored by Catalina Arrubla, a former Fort River parent and director of the Multi-Arts program.  Catalina has volunteered supplies and staffing, but space is limited.  If your child is interested in attending please reserve a spot at   Transportation home will not be provided after this session, so please plan accordingly.   Volunteers willing to help supervise would also be welcome.  

The Fort River PGO is happy to be participating again in Original Works, a fundraiser where our kids can transform their artwork into individual full color products that can be shared with family and friends.  Items will be back in time for the December holidays.   Kids can create artwork for this at home or at the After School Art Session on Tuesday, November 8 (see below)  or use artwork already created.   The due date is November  15thThis program has been a hit with both parents and kids for many years.  There will be examples of products created in the past available to check out at the art session.  Contact Sue Borden at for more information.

The Directory is Here!

The PGO is pleased to provide the Student Directory FREE to all Fort River families. Directories will be sent home with the youngest child in your family. Two-family households may contact the main office to request an additional copy. 

Many thanks to the volunteer team who worked many hours on this effort! Kudos to parents Dror Shmerling, Jen Vanderleeden, and Peter Michaels for a job well done. And thanks to Susan Raker for the fabulous cover art.

WMECO Order Forms Deadline EXTENDED

Due to last week's storm, the deadline to return the order forms for the WMECO light bulb fundraiser has been extended until Wednesday November 16th.  Please return the forms to the PGO mailbox in the main office. Thanks for supporting Fort River!

Picture Retake Day

Grynn & Barrett will be at Fort River on Thursday, November 10 to retake School Pictures. If you child was absent, they should bring in their order form and students requesting retakes should return their original package to the photographer but KEEP the Class Picture.  A new class picture will not be included with the retake package.

Remember: No School on Friday!

Please remember that there is no school this Friday, November 11 in honor of Veterans' Day.

Yearbook Club Meeting - Wed Nov 16

The next meeting of the yearbook club will be Wednesday, Nov. 16nd in the cafeteria from 1:30-3:00pm. Student members please bring your cameras and any pictures you have already taken.  We are looking for donations of cameras for the yearbook club. If you have a used digital camera in good condition that you would like to donate, please contact Kathy Niedzielski, or 253-3201.

A reminder to take pictures of your child's class and forward them to the yearbook via CD or email

Coffee with the Principal Rescheduled

Last Friday's "Coffee" has been rescheduled for Friday, November 18 from 8:30-9:30am in the Cafeteria. Please join us!

Amherst Elementary Cross-country Race - This Wed Nov 9

Please join the Amherst HS Boys' Cross Country Team on Wednesday, November 9th at the ARHS track for the 14th annual Amherst Elementary School Cross Country Races!
Registration begins at 3:00 PM, on the fields behind the Amherst Regional High School.

K-2 race at 3:30;  Grades 3-4 race at 3:50; Grades 5-6 race at 4:10 
How far:      1K (.62 miles) for Kindergarten through 2nd grade
                    1.5K (.93 miles) for grades 3 and 4
                    2K (1.25 miles) for grades 5 and 6
Donation requested, but not required

This event is not sponsored by the FR PGO

Friday, November 4, 2011

What a week!

Due to this crazy October snowstorm and unexpected week off school, our normal weekly PGO Blog update will occur next Monday.  Check back for important information on the first PGO meeting of the year, picture retake day, and other events.

LSSE Halloweenfest Rescheduled for Sun Nov 6

Due to last weekend's storm, LSSE has rescheduled its Halloweenfest for this Sunday, November 6.
This event is not sponsored by the FR PGO.