Sunday, December 18, 2011

LSSE Special Events

LSSE is offering a winter Learn-to-Ski program, and a School's Out Trip.

These events are not sponsored by the FR PGO.

Amherst Ballet Winter Camp

Amherst Ballet announces a “Alice in Wonderland” Winter Vacation Camp for ages 6 – 12, Feb 21-24.  Full and half day option.  Join us for dance, art and performance as we learn choreography and create our unique ballet based upon Alice in Wonderland to be performed in our own studio theater! Join Alice, The White Rabbit, Caterpillar, March Hare Cheshire Cat and the evil Queen of Hearts in their fabulous adventures. For more information or a brochure, please visit our website: or call (413) 549-1555.

This event is not sponsored by the FR PGO.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fort River Book Fair - A Big Success!

Thank you to the community for supporting our Book Fair and raising much needed funds for our Library! Also a big thanks to Librarian Fran Ludington for letting us take over her space and making local author Jane Yolen's visit a success!

We'd like to thank the following folks for helping out at the Book Fair: Diane Caraker, Carol Slaughter, Sue Borden, Liz Larson, Libby Stanforth, Jenn Wellman, Dorie Goldman, Jenn Wellman, Jean MacKimmie, Iris Berkman, Jen Ditkoff, Erin Cherewatti, Laura Caraker, Daniel Brechner, Patricia Zegarra, Eileen Marasco, Kathy Niedzielski, Jock McDonald, Oliver Lindsey, Lisa Beskin, Becky Schneider, Tim Hope, Dorie Goldman, Diana Peters-Ross, Sue Cairn, Joy Sullivan, and Traci Hess.

And many thanks to Becky Schneider, Rolf, Cooper, and Reece Nelson, Todd Felton, Becky Michaels, Catherine McGraw, and Maria Polino for helping out at the evening event.

Finally, thank you to all the families who made treats for the bake sale, the Lumber Yard restaurant for the delicious chili, Alpha Pizza Pi, and Mad Science for engaging the kids in cool science demonstrations.

With heartfelt thanks,
Pam Rietkerk and Michele Spirko
PGO Chair and Vice Chair
Click here to view slideshow in Picasa:

WMECO Orders are arriving soon!

WMECO lightbulb orders are coming in next week! They will be distributed in the Fort River lobby on Friday December 16th from 8:15-9:00am and from 2:45-3:30pm. Parents need to come pick up the orders, as the boxes are often much too big and fragile to send home on the bus with students. If you cannot pick up your orders that day, please contact Whitney Lyman, 413-388-3338 or to make other arrangements.

Sign up for LSSE Youth Basketball and Winter Classes

LSSE winter youth classes are forming now!  Click here for more information.

In addition, it's not too late to sign up for Amherst Youth Basketball!  The annual Jamboree is on Sat. Dec 17, so sign up soon!

These events and classes are not sponsored by the Fort River PGO.

Amherst Education Foundation

Looking for a meaningful way to thank your favorite teachers or other school staff members this holiday season?  Make a gift to the Amherst Education Foundation in their honor.  Your donation this year will go toward our new Excellence Grants program for teacher/school generated initiatives and will positively impact students in Amherst, Pelham, Leverett and Shutesbury.   When you make a donation, your special teachers/staff members will receive a personalized thank you note that will be hand delivered to their school.   You can make your tax deductible gift by mailing in the printable form here, or by donating online at 

This is not a FR PGO sponsored event.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Book Fair is coming next week!

Students will visit the fair with their class Tuesday through Thursday. We have very few volunteers signed up, and we really need lots of help! A schedule of class visits is going home today. Click here to sign up to staff the fair during school hours. This is such a fun volunteer opportunity and the kids love the fair!

If you are unable to help during the day, scroll down for opportunities to help at our annual Fort River Reads evening event.

Please contact our Fair Coordinators with any questions: Diane Caraker ( or Carol Slaughter (

All profits from our Scholastic Book Fair directly support the Fort River Library. Every child at our school will benefit from your participation in this great event. We hope to see you next week at Fort River!

UPDATE: Donate your unused children's books!
Now is a great chance to refresh your home bookshelf! As you visit the book fair to purchase new books, please look through your used books at home. Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 are all moving into extensive non-fiction studies, and we need as many non-fiction books as possible. We especially need books that are highly structured with many common features like tables of contents, headings and sub-headings, glossaries, index, etc. If you have books that your own child has outgrown, we can put it to excellent use at Fort River. We can also use your old ABC books and early readers for our Kindergarten classrooms. There will be a box in the office to collect your donated books. Thanks in advance!!

Fort River Reads! An evening book event featuring Mad Science

The PGO presents:

Fort River Reads!
Thursday, December 8, 6-8pm

Your family is invited to an evening featuring great books, scrumptious chili from the new Lumber Yard restaurant, pizza, and cider. (Chili & cornbread dinner $3, pizza slices $1, and baked goods for sale.)

Mad Science will give exciting, interactive demonstrations on Space Science. Children can also make their own “Space Slime” to take home! (Slime activity costs $3/child.)

This special event will include the Book Fair collection, as well as many new titles, popular books sets, and fun merchandise from Scholastic only available on this evening!

Volunteers Needed!! There are many jobs to be filled to make this event a success!
Click here to sign up:  Fun and easy, give it a try!!!!

Vote for Fort River School to win a Florence Savings Bank Community Grant

Every year, Florence Savings Bank gives $50,000 in grants for local, non-profit organizations. Customers of Florence Savings Bank can vote for their favorite non-profit/charitable organization to win a portion of the grant. Any charity that receives more than 1% of the total votes, will receive a percentage of the $50,000 grant. Help Fort River win a grant! Only Florence Savings Bank customers can vote, and each account holder can vote once. Remember, ALL account holders have a vote, even your kids who have Savings Make "Cents" accounts! You can vote online ( or pick up a ballot at any Florence Savings Bank branch or at Fort River Elementary.

New After-school Parent Pick-up procedure

As winter approaches, Fort River will be changing the after-school pick-up procedure. Starting December 5, 2011 in the afternoon, car riders will have indoor dismissal. Students will be seated in the music room to be picked up. At that time, parents/guardians will park in the visitors’ parking lot and enter the side door near the music room to pick up their child(ren).

Upcoming Community Events

The following community events are happening in the next week:
  • Town of Amherst Merry Maple Holiday Celebration - TODAY on the town common, beginning at 4 pm
  • UMass Hockey Heroes Night - Tonight (Fri Dec 2) at 7:00 pm.  More info here
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Winter Craft Fair - This weekend!    More info here
  • Multi-Arts presents "The Case of the Missing Pearls" - featuring Fort River students! Tuesday, Dec 6 at 5:00 pm at Amherst Media.  See poster here for more details.
The above events are not sponsored by the FR PGO.