Sunday, December 21, 2014

Coffee Cake Fundraiser Pick-up

Please pick up your coffee cakes in the front lobby of Fort River after school until 4:00 on Monday December 22nd or 8:15 to 9:15AM Tuesday December 23rd.  Call Dawn Lepere at 937-205-3524 or email at with questions or to schedule a special pick-up time.

Thank you!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fort River PGO Coffee Cake Fundraiser

We have just a few more days to collect orders for coffee cakes baked fresh by The Glazed Doughnut!  A generous portion of the sales of these delicious coffee cakes will support The Fort River Elementary PGO.  Final orders are due this coming Wednesday, December 17th. The order forms can be dropped off to the PGO mailbox in the school office, or be givens to any of our teachers.
If you would like a taste, slices of coffee cake are available for purchase all weekend at The Glazed Doughnut. The cakes will be baked fresh to fill orders on the 22nd and 23rd just in time for the holidays. What a treat!  So keep them in mind for family, friends, co-workers and all the other important people in your life that are hard to find gifts for.

Click here for more information and order forms:

We appreciate everyone's efforts!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Coffee with the Specials Teachers - Fri 12/12

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

This year, Florence Savings Bank gives $100,000 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 $100,000 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 Saving Make "Cents" accounts! You can vote online ( or pick up a ballot at any Florence Savings Bank branch.

Run for Fun

A group of UMass students have created the Run for Fun program for our local elementary schools. The goal is to get kids outside running for exercise and fun. It's also a great opportunity for the elementary school students to meet college students who are invested in community service.
They are trying to raise money through Zipcar’s national "Students with Drive” Facebook campaign.  Voting ends Dec. 16th.  Your vote could help them raise $5,000 to support this program and our community.  Voting ends December 16th so click here to vote now.

Enchanted Circle Theater Event at Fort River

Valley Gives - AEF

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fort River PGO Coffee Cake Fundraiser

Click link for more information and the order form:


Check out SHOPAROO, the latest way to support Fort River at NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.  This easy and fun app allows you to earn points and cash for our school simply by scanning your store receipts.  You can provide as much or as little personal information as you like and even get a friendly competition going among grades.  More information can be found at or download the app   at the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Want more information? Check out this presentation:


Amherst Survival Center Boost Program

Monday, November 24, 2014

Amherst Education Foundation

Norma Jean Anderson Civil Rights and Academic Achievement Award

The Norma Jean Anderson Civil Rights and Academic Achievement Award applauds the contributions of a current teacher, administrator or staff member in the Amherst and/or Amherst-Pelham Regional school districts who promotes the ideals of a just and respectful community built on compassionate relationships. We recognize many teachers, administrators and staff share these goals, and we look forward to acknowledging their contributions.  Click here for brochure with more details.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jones Library Family Program

Family Holiday Movie Classic

Amherst, MA – Bring the family and enjoy the recent feature film version of a traditional holiday story.  Join us on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm in the Woodbury Room for this animated family movie based on the holiday novel by Charles Dickens.

For more information, please visit the library’s webpage at or contact the reference desk at 413/ 259-3096.  The film is rated PG.

Free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223.

LSSE Auditions

Friday, November 14, 2014

Saving Makes "Cents"

Saving Makes “Cents”
School Banking Program at Fort River
Help your child learn about the importance of saving! 

Saving Makes “Cents” is a state-sponsored program that teaches children in grades K-6 about banking and saving.  Your child can make weekly deposits and earn fun stickers and a preferred interest rate.  At Fort River, the program is supported by Florence Savings Bank and the PGO. 

Every Tuesday morning before school, PGO volunteers are at the Saving Makes “Cents” table in the Fort River lobby where students can make their deposits.  Monthly account statements are mailed to the children’s homes.  There are no monthly fees for depositors under the age of 19.

To open a new account, please complete the form available here and have your child bring it with an initial deposit of at least one dollar to the Saving Makes “Cents” table any Tuesday morning.  For further information contact Nat Larson (230-3453) or Traci Hess
And remember, any FSB customer (parent or child) can vote for Fort River to receive a Customer Choice Community Grant.  Vote by December 31 at

Friday, November 7, 2014

ARPS Warm Winter Clothing Share.

This November, Fort River will once again be participating in the ARPS Warm Winter Clothing Share.   We will begin collecting items to be shared with our community November 5th - 20th.  Please bring in clean and usable (no broken zippers or torn items, please!) items - winter coats, hats, boots, gloves, etc. - that your family has outgrown and place it in the boxes in the front lobby at Fort River.  Don't forget to check pockets before donating items!  Dates, times and locations for the share will be posted next week.

Durante el mes de noviembre Fort River nuevamente participará en el ARPS Comparte Ropa Caliente de Invierno.  Empezaremos a colectar artículos para ser compartidos con nuestra comunidad entre el 5 - 20 de noviembre. Por favor, traiga ropa limpia y en buena condición (¡por favor, no zippers rotos o ropa rota!) -  abrigos de invierno, gorros, botas, guantes, etc. – que su familia no utiliza and deposítela en las cajas en el vestíbulo principal de Fort River.  ¡No se olvide de verificar los bolsillos antes de donar sus artículos!  Fechas, horas y localidades para compartir serán anunciados la próxima semana.

Try Hockey For Free Day (kids ages 4-9)

Try Hockey For Free Day - November 8th from 1-4 pm (for kids ages 4-9)

This weekend is going to be jam packed with Amherst Hockey Association Fun!!
Please join us for Try Hockey For Free Day Nov. 8 from 1-4 pm for kids ages 4-9, at the Mullins Center Practice Rink.
We will have AHA Coaches and Players on the ice as well as the UMass Minutemen! It is a great way for your aspiring hockey player to try the sport in a safe and fun environment. Please check the AHA Website for more information:
We also will be hosting round 2 of the AHA Used Gear Sale! We will be holding the gear in the racquetball court closest to the doors from 3-5pm.

Register here for Try Hockey For Free Day -

Friday, October 31, 2014

Evening Coffee with a Principal & PGO Meeting

Fort River Night at the Amherst Pub

Save the Date:  Fort River Night at the Amherst Pu
                                             Tuesday, Nov. 18th 
Come and meet your friends from all grades for a delicious dinner and some fun.
                All evening, when you mention you are a Fort River family
                    15% of your total sale will be donated to the FR PGO.
         Let's support our local businesses, and they will in turn support our school!

Box Tops for Education

An easy way to help fund the Fort River PGO is to find Box Tops on every day products in your home.
 Find Box Tops on hundreds of products.
Clip Box Tops from each package.
Send the Box Tops to Fort River the first Monday of each month.
Each Box Top you clip, is worth 10¢ for our school.
Last year we earned $418, let's get clipping!

Elementary School Bullying Prevention

Friday, October 24, 2014

Grade-Wide Potlucks - Schedule and Signups!

Grade-wide potlucks are a fall tradition at Fort River!
Celebrate friendship and community with other families in your grade. Click on the appropriate link to sign up. Please bring an ingredient list so that those with dietary concerns may make informed decisions. Thank you!!
Kindergarten: Tuesday, November 18

Fort River Chorus Concert - DATE CHANGE

Dear Folks,

I unwittingly set our Fort River Winter Chorus Concert for Dec. 16th, which is the first night of Hanukkah. As this would be a major schedule conflict for some of our students,  we are changing the date of the winter concert to the following:

Tuesday, December 9th at 7 pm at the Amherst Middle School auditorium.  The chorus is comprised of the fourth and fifth grades. Our daytime concert for the school will be held at 2 pm on Monday, December 8th at 2 pm in the Fort River gym.  Please alert parents and families to this change in our schedule.
FYI:  Our spring concert will be held on Tuesday, May 26th at the Amherst Middle School.  Please  put this onto your calendars. The chorus for this concert will be comprised of the 5th and 6th grades.

Anne White

Target - Take Charge of Education

Do you have a Target Red Card?  You can designate Fort River to receive 1% of your purchases made at any Target store or at with your card. In 2013-14, Fort River contributions totaled nearly $1000!
To enroll in Take Charge of Education, go to, click on Sign Me Up.  Be sure to select Fort River (School ID #58645). You can sign up for a Target Red Card at any Target store.  Every dollar you spend counts.

Surburban Basketbal

ARHS Chorale Lasagna Dinner

The ARHS Chorale Lasagna Dinner is the place to be!

The entire ARPS community is invited to support this annual event.

Monday, October 27 in the ARHS Cafeteria (21 Mattoon St)
Seatings are at 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for Adults and $5 for students & senior citizens.
Tickets on sale at ARHS lunch and at the door.
Enjoy homemade lasagna, garlic bread, salad and desserts. The Chorale will sing too!More information at

Kids Monsters Ball

25 October 2014 - Kids Monsters Ball
a costumed dance party just for parents and their children. 
3 to 4 p.m. at Abbey Memorial Chapel

The Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra presents the “Kids Monsters Ball”, a costumed dance party just for parents and their children. Come costumed and dance to waltzes and polkas by Strauss and Chopin. 
In between, enjoy music from TV shows like Doctor Who and the Simpsons and  meet members of the orchestra who will introduce the children to the instruments that they play. 
The event is scheduled for 3 to 4 p.m. at Abbey Memorial Chapel, located on the Mount Holyoke Campus at 50 College St, South Hadley, MA. Admission is $3 for all children, $5 for all adults. Accompanying adults for groups of 4 or more children enter for free. For more information, visit or call the Mount Holyoke College Music Department at (413) 538 2306.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Picture Day - Volunteers Needed!

Volunteers are needed to help our Grynn & Barrett photographers next Tuesday, October 21.  Below you will find the schedule of when classes will have their photo times.  We need assistance with getting the classes to and from the library, helping organize the class photo and just being there to help kids with their individual pictures.  You are welcome to volunteer for 20 minutes, an hour, all morning, or all day!  We especially need a parent who can commit to the 10:35-11:35 time slot to coordinate the other volunteers.  Please let Liz Larson ( know when you can help or click this link to sign up

A+ School Rewards

Multi-Arts Make Your Own Mask Workshop

Come and create your unique mask for Halloween!
Whether you want to be silly or spooky, this fun workshop is an exciting way to make your imagination come to life.
Multi-Arts is offering a children's Make Your Own Mask workshop just perfect for Halloween! Multi-Arts, a local arts organization that has been empowering and inspiring young artists for over 14 years, is hosting a free mask making workshop, led by professional illustrator Titus Neijens.   Multi-Arts' innovative programming encourages creativity and instills a lifelong love of the arts with children. Especially in this age of consumerism, Multi-Arts' camps and workshops help children discover they can use their imaginations to invent and build designs that instills lasting pride and happiness.

Wednesday October 29, from 4-6 pm
at All Things Local Coop, Amherst
Free of charge but donations are very much appreciated
All children welcome. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Child Learning and Development Lab at Amherst College

Do you have a child between 0 and 10 years of age? Professor Carrie Palmquist, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Amherst College, is conducting a series of studies at the Child Learning and Development Lab that investigate how children learn from others and about the world around them. Participation in a study takes no more than 30 minutes. If you want your child to participate, contact the CLAD Lab at 413-542-5670, email, or visit to learn more and register your family! 

Chalk Art for Kids at All Things Local

Please join us for a CELEBRATION OF CHALK ART – make your own outside chalk (yup, you can MAKE CHALK) and then help decorate our sidewalk outside the All Things Local Coop Market in downtown Amherst (104 No. Pleasant St.).  No need to be an artist and all ages are welcome! Share your creative side and learn how to make your own outside chalk. Sunday, October 12th, 2-4pm.

An Evening for Education at Amherst Cinema

Friday, October 3, 2014


Picture Day is Tuesday, October 21st.  We need a volunteer to help schedule and coordinate other volunteers.   The photographers from Grynn & Barrett are very experienced with working with children but the teachers do like to have an extra set (or two) of hands to help get the classes to and from the library, keep order in the line, maybe help a with a messy face or hair emergency.  A schedule with class "photo sessions" will be coming home soon along with orders.  If you can help as the coordinator, please contact Liz Larson and be a part of this school tradition.  And remember, a portion of each picture package sale goes to support our school field trip fund!

Stop & Shop A+ School Rewards Program

For more info on this and other ways to support Fort River:

New #artcontinues Art Lessons

There are still a few openings available!  If your child's FALL SPORT SCHEDULE runs into art classes, they can start in November (o/c with tuition modification)!   If you are interested or have any questions email Teri Magner at

Amherst Community Theater Community Book Event!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Boy Scout Troop 500 Open House

Volunteering at Fort River: CORI Checks

If your school or PGO volunteer opportunities bring you into contact with students at school or on a field trip, you must have a CORI* check on file.  This includes all field trip chaperones and classroom volunteers (e.g. grandparents, aunts & uncles, adult siblings).  CORI checks must be done on individual volunteers every three years and are valid for all schools within our district.   If you would like to check to see if you are current on your CORI'd status, please call Sasha in the Central Office at 362-1810.

To request a  CORI check, bring your current driver's license into the Main Office at Fort River or to the district's Central Office (located at the middle school) for photocopying and complete the required application well in advance of any volunteer obligations.  Questions about the CORI process can be directed to the FR Main Office at 362-1200 or Sasha in the Central Office at the number above.

*Criminal Offender Record Information

Friday, September 26, 2014

Classroom Parent Volunteers Still Needed

Classroom parent volunteers are still needed for the following classrooms:


This is a fun and important volunteer opportunity for parents and guardians! In addition to facilitating support for their child's teacher, classroom parents serve as a vital communication link for families, the PGO, and the administration. 
A Meet & Greet is scheduled for all volunteer classroom parents on Thursday, October 9 at 6:30pm, just before Open House. Enjoy some chocolate treats while meeting other parents/guardians. Please contact Michele ( if you would like to volunteer!

Dutch Mill Fall Bulbs Fundraiser

Our fundraiser/flower-raiser is off to a fabulous start!! Thank you SO much to those who have submitted orders and forwarded the online link to family and friends!!! 

Paper orders are due next Friday, October 3. Bulbs will be sent home with students in mid October.

Be sure to let out-of-town friends and relatives know that they too can participate in our flower bulb fundraiser by using our custom link:

Click here (insert link) to access a template letter than can be edited and sent to friends and family.

ALL money raised directly funds our Curriculum Mini-Grant program! Our goal of $2500 will fully fund this program.
THANK YOU! Questions? Email Michele 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fort River Read-a-Thon

We have extended the deadline for Read-a-Thon lists and donations to this Friday, September 26th.  If you have lost your paperwork, no problem - we just want to hear what your child has read and include them in the celebration.   Please make sure to include their name on any lists submitted.
Any questions - please contact Jacquelyn Kang at

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dutch Mill Bulbs Fall Fundraising to Support Mini-Grants!

Happy Autumn from the Fort River PGO!
Join us in kicking off our fundraising efforts with beautiful spring bulbs from Dutch Mill Bulbs! Flyers will be in backpacks on Friday. It’s easy to participate:
  • Sell to your friends, family, and other FR fans.
  • Share our online order link (see below).
  • Make checks out to "Fort River PGO".
  • Return orders by Friday, October 3.
  • Deliver bulbs before the ground freezes.

Bulbs will be sent home with students in mid October.
Be sure to let out-of-town friends and relatives know that they too can participate in our flower bulb fundraiser by using our custom link:
Click here to access a template letter than can be edited and sent to friends and family.
ALL money raised directly funds our Curriculum Mini-Grant program! Our goal of $2500 will fully fund this program.
THANK YOU! Questions? Email Michele

Classroom Parents Needed!

This is a fun and important volunteer opportunity for parents and guardians! Classroom parents can assist teachers and staff in many ways including soliciting donations of classroom supplies (tissues, snack, sanitizer, etc.), recruiting volunteers for field trip and potlucks, and checking in with the teacher(s) to see what other support is needed. 
A Meet & Greet is scheduled for all classroom parents on Thursday, October 9 at 6:30pm, just before Open House. Enjoy  some chocolate treats while we give a quick overview of how classroom parents can help support  students and teachers in our school community. Experienced classroom parents will be on hand to answer questions. Please contact Michele Spirko ( if you would like to volunteer!

UMASS College of Education film event ARPS community invited FREE

The College of Education presents a FREE screening of UMASS alumna Dr. Lee Anne Bell’s documentary 40 Years Later: Now Can We Talk? followed by an open discussion about multicultural education with Dr. Bell. Food & refreshments will be served.

Friday, Sept 26    4-7pm       UMASS Student Union Ballroom        Seating limited to first 175 people

Register here:

The documentary film project explores the impact of racial integration in the Mississippi Delta through powerful and moving dialogue, with interviews from black and white alumni from the class of 1969. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome for the screening and honest dialogue about race and education today.  Read more about Dr. Bell

Friday, September 12, 2014

Amherst Poetry Festival Family Events

Family Events at the Amherst Poetry Festival, September 19 - 21
Join us for some family-friendly poetry, art projects, and more! All events are free.

September 19, 20, 21: Storywalk for ages 3-8. Follow the pages of the book Please, Louise by Toni and Slade Morrison displayed in a succession of store windows starting at the north end of North Pleasant Street and ending at the Jones Library Children’s Room. See flyer below.

September 20: Poetry readings from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sweetser Park and the Dickinson Homestead, plus art and writing booths at Sweetser Park – look for the “Family Friendly” signs. Children and their families can write short poems and make their own poetry ‘zines.

September 21: Poetry picnic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dickinson Homestead Lawn. Poetry provided; bring your own picnic! Includes Tom Daley performing the Dickinson-inspired play “Every Broom and Bridget” at 12:30.

For a complete listing of Amherst Poetry Festival Events, go to

Amherst Youth Football

Kids Fitness Class

The Aerobics and Fitness Studio is pleased to announce the addition of LesMills BORN TO MOVE™ classes, specifically designed for children! We’re passionate about creating a positive change in young people’s attitudes towards physical activity. We want to inspire and motivate new generations through music and movement and help them enjoy the increased self-esteem, well-being and health benefits of an active life. BORN TO MOVE™ can build confidence, develop physical and social skills and help hard-wire a love of movement into young people's lives.

Anyone with questions can contact Kim Davidson.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Hope everyone had a great summer! 

Please pass in your Fort River Read-a-Thon lists and pledges by Friday - September 12, 2011.   We will celebrate all those who participated and disburse the gifts shortly thereafter!  We will also publish a list of student’s favorite books. 

Any questions contact Jacquelyn Kang at 230-3284

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fort River PGO News

What a fabulous start it has been to the new school year, thanks in huge part to our wonderful PGO volunteer coordinators -

Traci Hess - New Family Popsicle Party (August 26)
Sarah Cohen - First Day Coffee & Glazed Doughnuts (August 28)
Pam Rietkerk - Welcome Potluck for Principal Finocchio (September 3)

To find out more about the fun and exciting events and activities the PGO has planned for the coming year, please join us next Friday, Sept. 12, for our first Coffee with a Principal followed by a (mostly brief) PGO general meeting.  The coffee will take place in Cafeteria 3 (the one next to the music room) from 8:45 - 9:30.  If you can't join us but have an idea (or two or three) for the PGO, please email Liz Larson

Think Spring! Dutch Mill Bulbs Fall Fundraising Opportunity

It's not a typo ... Think of all the beautiful color and intoxicating fragrance that springtime brings ... NOW is the time to plant reliable Dutch Mill Bulbs throughout your landscape to guarantee a truly glorious riot of color next spring! Check your child's backpack next week for order forms, brochures, and information on how you can support learning at Fort River with this simple fundraiser. It's green and your neighbors will love it! 

Too excited to wait? You can place your order online RIGHT NOW. A small shipping fee of $4.00 assures delivery directly to your home at the correct time for planting. Or you can wait for your brochure and order form next week; these paper orders will be delivered in bulk to Fort River and sent home with students in October. Feel free to share the online order link with family not living locally. 

The PGO will earn 50% of all sales from Dutch Mill Bulbs. This is a truly excellent return and ALL of the profit will be allocated to the PGO Curriculum Enrichment Mini-Grant program. Teachers can apply for financial support to enhance their curricula through this program. Our fundraising goal is $2000. Please contact Michele Spirko ( with any questions. 

Disclaimer: All Fort River fundraisers are OPTIONAL. There is no obligation to participate in this fundraising opportunity, and there will be other opportunities to support the PGO budget (and subsequently the students, teachers, and staff) throughout the year.

The Center Dance Studio

Family Volunteer Day

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Welcome Potluck for Principal Finocchio!

FORT RIVER Community Potluck 
to Welcome Principal Finocchio!
Wednesday, September 3,  6-7:30pm
Fort River Cafeteria
Please join the PGO in welcoming our new Principal, Bobbie Finocchio, to Fort River at an all community potluck!
Click on the link below to sign up for a food item. It is not necessary to sign up, but helpful for planning.
We look forward to seeing everyone back at school!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fort River PGO - Welcome Back Events

The Fort River Parent Guardian Organization (PGO)
 invite your family to the
Welcome to Fort River
Popsicle Party!
Tuesday, August 26th
Please join us for this annual tradition to welcome new families to Fort River School.  This is a great opportunity to meet other families and get to know the school and our community.  We will gather in the cafeteria; you can enter through the back entrance near the playground.
Other upcoming dates to mark on your calendar:
First Day Welcome Party 2014
Amherst Town Common (rain location: ARHS)
Wednesday, August 27th, 5:00-6:30
A Back-to-School celebration for kids and the community that supports them. 
Coffee with a Principal
Fort River Cafeteria
Friday, September 12th, 8:45 – 9:30am
Held the second Friday of each month, these coffees provide an opportunity to talk with the principal and/or assistant principal on a variety of topics.
Keeping up-to-date:
Please visit the Fort River PGO website ( and our Facebook page ( for information on PGO on-going activities and opportunities as well as upcoming events.  You can also sign up to receive regular emails from the PGO by clicking the link at the website.
Organizacion de Padres Guardianes de Fort River (PGO)
Bienvenido a Fort River
Fiesta de Paletas de Helado!
Martes, 26 de Agosto, 6:00-7:30pm.
Por favor, acompáñanos en nuestra tradición anual de dar la bienvenida a las nuevas familias de la Escuela Fort River.  Esta es una gran oportunidad para conocer otras familias, y para conocer la escuela y nuestra comunidad.  Nos reuniremos en la cafetería; puede entrar por la puerta trasera, cerca del área de juegos.
Otras fechas próximas para marcar en su calendario:
Primer Día Fiesta de Bienvenida 2014
Amherst Town Common  (en caso de lluvia  en: ARHS)
Miércoles 27 de Agosto, 5:00-6:30pm
Una celebración de Regreso a la escuela para los niños y la comunidad que los apoya.
Café con la directora  
en la cafeteria de Fort River
Viernes, 12 de Septiembre, 8:45-09:30am
Se celebra el segundo viernes de cada mes, estos cafés ofrecen la oportunidad de hablar con la directora y \ o el asistente de la directora  sobre  una variedad de temas.
Mantener al día:
Por favor, visita la página web PGO de Fort River  ( y nuestra página en Facebook ( para información sobre las actividades y oportunidades del PGO, así como sobre próximos eventos.   También puedes suscribirte para recibir emails regulares del PGO haciendo clic en el enlace en la página web.