Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fort River PGO Annual Fund

Have YOU made your gift to the Fort River PGO Annual Fund ??? 
See below for the Top Ten reasons to donate!

AmazonSmile Bonus Donation

Shop at AmazonSmile now through 3/31/14 and Amazon will donate an extra $5 to Fort River Elementary School Parent Council Inc. Click on this link to get started:  Funds raised through AmazonSmile go to support field trips at our school.

Fort River PGO Book Share

Spring Cleaning???
Please set aside children and young adult books for the FR Book Share

Even though the thermometer doesn't seem to know it's spring, it is time to look over your bookshelves!  Once again, the Fort River PGO will be holding a Book Share.  Books that your kids have outgrown can be brought in to be shared with others.  We are hoping to collect over 800 books so that each child can bring home two books.  More information on when books will be collected will be coming out soon!

African American Achievement Night

3rd Annual African American Achievement Night
Friday, May 2
Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium
170 Chestnut Street

The community is invited to participate in this special event honoring students in the Amherst, Pelham and Regional Public Schools. Awards will be presented to students in Grades PreK-12 who have made accomplishments in the areas of academics, leadership/community service, fine & performing arts and athletics. The evening will also feature music, dance and spoken word performances and a special ceremony to honor the ARHS Seniors who will graduate in June.

If you would like to nominate a student, please complete the attached nomination form and return by April 17. Please direct all questions to Kimberly Stender 413-362-1825 or

2014 Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award

The mission of the Nicholas Green award program is to inspire children to achieve to their fullest potential, highlight high ability students and to draw attention to the educational needs of our nation’s gifted and talented students.

Nicholas Green was a bright seven-year old who was killed in a senseless shooting. His parents wanted to keep his memory alive so they donated money they had saved for his college expenses to fund this award. The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) had administered this program until last year when the funds were depleted. The Massachusetts Association for Gifted Education is keeping it alive along with donations from sponsors.
The recipient of the Nicholas Green Award will receive a certificate and funds to participate in an enrichment program (i.e., summer camp, online course, etc.) of his/her choosing. Funding to defray the costs of the program will be approximately $500. More than one award may be given.

For more information and the application form click here: NicholasGreenAward_2014

League of Women Voters Annual Book Sale

Spring cleaning?  If piles of books are starting to feel overwhelming, donate some to the League of Women Voters of Amherst’s annual book sale.  Books can be donated starting Friday, March 23, at the League’s sorting and pricing center at the East Street School, 31 South East St., Amherst. Also, a collection trunk for donated books can be found outside of the Stop & Shop on Rte. 9 in Hadley. If you have a large quantity of books to donate, please call the LWV at 253-0633 for an appointment to drop off at the East Street School site.

Books must be in good condition: no damaged, moldy, or mildewed books can be accepted.  Please: no magazines except for cooking or crafts magazines; no toys, puzzles or videotapes. LPs if playable and in good condition, as well as CDs and DVDs, will be accepted.

The annual sale of thousands of used books will take place May 2, 3 & 4, on the Amherst Town Common. The book sale is one of the oldest and largest in New England.  It serves as the major fund raiser for the League and helps finance voter service programs and publications.

For additional information, contact the League of Women Voters Amherst at 253-0633 or visit the website

Monday, March 17, 2014

2014 Talent Showcase Information

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has decided to participate in the 2014 Talent Showcase!

We still need volunteers for both the dress rehearsal and the show. Mostly, we need parents to help supervise, as we have lots of kids involved! If you are able and willing to help as a volunteer, or if you have any questions at all, please contact Dawn Lepere at 413-835-0164 or
**Show schedules will be provided to the students this week at school.**

Some additional important information:
Dress Rehearsal:

                All students participating in the Talent Showcase should plan to stay after school this Friday, March 21st for the Dress Rehearsal. We hope to be finished up by about 5:30. Please consider making car-pooling plans with other families.
                Because kids will have down-time during the rehearsal, we suggest that they bring quiet activities such as homework, books to read, etc. 

                Students that plan to have a table display and are NOT performing on the stage do NOT to be at the dress rehearsal.

                Please place your student's name on all props/electronics/cds that come from home!

                Show time for tables and concessions starts at 6:30 on Friday, March 28th, so anyone involved with these activities should consider getting to the school by 6:15 at the very latest to have time to set up. 
                Show time for the stage show is 7:00. If you are performing at the beginning of the show, please be at the school by 6:30.               

                Please place your student's name on all props/electronics/cds that come from home!
Stage and Green Room Location:

                As kids arrive to perform for the show, please have them check in at the green room which will be located in the hallway to the right of the gym (as you approach from the Library). The stage will be located in the gym, just inside the door from the green room hallway. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Public Forum with Candidates for Fort River Principal

On Monday, Fort River families will have the opportunity to meet and ask questions of the 2 finalists for the principal position.  They are scheduled as follows:

Anna-Stina Wardlaw - 6:15
Bobbi Finocchio - 7:00

The forums will take place in the library at Fort River.  Candidates bios can be found at the district website at
* * * * *

Foro público con candidatos a Fort River Principal

El lunes, las familias de Fort River tendrán la oportunidad de conocer y hacer preguntas a los 2 finalistas para la posición de director. Ellos están programadas de la siguiente manera:
Anna-Stina Wardlaw - 06:15
Bobbi Finocchio - 07:00

Los foros se llevarán a cabo en la biblioteca de Fort River. Candidatos bios se pueden encontrar en el sitio web del distrito en

Whitsons Food Services 2014 Customer Survey

Whitsons is conducting a brief survey to receive feedback on our school nutrition program and how we can improve our services. We need your input regarding the current program and any changes you would like to see implemented. We will use this information to develop new options and services. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us!

Whitsons está llevando a cabo una breve encuesta para recibir información sobre nuestro programa de nutrición escolar y de cómo podemos mejorar nuestros servicios. Necesitamos su opinión respecto al programa actual y los cambios que le gustaría ver implementados. Usaremos esta información para desarrollar nuevas opciones y servicios. Gracias por tomarse el tiempo para compartir sus pensamientos con nosotros!

ARPS Family Center Workshop

Amherst Archery Academy

Enroll for Spring and Summer archery lessons soon!  Amherst Archery Academy provides educational and retail services for target archers. We excel at coaching children and adults the form of Olympic style target archery.  We offer year round programs in the Pioneer Valley, provide all the equipment, and have Level I, II and III USA Archery certified Coaches.  View the 2014 Spring and Summer program schedule on our new website.  Enroll online! and Like us on Facebook!  

Amherst College Family Concert Series

Recently, David Schneider (Amherst College music professor) appeared on Voices from Our Schools. He and Sue Dunbar (ARPS music teacher) spoke at length about the AC Music Tutors program in the elementary schools. He mentioned a few FREE concerts in April which families may attend. These concerts are FREE to the public and a very nice town/gown opportunity.

The Magic Flute

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dr. Seuss Event Thank You!

"Today was good.  Today was fun.  Tomorrow is another one."
- Dr. Seuss

Thank you to all the who joined in the celebration of Dr. Seuss's 110th Birthday last Thursday evening.  Thanks especially Emily Ziomek, Laurie Anastasia, Amy Hampson, Kursten Holabird, Ruthie Ireland, Pam Rietkerk, Anna Scully and all who stepped forward during the evening to help with set up, games and clean up; to Howard Rhett for taking such awesome photos* (coming soon to the school lobby video slide show); and to Deb Christakos for putting it all together.

* If you would like a digital copy of your child's photo(s) from the evening, please contact

Mr Keins' Class Fundraiser - UPDATE!

Mr. Keins' grade 4 class is currently running a fund raiser to support orphanages/schools in Zambia. The are working to collect basic items: socks, toothbrushes, small toys, to send to Hope for Africa:  a charity based in Zambia which supports a number of the orphanages/schools which are primarily populated by children who have lost their caretakers to the AIDS epidemic.  Our goals are to collect these items and raise $200 to send these items via mail directly to one or more of the schools.

The class has prepared donation boxes and posters which are distributed around our school as well as putting on presentations and skits at our school assemblies to garner interest and donations.
So far the class has raised about half of what is needed.  Donations of any amount will be greatly appreciated. Please donate to this worthy cause.

Since 2001 Hope for Africa in partnership with local Communities, has established and is  running  seventeen (17) Community Schools catering for 5,500 Orphans and vulnerable Children.  Our schools have 320 Children on average.

Fort River Chorus Concert - Save the Date!

The Fort River Spring Chorus Concert will take place at 7 pm on Tuesday, May 27th at 7 pm in the Fort River School gym. Please mark your calendars! This is a departure from our earlier practice of presenting our evening concert on the Middle School  auditorium stage.  Sadly, we were unable to get a bookable date for the AMS auditorium which is in high demand for district events such as town meeting, etc.

Attire is dark slacks and solid color shirts for boys, dark skirts or slacks and solid color blouses for girls.  Please plan to have your children report to the gym by 6:40, so that we can warm up and prepare for our concert.  If you are unable to make the evening concert, you can attend our daytime concert for Fort River on Friday, May 16th, at 2 pm, in the Fort River gym. 

Monte Carlo Night 2014

Monte Carlo Night 2014 is Saturday, March 15, Valentine Hall at Amherst College, 6:30 - Midnight!! All proceeds benefit ARHS and ARMS Athletics, including team uniforms and gear, scoreboards, weight room, etc. Free food, Funny Money bar and gambling, live music, great people, great prizes! Get info and purchase $25 tickets online at $30 at the door. If you don't have kids on teams at these schools yet, odds are you will soon!

Monte Carlo Night 2014 is Saturday, March 156:30 - Midnight!! $25 Tickets are ON SALE!! 

What? For one evening Valentine Hall at Amherst College is transformed into an elegant mini-Casino complete with 2 bands (jazz and dance), complimentary food, wine tastings and a full Funny Money Cash Bar (21 & over). Awesome prizes and raffle items from local businesses! People you know and would like to know. No lectures, just the best party on the Amherst calendar!

How? Get info and purchase tickets online at  or buy them until 3/13 at Hastings, Cushman, Hampshire Athletic Club, Matt's Barber Shop, Amherst Chamber of Commerce, or Jones Realty. At the door they are $30.

Why? Because sports are good for kids' physical and mental health, but the cost of uniforms and gear is not included in the school budgets. All proceeds benefit ARHS and ARMS Athletics. You may designate your favorite team(s) to receive $20 of the $25, or simply support the Hurricane Boosters, which provides support for low-income athletes and purchases other items like score boards and weight room equipment. If you don't have kids in the extremely diverse and inclusive set of sports teams at these schools yet, odds are you will soon!

Mead Art Museum Family Fun Days

Amherst Baseball

LSSE Futsal

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