Thursday, June 25, 2015
Adolescent Social Interaction Study
We are recruiting 13 to 16 year-old adolescents for a research study conducted by Dr. Julia McQuade at Amherst College. Participating adolescents and their parent will complete a 45minute assessment at Amherst College that includes an interview and completion of measures assessing social experiences.
$30 compensation is provided!
For more information, contact the Peer Relationships Lab at
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Thank you to all the families and friends who joined us at Barnes & Noble last Sunday to kick off our summer reading and raise some funds for the coming school year. Thank you especially to Flavia Cunha, Yuko Mizutani, Inkygyoung Kim and Salomé López for sharing a book during our story times; Amy Hampson & Liza, Becky Schneider, Bridget Hynes, Kristen DeLuca & Siena, Emily Coleman & Juliet and MaryBeth Meade for their help at our craft and welcome tables and to our fabulous and talented Fort River families for their performances - Dawn Lepere & Jeff Starns, Seiha Krouch & Thyda Ty, Champion Bakare, and Milena & Carina Gravante-Gunnells with their father Paul on keyboard.
Monday, June 22, 2015
In Amherst, the Jones Library, Munson Memorial Library, & the North Amherst Library are each having a summer reading program. You can learn more about the programs here: http://www.joneslibrary.org/juv/readingclub.html
The Jones Library program starts June 27th, & participants are given the goal of reading and reporting on 5 books over the summer. Book reports may be oral, written, or artwork. Informal book chats will be held every Mon & Fri from 3-4 pm in the Kids Biography Room. There are also a number of fun events associated with the reading program. Visit the link above for details. The Summer Reading Club Party will be held Tues, Aug 11st at 3 pm.
The Jones Library also has a Young Adult Summer Reading Program for students in Grades 6 & up.
The Munson Memorial Library summer reading program starts June 15th. Participants receive a book log to record the books read over the summer. Participants must read 10 books to receive a prize, and can earn a second prize by reading 20 or more books. After 10 visits to the Munson Library over the summer, each club member will receive a coupon for a free ice cream cone. The book logs should be returned by Sat, Aug 29th. The Back-to-School Party will be held on Tues, Sept 1st, at 3 pm.
The North Amherst Library summer reading program includes children ages 4 to 14. Participants receive a book log to record the books read over the summer. All reading club members and their families are invited to our Summer Reading Club celebration. The party will be on Saturday Aug 15th, 11 am, at Mill River Park. Reading program members who read 10 books or more will receive a prize and a certificate to be awarded at the Reading Club Party. Reading logs should be returned by August 10th.
Other summer reading programs:
Barnes & Noble has a summer reading program where participants who read 8 books qualify for a FREE book. The details are here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/summer-reading/379003570/
The program's reading log can be downloaded at this link. Completed logs are returned to a local B&N store, and participants can then select a free book on the Reading Journal list at the store.
The Massachusetts Teachers Assocation & Red Sox summer reading program. http://readingmatters.org/
** Participants pledge to read nine books over the summer, one for each position on the ballfield.
** List the titles of the nine books on the entry form and mail it in by July 10, 2015.
** MTA will choose 100 winners at random. Each winner will receive a pair of tickets to a Red Sox game at Fenway in September.
** Five of the 100 winners will be chosen at random to become Grand Prize Winners. Grand Prize Winners will receive four tickets each and participate in an on-field pregame ceremony at the game in September.
The Importance of Summer Reading -- Voices from Our Schools,Amherst Media
Please enjoy the latest episode of Voices From Our Schools, featuring Crocker Farm Elementary Sixth grade students, Monica Cage and Brendon Stephen, as they discuss the importance of reading and summer book selections. They were wonderful guests who offered great insights and anecdotes.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Amherst Together and UMass Department of Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning Release Final Report of Public Perception Study, Announce Public Presentation of Results, and other activities.
For Immediate Release
Flavia Montenegro-Menezes: 413-687-7963
(June 17, 2015) Amherst Together, in collaboration with Dr. Flavia Montenegro-Menezes of the University of Massachusetts, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, will release the final results of the public perception study and will share the report and preliminary conclusions during a public presentation on June 25, 2015 at 6:00 pm at the Jones Library Woodbury Room, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. The presentation will review report highlights with a question and answer session to follow.
The study, performed by Dr. Montenegro-Menezes, took approximately 10 months to complete and included three phases: qualitative data collection that included one-to-one interviews, focus groups, comment boards, maps, marbles, and graffiti walls; online and face-to-face survey collection; and extensive analysis, report preparation and presentation. The study provided an opportunity to engage the community in dialogue about values, identity and wellbeing, in order to gauge values and understand how residents perceive the community and their overall quality of life in Amherst.The surveys were fairly distributed amongst the town’s voting precincts, and the level of participation far exceeded the expectations of Dr. Montenegro-Menezes and Amherst Together.
“We spent extra time out in the field to obtain valid sampling from each of the voting precincts and we managed to gather more information from more people than any of us had hoped. It has taken additional work, including the need to recruit a fresh round of student volunteers, but they were spectacular. We gathered the input of 1052 participants in the overall process and collected 456 survey responses, which exceeded the initial target (380),” says Dr. Montenegro-Menezes. “The response and comments imply that the residents have a strong interest in this community. The study and the overall outreach will have long-lasting benefits for the community.”
Amherst Together intends to use the final survey results to help identify priorities for Amherst Together and develop recommendations for collective impact, to be addressed over the next several years.
“A tremendous amount of work went into this effort. Dr.Montenegro-Menezes and research analyst Jennifer Stromsten went above and beyond to provide this service and deliver a comprehensive report for our community. This study, based on reliable and validated data collection, gives us solid information for continuing our efforts to encourage authentic collective action,” stated Carol Ross, of Amherst Together.
Recent Amherst Together activities include the TAP THE MAP! online interactive map, the Who Are You? Identity Challenge and the Eyes Are The Window digital poetry exhibit. Amherst Together is a town-wide project intended to creatively advance community, collaboration, equity, and inclusion. For more information or to get involved, contact Carol Ross at 413-362-1820 or email@example.com.
Monday, June 15, 2015
Congratulations to our sixth graders Celia Malone and Seo-Ho Lee who were recently selected as recipients of the Human Rights Heroes Award!
Each year for 11 years, the Human Rights Commission has celebrated the achievements of Amherst area young people who have shown an ability to love and care for one another through demonstrated acts of kindness, unselfishness, social courage and/or community service within their families, their schools, or the community. Nominations are invited by educators and community members who have observed young people engaged in the display of one or more of these traits in the past year.
This year, Celia and Seo-Ho were caught in the act!
The Amherst Human Rights Commission presents a Human Rights Hero Award to Celia Malone, completing 6thgrade at Fort River Elementary School. According to her nominator, Celia is consistently a positive social force in the Fort River School community. She stands up for what is right. Whether she is making sure to include others in games at recess, standing up to bullying behavior, or simply being a loyal friend, Celia’s positive actions have a major impact on those around her. Celia is a member of the Fort River Student Council. She brings a mature perspective to the group’s discussions. Celia articulates a sophisticated comprehension of student identity issues and how these might factors affect students in their day-to-day activities at school. She is always very thoughtful and considerate of others’ perspectives, especially those of students and families who may not have the resources that others have. Celia is inclusive of others, including peers who don't seem to hold the same social awareness. She maintains her values but not at the expense of others. She truly exemplifies what it means to be a Student Leader.
The Amherst Human Rights Commission presents a Human Rights Hero Award to Seo-Ho Lee, completing 6thgrade at Fort River Elementary School. Seo-Ho makes so many positive contributions to the community at Fort River School. She and her family were new to Amherst this fall and Seo-Ho made numerous connections almost immediately. She has an uncanny ability for picking up on the positive things that she sees her classmates doing and making sure they are recognized. Seo-Ho often goes out of her way to help others.
Seo-Ho has also come into her own as an activist this year. While researching an article she was writing in Language Arts about teen activists who are fighting racism, Seo-Ho became inspired to take action herself. She asked what else an anti-racism activist might do beyond protest or march. Seo-Ho decided to invite a panel of guest speakers to talk to the 6th grade about racism and what kids can do about it. In early April the event happened and produced valuable discussion amongst the students on an issue that has been widely talked on both the local and national level. Seo-Ho’s excitement about the issues she cares about is truly infectious, as many of her peers have started to express interest in getting involved as well. Fort River, Amherst, and society in general need more students like Seo-Ho Lee who not only have a deeply held appreciation for those around them, but are also willing to take a critical eye to the problems they see in our society and do something about them.
In its sixth year, Project Backpack supports income-eligible students in Grades PreK-12 to acquire necessary and grade-appropriate school supplies and is designed around the social justice commitment of the Amherst-Pelham and Regional Public Schools. Project Backpack aspires toward equity of access, inclusion, respect and community-building. New backpacks and school supplies will be accepted from June 1-August 1 and can be dropped off at the ARPS Family Center. Back packs and supplies will be distributed on August 20-21.The ARPS Family Center staff will oversee the distribution process. In addition, Safe Seats for Kids is supported by the Amherst Police Department, Amherst Fire Department, University of Massachusetts Police Department and Safe Kids of Western Massachusetts/Baystate Children’s Hospital. Officers will install new infant and toddler car seats on August 20-21 from 9am-3pm at the ARPS Family Center located within Amherst Regional Middle School (170 Chestnut St).
“Our goal is to help ease the financial burden the start of the school year can mean for many families,” states Superintendent Maria Geryk. “Project Backpack is a great success due in part to the generosity of individuals and community partners. In 2014, over 465 backpacks with supplies were distributed and over 60 car seats were installed. I am deeply grateful for the community’s support of this initiative.”
School Supplies List
Pre-K- 5th Grade: new backpacks, spiral notebooks, erasers, 2-pocket folders, glue sticks, markers, crayons, pencils, pens (blue/black/red), colored pencils, pencil sharpeners, pencil cases, bookmarks, rulers
6th -12th Grade: new backpacks, assignment pads, notebooks, loose leaf paper, 2-pocket folders, 3-ring binders, 3-ring pencil cases, highlighters, post-it notes, index cards, calculators (basic, scientific, or graphing), flash drives, pens (blue/black/red), pencils, combination locks for lockers
The mission of the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools is to provide all students with a high quality education that enables them to be contributing members of a multiethnic, multicultural, pluralistic society. We seek to create an environment that achieves equity for all students and ensures that each student is a successful learner, is fully respected, and learns to respect others.
VICTORIAN BALLROOM DANCE PERFORMANCE on the lawn of the Amherst History Museum
On Saturday, June 27, at 11 am. You are invited to waltz through time on the lawn of the Amherst History Museum. A Victorian ballroom dance performance will take place on the front lawn of the Amherst Historical Museum at 67 Amity Street. This performance will provide a glimpse into the 19th century. The Small Planet Dancers, a community-based performance/dance troupe focusing on historically-accurate cultural dance, will transport you on a journey back in time. The past will come to life during this performance. The performance is funded through a grant from the Amherst Cultural Council; it is free and open to the public. After the performance you are welcomed to tour the museum or buy tickets to the Garden Tour, 10 am to 4 pm. For information about the museum and Garden Tour tickets visit www.amhersthistory.org
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Please join other parents and guardians this Friday morning at our monthly Coffee with a Principal. Topics change each month and there is always time for questions and dialogue. PGO officer elections for 2015-16 will take place immediately afterwards. It is not too late to nominate yourself or a friend for a position. The current officers are stepping down but will be available to mentor new volunteers. Please contact Liz Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Infants and small children are ALWAYS welcome at Coffees and PGO meetings. Hope to see you there!
Monday, June 8, 2015
Thanks to our great community of families for your continued support in honor of the staff and teachers at Fort River! Every staff member received a special envelope at school the morning of the celebration filled with a note of gratitude from the PGO and the hundreds of beautiful appreciation notes collected from children in all grades. Almost 70 staff enjoyed a wonderful after-school gathering at the Amherst Brewing Company. Thanks to the support of Fort River families, we more than covered the costs of the celebration and gifts, and staff were so grateful at the outpouring of generosity of our community. It really shows how much our families care about the staff and teachers of Fort River! Leftover funds will go back to the staff towards upcoming events this spring and early fall.
Thank you everyone for your support! Special thanks to Suzanne Severin, Karen Bonneau and the front office team, and parents Shari Abbott, Sue Borden, Sarah Cartel, Deb Christakos, Traci Hess, Tim Hope, Liz Larson, Dawn Lepere, Yuko Mizutani, Rebecca Schneider and our student helpers for making the day a success. Special thanks to Paul Gunnells for his time and talent as the piano accompaniment at the event and well into the evening!
Saturday, June 6, 2015
FIELD DAY IS COMING!!!!!!
Mark your calendar for a day of fun at Fort River School, on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Field Day is a school wide event that allows the children to get outside for sun and fun. This year, Kids in grades 1-6 will participate in field day together (from 9-11:30am) in multi-aged groups to build school unity across grades. Groups will rotate through a variety of outdoor activity stations on the fields/playground where kids will work together and have fun.
Kindergarteners will have their own special stations from 10-10:45 am.
The day will work like this:
9-11:30 Grades 1 - 6
10 - 10:45 Kindergarteners join
11:30 picnic lunch (bring your own or purchase)
Field Day Volunteer Sign Up
____Set up equipment before school (7:30-8:30 am)
____Run an activity station (____8:45-10:15, ____10-11:30am; ____both)
____Serve as a Parent Group Leader (___8:45-10:15; _____10-11:30 am; ____both)
____Work a kindergarten station (9:45-10:45 am)
____Clean up and put away equipment (12:00pm-1pm)
____Do anything you need me to do
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
The Amherst Regional High School Art Department and The Eli Marsh Gallery, Amherst College, Present: AR[T]HS: An Exhibit of Outstanding Student Artwork from the 2014-2015 Academic Year
The Art Department at Amherst Regional High School is proud to present AR[T]HS, an exhibit of outstanding student artwork from the 2014-2015 academic year. The exhibit will showcase juried work from all of the Art Department’s areas of study: Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Photography, 2D & 3D Foundations, Printmaking, Art Portfolio and Sculpture.
The opening reception is on Thursday, June 4th from 5-8 pm. The opening is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. The opening will be part of the monthly Amherst Art Walk. Last year’s opening was attended by more than 300 students, parents and relatives, including many non-art students showing support for their peers. It is also an excellent way for students to see what type of work is done in all the various art classes to help them in their future course choices.
Monday, June 1, 2015
The annual Staff & Teacher Appreciation Celebration will take place at Amherst Brewing Company on June 5th. Thanks to the more than 40 families who have sent in contributions, we have raised $1,280 so far for this wonderful event! Thanks also to Suzanne Schilling for organizing this event many, many years in a row ... No Small task! Our students made hundreds of thank you notes during lunches last week which will be distributed this Friday.
Please complete the linked form if you would like to send in a contribution:
En Espanol: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-2bHm-1AjRfQ0Q4Z0ItZW9XT0E/edit?usp=docslist_api ¡Gracias!