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Newsletter May 2009


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Article written by me on "Reading Boosters" at John Eaton Elementary school

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Newsletter May 2009

  1. 1. MAY 2009 BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE HOME AND SCHOOL ASSSOCIATION (HSA) NEWS JOHN EATON CALENDAR UNIQUE PERFORMANCE OF MULAN TO HIT THE STAGE SOON MAY By Emma Walsh-Alker, 5th Grade FRI SCHOOL MUSICAL: As many of you know,Eaton's 2009 spring musical,Mulan is hitting the stage on SAT MULAN May 8th,9th and 10th. The Eaton musical has been a great tradition,and all the shows SUN that we put on are spectacular,but there's one thing that makes this production even 8-9-10 more special. Four of our cast members are performing all their lines in Mandarin Chinese.These cast members include Emma Walsh-Alker (me, Mulan), Sam Ringel THU SPORTS BANQUET (Mushu),Toby Shapinsky (Captain Shang),and Sauron Hiabu (Chi- Fu).Just as important 14 6:00-8:00 are our counterparts performing the roles in English -- Rena Schwartz-Shigihara,Janea Johnson,Carl Baltimore,and Indiyah Long.And we have a talented cast of 4th-6th graders FRI NO SCHOOL to make the show complete. 15 PARENT-TEACHER Our show is being directed by Mr. Parodi and Ms.Walson, both of whom have CONFERENCES spent a tremendous amount of time on this show.They work very hard for all of us, and we are very lucky to have them. John Eaton is also lucky to have Ms. Kong who SAT JOHN EATON 16TH teaches Chinese to 4th ,5th and 6th graders during the school day.In her spare time, 16 ANNUAL AUCTION Ms. Kong translated all of the Chinese performers' lines into Chinese and has been St. Albans Refectory helping us with them eve ry day at lunch and recess.Without her help,bilingual Mulan would not have been possible. TUE SPRING So what's it like to be in Mulan? Well,first of all you have to be committed to the THU COMPOSITION show.That means working hard on your lines,songs,and movements;always showing TESTING 19-21 up for rehearsals;and putting your best effort and attention into the show. Rehearsal begins at 3:30 everyday - and we stay longer as the performance draws nearer. Now WED COMMUNITY that we're this close to opening night,it's all about tightening up our work and closing MEETIG the gaps.We run the show from the beginning,and whenever our director,Mr.Parodi, 20 6:00-8:00 or our music director,Ms.Walson,sees an error, they make a note of it.Then the notes Multipurpose Room are given out at the end of rehearsal. Like any cast, we have our challenges, but in the end we will be the Eaton we are and pull together for a great performance.So please come to our shows - Friday, MON NO SCHOOL May 8th at 7:30pm,Saturday,May 9th at 7:30pm,and Sunday,May 10th at 25 MEMORIAL DAY 3pm. By just buying a ticket,you'll be supporting our wonderful school,and the students and teachers who have worked so hard to make this multi-cultural dream a reality.  THE EATON READING BOOSTERS PROGRAM By Caroline Joss with Jeanie Mah At the beginning of the year, there is quiet, or perhaps a bit of commotion. There is certainly conversation and activity. But by the end of the year,there is reading. As one volunteer noted,“My first grade friend, very shy and hesitant to read in September, now eagerly insists on reading eve ry other page aloud by herself.” This is the power of the weekly Reading Boosters Program, which pairs twelve first graders with volunteer tutors from the Cleveland Park neighborhood. Coordinated by Jeanie Mah, Eaton parent and current HSA board member,the Reading Boosters Program has support and guidance from Mr.Lewis,Eaton's reading specialist,Ms. Cassidy,special education,and Anne Snodgrass,DCPS substitute teacher and volunteer, as well as others at the school. The Reading Booster Program was started in the 2007-08 school year,built on the legacy of an existing multi-subject, multi-grade volunteer tutoring program. Laura Broach, Eaton's former reading specialist, decided to limit the scope of the program to reading and put the focus mainly on first-grade students as this is an especially formative time for reading development. She thought that if first-graders who struggled with reading could receive the extra attention and practice they needed, Thanks to Eaton parent then they would be less likely to experience reading difficulties in subsequent grades, when they are harder to address. JOHN PRENTICE, we The first-grade teachers, along with Mr. Lewis, recommend students who can work well one-on-one with an adult, have a new school sign and will benefit from the extra guidance and practice that the Reading Boosters Program provides.Some children are resistant at the corner of to reading on their own, some lack confidence, and others are just not ready. Mr. Lewis gave an initial orientation and training and provides tutors with the basic structure and materials.After that, each pair works at its own pace. 34th and Lowell Streets. Volunteers were recruited through a variety of means, including the Cleveland Park Listserv and the National JOHN EATON ELEMENTARY Cathedral Literacy program. Some volunteers were simply looking to help out a local school and called the Eaton office continued on page 4 w w w. e at o n d c . o rg SCHOOL 3301 Lowell Street NW Washington DC 2008 Phone: 202.282.0103
  2. 2. 2 POETRY M s . Walsh's first graders FROM THE studied Earth Day - what it means and why it is important PRINCIPAL’S DESK to take care of our eart h . Following are three cinquains NEWS the first graders wrote fo r Earth Day. Our students successfully completed the DC-CAS (District of Columbia Earth Comprehensive Assessment System) test during the last week of April. Most Dirty, rainy students seemed pleased with their performance. While this is not the only one way to demonstrate what students Windyness changing inside K n ow i n g , t h i n k i n g , fe e l i n g , know, it is the major focus. Therefore, I would like to thank all of the parents for making sure their children were well- learning rested and ready for test-taking. I would also like to thank the teachers and staff for their hard work in creating an environment Ground that was conducive to testing. - Pearl Benjamin Well,this school year is coming to an end. However, I would like to stress to all students and families that we are not done yet. There's a great deal of teaching and learning that will take place over the next several weeks until the last Sun Water-like lava day of school. Parents,thank you in advance for reminding your children to remain focused and ready to learn everyday. Changing forever This is a special year for our fifth and sixth graders. Both classes will be promoted this year. On June 11 we will Beautiful planet,not destroying say farewell to our sixth graders. We will wish our fifth graders farewell on June 12. Both ceremonies will take place at Burning 9:30AM. This year's sixth graders have the distinct honor of being the ve ry last class of sixth graders at John Eaton. The - Benny Weinberger fifth grade class has the distinct honor of being the ve ry first fifth graders to move on to middle school at this level. Round I will miss the students from both of these classes. They are a group of very bright,energetic,inquisitive and talented Big world students. I feel that we at John Eaton, along with their parents, have prepared them to move on to middle school. To Big, humongous world the parents of the Class(es) of 2009, I say thank you for your continued commitment and support of your children and Big, humongous, round world our school. You're a super group. Sphere Happy May!! Principal Gartrell - Ethan Kramer FOOTLOOSE By Deborah Berry The way Micah Darden tells it there were only a few times when he didn't hit the dance floor at the Footloose party early this month. Whether it was to "Get Silly,'' one of his favorite songs, or another jam, the third grader said he made his way to the floor to "wiggle” and do a back flip or two. "It's actually pretty fun because you get to dance and stuff and show your skills,'' said Darden, who said he's been coming to the annual dance for four years. Organizers estimate about 300 parents,students,staffers and even alumni joined Darden at this year's Footloose dance.The event is one that several students - old and new - said they look forward to every year. It is also one of several fundraisers for the HSA fund. "It was never intended as a fundraiser, but as a part y, a get together, a celebration,'' said Stuart Weiser,who along with his wife,Sari Henry,spearheaded the event. "We try to keep the prices low to get everybody to come.'' Weiser said they expect to raise about $1,000 from the event. The dance was the ninth for Pam Cart e r. She's been coming ever since her oldest son, Christian, 15, attended Eaton. "The kids truly enjoy it and I enjoy watching them have a good time,'' said Carter. "It's a great fundraiser for John Eaton.There is always a good crowd.'' The event also drew former Eaton students like Dana Delos Santos who said she was a regular at the dance. "When we were little it was really fun,'' said Delos Santos,12,now a student at Deal Junior High School. "It still is,'' added Camile Lynch, also a former student, who is in seventh grade at Washington Latin School. For Delos Santos, the event was less about dancing and more about catching up and hanging out with old friends. "We just want to come and socialize,'' Delos Santos said. Parent Lin Wallis said there could have been more music for the younger partygoers. Some of the music, she said, was for a more a mature crowd. "They could have been playing Disney's greatest hits,'' said Wallis, the mother of a Pre-K student. "We already have a problem with keeping our children children.'' Despite those concerns,Willis said, "It's still a cool part y.''  JOIN EATO N ListServ:
  3. 3. JOHN EATON NEWS 3 HSA REFLECTIONS ON THE SCHOOL YEAR - LOOKING BACK & LOOKING AHEAD The countdown to the last day of school is officially underway. It seems that just yesterday, I stood before you on Back-to-School Night and enthusiastically outlined the HSA's goals for the upcoming school year. Since that time, I have had the good fo rtune of working with you to bring some of those goals to fruition. I applaud your Thanks for Helping Us unwavering support and tireless commitment to our children,the pulse JEAP would like to thank everyone for supporting its fundraisers and coming of the Eaton community. to Chicken Out and the Motown concert last month. These fun events really help I reflect on this past school year with a sense of excitement yet our program and we appreciate everyone's participation. sweet sadness, as time has flown by. In just nine months, we have Does Your Child Have Allergies? weathered many challenges,including doing more with less in response Our weather this spring has been a little crazy. We're having lots of rain and to the faltering economy. Thank you for sharing your resources, as also allergies season is here. If your child needs to stay indoors because of allergy well as your time. Thank you for the novel and innovative ideas that or other issues, please let us know. We can provide books for reading or other indoor you implemented with an eye towards maximizing our limited capital. activities,such as coloring.. Send us a note and we'll remind your child to stay indoors. And most importantly,thank you for maintaining the sense of community and kinship that has come to define Eaton. I will cherish my time as Watch for Fun Warm Weather Activities… But Please co-president and will remember my board service quite fondly. … No Flip Flops! During the next few weeks,we will install a new HSA Board and As the weather gets warmer, we will start sand and water play at JEAP. Watch a new set of parents will assume the reins. This Board, as those in for posters letting you know when to send your child with appropriate clothing or years past,will inherit a community of parents,teachers,administrators, accessories for these fun activities. However, despite the warmer weather, please and students united for a common good - to sustain Eaton's long- do not send your child in flip-flops. These are not safe for the running and jumping standing commitment to art, music, and science. I encourage you to the children enjoy on our playground. partner with this Board, as you so kindly did with me, as even larger Openings on JEAP Board milestones are on the horizon for Eaton. The commitment,leadership, There are still openings on the JEAP Board. Any parent interested should contact and diversity of ideas that the new Board brings is nothing short of Ms. Rogers for more information. phenomenal. As a parent and staunch Eaton support e r, I am inspired by and welcome the change. While my tenure as HSA co-president Pre-Register for 2009-10 AND June 15 Half Day has come to an end, my commitment and service to Eaton remains. Finally, PLEASE PRE-REGISTER for the coming year at JEAP. We need to start I look forward to working in the trenches to further cultivate the hiring staff for next year now and pre-registration helps us set our budget and plan standard of excellence for which Eaton is known. our staffing. We would also like to know which families will need to use JEAP on the As the school year winds down and we phase in the new Board, last day of school, which is June 15th, a Monday and 1/2 day. Please email us at I anxiously anticipate three long-standing Eaton traditions: the spring to let us know. musical,the auction,and teacher appreciation day. This year's musical is a bilingual rendition of Mulan. To the parents,teachers,and students who have poured their hearts into this ambitious and awe-inspiring production, RECEPTION FOR STUDENTS,TEACHERS zhu ni hao yun fa cai. I wish you much success on opening night. Finally, this year marks yet another momentous occasion for AND FAMILIES AT REAGAN NATIONAL Eaton. For the first time in history, Eaton will have spring promotion AIRPORT ART EXHIBIT exercises for its fifth and sixth grade classes. What a special time for these students and their families. Principal Gart rell and the amazing As you may recall from our last issue, several Eaton students have artwork on display Eaton teachers and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that our at a special exhibit at Reagan National Airport through May 31. The Airport Authority fifth and sixth graders are sufficiently prepared for their middle school and DCPS will honor this year's student artists and celebrate the 10th anniversary transition. Moreover,the parents in both classes have labored to plan of the exhibition at a special reception for students, teachers and families on Monday, special promotion exercises. Congratulations to all, and remember May 11 at 6 p.m.The reception will be held in the historic Terminal A lobby at Reagan that the red doors at 34th and Lowell are always open to you! National A i r p o rt . M o re information is at our Eaton we b s i t e : Erica Taylor McKinley 2008-09 HSA Co-President  DON'T FORGET THE AUCTION ON MAY 16 AT ST.ALBAN'S REFECTORY! Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m. and checkout at 10 p.m. There will be mini-live auctions throughout the evening leading up to the main event at 9:00 p.m.The silent auction will run from 5:30 p.m. until 9:00 pm.Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door.Ticket prices include food, beer, wine and live music. For a sneak preview, check out some of the artwork donated to the auction on Thursday, May 14 from 6:00-8:00pm in Eaton's main lobby and multipurpose room. All are welcome. An appraiser will evaluate each piece.You will also have the option of completing a proxy card with your bid if you cannot attend on auction night. Don't forget to bring a friend on May 16 for an additional $10!
  4. 4. 4 JOHN EATON HSA STUDENT/PARENT/TEACHER- ON -THE-STREET: 2008-2009 B OA R D WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE EATON ACTIVITY? It's been a busy year at Eaton - from the Block Party to the Footloose dance and the upcoming production of Mulan. Second grader CO-PRESIDENTS Savannah Jackson asked some parents, students and staffers what their favorite activity is at Eaton and why. Savannah's favorite activity is Karin Leuthy working on the computer. 202-986-2408 Berta Avendano, Pre-K teacher aide: John Rucke r, "Working with JEAP Erica Taylor McKinley a parent: coaching the kids because there's 202-247-1080 boys basketball team. no school work, just "I like the competition. fun.We do a lot of I like to see the kids playing games and CO-TREASURERS develop.'' projects.'' Stratton Penberthy   202-364-1055  ry Hankins, Em rphy Hagerty, Mu  Chavez, Maria second grade: fourth grade: sixth grade: Joseph Belinga "PE because it's fun. "Drawing and playing "Footloose because 202-232-2290 You get to jump soccer during recess people who rope and do other - mostly because I'm graduated get to fun things.'' good at them and come back. I get to they're fun.'' dance and see old SECRETRARY friends and new Jeanie Mah friends.'' 202-363-6885 continues from page 1 AND THE VOTES ARE IN... to ask about opportunities. Last week elections were held for positions on VP FOR FUNDRAISING both the HSA (Home School Association) Board The tutors are asked to make an eight-month, once a we e k Erin Rosebar and the LSRT (Local School RestructuringTeam) for commitment.Per DCPS policy,each is required to show proof of a negative the 2009-10 school year. 202-299-0705 TB test and be fingerprinted for a background check. Each person signs up HSA Board members for 2009-10 are: for different reasons. Many have backgrounds in education,others just want CO-PRESIDENTS CO-VPS FOR PERSONNEL to help.As one tutor said,“I like teaching and working with kids,John Eaton  Jacquie Jones and Lisa Schamess Kim Bayliss is my neighborhood elementary school and if the kids were willing to TREASURER 202-248-9064 commit their free time to get the additional support,I thought I could help.”  Stratton Penberthy Another said,“I was looking for an additional volunteer activity,I wanted to support the DC public schools,and enjoyed reading to my daughter when SECRETARY  Cathy Frankel Marianne Eby she was young.” Some volunteers are parents of Eaton alumni and wanted to CO-V. P. FOR FUNDRAISING 202-686-2859 continue their involvement with the school.  Michelle Koerner and Joy Carroll Wallis There is a unique rapport and a special relationship that develops between each pair as time goes by. One tutor gave her student a book on his birthday V . FOR SCHOOL & COMMUNITY EVENTS .P VP FOR  Liz Craig - the same book she had been given when she turned seven - with a lovely COMMUNICATIONS inscription,“from your Reading Friend.” Ms.Mah recalls one volunteer,a retired V. P FOR COMMUNICATIONS . Steven Weinberger  Steven Weinberger classics professor, who wasn't sure if she was being effective because her 202-265-7905 student preferred to stand up and move around rather then sit and read. But ROOM PARENT CO-COORDINATORS  Tamara Gould and Christina Ianzito they eventually fell into a routine where at the end of the session, the student would stand by the table,listening raptly as his tutor read aloud from Stuart Little. V. P FOR PERSONNEL . VP FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS Later in the year, the tutor missed a couple of sessions due to minor surgery.  [no candidate at this time] April Payne-McMillian After her first week back,she said,“He (the student) said he missed me. I almost The HSA Board is comprised of Eaton parents, (202) 832-7128 cried with happiness.” Above all,each tutor has great respect and consideration teachers and staff members who want to serve the school. Each term is for one year.You can read for his/her student,and the children seem mostly eager to go to tutoring. your new HSA board members' bios at Ms.Mah says that the reason the volunteers stick with the program is http://www.eatondc.orgdocuments/ CO-ROOM-PARENT/ their hope that they are making a difference in the student's life,and it is evident hsa_candidates2009.pdf VOLUNTEER they are. In many cases, it is the interest and encouragement of another The LSRT is an elected group of parents,teachers COORDINATORS nu rturing adult that ultimately builds confidence and helps “boost” the and school administrators that work on the Courtney Tolbert-Smith academic plan and DCPS budget for Eaton. The student to the next level. This is the first year the results will be quantitatively (202) 234-9619 parents who volunteered to serve on the LSRT measured by Mr. Lewis. Until now, the success of the program has been were all elected: demonstrated by the devotion of the tutors, the progress of the students  Marisa Parrella  John Prentice Tracy Campfield as measured in the classroom, and the gratitude of the parents.  David Shapinsky  Lisa Woods 202-422-9955 The Reading Boosters' program is looking for parent volunteers to assist M o re information on the LSRT is at with coordination next year. If you can stay after school until 4:15 p.m. one or two times per week and would like to help, please contact Jeanie Mah at Thanks to all who voted and thanks to all who have VP FOR SCHOOL AND or Tel:(202) 363-6885.  agreed to serve in these important positions!  COMMUNITY EVENTS Arnettia Wright 202-829-7500 KINDERGARTEN BIRD PROGRAM EATON KINDERGARTENERS CULMINATED THEIR STUDY OF BIRDS WITH A SONG AND DANCE PERFORMANCE. NEWS STAFF  Grazia Montalto, Art Director  Debbie Berry, Reporter  Katherine Raphaelson, Editor Photo by Debbie Berry Photo by Brian Reiter SEND YOUR PHOTOS, IDEAS,AND WRITTEN NEWS STORIES TO THE EDITOR: