Whittier Weekly: April 28, 2015

Whittier Weekly: April 28, 2015

“Education is all a matter of building bridges.”

– Ralph Ellison

Invitation to Check out the new Building Bridges PTA Council Sub-Group:

The Downers Grove Area PTA Council is proud to introduce a new Parent/Teacher group called Building Bridges which serves to help families – particularly those with students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) – navigate the school system and make connections with other families within District 58.  If you are interested in learning more about this group, see the attached invitation and mark your calendar for the group’s informational meeting being held at Hillcrest Elementary School on May 13th at 7:00 p.m. Assistant Superintendent of Special Services for District 58, Jessica Stewart, will be presenting at the meeting.  Please RSVP based on the information within the invitation if you are planning to attend this event.

Building Bridges invitation: BBflyer

Meeting to Vote on the Request for Funds to Support the Destination ImagiNation Teams Bound for the DI Global Finals:

Check your email in the next couple days for a dedicated message about the date and time of the special PTA meeting being held to vote on the motion – raised at the regular April PTA meeting – to provide the three Whittier teams that qualified to advance to the DI Global Finals with a total of $4,500 to help cover a portion of the costs associated with attending this tournament.

The dedicated e-communication that will follow will provide an overview on the DI program, history around how DI has been supported by the PTA in the past, summary of the motion currently on the table, and information about how this specially called PTA meeting will run.

Final PTA General Membership Meeting of the Year:

  • Tuesday, May 19 @ 7:00 p.m. at Whittier (Jaguar Jungle)

We are so fortunate to have a wonderful Whittier Community. Thank you for all of your support!

Rita Brezina & Valerie Hardy (PTA Co-Presidents)

Tiffany Kuelthau & Debbie Levinthal (PTA Co-Vice Presidents)

Amy Ihde  (PTA Secretary)

Corinne Potter (PTA Treasurer)

2015-16 Registration

Please remember to complete your students registration for next school year.  Send your completed Registration Checklist and Fee Payment form to the school office no later than Tuesday, May 5

Playground Funding Strategy Meeting

Interested in helping develop a strategy for raising funds for the playground? Then please attend the playground funding strategy meeting 7pm on Wednesday, April 29th at the DG Public Library Conference Room B on the second floor.

Can’t make it but still want to help…have questions or suggestions? contact Melissa Rausch melissarausch@sbcglobal.net

 Teacher Appreciation week is next week!

Please send your student(s) to school with a flower (picked from your yard or purchased at the store) for their teacher on the morning of Tuesday, May 5th. There will be vases in each classroom so each teacher receives a beautiful spring bouquet. Staff members throughout the school will also have vases available, so feel free to also have your children bring a flower for other staff members they have interacted with this year!

Students and parents are also encouraged to send teachers and staff notes of thanks sometime during the week of May 4th-8th.

The Teacher Appreciation committee of the PTA will be providing lunch for the teachers and staff on Wednesday.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this yearly tradition to shower our teachers and staff with a visual reminder of our thanks.


What is this? A dangerous piece of playground equipment? Some new strain of the flu? Nope – it’s worse! Summer slide is the term given to the academic loss experienced by most children over the summer months due to reduced exposure to academic stimuli. In plain English, when kids don’t read over the summer, they lose up to 2 months of literacy…that’s 22% of the school year…that accounts for at least one month of teachers reviewing subject material at the start of the year just to get back to where they were at the end of the previous year.

Studies show that continuing to read daily throughout the summer greatly reduces this summer slide. And additional studies show that allowing kids to choose their own books reduces summer slide even more!

So let us make it easy for you to be an on-the-ball parent this summer. Come to the book fair on Thursday and pick out some books with your children. Pick out ones they are excited about and let them read them now and read them again in August. Pick out a few extra that you hold on to until baseball season ends and “Mom, I’m bored” begins. Pick out another couple that you can read to them on rainy days or at bedtime. Shop with friends so you can swap when the kids finish their books. Try out a new author – then find more of his or her books at the library. Ask other parents at the book fair what their kids liked to read in 3rd grade. Just come. There are few things this serious that can be mitigated this easily…books stop summer slide. Pick up yours on Thursday, April 30 in the Jaguar Jungle between 3 and 8 PM.

See you there!

Oh, and we could use a few more volunteers to WORK the book fair – particularly between 7 and 8 PM. If you think you could help us, even for a half an hour, please contact Tina Michaels at tinacmichaels@gmail.com. Thanks!


Ever wonder what Mr. Krugman would look like with rainbow clown hair? No? Well what the heck DO you think about when you are stuck behind a train?

If you are wondering now (gotcha!), there’s a great way to find out…and help buy books for the LRC. At the Book Fair on Thursday, we’ll have 2 collection jars…one representing the rainbow clown wig and one representing a lovely auburn Daphne-from-Scooby-Doo sort of wig. Vote with your spare change (or dollars…), and the winning wig (the collection jar with the most money at the end of the book fair) will be worn by none other than Mr. Krugman AT SCHOOL on a day of his choosing. Probably not a day when school board members will be popping by for a visit.

All of the money collected will be used to buy books for our LRC…and Scholastic, via their All For Books campaign, will donate one book for every dollar we collect (up to one million books) to programs that support at-risk kids. Remember the summer slide? Well, it affects at-risk youth, too – in fact, the best predictor of summer reading is the presence of books in the home. Giving at-risk kids books can eliminate the reading level gap that exists between children in different socioeconomic spheres. Give books to our school library. Give books to kids who may not have any appropriate ones at home. See Mr. Krugman in a goofy-looking wig. That’s a lot of bang for a buck!

Market Day

There are only two more Market Day sales before summer so stock up now!  Order forms went home with your child last week.  All orders must be placed by 11:00pm on Saturday, May 9either online at Marketday.com or by calling Market Day customer service at 877-632-7753.  As a reminder, you must pre-pay for your order with a credit card.  
Thank you for your support!If you have any questions, please contact Kellie Miller at (812) 204-4384 or Amy Gassen at (630) 971-0689.

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, Americans celebrate National Poetry Month by selecting a poem, carrying it with them through the day, and sharing it with others.  This year, Poem in Your Pocket Day falls on Thursday, April 30th.

I’d like to share some ideas on how you and your children may celebrate this fun day, and I’d love your cooperation in helping to promote this event.

1) Take a poem, give a poemOutside of the LRC on one of the display windows are several pockets containing poems.  The higher pockets contain more complex poems for older kids, and the lower pockets have some fun/silly poems for the little kids.  They may select whatever poem they’d like to keep/carry with them, but they must replace it with another poem.  This can be a poem they’ve copied or an original piece.  There will be a supply of pretty paper for them to choose from, or they can use their own paper as well.

2) On Thursday, April 30th, I will randomly be asking students I see outside or in the hall if they have a poem in their pocket.  If they do, they may be chosen to read their poem over the intercom for the entire school.  Poem readings will occur at 8:25, 9:30, 12:25, and 2:45.

3) Other small ways in which you can celebrate at home.

 a) Text or e-mail a poem to a friend.

 b) Create bookmarks with students’ favorite and/or original poems and exchange bookmarks with friends.

c) Tweet poems with #pocketpoem.

 d) Don’t forget to carry a poem in your pocket as well! 🙂

Questions:  Please contact Kelly Coleman at kcoleman@dg58.org

Whittier Wear

Order your Spring Whittier spirit wear online, starting Thursday, 4/30 – Friday, 5/8. Check out the NEW Whittier Wear collection – There are new logos, lounge pants, tie dye shirts, hoodies, skull hats, cinch sacks and more. Stop by the book fair during the Open House, 4/30, to preview samples of what’s available on-line. The link to our store is www.zimmzang.com/Whittier. Last chance to buy spirit wear this school year!

Savers Playground Fundraiser

Just in time for Spring Cleaning, Savers is partnering with Whittier to help raise funds for the Primary Playground. Whittier will receive $0.20 for every pound of donations. Please collect any gently used clothing, shoes, accessories and linens that you would normally donate and drop off donations at Whittier before or after school the week of May 11th (morning only on May 15th). Volunteers will be at the North/West corner of Whittier grounds on Blodgett to collect donations. Contact Pamela McGinn at pjmcg207@gmail.com to schedule an earlier drop off. Thank you for your support!

Destination Imagination Fundraising for Globals


Our three Whittier DI teams are raising money to help offset the cost of attending Global Finals in Knoxville, TN in May. Please consider supporting them at some of the following fundraising events in the next few weeks.  Your support is greatly appreciated by all teams…thank you so much!

1. Bake sale hosted by all three teams on Thursday, May 30th, after school until 6:15.
2. Two babysitting events hosted by the 6th grade girls team, “Imagination Volcanoes”
-Saturday, May 2nd from 1-5:00 pm at the Folkening’s-728 Randall Street. If interested, please rsvp by Friday, 5/1 with names/ages of children to Lisa at a_folkening@hotmail.com or 773-968-9024. Space is limited.
-Saturday, May 9th from 4-8:00 pm at The Johnson’s-221 3rd Street. If interested, please rsvp by Firday, 5/8 with names/ages of children to Theresa at theresajohn@live.com or 630-772-4801. Space is limited.
3. McDonald’s evening on Tuesday, May 5th from 4-7:00 pm benefitting all three Whittier teams.

Whittier Drive for Wildlife

Spring cleaning?  Decided you will not need all the extra ribbon that you bought after Christmas two years ago?  Cleaning out your refrigerator for garbage day?  Why not put those unwanted items to good use and support wildlife!

Whittier’s third grade brownie troop has been able to partner with Brookfield Zoo, specifically the Hamill Family Play Zoo, and obtain a list of items that they need to support their efforts in conservation and education.  The following items are needed:

*towels-any size or color, doesn’t have to be new just clean

*Rubber rain boots-any size and color

*pony beads with large holes

*unscented pinecones-great from the outdoors

*buttons –any shape, size or color

*ribbon-any size, color or style

*colorful yarn

*Plastic net bags (like the ones oranges and onions come in)

*Empty oatmeal canisters

*Empty Elmer’s glue containers (bottles or sticks) – the zoo receives 2 cents for each recycled container

As you can see, the girls are not trying to collect money or large items.  Basically, they are finding new avenues for items that might end up in the trash but could benefit wildlife.   Collection bins are located outside the school main office and outside the LRC.  The Whittier Drive for Wildlife runs April 27 through May 8.  If you have any questions, ask a third grade brownie!

Student Council Supports the Cupcake Classic

The Whittier Student Council is supporting the Noah’s Hope Cupcake Classic on May 17th by spreading the word! If your little runner has come home talking about the run where everyone gets a cupcake and you need more info, check out the informational flyer!  Cupcake Classic_Flyer

Mark Your Calendars

  • Monday, April 27 – Friday, May 8: Brownies Wildlife Collection
  • Wednesday, April 29: Playground Funding Strategy Meeting at the Library, 7:00
  • Thursday, April 30: Poem in Your Pocket Day
  • Thursday, April 30: DI Bake Sale
  • Thursday, April 30: All School Open House
  • Thursday, April 30 – May 8: Whittier Wear Available for purchase
  • Saturday May 2: DI Fundraiser, babysitting 1-5
  • Tuesday, May 5: Student registration due
  • Tuesday, May 5: Teacher Appreciation, bring a flower to school
  • Tuesday, May 5: DI Fundraiser at McDonald’s 4-7
  • Friday, May 8: Great American Bagel Fun Lunch
  • Saturday, May 9: Market Day Orders Due
  • Saturday, May 9: DI Fundraiser, babysitting 4-8
  • Monday, May 11 – Friday, May 15: Savers Collection to benefit the playground
  • Sunday, May 17: Cupcake Classic to benefit Noah’s Hope
  • Tuesday, May 19: Last PTA Meeting at 7:00
  • Monday, May 25: No School, Memorial Day
  • Thursday, June 4: Last Day of School for Kindergartners, please attend regular time
  • Friday, June 5: Last Day of School Grades 1st – 6th, early dismissal at 11:40