February, 2016
The East PTO Digest is a monthly recap of all the great activities, events, and initiatives the PTO sponsors. Special thanks to Mrs. Sullivan for her contribution to this month's edition. A big thank you to PTO volunteers Jessica Buonagurio, Judy Kwong, Laura Accettella, LouLou Healey, Suzanne Kracunas, Joy Bogen, Leah Falconeiri, and Teri Howard f or making all of these special events happen.  Thank you also to the teachers who scooped ice cream at the Nona's event and to all of the volunteers who have helped out thus far at the Get Smart About Art workshops.  We hope you enjoy it!

Valentines for Seniors
East School students created Valentine's Day cards and distributed them along with fresh baked cookies to the senior residents at Allerton House. This special visit really made their day.
Meteorologist Bri Eggers Visit
Bri Eggers, a meteorologist at WHDH in Boston, visited East School on February 26 and spoke to the Third Grade classes about weather forecasting. In preparation for her visit, the students had to journal for three days about the weather patterns they observed in Hingham.

Nona's Night
On Feb. 29, crowds of East School families went to the fundraiser at Nona's Homemade Ice Cream. East School teachers scooped ice cream and fifty percent of the proceeds were donated to East School.  

Get Smart About Art
Get Smart About Art is an East PTO sponsored series of in-class workshops for grades K-5 in which a particular artist and corresponding style is introduced and a follow up art project is completed by the class. Each workshop is completely organized and run by parent volunteers.   Here are links to sign up for upcoming GSAA sessions: 
Kindergarten GSAA          First Grade GSAA          Second Grade GSAA
Third Grade GSAA          Fourth Grade GSAA          Fifth Grade GSAA
Gift Idea
Birthday Book Club
Families can donate books to the East School library in honor of a child's birthday, a special teacher or the memory of a loved one. Close to their birthday, the librarian invites the child to select and check out a new book. Families get to place a personalized bookplate in the inside front cover before returning it to the library.  For more information, please click here:  Birthday Book Club
Getting To Know . . .
Jessica Sullivan (Fifth Grade Teacher)
Q:  What do you enjoy most about teaching?
A:   I love many things about teaching but what I like best is that my work is full of surprises. Each day presents a new surprise for me and my students.  I see students who are surprised that they can do math, when they never thought they could.  I see students who are surprised that I care more about how they are developing as people than I care about any one academic concept that I teach. I am surprised by the wonderful smiles and comments that will come out of a student who finally "gets it" or who really enjoys something they are learning. I am always surprised when I am at the movie theater (or grocery store, or coffee shop, or restaurant) and someone will say, "Hi Mrs. Sullivan. I want you to know that after I left your class (or my child left your class) I went on to ....."

Q:  If you weren't teaching, what would you like to be doing?
A:   If I wasn't teaching I would probably return to School Turnaround work. Prior to coming to East, I worked for the federal and state Department of Education and in the private sector to provide direct support to schools, districts, teachers, and administrators looking to implement new school improvements. I always say that every teacher should have the opportunity to spend time in so many schools and classrooms across the country. I believe that seeing strong instructional practice and talking about it so often really helps you become better at your own craft.

Q:   What makes you laugh the most?
A:    Probably my students. They never cease to amaze me with their jokes, witty comments, silly dance moves, and other off-the-cuff remarks. Again, surprises are a part of my every day!

Q:  Who was your favorite teacher and why?

A:   Without a doubt my favorite teacher was my fourth grade teacher. Over the years, my parents told me that fourth grade was the year I really "lit up" and began to love school. At the time, I had no idea what they were talking about, but now looking back, I think they were right. Even at nine years old, I remember thinking that this teacher was just the coolest, smartest, most wonderful woman ever (a sentiment I probably shared with my own mother a few too many times). I remember how engaging she was, how she seemed to know so much and wanted us to learn more than we imagined, how she took the time for each and every one of us and made us feel so special, and how she tricked us into learning with her creative games and fun projects. I don't know if I live up to Mrs. Keisel as a teacher but I do often reflect back on these memories and I hope that I can encourage some of those same feelings in my own students.
We Need You!
When parents get involved, kids do better! Click here to visit the East PTO Volunteer Spot portal and sign up for one day events or ongoing committees! 

Give once. Your kids benefit all year long. All of the PTO events and programs are funded by your generous donations!

For questions, or if you have content you'd like to share for an upcoming Digest, please contact Kathie Cronin at kcronin99@comcast.net or Sarah D'Souza at sarahjdsouza@yahoo.com.