February, 2017
The East PTO Digest is a monthly recap of all the great activities, events, and initiatives the PTO sponsors - thanks to your Annual Appeal contributions.  A big thank you to PTO volunteers Julie Robinson & Suzanne Kracunas,  Brianne Jarvis & Heidi Collins, and Deirdre Anderson and for the support from Mr. Keady, Ms. Case and Mr. Dodge for making the Fun Run a huge success.   Special thanks to Mr. DeMarco and Jaynia Matherwiez for their contributions to this month's edition.   We hope you enjoy it!

East Kids Care Fun Run
In order to build school spirit and fundraise for the Hingham community, and to instill activism, team building and giving back, the East PTO hosted its first ever East Kids Care fun run on Feb. 14th. Children from all grades ran laps around the East School Gym and were sponsored by friends, family members and neighbors for each lap they ran.  The Boosterthon was a huge success, raising funds for East School as well as the Hingham Police K-9 Unit.  
Sweetheart Dance
On Sunday, Feb. 12th, East School girls danced the afternoon away with their favorite Sweethearts. 
Rosie's Birthday!
Our very own Hingham crossing guard, Rosie Chirillo, turned 75 and the East School community celebrated with her at the All School Meeting.  The children presented Rosie with a basket of special gifts and cards and thanked her for her 37 years of service. 
Boston Children's Theatre Workshops
The 5th grade theater performance took place on Feb. 15th in the East School
Cafeteria. The 5th grade class participated in a month-long workshop with the Boston Children's Theatre in which each class wrote, staged and performed an original piece that coordinated with their social studies curriculum.
Getting To Know . . .
Brian DeMarco (4th Grade Teacher)
Q:  What do you enjoy most about teaching?
A:   The thing I enjoy most about teaching is the opportunity to grow as an educator. Designed into my teaching schedule is a time to collaborate with others within the school. I am, incredibly, fortunate to have such a forward-thinking school team to work with each day; the ideas we share work to, not only, shape the curriculum to benefit the students, but also ourselves, by sharing successful strategies, journal articles, and future plans. Another area that is allowing me to grow as an educator is the idea of bringing Coding Clubs and robotics into the classroom. I am immensely fascinated with the capabilities of a small integrated chip board called the Raspberry Pi. The Pi was developed in Britain to bring coding, and Visual and Physical computing languages to school children at a reduced cost. I have been voraciously reading all I can in regard to this device with the hope of introducing it into the school program. I'm hoping to be selected to be part of a Professional Development workshop the Pi team is bringing to the U.S. in June.

Q:  If you weren't teaching, what would you like to be doing?
A:   My wife tells me that being a professional UFC fighter is not reasonable, so that would be out. Also, I have been playing the guitar, poorly, since I was 15, so maybe I could audition for a band; my musical tastes run rom Metallica and The Clash to Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp, so in my fantasy world, I could fit in with any number of bands. Aside from my nonsense ideas that are not supported by my family, the thing I would be doing, without question, is being a fine furniture builder. I have a collection of old hand tools that I use to build my furniture, and there is something peaceful and introspective about the whole building process of using tools that were used by another builder. Being able to sketch an idea for a piece of furniture, whether it involves a turning, dovetail, or mortise and tenon joint, and working it through rough lumber to finished furniture is quite satisfying. I have a house full of things that I've built including a period piece from the 1700's with shell carvings, a massive country-style cupboard, to, most recently, a Danish Modern credenza. I'm currently working on building a Windsor chair that involves seat carving, steam bending, and lots of splitting of a big log.

Q:   What is your proudest accomplishment?
A:    There are many moments in my life that I am proud of, but the accomplishment I think of most involves raising thoughtful, sensitive, and understanding children. I have three boys and a daughter, two have disabilities. My youngest son Alex has numerous problems from cognitive delay, vision impairment, and cerebral palsy to being non-verbal at almost nine years of age. My second child, Aaron, has mild-autistic issues. Aaron can have a processing delay when thinking of a response to a question, and experience difficulty when rules are perceived as not followed; he's a stickler for fairness. I credit my wife, a psychotherapist, with helping our children cope with issues that arise on a daily basis. It has been a challenge at times emotionally, physically, and spiritually, but the ability to discuss these challenges as a family has produced a wonderful bunch of empathetic children, far beyond the scope I could have hoped for had they not experienced difficulties so close to home. I have gained a greater awareness of the nature of children through my own family which helps tremendously in the classroom. 

Q:  What is your favorite childhood memory?

A:   This is a category I could go on for days about. I enjoy the memory of my dad waving me off to the school bus, watching Star Wars at the Plainville drive-in, or camping at Horseneck Beach but my favorite memories have to be those with my family at Rocky Point amusement park. The park dates back to the mid-1800's, and closed somewhere in the 1990's. I remember going there as a kid and eating clam cakes by the bucketful accompanied by never-ending slices of watermelon while sitting at long picnic style tables. After the food, my family would go into the amusement park and we'd ride the rides until closing. The place was probably a dump, but in my memory it was the best place to go as a kid.
We Need You!
When parents get involved, kids do better! Click here to visit the East PTO website and sign up for one day events or ongoing committees! 

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

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.