March, 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 Kate & Heather Vaughn-Smith for a successful Hobby Night, and to the enrichment chairs and grade level volunteers who made the field trips possible .   Special thanks to Allison Koskinas, Ms. Fahey, LouLou Healey and Mrs. Curatola for their contributions to this month's edition.  We hope you enjoy it!
Out and About

New England Aquarium (Grade 2)
The second grade enjoyed a field trip to the New England Aquarium in Boston, an annual trip for East School students.

Museum of Science (Grade 4)
The fourth grade took a field trip to the Museum of Science in Boston where they participated in a sound demonstration and learned about electricity, both of which are part of their science curriculum this year.

Hobby Night
Hobby Night was a smashing success this year at East, featuring more than 75 hobbyists. And, the fifth grade team sold pizza to raise money for their class gift & yearbook. 
Author Workshop with Gregory Mone (Grade 4)
Thanks to the Grade 4 team, the fourth grade students enjoyed a workshop with Author Gregory Mone. H e worked with the classes to revise one of his stories. 
Museum of Fine Arts Presentation (Grade 5)
The fifth grade enjoyed a Museum of Fine Arts Presentation,  Art in the Americas: Colonial America.   Presenting portraits and historical scenes such as Paul Revere and Bunker Hill, the visit included a presentation on the colonial through new nation era using art and art history. 
Getting To Know . . .
Julie Curatola (5th Grade Teacher)
Q:  What do you enjoy most about teaching?
A:   I have loved working with kids from the time I was a teenager. I knew from very early on that I wanted to be a teacher. I am guessing being the oldest in my family and bossing my little sister around may have had something to do with my future career. The thing that I enjoy the most about working with kids is learning from them. I love the ideas and creativity that they bring to class everyday. My favorite times of the day are morning meetings. That is when we really get a chance to listen and talk to each other about all kinds of different issues. I have great faith in this generation. I believe that they have wonderful thoughts and are going to be the answer to many of our futures issues and problems.

Q:  If you weren't teaching, what would you like to be doing?
A:   Well I have always had a secret dream to be a rock star!  However, no pipes has doomed me to be a shower singer with only my dog Luna as an audience of one. I am interested in a million different subjects but definitely lean toward science fields. Ecology is an area that is of great interest to me. I read quite a bit on the subject and I am concerned about our world's current environmental issues. I try to incorporate as much of this love into my class as I can. I love to hear the kids ideas and especially love the critical questions they come up with when faced with some of the open ended questions that science brings. I  definitely think that I would end up working in some type of science related field. but.. then again it would probably gravitate right back towards working with kids!

Q:   What is your favorite family tradition?
A:    My favorite tradition is Sunday Dinners with my family. I live in Cohasset with my husband Rob, our four kids Samuel, Luca, Addie,and Tessa and my mother in law Josephine. It is a very busy place as we have teenagers running from sports and school commitments most afternoons and evenings. We try to eat together every night but Sunday is our one night that we commit to sitting down as a whole group for a big meal. My mother in law and I start cooking in the afternoon and by dinner time there is a yummy pasta dinner ready to go. Without fail we make sure that we are at that table all together.  Sundays have always been a time that we  laugh, talk and catch up before the next week. Sometimes my kids grumble but I think they secretly enjoy it as much as I do!!

Q:  What is your favorite book?

A:   "My favorite book" is a really tough question for me. I am an avid reader. I always have a stack of several that I want to get through sitting next to my bed. I love to read story books and children's novels and I think that they contain messages that are meant for all ages. Some of the most beautiful illustrations and text exists in picture books. I read to my own kids until they were well into their teens. I still believe in read alouds and think that it is a wonderful way to inspire a love of books from early on. Some of my favorite books to share with a class come from classic authors like Roald Dahl, Madeline L'Engle, and E.B. White. I also love to read more current authors like Sharon Creech and Jerry Spinelli. I also think that kids innately love the rhythm of a good poem. If we start reading poems to kids early they do not feel overwhelmed by that genre as they age.  Right now I have personally been gravitating towards narrative non fiction. I just finished reading "Hidden Figures" by Margot Shetterly which was recently made into a movie. I loved it! It was wonderful and inspiring. I also just completed reading "Hillbilly Elegy" by J.D. Vance, which is a memoir of a gentleman who grew up in Appalachia. It was very sweet, funny and often sad to read. It is a look at  life in Middle America. I really enjoyed it and I feel like it opened my mind quite a bit to many of the social and economic problems that many people in our country are facing. I truly believe that books are the ticket to becoming more open minded and empathetic as a human being. I have been trying to widen my choices and read things lately that are out of my comfort zone. But... I still fall back to great fantasy novels with dragons and Tolkien like lore whenever I have a beach day or vacation!! 

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 or Sarah D'Souza at