May, 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  Ashley Ghislandi and Heather Clark and all of the Fourth grade parent volunteers that helped make Physics Olympics a success, Laura Accettella and Zoe Pirnie and the first grade Enrichment volunteers.   Special thanks to Ms. Grillo for her contribution to this month's edition.   We hope you enjoy it!
Out and About

Weir River Farm (Grade 1)
The First Graders visited Weir River Farm to enrich what they are learning in the classrooms about where food comes from.  They had a fun and educational trip!

Physics Olympics (Grade 4)
On May 24th the 4th grade class participated in Physics Olympics. Staffed by 4th grade parent volunteers, this event featured an Egg Drop, an event Measuring Cantilevers, and a Tin Foil Barge contest, among others. The 4th graders had a blast!
Social Thinking Presentation
The East Elementary School PTO hosted Joanna Silverman for a presentation on Social Thinking. Through a grant funded by the Hingham Education Foundation, her presentation at East School was open to parents and guardians of all Hingham elementary students.  Silverman works for the Pilgrim Area Collaborative as an educator, trainer and consultant on various topics related to child development and special education.
East Kids Care Fun Run
At the May All School Meeting the East PTO presented the Hingham Police Department with a check for $3,500.00, which was raised from the East School Fun Run.  
Getting To Know . . .
Lori Grillo (Learning Specialist)
Q:  What do you enjoy most about your job?
A:   I am one of the luckiest teachers at East. Morning car duty is usually the best way to start the day, unless it's raining or snowing and my own children have made me cranky. Some people don't think I should actually open the car doors, but it helps me keep the line moving quickly and it makes it easier to coax out the reluctant arrivals. My teaching position at East is enviable. What I like most about my job is the population of students I work with. It doesn't seem very challenging or exciting to me to work with students for whom learning comes more easily. The students I work with come to me often feeling like they can't learn and already defeated as a student. Teaching a student new strategies and skills, then seeing how their level of independence increases and their self-confidence soars is like no other feeling in the world. The most satisfying part of my role is that I get to know the students on a more personal level. Sometimes, that level of interpersonal connection, where the student feels that their ideas and concerns are valued, leads to greater risk taking and ownership of their learning. 

Q:  If you weren't a Learning Specialist, what would you like to be doing?
A:   I have known I wanted to do this job since sixth grade. My best friend Susie told me she had a Learning Disability. I had trouble believing her because she got better grades than me. She explained how she attended a weekly tutoring session at Princeton University to help her acquire strategies for learning. I was fascinated. I can't even imagine doing anything else.

Q:   What is your proudest accomplishment?
A:    My proudest accomplishment is my Master's degree from Northwestern University. I began my illustrious college career failing out of University of Maine, freshman year. It took a lot of community college courses and "learning how to learn", to make up for lost time. I persevered to graduate Lesley College, Cum Laude and it took me two years to finish what was supposed to be a one year, Master's program. In this day and age of people being so preoccupied with being perfect and thinking mistakes or alternate paths are bad, it would behoove us to see the value in grit and the opportunities that failing provides. Every year, I share my college story with students so they can see that each person is different and just because something is hard for them, it doesn't mean they're not smart or good enough. 

Q:  What is your favorite way to spend school vacations?

A:   I love traveling. I have been fortunate to see many countries and have "once in a lifetime" experiences with my kids. Having recently moved to Plymouth in a "fixer-upper" house, the vacations in my near future will entail lots of house projects, which I also enjoy. :)
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