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February is a good month. My mother always felt that once you got through February, winter was really on its way out. The groundhog said early spring; at least Staten Island Chuck did and (s)he has an 80% success rate. Valentine’s Day is in February, a day dedicated to spreading love. There is a week-long vacation starting Monday the 20th. And after having my children home with me for an entire week, I will love sending them back to school on the 27th.
 
One of the things I love about P.S. 144 is how much our children get out of it. While school budgets and changing ideas about curricula have forced many schools to lose art and music programs, our parent body has found a way to ensure these things remain. Principal Schneider likes to call our school “arts soaked” and with good reason. Our kids work with the Guggenheim and the Queens Museum. They learn to make puppets and perform with them. This is our second year of all grades having access to beginning musical theory education. And this year we are able to introduce a new, additional residency to the first grade. (For a complete list of our residencies complete with course descriptions and web links, click here...
 
That’s a lot of fundraising and it was done through the hard work and dedication of our 144 families. To be specific, it was done by last year’s families. See, every year we fundraise for the next year. That means that our new to the school students are benefitting from what previous families have done. It’s how we pay it forward. This year’s fifth grade families are still donating to our Appeal, knowing that their children won’t get anything from it but remembering how they benefitted when they were new kindergarten families.
 
This year we have more students than ever before so we are paying more. However we still have a long way to go to hit our goal of $130,000. Our Annual Appeal has raised $31,306.41 so far (out of $49,598.88 raised from all fundraisers combined), with a participation rate of 26% as of January 10, 2017. The goal is for 100% of our families contribute in some way. Whether this is by a budget-friendly donation, your participation in and attendance of PA events, or creating new ways to increase the bottom line, it all helps us reach the goal of equal access to the residencies for every child. For us to be successful, it will take a village, one that has a lot of love in its heart.
 
 
• The PA Executive Board will be meeting Monday, February 6, from 7-9pm. Come learn the ropes from the current board so you can be part of next year’s. Several positions will be vacated at the end of this school year and will be best filled by prepared candidates.
 
• You thought one Restaurant Night a month was good enough? Well, then what would you say to three?! This Monday, February 6, Tuesday, February 7, and Wednesday, February 8, from 11am-9:30pm daily, head over with our latest flyer to Cheeburger, Cheeburger at 108-50 Queens Blvd. The flyer is good for both eat in and take out, and the PA will get 15% of the proceeds from all three days! You should have received the flyer from your child but if not, you can also download the form here...you can also DOWNLOAD THE FORM HERE..... The restaurant prefers paper copies (easier to keep track as it can be attached to the bills), but they will accept mobile copies if you forget/lose yours.
 
• This Friday, February 10, from 6:30-8:30, is our third annual lower grades Valentine’s Day Dance. This party is for PreK-2nd grade, and will be held in the cafeteria. Come join us while DJ Ian Schreiber spins the tunes and gets the kids up and dancing. There will be light refreshment concessions, a 50/50 raffle, and arts and crafts! Tickets are $5 per person and will be sold at the door.  Please note this is not a drop off party. All children must be accompanied by an adult; all attendees age three and up must purchase a ticket. If you're interested in volunteering (donating baked goods, water bottles, sell tickets at door, work concession, help decorate, etc.), please email valentinesdance@pa144.com.
 
• There is currently a Box Tops Competition underway. Which grade will bring in the most box tops and win the grand prize? I don’t know, but you only have until February 15to send them in! (If you don’t have box tops, you may send in dimes instead as each box top is worth ten cents.) Click here to learn more...
 
• The last day of the fall semester of the After School Program (ASP) is Friday, February 17. The spring semester ASP will begin as soon as we get back from Midwinter Recess, on Monday, February 27.
 
• We will be holding our rescheduled due to nor’easter PA meeting and Summer Camp and Activities Fair on Monday, February 27nd, from 7-9pm. You will have the opportunity to meet and speak to representatives from local camps and other activity providers about their summer programs. Your child’s summer 2017 adventure may just be there waiting for the choosing!
 
• It’s with a heavy heart I announce that our Spring Auction will not be held this year. Despite the enthusiasm and dedication of the few volunteers who stepped forward, it was not enough people to make it happen in the time constraints we had. If this was an event that you were looking forward to, please remember that next year when it is time to start planning the auction. Your participation is the only insurance that it will be able to occur; without enough volunteers, events will be cancelled.
         
• Which leads me to a section I’ll refer to as help There are three ads, two are events in need of chairs and committees so that they can be held, and one is a chair/committee needed so the PA can continue to exist and function.
                
     First is our Science Fest. Due to unforeseen circumstances, our 2017 chair had to step down. In the past, this event has been a fun and educational hands-on event, in addition to raising $500-600. There is no assigned date as of yet so it can be tailored to your schedule. If you have enjoyed this event in the past and would like to see it continue, consider chairing it. Feel free to work with friends as a committee, so it is both fun and less work for all.  

     Second is our annual Talent Show. If you have attended it in the past, you know of the fantastic amount of talent that gets crammed into a five hour show. Our previous chair has moved so we will need a new chair/committee to put an incredible event together. The Talent Show is scheduled for Saturday, May 20th, so it will coincide with our Class Basket Raffle and Teacher Experiences Silent Auction. Grab a friend or two and give our stars an opportunity to shine.

    Third is another type of committee call out, Elections Committee. Before you know it we will be holding our elections for the three seats being vacated on the SLT (School Leadership Team), and for all seats on the PA Executive Board. We are looking for a few people to take on the job of the nomination process and running the election. Also, keep this in mind if you are interested in running for any position; it’s almost time to throw your hat in the ring. Anyone running for a position is not allowed to be on the Elections Committee. If you would like to help find next year’s leaders or be one yourself, please reach out.
 
With a warm heart,
Jodie
President@pa144.com

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