It’s the last month of 2016. Believe it or not, we are almost one third of the way through this school year! We’ve already had some great events and successful fundraisers. Our 5th grade is getting ready to perform for their families in the Dancing Classrooms ballroom dancing culminating event. The Rainbow Team, the P.S. 144 competitive ballroom team, is busy practicing for their first competition. Both first grade and second grade are getting ready for their Sharing Days as they finish their music residencies. As we close out this year and look forward to 2017 with all the residencies that will start and events we will hold, let’s finish out 2016 strong with peace, love, compassion, empathy, and a commitment to making our small piece of the world a better place for our friends, family, and neighbors through our dedication to our school and our community. We can change the world; let it begin with us.

December news and notes:

1 Many of you have just received our Annual Appeal letter. You can find a copy of it here. Our children receive a wealth of extra programming, which is funded through the generosity of 144 families. I feel fortunate to have seen my daughter and her classmates, now fifth graders, work with two museums, learn to tango, collaborate on a musical adaptations of children’s books, learn puppetry, and so much more, thanks to the fundraising done by the PA, both before and during my involvement on the Executive Board. If you feel as strongly as I do that arts, music, mindfulness, and STEAM programming is vital to a well-rounded education, please consider donating to our Annual Fund. What we raise this year pays for next year’s residencies, so what we all do now has a direct impact on what the PA can offer come September. Every time we reach $144 in combined donations, another child is fully funded, ensuring equal access. I am aware that every family’s financial situation is different so I am deeply appreciative of every single donation, no matter the amount. Every dollar helps maintain the high level of enrichment programming we provide for all P.S. 144 students. The PA is a non-profit organization which makes your donation tax deductible. If you want to your donation to count for the 2016 tax year, please send it in by Friday, December 16.

The PA Executive Board, the “magic behind the curtain,” will be meeting on Monday, December 5, at 7pm. In May we will be electing a new slate of officers, and there will be several vacancies to fill. Start coming now to learn the lay of the land and get prepared for your turn at leadership!

On Tuesday, December 6, our Rainbow Team dances in the Fall Rainbow Team Match Competition, Queens Quarter Finals. Their color is red so let’s all show our support and wear something red that day, kids and parents both! For those interested in cheering them on, the competition will be held in the P.S. 144 gym from 4:30-6pm.

1The DOE invites you to say “thank you” to an outstanding teacher by nominating them for the fifth annual Big Apple Awards! The Big Apple Awards celebrate teachers across the City who inspire students, model great instruction, and enrich their school communities. Any full-time district, charter, or early childhood education center teacher may be nominated. Anyone can submit a Big Apple Awards nomination—parents, students, teachers, staff, and community members. Nominations for the 2017 awards are being accepted through Friday, December 9, and can be submitted by visiting the Big Apple Awards website.

1On Sunday, December 11, from 11am*-3pm, the PA will be holding its 1st Annual Holiday Bazaar! Click here for a copy of our flyer. Come shop from and support local businesses all conveniently set up in the P.S. 144 cafeteria. Vendors will be selling unique gift items, trendy clothing, jewelry, arts & crafts, and much much more! *Please note that the starting time for this event has changed since the paper PA calendar went out.

1As we gear up for the holiday shopping season, please remember our SCRIP school fundraiser for all of your gift card needs! You buy a gift card at face value and the PA receives a percentage of your payment. Easy, and no additional cost to you! The list is endless as to what is available. An abbreviated order form went home with your child already. Check out the full retailer list shop.shopwithscrip.com. You can order by check through the PA here at P.S. 144 (make checks payable to The PA of P.S. 144) or online directly (for a small fee) through the SCRIP website, shop.shopwithscrip.com, with PRESTO PAY. SCRIP cards ordered through the PA’s paper order form are due by Monday, December 12, and will be distributed on Wednesday, December 21. You can download a SCRIP order form from our website. Any questions can be forwarded to Melissa at scrip@pa144.com.

Speaking of holiday shopping, if you plan to do it online, don’t forget about AmazonSmile! You shop all of the same Amazon merchandise at the same prices, all of it still compatible with Prime, and the PA gets a percentage of your payment. It’s just another way you can support the PA at no additional cost to you. Link to AmazonSmile via our website, pa144.com. You can find a small icon on the bottom of our homepage, or go to the “support” drop menu, click on “shopping fundraisers,” and look for the AmazonSmile box on the lower right hand side of the page.

You fixed their hair. They put on their best smile. You received your proofs. All that’s left to do is order. The Picture Day deadline for ordering prints is Tuesday, December 13.

Our Parent Coordinator, Ms. Kyne, will be running her first Movie Night of the school year on Wednesday, December 14. She will be showing “The Secret Life of Pets,” starting at 6:15pm sharp, but come at 6pm for the milk and cookies! This will be the one movie night of the year where you have the option of dropping your child off and coming back at 8pm to pick them up. You are also welcome to stay and enjoy the movie with your child.

P.S. 144 is currently running a Toy Drive that ends Friday, December 16. This year P.S. 144 is collaborating with the EAK Family Foundation. They are requesting we concentrate on sports balls (basketballs. soccer balls) and coloring books with crayons. All toy donations must be new and unwrapped.

Our last PA meeting of 2016 will be on Monday, December 19, at 7pm. But it’s not just a meeting, it’s a party! Please, please, please, join us for our PA Meeting and Holiday Potluck Party! Bring some food and a friend and join us for some festive fun!

We’re up to our third Restaurant Night and it’s pretty sweet. Like ice cream sweet. On Tuesday, December 20, from 11am-11pm, bring your flyer to Shake Shack, and eat lunch, dinner, and afternoon snack while helping fund next year’s PA budget! Paper flyers will be coming home soon, but you can also access the flyer from the PA website on the events page, pa144.com/events.html, or download it here.

The P.S. 144 annual NY Cares Coat Drive ends Thursday, December 22. There is a box inside the lobby and inside the student arrivals door. The school is collecting new and used Coats only; please no other clothing items.

If you are celebrating a holiday this month, I wish you a happy one. If you are not celebrating a holiday, I wish you a happy month. Enjoy your winter break which runs from Monday, December 26, to Monday, January 2, with school reopening on Tuesday, January 3. And lastly, have a happy New Year!

With peace and love always,




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