Happy Summer!

On behalf of the PGO Leadership team, thank you for your generous time, donations and support in making it another great year at Wildwood. On Friday, June 14 the PGO blog and newsletter takes a break for the summer.  Have a restful and restorative summer!

Girls on the Run is coming to Wildwood this fall 2019

Volunteers are needed to support the Wildwood team. New coaches are needed for Fall 2019!

Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a unique 10 week (twice weekly) after-school program led by trained coaches who lead small teams through our research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Over the course of the ten-week program, girls in 3rd-5th grade develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. Each season culminates with a Girls on the Run 5K event. This celebratory, non-competitive event provides girls with a sense of accomplishment and instills the value of goal setting at a young age.

GOTR encourages girls to recognize their individual strengths and celebrate connections with others. Each season, girls gain a better understanding of who they are and what’s important to them, the value of teamwork and healthy relationships and how they can have a positive impact on the world. Physical activity is woven into the program to inspire an appreciation for fitness and healthy habits and teach life skills including treating others with care, practicing gratitude and managing emotions.

All girls are welcome – nobody needs to be a runner. Each team will have at least 2 coaches. Teams are 8-15 girls. For more specifics about the curriculum please visit www.girlsontherunwesternma.org. You can also visit our Facebook page at
http://www.facebook.com/girlsontherunwesternmassachusetts to see pictures from our spring season.

When: Two times a week for 1.5 hours for 10 weeks. Practices will start the first week of
September and will continue for 10 weeks ending with our own GOTR 5K the third weekend in November. Days will be determined when we have coaches. We are looking for coaches for this team. Coaches do not need to be runners. Contact us for more information.
Registration is done on our website and will be open when coaches are found. The
cost for the 20 sessions is $150, with a sliding scale to $5, which includes snack, t-shirt, run registration and sneakers (if needed). Girls are selected by lottery. Partial and full financial aid is available when you register. We offer a sliding scale so all girls can participate. No girl is turned away. If you do not have access to a computer please let us know and we will assist with registration.

Interested in coaching? Looking for more information? Please contact Alison Berman, GOTR Council Director, alison.berman@girlsontherun.org, or Molly Hoyt, Program Director, molly.hoyt@girlsontherun.org.

LWV book sale – Summers are for Reading


Awesome Selection! Low Prices!
Friday, July 26: 9 AM to 6 PM

Saturday-Sunday, July 27-28: 9 AM to 4 PM
Friday-Saturday, August 2-3: 9 AM to 4 PM

Fort River Elementary School Gymnasium, 70 South East Street
We invite all young readers to come browse our wonderful collection of books for kids
and teens, all priced at 50c, $1, or $2, as well as books on sports, nature, crafts, and more

Please see http://www.lwvamherst.org for more information

Volunteers needed – can you help water our crops for a healthy fall harvest?

Dear Families,

Thank you for all of the ways you have supported our school gardens! After a cool, rainy spring with little growth, the gardens are ready for an awesome summer, and you can help! This year we will be doing things differently, as we will have weekly maintenance support from the UMass Permaculture program. However, if we face any periods of drought, we will need additional help. To this end, we are compiling a volunteer call list. In the event of a dry spell, we will contact those on the list to arrange for a day or two of watering. Can you help water our crops for a healthy fall harvest? If so, please complete this very brief form. We will follow up with you with additional details. Questions/comments can be sent to Jennifer Reese at reesej@arps.org.

With appreciation,

Jen and Leila

Elementary Garden Program

Estimadas Familias,

¡Gracias por todas las maneras en que ha apoyado nuestros jardines/huertos escolares! Después de una primavera fresca y lluviosa con poco crecimiento, los jardines están listos para un verano increíble, ¡y usted puede ayudar! Este año haremos las cosas de manera diferente, ya que tendremos soporte de mantenimiento semanal del programa de Permacultura de UMass. Sin embargo, si enfrentamos algún período de sequía, necesitaremos ayuda adicional. Con este fin, estamos compilando una lista de llamadas de voluntarios. En el caso de un período seco, nos pondremos en contacto con los de la lista para organizar un día o dos de riego. ¿Puedes ayudar a regar nuestros cultivos para una cosecha de otoño saludable? Si es así, por favor complete este breve formulario. Le daremos seguimiento a usted con detalles adicionales. Pueden remitir preguntas/comentarios a Jennifer Reese a reesej@arps.org.

Con agradecimiento,

Jen y Leila

Programa de Jardín/Huerto de Escuela Elemental

End of School Year Picnic 2019! Thursday June 13th 5:30 PM

Please join the Wildwood PTO for an end of the year picnic on Thursday, June 13th.  The event will start at 5:30 PM by the basketball court and will feature a dunk tank and student performances starting at 6:45 PM. There will be a table to sign up for PGO leadership and volunteer opportunities or you can sign up by following this link.   Bring food and drink for your family, blankets/chairs to sit on and plenty of excitement for the last school night of the year!

Multicultural Fair THANK YOU!

THANK YOU to all Multicultural Fair and Potluck participants and volunteers!
We had fantastic weather, outstanding performances, and lots of participation from adults and children alike on Wednesday, May 22. Thank you to everyone that helped in any way to make this a successful celebration of the many cultures at Wildwood Elementary School.

Thank you! Wildwood Gives Update

Thanks to the wonderful generosity of Wildwood families, the PGO exceeded the Wildwood Gives fundraising goal! You gave an incredible $4,480!!!  It is heartwarming how committed Wildwood families are to supporting the school.  With your help, the PGO can continue to support teachers and staff, enriching the curriculum and ensuring equity for all kids.
Here is a sample of some of the things your funds have gone to this year:
A large donation to the Principal’s Fund which Nick manages.
Reimbursing teachers and staff for classroom and project supplies.
Books for the library and for classrooms.
Art supplies for the art room.
P.E. equipment.
Field trip support to ensure every child can participate.
Staff Mini-grants, for example for author Natasha Lowe’s visit, supporting the Black History Month chorus, getting Balance Bikes for the K-2 P.E. program, Kindergarten sensory gardens, and more.
Staff appreciation events including the recent Woot Woot Wagon.
Community Building events like the Multicultural Fair and Science Night.
And more…
Go, Wildwood!
Wildwood Gives Brown Envelope Fundraiser

Rainbow Run this Saturday

image“Come one, Come all! ARHS is having its very Rainbow Run, hosted by the Class of 2021 on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in the Summit Academy parking lot.
Walk/run a course around the high school and the middle school while getting multicolored powder thrown at you! Music, popsicles, and snacks to follow!
Entry for students and staff is $10 and entry with the official T-shirt is $15. There are a limited number of official Rainbow Run T-shirts, so please contact the emails provided in the flyer below to order while you still can! And make sure to bring eye protection- there will be color everywhere!
***If any school-affiliated adults or students are interested in volunteering at this event, please contact Seo-Ho Lee at leeseo@arps.org   or Tulsi Patel at patelth@arps.org.

Family Fun at the FAC: UMass Fine arts Center 2019-20 Season Announcement

Spring has arrived and so has the annual announcement of the UMass Fine Arts Center’s (FAC) new season. The 2019-20 FAC performing arts season hosts a brilliant line-up of international and local treasures, as well as some newcomers to FAC venues.  And for families, there are five events that are accessible for all ages plus many other events for older children. The season includes more than 30 performances, all with the goal of engaging, entertaining and inspiring its audiences.

For decades the FAC has been a place for families to gather and enjoy the power of live performance, and next season we have worked to continue this tradition. An affordable way to introduce children to the magic of live performances, these shows bring families together, spark creativity and engage the imagination as only a live performance can. With the FAC Family Fun Series, you not only get a season’s worth of great entertainment, you also get guaranteed family time.

The fun gets started in October when Lightwire Theater presents Dino-Light (10/20)A famous scientist with magic powers brings a friendly dinosaur to life. When the dinosaur wanders away from home, he discovers a wonderful world full of creatures that light up the darkness and help him find the true meaning of love. This glow-in-the-dark adventure has been praised for its cutting-edge blend of puppetry, technology and dance by audiences all over the world. There is a Family Fest in the lobby starting at 1 p.m. with curtain at 2 p.m.

Then in December award-winning fiddle virtuosos Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy accompanied by an incredible array of talented musicians – and their children – welcomes the audience into the wonderful world of their Celtic Family Christmas (12/4). It has an early starting time of 7 p.m.

In January, we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with We Shall Overcome (1/28) featuring Damien Sneed. From Nina Simone to The Wiz, Stevie Wonder to traditional spirituals, and interspersed with the spoken words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it’s an evening of music that shows the lineage of these Civil Rights visionaries is still with us today. In February, the award-winning theatrical drum group, GUGU Drum Group (2/11), brings its traditional Chinese drumming techniques with movement and stunning projections to portray Chinese proverbs, fables, and fairy tales.

From Broadway comes a musical the whole family can enjoy, Finding Neverland (2/25). The winner of Broadway.com’s Audience Choice Award for Best Musical, this breathtaking smash “captures the kid-at-heart,” says Time Magazine. The story-line follows the relationship between playwright J. M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan. The magic of Barrie’s classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event. It, too, has an earlier starting time of 7 p.m.

Just in time to alleviate that cabin fever, Cirque Flip Fabrique brings a Blizzard to the FAC stage. With some of the most exciting circus performers on the circuit today, Cirque Flip Fabrique (3/18) brings audiences on a crazy, fun, poetic and tender journey, and invites you to get lost in a moment of winter wonder. Topping off the family fun, Monkey Baa Theatre Company from Australia presents Diary of a Wombat (4/9). Millions of young people around the world have adored this multi-award winning picture book. Now this iconic work by Australian Children’s Laureate, Jackie French, and Bruce Whatley comes to the stage. Meet Mothball, the naughtiest wombat in Australia. Monkey Baa uses the magic of puppetry and live music to bring this delightful story to the stage. Family Fest in the lobby at 6 p.m. with curtain at 7 p.m.

We at the FAC know how harrying it can be to get everyone ready to go for show time, so for all the family shows, the FAC will have a food truck on the plaza with family friendly offerings. Concessions will also have family friendly options and we now have a water bottle filling station in the lobby. Also, there are baby changing tables in both restrooms. And for those date nights, we have plenty more great performances to choose from.

A fully-illustrated brochure will be available in June but for now, an online preview is available at fineartscenter.com/preview offering additional information, including videos and artist links or you can go right to the family page at fineartscenter.com/family.  The FAC also has two galleries and a museum. More on the 2019-20 visual arts lineup can be found at fineartscenter.com/visualarts.

To keep the arts accessible for all, the FAC offers a wide range of ticket prices. The “build-as-you-go” program for busy families that can’t commit far in advance and the create-your-own subscription package. Youth and Five College tickets range from $7 to $30. Single ticket discounts for seniors is now 15%. Discounted family packs are available for Lightwire Theater and Diary of a Wombat. There is also a popular discount program for those 40 years and under that includes exclusive artist meet & greets and other benefits. More on that at fineartscenter.com/under40. Subscriptions are on sale now by phone at 413-545-2511 or 800-999-UMAS. Online subscription sales and single ticket purchases are available May 31.

Chinese Language Lessons

The New England Academy of Chinese Language & Culture meets on Sundays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at ARMS during the school year to provide Chinese language and culture instruction. As part of an agreement with the district, the program receives a reduced rental rate in exchange for reserving spots for ARPS students at reduced cost. It is seen as a mutually beneficial arrangement, as it provides a requested service to ARPS families (Chinese language instruction), is a link to the robust Chinese language programming that we have at ARMS and ARHS, and helps this small 501(c)(3) organization to be able to afford to provide this education.

Classes begin in September 2019. Classes are also held on Tuesday/Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at Panera Bread, Hadley.

If you have any questions, go to http://www.aclcne.org or contact Tim Sheehan or Sean Mangano.

Flyer 2019-20

Farm to School Cultural Food Exchange – May 29th, 5 – 7 pm

May 29, 2019, 5 – 7 pm, Amherst Regional High School Cafeteria

Farm to School Cultural Food Exchange

Come join our Farm to School Cultural Food Exchange and help celebrate the work that has been done this past year to build a robust Farm to School (F2S) program which will link fresh food in the cafeteria to student learning in the classroom, the community, and area farms. There will also be a presentation from the F2S Team about their plan for the upcoming year!

For more information, for volunteer sign up, or to RSVP please contact:
Vicki Van Zee vanzeev@arps.org or
Julia Burdick burdickj@arps.org
Or click this link: http://bit.ly/ARPSF2S


Job Opportunity with AEF

The Amherst Education Foundation is seeking a part-time (20 hours/month)  Administrative Assistant to assist with our work fundraising and providing grants to educators in the Amherst Regional Public Schools. For more information about the organization, please see our website: https://www.amhersteducationfoundation.org/.

Duties include coordinating mailings, depositing and keeping track of checks and other donations; keeping QuickBooks and donor database updated; checking mailbox and email regularly; preparing thank you letters and correspondence; and working with Treasurer on budget. The ideal candidate will have excellent organizational skills, work well independently, and have some knowledge of budgeting. The work takes approximately 20 hours per month, although the work is not always evenly divided across months (e.g., May is busier than July).

Review of applications will begin May 27th and continue until the position is filled.

Children’s Learning and Language Study Opportunity

The Cognitive Neuroscience Group at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston is recruiting children between the ages of 8 and 12 years to participate in research studies funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Health.

Study 1. This is a longitudinal study that follows children over a period of 3 consecutive years. Our goal is to improve understanding of learning in children. The study consists of 1 in-person visit (about 2.5 hours) per year for 3 years (weekdays/weekends). During this visit, children play several games on the computer and complete several language/memory tasks. The lab visit includes safe and noninvasive EEG recording. The day after the visit, kids complete a quick follow-up task from a home/library computer. More information can be found at: https://clinicaltrials.partners.org/study/feedback_learning

Study 2. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the learning patterns of children with typical and atypical language development. The study will involve 2 visits to the lab at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. During this visit, children play several games on the computer and complete several language/memory tasks. The lab visit includes safe and noninvasive EEG recording.  A visit will last about 3 hours. A week after the second lab visit your child will be asked to complete follow up tasks on a home computer or a mobile device. We are looking for children who were late to develop language, and who still receive services for language or learning difficulties. More information can be found at: https://rally.partners.org/study/does_your_child_stru?

 Payment is $60 for each in-person visit to the lab. We provide free all-day parking at the Navy Yard. Please email us at cnglead@mghihp.edu or call us at (617) 643-4821 if you are interested or if you have any questions.

Save the Date! 2019 Wildwood Multicultural Fair Wednesday May 22nd

2019 Wildwood Multicultural Fair 

Date: Wednesday, May 22 (rain date: Thursday, May 23)
Time: 5:30 – 7:30pm

SAVE THE DATE! Plan on attending Wildwood’s community potluck, a celebration of our diversity. In addition to a fantastic meal there will be a variety of activities, a fashion show, performances (music, dance, song, etc.), and a chance to take a family picture.

If you can help, please look for a form in your child’s folder and return it to your child’s teacher or to the PGO mailbox by Friday, May 17. Alternatively, use this Sign-Up Genius link: Multicultural Fair Volunteer Sign Up.

2019 WMASS HKY Fall Youth Field Hockey Program (ALL NEW!)

UMass Field Hockey program – for boys and girls- K-2nd grade, 3rd & 4th grade, 5th & 6th grade, 7th & 8th grade
We are excited to announce that we will be offering a new youth fall field hockey program at UMass!  Our Mini Minutes program has been so successful in our first 2 seasons (reaching capacity this spring at 120!)- we want to keep that momentum going and offer additional opportunities for young players to continue learning and playing field hockey in Amherst.  Following are the basics of the program.  We are still working out the Saturday playday/scrimmage days, so that is a bit TBD.  In the meantime, we want to get a sense of what the level of interest is at each age group.  If you are interested in participating, please let us know by submitting the interest form below (this is not an official registration form- we will send that out once exact details are set).

2019 WMASS HKY Fall Youth Field Hockey Program at UMASS’ Field Hockey Turf Field (Amherst, MA) Tentative Program Outline
  • 9 Wednesday training sessions (Sept. 4th – October 30th)
  • 5:30-7pm (youngest age-group may be slightly shorter)
  • Coached by the UMASS Field Hockey Players and Coaches
  • plus 2-4 Saturday “playdays/scrimmage days”- we are trying to coordinate with some local organizations/teams to come to UMASS so the players have an opportunity to have some game-play experience
  • last Wednesday session would be a fun pizza party, competition day
  • 4 age groups (tentative breakdown): boys and girls- K-2nd grade, 3rd & 4th grade, 5th & 6th grade, 7th & 8th grade
  • We would invite and recognize the players at a Fall home UMASS field hockey game!
  • All players will get a reversible jersey
  • Cost/player: $150

For more info visit – http://wmasshky.com/2019-fall-youth-program/?fbclid=IwAR3IzfVMqnl2j3wRRp_RqymJtNrYNR7oO2ffqRmBGvq9UglSxVOfc6qXABk

Join the FPA!

Have you heard about the new booster organization for ARPS Performing Arts? Friends of Performing Arts (FPA), was formed this year and has already made some great strides in helping the performing arts programs.
In its first 3 months, FPA held 4 major fundraisers, raised more than $3,500, received funds from 378 donors, held 5 bake sales, secured support from a corporate sponsor (Polar Beverages) for the Musical, and organized volunteers to staff the many performances our incredible ARHS students gave. The inaugural board of 16 members completed the filing need to become a 501(c)(3), and now the the organization is ready to welcome new members!
The FPA would like to invite all parents, guardians, and community members who love performing arts to join us. The FPA will hold a general meeting on:
                                    Wednesday, May 29 at 6pm 
                                     in the ARHS Library. 
We encourage all parents of students in theater, band, orchestra, or choir to come and engage in this booster organization, as well as any community members who want to support the arts in school.
We are also putting out a call for board members. We currently have 16 board members. The commitment is just one meeting per month. Minimal meetings, maximum action!
Please contact FPA with any questions: friendsofperformingarts@gmail.com. Our website: www.arpsfpa.org.

4th of July Volunteers Needed

The Amherst 4th of July Celebration is looking for volunteers for this year’s festival. If you are interested in contributing to a community event, filled with fun and festivities, while getting a front row seat to the fireworks, come assist the Amherst 4th of July Celebration. This is a great opportunity to give back to your community, and get a behind the scenes look at event-planning, in addition to free food and admission for all volunteers. If interested please contact Noah Kramer at: LSSEFireworks@AmherstMA.gov or (413) 259-3267.


Kindergarten teachers enjoy the Woot Woot Wagon’s treats.

The “Woot Woot Wagon” rolled into Wildwood today to bring sugar, caffeine and joy to our treasured teachers and staff!

On this final day of Teacher Appreciation Week, the PGO seized the opportunity to acknowledge and recognize the incredible dedication all Wildwood staff demonstrate every day.

The Woot Woot Wagon had an abundance of treats and goodies to share. There was a huge selection of delicious pastries, generously donated by Henion Bakery in Amherst, accompanied by hot coffee to give that afternoon boost.

Wildwood parents Daina, Lisa and Sheilah with the Woot Woot Wagon.

Also on board the wagon were elusive classroom supplies like Clorox wipes, tissues, Sharpies, dry erase markers, glue sticks, Post It notes, hand sanitizer, and gift cards to Dunkin Donuts and Amazon. It was so lovely to see smiles on the faces of staff as they realized this ado was for them, as a gesture to thank them for all they do for our children.

The “Woot Woot” Wagon Train

The kids we passed in the hallways were so tempted to sneak a treat but respected that this was for their teachers and staff, in recognition of the hard work they do all year.

The Wildwood Parent and Guardian community wish to thank all Wildwood teachers, staff, custodians and administrators for the love and care they show our kids. Woot Woot!

Join AEF in a Toast to 25 Years on May 30th


Tickets are now available! We hope you can join us on Thursday, May 30, 2019, for a festive evening of fun!

It’s the party of the season, and we don’t want you to miss it! AEF honors YOU, our generous supporters, as we celebrate 25 years of support for our elementary and regional public schools.* Join us to raise a glass as we toast everyone who makes our schools thrive!

Our special guests include AEF co-founder Ellen Story, Senator Jo Comerford, Representative Mindy Domb, and Amherst Town Council President Lynn Griesemer. The evening will feature cocktails, hearty appetizers, and a fun and unique silent auction. See you there!

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Tag Sale and Car Wash at Wildwood Saturday 5/4 from 9am – 1pm


Please consider donating gently used items, marked with prices on stickers or masking tape, to the front hall at Wildwood starting Wednesday, 4/30!  
We are seeking :
Child and Baby Gear,
Outdoor Equipment,
Sports Gear
(Clothes in very good condition only, please bag according to size)
(Furniture and large items such as bikes to be dropped off early morning of event with name and phone number of seller and removed at end of day if not sold)
Call Heather Welch with questions: (413) 549-1513