Attention UMass Employees

umassDo you work at UMass? Do you want an easy way to make a contribution to the ARHS PGO and help our schools?

The annual UMass-Amherst Community Campaign (UMACC) is now underway. The UMACC program lets UMass employees donate to charitable organizations via paycheck, as little as $1 per pay period.

The Amherst Regional Public Schools PGO (ARPS PGO), is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization consisting of the PGOs for Crocker Farm, Wildwood, the Amherst Middle School, & the Amherst High School. The APRS PGO’s UMACC number is 15250.

UMass employees can signup with their UMass NetID at

Please consider signing up today & giving to the ARPS PGO. Every donation to the PGOs makes a big difference in helping our schools.
The UMACC program makes it very easy to give. Here are the top 10 reasons for giving through UMACC:

Thank you for your support.

Try Hockey for Free

Try Hockey for Free Day is Saturday, Nov. 10, from 2-4 p.m. at the UMass Mullins Center Community Rink. For all children ages 4+. No skating experience required; free skate rentals available. All skaters must have winter gloves and bicycle or hockey helmets. Save time at the door by registering in advance: New hockey helmets will be available for purchase. A used gear sale will also be held. More information

Film & Discussion series at the Jones Library

Film & Discussion Series:

Eyes on the Prize:  Power!

AMHERST, MA – Join us on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Woodbury Room for the next event in this ongoing film and discussion series that may educate, touch your heart, and inspire you to action to help dismantle racism.

This month’s screening delves back into history with an episode of “Eyes on the Prize”, the award-winning documentary, with the episode entitled “Power! (1966-1968)”.   A discussion follows.

Free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223.

This film series is co-sponsored by the Jones Library and Coming Together.  More information about Coming Together can be found at

School Garden Harvest Update: Get your Harvest Soup on November 1st!

Hi, all!

The school garden harvests are complete! This week, students harvested 206 pounds of produce that we donated to ARPS Food Services this afternoon. Crops included potatoes, winter squash, turnips, beets, carrots, radish, Swiss chard, scallions, chives, and sage. The produce will be featured in a soup next Thursday, Nov. 1st on the school lunch menu. (No small feat! Thank you, Sasha, for helping this happen!)

None of this would be possible without garden educator Leila’s awesome and tireless garden work. We also benefitted greatly from the help of our fantastic UMass Stockbridge interns, Merav and Jordan, who co-led some of our harvest experiences.

And, all ten new garden beds are in place now, too. Sarah Berquist and her Ag Leadership students (UMass Stockbridge) were essential collaborators in getting those built in a timely manner (Sarah’s cool time lapse from the WW build is attached at the end of this message). Many hands make light work!

Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm as we continue to build this program, connect kids with the Earth, and establish new partnerships in our community.

Jennifer Reese, Elementary Science and School Garden Coordinator

Veterans Day Program: Remains of a War: Exploring WWI Battlefields

Amherst, MA – The Jones Library marks the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day with a special program presented by Libby and Ed Klekowski on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 2:30 pm as they share their experiences in exploring some of the battlefields from World War I.

This Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Originally called Armistice Day, this November holiday was created to mark the signing of the agreement that ended World War I at 11:00 A.M., November 11, 1918. It became a federal holiday in 1938 and was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Libby and Ed Klekowski have been researching World War I for over ten years and have spent many hours walking through the battlefields of Verdun, the Meuse Argonne, and St Mihiel. Their work has resulted in three books and they have produced two WWI documentaries for public television. This special lecture will take the audience for a walk “on the wild side”, where the dross of war still litters the woods.

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Free and open to the public.  For more information about this event, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223.

AEF Trivia Bee! October 25th


aefbeeOn October 25, 2018, enjoy a fun evening that includes costumes, raffle prizes, refreshments, an audience trivia game, and prizes.


Admission is FREE but we encourage donations benefiting Amherst Education Foundation and our public schools.

It’s back! We will have a youth-only Trivia Round before the main competition. Teams of players 14 years of age and younger will answer age-appropriate questions. Starts at 6 pm.

We are looking for businesses to sponsor our teams. Many businesses send their own teams, but we can also match your business with a team. Youth and Adult team sponsorships are $300, sponsoring a round is $600 and Event Underwriter is $1200.

If you’d like to play and don’t have a sponsor, we can help you out. We can match your team to a sponsor and we can even build a team for you to compete with. Our teams have a lot of fun! Contact Ken and Meg below.

Everyone! Even if you’re not competing, it’s a lot of fun to come and watch and you can participate in the fun audience round! The Youth Round is a great way to start off the night! We hope to see you there!

Ken LeBlond,
Meg Rosa,
Trivia Bee Co-Chairs

Feed the Spirit


Join us on Friday, October 26, 2018, for Feed the Spirit, an evening of community, delicious food, and entertainment to benefit the Amherst Survival Center.

The event will be held at the newly renovated Old Chapel on the UMass campus featuring globally-inspired food catered by award-winning UMass Dining. We’ll enjoy the music of jazz pianist Paul Arslanian during cocktail hour and the free-flowing fusion of jazz, world music, and spoken word by World Rhythm Ensemble following dinner.

Tony Vacca, Derrik Jordan and Jo Sallins, as World Rhythms Ensemble, blend the powerful sound of giant West-African balafons with the dreamy lyricism of electric violin and the funky magic of electric bass for a unique performance.

We are so excited to share this special evening with our supporters to benefit the Center’s important programs.

Baystate Textiles Recycling Program at all ARPS Schools

Now you can drop your clothing and other textiles in any condition into collection bins located at each school. Convenient and easy! The collections are weighed weekly and each school’s PGO will receive a check based on the bulk weight. Help the Wildwood PGO earn FREE CASH while also helping our planet Earth by up-cycling your textiles. Thanks!


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Warm Winter Coat & Clothing share at Amherst Public Schools

To help everyone stay warm this winter, the Amherst School PGOs are collecting winter clothing for distribution to school and community families. We are seeking donations of clean, gently used winter clothing for students (pre-k through 12th grade) & families.

* coats * snow pants * snow boots * hats * mittens * gloves * scarves * snowsuits

For Wildwood Elementary:

Collection:  During school hours, Now thru Nov 17 in the lobby.

Distribution:   Nov 20th and December 20th (School days only).

More Information

ARPS PGO will hold its Fall Public Meeting – 10/24/2018

The ARPS PGO will hold its Fall Public Meeting on October 24th from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at The Works.  Following is the Agenda:
Individual School Updates
Election of President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Officer

Taxes and State Filings (including new rep payee)

Group Fundraisers

  • UMACC (United Way)

  • Giving Tuesday

  • Florence Bank

  • Amazon Smile

Other Business not anticipated by the chair


Wildwood Student Directory Update

The PGO volunteer Directory Team continues to work tirelessly on the much anticipated Wildwood Student Directory!
In recent years this 100% volunteer team has been able to bring the directory to us in record time, and this year the team hopes to have it to us by October 12 – earlier than ever!
If you are interested in helping with the directory next year, please contact the PGO at
And remember – you’re already a PGO member just by having a kid at Wildwood!

Represent Wildwood at the ABC 5k Run/Walk!

Please join us for the 47thAnnual Amherst-A Better Chance Fall Foliage 5Kwalk/run on Saturday, October 20th. The course begins on the Amherst town common and will include beautiful vistas during peak foliage! This is a family event with lots of great post run entertainment including drumming, dancing, DJ and Amherst’s own rap artist.

This year we are hoping to create elementary school teams so if you are interested in joining Team Wildwood, please contact -Chelsea Holabird,  There will be prizes, free t-shirts, food and lots of school spirit to support A Better Chance.

Also, we need adult volunteers so let the captain know if you are interested.

Click here to register  or go to our FB page

This is not a school sponsored event.

Help the Jones Library plan for the future of the Branch Libraries in North and South Amherst

Please assist the Jones Library in planning for the North Amherst Library’s future by taking 10 minutes to fill out their survey at

Printed copies of the survey are available at the Jones, Munson Memorial, and North Amherst Libraries, Town Hall, Bangs Center, Survival Center, Family Center, and Atkins North.

Once they’ve collected and analyzed the results, they will present our findings to the community in a North Amherst Library Long Range Plan.

If you have any additional questions or thoughts, please contact Library Director Sharon Sharry at 413-259-3106 or Thank you!

The Munson Library survey is available at

More details are at

Early Voting Sites in Amherst

The last day to register to vote in the general election on November 6th is Wednesday, Oct 17.


Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Ave – October 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, November 1 & 2 from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM


UMass Amherst Student Union Building – October 24, 25 and 26 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Munson Memorial Library, 1046 South East St – Saturday* October 27, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

North Fire Station, 603 East Pleasant St –Saturday* October 27, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM


Amherst Town Clerk’s Office in Town Hall 1st Floor will be open until 8:00 PM on Wednesday, October 17th to assist with registrations.

Registration, updates and information verification can also be completed online by visiting:

Questions? Contact the Town Clerk’s Office

Phone: (413) 259-3035


In Person: M-F 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

Press Release from Fort River School Building Committee Sept. 5 2018

Over the summer, the Fort River School Building Committee has continued to make progress with its feasibility study.

The  results of the indoor air quality study performed by ATC Group Services of West Springfield showed that the levels of asbestos, bacteria, mold, and radon are within acceptable levels and similar to or below background/outside concentrations.

The designers,TSKP Studio, have been attending the committee’s meeting and a working subgroup has joined in meetings with the Amherst School District to understand programming needs of the school in order to produce a range of options for a school building to serve PreK-6 students attending the Fort River Elementary School.

Community meetings will be scheduled over the upcoming months and public input sought as plans develop.  A timeline for the committee and designer’s work, along with other documents, can be found at . If you would like to be notified about upcoming meetings and receive press releases directly to your in-box, you can join our list serve by signing up through our web page.

The next meeting of the Fort River School Building Committee will take place on October 10th from 6:00- 8:00pm in the Amherst Police Department Community Room.  The public is welcome to attend and can also contact the committee at

The Amherst Center Recreation Working Group Public Forum

The Amherst Center Recreation Working Group is excited to announce a Public Forum on Wednesday, October 3rd in the ARHS Library from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Come see the proposed design for the renovation of the Amherst Middle and High School athletic fields and track, Community Field, and War Memorial pool house/basketball courts/playground!!

Over the past 18 months, the Recreation Working Group has assessed and reviewed the current and projected demand on our athletic fields and recreation areas, in terms of organized school and town athletic teams, events, and use by the general public.  The assessment considered options for reuse and reorganization of the fields/facilities, for current and future programs and activities, and to address the changing demographics of the community and school-aged population.

This informational forum will go over the Recreation Working Group’s preferred schematic design plan for the focus area and serve as a reference document for capital planning purposes.  The landscape architects from Weston & Sampson, who developed the design in conjunction with the Rec Working Group, will be in attendance to go over the plan and answer questions.

Come out and help us get this project up and running!!

Girls Try Hockey for Free Day – Oct 6, 2018

The Amherst Hockey Association is hosting a Girls Try Hockey for Free Day at the UMass Mullins Center Community Rink Saturday, October 6 from 1-3 p.m. For girls ages 4 and up. No skating experience required. Free skate rentals; bring winter gloves and a bicycle or hockey helmet. To save time at the door, register in advance at: For more information, visit the Amherst Hockey Association website:

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Introducing the Amherst Boys & Girls Club

The Amherst Boys & Girls Club is dedicated to making a difference in your life by giving you access to great programs, activities, and social experiences in a fun and structured environment. Our Club is open to all young adults, ages 9-18, looking for a place where they can meet up with other kids to relax, play games, and even get some extra help with school. But the most important thing you’ll do at the Amherst Boys & Girls Club is learn about yourself and the kind of person you’re capable of being.

Our club accepts grades 1-12 and there is a membership application form and financial assistance form for each member to complete. There is a one-time annual fee of $50. We offer a range of payments plans, as well as scholarships. This is outlined in the financial assistance form linked below.

Our club is open during the school year 2:30pm – 5:30pm. On half days and days when school is closed we open around midday. We also run programs during school vacations, and usually open from 1:00pm to 5:30pm.



Link to Membership registration form

Link to Financial Assistance form


Birds Of The Quabbin Slideshow @ Jones Library

Treat yourself to an unforgettable slideshow as Peter Christoph shares his experiences looking for wildlife, by land and by boat, at the beautiful and pristine Quabbin Reservoir.  The photographic presentation will take place at 2:30 pm at the Jones Library in Amherst on Saturday, October 13, 2018.

A rich diversity of birds call the Quabbin their home, the main attraction being the common loon and bald eagle families that nest here. Several winters ago, Peter built a rustic cabin along a river in an area known as the North Quabbin Woods. It was from this base camp that Peter discovered the Magic of the Quabbin and became intimately familiar with its intricate network of channels, coves and islands. He will also discuss the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir, including a glimpse into the lost towns which gave way to this unlikely wilderness area.

Peter Christoph is a well-known wildlife advocate, naturalist and award-winning bird photographer based in Lancaster, MA. He has a great respect for wildlife and through his presentations seeks to raise awareness of the need to conserve bird habitat. Peter has presented for a variety of organizations, including the Photographic Society of America (PSA), New England Camera Club Council (NECCC,) and the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC).  He has been the recipient of many prestigious national and international awards and medals recognizing his photographic talent. Peter is also responsible for publishing three bird photography books, including his latest, The Art of Bird Photography.

Free and open to the public.  For more information about this event, please contact Janet Ryan at 413-259-3223.  This event is made possible with support from the Friends of the Jones Libraries and the Woodbury Fund.

Amherst Survival Center’s Community Appreciation Breakfast

The Amherst Survival Center is once again hosting a community appreciation breakfast on Saturday September 29, 2018 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am . All are welcome to attend. A free pancake breakfast will be served.
The Amherst Survival Center is usually not open on the weekends, but for this event it opens and offers a breakfast to any one who attends. Tours of the building will also be available.
The Amherst Survival Center is located at 138 Sunderland Road in North Amherst, across the street from Cowls’ Hardware. The Amherst Survival Center includes a community kitchen (lunches 4 days/week), a food pantry (serving residents of 13 towns), a community (free thrift) store, a walk-in free health clinic and other programs.
More information on the Center can be found on its website:
AUTUMN VOLUNTEERS NEEDED at the Amherst Survival Center. Information