Afterschool Afterthoughts February 2017

February Dates:

Feb. 8: Gap care is provided for early dismissal from 1:20 – 3:00.

Feb. 10: Afterschool play! Free matinee at 2 P.M., with an evening performance   at 7 P.M. (Participants need to be at the school at 6:30 P.M.)

Feb. 13 – Tuition for the month of March is due. Please make sure you account   is up to date.

Feb. 20 – 24: No program, school vacation


January Highlights:

We started the play! This play, which is an adaptation of “The Gingerbread Man”, is made up of students in grade K – 3rd, with a lead performance by a sixth grader. As a one-act play, is it shorter and simpler than our previous plays, with an emphasis on having fun being on stage. We hope to have a large, supportive audience – I guarantee you will enjoy the performance! Evening admission is $2 per person, or $5 per family, with free refreshments following the show.

We were lucky to have a solid staff over the UMass intersession. These 6 staff worked straight through and did a great job! However, we are happy to welcome back those staff that just returned from their various ventures.

We have added just about every afterschool student on our “Coins for Kindness” board. Those students have been recognized for an act of kindness – so sweet!


Don’t forget to send in those small boxes! Any box, the size of a Celestial Tea package or smaller, is needed. We are also looking for a way to play music – as our old “boom box” was broken. Are there any extra systems out there? Thanks!


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Afterschool Afterthoughts For January 2017

January Dates:

Jan. 2 – no school, holiday recess
Jan. 16 – no school, MLK Jr. Day
Jan. 23 – no school, Teacher Work Day (I have childcare recommendations.)

December Highlights:

During this holiday month, we had two guest artists come in and share their craft. Cathy Neale taught linoleum block printmaking and Annie Foley made needlework crafts with the children. Many thanks to these generous women.

We said goodbye to Danielle Fung and wished her good luck next semester as she does her student teaching in Northampton. We will also miss Mr. G. We always joked that he didn’t know how to cook so the children made him an illustrated cookbook with some very simple (and cute) kid generated recipes.

For our traditional activities, we made gingerbread houses and ate potato latkes. In addition, there were a number of winter, and holiday related, craft options and we played a Solstice Tag game (with glow bracelets.) The playground snow was fun but the icy patches made it challenging – we had a few slips and falls and broken sleds!
Don’t forget to send in those small boxes! Any box, the size of a Celestial Tea package or smaller, will be helpful. Thanks!


The annual Afterschool play is being written as you read this newsletter.


We have openings (except on Tuesdays) if you want your child to start attending After School during those long winter months!

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After School Afterthoughts December ’16


Dates to remember:

  • Dec.14 – Early release day. Gap care is offered to students starting at 1:20 P.M. Preregister by contacting Lennie at
  • Dec. 23 – Early release day, no afterschool program

November highlights:

November was a good month. We were able to go outside just about every day, although the darkness shortened it somewhat. We used a fruit press to make our own yummy cider, made cranberry relish as a nod to an old Thanksgiving tradition, and also tried our hands on making garnishes, such as radish roses.

Some of the month’s projects were creating a secret handshake, building a group mosaic with hundreds of tiny tiles, and making origami animals. Students also tried some retro toys such as a Velcro ball toss game, Nerf shooters, and Stuff Your Face (where you have to manipulate a clown’s arms to pick up a colored ball and drop it down his tongue before your opponent does).

And lastly:
Thanks to those of you that supported our Wreath & Holiday Plant Sale. We made almost $300 in profit, which will go towards our scholarship fund. Last year we were able to provide $9,400 in tuition assistance, which helped about 1/5 of our students.

Donations to the program of cash, snacks, or art supplies are always welcome. Perhaps this giving season you would like to consider making a tax-deductible, end-of-the year contribution to our popular, yet struggling, not-for–profit organization! Any gift, any size, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

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After School Afterthoughts November ’16

Updates from October:

The A.B.C.Walk was a lot of fun! We had great weather and a lot of good energy. Sixty-one students (including 7 kids that don’t attend the program) walked a total of 1,088 laps, which is over 217 miles! Congratulations to our top walkers: McKaila Woishnis (45 laps), Sam Woodruff (43), and Sage Zephyr (40). Close behind were Finn Jansen (39), Hudson Bosch & Ari Hall (each w/35), Carl Larsen & Spenser Cannon-Ferullo (each with 36), and Desmond Schein (31).

Sadly however, the donations did not keep up with the enthusiasm. So far we have only collected $62 for the A.B.C. House, much lower than last year’s $300. But I am still hopeful – there is still time to donate. Simply send Lennie a check made out to A.B.C. House, or cash in an envelope, and watch our total grow!


The wreaths and holiday plants have been ordered. I have a few extra if anyone is interested – 1st come, 1st serve! The wreaths are $12, and the poinsettias & cyclamen are each $10. Money is due by Nov.22 and pick-up is at the school on Dec.5 from 2 – 5:30 P.M.


The gap care days went on without a hitch. But I have to admit I am glad there is not another one until January. Those were long days!


I hope many of you got to check out the window posters that we made for the Halloween party. These large art works were a group effort. Special thanks to Pat Zephyr who drew the Zombie.


November news:

Welcome to new staff member Patrick Jackman, a UMass senior. He seems to have already made a hit with a number of the kids!


If anyone wants to donate small toys to my prize box, I am always in need of new items.

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Did you know that Pelham After School Program is linked with Amazon Smile?

“AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price (0.5%) to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.”

Make Pelham After School Program your favorite charitable organization! By purchasing through Amazon Smile, you’ll be purchasing the same items that you were going to purchase on Amazon anyways, with the added bonus of helping out After School!

Here’s our link:

Be sure to bookmark it and use Amazon Smile every time you go to make a purchase through Amazon. Thanks!

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After School Afterthoughts October ’16

September was a month of changes, false starts, and new faces (both staff and students) but the afterschool program is off to a good start. Parents are getting their schedules set, staff are learning names, new students are understanding the routines, the computers are up and running, the library bulletin board has been created, homework group is close to running smoothly, and I have collected most of the needed paperwork from families!

October will be a busy month. We will have 3 early release days. Many of you have pre-enrolled, so no further action is required. The cost for the “gap “ care will be shown on your bill in 3 installments spread over the year. You do get credit for any unused days – but please contact me if you are NOT going to send your child as planned. The dismissal procedure for that day can get pretty complicated and time consuming.

We will also be doing our version of the A.B.C. Walk in the next few weeks, as well as contributing to the “Picturing Pelham” project. (More on that activity can be found on-line.) The fall foliage walk is a great way to raise money for a wonderful organization that houses and supports academically talented students from disadvantaged schools that attend Amherst schools. Please support our young Afterschool walkers. Contributions may be sent to Lennie or directly to the A.B.C. House at 74 North Prospect Street. Watch our progress as we chart our collected donations!

I need to end on a sad note. New staff member Xi  D’Agnos will be leaving us. He was offered a position as an assistant director in another program and for personal reasons needed to take advantage of this opportunity. Although he was only with us a short time, he was a wonderful worker and I am sorry to see him go. We wish him the best of luck!

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After School After Thoughts for September 2016

Welcome to another year at the Pelham After School Program! I am happy to see our old friends, and pleased to meet with the new students and their families. If there is anything I can do to help you with this transition to the school year, please feel free to contact me. Contacting me is possible in a number of ways. You can call or text my cell phone (413 265-3766) at any time, or call me at home (413 253- 5944) during reasonable, non-program hours. If you need to talk to me, or your child, during the program and we don’t respond in a few minutes, you may also call the cafeteria phone (413 362 1137). Please do not call the cafeteria during regular school hours.

I will respond to emails ( and there is updated information on our “” website. The Pelham School website has a link to it as well. Correspondence (including tuition payments) can be mailed to the school. They can also be sent in with your child, in a marked envelope, in the same manner as any teacher note or lunch money. In addition, I have a mailbox in the cafeteria on the wall next to the kitchen door.

And of course I am happy to talk to you in person! In fact, there are times when your child’s name will be highlighted on the attendance page. This highlighting means that you either have mail or a staff member would like to touch base with you.

Here’s hoping that everyone has a great school year and a wonderful afterschool experience!

Fondly, Lennie Ware & her fun loving staff –

Chris Marino * Ashley Fuller * Rachel Purinton * Jasmine Bell * Kelsey Geer * Kelsey Niziolek * Danielle Fung * Jess Janard-Howell * Jordan Levine * Samantha Collins * Jacqui Dacey * Xinef D’Agnos * Kara Wheeler

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