Afterschool Afterthoughts For April 2017

April Dates:

April 4 & 6: All cast play rehearsal
April 7: Play performance (2 PM and 7 PM)
April 10: Tuition for the month of May is due.
April 14 – 21: No program, spring vacation

March Highlights:

  • We have a new student. We are happy to welcome Tyler Black in 4th grade to our program.
  • We made it through the UMass spring break thanks to a nice set of substitute counselors and a great core group of staff that stayed local!
  • This month we challenged the students to learn sign language, play hacky sack, cook a treat for each classroom (plus the staff room), and use a wood- burning pen.
  • The featured toys of the month were: a parachute for gym fun, a unique set of interlocking blocks called “Quarks”, a foosball game, a marble toy called Skillball, and a mini hockey set.

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Afterschool Afterthoughts for March ’17

March Dates:

March 10 – Tuition for the month of April is due. This bill includes the last payment for Gap Care.
March 29: Gap care is provided for early dismissal from 1:20 – 3:00.

March Notes:

With spring right around the corner, I am hoping to enlist the help of all parents during the busy playground hours after school is dismissed. Please be aware that the afterschool students are asked to follow certain rules, and guidelines of behavior, and that it is in the best interest of the community if all students are held to the same standards. Please be aware that:
• The field needs to recover so that the grass can grow. Students should avoid the muddy sections and should not dig any holes there.
• It is fun to build forts in the woods, but those spaces should be shared, and any sticks need to stay in the woods.
• Slides are a lot of fun to run up – but the school safety rule is go down only.
• It is nice to share snacks with your friends – but please do not share with the students in After School. We provide our own snacks.
• All adults should be on the look out for safety issues. Please let a counselor know if one of our kids is not being safe. We will do the same for you!

February Highlights:

We started the next play! This play, which takes place overnight in a library, is made up of students in grades 3 – 6, with one performance by a 2nd grader. The performance date has not yet been determined – but the students are busy memorizing their lines.

We have a new volunteer! Her name is Nicole Black and she is a student at UMass and also the mother of 4 boys under the age of 10. I think she will be quite up for the job!


Last call to send in those small boxes! Any small box (band aid, tea, candy, cream cheese, bouillon cubes, individual pies, etc.) is desired.

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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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