After School’s Annual Wheel-a-thon to support The Food Bank starts Tuesday, May 30th and ends Monday, June 5th. ALL students are invited to ride, skate, and rattle and roll their way around the parking lot to help the Food Bank.

We will be collecting cash donations or unexpired, nonperishable food items a week before until a week after the event. There will be a box in the cafeteria – or you can give cash directly to Lennie.

Bring your bike, scooter, skates, anything with wheels, and join the fun. All riders will be supervised. Don’t forget your helmet!


If your child is in Afterschool, they will get a toy from the prize box for their birthday. Not their birthday? That means they earned it! For the first few months, one child each day is chosen for being a good listener at Meeting Time.

Also, once a week, a child is randomly chosen from our “Coins for Kindness” board. A child’s name goes on this display as recognition of them being compassionate or thoughtful.

Lastly, every time a child completes 8 challenges, they may select a prize (or a special snack or special privilege). There are about 40 challenges from which to choose.

That’s a lot of prizes! (BTW – I am always happy to accept donations of small toys for the prize box!)


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Afterschool Afterthoughts for May 2017

May Dates:

May 10: Tuition for June is due. (This should be your last bill for the year!)
May 10: Early dismissal. Gap care is available starting at 1:20.
May 22 – 26: Annual Wheel-A-Thon fundraiser
May 29: Memorial Day, no program

April Highlights:

  • The students made their traditional Kitty Litter cake for the spring fair.
  • We had a group of Questbridge Scholars, from Amherst College, come in for a literacy project.
  • On April 7th, the Pelham Afterschool presented their second play of the year, entitled “Night at the Library”, written by Lennie Ware with assistance from Indigo, Skylar, JJ, & Bevin. The cast included narrators Taylor Hanson & Kaya Walker, a janitor Aidan Dresser, and a dancing bookmark Zoey Candito. Book characters were Aryanna Levine-Godfrey as Cleopatra, Mia Allees-Berge as Lucy van Pelt, Ari Hall as Sally Brown, Claire Lloyd as Fern, Toby York as Harold, Skylar Thompson as Hermione, Marit Gubrium as Ginny, Simen Chamoun as Scarecrow, Craig Hrones as Tin Man, Rowan Modesto as the Wizard of Oz, Holden Castenson as Sylvester, Charlie May as Gollum, Taylor Hanson as the Hobbit, Ella Hayes as Alice, Cristina Hayes-Mendez as Pippi Longstocking, Sienna Zephyr as Annika, Ella Spokas as Tammy, Aliyah Kenney as Max, Ari Hall as a Wild Thing, Indigo Halasz and Sage Zephyr as the twins from the Land of Stories, Finn Jansen from Green Eggs & Ham, Maya Coggeshall-Burr as Wendy, Caetlin Lawler as Moka, Maeve Lawler as Michelle, Bevin Montgomery-Gehrt as Prim, & Jaeden Case as Katnis. The scenery was designed by TT Coggeshall-Burr. Thanks to all of the staff and students that helped in so many ways, and of course thanks to the parents and all of the audience! We hope you enjoyed the show as much as we did!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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!


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized