Dear Sprague Community—November 25, 2014 This is the week to count our blessings. I am very thankful to have found the Sprague community and grateful that you have welcomed me into it. This will be a short week with a 12:00 dismissal on Wednesday and then the Thanksgiving Break, which includes Monday, December 1st. Monday will be a professional day for teachers. I hope you have the chance to relax and enjoy friends and family. Congratulations to grade 5 students and teachers upon completion of the “Bridge Project.”  This unique learning experience allowed students to work cooperatively in groups to design and build bridges made of toothpicks. Each team had an architect, accountant, project manager, and marketing planner. The teams kept track of expenses, building fees, designed plans and presented their final projects to parents today. Later on, they will test the bridges with different weights to see how they hold up under stress. Special thanks go the 5th grade teachers, Bevin Hale, Kenneth Craig, and Ellen Banthin. Students worked really hard together and were proud of their bridges and displays! Give Back Day was a huge success on Friday. It was so wonderful to see children happy to work to give back to their school and community. It was very cold outside, but that did not deter the students or teachers at Sprague. We had a leaf dumpster that we filled with yard waste. Some groups picked up trash, others weeded the garden, and still others made reminders about conservation or made all natural cleaners to share in all classrooms. Our “Friday School Nurse,” Marianne Maclean, will be retiring at the end of December. Marianne has been the Friday nurse at Sprague since our opening in 2002. She has been a school nurse in the Wellesley Public Schools since the early ’90’s, having been a High School nurse for 10 years. Marianne has filled in where she was needed in many schools over the years. I would like to thank Marianne for the knowledgeable and caring nursing service she has provided to the Sprague community. We will surely miss her warmth and kindness. Nancy Falb will join us on Fridays as our “Friday School Nurse” beginning in January 2015. Beginning in December, we will offer an after school Drama Club for students in grade 5. If there is space available after the initial offering, we will offer those spaces to 4th graders. The Club will begin on January 8th and will be offered on Thursdays for 6 weeks. To sign up, please email Ms. Snyder with your child’s name, classroom, phone number, and email address by December 12th. Thank you. Reminders: Last day for Engineering Club is Dec. 2nd. Last day for first session of Global Child classes in Dec. 16th. There will be extended classes on Dec. 2 and Dec. 9 with a 4:20 end time to the classes. Parents are invited to attend the last class of the session on Dec. 16th.   Mark your calendar Nov. 27, 28: Thanksgiving Break Dec. 1: No school—Professional Day for teachers Dec. 4: Walk to School Day Dec. 4: PTO meeting @ 9:00 am Dec. 11: Cookie Walk from 2:30-4:30 pm Dec. 11: Bugworks presentations for grade 3; Field trip to Museum of Fine Arts for grade 5 Dec. 15: School Council @ 3:15 pm Dec. 16: School Committee meeting—budget presentation scheduled   If you are looking for a family event, the Wellesley High School Keynote Singers and Rice Street Singers under the direction of WHS Choral Director Dr. Kevin McDonald will be performing “Home Alone in Concert” with the Boston POPS on December 26th and 27th at Boston Symphony Hall conducted by Keith Lockhart. “Home Alone” is a great movie for the family and full of laughs.  The soundtrack will be provided by the orchestra and our singers. If you are interested in buying tickets or just learning more, please click on the following link.   Here is a Thanksgiving poem I thought you might enjoy. It is adapted from a poem by Nancy Carmody.     I am thankful:
  For the child
Who is complaining about doing dishes and helping
Because it means she is at home,
  For the taxes I pay
Because it means
I am employed.   For the mess to clean after a party
Because it means I have
Been surrounded by friends   For the clothes that fit a little too snug
Because it means
I have enough to eat.   For my shadow that watches me work
Because it means
I am out in the sunshine.   For a lawn that needs mowing,
Windows that need cleaning,
And gutters that need fixing
Because it means I have a home.   For all the complaining
I hear about the government
Because it means
We have freedom of speech.   For the parking spot
I find at the far end of the parking lot
Because it means
I am capable of walking,
And I am lucky to have transportation.   For my huge heating bill
Because it means
I am warm.   For the person in the car
Who sings off key
Because it means I can hear.   For the pile of laundry and ironing
Because it means
I have clothes to wear.   For weariness and aching muscles
At the end of the day
Because it means I have been
Capable of working.   For the alarm that goes off
In the early morning hours
Because it means
I am alive.     Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m sure you have other things to add to this list!   I am attaching some photos of the mountain of candy that was collected for our troops through Wellesley Dental. They collected over 7,000 pounds of candy and many letters as well. We hope the soldiers enjoy the shipments. Congratulations to the raffle winners Tom Cahaly, Noor Kashif, and Eli Weschler.          

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Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–November 25, 2014
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