Dear Sprague Community, It is the holiday season and although many of us celebrate different holidays, there is a certain spirit of lightness in the air. Tonight marks the beginning of Hanukkah. In my family, we celebrate Christmas. We have had a tradition of cutting down our own Christmas trees most years. This year was a little bit different. With a daughter in graduate school and a son in college, no one wanted to make the trek to chop down the tree. This caused me to not have the usual holiday spirit initially, but that did change. We often think of others at this time and it is with joy that we do our best to make others happy. In our town, Santa arrives by lobster boat the first weekend in December, and he makes the rounds of town on a fire truck on the second Sunday in December. I happened to be taking a walk when Santa was going from street to street this past Sunday. When I say that, I mean it quite literally. It is a small town and he literally goes down every street on the fire truck. Santa was not alone. There were 4 or 5 other firefighters and a few volunteers on the trucks. As you might imagine, the streets were not exactly lined with children in the winter as they are for the 4th of July parade. There were varying numbers of children out on each street depending on the neighborhood. But, in general, you would see just a few per street and some streets probably didn’t have any children coming out at all. That didn’t seem to matter to the group on the fire truck. They gladly gave their time on this Sunday—mind you the Patriots were playing at the same time! Why, you might ask, did they do it so gladly? Well, I can’t be sure, but I think it has to do with that ‘holiday spirit’ and wanting to make others happy. There were no children with me when I waved wildly to Santa and the truck. It immediately put a smile on my face and I saw that smile on the faces of others who looked up at the truck. So, between some shopping, seeing Santa, and spending my days with your wonderful children, I do have my usual amount of holiday spirit! I must say, the Cookie Walk, certainly added an air of festivity this past Thursday. I know you have seen the long list of wonderful parents who volunteered their time and energy to make this fun event be so successful. Thanks to all of them, to all of you who baked and/or attended, and to event chair Elizabeth Young. Raffle winners were contacted individually by members of the committee. Sadly, if you were not contacted, you did not win anything—but there’s always next year! Thank You from Cradles to Crayons: Hello Sprague: Thank you to all the parents who donated winter clothing to the Cradles to Crayons drive at Sprague the past 5 weeks!! In conjunction with the drive at Hunnewell, there were more than ten 13-gallon bags!! Again thank you for everyone who helped and supported the Gear Up for Winter initiative! From, Ethan Chiu Teen Leader Cradles to Crayons Today students in grades 1 and 2 enjoyed a visit from Brian Lies, author of the Bats picture books. His titles include: Bats in the Library, Bats at the Beach, Bats at the Ballgame and his newest, Bats in the Band. He spoke with the children about how books are published, how he gets his ideas and how he works as an author/illustrator. He reminded the children over and over that “Practice makes better, not perfect” and that it is important to take a risk, try new ideas out and keep practicing. Last Thursday, 3rd graders had a visit from the “Bugworks” program and learned about different kinds of insects. I happened to walk into a very detailed conversation about the praying mantis in one of the classrooms. Our building-based math coach Heather Heon shares the following ideas for maintaining math skills over the vacation: “It is important to provide kids with opportunities to think mathematically and strategically, especially when school is not in session! We recommend that students continue to use DreamBox over vacation and have also included some fun strategy games that you can play as a family. Please see the attached documents for directions to Nim, 2-D Nim, The Sum What Dice Game, and the Addition Cross puzzles”. (Directions for the games are attached. Have fun!) Mark your calendar: Dec. 24-Jan. 4: Winter break (There are classes on Dec. 22 and 23—we will be here!) Jan. 5: Classes resume Jan. 9: Walk to School Day Jan. 12: School Council Meeting Jan. 16: Winter Concert at 9:00 a.m.
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