Category Archives: From PTO Council

Do you want to improve sustainability in Newton schools?

Join parents, educators and students who are working together to promote sustainability in Newton schools.

If your school does not yet have a Green Team, they can help you to establish one. Representatives of the group participate in discussions to improve food quality and sustainability in school cafeterias. They are also advocating for more in-depth climate science to be taught in our schools, as well as setting up textile recycling collection containers outside of each school building. All are welcome to participate and share experiences and ideas.

For more information contact schoolconnections@greennewton.org or visit www.schools.greennewton.org

February 13th,  3:45 – 5:00 pm
Third floor arc area of the Newton Free Library

Share the Road: Safety Reminders from Newton Safe Routes to School

Newton Safe Routes to School reminds families that pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility. All of our schools have high traffic volume in the morning and most children are pedestrians for part of their route to school, whether they walk from home, walk over from a nearby street (Park & Walk maps), walk to the bus stop, or walk from the Blue Zone.

The following guidelines are adapted from the National Safety Council. However your children get to school, put your phone down please and pay attention. #ShareTheRoad.

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

  • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard in a crosswalk or intersection.
  • Sometimes young children need more time to cross the intersection than the light allows.
  • Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic.
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
  • Do not pull into driveways to turn around, especially near schools. You may not see a child on the sidewalk approaching on bike or on foot.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up.
  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas. School Zone speed limits are 20 mph.
  • Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way.
  • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

Sharing the Road with School Buses

  • If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the lights start flashing.
  • It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
  • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
  • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

  • When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist.
  • When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass.
  • If you’re turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals.
  • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this.
  • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods.
  • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars.
  • Check side mirrors before opening any door.

Reminders for Pedestrians

  • Whenever possible, walk on the sidewalk; if no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic.
  • Follow the rules of the road, obeying all traffic signs and signals.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks.
  • If no crosswalk is available and your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic.
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street, making eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles and wait until they wave you through.
  • Stay alert – avoid cell phone use and wearing headphones or earbuds.
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing, and use a flashlight at night.
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up.

Rock it out this summer at The Conservatory at Highlands!

Registration is now open for the Summer Rock Bands! Join one or more of the week-long summer sessions. Ensembles arranged by age and experience. Register Here!

Some highlights include:

  • Students play favorite songs and/or perform vocals in their own bands
  • Recording sessions and music videos
  • Musical games
  • Kids stay cool indoors AND have time outside at the Newton Highlands playground
  • Students perform a concert on Friday at the end of each week-long session for friends and family!
  • Bands arranged based on age and experience
  • Pictures texted throughout the week sharing all the fun moments
  • For ages 6+

For more information and registration, visit http://www.highlandsconservatory.com or call 617-903-0944.

June 29th – August 23rd,  weekdays 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
The Conservatory at Highlands, 51 Winchester Street, Newton Highlands, 02461

A Night of Dialogue and Theater: FORJ presents True Story Theater

 

Join FORJ (Families Organizing for Racial Justice) for True Story Theater, an engaging and interactive event.

This will be an enlivening follow-up event to the city-wide MLK celebration on Monday. With the help of the True Story Theater , the group will further explore Newton’s 2020 theme of “Know Your Neighbor”. Come learn and connect as the theater troupe performs the spectrum of our lived experiences as residents of Newton – stories that delight and challenge us to think more deeply about what it means to live in neighborhoods that are truly inclusive.

All are welcome; Suggested ages -middle school and up. RSVP HERE: True Story Theater

January 23rd  7pm -9pm
Newton North High School Little Theater,  457 Walnut Street

For more info about the organizations involved visit these websites:
https://forjnewton.com/
http://harmonyfoundationnewton.org/
http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/health/commissions/human_rights/default.asp

Helping Families to Preempt Racial Bias

Story Starters invites kindergarten families in Newton area elementary schools to their five month program that supports families in being color brave.

Story Starters gives families of all races age-appropriate tools and skills to preempt racial bias and build community change. Story Starters’ at-home curriculum helps 3- to 6-year-olds and their families build empathy, support connection, and get into the habit of talking about race. For more details about the program, visit www.story-starters.org.

Registration is OPEN now until January 2nd and there will be an Open House at the Auburndale Library for any interested families who want to learn more.

See the flyer for information Story Starters

Open House December 10th,  5:00 – 6:30 pm (pizza included!)
Program kickoff event January 12th, 3:30 – 5:00 pm

FORJ Family Event

Come to the next FORJ Families Meeting (Families Organizing for Racial Justice) when Annawon Weeden will enact a dynamic monologue tracing the history of the Wampanoag from pre-1492 to the present day. His presentation challenges the audience to rethink their ideas about the Wampanoag and about America itself.

A member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe who grew up on the Narragansett Tribal Reservation in Rhode Island, Weeden has spent his life preserving the culture of his tribe. In 2016, he was awarded with a Congressional Honor as Culture Bearer for New England.

After Weeden’s presentation, the audience will break into small groups for a family-friendly discussion about reconciliation. The event is FREE and for Adults and children ages 10+ .

Please RSVP here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeUcCJqiT0KNzMWl0nRegg6ReeBJIlimMmq59NkvUhnl9sP5A/viewform?usp=sf_link

Note: Please be ON TIME! This is a dramatic presentation and it requires quiet and focus from the audience members. This program is possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Raising Luminaries. www.booksforlittles.com

November 13th, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Angier School

Free Hackathon

High school students are invited to a free, one-day hackathon. Together with a team, students will develop an app, game, web site or idea that improves experiences for people with disabilities. No experience necessary. Experts from Google, Microsoft, Olin College, Perkins School for the Blind, startups, and more will be there to inspire and help. Projects will be judged and thousands of dollars in prizes will be awarded. Families and the public may attend the demos and closing ceremonies at the end of the day.

Register today at hackawayforgood.org. Space is limited.

November 16th, 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
Wayland High School

Organized by Wayland High School | CS Club. Sponsored by: Balsamiq, theCoderSchool of Sudbury, and iCode of Wellesley. Organizations supporting the event with generous in-kind donations and volunteers include: Chick-fil-A Framingham, Giacomo’s Ristorante, Google, HTC, Microsoft, Perkins School for the Blind, Stop & Stop, and Wegman’s. Sponsorship, donation and volunteer opportunities are still available. For more info, please contact hackawayforgood@gmail.com

Newton Community Blood Drive

Roll up your sleeves and help save lives! Newton Presbyterian Church will proudly partner with the American Red Cross to hold what they expect to be the first of many blood drives. The Red Cross has over 135 years of experience providing humanitarian aid, including more than 75 years of supplying blood to those in need.

Each pint of blood collected can help save up to three lives and will touch the lives of so many more. What a great way to pay it forward and make an impact on people in our community and across the country.  The Newton Presbyterian Church Mission Committee is leading this initiative. You’ll will be entertained by the Newton All City Troubadours during the blood drive, to be followed by their concert in the Sanctuary that evening at 7:00 pm.

See flyer for more information.

November 23rd, 9:00 am -2:00 pm
75 Vernon Street, Newton

Teens: Meet 16 STEM Mentors at Think Big! Free Ice Cream Social, Oct. 26

To celebrate Massachusetts STEM Week, middle- and high-school students are invited to Think Big!, a free event at the the Newton Free Library on Saturday, October 26, 2PM-4PM, to meet 16 local STEM professionals and talk informally (over ice cream from Cabots!) about challenges, satisfactions, and career paths in the wide range of STEM fields. These mentors represent a wide range of STEM:  Microbiology, running-shoe design, software development, computational biology, ecology, chemistry, drug design, solar entrepreneurship, 3D animation, manufacturing science, applied physics, genomics, and more. It’s free and space is limited, so register now. It’s sponsored by the Newton Free Library, NewtonSTEM, and the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club, with help from the Newton LigerBots. You can see what earlier Think Big! events were like in November 2015, March 2018, and October 2018. For more information, email info@newtonstem.org.