Welcome back to school!!! I am really looking forward to a great 2014-2015 school year. Our school looks amazing and is in its final stages of being completely done. What a great way to start off the year: newly renovated school, new teachers, new friends and new opportunities!!!
Our Brinker PTA is an amazing group of people. There is so much work done behind the scenes that continues to make Brinker running smoothly. We have a lot of fantastic PTA sponsored events that will take place throughout the school year. If you have not already done so, I encourage you and your family to join the PTA to support your children's school. Go to www.brinkerpta.org to get started. In addition we have many ways that you can volunteer. Take a look at the volunteer page to see if there is something that interests you for the new school year.
We introduced the WatchDOG program last year and it was terrific. This is an opportunity for Dads (and grandfathers!) to get involved at Brinker. The kick off meeting for WatchDOGS is on Thursday, September 11th, at 6:00pm at Brinker. Mark your calendars and share this information with the dads and father figures in your children's lives.
On Saturday, September 20th, is our Wipe Out Kids Cancer 5K and 1-mile Fun Run! Please join the Brinker Team Eric and help us bring home the Spirit Award. This is a very special event for our school and I encourage families to join us. More information about this event can be found below in this newsletter.
Looking ahead into October, one of our favorite events, Fall Family Picnic is scheduled for Friday, October 10th. This is always a highlight of the season as kids and families have a chance to mingle and get to know each other. There will be food, games and a pumpkin patch!!
Thank you for all who joined us at the first General Membership meeting on Tuesday morning. It was great to see so many new faces. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or just to introduce yourself. Have a wonderful September and I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events.
SEPTEMBER PTA EVENTS
Calling All WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students)!!!
Men, do you want to be more involved with your child at school? Now is your chance!!! Please come join us as we officially kick-off this year's WATCH D.O.G.S. initiative!
WHO: Men and their Brinker children (NEW and OLD to WATCH D.O.G.S.)
WHAT: Informational Pizza Party and Sign-up Event (Those in attendance get first choice of volunteer dates.)
WHEN: Thursday, September 11th at 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Brinker Elementary
WATCH D.O.G.S. engage men, inspire children, help reduce bullying, and enhance the educational environment at school.
WATCH D.O.G.S. is the father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering that organizes fathers and father figures in order to provide positive male role models for students and to enhance school security.
WATCH D.O.G.S. are fathers, grandfathers, step-fathers, uncles, and other father figures who volunteer to serve at least one day a year in a variety of school activities as assigned by the school principal or other administrator.
Brinker Spirit Kickoff Wednesday September 17th 11am -11pm Taverna Rossa
Join us at Taverna Rossa in supporting Brinker Elementary as we hold an ALL DAY dining event. All dine-in and carry-out orders with Brinker Elementary will contribute back to the school.
Taverna Rossa will also be hosting Brinker dad, Scott Schults, starting at 8pm. Not only will there be gourmet Tex-Italian cuisine, but there will also be your favorite local musician.
Come out, catch up with friends, make new friends, have fun and support Brinker! What a fabulous way to kick off a fabulous year!
WIPE OUT KIDS' CANCER
Calling all Brinker Bear Families and Friends:
Lace up your shoes and register to join our school's team Brinker Team Eric at the annual Wipe Out Kids' Cancer (WOKC) 1-mile Fun Run or 5K event at 8:00 am on Saturday, September 20th. You can register as either a participant or a virtual runner and help Brinker win the coveted Spirit Award! Go to www.oktoberfest5k.comto register and make sure you register as part of Brinker Team Eric!
The mission of WOKC is to eradicate pediatric cancer by funding innovative research, education and treatment, while providing hope to children affected with cancer. This race and organization is very special to Brinker staff and families because Brinker Elementary is named after Maureen Connolly Brinker, who died of cancer. Her daughter Cindy Brinker Simmons founded the WOKC organization in 1980. Additionally, every year Brinker dedicates our race efforts to the memory of Eric Hughes, son of Brinker teacher Carol Hughes, who was lost to neuroblastoma in 1999.
Would you like to be in the Brinker PTA and Student Directory?
All Brinker families are welcome to have their information included in the Directory. Submit your information using our online Toolkit. Deadline is September 23rd.
To receive a directory, you must be a current member of Brinker PTA. Join today using Toolkit at Membership Toolkit.
FALL FAMILY PICNIC - OCTOBER 10
*** VOLUNTEERS NEEDED ***
One of our favorite PTA events of the year is just around the corner! Join us on Friday, October 10th from 5-8 pm for our Annual Brinker Fall Family Picnic! All events are FREE including bounce houses, rock climbing walls, DJ, face painting, popcorn, snow cones and cotton candy. The pumpkin patch will make a return as well! Dinner by Raising Canes will be available for purchase. This is a Brinker tradition and we look forward to seeing everyone there!
Volunteers are are always needed and welcome to make our PTA events successful and fun for everyone. If you are interested in volunteering for the Fall Picnic (or any other event), PISD requires that all volunteers submit an application for security clearance. If you have not yet submitted your application, please do so by following the instructions onthis linkto the PISD website. For more information about volunteering for the Fall Picnic, contact Staci Rubin or Jill Levy at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Vice President responsible for volunteer coordination, Shirley Keating, at email@example.com.
IN THE COMMUNITY
PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL
Looking for a fun event to attend with your children? The annual Plano Balloon Festival will take place this year from September 19-21 at Oak Point Park in Plano.
There are events for all ages to enjoy: a Kids' Fun Zone and Toddler Zone with inflatables and games for the children, fireworks, sky divers, bands on two stages, balloon glows after dark and of course, the hot air balloon launches in the mornings and evenings (weather permitting).
On September 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Plano Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its ninth opportunity in four years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to Plano West Senior High, Plano Senior High, Clark High School or Baylor Hospital Plano. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Take this opportunity to prevent overdoses and accidental poisonings due to expired or unused prescriptions. For more information, visit the DEA website.
HEALTH AND SAFETY FAIR
Plano ISD Council of PTAs is participating in a Health and Safety Fair Saturday, September 28th from 9 am to 1 pm. This free event is open to the public and offers several free services for children and families, including fingerprinting for children and health screenings.
First United Methodist Church 3160 E. Spring Creek Parkway Plano, Texas 75074
We have now opened PTA membership for 2014-15 and encourage all parents, grandparents, staff, and community members to join the Brinker PTA.
PTA Membership does not require volunteering or any kind of time commitment. We only ask that you help support the programs and events that we provide for ALL students, ALL staff and ALL families throughout our community.
Becoming a member of the Brinker PTA has rewards!! Your membership helps fund all of our wonderful PTA programs and provides you with a copy of our Brinker PTA School Directory.
Click here to join the PTA online at our Brinker PTA Membership ToolKit web page.It is fast and easy!
If you have any questions, please contact Hollie Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking forward to a great 2014-2015 school year!
PISD VOLUNTEER APPLICATIONS
Have you completed your Volunteer Application for the 2014-15 school year? PISD requires all volunteers to complete this application EVERY school year. We encourage ALL parents to complete and submit an application for security clearance - if you are one of our volunteers or just planning to attend a classroom party. Please visit the PISD Volunteer Application page to access the online application - it takes about 5 minutes to complete.
Click here to go to the PISD Volunteer Application page or here to go to directly to the application.
Thanks for volunteering!
BE A VIP!
One of our most direct, crucial and successful programs is our VIP “Very Important Partner” program, reaching out to our students who need a little extra time and attention with their schoolwork or grasping concepts in the classroom. The VIP program relies 100% on parent and community volunteers to mentor and tutor our students who need that little extra help.
Please consider joining our “VIP” team of caring mentors. The commitment is once a week for 30 minutes from mid-October through mid-May, meeting one-on-one with a student or in a small group setting. No experience is necessary. We have various training aids available to focus on learning. Training will be in early October at Brinker. For more information, please contact Barbara Wisler at email@example.com.
Needed: Teacher Workroom Volunteers
If you can count to 28, use a paper cutter, tear out pages from a workbook and staple papers, then the Brinker Workroom needs you! We need at least 4-5 volunteers each week to help our teachers with behind the scenes work. This time will be spent on work assignments/projects for all grade levels, including PACE and Special Education.
All instructions and supplies are provided. The Workroom is open Tuesday through Friday each week between 7:30am-2:45pm for our volunteers.
To volunteer, log in to the Membership ToolKit or sign up at Back to Brinker. The teachers really appreciate this help!!
(Benefactors for Educators, Academic Resources, and Students)
Each year, your PTA raises money to support programs that directly impact each and every student at Brinker Elementary. Brinker PTA spends almost $20,000 annually on Arts in Education curriculum & Academic Enrichment Programs, such as author visits, field trips, and professional scientists conducting in-classroom experiments. You can read more about the B.E.A.R.S. Campaignhere!
More than 1,000 companies in the U.S. have matching gift programs. This means if the employee makes a donation to a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, such as Brinker PTA, the employer will match that donation. This can dramatically increase the impact your gift makes for the Brinker PTA. Check with your company’s Human Resources Department to see if your company offers this benefit. For more information on matching gifts, visit ourBEARS Campaign page.
The first day of school is fast approaching, which means Tuesday Tunes will be in full swing as well. We’ve already heard from and reserved spots for many of our performers from last year … so spots are filling up fast! Don’t wait!Sign up today »
If you have a student who loves to play an instrument in front of an audience, please consider participating in our Tuesday Tunes music program. Students will play on their assigned Tuesday morning as everyone arrives at school.
Visit our web siteto learn more about this great opportunity for students to perform in front of their peers at Brinker.
Please note, this is not a music lesson. Instead, it is an opportunity for students to perform -- either on the piano or other portable instrument. A minimum of 2 full years of lessons are a pre-requisite.
YOUR MOVE! Register for Chess Enrichment today.
Chess is in demand! We’ve opened a second day of Chess Enrichment due to amazing interest! Chess is now available Tuesdays and Thursdays this Fall, starting mid-September.
Register today on the Brinker PTA Membership Toolkit to reserve your student’s spot. All experience and age levels welcome on either day as newer players learn from more seasoned players.
Why Chess…and why now? According to research,
Test scores improved by 17.3% for students regularly engaged in chess classes, compared with only 4.6% for children participating in other forms of enriched activities
Hones higher-order thinking skills, including analysis of actions and consequences
Develops decision-making skills
Builds competition skills
Chess is a mental exercise that your student will truly enjoy – for a lifetime! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
YOUNG REMBRANDTS ART ENRICHMENT CLASSES
TO START IN SEPTEMBER!
We are excited to offer Young Rembrandts art enrichment drawing classes at Brinker this year! This unique 20+ year method will improve fine motor skills, patience levels, focus and ability to stay on task. Classes will meet on Tuesdays (grades 2 - 5) or Thursdays (grades K - 1) from 4-5pm at Brinker. Each session will run for 6 weeks during the following dates for the 2014-2015 school year:
This year, the PTA is pleased to introduce Healthy Lifestyles. Studies have shown that children's physical well-being has a significant effect on their learning and long-term success. When children are well-nourished and physically fit, they are more ready to learn.
Brinker PTA's Healthy Lifestyles will support good nutrition and physical activity at school and at home. Keep your eyes open for programs and monthly tips that promote healthy lifestyles.
This Month's Tip:Make Exercise a Family Habit
- Take a family walk around the block each night after dinner.
- Walk instead of driving when you can.
- Walk or bike with your child to school.
- Park as far away from entrances as possible.
- Use the stairs instead of elevators and escalators.
This Month's Challenge:Sign-up and Participate in Wipe Out Kids Cancer on September 20th!
We are looking forward to another year of "Going Green" at Brinker! Your Brinker PTA Environmental chairs are planning a year full of beneficial activities. Curious as to what this group does? We plan and implement environmental awareness initiatives at Brinker (think recycling, environmental education speakers, awareness, etc.) and we provide information on ways to be environmentally friendly and conscientious at home. Keep your eyes open for future articles filled with environmental awareness facts and information on upcoming events.
This Month's Environmental Tip: We are lucky in Plano to have a great single stream recycling program (all recyclables can be mixed together in one collection bin), but sometimes it can be tricky to remember exactly what can go into that recycle bin. Here is a short simplified list of what you can put in those bins:
All types of paper - if you can tear it and it hasn't touched food, then you can recycle it!
Hard plastic bottles, containers, and lids
Aluminum and steel cans (rinsed of food), including empty aerosol containers
Glass containers (any color)
What should NOT go in the recycle bin that you might think can? Styrofoam, tissue and paper towels, plastic grocery bags and Ziploc bags, foil packaging (like juice pouches) and clear plastic wrappers
We are also working to create a Brinker Environmental Club or “Green Team” for students interested in learning more about environmental issues and helping Brinker become more environmentally friendly. For more information about these environmental projects, contact one of our Environmental Co-Chairs: Jennifer Blice,email@example.com, orNanditha Zuckerman,firstname.lastname@example.org.