"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart" - Helen Keller
Welcome back!! It was so wonderful to have an entire week off to enjoy with family and friends. I hope everyone had a fabulous time, ate a lot of food and had time to relax and count your blessings. We have three more weeks until the holiday break and a lot to accomplish.
We start with giving back to our community in our annual Brinker canned food drive which is taking place December 1st-4th. We are asking for each child to bring 3 canned goods to school. We will be delivering these to a local food pantry to assist families in need.
Winter parties will be held on the last day of school, Friday, December 19th. There will be information sent from the room parents asking for donations and volunteers to assist in making the parties fun and memorable for the children. Additionally, that Friday is a half-day and students will be released at 12:00 noon.
We will soon be approaching a New Year, 2015! It is truly unbelievable how quickly this year has gone. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend time with so many Brinker families, both new and old, these past few months. Enjoy your holiday season with your family and friends and I look forward to seeing you in 2015.
"May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter and every window open to great possibility" -Mary Anne Radmacher
VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
The Brinker PTA would like to thank Shelley Lowe - our Volunteer of the Month! Shelley was in the charge of this year's terrific Brinker Elementary Family Directory and also volunteers as Brinker's Second Grade Lead Homeroom Representative. She is the proud mom of her Brinker Bear, Mia. Please join us in congratulating Shelley!
DECEMBER PTA EVENTS
DECEMBER 1 - 4
CANNED FOOD DRIVE
Please join Brinker Elementary in helping those in need in our Plano community this holiday season by donating canned goods in the annual Plano Santa's Canned Food Drive. Canned goods may be dropped off in the Brinker school lobby Monday, December 1 through Thursday, December 4. Participants are asked to donate 3 canned goods each (canned goods only please). Thank you in advance for your generosity!
CLASS HOLIDAY PARTIES
Each year, our students look forward to their class parties held on the last day before the winter break. This year, the times for parties by grade are:
1st grade: 9:00 - 9:45
2nd grade: 8:30 - 9:15
3rd grade: 11:00 - 11:45
4th grade: 10:00 - 10:45
5th grade: 10:45 - 11:30
Please be on the lookout for e-mails from the class Homeroom Representatives for more information about volunteering or donating items for the parties.
Do you ever wonder how some parents know exactly what to get for your child's teacher? The answer is the PTA!
Each year, the PTA asks the teachers to complete a survey of a few of their favorite things. If you are looking for the perfect gift, look no further. Click here to find a list of all of our Brinker teachers and staff along with great gift ideas for each of them.
WE LOVE OUR VOLUNTEERS!
Our Brinker Bears are fortunate to experience a variety of programs that both supplement and enhance their learning experience. None of that would be possible without ALL of our volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering your time, talent or effort, we would love to have you. Remember, Plano Independent School District has a strict security clearance policy designed to protect our children. Before you may volunteer at the school, you must complete a security clearance application each year. To access the PISD security clearance application, click here or on the picture to the left.
Many of you have expressed interest in signing up for our teacher workroom earlier this year. We need your help! If you can count to 28, staple and cut....You've got the skills we NEED!!
Due to increasing needs of the teachers, we have raised the number of volunteer slots available in the workroom to 7 each week. We have also added Fridays as an option for you to volunteer your time.
Our teacher workroom is located in the back office inside the library. You may stop by anytime on Tuesday through Friday between 7:30am and 2:45pm. We ask that you volunteer a minimum of an hour at a time to help prepare assignments for the week ahead. This is a great opportunity to get a sneak peak on assignments and/or projects that our children will be working on.
Library volunteers needed!! The spring library volunteer schedule is currently being assembled and we are in need of volunteers for certain timeslots. This is a great opportunity to be able to see your child during the day - and you can choose your own volunteer frequency. Some of our timeslots are completely full, but we still are in need of volunteers for times for the following teachers: Bailey, Brown, Burns, Fitzhugh, Griffith, Hayes, Hinds, Hood, Kim, Kreuter, Lee, Minter, Sievers, Son, Snowden, Villalobos. Click here to see the complete library schedule for each grade level.
If you are interested, please send an e-mail to Heather Burchett at email@example.com that you can be added to the schedule.
VIP (Very Important Partner) tutoring is an opportunity to work one-on-one with a Brinker student who needs a little extra help in math or reading. It is a great way to give back to the Brinker community and meet some wonderful children. No formal teaching experience is required. We just ask that you complete a background check and make a commitment of 30 minutes per week on a day and time of your choosing. If you work close to the school, please consider coming in during your lunch hour. This is also a great opportunity for grandparents to get involved at Brinker.
The need is great and our teachers welcome the extra help. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Barbara Wisler atVIPtutors@brinkerpta.org.
Reading Buddies is a PTA-sponsored program where parent volunteers help our Kindergarten students advance their reading skills. Volunteer opportunities are available during the school day at assigned times for each of the Kindergarten teachers. Parents can volunteer for one date or many.
READING PARTIES - 2x2 AND BLUEBONNET READING LISTS
Is your Brinker Bear reading to party?! The holiday break is a great time for your child to get ahead on his or her reading for the 2x2 and Bluebonnet Reading Parties. Your child must finish reading 15 books and turn in his or her Reading Log to Ms. Miller, Brinker Librarian, by the grade level party’s due date in order to be able to attend the reading party. Parties and Reading Log due dates are:
2014-2015 Brinker Yearbooks are on sale NOW through March 6th for $25 each. They will be delivered to students in May 2015 before Yearbook Signing Day. Yearbooks can be ordered on the PTA Membership Toolkit by clickinghere.
The Brinker PTA has been awarded the Texas PTA Bronze Award for its newsletter publications during the 2013-14 school year. Newsletters are submitted for evaluation by the Texas PTA and awards given to those schools for outstanding communication efforts to the school community. BIG CONGRATULATIONS to our 2013-14 PTA Officers and Chairpersons: Todd Moriarty, Brinker PTA's Newsletter Chair; Rhonda Snyder, Brinker PTA's Vice President of Communications and Kim Gleason, Brinker PTA President.
NOVEMBER - A LOOK BACK
AUTHOR VISIT - Brinker students in grades 3 - 5 enjoyed a visit from local author, Polly Holyoke. 4th grade students were treated to a writing workshop with Ms. Holyoke, who shared her skills, teaching the children about different styles of imagination to make their stories creative and entertaining. After the workshop, all students in grades 3 - 5 heard from Ms. Holyoke on her book The Neptune Project. She shared her 4-step secret to being a good writer: READ, WRITE, UNPLUG, DAY DREAM. Ms. Holyoke also made herself available to sign copies of her books for the students.
FALL ART WEEK - As autumn temperatures finally arrived the week of November 10, the students had fun drawing with Young Rembrandts during their art classes for Fall Art Week. Each grade level had a drawing lesson to create a fall-themed project. Kindergarten and Second grade discussed the changing leaves of the season and drew fall trees with pumpkins or shadows. Third grade drew the four seasons and fourth grade had a lesson on cartooning and created a humorous “freezing turkey!” Second graders learned about Native American story-telling through totem poles and drew their own colorful ones. Finally, fifth grade learned about the history of our country’s Native Americans and drew a mother with her papoose, focusing on facial features and created their own Native American patterns.
TEXAS HEROES IN HISTORY - On November 17, our fourth graders received a visit from Sam Houston, one of the “Texas Heroes in History,” as they completed their Texas History unit in IC. Jack Edmondson, aka “Sam Houston,” provided an entertaining and educational portrayal of one of our Texas Heroes as a way of making Texas history come to life.
BOOK FAIR - We had near record-breaking sales at our fall book fair in November. A very special thank you to all of our numerous volunteers who gave countless hours to help set up and pack up the fair. We could NOT have done it without you! Our Book Fair Family Night was a tremendous success and the kids had so much fun seeing Clifford the Big Red Dog! If you were there, thank you for your patience with the long lines! We promise to have more registers for the spring book fair to expedite those lines! Stay tuned for more volunteer opportunities as the spring fair approaches!