Hello again. If this past week's weather was any indication, we are indeed in a winter wonderland. (relatively speaking, of course). Chilly temperatures aside, the holiday season is in full swing at Stanbridge, and as we prepare to start holiday break this coming Friday, here is the latest news on all of the hustle, bustle, and holiday smiles:
• The Stanbridge Community has a long history of giving during the holidays and this year is no exception. Following on the heels of our Thanksgiving Food Drive, our annual Family Giving Tree gift donation drive was equally successful. Coordinator Susan Kufer delivered dozens of donated gift items to the FGT warehouse in Menlo Park that will be distributed to less fortunate families and children. Continuing the theme of student service, our junior high students and teachers participated in a "Day of Service" this past Friday, going to the FGT warehouse to help sort, organize and wrap items. It was a unique opportunity for the group to see where the donated items go, as well as see firsthand the community effort behind this organization. More details and pictures are posted on our Community Service page. This illustrates the true meaning of the holiday season, so a heartfelt Thank You to everyone who participated.
• The on-campus Scholastic Book Fair ended on Tuesday morning, but you can still support Stanbridge by ordering books online through this Wednesday, Dec. 18. Coordinator Laura Claude has more details and links to the Stanbridge Book Fair website in this week's SPA Spot. Speaking of online shopping, you can also read more on the SPA Spot page about how using AmazonSmile to order from Amazon.com helps contribute to our school. 'Tis the season for holiday gift giving and these are two great ways to get your shopping done and help give back to Stanbridge!
• In conjunction with the Book Fair, to help generate even more excitement about reading, teachers encouraged students to read at home. For the past three weeks, elementary and junior high students were asked to read for 20 minutes at home each night, and high school students were asked to keep a nightly reading log and try to collectively read at least 8,000 minutes. Both of those reading goals were reached and as a reward, students enjoyed a free pizza lunch on Wednesday. Given the success of the Book Fair, there is likely to be a lot more reading over the holiday break as well.
• Before holiday break, however, we have a few holiday events scheduled here at school. Our high school students enjoyed a winter wonderland of a different sort on Friday night when Hayden Hall was decked in boughs of holly, disco lights, and wall-to-wall music for the Holiday Dance. Big thanks to the parents and guardians who donated snacks, helped with set-up and clean-up, and our teacher chaperones for the night. Plenty of pictures were taken and we will post them to the online Media Room next week.
• Also on the agenda for next week: our school-wide Holiday Showcase. Students from all divisions will be giving special holiday-themed performances on Wednesday afternoon in the Multipurpose Room. The showcase will feature a comic skit from resident improv maestro Jay Huston and the Stanbridge High School Players, a performance from the Stanbridge Band, a concert by David Hopper and the Stanbridge Student Choir, and more. The event is open to all Stanbridge families, friends and relatives, so I hope you can make it. The curtain goes up at 1:45 p.m. and the performances will run until the end of the school day at 3:10.
• Finally, our last day of school in 2013 is this coming Thursday, December 19 (Note: There is no school on Friday). Students will get a chance to ease into break with divisional parties on Thursday afternoon. The group parties will start at 2:30 p.m. with teachers, SPA volunteers, and divisional parent reps organizing activities and providing snacks. When the 3:10 bell rings, it will mark the start of our holiday break which runs through January 5, 2014.
A short-but-busy week ahead. Stay warm and have a great weekend!