Hello again and welcome to another edition of the Weekly Bridge. Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and we are heading into an abbreviated, two-day school week before our holiday break begins. Despite the short week ahead, there is still plenty to report, so here's the latest from Stanbridge:
The spirit of Thanksgiving was alive and well on campus over the past few weeks. At the beginning of the month, our student STAR Teams launched their annual Thanksgiving Food Drive to benefit St. Anthony's Kitchen, and this year's campaign netted another impressive haul. On Friday, counselor James Warren delivered all donations to St. Anthony's in San Francisco, assisted by four STAR Team representatives from the elementary, junior high, and high school divisions (see photo). Once again, Stanbridge students and families helped fill an entire recycling bin full of canned goods and foodstuffs that will help make the upcoming holidays a little bit brighter for those less fortunate. A big Thank You to all who supported this great charitable cause! (Those who wish to learn more about St. Anthony's, donate, or volunteer there, can visit the St. Anthony's website for more information). The giving spirit of the holidays will continue on campus next month when we once again sponsor the Family Giving Tree project. More details on that event forthcoming after the Thanksgiving Break.
"Thanks" seems to be in order this week, as I extend a Thanks You--or should I say "Gracias"--to our Book Fair Fiesta volunteers. The annual Scholastic Book Fair ended on Friday afternoon, with a special extended afterschool sales session that was open to Stanbridge alumni. Overall, the fair was a successful one, with brisk sales throughout the week. Our thanks to event coordinator Laura Claude for her work throughout the week, as well as the many parents and guardians who assisted with set-up, sales, and Monday's forthcoming clean-up: Mary Anne Ball, Marissa Huang, Cheryl Martinelli, Bonnie Sutton, Wendi Upchurch, Marion Van Heteran, Linda Waissar, Mary Winslow, and Anna Zara. ¡Gracias amigos!
The fiesta may be over, but you can still buy books that benefit Stanbridge. The Book Fair supplies will be packed up on Monday morning and shipped back to Scholastic's secret underground bunker in the subterranean salt mines of Nebraska. Still, you can purchase Scholastic books online at any time--just visit our website's Book Order page. There, simply follow the directions to order through Scholastic's vast online catalog. Not only are there thousands of titles available for readers of all ages, but when you use our school code to complete your order, Stanbridge receives free books for our classrooms and library. It's win-win for everyone and a great way to order some fun gifts for the holidays. (Please ensure your order is completed by December 7 to ensure delivery before holiday break).
If you are already thinking ahead to holiday gift giving, be aware that we are going to be holding a special "Starry Day" bonus auction after Thanksgiving Break. Our "Starry Night" fall gala and auction raised over $32,000 earlier this month, but we have saved nearly a dozen gift baskets and packages that we will be available for purchase after break. All Stanbridge families will have the opportunity to buy these great gift items that include artwork, park and museum passes, dinner and wine packages, and even a homemade Valentine's-themed dinner event for you and up to 17 other guests! Full details will be announced the week after Thanksgiving break, but if you missed this year's gala, this follow-up event is a unique opportunity to get some fantastic holiday gifts at great prices, and help support Stanbridge.
Coming up before the break, however, we have our annual Thanksgiving Turkey Bingo assembly. Held annually in the afternoon before our break begins, this year's event will take place on Tuesday, November 25 at 2:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Bingotorium. The assembly allows students and staff from all divisions to intermingle and socialize while playing bingo games for small prizes such as iTunes, Baskin-Robbins, and Jamba Juice gift cards. Jay and I will once again be calling the numbers, and "Uncle" James Warren has promised to perform an encore of his "Happy" redux; a Stanbridge-specific reworking of Pharrell Williams' "Happy" that James sang (and danced to) at the fall gala to help raise funds for the Fund-A-Need music room. Turkey Bingo is always a fun time and a great way to segue into the holiday, so I am looking forward to Tuesday's iteration. (And yes, we will be posting a video of James' performance online!)
Before segueing into the closing, a few final notes:
• Congratulations to high school student Bobby E., who was elected as the new student body vice-president on Friday. Our previous student body VP transferred to a new school, leaving the office vacant and necessitating Friday's special election. A hearty congratulations to all of the students who stepped-up to run for the office, and our best wishes for the student government to continue their progress this year. A full listing of this year's officeholders can be found on our Student Leadership page.
• More thanks are in order to our ever-increasing list of Annual Fund donors. I am thrilled to report that we have now crossed the $100,000 mark in funds raised, thanks to the participation of Stanbridge families. It is amazing that we are almost halfway to our $220,000 goal, and I thank everyone who has made a contribution thusfar. Our ultimate goal is 100% family participation, and every donation helps make a difference. If you have not yet donated, please consider giving by year's end, either by using the Annual Fund remit envelope to give by check or credit card, or donate online via credit card through our secure Razoo platform. We're all in this together, and I thank you again for your continued support.
• This past Thursday, Stanbridge welcomed "The Fabulous Chinese Acrobats" to campus for a special all-school assembly. Mary has posted a few photo highlights on our Facebook page, and we'll have more pics (and some video) coming later this week.
• Finally, a special congratulations to Stanbridge junior high student Muriel P., who received the Girl Scout Bronze Award on Friday as a result of her continued work over the past two years, particularly, 25 hours of work she contributed to a “bookworm garden” her troop created to encourage kids to enjoy reading. The city of San Mateo allowed the troop to install the garden next to Paddock Park, the newest playground in San Mateo, and it was Muriel’s idea to base it on the book Chrysanthemum.
We started this week's edition with community service and books, so it is only appropriate that we end with that story. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and the short week of school ahead!