September School Council Meeting and Future Dates
We had a fantastically attended first School Council meeting; thanks to all that came out! We elected a new Co-Chair, Lisa Pedersen; a new Secretary, Sylvia Slaughter; and 26 members to the School Council. Here is the full list. This means that we have many more invested parents at the table to help decide how we allocate funds to best benefit our children at school. Membership to School Council is not closed; if interested, please plan on attending the next meeting.
We also recapped our budget discussion from last June. We only partially approved some of the budget as we need to see the final cost of the field work. You can find our budget break down here: Oct 1 – Budget and the meeting minutes here: minutes-for-h-s-meeting-october-1-2015.
Future meeting dates are December 3, February 4, April 14 and June 2.
Lost and Found
Greening Committee Update
Did you know that Withrow has a 3-bin composting system on school grounds? Students bring out the food scraps and community volunteers maintain the bins. And through these efforts, our food waste is magically turned into wonderful rich soil for the food garden and excess worms find homes in classroom worm compost bins!
We’d love to invite any interested Withrow families to help shift compost on Sunday Oct 25th @ 1 pm. Should take no more than an hour and is a great opportunity for kids and parents to learn how they can make their own compost at home. We are working with finished compost so not to worry, it’s not smelly!
If interested in attending, please send a quick email to email@example.com. We will meet in the food garden at Withrow (near south entrance to the school). All are welcome!
First Silent Auction Meeting
Do you have fond memories of decorating your high school gym for the prom? Do you have social media and marketing skills? Can you spend a few hours seeking support from local businesses? The Withrow Silent Auction needs you! The annual silent auction is the largest fundraiser of the Home & School Association. All funds raised go back to the school, paying for things like new school yard improvements, replacing “geriatric” computers and funding arts and science programs for students. Get to know a great gang of dedicated parents, have lots of laughs, and help make Withrow a better school.
First meeting for the 2016 auction is Thursday October 29th at 7:30 pm at 73 Hogarth Ave. Rumour has it there will be wine and Hallowe’en treats… If you are interested in helping, please send a quick note to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add you to our email list.
Jennifer Bol & Signe Silver – 2016 Co-Chairs
Parenting Speaker Series
The first session of the Withrow Parenting Series will be on Wednesday November 18th at 7pm in the school library. We are very fortunate to have two expert speakers who will discuss Resilient Parenting:
Capturing the complexities of contemporary parenting, the “Resilient Parenting” workshop will focus on teaching our children various ways of dealing with inevitable hassles, stressors and challenges head on using their character strengths while developing a growth mindset, seeing problems as possibilities and failures as buds for growth.
TAYYAB RASHID, PH.D, C.PSYCH is a licensed clinical psychologist and researcher at the Health & Wellness Centre, University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC).
AFROZE ANJUM, PSY.D., C.PSYCH is a licensed school psychologist at the Toronto District School Board
Riverdale Parent Social
Many of you missed having the Parent Social to close out the year in June. So we’ve decided to have it in November instead! Please save the date for Friday, November 20th. This is a great night out (without the kids) so look out for more details forthcoming!
PACE Car Program
Andrea Kellner presented the PACE car program at the School Council meeting and here is a brief summary from Andrea:
Pape School has started a program designed to reduce the speed of traffic in Riverdale. I’ve been asked to introduce this program to Withrow as well. It’s called The Pace Car Program.
It’s a simple thing to do and the more people in the program, the better it works!
This program is designed to reduce the speed of traffic in the neighbourhood by encouraging drivers to be respectful and to drive the speed limit at all times. This is achieved by having Riverdale drivers sign the Pace Car pledge stating they will do so. It’s that simple. Then you advertise your commitment to the program with a window cling on your car. Pace Cars act as moving speed bumps and slow down traffic in the neighbourhood.
What do we want from you? We want you to get involved! The more cars involved in the program, the better it works.
How can you sign the pledge? You can read more about the program online and sign pledge at http://www.parachutecanada.org/programs/topic/C71. They will then send you the window clings.
Long-term goals: We would like to roll this program out across Riverdale. We would like to get Paula Fletcher involved, as well as reach out to the local police division. If we are successful, we will be the first community in Toronto to implement this program!
Many of you already know about the amazing Riverdale Hallowe’en Show that takes place every Hallowe’en at the intersection of Langley and Howland. For those of you who don’t, this musical extravaganza is organized and populated with many talented Withrow parents and their kids. Please see videos from last year’s show here. You can access their Facebook page too. This year’s production is entitled ‘Gentrified – The Golden Age of Riverdale and its Dark Haunted Past’; it plays up both Riverdale’s history and Toronto Life’s recent endorsement (in case you missed it, we ranked #6 in a list of 140 neighbourhoods in Toronto).
Claudio Cerrito will be handing out FREE pumpkins from 11am–3pm on Saturday, October 24th at The Riverdale Perk (Withrow and Logan) to help support the Show. The Riverdale Perk will also be handing out complimentary apple cider. Please come by and get your pumpkin and consider making a donation! October 31st falls on a Saturday this year so bring the young ones out — it’s sure to be an exciting night! Showtimes are at 7:30pm, 8pm and 8:30pm.
After enjoying the show, you can re-purpose your pumpkins the very next day at the annual Pumpkin Parade in Withrow Park:
Sunday, November 1st starting at 6:30pm
Bring your Jack O’Lanterns to the main Strathcona-Hogarth path and light up the pathway with your pumpkins.
Last year we had over 500 pumpkins, this year let’s have even more!
Brought to you by the Friends of Withrow Park.
Thank you to Paula Fletcher for her assistance with the Withrow Park Pumpkin Parade.
Toronto Choral Society Children’s Choir
If your kids love to sing, the following flyer will appeal.
Blake PS Aviva Fund
Our friends at Blake PS have applied for a grant through the Aviva Fund to build a naturalized playspace. They need votes through this link: https://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf32500. You can vote daily until October 24th.