Lower School Newsletter for November 13, 2016

Each year, the month of November reminds us to take a moment and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. NYA will be full of such moments in the week ahead. We are delighted to see the growing mounds of foods to bring to the Preble Street Shelter in preparation for their busiest time of year. The halls of the Lower School will be sweet with the smells of pumpkin pies being prepared for The Root Cellar. The Lower School students and teachers will be coming together as a community on November 18 for a special holiday feast. As you head off for the Thanksgiving break, we wish you well and hope you have the opportunity to give thanks, delight in family and friends, and bring renewed optimism and positive energy to your lives. We also offer our thanks to you for entrusting your children to us and offering us your support and collaboration.

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


Mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 16 at 2:30 p.m. for the Lower School Drama production of Willy Wonka KIDS in Safford Center (the cafeteria/auditorium). Willy Wonka KIDS is based on the Roald Dahl children’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with inspiration also coming from the 1971 movie starring the late Gene Wilder. The students have been hard at work putting this show together, with all elementary students as part of the ensemble, and students in the Drama Club (kindergarten through fourth grade) taking the lead roles. The show will last about 35 minutes, and parents may pick up their children following the production. After Care will run as usual following the performance. We hope to see you there!



Mrs. Gallagher and Miss Monique are offering an after school club for students in grades K through four. Students will engage in craft activities based upon a shared book or holiday story. The club will meet on Wednesdays, November 30, December 7, and December 14, from 3:15-4:15 p.m. in Mrs. Gallagher’s classroom. Interested students should sign up for Holiday and Story Book Crafts Club on the sign-up sheet at Ms. Jen’s desk in the Lower School. Contact Shannon Gallagher or Monique Roy Whitcomb with any questions.


On Friday, November 18, the Lower School students, faculty, and staff will join together for a Thanksgiving Feast. Each of the classes will have a role in cooking and preparing for the meal. The children will also sing songs and listen to stories about this holiday. We look forward to this opportunity to come together as a community, rejoice, and give thanks.


Every year, our NYA community supports the Preble Street Shelter by collecting donations of food to stock their shelves for the upcoming holidays. Seasonally, and especially with the early cold weather, they are in need of extra supplies to serve the individuals and families who rely on their help. Families are invited to bring donations of the following items to the Lower School: Stuffing Mix; Rice; Pasta; Gravy; Canned Fruit and Vegetables; Coffee; Canned Soup; Canned Beans; and Cooking Oils. In celebration of the spirit of giving, students may enjoy a Dress Down Day tomorrow, Monday, November 14.  Thank you for your generosity!


from Cathy Jakubowitch (Jack Kostelnik’17, Xander Kostelnik’19)


Attention all bakers (and want-to-be-bakers) in the NYA community! It’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving. Here is an opportunity for NYA families to reach out and help out others who may be experiencing difficult times…in the form of a pumpkin pie (or 2 or 3)! Each year, The Root Cellar collects pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving meal baskets that go to families in need in the Greater Portland area. This is a tough time for many families and there is an increased need for food this year. For the past eleven years, our family has donated pies to the Root Cellar as part of the Cumberland/North Yarmouth Family Network. This year, we decided to extend an invitation to all NYA students and families to join in on this simple, yet fulfilling activity. Additional information on how to join this effort is available here.

booknook-computerTHANK YOU, T-MAC!

The Lower School would like to extend our thanks to Middle School Art teacher, Tim McMahon (T-Mac) for constructing and installing our new library computer check-out station in the Lower School Book Nook. The station streamlines the checkout process for our students and teachers and frees up additional space in the library. Thank you!

DRESSING FOR COLD WEATHERwalkingoutsidep1marti-3

With the change of seasons, it is important to dress children with the appropriate layers and clothing for outside play. Except in the case of extreme weather, students will be going outside. Warm coats, hats, mittens/gloves, and boots are all essential items. Snow pants will soon be vital. Please be certain to clearly label all items with your child’s name. Children sometimes struggle to recognize their own items and many have identical gear. Also, please be sure to update extra back-up clothes for the season (shorts and a t-shirt can be difficult to wear in December!).


The NYA Library is once again holding its Book Sale at this year’s Holiday Craft Fair, and we would like your gently used, saleable books. We will accept books for ANY age, young children through adults. You may drop off your books in the NYA Library or at the reception desks in the Lower and Middle Schools. Please contact Librarian Jill O’Connor with any questions.


wreaths-2-resizeParent Volunteers for Wreath & Poinsettia Pick-Up

The Parents’ Association, in conjunction with Project Graduation, is hoping to fill our volunteer slots for wreath and poinsettia pick-ups! We have six shifts available over two days, and will need three volunteers per shift. Sign up here to volunteer. Contact Katie Woods with any questions. The Parents’ Association appreciates your continued support!


The Holiday Craft Fair is a substantial fundraiser for the Parent’s Association. Money raised from booth rental fees helps to support NYA teacher grant requests. Your participation helps to make this event a success and makes these vendors want to return year after year. We are looking for a few volunteers on Friday and Saturday to help set up, move vendors in, and take down after the event. Sign up here to volunteer. Help out & feel good!

HOLIDAY BOOTCAMP 2016shelby-trained

Looking for a great all-around workout this holiday season? Check out Holiday Bootcamp at NYA’s Travis Roy Arena with Shelby Turcotte, Performance Enhancement Specialist. Holiday Bootcamp is a program that provides adults with a great all-around workout using body weight, kettlebells, dumbbells, stability balls, as well as other movement in circuit style training sessions. And, it allows you to claim you’ve been “Shelby Trained”. There are three weeks of classes from November 28 through December 16, one session at 8:00 a.m. and one session at 12:00 p.m.


To help meet the needs of our families, we will offer the option of care from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on select days during our school vacations. This will be available to all Lower School students on a first-come, first-served basis, and will run only if a minimum number of students enroll. This coverage will be offered three days during Christmas week and three days during New Year’s week (Monday-Wednesday each week). Rates for this care will be $80/day.  If you anticipate utilizing this service, please contact Leslie Durgin. The deadline to sign up for either week of winter break is Friday, December 9.


11/14 Dress Down Day for Preble Street Shelter Donate non-perishable foods.
11/16 Jon Turk Presentation
11/16 Lower School Drama presents Willy Wonka KIDS, Safford 2:30 p.m.
11/18 Last Day of Classes before Thanksgiving Break
11/19-11/27 Thanksgiving Break No School
11/28 Classes Resume
11/30 Holiday & Story Book Crafts Club begins 3:15-4:15 p.m.
12/1 Lower School Open House 4:00-5:30 p.m.
12/3 NYA Holiday Craft Fair, Curtis building 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
12/16 Last Day of classes before Winter Break; Last day of first semester
12/17-1/2 Winter Break
1/3 Classes resume; Second semester begins