Lower School Newsletter for March 26, 2017

We hope you had a wonderful March break!  It was so nice to welcome back the children and settle back into the routine of school. The days are beginning to grow longer and warmer, and the children soon will delight in the chance to play, work, and learn outside. Be sure to mark your calendars for the spring Parent-Teacher Conferences coming up on Tuesday, April 18. This is a No School Day for students. Child care will be available during your twenty-minute conference slot. Classroom teachers will be sending out invitations soon to sign up for a conference slot and child care using SignUpGenius. As we enter the final quarter of the school year, time will move quickly, and summer will be on the horizon in the blink of an eye. We look forward to the many adventures that lie ahead!

Marissa Markonish
Head of Lower and Middle Schools


Ms. Chapman’s class enjoys crazy hat and hair day


As we look ahead to spring, we are beginning to prepare for Lower School Grandparents’ Day. This special event is scheduled for Friday, May 12. In order to be sure that all grandparents and grand-friends are invited, we ask that you complete the Grandparent Information Form. Contact Leslie Durgin or Marissa Markonish with any questions.

GARBAGE TO GARDEN: March 28, 2017garbage

NYA is bringing Garbage to Garden on campus this spring to increase our environmental sustainability. Garbage to Garden provides curbside composting and is “so easy, you won’t even get your hands dirty.” The NYA Executive Council is spearheading the initiative and is planning a Dress Down Day and a speaker from Garbage to Garden. Due to scheduling challenges, this has been postponed to March 28.


We are excited to be offering a number of after school opportunities for our Lower School students. Interested students may sign up at Miss Jen’s reception desk. Please see below for details about the different offerings:

Hippity Hop Dance Class, Thursdays, 3:15-4:00 p.m., March 30 – May 11, ages 5-8

  • Brio Dance Studio has joined together with NYA to offer an after school dance class again this spring. The class is an introduction to hip hop and jazz dance styles for both boys and girls. Please note that there will be no class on April 20.


Basic Hand and Machine Sewing, Thursdays, 3:15-4:00 p.m., March 30 – April 13, Grade 4

  • Ms. Ellen Gagne and Ms. Shannon Gallagher will teach interested fourth graders the basics of hand and machine sewing. Students will make a cinch sack and glove monster during the three week class.



Pre-Sewing for Beginners, Tuesdays, 3:15-4:00 p.m., April 4 – 25, Grades K-2

  • Miss Monique is offering pre-beginner sewing lessons where the children will learn some basic skills such as how to thread a needle, how to tie a knot in the thread, how to sew on a button, and how to hand sew in a straight line.  Students will do a few little projects and make some fun creations.  Learning to sew by hand requires a lot of patience and practice. This is a great basic beginner level sewing class that will help them prepare for future sewing projects on the sewing machine. All supplies will be provided.  The maximum capacity is eight, so please sign up quickly to reserve your child’s spot.


Garden Club, Wednesdays, 3:15-4:00 p.m., April 5 – May 24, Grades K-407-nya-summer-camps-06-22-2016-99808-nya-summer-camps-06-22-2016-1000

  • “Sow it. Grow it. Eat it. Know it.” Students are invited to join Ms. Jen Elkins and Ms. Cindy Boothby for NYA’s after school Garden Club. We will be getting our hands dirty learning about composting, planting, weeding, cooking, worm-tending, greenhouse care, science experiments, and campus beautification!



Congratulations to the winners of this year’s March Break Photo Reading Challenge!  There were many fantastic photos and it was a great deal of fun seeing a bit of what took place over the break for members of the NYA community. Thanks to everyone who submitted photos and to Jill O’Connor for organizing this enjoyable challenge.  It’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s photo…


On Thursday, April 6, author Mary Cerullo will be visiting NYA. Building on her background in marine science, Mary explains scientific research and environmental issues in ways that children can understand. She has written sixteen nonfiction children’s books, as well as a handbook for teachers on incorporating children’s literature into the science curriculum. Her books have won numerous awards and starred reviews. Mary will present on the topic of sharks to the Lower School. And with middle school students, she will talk about the research process and science writing. NYA librarian Jill O’Connor wrote and received a grant from the Onion Foundation to bring Ms. Cerullo to NYA.

Friends of Casco Bayshark-book


During the months of February and March, Lower School students will be listening to books from the Chickadee Award list. The Chickadee Award is a picture book award program for children in kindergarten through fourth grade. This award is in its twelfth year and is given annually to one of ten picture books nominated by a committee of teachers, librarians, and early literacy professionals, with the winner chosen by Maine school children. The purpose of this award is to encourage children to develop an appreciation for excellence in writing and illustration that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. The evaluation process helps children to understand and interpret books as well as to express and support their judgment about text and pictures with convincing evidence. For more information, visit the Chickadee website. Our students will listen to book talks from ten of their classmates and then vote for their favorite book at our Chickadee Voting Event on Tuesday, March 28 in the Middle School Community Room. Their votes will be included in the statewide tally to select the winning book!  ~ Jill O’Connor

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The NYA community is supporting NYA Project Graduation by collecting and redeeming returnable bottles and cans through the CLYNK program at Hannaford. In the coming months, there is a special opportunity for us to earn bonus funds for each bag returned. From February 17 – April 24, Hannaford will add 50 cents to each dollar of returnables labeled with the ‘NYA PROJECT GRAD’ sticker. Labeled CLYNK bags are available (free!) at the NYA Lower, Middle, and Upper School Offices. Please take a few to your home or office, fill them, and return to ANY Hannaford. Thank you for supporting our fundraising efforts!  ~ Joanna See and Martha Barrett, Project Graduation Committee

EXPERIENCE SUMMER AT NYANYA_3x3_summer2016_sticky

Registration for Experience Summer at NYA is now open. NYA offers a host of summer programs for toddlers to age 16. Camps include a variety of sports (tennis, lacrosse, field hockey, and soccer), art, theater, dance, circus and more. New offerings this year include Wizard Magic Camp, Mad Science, Girls on the Run, Counselor In Training program (earn Safe Sitter babysitting certificate), and two levels of dance with Brio. Additional information on camps and registration can be found on our website. Early bird pricing ends on April 15, so be sure to sign up soon!


owl-and-elmWe look forward to seeing you for the next at the next Parents’ Night Out on Thursday, March 30 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at The Owl and Elm in Yarmouth. The Upper School Make-A-Wish and Key Clubs will provide child care in the Lower School (suggested donation of $10/hour). The final outing of the year will be at Dockside in Falmouth on Thursday, April 13.


3/28Bake Sale hosted by Grade Four for the Maine Society for the Protection of Animals, Safford
3/28Garbage to Garden Dress Down Day and Assembly
3/28Chickadee Book Award Book Talks and Voting, MSCR
3/29Grades 3-5 Fiddler Workshop with 317 Main, Higgins1:00-2:00 p.m.
3/30Hippity Hop Dance – First Class3:15-4:00 p.m.
3/30Basic Hand and Machine Sewing – First Class3:15-4:00 p.m.
3/30Parents’ Night Out, Owl and Elm, Yarmouth5:00-7:00 p.m.
4/4Pre-Sewing for Beginners – First Class3:15-4:00 p.m.
4/5Garden Club – First Class3:15-4:00 p.m.
4/6Author Mary Cerullo Visit
4/7Faculty & Staff Appreciation Luncheon
4/11Dress Down Day for Animal Refuge League in Westbrook
4/13Parents’ Night Out, Dockside, Falmouth5:00-7:00 p.m.
4/14Spring Bring A Friend To School Day, Grades 4-12
4/17Patriots’ DayNO SCHOOL
4/18Faculty In-Service/Lower School ConferencesNO SCHOOL
4/21Spring Choral Concert, Grades 6-12, Yarmouth Performing Arts Center6:30 p.m.
4/25Spring Strings Concert, Grades 3-12, First Parish Church, Yarmouth6:30 p.m.
4/27Spring Instrumental Concert, Grades 6-12, NYA Gym6:30 p.m.