PARENT COORDINATOR UPDATES
Dear PS 107 Families.
It was lovely to see some of you at the craft fair on Saturday. Such creativity and beauty all in one place! It was heart-warming (on a cold! day).
Please see below for Ms. Joanna’s weekly message and updates from myself and the PTA.
MESSAGE FROM MS JOANNA
Dear PS 107 Families,
This weekend’s Holiday Craft Fair was a wonderful success! A big thank you to the event chairs, Spring Hofeldt and Jill Davitt, as well as to the many volunteers who were instrumental in making the second annual craft fair run so smoothly. Thanks, too, to Parent Coordinator Nadia Benlarbi for all of the behind-the-scenes support. I’m so thrilled that the Craft Fair is becoming a 107 tradition!
On a very different note, I have been struggling lately with how to address the global rise in antisemitism with the PS 107 community. As an American Jew whose family, two generations ago, escaped the pogroms in what is present-day Ukraine, reports of rising antisemitism strike a deep and foundational chord. And yet, as a white American fortunate to be raised with relative privilege, I cannot help but feel that there are so many significant issues facing communities of color, that I often feel a bit awkward using my voice to speak out against antisemitism, perhaps, I worry, to exclusion of other forms of hatred.
Emily Bazelon, a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, whose work I have a great deal of respect for, recently shared her own conflicted feelings about antisemitism, and they resonated. While many American Jews have found themselves in positions of relative privilege, as she and I have, it is indeed very concerning, as Bazelon stated, to see “a creeping into the mainstream discourse, these ideas that are responsible for many, many people’s deaths and other suffering over the centuries.” It is critical that, as a community, we do not ignore and risk normalizing these signs that hatred and “othering” of large groups of people are on the rise across the world.
All of this reminds of the quote by German pastor Martin Niemoller (1892-1984), who initially sympathized with Nazi ideas and far-right rhetoric, but eventually became an outspoken critic of Adolf Hitler and spent years in Nazi prisons and concentration camps:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
We must all remember that hatred directed towards any of us ultimately threatens all of us. It is designed to do exactly that—tear apart the bonds of our community so that power may be concentrated in the hands of a few. It is critical that we are always on guard against this.
Related to this, some of you may be familiar with the CBS show, The Equalizer, and you may have seen the signs around the neighborhood that they will be filming near our school on Tuesday, 12/13. The show has decided to tackle the thorny issue of antisemitism and will be filming two difficult scenes at the Park Slope Jewish Center (mid-morning) and on 14th Street (during after-school hours) on Tuesday. The location coordinators have been working closely with me and with Pamela Rosenberg to ensure that our students are not impacted in any way by the filming of these scenes. We have made some minor operational changes to our school day and to after-school on Tuesday so that our students don’t encounter the film shoots. What you need to know as parents:
- Filming at the Park Slope Jewish Center will not start until students who have PE at the Armory from 10:10 am to 11 am have entered the Armory. Filming will wrap up by 11 am when students will be leaving the Armory to return to the school building.
- The Big Yard will not be used for after-school on Tuesday from 5 to 6 pm.
- If you are picking up your child during that hour of after-school, you must pick them up from the main entrance of the school building.
We are looking to expand play options for students in the Big Yard during recess and our School Counselor, Sarah Green, is seeking donations of Duplos. If you have sets of Duplos that you can donate to PS 107, please drop them off with Agent Sharon anytime this week. Please label your donation with Sarah’s name. We would also gladly accept new sets of Duplos, which you can have sent to the school addressed to Sarah Green.
Thank you all for your tremendous support of our school community, as well as the larger District 15 community. Your donations over the last week to the District 15 Day of Action project will help many families in need across the district! Please consider attending the District 15 Day of Action culminating celebration, which will be held at PS 24 in Sunset Park, on Thursday, December 15th, 4-5:30 pm. Our students’ welcome cards for asylum-seeking families will be on display and will be distributed after this event. For the complete event program, see here. And to RSVP, click here.
Have a wonderful week!
PS Two of my former colleagues at PS 169 (PS 107’s sister school in Sunset Park) have put together Amazon wishlists to get a holiday gift for each of their students. There are still many items left — can you help every child in their classes get a gift this holiday season?
To see all of Ms Joanna’s weekly updates, click here.
If you have a rising kindergartener at home, in pre-k here or elsewhere, the application process is now open. The deadline to complete the application is January 20, 2023 and applications will be completed in MySchools. Please let me know if you have further questions regarding this process via email at email@example.com.
*I have received some requests for information for the pre-k application time frame, but as of yet, I don't have any information to share regarding this process. As soon as I do, I will share here in my updates.
Positive cases of COVID in students must still be reported to the DOE’s Situation Room; therefore, if your child tests positive, please alert our Parent Coordinator, Nadia Benlarbi, at firstname.lastname@example.org and copy Principal Joanna Cohen on your email at email@example.com .
Please be sure to notify teachers via email and cc Nadia (firstname.lastname@example.org) if your child will be absent. You can also call the main office at 718-499-2054, ext 1031
We ask that you email both your teacher and cc Nadia if your child will be late or picked up early as well.
Parents' Special Education Support Committee - 12:00 pm Dec.14th
Teacher Holiday Potluck - Dec. 21st
Next PTA Meeting - 9am Dec 22nd
THANK YOU FOR A GREAT CRAFT FAIR
The craft fair Saturday was such an amazing event and we want to thank everyone for coming out and participating! We also want to extend a gigantic thank you to anyone who spent their time volunteering or donated items. The craft fair was a huge success because of all of your efforts. We are so grateful to have a community that supports events like this!
PARENTS’ SPECIAL EDUCATION SUPPORT COMMITTEE
The Parents' Special Education Support Committee is hosting its next meeting this week (Wed, Dec. 14th at noon). All are welcome to join. We'll be planning events and offering a forum to discuss our children's needs. Zoom link here and more information in the Konstella announcement here. Questions? Message co-chairs Ginny Wiehardt (email@example.com) or Amber Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
TEACHER HOLIDAY POTLUCK SIGN-UP
Please help us treat PS 107 teachers and staff to a Holiday Breakfast Potluck and Afternoon Treats on Wednesday, December 21st. Potlucks are a wonderful PS107 tradition and we are very excited to bring back our holiday version! Teachers and staff really enjoy all of the delicious foods that PS107 families bring. Volunteer spots are also available for set-up, clean-up, and dish washing. Click here to sign-up!
MATH MAGIC NEEDS MATH ENTHUSIASTS!
We are still looking for some parents to help with our “Math Magic” club. Please consider signing up by clicking here. Volunteers can be creative and make Math Magic what they want it to be! Ultimately, the aim is to encourage every child to have fun with parents and peers as they discover their inner mathmagician! We would love to restore this PS107 tradition, and we need parent support to make it happen. If you have thoughts/questions, please email our Co-Presidents, Davina Benederet email@example.com and Cynthia Thaler firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUPPORT THE PS 107 PTA
- go to Smile.Amazon.com and select PS 107 Parent Teacher Association before you shop. 5% of your purchase will be donated to the PTA!
- scan your groceries receipt with the Box Tops for Education app on your phone. It only takes a minute and any purchases with the Box Tops label on them will automatically make money for our school!
- December 14 - Parents' Special Education Support Committee
- December 15 - Brooklyn Day of Action Celebration @ PS 24 4-5:30 pm
- December 21 - Superintendent Town Hall (flyer to follow in a separate Konstella)
- December 22 - PTA Meeting 9 am
- December 26 - January 2 - Winter Recess Schools Closed