Family Newsletter

Family Newsletter

October 2008
Volume 1

Azfar Uddin, Principal
Dr. Clark , PTO Presidents

From the PTO

Welcome Back…to waking up early, doing homework, after-school activities, packing lunches, running for the bus, dropping off forgotten instruments, library books, and homework assignments. Welcome back to a fresh, new, full-of-promise school year! It’s good to see old friends again and to welcome all of the new Lynnewood families!

We made it through a busy, but beautiful September and October promises to keep us on the move. (Before we know it, we’ll be bundling up and gearing up for winter break!)

In this issue, we’ve tried to provide you with an overview of the many and varied volunteer opportunities available at Lynnewood throughout the school year. We are so grateful, truly grateful, for the many ways you support the students, teachers, and PTO by sharing your ideas, giving of your time, and putting your energy into so many different school activities.

A wise person once said, and we wholeheartedly agree, “Don’t ever question the value of volunteers. Noah’s ark was built by volunteers; the Titanic was built by professionals.” We know that with the help of parent and family volunteers, Lynnewood’s students will happily navigate the sea of activities during the voyage of another school year.

As you go through this issue, please consider all of the opportunities for volunteering throughout the school year. If you’ve volunteered in the past, we’re counting on seeing you again this year. If you’ve not yet ventured into the waters of school volunteering, please consider it. Some opportunities call for monthly commitments; some are one-time-only. Some require working with a group; others that you work independently. No matter how you help, the payoff is the same: a closer partnership with your child and the Lynnewood community.

And if you can attend our monthly PTO meetings, please do so. The next meeting is Wednesday, November 5 beginning at 7:30 in the school library. It is during these meetings that information from the principal, teachers, the PTO and parents is shared and discussed.

A Moment with Mrs. Mingey

One of my very favorite sayings around here is “The only thing better than the first day of school is possibly the last day of school!” I LOVE the first day of school...a new beginning for me and you…there is just so much excitement, energy, and eagerness in all participants…teachers, parents and children!

For parents, it is a chance to head back to routine and begin again to establish family patterns. Family life settles down to school, soccer, football or cheerleading practice, and CCD. Hebrew School, music lessons, dinner, homework and then, hopefully, bed at a “reasonable” hour. Of course, while the weather is still nice, all kids need some time to play outside. WOW…routine can be busy. I always thought, however, that the consistency of knowing what to expect every day once school starts gives a secure, peaceful feeling to all parents eager to switch gears from summer babysitting, summer camp, or summer vacation boredom. The beginning of school is an excellent chance for parents to set family goals and let children know that together with their children, they will support all efforts to do the very best in the year to come.

For teachers, it is a chance to head back to routine. Many of our teachers are also parents so their Fall routine is quite similar to yours…practices, lessons, homework, dinner, and bed at a “reasonable” hour for all.

We also have many teachers becoming students again as they
work on their master’s degrees to make them even better than they are now. Our teachers are also coaches, waitresses, and religious school teachers during their nights away from school…WOW…routine can be busy. Organized, but busy.

Teachers have the added benefit of beginning a new job each September. Even if they are teaching the same material or grade level year after year, they get to begin again with a whole new group of students. The opportunity to bring new things learned along the way--whether in class, going to class, or planning with peers--to a group of brand new children is very exciting to teachers. This continuous learning is one of the reasons why every single school year is a new adventure jam-packed with the energy and eagerness that makes it a productive year for all kids.

For children, it is again a chance to head back to routine and begin again... buying back-to-school supplies, back to riding the bus, opening a new box of crayons, and most especially back to friends…old and new! Kids get to see favorite teachers and meet new favorite teachers. They look for all things familiar, like their playground games, and look to try new things like flag football, harder spelling words and perhaps chorus. They get to think about the challenges ahead and what they hope they will get a chance to work on…some say math facts, some say reading, and some say the Pacer test!

For me, it is another chance to resolve to make this the very best year Lynnewood elementary has ever had. So much of my planning for the school year takes place in the summer when I interview and hire new teachers, attend curriculum meetings, plan with our PTO presidents, organize classrooms and their supplies and create and discuss instruction with our teachers. I also work with maintenance and custodians to assure that our building is cleaned and prepared for all of us in September.

As you know, some spaces in our building were not quite ready. However, when this building opened on September 2, our teachers had their spaces ready and each one of your children was as enthusiastic and eager for their new beginning as I have ever seen.

I may have been disappointed not to have the auditorium finished, but as one fifth grader told me, “No problem, Mrs. Mingey, it’s just awesome to be in fifth grade at Lynnewood. I waited my whole life to be in fifth grade and I am FINALLY here!”

So, we will have a refurbished auditorium and four beautiful new classroom spaces to stretch out in eventually. Please be assured, however, that when those doors opened on September 2, that first-day-of-school excitement, energy, and enthusiasm was there for all of us…
I waited all summer for the kids to come back…and they were FINALLY here!

Saddle up, pardner and mosey on over to…

Lynnewood’s Square Dance
Friday, October 17

Grab your family and do-see-do to the corral at Coopertown for a Lynnewood Hoe Down! We’ll be kickin’ up our spurs and doing the two-step Lynnewood style. Details came home in your youngster’s saddlebag. Now, giddy up and return the form to school by Wednesday, October 15 and join us for some family fun.


So, Where Do I fit In?

There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer at Lynnewood. Whether you enjoy working with a group or prefer to work more independently, you can find a way to help out. Here are a few ideas. Here are two opportunities that might interest you.

You can help in the art room.

There are two ways you can help Lynnewood’s art teacher, Mrs. Sandy Sherbinko. First, you can help during your child’s art class time. Once Mrs. Sherbinko gives the students their directions for class, volunteers in the art room assist the students as let their creative juices flow. If you are interested in helping while your child’s class gets in touch with their creative side, or you want to split the volunteer time with another parent, please contact Mrs. Sherbinko (ext. or email her: (No, it’s not a typo. It’s “s” then “sherbinko”

You can also help by volunteering to hang up the students’ beautiful creations through the halls of Lynnewood. Mrs. Sherbinko can give you more details if you contact her through either option listed above.

You can help in the school library. library helper.jpg

Our new school librarian, Ms. Megan Thaler, welcomes your help as each class comes through the library. She especially needs help to check out books for the afternoon classes. Shelvers are also needed from 9:30 till 12:00 noon daily.

If you are interested in helping out in the library, contact Ms. Thaler (

Researchers have been studying the effects parent attitudes and actions have on their children's academic success for more than 30 years. The results have been consistent. Anne Henderson and Nancy Berla summed it up in their book A New Generation of Evidence: The Family Is Critical to Student Achievement, which reviewed the existing research: "When parents are involved in their children's education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go farther in school and the schools they go to are better."
--From the article “Involvement Matters: What to Tell Parents,”

Throughout the school year, requests for volunteers or donations for specific events will come home in the PTO’s Thursday packet. If you are interested in finding out more about any of these opportunities, check the directory and contact the appropriate chairperson. Thank you for volunteering your time, your energy, and your abilities to help make Lynnewood a great community!

Art in the Classroom
– This once-a-month program gives students the opportunity to learn more about some of history’s great artists…including Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keefe, Michelangelo, Paul Klee, and Thomas Eakins. Volunteers schedule an appropriate time with the classroom teacher and present a short lesson to the students.

Artist in Residence – This PTO run program culminates in the spring with an artistic project that includes all of Lynnewood’s fourth and fifth grade students and is overseen by a professional artist. The mosaic in the school lobby, the mural above the soffit in the lobby, the majestic lion guarding the front of the school, the mosaic bench in the kindergarten playground, and the mural down the hall from the cafeteria are just a sampling of the great work done by the students and organized and executed by PTO volunteers.

Box Tops for Education– Clip those box tops all year round from products that you use at home and send them into school with your child. Each box top earns ten cents for Lynnewood and that money helps to fund some of the programs listed here as well as assemblies, playground equipment, and other items for Lynnewood students.

Community Service
- Highlights of our PTO Community Service program include donations of hats and gloves in the winter, and the make-a-lunch program that requires donations and parent volunteers to get the work done.

Family Socials – Share a little of your time to set up, help staff, or clean up at one of nighttime PTO family socials and spend the rest of the night having fun with your family and the getting to know the rest of the Lynnewood community.

Lend a hand to a teacher
– Different teachers have different needs in the classroom. You likely heard about some of them during back-to-school night in your child’s classroom. Sometimes, parent volunteers are needed to help coordinate Scholastic book orders. Other teachers need a little extra help making copies or cutting templates or stapling packets together. If you are interested in helping your child’s teacher, just let him or her know that you are available.


Market Day – This is a major fundraiser (but not the only fundraiser) for Lynnewood. Run by a dedicated PTO volunteer, this monthly grocery program offers Lynnewood families a “selection of over 160 restaurant-quality foods designed to meet busy lifestyles at competitive prices.” You help Lynnewood when you buy from the program and you can also help by volunteering to make reminder calls, unload trucks, and hand-out completed orders once a month.

May Day
– This super fun and memorable day for Lynnewood students doesn’t happen without the efforts of many volunteers to set up, work the booths, make signs, help in the cafeteria, and clean up. It’s an annual event that stays in the happy hearts of Lynnewood Lions and requires the help of many willing volunteers.

Recess Clubs – Started last year, these clubs offer Lynnewood students an alternative to come inside at lunch recess during some of the winter months. Last year’s board game club and newspaper club were a big success. Maybe this year, we’ll add a few more. The PTO welcomes your ideas for lunch recess clubs and appreciates your time to help run the club during recess.

Spirit Shop – This school store is run by PTO volunteers and is open for business every other Wednesday during the students’ lunch periods.

Young Writers Day – An annual tradition throughout the school district, but that began at Lynnewood, Young Writers Day gives students the chance to participate in writing workshops with authors, songwriters, sports writers, poets, playwrights, and other guest writers. Volunteers are needed throughout the day to escort writers around the school and to help with a luncheon for our guests, faculty, and volunteers.

Gift card program
– Lynnewood offers its families a chance to help raise funds for school as you do your weekly shopping. Gift cards for Kohl’s, SuperFresh, Pathmark, Colonial Market, and Young’s Produce are available for purchase. A percentage from the gift card sales goes back to Lynnewood. Gift cards can be purchased from Mrs. Fabiani in the school office or from Amie Cannon or Joe Melfe.


Now available on the Lynnewood webpage:


Beginning in November, the monthly calendar that has been coming home in the Thursday packet will now only be available on Lynnewood’s website.

Simply go to On the left, click on the word “calendar.”

October Calendar Highlights

17 Family Social:
Square Dance
30 Picture Retake Day
31 Act 80 Day:
11:30 Dismissal
Halloween Parade
and Parties


The deadline for submissions for the November PTO newsletter is Thursday, October 23. If you would like to include something in the issue, please contact Rene Wick