Thursday, April 17, 2014

Crocker Farm fundraiser at Whole Foods

For the month of April, the Whole Foods store in Hadley is doing a fundraiser at their cash registers to raise money for art education and the mural project at Crocker Farm. 

THANK YOU for your support Whole Foods, and to the people who have donated so far!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New ARPS School Equity Task Force

Letter to the ARPS Community from School Committee member Amilcar Shabazz, who is chairing the new School Equity Task Force (SETF). Nominations for SETF members are being sought & should be submitted to Debbie Westmoreland ( no later than Fri, May 2nd.  

April 11, 2014

Dear Members of the ARPS Community:

On Tuesday, April 8, 2014, the Amherst Regional School Committee approved the establishment of a School Equity Task Force (SETF) that was given the following charge:

The ARPS will provide all students an innovative and academically exceptional education in an environment that embraces racial, cultural, and socio-economic diversity and where the educational workforce of our schools proportionately reflect, as closely as reasonably possible, the diversity of the school district as a whole. This educational experience and environment must include facilities and other human and capital resources that are equitable to support the district’s mission of Excellence in Teaching and Learning for All. The SETF will study and make recommendations for short- and long-range actions concerning but not limited to the following:
  • Discipline issues, especially racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities;
  • Developing a school climate founded upon mutual respect; 
  • Dismantling unfair tracking and ensuring equitable access to all offerings;
  • Curricular revision; and
  • Other equity issues related to achieving the Amherst Regional High School’s Core Values and Beliefs of “High Achievement, Best Practices, and Social Justice.”
As chair of the SETF, I invite nominations of individuals willing to serve on a task force that aims to enact our district's stated mission "to provide all students with a high quality education that enables them to be contributing members of a multiethnic, multicultural, pluralistic society. We seek to create an environment that achieves equity for all students and ensures that each student is a successful learner, is fully respected, and learns to respect others" [Policy AD].

The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 2.  Review of nominations will begin on May 5, including confirmation of the willingness to serve of those selected. The first meeting of the SETF will be scheduled for no later than May 19.  I would like to have at least a quorum of SETF members available to meet periodically throughout the summer. Nominations should be submitted to Ms. Debbie Westmoreland at and should include the name, address, phone number and email of the nominee.

Yours for the Best in Education for Our Community,

Amherst Regional School Committee member
School Equity Task Force Chair

Monday, April 14, 2014

Thursday morning, join us!

Please join us this Thursday at 9:00 a.m. in the Community Room to
chat about all things Crocker Farm!
We look forward to having coffee with you.

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As always, your little ones are cordially invited.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Amherst Youth Soccer Gear Exchange - Sun April 13th

Soccer families,
Frustrated that you have to buy yet another pair of cleats that your child will only use for one season? Don't know what to do with all those like-new shin pads from previous years? Well then, come down and support AYSA's first annual gear exchange and fund raiser.

WHAT CAN I DONATE: You can drop off soccer shoes (indoor or cleats), shin pads, balls, and other equipment. Gear should be clean and in good condition (you'd feel comfortable having your own child wear it).

WHERE AND WHEN DO I DONATE: You can drop off tax deductible donations any time between now and noon on Sunday, April 13, or bring it with you to the gear exchange on Sunday from 12-2 pm. Please drop gear in the boxes behind the VFW Post 754 building at 457 Main Street in Amherst.

THE EVENT: families are invited to come to the gear exchange at the VFW this Sunday, April 13, between 12 and 2 pm.

You can take used gear (for free!), meet our new Director of Coaching Kevon Isa, purchase AYSA gear and bumper stickers, and buy tickets to our spring raffle.

Contact Victor Ortiz ( for more info.
 Amherst Youth Soccer Association, 3 Carriage Lane, Amherst, MA, 01002,

(not a school or PGO-sponsored event)

Fundraiser Walk/Run for Reader to Reader & Teach for America - Sun, April 13th

Phi Sigma Pi, the only co-ed Honor Fraternity at UMass, is hosting their annual 5K fundraiser on April 13th at 11:00 AM.

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100% of the proceeds benefit their national and local philanthropies, Teach for America and Reader to Reader. The race begins and ends at Kendrick Park, across from Bertucci’s in Amherst Center.

You can sign up to run, walk, or participate in a six-stop relay along the route. The registration fee is $5. Day of, the registration is $7 at the start of the race. Free hats and $5 Bueno Y Sano gift cards will be given to the first 100 people who register! Essentially, you are participating for free if you spend that $5 at Bueno!

Signup here

The brothers of Phi Sigma Pi encourage participants to bring books for any pre-K-12 age to donate to Reader to Reader and/or school supplies for TFA.

Participants can tie dye or splatter paint their hat upon finishing the route. There will be many great raffles and donations from their generous donors: AJ Hastings, Amherst Business Improvement District (BID), Amherst Cinema, Antonio's, Bertucci's, Bruegger's Bagels, Bueno Y Sano, CVS, Fresh Side, Hair East, Henion Bakery, Judie's, Lone Wolf, Purele, and Stop and Shop.

Teach for America is an organization of recent college graduates who commit to teaching two years in an urban or rural public school. Their mission is to help improve the differences in educational inequality that is seen across the nation by connecting these impoverished areas with people who have shown interest in this effort.

Reader to Reader is a public charity dedicated to bringing books, free of charge, to under-resourced school libraries and public libraries across the United States. Brothers of Phi Sigma Pi strongly support these causes and are committed to helping their efforts.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Community Emergency Response Team

Be prepared in the event of a natural disaster or community-wide accident.  
Free training begins tonight.  
Questions? Contact

(not a school sponsored event)

Mural Project Update

The Crocker Farm Mural Project is continuing until spring break. Due to popular demand, there will be another night session for parents to participate in the project: 

The session will be held Tues, April 15th, 5:45-7:30 pm. To attend this session, please RSVP to Laura at or 401-688-2787.   Children who attend must be accompanied by an adult.

Parents can also still signup to assist during art classes during the day. The signup link is below. If a signup time is full, it's still okay to come & help. More parent helpers are always appreciated.  

Sign up link:

Thank you!  

LEAP program at Amherst College for grades 6-8, April 26th

We asked, you answered, and now we're excited to introduce our new pilot program, LEAP!

LEAP is a two hour program for middle school students. Each attendee can choose to take two classes taught by Amherst College students. Classes cover topics ranging from "How to Lie with Mathematics" to "Humor and Drama." It's your favorite Splash! model, only smaller.

We will be hosting our very first LEAP on Saturday, April 26th from 9-11am. Any student from grades 6-8 is welcome to attend and best of all, the event is FREE.
More info here:

Register for LEAP today through the following link:

If you have any questions, please contact us at We hope to see you there!
The Amherst Splash Team

(This is not a school district or PGO-affiliated event).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Last Call: Nominations for African-American Achievement Night Awards

Award nominations due by April 17th

African American Achievement Night is scheduled for Friday, May 2 in the ARMS Auditorium from 6:30-8:30pm. All are welcome!

At the achievement night, awards will be presented to students in Grades PreK-12 who have made accomplishments in the areas of academics, leadership/community service, and performing arts and athletics.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to nominate their children for the awards. Staff at all schools were asked to nominate students too.

Nomination form can be found here.  Please complete and send to Kimberly Stender,, by April 17th.

Thanks and enjoy the day!
Kimberly Stender
Community, Partnerships & Volunteers
Office of the Superintendent

This week & Upcoming at Crocker Farm & ARPS

Crocker Farm
* Mural Artist Joshua Winer in residence on Tues, Wed, Thurs for the next 2 weeks (until April 17th); we're still looking for additional volunteers to help with the mural project during art classes (Link to more info here)

* Book collection for the Crocker Farm used book swap.  Collection boxes in the front foyer & parent pickup areas; chapter books for older readers especially wanted (link here)
Signup to volunteer to help with the book swap setup & distribution HERE

Amherst Regional Public Schools
*Mon-Wed, 4/7-4/9, Kindergarten registration, 9 am-2 pm each day & 6-7 pm on Wed,  at the School District offices at the Amherst Middle School (link here)

*Tues, 4/8, Regional School Committee Meeting, 7 pm, High School, (link to agenda here)
      -- Meeting includes updates on district safety & security, & on the ARPS Family Center, & discussions on district policies & proposed policies related to educational equity, cultural diversity, & life-threatening allergies.

*Wed, 4/9, Workshop on relational aggression, for 5th, 6th, 7th grade parents, 6-7 pm, Middle School (link here)

Upcoming at Crocker Farm
* Mon-Tues, 4/14-4/15:  Used Book Swap
* Wed, 4/16: Cambodian Celebration during the day
* Fri, 4/18:  School closed
* Mon-Fri, 4/21-4/25:  School vacation week
* Wed, 4/30:  3rd & 4th Grade concert, 6:30 pm
* Fri, 5/9: School dance (6th grade fundraiser)

Volunteers Needed for the Book Swap

Crocker Farm's Used Book Swap is next Mon (4/14) & Tues (4/15)  
We will be setting up on Fri (4/11) afterschool, & are seeking volunteers to help with the setup & with the class visits next week.
You can signup to help at this link or by emailing Tracy ( Thank you!
---- We are still accepting book donations for the book swap through Friday ---

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Workshop: The ABC’s of ADHD/ADD

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This workshop will introduce, explain and explore ADHD/ADD in children and teens. Dr. Saline will define ADHD/ADD, explain its causes and diagnoses. She will discuss the relationship between ADHD/ADD, learning disabilities and mental health issues and how to address these challenges most effectively. Dr. Saline will also address common parenting concerns and how to use innovative strategies for tricky behaviors.

Amherst Regional High School Library
Wednesday April 16 7:00pm
21 Mattoon Street

This a free presentation and the public is invited.

For more information please contact the ARPS Family Center 413-362-1875 or

Sharon Saline, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Northampton, MA

Rafters College Towne Classik Race

SUNDAY MAY 18, 2014, 10:30 AM
Rafters Sports Bar & Restaurant, University Dr., Amherst, MA

5 Mile Run or 5 K (3.1 mile) Run or Walk

21st YEAR!!! Help us support our charitable causes, the Jimmy Fund and the Amherst Police Relief Association at this family friendly event. This 5 mile and 5K has a safe and fast course through downtown Amherst. 

****Commemorative Tee to 1st 300 Entrants, Age Group Awards, Public Safety Team Award, Water Stops, Mile Markers, Professionally Timed****

Post Race Barbecue: Burgers, Veggie Burgers, Dogs, Fruit, Yogurt, Juice, Bagels, Cookies

REGISTER ONLINE AT: or view form here
ENTRY FEE: $25 or $30 RACE DAY. Check or money order payable to Rafters College Towne Classik. Mail to: PO Box 734, Amherst, MA 01002

Amherst Community Co-op Membership Drive Kick-off

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April 12, 2014 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Immanuel Lutheran Church, 867 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002

Amherst Community Co-op is holding its official membership drive kickoff event on Saturday, April 12th. The event will be at the Immanuel Lutheran Church at 867 North Pleasant Street in Amherst, from 4 to 6pm.

The steering committee for ACC has worked for three years to gauge community interest and build support. Amherst’s response has been overwhelmingly positive, from the town planner to the Chamber of Commerce to the many shoppers at local farmers' markets. The co-op is now ready to offer equity to the public. This event will be the first chance to buy founding member shares. There will be free food, music, and child care. The event is free and open to the public.

Numerous local co-ops and businesses will be there to promote this new cooperative grocery. Real Pickles has offered samples of their cooperatively-produced pickles and sauerkraut. Apex Orchards will provide a variety of locally-grown apples. Bart’s Ice Cream will serve samples of their ice cream, a Valley favorite. Backyard Bakery will be giving samples of hearty bread baked here in Amherst. Guests will be able to sample coffee from Rao’s Cafe, and snack on popcorn popped by UMass Five College Credit Union.

Gary Hirshberg, the chairman and co-founder of Stonyfield Farm, will be the keynote speaker. Mr. Hirshberg is a very successful agricultural entrepreneur, having founded the largest producer of organic yogurt in the US. As one of the first graduates of Hampshire College, he has strong ties to the Pioneer Valley. His choice of business shows his obvious commitment to sustainability and the local food movement, and starting this full-scale food co-op in Amherst is a logical extension of that philosophy. He will be introduced by Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash, who is spearheading the school’s Healthy Food Transition, an initiative supported by a grant of $1 million from Hirshberg.

We encourage any who are interested in attending to RSVP via email at, through our Facebook page, or by filling out one of our self-addressed, stamped invitations that we are handing out at the Amherst Winter Farmers’ Market and other events.

Family Afternoon with the Arts

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Free Family Afternoon with Multi-Arts!
Participants will create collaborative family projects using illustration, storytelling, and movie-making. All ages with families/caregivers. 

Sunday April 13, 1:30-4:30 pm, Jones Public Library, Amherst

Free of charge