Who we are, what we do, etc…
Welcome (back) to Withrow! Also, welcome to our website if you are new to these parts. This is the digital home of the Withrow Home & School Association. Please explore around some of our permanent pages to find what we are all about. Essentially, we are a parent-run organization that is the interface between your child’s school and the parents. We do a lot of fund-raising so that we can support the perks of your child’s school life. We have amazing technology (SMART boards, iPads and laptops), we have a great gardening educator, many arts performances and workshops and we support extra science programmes like Scientist in the School.
Please make sure to check out the calendar section of our websites. Our webmaster updates regularly and many meetings and schoolwide dates are listed.
This website is also a blog. We will post reminders and community news occasionally and once a month, we will collect a bunch of news together and call it a newsletter. You will get an email to prompt you to read these monthly missives when they are published. We also have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Like us and follow us as we send out reminders this way too. Like pizza lunch.
Now that you know about all the great things we support for your kids, you might wonder where the money comes from. We have two main fundraisers we hold each year: the Silent Auction and the Fun Fair. The Silent Auction is a classy grown-up evening affair (tentatively set for April 1st, 2016) and the Fun Fair is a great day out for the kids, typically held at the end of May. Both of these events take a crew of volunteers to organize and coordinate and many many many “day of” helpers. Our Silent Auction and Fun Fair teams have great experience, but we are always looking for fresh blood (so to speak) to generate new ideas and replace people as they step down as their kids graduate from Withrow or their life situation changes. If you think you are ready to help with one of these events on either team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will point you in the right direction.
We will talk more about volunteering at Withrow at our first Parent Council/H&S meeting (see below). In the meantime, here is a testimonial from our current Fun Fair co-chair:
Volunteering for my first Funfair provided the opportunity to meet other parents and feel connected to Withrow around such a fun event. The following year, I shadowed a position on the organizing committee and then served as setup lead. In addition to seeing their Dad wearing one of the coveted headsets during the FunFair, my two boys gained advanced notice of new activities that were planned each year to share with their classmates. Even with one son recently graduated, I am proud to serve as FunFair co-chair this coming year with Lisa Rolland while the partnership of Jennifer Bol and Signe Silver leads the Silent Auction committee. On behalf of both our teams, please consider getting involved since we could really use more help and always look forward to meeting new friends.
Left: Class canvases from last year, all ready for bidding at the Silent Auction.
Right: The clean-up crew at the end of last year’s Fun Fair.
Welcome back BBQ
Our first event of the season is this Thursday, September 17th, 5–7pm at the schoolyard. Catch up with your parent friends! Meet some of the teachers! Enjoy hot dogs, veggie dogs, apples, veg and juice on us! You can also place your orders for spirit wear (see below).
Has your child outgrown their Withrow hoodie? Left their baseball cap at camp? All of sudden shown interest in the cross-country team? Fear not, you can place your orders for Withrow Spirit Wear at the BBQ. And back by popular demand, you can order Withrow toques! Forms will be available at the BBQ or if you are keen, you can download it here: WithrowFlyer_2016c.
After school programs
We have a great line-up of after school providers from JK to Grade 6. Please check out the after school blog.
First Parent Council meeting
Our first Parent Council/H&S meeting will be held Thursday, October 1st, 7–9pm. We will be holding elections for Parent Council positions and the Secretary position for Home & School. A more detailed agenda will be published closer to the date.
Parenting speaker series
At our last H&S meeting in June, the idea of having a parenting speaker series was bandied about and Shannon Curry kindly took the lead. She has come up with a series of topics and would like you to take part in a survey on some suggested topics. We will also open this series up to our neighbouring schools.
Many of you expected to see work to have begun on the field. Unfortunately, the TDSB has been delayed and came back to us with significant cost increase. The H&S Field Committee will be meeting with TDSB this week to work out a feasible contract for the yard work. We want to make sure that this priority piece of work is done in a timely manner but not at the expense of other programs we fund for the children.
Erica Stark’s bench
Many of you know that we lost a dear friend and mother last year in a tragic accident. We were able to raise money for a memorial bench that has been installed on the Bain side, in front of the Kindergarten extension. Please sit and take a moment to remember a treasured member of our community.
After enjoying the Welcome Back BBQ, consider heading over to the Riverdale Club house to hear about the neighbouhood PACE program. Volunteers from Pape school are looking to find people willing to become mobile “speed bumps” in the neighbourhood to help regulate vehicular speed. Find out more here: PaceCarPoster.