BearFacts December 7, 2017


BearFacts News

Message from the Principal

December 7, 2017

Hello Families,

As winter break approaches, I'd like to invite all of you to our annual Winter Program on Thursday, 12/14, from 6:30 to 8:00 at the Willard Middle School Cafeteria. Students in all grade levels will perform: students in K-2 will be singing, children in third grade will be singing and playing recorders, and 4th and 5th graders will be playing their instruments. There will also be an amazing bake sale at the back of the cafeteria – see signup below. I hope each and every one of you can join us. Be sure to arrive early for a good seat. Thank you in advance to parents Bob Chamberlin and Deirdre Tansey for planning set up at Willard and to Jan Davis, our amazing music teacher, for coordinating the performances that evening, and to the teachers for being there to help out and supervise.  
We continue to work on raising money to support our Emerson program. Our Walkathon team just exceeded their goal of bringing in $20,000 - so thank you families for pitching in. As you get ready to close out the year, I'd like to invite you to consider one more donation. If you are able (and would like a tax deduction as well) please give to the Heart of Emerson. They have made giving very easy, just go to donate online to make your donation. The funds raised are used to pay for our amazing art teacher, our super PE program, our wonderful Bilingual office assistant, not to mention field trips, teacher mini-grants for special classroom supplies and many other things. Give if you are able - every little bit helps.

Warmly,Ms. Hodge

Upcoming Events & Important Dates

  • Thursday, Dec. 14, Winter Program Multicultural Bake Sale, 6:30 – 8pm at Willard Middle School Auditorium (2425 Stuart Street, Berkeley)
  • Friday, Dec 15, Last day of school before winter break!
  • Monday Dec. 18- Monday Jan. 1 - NO SCHOOL (Winter Break)
  • Friday, Jan. 5, Coffee on the yard at 8am followed by All School Meeting at 8:30am
  • Friday, Jan 12, MLK Rally and march (details to come)
  • Friday, Jan 12, Last day of fall PTA enrichment classes
  • Monday, Jan 15, No School (MLK day)
  • Monday, Jan 29, No School (Staff development day)

Find more dates/details:


Emerson's website has a new look!

Visit for information on upcoming events, school info, volunteer opportunities and more!If you have comments or corrections, fill out the contact form on the website or email Katherine Cunningham at
Show your love for Emerson by donating to the Heart of Emerson by December 31st

Thanks to the generosity of 83 Emerson families, we are less than $10,000 away from reaching our goal of $60,000 to pay for art and PE classes, field trips, family and cultural events and much more.

Now we are looking for donations from at least 42 more families to reach both our fundraising and family participation goals. When we receive donations (in any amount) from half of Emerson families, every student at Emerson’s artwork will be added to the sparkling Heart of Emerson display on the fence by the monkey bars!
Thank you to all the families who have generously donated so far. If you haven't yet had a chance to give, please show your support by:

  • Placing cash or a check made out to “Emerson PTA” in your child’s Look Folder, or in the secure Heart of Emerson box outside the office; or
  • Clicking on the “Donate Now” button below or at

Thank you for supporting the Heart of Emerson!


Holiday Gift Card Thanks!

Many THANKS to our wonderful Emerson Community
who came through during our Thanksgiving Gift Card Drive!

We were able to help several families with their holiday meal. EMERSON ROCKS!

Additionally, we will be able to give a helping hand to our community during the Winter Holidays also due to your generosity. 


Listen up, Emerson!

Did you know that Berkeley Public Schools have free audiobooks for all K-8 students to listen at home? It’s Tales2Go.

Listen to books at home or on the road during Winter Break and help our school win the Golden Headphones award, while enjoying good literature to boot!


Details are on BUSD library website, You will be guided through the initial set-up of Tales2Go on your phone, tablet or computer. It’s free & easy!

A message from the Spirit Committee!
We would like to help the fire victims of the Napa and Sonoma county fires this holiday season. Each class will have a collection box for money donations. Our donations will be gathered and given to The Redwood Empire Food Bank which is Sonoma County’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving 82,000 individuals and families. We will collect cash donations because this allows the food bank to buy exactly what is needed when it is needed. Donations will be accepted from November 27-December 8th in your child's classroom. We hope you will participate, every dollar counts!!

Bakers Needed for the Multicultural Bake Sale at the Winter Concert!
The Winter Concert is right around the corner - Thursday, December 14th! In addition to the amazing performances, we are looking forward to Emerson's 2nd annual Multicultural Bake Sale. The theme is holiday treats from different cultural backgrounds and will highlight a diversity of holiday celebratory foods. The bake sale will serve the triple purpose of 1) celebrating the wonderful diversity of our community 2) providing much needed food items to prevent total kid/parent meltdown during the performance 3) raise money for Emerson!If you are able to bring a baked treat to sell, please sign up here: OR you can email Rachel at

Season’s Greenings

This time of year is full of celebration and merriment, as well as a bit of chaos and a lot of TRASH. Let’s all do our part to help reduce Emerson's environmental footprint by greening up your classroom's holiday fest! In advance, Emerson families can plan to buy compostables (paper plates, cups, napkins, pizza boxes, paper bags = ALL compostable! NOTE: The jury is out on the “compostable" plastic cups and utensils, save money and buy paper!) For drinks, avoid bottled water, juice boxes, and juice pouches. Serve using pitchers, bowls, utensils, and table coverings that can be washed and re-used or recycled.

Even if you don't give a hoot about saving our natural resources, think of the big bucks wasted on BUSD's disposal budget. (The more material we keep out of the trash, the less this costs our district overall, and the more money we have for education!) Think Before You Throw, and Know Where It Goes.

Volunteer Board of Fame!

Have you spotted your name on the volunteer board of fame in the hallway?

Your child/ren definitely have! This is just to show how grateful and proud we are to have such an amazing community surrounding our school. "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 a book: A New Generation of Evidence: The Family Is Critical to Student Achievement by Anne Henderson and Nancy Berla -
If you have not volunteered yet, not to worry! There will be plenty of opportunities coming in the school year! Watch out for signup genius. If you noticed a volunteer name that has not been posted, email Vivi Andrijani (


Hour of Code next steps
Did your student come home wanting to program after getting a taste of computer code in Hour of Code Week? Visit for more quick, self-led tutorials you can do with your child featuring kid-favorites from Minecraft (, Frozen (, Moana (, Star Wars, Angry Birds, and dozens of other puzzles and approaches, all on We also recommend the Scratch tutorials (and for early readers, Scratch Jr.(—that team helped make Monday's first-ever programmable Google Doodle ( which has several entertaining puzzles. Celebrate seasonally with Google’s winter wonderland Code Lab (
Finally, a HUGE HoC thank you to the many parent volunteers who took time out of their day to share their love of being creative with computers and problem-solving who helped make Emerson’s Hour of Code 2017 a success!


2017 Walkathon Results:
Thank you Emerson, we reached over our $16K goal and made a whooping Net $20,000 by last Friday.
Here are some of the highlights:
We had 196 walkers (2/3 of total students) with 26 Mega Walkers and 114 Super Walkers.
Super Mega Walkers with 34 laps (13.6 miles): 4th grader Sadie Byrnes & 3rd grader Benjamin Fisher McCrum.
For Walkathon Photos go to:  (#emersoncreepycrawly)  


Hey Fifth Grade Families

Be sure to check out middle school information on BUSD’s website (google: “steps to Middle School Enrollment” or go here). South zone info nights are 7pm: for Willard (January 10) and Longfellow (January 17). Applications due February 2nd.

AMAZON Holiday Shopping is here!!

Thank you for your Thanksgiving-break holiday shopping. Your Amazon shopping by using the link: has generated $472 for Emerson just for the month of November. Please don’t forget to use the link for the upcoming Winter holiday! Help Emerson Amazon meet 2017-2018 goal of $5700.

Weekly Zumba Classes

Emerson Community Adults are welcome to join us in the Cafetorium for weekly Zumba classes, led by our own Kirstin Snyder! $5 per class, Wed. 5:15 – 6:15 (no childcare).

Shop for Emerson!
Click below to raise money for Emerson when you shop at Amazon


Find Emerson Online


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About BearFacts News:
BearFacts News is a weekly publication created by parent volunteers. It is distributed each Thursday in students' Look Folders and via email. 

If you have a news item or announcement to include in the BearFacts News, please send an email to Please keep your message brief and include all the pertinent details including dates, times, locations and contact information. The deadline is each Monday at 6 p.m.

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Our mailing address is:
2800 Forest Ave.
Berkeley, CA  94705