Yearly Family Events

A lot goes on at Emerson! Here are the typical events that happen over the course of a school year:


Welcome Coffee on the first day of school: The Emerson PTA, our principal, and returning families welcome all new families to Emerson in the library after drop-off on the first day of the school year.

Welcome Back BBQ: In September, at our first big community event of the year, Emerson families enjoy evening playtime on the yard and a free dinner of hamburgers & hot dogs, courtesy of the Emerson PTA.

Back-to-School Night: In September, parents and guardians attend an evening presentation from the staff, then meet with their children's classroom teachers to hear what the students will be learning over the coming year.

Football Parking: The Emerson PTA organizes volunteers to raise money by transforming the Emerson yard into a parking lot during Cal home football games.

Heart of Emerson Campaign: Emerson's biggest fundraiser takes place in the Fall to raise money through direct donations and help everyone in the community feel a sense of belonging.

Walkathon: In this healthiest of Emerson fundraisers, students collect pledges then walk laps on Forest Ave to earn money for their school. The fun usually includes sno-cones, face painting, and a Book Fair!

Dia de los Muertos: Emerson families join together to set up an Ofrenda in the Emerson library to honor the lives of those who have passed. Then students enjoy Pan de Muerto and Abuelita's Hot Chocolate on the yard at lunch recess at the start of November.

Halloween: Emerson kids wear costumes to school, then everyone takes a walk through the neighborhood in our annual Halloween Parade. Families are invited to the parade and often help with class parties afterwards.



K events for prospective families: To help prospective Kindergarten families choose a school, Emerson volunteers lead tours, the PTA sets up a table at the BUSD Kindergarten Fair, and the Emerson teachers, staff, and the PTA come together to host a Kindergarten night at Emerson in January.

Winter Program: All Emerson students perform in the Willard Auditorium one evening before Winter Break. Everyone comes out to hear singing, recorder performances, and the 4th and 5th grade strings, woodwinds, and brass!

MLK March: Every January, Emerson celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. with a march around the neighborhood. Families are invited to join the students!

Pancake Breakfast: Families come together to cook and eat free pancakes at Emerson one weekend morning in this fun community event organized by the PTA.

Black History Assembly: Each February, the school and PTA work together to celebrate Black History Month with an assembly or fun quiz show.

100th Day of School for Kindergarteners: Kindergarteners and their families come to Emerson the evening of the 100th day of the school year to celebrate completing 100 days of school and to find all the ways you can count to 100!

Family Art Night: Emerson's Art Teacher, Ms. Ames, and the Emerson PTA team up to create this fun night of art projects and free pizza for all families. Projects vary widely: sculptures, clay, painting, drawing, crafts with yarn....



Read-a-thon: In this last fundraiser of the year, Emerson students get pledges then read, read, read at home and school to help earn money for their school.

Family Literacy Night: Emerson's librarian and literacy coach organize this night to celebrate reading and share information with families.

Open House in May: Emerson students bring their families to school one evening near the end of the year to share all the work they've been doing! Projects, artwork, and samples of classwork are on display. Families often take this opportunity to visit next year's classrooms, too.

End of Year Social in June: In June, the Emerson PTA and Kids' World throw the biggest party of the year on the yard to celebrate the completion of the school year! Free food and lots of activities for families and kids.

5th Grade Graduation: All of Emerson celebrates as the Fifth Graders complete elementary school and move forward! Younger grades watch the graduation rehearsal the second to last day of school. The last day of school, 5th Grade families come and watch the graduation ceremony. The teachers and students work hard on the graduation program. The Emerson PTA and 4th Grade families set up a reception to follow.

Summer K Playdates: The Emerson PTA and returning families welcome incoming Kindergarteners and their families at two playdates over the summer on the Emerson yard, so the soon-to-be Kindergarteners and their families can get to know each other and feel at home at Emerson.


All Year

All-School Meetings: One Friday every month, all Emerson students assemble in the cafetorium for an All-School Meeting. Families are welcome to attend, and especially enjoy the student performances and shout-outs from teachers.

Assemblies: Emerson students enjoy a number of assemblies all year long, including two performances from the Berkeley Symphony (Meet the Symphony & I'm a Performer Concert), a Shakespeare play, a BHS Jazz Band performance, and other cultural enrichment depending on the year. Families are always welcome to attend!

Racial Equity Study Circles: Emerson's Racial Equity Study Circles engage parents and teachers in powerful discussions about creating a welcoming environment for all families with the goal of supporting all students in achieving academic success. This small group meets 6 times over the course of the school year, with childcare and food provided. Study Circles are facilitated by Pamela Harrison-Small and supported by the Emerson PTA.

Friday Coffee: Coffee and pastries on the yard after drop-off, organized by the PTA.

Appreciation events for Emerson teachers and staff: Emerson's teachers and staff make Emerson what it is, and the Emerson PTA helps Emerson families show their appreciation through monthly luncheons and other appreciation events.

PTA Association Meetings and evening speaker events: The PTA holds three evening meetings for parents & guardians to conduct PTA business over the course of the year, usually followed by an interesting speaker; the PTA sponsors additional evening speaker events based on the interest of families. Past topics include talking to your children about race, literacy, special education, safety, and puberty. Free childcare and dinner is always provided.

Cultural Events at recess: The Emerson PTA organizes three cultural events at recess over the course of the year, where families have an opportunity to share their own culture with all students.