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Avon Elementary Newsletter (December)

News for December 2018

Notes from the Principal

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving was three weeks ago and the middle of December is upon us at Avon Elementary!  December has ushered in merry making, the Tower of Pride holiday celebration, snow, cold weather, the food drive, holiday programs, Special Person's Days, and generally a lot of excitement! Always fun, but often exhausting. We do our best at school to keep our schedules as consistent as possible so things can stay predictable and calm for our students. We also realize that schedules for many of our students at home also get busy this time of year.  Soon we will have our holiday break giving students a total of seven days without their normal school schedule. After reading a variety of articles on just this topic, I have compiled a few different suggestions this year to make your holiday break with your children enjoyable and bright!  Pick out one or two and enjoy.

1. Have a movie marathon: Choose a theme, or just pick your favorite movies and make popcorn and some other favorite movie treats.  Find some cozy pillows and blankets, relax, and enjoy.          2. Enjoy the sunrise: If you are home with your children, they most likely will want to get up at the crack of dawn. Make the most of it and enjoy this time with them!  Pancakes and hanging out in your jammies can really make these days special.
3. Go tobogganing:  Grab a toboggan, snow tube, or favorite sled, and go to the nearest hill and enjoy some snowy fun as a family.
4. Visit a museum:  Stearns County Museum is open - see the link, fun exhibits.
5. Go bowling  
6. Have a spa day at home:  A great foot soak in a tub, and pedicure, is always fun for kids!  If you are brave they could do their own nails too.
7. Go to the library:  Check in with your nearest library for special programs or just go and find some great books.
8. Make a family scrapbook:  Your phone may have tons of pictures on it -- print them off and let your kids get to work!  Colored paper and a few stickers along with these photos of family and friends can make some great fun and precious memories for all.
9. Find a pool and go swimming
10. Go for a hike:  Winter hikes can be a lot of fun as long as everyone is dressed for the weather.  Dress in layers, wear warm boots and pack a few snacks and set off for some family fun.
11. Have a craft day: Paint or draw, make some jewelry, make a collage, make some playdough and sculpt...the possibilities are endless.
12. Play indoor mini golf:  Indoor putt-putt is fun for kids of all ages.
13. Make a snow fort if we get the snow.
14. Bake cookies together.
15. Do some volunteer work.
16. Have fun! Enjoy and be grateful for all you have!
Remember, kids like and need routines, consistency, and responsibility.  Setting bedtimes will help each day go smoothly as well.

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday with lots of quality time with family and friends!

Sue Jenkins
Avon Elementary Principal


This Month's News

Feature Article - Kindergarten
Service Project 
Kindergarten collected donations of fleece that was used to make blankets for Project Linus. Project Linus is a non-profit organization that provides homemade blankets to children in need. All the kindergarteners helped tie the blankets before they were delivered to Project Linus. The kindergarteners learned about giving to those in need, and how this time of year isn’t always about receiving, but about giving, too. They were very excited to be able to help other children! 

A Holiday Celebration 

Pawsitive Pride
Students and staff celebrated our Tower of Pride being full on Friday, December 7. Everyone enjoyed decorating cookies, creating a candy cane ornament, and watching Frosty the Snowman. Students earned this celebration by filling the tower with Pawsitive Pride slips that are earned by showing their Pawsitive Pride. Thank you to Jon Habben and Trisha Merdan for helping with this fun event!

Pawsitive Pride for Family

Below is a link that gives some good tips on helping to regulate our children's behavior.  Hopefully you are able to find a few helpful hints for your family.
Improving Emotional Regulation

Pawsitive Pride Prizes


Picture with a staff member, Huskie VIP desk, and sitting in the principal's chair are just some of the new prizes on the Pawsitive Pride wheel.

Winter Clothing Donation
Avon Elemetary received a donation of winter clothing from Oakmont Capital Services, LLC. These items are used as needs arise at Avon Elementary.
A Holiday Celebration
The Avon Elementary students in grades K-3 sang in a "Holiday Celebration" concert on December 13 at the Avon Elementary School. The students were all dressed in their best and sang songs from holidays throughout the year, including "Auld Lang Syne,"  "The Star Spangled Banner," and an all-time favorite, "Jingle Bells." They did a fantastic job!

Avon Elementary Naughty List 2018


Food Drive

The first graders have enthusiastically been working to gather donations for our local food shelf! They have been focusing on giving their time and goods this month to spread kindness. There were creative minds at work while they made posters and donation boxes to spread the word among their peers at Avon Elementary. The first graders have been relocating food items gathered in donation boxes around the building and bringing them to the tree in the lobby. Their hearts and minds are working together to make sure our food shelf drive is successful! First graders will be delivering all of the goods to the food shelf on Tuesday, December 18. Thank you for your help in reminding our students that this is truly is a season of giving!

Student Council 

Jingle for Joy
Student council completed their Jingle for Joy project. As a school, we were able to collect $286.  Thank you to everyone who donated. The money will be donated to the Avon Food Shelf and to Make-A-Wish America.
Unity Day
Student council kicked off our Unity Day by visiting classrooms on December 5. They talked about kindness and how to stick together when someone is being mean.  Student council gave the analogy of duck tape by saying we are each individually strong like the tape.  However, when we stick together like two pieces of duck tape put together, we can be even stronger by standing up for one another.  Students and staff are encouraged to wear their Kindness Shirts or orange every Wednesday for the remainder of the school year to show our support of being kind to one another.
Digital Citizenship Community Connection:
Spotlight Resource: Storyline Online is a non-profit, award-winning children’s literacy program that is supported solely by grants and donations. Storyline Online streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books, and has had over 100 million views from all over the world. You can find a link to this resource on the homepage of the Media Center We are losing access to Bookflix, so this will be a great site for home use! The direct link to Storyline Online is:

Hour of Code: You may have heard about the Hour of Code, which is a global movement to incorporate computer science into the school curriculum. The "hour" is now a week-long event which takes place December 3 - 8 with over 130 countries participating. We are continuing to code for a few weeks during our computer classes. Your child can also participate at home. They know where to find the link for their class (on the Media Center website) and they should remember their “secret code” to log in. Here is a video promo:
Balancing Tech Time: 
Speaking of coding, there are lots of different coding opportunities and robotic devices for kids on the market! These might even be at the top of your child’s Christmas wish list. Working with your child to learn engineering and programming skills as a team is an opportunity to spend time together. 

Non-tech time is important as well. Make sure to get outside, have a family game night, make holiday cookies, or do crafts together. Share your childhood holiday memories with your kids to continue your special traditions. During winter break when I was young, I remember stringing popcorn for the tree, listening to the Snoopy and the Red Baron Christmas album, Mom taking us skating, and Dad teaching us how to play cribbage. These memories are very special to me. May you all enjoy some time together during the holiday season! 

If you are looking for more ideas on balancing tech time, check out  this Common Sense Media article.

Pawsitive Pride Flag

Ms. Sufka's class is always quiet in the halls walking to and from places, and they are respectful to paraprofessionals in the lunchroom.


News in Review

Trash for Cash
Avon Elementary wrapped up our first semester of collecting Trash 4 Cash. We collected 119,360 items. WAY TO GO AVON ELEMENTARY!!!! Collected items will either give our school cash for activities or the items will be sent to recycling companies where they will be turned into other things. On November 30, the winning classrooms were as follows: 3rd place was Mrs. Winkel's class with 15,361 items, in 2nd place was Mrs. Strack's class with 25,334 items, and winning the first semester Trash 4 Cash collecting was Ms. Ramler's class, collecting 31,991 items. Ms. Ramler's class enjoyed popcorn and an extra recess.
The collecting starts anew with our next semester. Our next celebration will be March 8. The class that collects the most will earn a movie and lunch in the classroom. 

Thanks for helping save our Earth--keep collecting!
Traveling Huskie
The person I am passing the Huskie onto is one of the sweetest, nicest people I know. She always welcomes the student(s) with a smile and their name! Her soft-spoken voice and understanding manner puts the visiting kiddo at ease immediately. She is always willing to help with breaks, getting a student and bringing them back to class, or just giving them peace of mind. (As apparently, only Nurse Kelly can!)  She doesn’t even mind taking over the “messy” jobs! Her dedication to the students, her hard work at her job, and her positive attitude make her a perfect person for the Huskie! I am thrilled to pass the Huskie to Kelly Orbeck!
Avon Elementary Yearbook Link



December 17-20 - Grade 3 Swimming

December 19 - PreK Program 9:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.
December 20 - Kindergarten Special Person's Day 1:00 p.m.
December 24-January 1 - No School (Winter Break)
January 9 -  Board Meeting (7:00 p.m. at Secondary School Building - Board Room)
January 18 - Early Release (Buses leave at 12:20 p.m.)
January 21 - No School (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
Avon Elementary School
410 Avon Ave. N. • Avon, MN 56310
Phone: 320-845-5300