TPSA

TPSA Winter Coat & Boots Drive

TPSA is once again organizing a Winter Coat & Boots Drive. 

Please take some time this weekend to go through your closets, find some gently used, clean coats and boots that you have outgrown, and bring them to TPS for delivery to Philadelphia families in need of warm winter gear. We are collecting coats and boots for children and adults. (Shelters are in particular need  Thank you, in advance, for helping us continue this vital tradition of providing for our larger community. 

The drive begins on Monday, November 5, and goes through November 12. Drop your donations off right before your Parent Conference or at arrival or dismissal time. Coat racks will be located in both school lobbies.

Thank you, Caren Cohen, for spearheading this effort. Student Council will be helping to pack up the garments, and Caren will be reaching out to parent volunteers to make deliveries to shelters and other service organizations. If you would like to help pack up the garments or make a delivery, contact Caren.

Reading Is More Than Words

By Carlye Nelson-Major, Head of School
 
It is with deep gratitude that I thank the many parent volunteers who organized and staffed the annual TPSA Book Fair. The fair highlights our community’s shared commitment to having our students exposed to good literature beyond their classroom. Every student visited the fair and browsed through a wide range of appealing books. Preschoolers and kindergarteners enjoyed guest readers during their visit to the fair. Students in grades 1-8 spent time with C. Alexander London, our visiting author. The conversations with Alex centered on his writing process; they were fun and inspiring. One Junior Unit teacher remarked that after Alex's presentation, the children "were ready to go off and write their first novels!" 

Author C. Alexander London was our guest author Wednesday and Thursday.

Author C. Alexander London was our guest author Wednesday and Thursday.

I encourage reading as a valued daily practice for all of our students and families. Having conversations around what all of you are reading should be a routine family endeavor. It is through these conversations that children build their comprehension skills, understand connections between texts and their lives, expand their world views, and deepen their foundational knowledge of a wide range of topics. As Alex London explained, "Great books give room for readers to see themselves, fill in blind spots, and see other worlds. They offer windows, mirrors, and doors."

Shared literacy was a familial core value that my mother instilled in us at an early age. A prime milestone rite of passage in my family was getting our very own library card.  We had a family celebration after each one of us obtained our very own card and kept them in mother’s desk as a secure and sacred place. Weekly trips to the local library were a regular Thursday afternoon ritual, as were nightly conversations about something we had read that day. For my sisters it was a joint Nancy Drew book club; for my mother, historical fiction and cookbooks; and for my father, current events and history. It is through those conversations that I developed some foundational knowledge about Anne Boleyn, the Battle of the Bulge, and how to make a fool-proof soufflé!
 
These shared literacy conversations are gifts that keeps on giving. My sisters and I still have ongoing book conversations across our three different time zones. My grown kids and I share Kindle accounts so we have joint access to each other’s divergent book genres. And reading and talking about books is a beloved part of my relationship with my 3-year-old grandson. The first thing he says to me is, ”Dearie, do you have any new books today?”

I encourage you to make December a literacy-infused month for you and your family.  Sharing books about your family traditions as well as those of different cultures can be a highlight of this universal season of lights. Please carve out time to go to your local library, ask teachers to borrow a favorite classroom book, and most importantly read and discuss print together. It will expand your child’s worldview, uncover new ways of thinking, and deepen connections to new ideas and different genres. Check out the New York Times 100 notable books for 2017 for ideas of new gems that were published this year. Several of our faculty and staff are at the People of Color Conference this week, and an early childhood educator at the conference recommended checking out the book lists at socialjusticebooks.org
 
Happy reading, talking, and listening.

Alex London Featured Author

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The TPSA Book Fair is fast approaching - November 29 through December 2 - and this year our featured author is C. Alexander London. Alex will work with children in grades 1-8 on the Thursday and Friday of the fair, which will have plenty of his children's and young adult books on hand for purchase. Alex hopes to pop into the fair to sign books; we'll let folks know when the signing will take place.

Alex is the author of books for children, teens, and adults. His books include The Wild Ones series, Dog Tags and Tides of War series, as well as the Accidental Adventures and two titles in The 39 Clues series for young readers.

His young adult debut, Proxy, was an American Library Association Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers and included on their 2014 Best Fiction For Young Adults list. The sequel, Guardian, is available now.

His books for adults include One Day The Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War and National Jewish Book Award finalist Far From Zion.

TPSA Annual Winter Coat & Boot Drive

TPSA is once again organizing a Winter Coat & Boot Drive. 

It's time to go through your closets, find some gently used, clean coats and boots that you have outgrown, and bring them to TPS for delivery to Philadelphia families in need of warm winter gear. We are collecting coats and boots for children and adults. Thank you, in advance, for helping us continue this vital tradition of providing for our larger community. 

The drive begins this Friday November 3 and goes through November 13. Drop your donations off right before your Parent Conference or at arrival or dismissal time. Coat racks will be located in both school lobbies.

Thank you, Caren Cohen, for spearheading this effort. Student Council will be helping to pack up the garments, and Caren will be reaching out to parent volunteers to make deliveries to shelters and other service organizations.

Chalk-In

by Bob Prischak, co-chair Family Diversity Committee

TPS parents organized a sidewalk “chalk-in” (outside both school entrances) on Wednesday and Thursday in response to the government's recent immigrant and refugee bans.

At drop-off and at pick-up, our kids were thoughtful and engaged. Their messages were colorful and telegraphed peace and acceptance!  Someone even created a “hug spot,” and lots of hugging ensued.  Our sidewalks are now covered in warm, meaningful, inclusive messages and drawings.  If you didn’t get a chance to experience, please take a sidewalk stroll! 

Fall Fun Friday!

Thank you, TPSA, for Fall Fun Friday!

On Friday, November 18, the Lombard Street yard was the site of a "pop-up" fall festival. Parent volunteers organized and ran fall-inspired crafts, sold refreshments and TPS swag, and created a fun and celebratory atmosphere.

An exciting feature was the sale of herbs that were bundled and dried for culinary adventures! All proceeds from herb sales will be returned to the TPSA Green & Healthy Fund and earmarked for the purchase of seeds for the Garden, as well as for the student Green & Healthy Team to use to plant seeds again for the spring herb plant sale.

The TPS Tiger made an appearance (sharing her head with a schoolmate!), of course!