PEDP February Newsletter 2018

Our trip to Escuela Fermín Delgado in Puerto Rico was amazing! Rachel and I, along with PEDP parent, Ana Tellado-Schiff, brought a whole SUV packed full of supplies to the school atop the mountain. They were on day #135 without power. We brought 20 solar-powered flashlights, 20 solar-powered lanterns, first aid supplies, school supplies, games, and sports equipment. The staff were so appreciative—we received such a warm welcome and tour of the school and surrounding area. It was devastating to see the destruction not only there but all over the island. We have put together a slide show of pictures of our visit that we will be showing next week at PEDP. We hope that you will come see it—and understand just what a big impact our holiday craft fair had on a school similar to ours in a lot of ways.

Now, we look forward to the happenings of the upcoming month …


Our theme this month will be Weather. What better place to study weather than New England?! We are going to have a special visit from Mark Rosenthal, former meteorologist for WCVB, on Wednesday, February 28th after snack. I’m sure the kids will have some great questions for him!


A reminder that Wednesday, February 7th is a 12:30 PM release day. We have planned a fun Mardi Gras event for the kids who come to PEDP that day. We’ll be making masks, handing out beads, making jambalaya, and having fun with several other activities. I think we’re even having a king cake!


Adventurers/Explorers Programs: The trip to John Smith Sports Center has been rescheduled for March 6th due to a conflict with our ski/snowboard program.


Kids Cooking Green is coming back! Eat, cook, and learn, about our local food heritage! Are there really blue eggs? How do you get that filling inside a ravioli? Where do purple carrots come from? Weekly, they will cook with local ingredients to make a healthy and delicious snack to eat in class! Recipes will include homemade pesto pasta, Strawberry Chocolate Waffles, Vegetable Calzones and more!  Come cook with us and have some fun.

The class will be held on Thursdays starting March 1st. Staff from Kids Cooking Green will be offering a 5-week cooking class. The class is open to all Barracudas and Sharks (since we didn’t get enough enrollment to offer it earlier this year to that group). Registration and payments for this class is all done online. Follow the link below to register your child; you must do so by February 16.

The Ski/Snowboard Program is going great! It is amazing to see how quickly our youngsters take to these sports! If only our weather could be a bit more cooperative! There will be make-up sessions held on February 13th and 27th due to our two cancellations.


Rehearsals are well underway. Some reminders:

  • Permission slips and participation fees are overdue. Please get them in if you haven’t yet.
  • Children should be practicing their lines/songs several times a week.
  • Each Monday, children need to bring their scripts to rehearsal.
  • We need children to attend the full rehearsal each week. When they leave early, they miss crucial information.


We are showing a 15-minute slide show of pictures on Wednesday, February 7th at 5:00 PM in the Peirce Auditorium. Please do attend whether you are coming to pick up your child or even if you want to bring your child that doesn’t attend on Wednesdays. We think it’s quite moving.

We are also in the process of setting up a pen pal program with our friends in Puerto Rico. We are asking the children who would like to have a pen pal from the school we supported with our craft fair and will work with staff there to get this up and running. We think it will be a great way for our kids to connect and learn about another culture.


Enrollment forms have gone out for this fun week of activities. We are running a full day (8:00 AM to 6:00 PM) program February 20-23. If you are signing up, please observe the deadline of February 9th as we need to plan our staffing and confirm numbers for field trips.


It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of year but it is! Applications for the Program for

2018-19 will be available to all current PEDP families on February 12th. We will be putting them in mail files that morning. Please make sure you or your pick-up person retrieves it. The deadline for turning these in is March 12th. Please observe this deadline if you are able. It really helps us with the budgeting and staffing process. We did have a waitlist this year and we were not able to get most families off it.

MINNOWS MESSAGE from Kim Ryan, Minnows Coordinator

Early Minnows

The Early Minnows wished they were in Hawaii as we celebrated the state last month.  Along with the projects made, they watched videos of surfing on Hawaiian waves, amazingly talented dancers doing the hula, an erupting volcano and newborn sea turtles making their way into the ocean.  As we move on to our weather theme, we will be talking about cloud formation, weather patterns and storms. Pretty interesting stuff!

A couple of reminders:  Please make sure when you are signing your child out on the clipboard that you note the time in the appropriate spot.

There have been quite a few children without the proper clothing to go outside.  Please make sure your child has hat, gloves, and a coat as well as snow pants and boots when there is snow on the ground.

Parent conferences are well underway.  There are still plenty of spots available.  Sign up on the Google Docs email that was sent or contact me and I will be happy to help pick a time.

 Late Minnows

The Late Minnows enjoyed a special event all about Hawaii on Friday, January 19th.  They made some Hawaiian crafts, played some great games (including coconut bowling!) and even had the opportunity to try a special treat from Hawaii that Miss Laurie D. had sent by a friend!

Miss Deb has been working hard on her Minnow of the Week project.  Each week, a first grader is chosen to be the Spotlight Minnow.  Their posters are in the EDP hallway; take a look when you have a chance.

Our next theme is weather and there are some pretty cool projects that will be coming home.

There is still time to sign up for a parent conference!  Use the Google Docs email or contact me to help you sign up.  We look forward to speaking with you!

 Contact me anytime at with questions or concerns about your child or the Minnow Program.

BARRACUDA BUZZ from Joanne Malouf, Barracudas Coordinator

It’s hard to believe that January has come to an end.  January was full of snowstorms and snow days and plenty of activities for the Barracudas: Hawaiian crafts, cooking and plenty of outdoor fun in the snow to name a few.  The Wednesday program had a quick group activity of Minute-to-Win-It games.  The kids cheered each other on as they tried to get as many cotton balls into their bowl as they could by inhaling through a straw to pick each one up.  The most cotton balls picked up in one minute was 21.  The whole group then tried to stack 25 pennies in one minute using only one hand. It was a bit harder than expected but many kids did it while others were just a few away from a complete stack.  Reminder – there are plenty of times available for parent conferences.  Sign up on the Google Docs email that was sent or contact me today and I’ll help schedule a time for you.

Contact me anytime at with questions or concerns about your child or the Barracuda Program.

 SHARK TALES from Rachel Bastarache, Sharks Coordinator

January seems to have swum right by us. The Sharks started the month off enjoying the gigantic snow mountains that have now been washed away with all the rain that has come our way. I’m sure it won’t be the last snowfall we get before spring arrives! When the Sharks were not outside, they were busy inside learning about Hawaii and the amazing beauty the islands display. They learned all sorts of things from learning how to Hula dance to the different foods and different Hawaiian sayings. They created totem poles that decorated the Clubhouse beautifully. We are all looking forward to next week’s theme: Weather!

It’s been wonderful to have met with many of you already, but there still some of you that haven’t signed up for a parent conference yet. This is great opportunity to check in on how your child’s year is going. Sign up on the Google Docs email that was sent or contact me today and I’ll help schedule a time for you. If the times available don’t work for your schedule, I’m more than happy to do my best to find one that will work.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. You can email me any time at


  • When school is canceled due to inclement weather, PEDP is also canceled.
  • When Newton Public Schools declares a one- or two-hour delay, the Early Birds Program will not run on that day.


February 19th – President’s

Happy Groundhog Day (tomorrow!),