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District 29 PTO Monthly Matters! December 13, 2021

President’s Welcome

Hi Everyone! Thank you ALL for coming together to support our Adopt-a-Family program with Northwestern Settlement House this year! Your donations helped 41 families in need this holiday season, and on last Friday, a 17-foot U-Haul truck was loaded up and driven down to deliver the gifts. A big thanks to Kerri Melzl and Chrissy Geraghty for all their hard work on this. This is a large undertaking with lots of details and logistics involved. This program allows us to show our kids that a small act of kindness can have a lasting impact on others.

This winter break, as you sit on your couch, drinking hot chocolate and listening to the sweet sounds of your children playing nicely together*, take the time to head over to the PTO website and look at all the Gifts and Grants that were approved in early December for the 2021-2022 school year. A large round of applause to PTO President Elect, Christie Caceres, who undertook this process and excellently executed it. Thanks to her hard work, the process is now all online, which should make things easier as we move forward with this program. We had a nice variety of requests – from a Spanish Club, to Robotics, to Gaga Ball Pit – and we came in under budget, which is always good. These gifts are your donation dollars at work, so it's worth your time to review. You can also see what we’ve approved in the past and think about what we could apply for next year!

As we wind down to the last few weeks of school in 2021, I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for all their hard work so far this school year. The PTO kicked things off in August with Chalk the Walk messages for a great school year, and now we’ve wrapped up the deliveries to Northwestern Settlement House. In between all this, we’ve had parent volunteers work to secure author visits, work the lunchroom, lead as room parents, organize social dance, run bike safety, and provide meals to teachers and staff during conferences, among other things. There has been a lot going on with the PTO and it’s all volunteers, so I really appreciate everyone stepping up to lend a hand.

On that note, I would love to have everyone join us to hear about what’s going on with the PTO. We will be live on Zoom tomorrow at 9am! ALL are welcome!

Zoom ID: 735 957 3302 Thanks all and enjoy Winter Break!!

Bridget Kennedy

*Not a real thing.

PTO Communications

★ Stay Informed/ Be Involved:

• Don’t forget, the next PTO meeting is TOMORROW, Dec.14th at 9am via Zoom. All are welcome!

Meeting ID: 735 957 3302

There is no Parent Connections Meeting this December. Please join us on Jan. 18th for an update on Strategic Planning. Zoom link for that meeting to come in January.

• If you are interested in being added onto the sub list as a lunchroom volunteer, please contact Laura Hendricks for Middlefork at, or Justine Fowler for Sunset Ridge at

• For anyone who may need financial assistance with the events run at school, please contact your principal.

In Other Community News

News and Updates from Northfield Park District

Get your Letters to Santa by noon on Friday, December 17

Let Santa know what’s on your wish list. Drop off letters in Santa’s mailbox at the Community Center or send them to: Northfield Park District, c/o Santa, 401 Wagner Road, Northfield. Santa will not be able to answer letters received after 12PM on Dec. 17th . Don’t forget to include your address.

Sign up for Winter Classes

Classes start on January 10th. See class information and the schedule in the digital winter guide, available online. Register now!

Save the Date for the Daddy/Daughter Dance on February 11

Early bird online registration ends on 1/31/21. Registrations received after this date will be assessed a 20% price increase. Don’t miss this special evening! Space is limited.

Keep the Holidays Green this Season

Recycle old, broken and unwanted holiday lights and extension cords instead of throwing them away. Collection boxes will be in front of the Community Center and Village Hall until the end of January. Sponsored by Go Green Northfield, the Northfield Park District and the Village of Northfield in partnership with Elgin Recycling.

An Update from our Liaisons at the Family Action Network (FAN)

Join us at the upcoming FAN Event:

Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey Toward Equity

Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 7:00-8:00 PM

In her new book, Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey Toward Equity, Claudia Goldin, Ph.D., an influential economic historian and labor economist who is currently the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University, traces how generations of women have responded to the problem of balancing career and family as the twentieth century experienced a sea change in gender equality, revealing why true equity for dual career couples remains frustratingly out of reach. Prof. Goldin will be in conversation with David Figlio, Ph.D., Orrington Lunt Professor and Dean of the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University.

Webinar Registration - Zoom

A Message from the Alliance for Early Childhood

Honor an Educator with an Alliance for Early Childhood Teacher Tribute: Looking for a holiday gift for your child’s teacher? We have the perfect idea… recognize someone who has made an impact on the lives of children. Join The Alliance for Early Childhood in our long-standing tradition of honoring a teacher, educator, or support staff at your school.

Make a Teacher Tribute Online.

PTO Shout Outs & Thank Yous

Middlefork Author Visit Chair Patricia Gainsberg for her work on having author Duncan Tonatiuh virtually visit our students just before Thanksgiving break! The kids and teachers really enjoyed it – thank you!

Holiday Project Chairs Kerri Melzl and Chrissy Geraghty for all their hard work with the Adopt-a-Family program with Northwestern Settlement House, and to ALL the families who provided gifts for those in need. Our district lent a hand to 41 families to receive gifts, cleaning supplies, and household items this holiday season – that is no easy task! Your generosity for these families has gone a long way. Thank you all for your kindness.

ALL the Room Parents for all their work this holiday season! You guys went from running awesome Halloween parties to running awesome holiday parties in what seems to me like a short amount of time. I know we all have a lot on our plates this time of year, and planning fun games and things for the students is another item added to your list. I appreciate you all taking the time for doing fun stuff for our kids before break. They’ve worked hard, and all enjoy what you are doing for them. Thank you!

Thanks also to everyone who is helping with lunch duty and subbing. I see the emails of people looking for help with subs, and very quickly people are stepping up to take the shift. It’s great to see – thank you for helping out!

Thank you to Amazon Prime for helping me shop for my kids this holiday season. How did my mother shop for 6 kids with no internet back in the day?!! Talk about inspiring.

Happy Holidays!

Coming Soon - At a Glance:

December 14: PTO Meeting 9am December 14: Board of Education Meeting 7pm

December 17: Early Dismissal – Teacher Institute December 20-31: No School – Winter Break

January 11: PTO Meeting 9am January 11: Board of Education Meeting 7pm

January 17: No School – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 18: Parent Connections Meeting 9am

All Zoom links can be found on the D29 Calendar: District 29 Calendar

How to Help

Community involvement is instrumental in making the PTO a success. Please consider volunteering your time! For anyone who may need financial assistance with the events run at school, please contact your principal.


Questions about the PTO? Contact Bridget Kennedy at

ALL are welcome at our next PTO meeting on Tuesday, December 14th at 9:00 am via Zoom.

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