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BearFacts News                 
December 5, 2019

Message from the Principal

Dear Emerson Community,
Welcome back from the Thanksgiving break!  We will be excitedly busy this month, as we celebrate this joyful season with fun activities and continued academics and enrichment. 
Our Kindergarten/School Tours are in full swing, and we especially thank our parent volunteers who coordinate, lead and answer questions about Emerson.  With your help, this process runs smoothly for both staff and prospective families.  A big shout out to Ms. Nina Goldman and Ms. Elif Kale- Lostuvali for updating and organizing the whole process.  The award for “most tours hosted” goes to Ms. Lori Droste, who signed up to facilitate seven tours!  We appreciate all our enthusiastic parents who help spread the “Emerson Way”.
Please mark your calendar for next week’s special Winter Program.  This community celebration takes place at Willard Middle School from 6:30 - 7:45 pm.  Students should meet their teachers in front of the stage in the Multi-Purpose Room.  Plan to arrive early to find parking and seats at this popular event. The students have been preparing for months.  We are excited to see and hear them perform and spread holiday cheer.  
As you consider giving during this season, I encourage you to remember the Heart of Emerson fundraising campaign. The goal is to raise over $150,000 to support classes for the students, including Art and Physical Education. The funds are also used to support our part-time Office Assistant, our afterschool Equity Circles, family events, classroom supplies, technology and many other important elements of our comprehensive school program. At this time, we have a long way to go to reach our goal.  We ask that every family make a donation, whether it be large or small, it all makes a difference! Every dollar counts and getting everyone involved strengthens our community. You can visit the PTA website or follow this link to make a donation:  Your donations are tax-deductible and you can obtain a receipt by sending a request to: We thank you for your generosity. 
We hope to see you at tomorrow’s All School Meeting, which will feature the talents of our youngest students.  If you haven’t made it to a meeting yet, we would love for you to join us at 8:30 am. Parents are always welcome.  Come see the fun and learn more about our community.
Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Jana Holmes, Principal 


Upcoming Events & Key Dates

•  Thurs, Dec 5- Fri, Dec 13: Hour of Code (volunteers needed!)

•  Fri, Dec 6: All School Meeting, 8:30am. Free coffee, 8am

•  Thurs, Dec 12: Emerson Winter Program, 6:30-8:00pm

•  Mon, Dec 23 thru Fri, Jan 3: NO SCHOOL (winter break).
   School resumes Monday, Jan 6.

•  Fri, Jan 10: All School Meeting

•  Wed, Jan 15: School Site Council Meeting, 5:30-7pm

•  Fri, Jan 17: Last day of Fall PTA Enrichment classes

•  Fri, Jan 17: MLK rally and march, 8:30-9:30am

•  Fri, Jan 17: PTA Enrichment Fall Performances, 5-6pm

•  Mon, Jan 20: NO SCHOOL Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Find more dates/details:

Classroom Volunteers Needed--Please Sign up for Hour of Code!
Open up a world of possibility with coding—it’s fun and + future-forward! Now thru Dec 13th, in each Emerson classroom (first grade and up). The 4th graders kick off the festivities today with the Hour of Code Flappy Game puzzles (, which the 2nd and 3rd graders will try next week. First graders will get their first taste of Emerson’s annual HoC tradition with Kodable and our savvy 5th graders will spend their hour using Scratch. We need parent volunteers for each class - no coding or computer experience needed! Sign up at []. The kids love this hour of playful learning, and it’s a great time for families to be a part of their kids' classrooms! Email questions to

   You Are Invited To Emerson’s Winter Program

Thursday, December 12, 2019

6:30-7:45 PM

Willard Middle School

2425 Stuart Street


Come for some holiday songs and cheer!
All grades will be performing!

* Please plan to arrive early to find parking and seating.
* All students need to be settled with their classes so program can begin promptly.
*All 4th & 5th graders need to bring their instruments.

Food Resources for Emerson Families during the Holidays

The Berkeley Food Network on-site pantry is offering holiday foods during all of November and December and will offer special BUSD family hours. All food is FREE OF CHARGE. BFN never collects personal information from anyone picking up food from the pantry or a food bag from school. Berkeley Food Network On-site Pantry 1925-9th Street at University Avenue. Please enter from the parking lot side of the building.  

Normal Pantry Hours: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
BUSD Family Hours: Tuesdays (Nov 19 and Dec 17, 5 to 7 pm) and Saturdays (Nov 23 and Dec 21, 9 to 11 am).
Support Emerson Families during the
Winter Holidays and Donate Gift Cards

Lily Howell, Emerson’s Family Engagement and Equity Specialist, is collecting gift cards for Emerson families to help with Winter Holiday expenses.  Please consider donating gift cards (Target, Ross, Amazon, supermarkets, etc.) to help families in need of support in our community.  You can drop off gift cards to Ms. Lily on Thursdays and Fridays or with the front office any day of the week.  For questions or more information contact Ms. Lily at or 510-644-4866.
Heart of Emerson 2019 Fundraising - We Need Your Help

The PTA budget for 2019-2020 is about $162,000.  So far this year we have raised around $60,000.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed. Unfortunately, we have a fundraising shortfall of over $100,000.

This is very significant, and we are asking everyone in the community to help us meet this shortfall by making a generous financial contribution to the Heart of Emerson.
Emerson is blessed to have experienced and caring educators and strong leadership.  We are fortunate to be in Berkeley School District for its commitment to diversity and equity.  We are grateful to the residents of Berkeley for taking school funding seriously.  However, it is unfortunately not enough.  Without PTA support, the exceptional educational experience that we offer all our students would not be possible.
Please donate online:  Or by check to the red Heart of Emerson mailbox outside the front office.

Do You know any businesses that might
contribute to Emerson? 

If so, please reach out to Sarah Jarvis:

Districtwide Wellness Policy Meeting

Are you interested in keeping our students and staff healthy, well, and thriving? We want to hear from you! The District is in the process of updating our Wellness Policy which covers topics ranging from school meals to health education programming. Learn how you can support this effort by attending the 2nd (of four) meetings taking place this year. 

Dec 12, 6:30-8:30pm

2020 Bonar St, Rm 126

Dinner and childcare will be provided. For more information visit the BUSD Wellness Policy site.

For questions and to RSVP email:
Emerson K Tours - Volunteer Kindergarten Tour Guides Needed! Sign up below.

Share your love of Emerson with prospective K families; be a volunteer tour guide! Tours will take place from 8:15 - 9:45 am on Thursdays from November 14th - January 23rd. After the new year, we will also offer tours on Tuesdays.

We’ll provide you with a sample tour format, talking points and answers to FAQ’s and other information to make the task easy and fun. Just drop off your kid at school, come lead a tour and go on with your rest of your day feeling great about helping out. If you are new to the role and would like to buddy up with an experienced tour guide for your first tour, we’ll be glad to make that happen.
Sign up to be a tour guide here:

Please email with Nina Goldman with questions at

Thanks for helping out! 
Calling All Emerson Scholars: Strut Your Smarts!

This week the hallway outside the cafetorium debuted a new take on Emerson’s ever-popular Math Wall: now an infinite puzzle palace! You’ll still see lots of math challenges on there, but now it’ll feed your neurons way more than just numbers. All Emerson scholars grades K to 5: come by to stretch your mind and show us what you’ve got. Keep your pencils and your eyes sharp, because the wall will be both infinite and random: new challenges will pop up when you least expect ‘em. 
Getting too many reminder texts? Or not yet signed up?

You can get school reminders via email, text, or Remind app notifications. 
Click the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner when you open the Remind app to choose how you want to get school reminders.  If you aren't getting the messages, sign up at:
Questions? Visit the FAQ at or email
Join the PTA Today!

The Emerson Parent-Teacher Association works for a positive school experience for all Emerson students. As a member, you can vote on programming and spending decisions. Parents, guardians, extended family or friends of Emerson students are invited to join.

Please renew membership every year.

You can sign up ONLINE at A donation of $10/person is suggested but NOT required.

For questions, contact

Find Emerson Online


Remind: Text @7f6hb to 81010; or go to

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About BearFacts News:
BearFacts News is a weekly publication created by parent volunteers. It is distributed each Thursday in students' Look Folders and via email. 

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Copyright © 2019. Emerson Elementary PTA. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
2800 Forest Ave.
Berkeley, CA  94705

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Emerson PTA · 2800 Forest Ave · Berkeley, CA 94705 · USA

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