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BearFacts News                 
November 21, 2019

Message from the Principal

Dear Emerson Community,
This letter will find you preparing to enjoy some family time and a break from school. I hope that everyone has a safe and relaxing holiday. 

As you may be aware, the Week of November 18 - November 22 is Berkeley Unified’s “United Against Hate” week. The Emerson Library has shared a list of resources with staff that can be used to engage students with this theme in the classrooms. On Thursday, November 21, the Student Advisory Committee, which is made up of 4th and 5th-grade students, is hosting a Student Equity Forum during lunch. Our goal is to discuss the student experience at school in regard to cultural awareness, inclusion, and acceptance. We use our findings to build on strengths and address areas of improvement. Ms. Lily Howell, Family Engagement Officer, and I have been preparing the Student Advisory Committee to host this exciting forum.  
This Friday, November 22, students will enjoy a special presentation from the Berkeley High School Jazz Band. This will be an All-School Assembly, beginning at 8:30 am, and you are welcome to join us in the Cafeteria.
When we return to school on Monday, December 2, we invite you to the festivities of the month. Our December 6 All-School Assembly will highlight our youngest students’ talents. The Annual Winter Concert will take place on Thursday, December 12 at 6:30pm at Willard Middle School. The concert will showcase songs and instrumental performances with a theme of multicultural unity. We hope you will join us in the celebration.  
A special shout out and big thank you to Steven Wilson for coordinating the Cal Football parking fundraiser this fall. He coordinated with the Fire Department and City of Berkeley, giving up Friday and Saturday afternoons and evenings to supervise the school parking lot. We appreciate him and all the parents who volunteered during the Football parking events. 
Best wishes to you and your family during this holiday break. 
Jana Holmes 



Upcoming Events & Key Dates

•  Thurs, Nov 21: Make-up Picture Day

•  Fri, Nov 22: Friday coffee, 8am and Lock Down Drill/Fire Drill

•  Mon, Nov 25 - Fri, Nov 29: NO SCHOOL (Thanksgiving break)

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

•  Fri, Dec 6: All School Meeting, 8:30am. Free coffee on the yard beforehand, 8am

•  Thurs, Dec 12: Emerson Winter Program, 6:00-7:30pm

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

Find more dates/details:

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.
Fun (and Future-Forward!) Classroom Volunteer Opportunity
Open up a world of possibility with coding! All Emerson students in 1st to 5th grades will participate in the Hour of Code the week+ of December 5th to 13th. We are looking for parent volunteers for each class to make it all happen. 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! Please direct any questions to
Your Help Needed: Heart of Emerson 2019 Fundraising
Thank you to so many of you who have helped us raise funds to help Emerson deliver important programs outside of the school’s budget. Remember that we’re NOT having an auction fundraiser this spring, so please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our school now.  
Between now and the end of the calendar year, there are two ways you can help:
  1. Have you donated to the Emerson Annual Fund Yet? 
    Please consider making a tax deductible donation by year-end to support our school. Learn more at: and donate at: If you need a receipt, please email
Do you know any businesses that might contribute? 
If so, please email Sarah, who can help with outreach.
Join Berkeley Schools Volunteers Nov. 21st Training: “Demystifying Common Core Math for Classroom/Parent Volunteers” 
Berkeley Schools Volunteers is the district-wide program that recruits, screens, and trains hundreds of community volunteers each year to support classroom learning across every BUSD school.
Berkeley Schools Volunteers is offering a free training for ALL classroom volunteers (both parent and community) on how to best support elementary math learning in this new era of the Common Core. Taught in partnership with BUSD’s district math coach, this experiential workshop will demystify the “new math” and focus on what classroom volunteers (and even parents at home!) should and shouldn’t be doing or saying to support our students’ deepest mathematical thinking.

This training is for everyone – even those who don’t currently think of themselves as “math people.” Don't miss this eye-opening learning experience!

Thursday, Nov 21st, 3 to 5 pm
District Office: 2020 Bonar Street, 1st floor, Room 126

TO RSVP, go to:
Questions? Contact Duffy Ross, Director of Programs, Berkeley Public Schools Fund,
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. 
Recommended by Krysten Curtis
Check out a powerful article and podcast about schools and race written by Nikole Hannah-Jones:
Listen to the podcast:
Send your ideas, recommendations and events for reading, articles, events, and cultural celebrations:

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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

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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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2800 Forest Ave.
Berkeley, CA  94705

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

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