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BearFacts News                 
September 19, 2019

Message from the Principal

Dear Emerson Families,
I hope you were able to join in the fun at the PTA BBQ last Friday.  Thank you to the many volunteers, especially the Dad’s Club, who donated their time, energy and resources to make the event a success.  
This past Saturday, the PTA connected in a meaningful way at an afternoon Equity workshop, with the goal of making Emerson a more inclusive and inspiring school for all families. We learned about each other, our perspectives and ways to more fully engage our community.  As a next step, I encourage you to join in the Emerson Equity Circles, hosted by Ms.  Pamela Harrison- Small. The fall kick-off is on Saturday, October 5, from 9:00 to 1:00 pm, with food and childcare provided.  These impactful circles will have a huge impact on yourself, your student and our larger community.  Please see: for more information and to reserve your spot.  There is no charge to you, and we hope you will join us.  
As I mentioned at Back to School Night, one of the focuses for this year will be school attendance. Research has shown how important it is for students to attend school on a consistent basis. Please do your best to plan your vacations and trips during non school days, and encourage your child to come to school if they do not have a fever.  However, if your student does become sick please alert the office and keep them home. Students should be fever free and without any vomit or diarrhea for a full 24 hours before returning to school.  Parents/guardians have 3 days to clear an absence through a phone call, letter or email before conversion to an unexcused absence. You may contact the School Secretary, Ms. Gaby, at   This year, I will be meeting regularly with Ms. Lily, our Family Engagement and Equity Liaison to monitor student absences and meet with families to provide support and encouragement. Please let me know if there is any way I can help keep your students in school every day. 
As you may know, Emerson is one of the only Elementary School’s in BUSD that provides access to microwaves for students lunches.  Due to limitations, such as time and adult assistance, please consider sending lunches that do not need to be heated up or that are in containers that are microwave friendly.  The school district does not supply paper plates for the microwave.  We are gladly accepting donations of paper plates that can be used in the microwave.   Thank you for your understanding and consideration.
We will be closing the School Site Council elections next Friday, September 27.  The first meeting will be on Thursday, October 17, from 5:00 to 8:30 pm at Longfellow Middle School.  Childcare and dinner will be provided.  Feel free to join us for the kick off meeting.  
Thank you again for all your support and encouragement.  
Have a great day, 

Jana Holmes, Principal 


Upcoming Events & Key Dates 

  • Tuesday, Sept. 24: Equity Circle Fishbowl Event - 6:00pm
  • Monday, Sept. 30: PTA Enrichment Classes begin
  • Friday, Oct. 4: All School Meeting - 8:30am
  • Sunday, Oct 6: Elmwood wine walk, 1pm
  • Thursday, Oct 17: School Site Council Mtg, 5pm at Longfellow Middle School
  • Tuesday, Oct 29: Meet the symphony assembly, 8:30am
  • Thursday, Oct 31: Halloween parade, 12:45, families welcome
  • Friday, Nov 8 to Mon, Nov 11: Mrs. Dalloways’ book store fundraiser
  • Monday, Nov 11: NO SCHOOL (Veterans’ Day Holiday)

Curious About Emerson's Equity Circles?

Don’t miss the opportunity to peek inside one during our annual Fishbowl activity. Meet the facilitator, watch a circle in action, and ask questions about racial equity. Bring your children (Mr. John provides childcare) and your appetites (dinner provided).  See why Emerson parents and staff are getting so much out of this experience.  Event to be held Tuesday, Sept 24 from 6-7:30 in the Emerson library. If you can, please RSVP here:

Heart of Emerson: One more month of summer

Emerson families, we have two asks of you as you consider ways to contribute to Emerson. 
  1. Do you know of any (local/non-local) companies that would be willing to donate to Emerson?  If you have any ideas, please share with Sarah Jarvis (
  2. Please consider participating in the “One more month of summer” campaign
    1. For Kindergarten parents, just one more month of preschool tuition (and then you’re done forever!)…
    2. For 1st-5th grade parents, just one more week of summer camp fees…
      …could do so much for our children at Emerson all year long!
More information (how to donate, how to get a corporate match, etc.) will be sent home this week – please check out all the details in your child’s Look Folder!
Girls on the Run, spaces available for 3-5 grade girls

Girls on the Run is back at Emerson this fall. We still have spaces left for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade girls.  Sign up at:

Emerson Elementary Team Details: 

DAYS & TIMES: Tuesdays & Fridays from 2:30-3:45pm (plan to attend both days each week)
SEASON DATESSeptember 23rd – December 8th (no practice on school holidays)
COST: $300, scholarships available (check the box on the registration page)
INCLUDES: 20 Lessons, t-shirt and water bottle, healthy snacks, and entry to season-ending Girls on
the Run 5K on Sunday, December 8th.

Sign extended to 9/19!

Email with questions.
Equity Corner: National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15)

Celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America!
Did you know: September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.
Things to do: On Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 12-2 join the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration at the Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge Street, Central branch. The event includes face painting, a scavenger hunt with prizes, and the making of papel picados, a decorative Mexican paper craft. Free
Recommended Reading: Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh
The Halloween Submarine is coming to town!

The annual Emerson Walkathon (the Halloween Submarine) will be on October 20th, 2019, from 10am-2pm. Registration packets will be coming home in Look Folders this week (and keep an eye out for the art contest form!).
You are now able to register and pay online! Go to
Please come out and join us for a family favorite. We will have a few new treats in store for you this year and look forward to seeing you all on the yard. If you would like to help out, email or look out for the volunteer sign up form coming soon.
New Emerson Gear - Available On-line
Get your school spirit on with new Emerson T-Shirts, Hoodies, Totes and more.  You can see the new design and order online here:
The new online store will be open from now until Sunday, October 6th at 11:59pm.  This limited purchasing window lets us combine orders and keep costs down.   If there is enough demand, we may have another purchasing window before the holidays and/or in the spring.  For this order period, gear will be available for pick-up at the Emerson Walkathon on Sunday, October 20th.
Please place your orders through the online store where can pay via PayPal, Visa, Master Card, Amex or Discover.  If you prefer to pay by cash or check, or if you have questions, please email
Elmwood Wine Walk – Buy your tickets now!

On Sunday, October 6th from 1-5pm, Emerson’s local neighborhood is doing two great things: 1) hosting a Sunday stroll with wine in The Elmwood and 2) supporting our very own Emerson!  50% of net proceeds will be donated to Emerson.  Join us for a fun afternoon out and about.  Advance tickets are $25 (online by 9/28 – or $35 after 9/28.
Invite your neighbors, friends, & family! 

This is a great event…and remember 50% of proceeds will come to Emerson!

Lots of Fun Events at the Berkeley Public Library, Claremont Branch

* Family Yoga at Claremont, the first Saturday of the month at 10:30am, for parents/caregivers and their children preschool- first grade. There is no signup, and we have some yoga mats, to share, but bring your own if you prefer. Next one is on Saturday, October 5 at 10:30.

* New series: first Saturday of the month for four months: Brainstorm @ Claremont at 4pm. Learn more about your brain in this four-part, interactive series led by neurobiology students at UC Berkeley. For kids seven and up. Please call for more information: 510-981-6280. Next one is Saturday, October 5 at 4pm

* New series: Cartooning with Aaron Southerland, a marvelous, local, graphic artist and drawing teacher you won’t want to miss. Join us for four classes in September on Mondays at 3:30pm. Next one is Monday, September 16.

* Saturday, September 21 at 4pm ¡Viva Mexico! From the Aztecs to Cinco de Mayo, come along as children's musician and educator Juan L. Sanchez takes us on a musical journey that celebrates the beauty of Mexican Heritage. Ages 4 and up.

More information about each event can be found at

Claremont Branch, Berkeley Public Library
2940 Benvenue Avenue, Berkeley CA 94705
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

WHERE’S WALDO - Please Submit Contact Info

“Where’s Waldo” is Emerson’s school directory listing contact info for  families, teachers and administrators.

To have your family’s information included, please complete the online submission form at:

Find Emerson Online


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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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