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BearFacts News                 
October 24, 2019

Message from the Principal

Dear Emerson Community,
The walkathon was a great success! Big shout-out to Elizabeth Harvey, Event Chair, and the many volunteers who planned and volunteered. Students enjoyed walking in the streets, earning toys and treats, playing games hosted by students from Cal, etc. etc. Parents were able to socialize, sip delicious handmade coffee from Eritrea/Ethiopia and sample food from many cultures. The weather was perfect, and fun was had by all.  Thank you, Emerson Community, for this outstanding event.  
I am happy to say that the students have earned over 1,000 Caught Being Good reward tickets. This means it is time for a school-wide reward. This Friday, we will play music at lunch and give each student a sweet treat. Let’s build on this momentum and encourage students to practice the 5 B’s: Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be an Ally and Be a Scholar! 
Please save the date for a special PTA presentation on Wednesday, October 30. The evening will be led by Eric Silverberg, one of the technology experts from Berkeley Unified School District. Eric will discuss technology use in elementary school, the district's digital citizenship focus, and the use of technology in academics. He will then lead a discussion and Q&A on balancing media use, social media, and gaming at home.  There will be time for questions and conversation. Dinner will be served at 6:00 pm, and the presentation will start at 6:30pm and end around 7:45pm.  Following the presentation, there will be a brief PTA Association and Board meeting (please stay if you can!).  Childcare will be provided, and we hope to see you there.  
Have a great week, and see you soon!
Jana Holmes, Principal

Upcoming Events & Key Dates

•  Tuesday, Oct 29: Meet the symphony assembly, 8:30am

•  Wednesday, Oct 30:
PTA Association and Board Meeting, 6-8pm. Topic: Navigating Technology Use at School and at Home -- Digital Citizenship, Academics, Social Media, and Gaming.

•  Thursday, Oct 31: Halloween parade, 12:45 families welcome

•  Monday, Nov 4: NO SCHOOL for Parent-Teacher Conferences

•  Monday Nov 4: Kids Kreations Orders Due

•  Tuesday, Nov 5 thru Friday, Nov 8: Shortened days for Parent-Teacher Conferences

•  Friday, Nov 8 thru Monday, Nov 11:
Mrs. Dalloway’s book store fundraiser

•  Monday, Nov 11: NO SCHOOL (Veterans’ Day Holiday)

•  Wednesday, Nov 20: School site council, 5:30-7pm

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

Find more dates/details:

Come to the October 30th PTA Meeting Association Meeting: Navigating Technology Use at School and at Home -- Digital Citizenship, Academics, Social Media, and Gaming.

Please join us on 10/30/2019 for a presentation and discussion about navigating technology and social media with your kids!  The evening will be led by Eric Silverberg, one of the technology experts from Berkeley Unified School District.  Eric will discuss technology use in elementary school, the district's digital citizenship focus, and the use of technology in academics.  He will then lead a discussion and Q&A on balancing media use, social media, and gaming at home.  There will be plenty of time for questions and conversation.  Dinner will be served at 6:00pm, the presentation will start at 6:30pm and end around 7:45pm.  Following the presentation there will be a brief PTA Association and Board meeting (please stay if you can!).  Childcare will be provided.  RSVP to come.
It's Time for Kids Kreations!

This unique fundraiser offers you the chance to order from a variety of items featuring your child's artwork. These products make unique keepsakes and wonderful gifts for the entire family. This week you should have received your child's personalized stickers featuring their artwork along with a Kids Kreations brochure. 
Online orders only: Go to and enter your child's name where it asks for the “Art ID Code.” Select products and order by Monday, NOVEMBER 4th. Your order will be shipped to Emerson and distributed to your child's classroom before the winter recess break. Also, when you order from Kids Kreations, 35% of the proceeds fund PTA supported programs like Art, PE, field trips and literacy programs.
If you have any questions about products or how to order, contact Emerson mom Kathleen Mason at
Equity Corner: What is Diwali?
Diwali is a five-day festival of lights that falls in October or November and is celebrated worldwide by over a billion Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and even some Buddhists. The holiday symbolizes a spiritual victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. The festivities correspond to the homecoming of Prince Rama and his wife Sita after years of exile, as recounted in the ancient Indian epic Ramayana, wherein every home in his kingdom lit small lamps, or diyas, to illuminate his return to the palace. Diwali also honors Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, who is bound to bring her good fortune and prosperity where goodness, knowledge, and light prevail. In addition to lighting diyas, Diwali is often celebrated by exchanging sweets, buying a new pair of clothes, and lighting some fireworks! This year, Diwali falls on Sunday, October 27, though the festivities officially run October 25 -29.

How to celebrate – Emerson style: Do five random acts of kindness starting on October 25, and then light a diya or candle on the night of October 27 as you share the stories with your family. Sharing stories of practicing kindness and generosity with family only makes the light and goodness of these small acts grow, and you’ll be inviting the true spirit of this holiday into your life year round as the ripples keep spreading!
We love your ideas for Equity Corner! Email
Discovery Zone Volunteers Needed!

The Discovery Zone is a weekly lunch recess play group for kids who don't want to play on the play yard. We meet in the garden area, with a small number of students, and they can do coloring, puzzles, games and other activities. It’s led by parent volunteers, and we could use a few more so we can offer these activities more frequently. We have supplies and just need some additional parent supervision and set-up/clean-up help. If you’d like to find out more, please contact Yona at
Walkathon Pledges 
A big thank you to all the Emerson families who came out this weekend for our Halloween Submarine Walkathon and Carnival! The carnival was so much fun, the food was sublime and the kids were amazing. This is one of the PTA's biggest fundraisers, so now that we've walked our laps, please make sure to reach out to your sponsors to collect their pledges, and let's see how much money we raised!
Return your pledge envelopes to the office or in your child's Look Folder by November 11. You can either make donations online (, or send in checks and cash. Thanks so much for your support for this super fun community event! 
Ms. Zoe still needs volunteers to shelve books on Wednesdays

Do you have 20-30 minutes right after drop off on Wednesday mornings? Emerson has a vibrant reading community and lots of readers means lots of books that need to go back on shelves for new readers!  Ms. Zoe is looking for a volunteer or two to shelve books for 20-30 min. immediately after drop off on Wednesdays.  Email Ms. Zoe at or just come!
Run the BioFreeze Berkeley Half Marathon and Help Berkeley Schools!

Races this year include 5k, 10k and Half Marathon (on Sunday, Nov. 17), and a NEW Family 1K (on Saturday on Nov. 16, 8am). Sign up now for the Berkeley Public Schools Fund Team (and find more info):
Sign up for the Family 1K:
The Family 1k is a great way to get the whole family across the finish line! Walk or run together on Saturday. Each participant will receive a commemorative bib, a pin, and post-run snacks and drinks. This is an all-ages run, so get everyone in your family involved and help support the Berkeley Public Schools. A portion of registration proceeds will be donated to the Berkeley Public Schools Fund.
Dia de los Muertos at Emerson
Emerson will be celebrating Dia de los Muertos, on Friday, November 1 in the library. In the weeks leading up to Dia de los Muertos, Ms. Zoe will be reading books about the holiday. Students, staff and families are invited to bring pictures and/or mementos of a loved one to put on the ofrenda.
We will need families to help construct the ofrenda in the library on Friday October 18 after drop off - email Ms. Zoe ( or just show up to help!
Free, Easy, Eek-O-Friendly Costumes for Halloween

Emerson families have donated more costumes than ever to our annual costume recycling program, and we need to find students to bring them to life! Come pick out what you need from the box of suits, outfits, accessories, and boo-tiful materials outside of Ms. Jeannie’s room. All are welcome to sample these upcycled materials, whether or not you contributed anything to the box. Costumes will remain outside Ms. Jeannie’s room through next Thursday, 10/31 (Halloween). 
Pedestrian Safety Training on Saturday November 16

Would you like your children to be trained in safety procedures as they walk to and from school and around town (observing traffic lights, looking for oncoming cars, watching two-vs-four-way stop signs and more)? There's no cost for the 35-minute hands-on training provided by Alameda County’s Safe Routes to School.
If you‘d like attend, please email Thousand Oaks PTA member Helen Toy ( as soon as possible to confirm. We need at least thirty (30) students to sign up for the training. Indicate in the email whether you prefer either a morning or mid-afternoon training.
Both the City of Berkeley and Alameda County are encouraging this training to increase students’ awareness of pedestrian safety and avoid collisions between cars and bikers/pedestrians. For more information visit the The Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) website at 
Friday Morning Bakers Needed

Please join the Friday morning bakers this year! If you enjoy occasionally baking (Sweet or savory, simple or fancy!) and would like to bring our Emerson caregiver community together to enjoy coffee, conversation and a morning bite please contact Christine at 510-545-6349 or
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

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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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