October 7, 2017

On Thursday morning Mr. Scribner, 4th grade teacher, zipped by my office: "There's something special happening in the library that you won't want to miss."  Long familiar to Ray families, but brand new to me, magic of a kind was unfolding:  The Birthday Book Club.  Likely you know the gist of it:  Parents sign up, make a contribution and then children with birthdays in any given week choose a book to "gift" to the library.  Every step in the process is planned with careful forethought by BBC Coordinator Marjorie Wu and Librarian Joanne Sergeant.  Joanne buys books from the Norwich Bookstore in support of local businesses.  New books are beautifully displayed to spark children's sense of wonder, then each child is granted time to choose one book.  Instant photos are taken and on-the-spot bookmarks created, each adorned with a silk ribbon.  Children write names on bookplates in their own (5-year-old, 8-year-old, 11-year-old) handwriting.  Celebrants bring books home in honor of their birthdays and then, like all lasting gifts, the books get passed on to benefit others:  birthday girls and boys return their books to the library for other children to enjoy. 

Most fascinating to me was the act of choosing; specifically, the respect given to each child's individual way of doing so.  As Ms. Sergeant points out, "all children are transfixed" by the books and the chance to make a big decision both for themselves and their school.  Some children run straight to one book.  Isa Hartridge-Beam, for instance, instantly homed in on Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet since she loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian.  Mason Keating scooped up several books, found a cozy chair, and paged through them all before deciding on Extraordinary Warren Saves the Day because, as he said, "I used to have chickens."  (Warren is a chicken.)  Some kids consider 20 books before making a choice.  Others pick a favorite they've already read because they love it so much.  Would that we all, in our busy world, were afforded such space and time to listen and respond to our hearts, to feel utterly honored, and to live into the understanding that "it is by giving that we receive." 

It's never too late to sponsor a birthday book for your child--or someone else's.  For information, please email Marjorie or Joanne:  marjorie.rouch@gmail.com or joannesergeant@rayschool.org. 

Fire Safety
Monday was our annual all-day visit from the Hanover Fire Department.  Thank you to the firefighters who made time in their busy schedules to visit the Ray School and teach us fire safety:  Firefighter Wayne Dunham, Firefighter Jay Whitehair, Lieutenant Rob Diehm, Firefighter Leif Jopek, Firefighter Brian Ellstein, Firefighter Jeremy LaBombard, Firefighter Jesse Bieluch, Lieutenant Josh Lounsbury and Captain Josh Merriam.  In addition to reviewing basic safety with students, Hanover firefighters introduced children to a variety of tools and fire gear used in different emergency situations, including underwater.  Vital takeaways for families: 1) have working smoke detectors at home, 2) change the batteries every Fall when you set your clocks back, and 3) at regular intervals, discuss and practice your family escape plan at home.  Please ask your child to teach you something he or she learned:  their knowledge could save a life!


Bicycle Safety:  Please Review with Your Child
Hanover Police Officer Shannon Kuehlwein joined Monday's all-school gathering to talk about bike safety.  She emphasized four main points:  1) wear bright colors and helmets that fit well, 2) ride carefully--no weaving!--within bike lanes, 3) obey traffic signs, and 4) walk bikes in crosswalks when crossing an intersection.  We've recently received reports from our bus drivers that they've been distracted by students weaving around on their bikes on the way to school.  Safety must trump fun in this case:  Bike safety affects vehicle safety too!

Kids and Community: Week 2
This past week, Kids and Community visitors piqued children's interest in medicine, banking, firefighting and policing.  Our sincere thanks to visitors Dr. Tom Trimarco, Emergency Physician and EMS Medical Director at DHMC; Mr. Rick Lemay, Vice President and Branch Manager, Mascoma Savings Bank; Hanover Police Officer Joe Landry; and Hanover Firefighter Leif Jopek.  They visited children in classrooms, at Sing-Along, Art, PE, and on the playground. Kids and Community will continue over the next three weeks.  Thank you, volunteers, for reminding our children that we are part of --and supported by--a broad and talented community!

Volunteer Opportunities
Student Flu Clinic:  Our student flu clinic will be held on Thursday, 10/26, and we are seeking a few parents to assist us.  Please see the sign-up for details.

Kerry Artman, District Volunteer Coordinator

"Hoo-Ray for Ray" Dance next Friday
Best Friday Night Out ever!  On Friday, October 13th from 6 to 7pm, the PTO is sponsoring an all-school dance in the gymnasium for children in all grades.  The event kicks off at 5:30pm with a B.Y.O. picnic to enjoy on the lawn.  Celebrate community and dance your socks off!

Save the Date: Informal Holiday Concert on 12/7
5th grade band members present their Informal Holiday Concert on Thursday, December 7 at 12PM in the music room.  In the event of a snow day, the concert will be held on December 14, same time and place.  Our musicians will perform several brief pieces in the Music room and then move to the Multi for a repeat performance at 12:20PM.  Parents/guardians and family friends are all welcome.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Community Events/Interests
Click to learn about a host of local opportunities ranging from figure skating to contemporary dance to paper mache to upcoming kid-friendly performances.  Most weeks we will highlight in the body of "Rays of Sunshine" one or two community events of timely importance. 

Cape up for CHaD! The 12th annual CHaD HERO is Sunday, October 22nd on the Dartmouth College Green. You can run, walk, hike or bike to support the kids and families who receive treatment at CHaD, the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.  This is a family-friendly event with a fun festival, great food and a KidZone with a bounce house, rock wall and mechanical animals!  Register at www.chadhero.org and be a HERO for CHaD kids!  All fundraising done by youth 23 and under will be matched by CHaD’s partner Positive Tracks.  Thanks for getting active and giving back!

Ray School Calendar
Visit the Ray School homepage for our complete (constantly updating) calendar.

Ray School Calendar