December 10, 2017

Are you familiar with Grace Hopper?  I wasn't... until this past week when I learned that Ray celebrates our annual week-long "Hour of Code" in honor of Grace's birthday (December 9). “Rule breaker. / Chance taker. / Troublemaker.”  So opens Grace Hopper, Queen of Computer Code, a delightful children's book about this American trailblazer who, as a little girl, disassembled clocks and created a dollhouse elevator.  (See one of her most famous "troublemaker" quotes below.)  

As a grown up, Grace
 succeeded in doing what no woman one had done before.  She graduated from Yale in 1934 with a PhD in Mathematics, broke barriers in the Navy, serving for almost fifty years and rising to the rank of Rear Admiral, and also became one of the most important computer scientists who ever lived. Grace made it possible for anyone (including kids) to be able to program a computer, not just engineers and mathematicians.  She taught computers to “speak English,” using word commands to replace the binary system, and helped develop a compiler, a type of translator, that was a precursor to the widely-used COBOL language.  Math- and science-minded children will find Grace inspiring, as will anyone determined to follow his or her heart's desires, who is insatiably curious, who delights in grappling with difficult ideas or in defying expectations.  

In Grace Hopper's honor, Ray Tech Coordinator Ruth Arjona is offering "Hour of Code" events for all students, K-5.  Classrooms are participating in different “coding” events. Our K-2 students use Scratch Junior to program the adorable Scratch kitten to wave her paw and say “hi,” grow and shrink, and other simple feats.  Grade 3-5 students use Tynker, selecting from a menu of options to code.  As well, groups of students have the chance to visit with Dan Rockmore, Dartmouth Computational Science Professor and Associate Dean of the Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, along with several of his department colleagues, and learn first hand from computer scientists out in the field. Best of all, we are teaching children to be active, rather than passive, users of technology.
Come, One and All!  Holiday Concerts @ Ray
Tuesday, 12/12, 10:30 AM          Gr 2 & 3 Choruses
Friday, 12/15, 10:30 AM             Gr 4 & 5 Choruses, guest saxophonist and student string ensemble 
Wednesday, 12/20, 8:20AM        K & Gr 1 Holiday Sing-Along

Our student musicians have worked very hard and look forward to your attendance! If possible, bring a can of soup to share with the Haven.

Box Tops
We are excited to announce that the Ray School is now be collecting Box Tops to earn money for our school. The Box Tops For Education Program is run by General Mills and is very simple. For every Box Top we submit, General Mills will donate $.10 to our school. Box Tops are on a variety of products - if you haven't noticed the little pink rectangles before, you'll begin seeing them all over your pantry.  Have the kids cut them out and bring them in - there will be a collection jar in the front entry of the school. You can also submit sheets of Box Tops, attention to Jen Hutchins, in the PTO mailbox found in front office. A full list of participating products will come home in your child's Friday folder next week. You can also find the list of participating products online here. For more information on the program, additional ways to earn money, and coupons for participating products, please visit https://www.boxtops4education.com/.

Volunteer Information
Please keep an eye out for the blue "Volunteer Application and Approval" form in your child's backpack. If you are volunteering at the Ray School, or if you plan to, please fill this out and send it back in with your child as soon as you can. Feel free to email me with any questions! - Kerry Artman, District Volunteer Coordinator kerryartman@hanovernorwichschools.org

Soup! for the Haven
Traditionally, the Ray School has collected socks & underwear at our holiday concerts. This year, food is in greater demand.  Please bring a can (or two or three) to the upcoming concerts.  "Gift" boxes will be in the gym and bins in the front lobby for collecting. Thank you!

Ray School Art on Display
Our annual Art show is on display at the Mascoma Savings Bank in Hanover (across the street from CVS) throughout the month of December.  Carve out time to stop by and enjoy artwork created by each and every Ray School student beautifully displayed on all three levels of the bank building.

Community Events/Interests

Note from Town Manager Julia Griffin:  Toxic Product Educational Tools
There are many toxic and dangerous products in our lives.  An important and often overlooked component of Hazardous Waste management is teaching people not to purchase or use toxic products in the first place.  Our Regional Planning Commission has developed two comic books to help educate local residents about the dangers of commonly used household chemicals and how families can use alternative products to clean, etc.  "Clean Green Home" teaches readers about the toxic products in the home. A second comic book, Toxic Showdown, is aimed at the teen population and focuses on personal care products. Take our Virtual Tours of a home, a school, and a grocery store to learn where to find toxic products and how to handle them safely or not use them at all.