December 17, 2017

"If we judge others, we have no time to love them." --Mother Teresa

The novel Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a smash hit.  Since its release six years ago, the book has sold more than 5 million copies and the film version is currently screening in local theaters.  If you're not familiar with the plot, the story follows Auggie, a fifth grade boy with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a rare congenital disorder resulting in both facial anomaly and hearing loss.  On Monday, our 5th graders welcomed Sam Drazin, founder of the nonprofit Changing Perspectiveswho talked with students about empathy and what it means to be different.  Like Auggie, Drazin was born with Treacher Collins and underwent seven painful surgeries during elementary school.  Drazin wasn't bullied for his differences, but sometimes went entire days without speaking to another student.  “Sometimes I think that being ignored is even worse than being recognized, even in a negative way,” says Drazin. “It would have been easier if kids noticed my differences.” As he crosses the country talking with teachers and students, Drazin points out how "some of our disabilities are invisible and some are physical, but we all have challenges, and everyone deserves a round of applause for the things they overcome."

We are all different, of course, and diversity makes our lives--including here at Ray--ever fascinating and filled with wonder.  "Difference" can also bring out fear, judgment and the worst in people.  Wonder gives us a chance to have open discussions about kindness and inclusivity.  Perhaps one reason Palacio's story has resonated so deeply is that we all know, deep down, that one of our most essential human obligations is to respect, understand and reach out to one another, no matter how wide our perceived differences.  As Joy Roy points out, Grade 5 teacher who invited Drazin to Ray, "Our December character trait is empathy.  I've been guiding students to understand that everyone has his or her own story, like Auggie's, that is worth getting to know. "


Great Holiday Reads

Ray School Library Director Joanne Sergeant has compiled a list of "best of" book lists for 2017.  All book lists, along with book covers, can be found on the library website.

Lost and Found
Here is an updated picture of our Lost & Found rack.  When you are next at school for a concert, holiday party, or child pick-up, please take a moment to peruse and make sure you aren't missing anything.

Support Ray! Box Tops for Education
We are excited to announce that the Ray School is collecting Box Tops to earn money for our school.  R
un by General Mills, the Box Tops For Education Program is very simple. For every Box Top we submit, General Mills donates $.10. Box Tops are on a variety of products -- if you haven't noticed the little pink rectangles before, likely you'll now start noticing them throughout your pantry.  Have the kids cut them out and deposit them in a collection jar in our front entry. 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 was sent home in your child's Friday folder. You can also find a list of participating products online here. For more information on the program, additional ways to earn money, and coupons for participating products, please click here

Soup! for the Haven
Traditionally, the Ray School has collected socks & underwear at our holiday concerts.  Food is in greater demand this year.  Please bring a can (or two or three) to school.  "Gift" boxes are in the front lobby for collecting. Thank you!

Final Weeks!  Ray School Art on Display
Our annual Art remains 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
The Skating Club at Dartmouth
Whether you like watching Figure Skating, Hockey, or Speed Skating in the Olympics, come and learn the basics like Ashley Wagner, Nathan Chen, Amanda Kessel, Patrick Kane, J.R. Celski, or Heather Bergsma once did!  Upcoming sessions for the winter and spring are January 1st thru February 23rd, and February 26th thru April 5th.  To register on line, please visit our website
If you have any questions about SCAD or registration, please email: registration@skatingclubatdartmouth.org.