News: January 29, 2010

February 9:         Science Night, 6:30 PM
February 11-15:   No School
February 17:       Site Council, 3:30pm
February 24:       Family Math Night, 6:30 PM
March 13:           Annual Palo Verde Auction

Palo Verde and PTA News

Play Ball! 
The registration deadline for Palo Alto Girls Softball is this Sunday, January 31. Opening day is March 13.  Leagues are 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U.  Please visit for more information. 

Help Haiti Bake Sale
Wednesday, February 3 at 1:25 PM
Palo Verde’s first grade classrooms (Rooms 4, 5, and 6) will sponsor a bake sale next Wednesday to raise funds to help the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti. The bake sale will take place right after school in front of Mr. Garcia’s office. If you have any questions, please e-mail Maria Zajac at mcz_1 (at) yahoo dot com. Thank you for your support!  

A Healthy Balance
Wednesday, February 3 from 9-11 AM; Fairmeadow MP Room
Please join us for a conversation with Denise Clark-Pope and help your child be fulfilled without sacrificing achievement. Children today live in a culture that is increasingly characterized by a “more is better” and “earlier is better” mindset, both in and out of school. This fast-paced existence for kids too often places them under undue pressure and stress, which can result in burnout, disengagement, unhealthy life patterns, or debilitating health problems. Over-scheduling further infringes upon the most productive activity for children: unstructured play.

This thought-provoking program is a must for parents seeking a healthy balance between achievement and personal fulfillment for their children. In this presentation, you will explore the unique demands placed on children’s time today and examine how today’s high-pressure, fast-paced culture can have unintentional but damaging effects on children. Come discover simple ways your family can counter the fast-paced culture without sacrificing achievement and while allowing kids to be kids. Sponsored by the PTAs of  Fairmeadow, El Carmelo, Palo Verde and Walter Hays. Parking is limited; please park in Mitchell Park. For more information, contact Sigrid K Pinsky sigridkp (at) yahoo dot com.

Save The Date!
Science Night at Palo Verde
Tuesday, February 9th 2010, 6:30-8:20 PM
The Lawrence Hall of Science will be transforming our multipurpose room into hands-on learning stations.  The Build It! festival brings out the engineer and architect in everyone. Participants can exercise their design, problem-solving, and spatial skills by constructing in two and three dimensions.
Volunteers needed to assist with the stations! To volunteer, please call Theivanai Palaniappan at (510) 795-9084 or theivanai.palaniappan (at) gmail dot com

Family Math Game Night
Students, parents, and siblings are all invited to join Palo Verde teachers in an evening of Math Games. Join your children as we play a variety of games from our new math program, Everyday Mathematics. You will see how games develop over the grades, and gain insight into the deeper mathematical thinking involved in some activities that may be deceivingly simple on the surface. Learn games that will help your child master the basic number facts as well as develop a solid number sense. Modifications will be shared that will help to make games appropriate and challenging for your whole family!

What?           Math Game Night for Families
When?          Wednesday, February 24th
Time?            6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Where?         Palo Verde Multipurpose Room
Who?            Palo Verde students and their families

Palo Verde Auction Update
Join us for a night of fun and fundraising March 13th at Trader Vic’s Mai Thai Lounge! The Palo Verde PTA Auction Committee is busy drumming up donations of products, services, and events from local businesses for everyone to bid on. Funds raised at the auction will help support school and PTA-sponsored events and activities for our kids.
How You Can Help: In addition to attending the event, consider contributing your time and talents toward auction items such as personal services, parties, vacation homes and more.  Everyone has something to offer.  We can help you package your skills and interests into a valuable auction item!  Hosting (or co-hosting) a party is a fun way to bring families together while raising money for the school community.  Talk to your friends!  No donation is too small. 

Below are just a few ideas to help you start.  Contact us!
–      Host a kid-themed party: Tie-dye party, fire station birthday, model airplane building, princess tea party, cupcake decorating, Star Wars theme, etc.
–      Host a party or event for adults: Retro Bingo Night, Tamale Making, Progressive Cocktail party, Tennis Mixer and BBQ, Mom’s Boot Camp, etc.
–      Offer professional services: Donate a few hours of computer tech support, handyman time, photography, landscaping, or other sought after skills.
–      Package your talents or interests: Do you enjoy baking, calligraphy, sewing, scrapbooking, winemaking, or a unique sport?  Share your talents or interests through lessons or a party or simply deliver a package to the highest bidder (e.g. Pie-of-the-month, Indian dinner for six, Cricket clinic, etc). 
–      Offer services from older siblings:  Yard work, babysitting, dog walking, etc.
–      Donate a vacation home or time share (it may be tax deductible)
–      Donate extra airline or hotel points or sporting or arts event tickets
Please email details to Rebecca Thompson: rebeccaherrema (at)hotmail dot com or complete one of the forms in the office.  You’ll need to include your name, phone number, email, item description, value, minimum bid and expiration date.  Thank you from your auction co-chairs: Sheri Tye and Jackie Cook


Elementary and Middle School GATE Parent Presentation
Wednesday, February 3, 7-8:30 PM, Board Room, 25 Churchill
Intensity, Perfectionism, and Stress by Beth Littrell.  This presentation will describe the characteristics of intensity, perfectionism and associated stress in gifted students, and give a few strategies for reflection and self-management of the difficulties that arise from these phenomena.
Beth Littrell is a BTSA Advisor and Resource Specialist for GATE in the San Mateo-Foster City School District.
Questions: 329-3769, Flyer:  Click here

ArtSpeak!  “The Big Picture”
Thurs. Feb. 4, 7.30pm, PAUSD 25 Churchill.
Some challenges are so complicated, the best way to see the big picture is to actually draw a big picture.  Many corporations and global organizations use graphic facilitation to help them visualize and understand the nuances of complex issues, whether it’s developing a business strategy or finding solutions for global warming.  Ann Badillo (Paly parent) has led many graphic facilitation sessions.  She will describe how they work, who uses them, and with the help of a graphic artist, lead a session with the audience to create its own big picture.

Paly Cheer Clinic for Grades K-8
Sat./Sun. Feb. 6/7, 12-3pm; Performance Wed. Feb. 10 Join Paly Cheerleaders at a Cheer Clinic on Feb. 6 & 7.  All ages will have fun tumbling, cheerleading and dancing.  On Feb. 10, all clinic attendees will perform at halftime at the Paly basketball game.  $45, includes Tshirt.  To sign up: Ann Carter, 

“Heavenly Bandstand” Rocks Gunn High School
Tuesday, February 9 and Wednesday February 10, 8 PM, Spangenberg Theatre, Gunn High School
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with an evening of young love, lots of laughs and music at Gunn’s annual musical extravaganza, starring the Gunn High School Choirs, the JLS and Terman Middle School Choirs, and 50 of your favorite Gunn Staff.  Directed by Gunn choir director William Liberatore, script by Nancy Hersage. 
Tickets: $15 adults, $10 students,, or in the Gunn Students Activities Center starting February 1.

Monthly ADHD Parent Education and Support Group
Thursday, February 18, 7:30-9 PM, Room A, 25 Churchill. This group meets on one Thursday of each month (March TBD, April 22, May 20). The group will discuss a wide range of issues and information will be provided regarding managing ADHD at home and at school.  Behavior management, getting chores and homework done,  managing school, organization, time management and study skills,  and how to get help at school through 504 Plans and IEPs.  Come get your questions answered and share your experiences with other parents.  The meetings sometimes feature guest speakers.  Led by Janet Dafoe, Ph.D., Morrissey-Compton Center.  Questions: 208-1224.

Annual CAC Sweetheart Awards
Monday, February 22, 7:30-9 PM,  Boardroom, 25 Churchill Avenue,  Palo Alto
Come help CAC honor those “Every Day Heroes” who have made a difference in the life of a special needs child. This will be a joyous, heartwarming and touching event to celebrate many deserving individuals.  Refreshments will be served.

You Made It! Jamboree
Submission deadline Sunday, February 28
Jamboree – Saturday, May 15, Palo Alto Art Center
The You Made It! Jamboree is PAUSD’s first-ever  celebration of creativity and innovation, giving PAUSD students an opportunity to show and share their  original creations with the community in a non-competitive environment, and to inspire others to pursue their own creative ideas and passions. Sponsored by the Palo Alto Council of PTAs, with support from the Palo Alto Art Center.
Info and entry forms:  

City of Palo Alto News

Children’s Theatre 10-Minute Playwriting Contest
Deadline March 22
Bay Area students are invited to participate in the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre’s Second Annual 10-Minute Playwriting Contest.  All genres of plays accepted from students ages 8 through high school.  Winning plays receive a staged reading and reception at PACT.  They will be performed by members of the Teen Arts Council and directed by a professional director.  Winning authors will also receive a prize donated by the Friends of the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre.  Plays will be judged in three categories: Elementary (age 8-10), Jr. High (Age 11-13), and Young Adult 14-18.  Winners announced May 11.  Submit plays electronically to Childrens.Theatre (at) cityofpaloalto dot org or by snail mail to Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, ATTN: Playwriting Contest, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94301.  Questions: 463-4930.

Community News 

Palo Alto Little League Spring 2010 Registration
Palo Alto Little League has baseball leagues for Palo Alto children 5 years of age and older by April 30, 2010.  Kindergarten students: Sign-up for Tee Ball.  New and returning players can sign-up on-line now.
Info:, registration (at) pabaseball dot org

Music For Minors Benefit Family Concert:  Red Grammer
Sunday, January 31, 3 PM, Carrington Hall, Sequoia High School, 1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City
Award-Winning Grammy nominee Children’s Entertainer Red Grammer will perform with proceeds to benefit music education in local elementary schools.  Nearly all of his albums have received Parents’ Choice Awards.  
Tickets: $14, by calling Music For Minors, 237-9130, or Artsopolis,  Group discounts available. 

Parent Education Event, Self Advocacy & Resiliency: “I Can!”
Thursday, February 4, 6:30-8:30 PM, Springer Multi-Purpose Room, 1120 Rose Ave, Mountain View
All PAUSD are welcome to this free event featuring Karen Grites, M.S, Center for Community Education Director, Children’s Health Council.
When learning styles are demystified and a child can articulate how he learns best, he gains a sense of power and creates the groundwork for a better self-image.  This talk will address ways your child can weather the challenges that come with each new grade or situation and create resiliency to bounce back from setbacks.  Sponsor: Los Altos Special Education PTA.
Info: Gita Gopal, gita.gopal (at) gmail dot com. 

Programs offered bythe Center for Sustainable Change (CSC)
For more information, please contact Center for Sustainable Change, 424-0705 x. 21,
“Growing Mental Health in Our Families”
Fri. Feb. 19, 8:45-10:15am, Fairmeadow Elementary School Library
With Ami Chen Mills-Naim.  Sponsored by the Fairmeadow PTA.  Ms. Mills-Naim is CSC Director and author of “The Spark Inside: A Special Book for Youth.” She has worked with families and adolescents for more than 20 years, teaching the principles that govern innate resiliency-and what gets in the way. She is currently director of the National Community Resiliency Project, in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
“Growing Mental Health for Parents and Teens”
Tues. March 30, 6:30-8pm, Palo Alto Family YMCA, 3412 Ross Road, Palo Alto,
With Ami Chen Mills-Naim. This event is open to the general public, registration is not required.
“Spiritual Fitness”
Thurs. April 8-May 13, 6:30-8pm, Palo Alto Family YMCA
A six-part series. Join CSC’s Director Ami Chen Naim for a reflective dive into the 3 Principles of Mind, Consciousness & Thought and how our understanding of these principles impacts family and work life, leading to increased peace-of-mind, harmony, communication, efficiency, and well-being. Teenagers 13 and over are welcome.  Registration through the YMCA,, 856-9622.
“The Element of Time in Mental Health and Healing:” When Do We Expect to “Feel Better?” And can it be Now?
Thurs. Feb. 4, CSC Offices, 744 San Antonio Road, Ste. 25, Palo Alto
With Ami Chen Mills-Naim, Sliding scale donation, $20-$45

Kara’s Summer Grief Camp
July 30-August 1, Applications due Monday, February 22
Kara’s annual summer grief camp, Camp Erin, is a free grief camp designed for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of a family member or friend.  It is a weekend-long experience that combines traditional fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support, facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers.  Applications and info: or call Kara, 321-5272.

MOAH Workshop: Solid State Electronics & Integrated Circuits

Sundays, February 28 – March 28, 1-3 PM, MOAH 321 Homer, Palo Alto
This Museum of American Heritage course covers the basics of transistor and vacuum tube circuits.  Students learn about the invention and development of tubes and transistors, then the history, development, and uses of integrated circuits.  Students will discover what ICs are made of, how they work, and how they are designed and manufactured right here in Silicon Valley. Students will also learn how to read simple schematic diagrams and build portable radios that use 2 ICs as take-home projects.  Ages 10 and up;  $75 members/$85 non-members.  Registration must be completed by February 23.

Sibling Relationship Issues When One Sib Has Special Needs
Wed. March 17, 7-9pm, Springer Elementary School, Multipurpose Room, 1120 Rose Avenue, Mountain View
Speaker Leslie Vasquez is the parent of two daughters, one with special health care needs, has a Masters degree in Counseling, and has served as a PHP support group facilitator, mentor parent, and board member.  Her talk focuses on why it’s important to focus on siblings in a special needs family and the ways parents and others can support siblings.  Sponsored by the SELPA 1 CAC,

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