STA Newsletter by undul845


									STA Newsletter
5467 S. Woodlawn Avenue Chicago, IL 60615-5299

Ms. Dorothy Murphy, Principal

November, 2009 November Calendar Recap Nov. 1 All Saints Day STA Book Fair 9:30 am-1:30 pm Room 104 2 – All Souls Day 2-5 - STA Book Fair 3:00 to 5:30 pm 2-20 - STA Thanksgiving Food Drive 6 – Early Dismissal – 11:30 am Parent/Teacher Conferences STA Book Fair 12:30 to 6:00 pm 8 – “Taste of Market Day” after Sunday Masses in Church Narthex 13 – Student Prayer Services 18 – Instructional Open House Day 20 – Junior High Science Fair (Correction: Parents Invited - 9 to 10 am) 21 – Market Day Order Pick-Up 24 – Student Thanksgiving Prayer Services 25, 26, 27 - Thanksgiving Vacation 30 – Classes Resume

Dear Parents and Guardians, A treasure has been found at STA! On October 20th, when a tree was being planted as part of the FOSS Science Program for PreK and K at the southwest corner of the school building, Mr. Hayes and Mr. Martin unearthed a very old medicine bottle. Mrs. Berlin, our First Grade Teacher thought her class would find it interesting and shared the discovery with them. This was the beginning of several “teachable moments”. Mrs. Berlin invited a pharmacist from Katsaros Pharmacy to visit the First Grade and talk with them about being a pharmacist. The students will also soon be taking a field trip to CVS Pharmacy nearby to learn more about the story of this special bottle. The First Graders also collectively wrote a story about this discovery. Any research help to assist the students in unraveling the mystery of their bottle would be appreciated by Mrs. Berlin and you can reach her at We do know that in the 1920’s there were several pharmacies in the immediate area of the school, J.H. Finnigan was located at 55th & Woodlawn and it’s likely that’s where the bottle came from since our school building’s construction was finished in 1929. This month our Seventh Graders did an Entrepreneur Project which involved research papers and 3-D Projects of their own innovative Free Enterprise Business. Their 3-D Projects are on display in the third floor hallway. It includes Heaven Gate Cemetery; Pollution Fan with Solar Paneling Company; K&D Performing Arts Academy; Forever Puppies Veterinarians among others. These are only a few of the exciting classes happening daily at STA! During this Thanksgiving time of year, I want to Thank You for the opportunity to work with your outstanding children and for all of you who make it such a great school community! Sincerely, Dorothy Murphy

Parent’s Review of VIRTUS Training Joy West, one of our parents, sent the following to the Parent Newsgroup and we’d like to share it with you:
Hello All, I just completed the Virtus training and it was excellent! It is truly a call to action. We, as parent volunteers, coaches, room parents etc. must protect our children. It is imperative that any of us who are alone with the children in any capacity, even a field trip, take the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of our kids. So, if you plan on participating in the school's programming don't delay in completing all the necessary online documents and the Virtus program. Be Blessed, Joy West (Delia and Paula's mom)

VOLUNTEERS Needed!…for Grant Writing, June 5th Youth Art Fair, Summer Vacation Bible School…interested? Contact Ms. Murphy at

We Give Thanks for ALL
who continue to help create the special place that is STA Our Students, Alumni, Parents and Guardians, Faculty and Staff, Parishioners, Friends and those who have generously shared their time and talents with us:
Father Michael Mulhall, Pastor Father Bruce Taggart, Administrator Pro Tem Mr. Thomas Weisflog Big Shoulders Friends Mr. Michael McCaskey Bears Care Patron Board Mr. Israel Idonije – Chicago Bears #71 Mr. Lance Briggs – Chicago Bears #55 STA Endowment Committee STA Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of Columbus STA Knights of Columbus Council #5574 STA Home & School Assn. STA Athletic Coaches STA School Board Mrs. Lenora Austin, Alumna Mr. Wallace Goode University of Chicago Volunteer Students Mr. Michael Baker Mr. Judd Campbell Mr. Robert Bassett Mrs. Robin Bland Mr. David Boykin Mrs. Helena Delmas Mr. Michael Dowling, Alumnus Mrs. Kathleen Hayes Mrs. Costella Rowe Mrs. Mary Harris Russell Mrs. Marcella Wheatley Ms. Fannie Gardner – Our Crossing Guard Ms. Tonica Johnson – Our Crossing Guard Ms. Joan Martinelli Mrs. Mary (Halloran) Kunkel, Alumna Mrs. Ellen Moderhack of MODE Landscape Design Mackey Landscapes Mr. Ruben Quiles of Smallscapes Woodshop Ms. April Albrecht – Statue Restorationist Mr. Nick Markobrad of GM Solutions, Inc.

Our most sincere Th

This is the First Grade’s Story. This special book complete with illustrations by the First Graders can be viewed in their classroom.

“While we were in Spanish, Mr. Hayes and Mr. Martin were digging a hole to plant a tree. They found a bottle in the ground. But this wasn’t any old bottle! It was a treasure! The bottle looked like an old medicine bottle or a bottle you could drink out of. It was dirty because it was under the dirt for so long. This bottle is special to us because we like it and it is very old. It used to have medicine in it that helped people. We also love it because it did not break after all these years! The bottle has words on it:
Rogers and Diamond Apothecaries and Chemists Chicago

The bottle is very old. We think it is about 100 years old. Maybe it helped people be healthy and strong.”

St. Thomas the Apostle School continues its growth because of the care, interest and support demonstrated by each of you!

4th Grader, Cassandra Jeffries & President Obama
It’s not an everyday event – opening your mailbox and finding a letter to you from the President of the United States! But it happened to Cassandra Jeffries, an STA 4th grader, in late September. President Obama wrote Cassandra in response to her written note to him thanking him for “taking good care of the country and she thought he was a great man and that his best speech was ‘Yes, I Can’.”
President Obama wrote: “Thank you for your kind note. Your thoughtful words join a chorus of millions of Americans who are eager to lead our Nation towards a brighter tomorrow. Each day, I am inspired by the encouraging messages of hope and determination I have received from students across the country. America needs young people like you who are studying hard in school, serving your community and dreaming big dreams. Our country faces great challenges, but we will overcome them if we work together. American’s future will be determined by our willingness to support each other and move forward as one people and one Nation. With your help, we will build on what we have already achieved and lay a new foundation for real and lasting progress. Sincerely, Barack Obama”

Meet our PreK-4 Teacher
Ms. Melanie Berube joined our faculty this year as the PreK-4 Teacher. She was born and raised in Maine. For the past two years, Ms. Berube has been a full time graduate student at the University of Chicago where she received her Master’s Degree from the School of Social Service Administration. Ms. Berube shared that “Throughout my time at the U of C, I realized that my passion for teaching was far from lost and was thrilled when I met Ms. Murphy to discuss teaching at STA. Prior to going to graduate school, I worked as an Early Childhood Educator in both Maine and Brooklyn, New York. Although I miss the hustle and bustle of New York, Chicago is truly beginning to capture my heart more and more.” It is obvious that the PreK-4 class is enjoying having Ms. Berube as their teacher as you can usually find her right in the midst of all the 4 year old activities – both in the classroom and out of doors!

…and our Second Grade Teacher
Ms. Jaclyn McNamee is our Second Grade Teacher this year. She grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Villanova University which is located outside of Philly. Ms. McNamee is new to Chicago and while she’s only been in Chicago and at STA for a few months, she said, “Both remind me of home. My elementary school in Philadelphia was a small Catholic school where community was emphasized and the children always came first!” Along with teaching, Ms. McNamee is currently enrolled in a Master of Education program through Northwestern University. She lives with eight other Archdiocesan elementary teachers which she feels benefits her greatly by “having so many teacher ideas bouncing around the house.”

Community Service – 8th Graders Early in September, Eighth Graders, Matthew Leverette, Maya Branch, Alexandria Boykin, and Andre Emery gave otheir time towards a Special Community Service Project with the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce. They assisted with the collating of community welcome materials for new incoming University of Chicago Students. Mrs. Lenora Austin, Parishioner, Alumna and Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, provided this opportunity for our students.

Toddler & Mom Class at STA
We invite young moms and their toddler children to come explore and learn basic educational skills together with Dr. Pierce, Pediatrician, and Mrs. Mitchell , Early Childhood Educator, on Thursday, November 5th, from 10 to 11 am at St. Thomas the Apostle School. Bring your friends, the class is free!

Fire Prevention
During the month of October, our youngest students recognized Fire Prevention Month. On Tuesday, October 13th, Firefighter Edward Singleton, an STA Parent, spoke to the PK3, PK4 and Kindergarten students about fire safety. The highlight of the talk was his demonstration of a firefighter’s gear and how it is used. The students eagerly answered questions about what they learned.

St. Thomas Parish 140th Anniversary Brings out our 5th Grade Poets
by Melinda Gennings

St. Thomas the Apostle is the school We like Our church is beautiful and peaceful When we pray It’s a prayer center where we Meet people and remind each other Of what we did. The church is gospel It is God’s house We don’t do anything bad. St. Thomas, Oh, St. Thomas
by Marvin Sledge

On Wednesday, October 14th, the Kindergarten students visited our neighborhood fire station, Fire Station #60 at 55th and University Avenue. The students and teachers would like to thank Ms. Sheba Mack, our Fourth Grade Teacher, as she informed us about Firefighter Edward Singleton who is parent to one of our 4th Graders.

St. Thomas is a promise St. Thomas gives you your needs When the priest talks about God, you nod. At St. Thomas you eat and treat God. When you sit in your chair You smell the fresh air You praise, you raise to God That’s my Church.

Many thanks to Mr. Singleton!
All the teachers and students appreciated the information shared, it was important to Fire Safety Awareness.

Planning for Summer – Vacation Bible School
Interested in helping plan a Summer Vacation Bible School here at STA for children ages 3 to 7 years old? Please contact Ms. Murphy at 773-667-1142 or to join us in providing a special learning experience for our young children. WE NEED YOU!

Something Our STA Parents should know
You are continually making an impression and we thought you’d enjoy hearing about it! Ms. Joan Martinelli of Martinelli’s, one of our uniform supply stores, shared that over the years she has been told on a regular basis by her employees that “St. Thomas Parents are the best.” Parents, you need to know you are appreciated for your pleasant and respectful attitude and friendliness. To quote Ms. Martinelli, “St. Thomas Parents are the easiest to work with!” As an expression of their appreciation, each student will be receiving a special $5.00 coupon off your next purchase at Martinelli’s.

Let us be as THANKFUL as the pilgrims at their feast. Embrace our families and our friends, be kind to man and beast. Let us share the harvest go way, and as we go our way, be thankfully rejoicing on this, Thanksgiving Day.
- Anonymous

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