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December 2016 Newsletter


Get to know "Ms. Carol"

If asked to name an individual at PS 9 who is absolutely indispensable, many parents, teachers, and not least of all, students will immediately name Carol Sheldrake Hernandez (affectionately known as Ms. Carol). Her official title is PS 9 Community Associate – one that barely begins to describe her daily impact on our school.

Ten years ago, when her eldest son enrolled in Kindergarten, PS 9 had 450 students (there are more than 850 today). While the demographics of Prospect Heights were different then, Ms. Carol describes the PS 9 community as very similar to what exists today, saying, “There has always been a strong sense of family since I have been here.”

As a parent, Ms. Carol became active in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and served as president for two consecutive years from 2008 to 2010. She was instrumental in converting the PTA into a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) – an enormous undertaking, which involved finding an attorney to work with the school pro bono, and making connections with PTOs at other Brooklyn schools – so that PS 9 could raise funds independently and operate under its own bylaws.

Ms. Carol’s daily presence at the school eventually led to her joining the front office staff full-time. Her responsibilities extend far beyond her core duties of student attendance, setting up partnerships with arts and education programs, overseeing the student teachers, and serving as purchasing secretary. As Principal D’Avilar says, “Carol keeps me and everyone in the front office grounded.” Many of us also know, from our own interactions with her, that she knows the answer to every question and has the unique ability to reassure worried parents, because she is also a PS 9 mom.

How does Ms. Carol get through each school day with a warm smile? “There’s nothing more gratifying than knowing you are helping a student,” she says. “They may be hungry, or upset, or having a bad day, but just one kind word – just filling their bucket – makes such a big difference. Seeing that smile on a child’s face is so gratifying.”

What's new with the..
The Diversity Committee

The Diversity Committee is a PTO/SLT joint committee established to address issues of diversity (including but not limited to diversity of race, gender, economic status, ethnicity, culture, family, learning styles, and opinions) at P.S. 9.  The Diversity Committee aims to celebrate our diversity and explore what it means and the ways we can develop it.

It is the goal of this committee to encourage a dialog about difference, and disparity, that is culturally sensitive and respectful and create and/or promote curriculum and school policy that highlights diversity as a value and an asset of PS 9’s student population, to the benefit of all students and families.

December Events 

Fri. Dec. 2 (6PM-8PM)
Third Grade Movie Night
Auditorium (wear your PJs!)

Tues. Dec. 6 (9AM-10A)
Breakfast with the Principal
Book Hive (Library)

Fri. Dec. 9 (6PM-8PM)
S.T.E.A.M. night 

Tues. Dec. 13 (6:30-8:00PM)
PTO Meeting
Book Hive (Library)

Fri. Dec. 16 (7PM-9PM)
(237 7th Ave btwn. 4th and 5th)

Mon. Dec. 19-Fri. Dec. 23
Holiday performances
See child’s teacher for schedule

Fri. Dec. 23 (8:20AM-8:45AM)
Family Reading Buddies

Fri. Dec. 2-Tues. Jan. 3
Winter Break

Silent Auction Recap

Going once, going twice…. the final result of PS 9’s Silent Auction was a resounding success in raising essential funds for our school’s art programs. A packed ballroom of parents, staff members and friends gathered November 19 at Union Temple to bid on 316 auction items.  Many winning bids far exceeded the listed value. Highlights included $1,100 paid for a set of owner’s suite tickets to the Brooklyn Nets, and $100 for 1-hour water immersion therapy at Lift Next Level Float in Carroll Gardens.

So far the auction has raised $37,698.66. That sum will continue to grow as winning bidders collect their items.  If you have not already, please settle up your auction winnings with Carol Hernandez in the main office.  The auction wouldn’t exist without the hard work of the lead organizers, Carol Sheldrake and Faye Rimalovski.. Much appreciation is also due to the many volunteer who tended bar, set up the event, recruited bid items, donated bid items, emceed, and more.  So many made the auction such a success!

In December, look for an announcement launching the annual post-event online auction of remaining items.  See once the remaining auction is announced.

Fall Fundraiser

With the holiday season around the corner, join us in “Stepping up for P.S. 9,” which is the theme of our 2016 Fall Fundraiser. Every dollar we raise will go directly to helping to pay for enrichment programs, activities and supplies for our kids.

Over the next few weeks, parent volunteers will be collecting donations outside of the school’s St. Mark's entrance for the “Stepping Up for P.S. 9” Fall Fundraiser. Every dollar makes a difference. You can donate in person by cash, check or credit card. And you can also make donations online, on, or by clicking the donate button on our Facebook page.

We are also kicking off a one-for-one matching program during the entire length of our Fall Fundraiser. Several very generous donors in the P.S. 9 community have committed to match all donations, up to $15,000, received between now and December 16th. Every donation, whether $1, $10, $100, or $1,000, is eligible for this one-for-one match. That’s right, if you contribute $500 during this period, P.S. 9 gets $1,000!

A Truly Multicultural Welcome

Ms. D'Avilar  kicked off the Multicultural Celebration with a special morning greeting spoken in over 20 languages. The message was as follows, "Good morning, welcome to the P.S 9 community. We are a family of love."
Please click anywhere in this box to donate to the PTO! All funds benefit arts education, enrichment programs and teacher support for our PS 9 students. To donate in person, please drop off a check made out to "PS 9 PTO" in the PTO mailbox in the main office.
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