Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tips for a Successful Parent-Teacher Conference

 Written by Liz Lee
Parent-Teacher conferences provide wonderful opportunities to connect with your child’s teacher, see the classroom, and generally hear how your student has made the transition into his or her new school year.
Most parents look forward to these meetings with a mixture of eagerness and anxiety.  This is a great time to talk about what’s working and not working at school.  For many parents, however, this yearly event includes the niggling idea that the teacher might have feedback that will surprise or startle you.  For what it’s worth, teachers approach conferences with a similar mixture of anticipation and anxiety.
Parent-Teacher conferences are a chance to exchange information, compare notes and make a plan.  Many parents prefer to approach this event with a clear strategy.  With that in mind, here are a few tips about how to prepare for, and what to expect from, preschool and early elementary conferences. 
Before the conference:
  1. You can expect advance notice with a variety of time slots to fit a variety of schedules.  Don’t see something that works?  Let the teacher know what works for you.
  2. Some teachers use a questionnaire to expand their knowledge of your child.  Don’t be shy!  Fill it out thoroughly and get it back to the teacher as soon as possible so they have enough time to read and think about it.
  3. No questionnaire?  It’s perfectly fine to outline your questions and concerns in writing and send it to the teacher before your meeting.
  4. Timing:  Most conferences last 15 to 30 minutes, and typically everyone agrees that isn’t long enough.  Feel free to ask for a longer conference or a follow up conference if you would like more time.
  5. It’s a cliché but ask questions – lots and lots of questions.   Write them down before you attend and write down those that come up during your conference.  Conferences have a way of speeding by and a list reminds you of the most important things you want to cover.  And by the way, no question is too small or unimportant.

During the conference – Preschool
Preschool is a time of tremendous growth and change.  A young 3 year old is quite different in abilities, needs and interests than an older 5 year old.  For that reason, preschool conferences tend to provide information about child development and where your child fits into the span.
  1. Preschool is very much about tracking growth and much of this growth is measurable through drawing, building, social relationships and play interests.
  2. Expect to see your child’s work in a portfolio, on display in the classroom or both.  Frequently teachers will use a child’s drawings or photos of their play, building or other activities to discuss how things are going in preschool.
  3. Conferences are also a great time to chart new milestones such as writing his or her name, playing cooperatively with classmates and pedaling a tricycle.
  4. Transitions to school and from activity to activity in school are still challenging for children this age and this is an area teachers like to check in on and sometimes brainstorm strategies to support a child.

During the Conference – Early Elementary
Grades K-2 are still a time of tremendous change.  At this point, however, children are becoming increasingly independent and are able to concentrate on tasks for longer periods of time.  They enjoy going to school, taking the bus, having lunch with their friends and learning new things.  
Ready for a more formal learning program, elementary conferences will offer feedback about all domains – social, cognitive and physical development.  This information will be provided within the context of the school or district’s curriculum expectations.
  1. Transitions to school are still hard for some children, especially in kindergarten.  Furthermore, in elementary school the day becomes faster paced with children switching between teachers for specials such as PE and Media.  This kind of transition can also flummox the early elementary child until they gain experience and become more comfortable with their new classroom.
  2. Adjustment to a longer day (when applicable).
  3. As in preschool, expect to see samples of your child’s work through displays in the classroom and portfolios. Often teachers are able to walk parents through what is being taught in class, how it is being taught and how your child is doing by using samples of work.
  4. Social, physical, adjustment and cognitive/learning.
  5. In early elementary, schools begin to use both formal and informal assessments.  Teachers typically explain what these assessments are, what they measure and how to understand the results.
  6. Lastly, the social world is ever important for the early elementary child.  In fact, when asked to name their favorite part school, children in grades K-2 often answer, “recess” or “lunch”!  This is their chance to interact with peers and your child’s growth in the social arena of school will be another topic of conversation.
When a teacher has concerns:
  1. When a teacher has concerns, they typically contact parents before the conference to discuss them.  You are unlikely to hear about a significant problem for the first time at a conference.
  2. If you and your child’s teacher have identified an issue to work on, you may spend part of the conference brainstorming approaches, strategies and solutions.
  3. Ask around – get a second opinion – check with your pediatricians, your friends, your pastor.
  4. Make a plan to follow up.  What will the teacher do?  The school?  You, the parent?  Decide when you will meet to share updates.

When a parent has concerns:
  1. If you have concerns, it is helpful to bring them to the teacher’s attention before the conference.  This gives him/her extra time to consider your feedback, take a look at the issue in the classroom and pull together information for the conference.  
  2. Feel free to request another meeting to finish your discussion.
When a parent needs more time:  
As a parent, you can always ask for more time.  Frequently, parents leave a conference, digest the information, and end up with follow-up questions.
  1. Feel free to send an email or request a telephone call as follow-up
  2. If you prefer a face-to-face meeting or feel the topic requires greater time, attention and back and forth, asks for another meeting.  
Parent teacher conferences are a chance for teachers and parents to share two sides of the same child.  For the parents, they offer a glimpse into their child’s world at school.  For the teacher it helps complete the picture of the child they have spent the fall getting to know.  
Ultimately, conferences bring together important adults in a child’s life so that they can support the child at school.   They are a great chance to share important information, to build a relationship with a teacher and work toward a successful school year. 
About the Author
Liz Lee is a Parent Talk member currently "at home' with her three children ages 2 to 8.  
Formerly a teacher in both public and private schools, she is interested in the ways school districts communicate with the community, especially with families about curriculum choices and rationales.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Crafts Ideas for Kids

Written by Amanda Liljedahl
Wondering what else to do with those hand picked apples, now that the pies have been baked and applesauce made? How about letting the kids make some apple prints to hang up to welcome fall? Slice the apples in varying shapes, making sure some are sliced across the middle to get the seed imprints. After wiping dry, dip the fruit slices in a thin coating of red, yellow, or orange paint, then press onto white paper! Pear slices also add some variety to the fall fruit collage.

Another project my children and I came up with to help us get excited about fall was this hand print foliage tree.  First I traced each child's hand and arm on a brown paper bag, then they cut out along the lines and glued onto white paper.  This serves as the trunk and branches of the tree.  Next we crumbled up red, yellow, and orange construction paper and tissue paper into small pieces then glued onto the branches to look like leaves.  We glued the extra scraps near the base of tree to make a fresh fallen pile of leaves.  I hope you enjoy the change of the season and trying these crafts with your little ones!

About the Author
Amanda Liljedahl lives in Needham with her husband and five children (two boys, a set of identical twin girls and their newest addition, another girl). She chronicles her days which include arts & crafts projects, great recipes for the family and driving her kids from hockey practice and ballet to what's happening in her life as a mom, wife and friend on her blog The Little Lily Pad

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Time for Some Fall Cleaning! Parent Talk Used Clothing, Toy & Equipment Sale: October 20th

The clothing floor prepped and ready!
Get there early!
Looking to clean out your attic, basement or kid's playroom? This is your chance to either donate to a good cause or consign some items and earn money back. Parent Talk, Inc. is a Needham-based organization that hosts a large children's used clothing, toy, and equipment sale twice a year. The next sale is coming up on Saturday, October 20, 2012

In addition to getting unwanted items out of your home, the sale is also great for obtaining some amazing deals on high-quality used clothes, toys and/or equipment for kids ages 0-8 years. 

Some of the sale's "BESTs" include:  

1. The BEST reason to clean out your five year old's closet
2. The BEST way to get great deals on next season's clothes
3. The BEST excuse for getting your spouse to babysit
4. The BEST rush as you pour through the doors when the sale opens
5. The BEST way to teach your children about the meaning of donating
6. The BEST possibility for making money on past purchases
7. The BEST option for being able to move with ease around your garage
8. The BEST method for feeling good in your soul
9. The BEST opportunity to increase your mommy/daddy network
10. The very BEST way to support Parent Talk
Additional sale details are as follows:

Parent Talk Used Clothing, Toy & Equipment Sale
General Sale: 8:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Clearance Bag Sale: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Christ Episcopal Church, 1132 Highland Ave., Needham, MA
(Across the street from the Needham Public Library)

Do you have new or used children's fall/winter clothing, toys or equipment taking up much needed space in your home? Donate them to the sale! We also accept donations of fall/winter maternity clothes. Please note, regrettably, we cannot accept donations of drop-side cribs, car seats that are more than 5 years old, toys and equipment on recall lists, and damaged/stained items. All contributions are tax-deductible. For location information, questions, or to arrange drop-off time, please email donations@parenttalk.info.

Would you rather sell your new or used children's clothing, toys or equipment and split the profits with Parent Talk? First, request a seller ID by emailing sellerskit@parenttalk.info. Once you activate a seller's number, you can download the seller's kit and tag your items. Please note, we do not accept maternity clothes for consignment. Drop off all consignments on Friday, October 19th from 9 a.m-8 p.m. For all of your consigned items sold during the regular sale hours, you will receive 50% of the profits back from Parent Talk, Inc. 

Interested in shopping before the general public? Work a two-hour shift before, during, and/or after the sale in exchange for preferred shopping hours the day before the sale. Learn more by emailing volunteers@parenttalk.info.

You do not need to be a member of Parent Talk, Inc. in order to donate, consign or volunteer. Any other questions? - emailclothingsale@parentalk.info.

Jumpstart's Read for the Record

Last fall, I left the retail industry after more than ten years to pursue a leadership opportunity at Jumpstart, a national non-profit organization focused on early childhood education. Having two preschool-aged children of my own and a passion for mission-driven work, I was humbled by the opportunity to join an organization that makes a profound difference in the lives of young children by helping them to develop the skills they need to enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
With the growing economic challenges in our country, there is increased disparity between the early education opportunities that children from underprivileged communities receive, as compared to those from more prosperous neighborhoods. In Needham and its surrounding communities, we are fortunate to have a first-rate public school system and a multitude of local enrichment opportunities for our children. But how can you help others who are not as fortunate?

One way is by participating in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, a national campaign that brings millions of people together to celebrate literacy and participate in a shared reading experience. On October 4, 2012, individuals from across the country will read Ladybug Girl & the Bug Squad by David Soman and Jacky Davis in support of Jumpstart’s mission: to work toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Joining the campaign is really easy and a lot of fun:
Pledge to read on October 4th: http://www.jstart.org/pledge. Go one step further and incorporate this into a playdate!

A girl named Lulu, otherwise known as Ladybug Girl, gathers her friends Bumblebee Boy, Dragonfly Girl, and Butterfly Girl for some imaginary fun. Lulu and her friends learn about friendship, feelings, and courage.

By participating, you’ll make a difference in the world to children in our country who need it most. Let’s be sure all children, regardless of the zip code they were born into, have the chance to realize their full potential!

About the Author
Joy Errico Seusing lives in Needham with her husband and two young children. She is the Vice President for External Relations at Jumpstart, a national early education organization headquartered in Boston. In addition to being a happily busy working mom, Joy loves traveling to new places, reading on her Kindle, interior design, power yoga, and of course, cooking!  Joy is a monthly contributor for the Parent Talk blog so be sure to check back for new recipe ideas each month.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Local Apple Picking Farms for Families

Goodbye summer, hello fall.  Fall to me means apple picking, warm cider doughnuts and then an afternoon making pie.  We often make a visit to the local u-pick farms to get our apples.  They are so good straight off the vine.  This year, due to the crazy warm weather in the winter, apples arrived early.  Now is the time to get picking before they are gone.  Here's my recap of local apple picking farms closest to Needham.

Belkin Lookout Farm
-Located in South Natick, this is the shortest drive to an apple picking farm.  We get the season pass which covers the entrance fee for a family of four.  If you go on weekends, the pass pays for itself quickly.  All fruit is $2.50/pound no matter what you pick.  This is great for when you want to pick both pears and apples.  There is an entrance fee, which is discounted on weekdays. Don't miss the fun play area for kids, pony rides, farm animals, caterpillar kid's train and more.   They have a special deal this weekend to get a season's pass at 50% off, $49 only! 

Dowse Orchards
-This is another local orchard in Sherborn.  It is smaller, but also offers u-pick on small trees.  Call ahead as their apple crop is a little light this season.

Honeypot Orchard
-A bit of a drive but a great spot for apple picking.  Located in Stow, it takes about 35 minutes from Needham to get there. This year they have a new hedge maze to visit, plus the farm animals. A few of the trees here are taller so if you want to go climbing, this is the place. They offer hayrides during the week and weekends. A 20 lb bag is $24 (covers 5 people), a 10 lb bag is $16 (covers 3 people). Note, there are additional fees for entrance to the mazes and hayrides.

Fairmont Fruit Farm
-Another smaller farm option in Franklin near the Medway line. They also have farm animals to visit and sell free range eggs at their farm stand. Plus they offer hayrides! Call ahead to confirm availability.

Which is your favorite apple picking farm?

About the Author
Emily lives in Needham with her husband Jim and two children.  After working in retail for 10 years, she decided to stay home with the kids and bake.  Emily writes the blog Random Recycling, co-manages the Parent Talk Blog and does social media consulting for small businesses (and friends.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tips for Getting Back-to-School on the Right Track

How many of you have a goal to stay organized this school year?  We thought you would enjoy this article from the Parent Talk newsletter archives highlighting some great ways to stay ahead of the back to school business. 
It sneaks up on us every year…time passes quickly from summer fun and lazy days to preparing children for the start of the school year. With the right tools and some advance preparation, both the morning routine and back-to-school can be turned into a more positive and even enjoyable time. Don’t forget to include your children in the process of planning for your daily routines, asking them for their input and ideas, as they just might surprise you!
As a Mom and professional organizer here are a few tried and true tips for getting back-to-school on the right track...
#1 - Get Ready in Advance
You’ve probably heard it before, but it can’t be emphasized enough. Taking some time the night before to prepare for the coming day can work wonders. Be sure all backpacks and bags are packed, snacks chosen, lunches prepared, showers and baths taken, clothes chosen and set out. Don’t forget to pair the shoes – one lost shoe can be the cause of a lot of morning commotion! And, be sure to let your children help.
#2 - Establish/Re-establish Routines
Create easy-to-follow routines for the crucial morning, mealtime and bedtime. Implementing these a few days or even weeks before school begins is beneficial. At bedtime, baths, brushing teeth, pjs, chat time and story time, in the same order each day, provides structure and consistency. If possible, keep mealtimes and bedtimes at the same time each night. In the mornings, consider having kids make a chart or checklist of items to follow – bathroom, breakfast, brushing teeth, dressed, backpack and GO!
#3 - Choose a Drop Zone
Select a designated location or ‘drop zone’ in your home for backpacks, lunch boxes and any other items going to and from school each day. Decide who will be emptying and refilling these to ensure that any items needing to return to school actually get there.
#4 - Centralize Management
Choose one location in your home to manage incoming paper and handle all scheduling. You’ll need a master calendar and a place to sort your papers, as the volume increases with back-to-school. Incoming school papers, including permission slips, medical forms, and notices, but also invitations, play dates, dance lessons, sports schedules, doctors appointments…you name it.
#5 - Create a Snack/Lunch Zone
Store all of your lunch making supplies in one area of your kitchen – napkins, utensils, sandwich bags, water bottles, thermoses, small snacks. This gives you quick access to all the supplies you need each day.
#6 - Don’t Forget to Prepare for After School
As soon as school starts, so do the sports and activity schedules. Get all the gear purchased, organized and tried on ahead of time, and identify and set up a sports/activity center/area.
#7 – Put your Freezer to Work
Freeze a few dinners for the first week of school. This way meal preparation won’t add to the hectic nature of the start of school and you can focus more time on the kids.
#8 – Be a Good Example
And finally, remember to set a good example for your children. Be sure to keep items like your handbag, keys, and cell phone in a designated location, so getting out the door is as easy as ‘grab and go.’ And, as parents, we all know to ‘expect the unexpected.’ Try to build some extra time into each morning.

About the Author
Marilyn Cruickshank is a professional organizer and owner of Creative Simplicity Professional Organizing, based in Needham. She works with families and busy professionals, providing them with tools, techniques and systems to become better organized. You can contact her at csimplicity@comcast.net or 781-453-3906. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September Recipe Spotlight: Blueberry Apple Crisp

When September hits, there is nothing like a warm fruit crisp for dessert. I like using blueberries and apples, but I have also made this with just apples, just blueberries, and peaches and blueberries…choose whatever fruits you like! This makes enough for 6-8 guests. 
Fruit Filling
3 cups blueberries
3 cups sliced, peeled apples (I like gala or macintosh)
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. orange or lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Crunchy topping
3/4 cup flour
½ cup old fashioned rolled oats 
½ tsp. baking powder
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
½  tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the fruit filling. Pour it into an 8 inch square baking pan. Put sugar and butter in the bowl and mix on medium speed until fluffy. In a separate medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the sugar and butter mixture. Use a spoon or your hands to mush ingredients together into clumps. Place the topping equally over the fruit filling in the pan, forming an even layer. Bake for 1 hour. Be sure to cool a bit before serving as the fruit will be really hot!
photo credit: Elton Lin via photo pin cc

September Book Spotlight

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail 
by Cheryl Strayed

This was my beach read on my Cape Cod vacation this month, and I really enjoyed it.   Here is what Amazon has to say: 

"A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again. At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.  Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her."

Don't be put off by the hiking aspect; while of course that is a major part of the story, her memoir is about much more than that.  Kept me glued to the page!

Kid book
The Dot 
by Peter Reynolds

The author/illustrator of this book is local; he owns the great Blue Bunny bookstore in Dedham.  Both of my kids love this book, which is the story of a girl named Vashti, who is discouraged because she thinks she can't draw, and what happens when her art teacher encourages her.  Great illustrations and story!

About the Author
Katie Edwards lives in Needham with her wife and two children, ages 13 and 3.   She has a Master’s Degree in Library Science, but has been a stay at home mom for many years, so she is happy to have an outlet to share good books with others.  She loves to read [obviously], travel, try new restaurants, and gab with her friends.  Luckily she is in a book group where she can simultaneously eat and talk to friends about books.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kindergarten Might Not Be the Biggest Transition

The start of the Needham school year is moments away, and for many families this means sending your baby off to their first day of kindergarten.

Nervous, excited, reluctant, enthusiastic, bittersweet, stressed are just a few of the emotions parents, and children, may be experiencing.

There's much written about preparing your new kindergartner for their first days of "big kid school" - play dates with new classmates, play time on the new school's playground, books about the first day of school, back-to-school shopping, reestablishing bedtime routines, practicing new morning routines - check out the July/August 2011 issue of ParentTalk Matters for some great tips.

This time two years ago, my oldest son was eagerly awaiting his first day of kindergarten. He was so excited to make new friends and learn new things, but, despite his enthusiasm, I was still skeptical about how that first morning might go. 

Would he cry at drop off, beg me to take him home? Or would he happily wave goodbye as he marched into his new classroom with his new teacher and classmates? 

With him I never knew which way the pendulum might swing. 

One day I could be ready to waltz out of the house, he and his little brother happily playing with a favorite babysitter, and suddenly he would be glued to my leg, sobbing and pleading that I not leave. The next week, all I might get would be a hasty wave goodbye as he scampered off to play with the very same babysitter.

And what about all the mornings to follow? After day one, would he be looking forward to day two, three, four...?

The first day of kindergarten finally arrived and I was ready, and still a tad nervous.

It turned out all the anticipation and preparation were actually the worse part. When that moment came to say "goodbye", my son gave me a quick hug, lined up with is his class and proudly marched off into his new academic life. 

There were a few sad, scared, crying children, clinging to Mom or Dad that morning, and I secretly savored my relief that I was not one of them. 

My heart went out to those parents that morning, and I hoped they were able to see through their child's heart-wrenching tears and know that all would eventually turn out just fine.

As that kindergarten school year proceeded, I had the privilege of frequently volunteering in my son's classroom, I got to seeing those formerly scared, crying children blossom and thrive during their kindergarten year, and I started to wonder if all the parental focus on "preparing" might sometimes contribute to our children's nervousness.

Then came 1st Grade, and as the first day approached, I wasn't worried, not one tiny bit. We had survived three "first days" (two preschool & kindergarten) with minimal incident, so surely getting settled into 1st Grade was going to be a breeze. 

Oh, how wrong I was! 

The first day of 1st Grade turned out to be our Worst First. And I should have taken it for the sign it was, because the following weeks proved to be challenging.

Out of the blue, my once confident and exuberant boy was full of stress and self-doubt, often asking to stay home from school, even pronouncing one evening over dinner he was the "stupidest kid in his class".

What?! Where was this coming from?

I was soon tapping into my mommy network. Was anybody else dealing with 1st Grader blues?

It turned out a number of my friends were struggling with their newly-minted 1st Grader. Then I started to notice a pattern - those children that lived in towns with full-day kindergarten seemed to be having a much easier time settling into the rigors of 1st Grade, while those in towns with 1/2 day kindergarten seemed to have a higher incidence of struggles. 

This got me thinking about my son's kindergarten experience versus his 1st Grade.

Needham public school kindergartners have very short days, in most cases shorter than their preschool days, and on days they attend KASE their days is very segmented - class, lunch, KASE and all the transitions in between, which for Mitchell & Broadmeadow students include a bus ride or two.

Suddenly, in 1st Grade, their days are much more contained - in the same classroom, with the same set of classmates, with the same teacher. And they are experiencing their first real academic accountability - reading has levels, there are spelling tests and homework.

No one told me to brace myself for a kindergarten to 1st Grade transition. I thought I was in the clear after we surmounted that kindergarten hurdle.
This year my youngest will be venturing off to kindergarten and I am pretty relaxed about it - sure he got his big brother's teacher and one of his best buds will be in his class - but I have also learned that no amount of preparation can eliminate the unexpected. The unexpected will surely happen - maybe this year, maybe next year, maybe the year after that -- there are many first days of school to come.

I also remind myself that new experiences are part of life, and learning to adapt to them is a valuable life lesson (for our children and us parents) and sometimes we just  need to step back and let them go into the new and unknown without our fretting or hovering too closely behind them.

Lollie Weeks blogs about life in suburbia, her culinary adventures, Pinterest obsession, doughnut addiction and  being a parent with ADD at The Fortuitous Housewife. Her company, Weeks Web Marketing, helps small businesses navigate the ever-changing landscape of social media & internet-based marketing. She lives in Needham with her husband, two boys and a not-so-bright, but oh-so-sweet Border Collie.

That’s a Wrap!

Parent Talk’s annual “Flicks on the Field” event was held Saturday, August 25 on a perfect summer evening. An estimated 800 people brought their lawn chairs and blankets to Memorial Field in Needham. Attendees also came with donations for the Needham Community Council Food Pantry. Families enjoyed pre-movie entertainment by Jenny the Juggler and Josh and the Jam Tones before watching “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” on a huge outdoor movie screen. A bounce house, face painting and loads of sponsor giveaways completed an evening of perfect family fun!  

A huge thank you to all our sponsors:

A Fine Dance Studio 
Be True, Be You 
Charles River Ballet Academy 
Condon Realty 
Copley Motor Cars 
Ella’s Kitchen 
Gentle Giants 
JC Timmerman 
Needham Bank
Next Step Living
One2One Bodyscapes
Prudential Advantage Real Estate
Roche Bros.
Seeking Sitters
Stone Hearth Pizza
Trader Joe’s
Walker School 

This event would not have been possible without our wonderful volunteers who helped before, during and after the event to make sure everything ran smoothly. 

Beth McCarthy
Lindsay Silver Cohen
Kelly Keyes
Ann Lyons
Betsy Miller
Katie Alwart
Mary Celeste Brown
Kate Owens
Julia Sappenfield
Kathy Fritz
Lori Horvat
Nar Lee
Michael Cohen
Mary Richman
Lauren Confort
Monique Buckner
Kirsten Wilkinson
Michele Fox 
Melissa Crowe 
Jeff Richman 

And a huge THANK YOU to Sari Musmon for organizing this event for the second year in a row. After rain caused cancellation of the event last summer, she agreed to lead the charge again this year and did an amazing job and even managed to call in perfect weather for the night. Congratulations Sari and thank you!! 

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