Schoolkidz School Supply Kits

schoolkidz_logoPlease see the Ordering_Flyer_2014  regarding the Schoolkidz school supply kits for next school year.

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Looking Ahead to 2014-2015

While I completely understand and can relate to every parent/guardian always looking out for the best interests of their child when it comes to class placement within an elementary classroom, I wanted to thank everyone in advance for respecting the process in its entirety. Your son/daughter’s present teacher’s feedback will be passed along and weigh heavily on me regarding the best place for him/her to thrive next year. Should you still feel compelled to share any insight you deem would be valuable for me to know (i.e. specific students with whom your son/daughter might experience some struggles with or a student or two your child would thrive in the classroom with), you are welcome to send me an email or a letter detailing the circumstances of the situation. Another part of respecting the process as a whole lies in parents/guardians refraining from listing any teacher by name in any correspondence you may send my way. Please know, in the end, I will do all I can to review and reflect upon any information parents/guardians send as I embark upon this process. In the end, the goal in creating classes for next year is to utilize and weigh the teachers’ feedback considerably as they have gained such valuable knowledge about each and every child over the course of this last year. Thanks so much for your support to this matter and I look forward to a great year come September as we kick off the 2014-2015 school year.

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Brookside PTA Book Swap

book-swap-logoIt’s time for the Book Swap Tuesday June 10th!  See the Book Swap Flyer 2014 for all the details.

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5th Grade Night Out – BEACH PARTY

Child's Shovel and Pail at the BeachCelebrate the end of year with your friends at the 5th grade Beach Party!  Friday, May 30, 2014.
Enjoy a night of music, dancing, treats and games.  See the Fifth Grade Night Out Flyer for more details and to RSVP.

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Healthy Breakfasts for Super Testers

With testing season upon us, a healthy breakfast is more important than ever.  Studies have shown that eating a breakfast with the right amount of protein, carbohydrate and fiber gives  you energy,  but also improves learning, memory and performance on tests.   It also gives you a jump start on getting all the nutrients you need each day.

Keep in mind that all breakfasts are not created equal!  WebMD has a list of their 5 golden rules for a healthy breakfast.  I shared this in September but to insure all our Brooksiders are off to a good start on testing days, I have shared them again below.

  1. Include 5 GM of fiber.   Fiber helps fill you up longer and it lessens the effects of sugar.   Kids should have 10-15 gm fiber in their daily diet so start with the first meal of the day.  Read the labels of your child’s favorite cereal and choose the ones with more fiber.  Compare bread:  100% whole wheat has 3gm fiber vs white with 1/2 gm.
  2. Serve Breakfast friendly  fruits.  They add fiber and lots of vitamins.  1 apple or pear provides 4.2 gm fiber, berries 5gm, a banana or applesauce 3gm.
  3. Push the protein.  Protein helps stabilize the rush of sugar into the bloodstream and hels stave off hunger.  Aim for 5gm of protein by adding ½ cup milk to cereal(low fat for children over the age of 2 years).  Or scramble an egg.  One egg has over 6gm of protein.
  4. Avoid high sugar, high fat meals.  Sugary breakfasts only serve to cause a quick high spike in blood sugar when then drops below normal blood sugar levels in  a couple of hours leaving kids tired and less able to focus.  While a waffle with peanut butter provides 25gm carbohydrates, 3.5gm sugar and 9gm protein, the same waffle with ¼ cup syrup offers 90gm carbohydrates, 25gm sugar and only 2gm protein.
  5. Prepare.  Making whole wheat pancakes on Sunday?  Make extra and freeze.  It doesn’t have to take a lot of time for a healthy breakfast on the go.  For those days you are running late, keep a stash of healthy breakfast bars, fruit and nuts for kids to grab and eat on the run.

Who knows, maybe healthier breakfast can be part of our mornings even when testing is over.

Paula O’Hara RN, CSN
Brookside Place School
Cranford, NJ


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Thank You From the PTA

This is  an overdue thank you to Jessica Handsman for all her hard work on the tricky tray.
The evening was a huge success and we raised over $11,000.  Thank you also to Antonia
Cleveland, Sarah Santomauro, Nicole Consorte, Michelle Werner, Marlene Buckman and
everyone else that helped the evening run smoothly.

Thank you also to the 5k/fun run committee, Jenn Kelly, Dawn Walter, Sarah Ecchevaria,
Angela Lynch, Dawn Salerno, Melanie Graceffo and Anna Wilson for an amazing race!!  Although the day was
a little chilly we still had a huge turnout and everyone had a great time.

The money raised from the race as well as some from the Tricky Tray will be used to regrade
the playground, plant new seed and put in an irrigation system in the fall.  This will help with
the saturation problem we have there after it rains and enable the students to play on the
fields more frequently.

Thanks again for supporting the PTA.

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Arrival Time Drop Off

With warmer temperatures finally upon us, arrival time at BPS will now return to the pre-cold weather days where students will be enjoying the fresh air as they line up outside by their designated arrival doors waiting for the first bell to ring each morning. In an effort to keep the flow of traffic moving and multiple drop off points along the school side curbs of Spruce Street and Brookside Place free of any parked vehicles, parents/guardians wishing to park their vehicles and wait with or in the vicinity of their son/daughter’s line up location are encouraged to park along Beech Street and walk to BPS. Every attempt is being made at the school level to secure an outside supervisory presence at each arrival door (especially at the primary levels K-2) so that parents/guardians feel comfortable just dropping off and going on their way.

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Shining Stars – Hillside Avenue School

shining starsCome see the 2014 Shining Stars on 5/14. $5.00 tickets sold at door for this annual talent show.. Door opens at 7 p.m. at Hillside Avenue School. Raffles/Snacks/50/50.

Shining Stars”debuted two years ago at Hillside Avenue School. The evening showcases the talents of our special needs students in grades 3-12+. Last year, they raised over $2,000 for the ARC of Union County, a non-profit agency which services our students and Union County residents with developmental disabilities.  Please come support them.

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Tricky Tray – Program and Business Supporters

Night-of-Broadway-LogoProgram – Tricky Tray Program 2014

Business Supporters – 2014 Tricky Tray Directory

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Mother’s Day Plant Sale – May 8th

Plant SaleOur annual Brookside Plant Sale will take place on Thursday, May 8th rain or shine.  This event is NOT a PTA fundraiser but a service to our children in helping them choose a plant for someone special.  See the Plant Sale 2014 Flyer for all the details.

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Staff Appreciation Week May 5th – 9th

TreeThe PTA needs your help this year to show our teachers and staff just how much we appreciate them.  See the Staff Appreciation 2014 Flyer for all the details and how you can help.

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Brookside Fun Run/5K

Please see the Brookside 5K Flyer 2014 regarding the Brookside fun run/5K on May 4th.

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Pre-order Your Tricky Tray Basket Raffle Tickets!!

Night-of-Broadway-LogoSave Yourself Some Time….let us pre-print your name on the basket raffle tickets.
Don’t lose out on the prize… if your name is on your ticket, you will hear it loud and clear.
Order pre-printed basket raffle tickets…and you will be all set for the big event!
Plus for each pre-printed order, you will get an extra gold ticket.

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Cranford Jaycees Annual Easter Egg Hunt & Pancake Breakfast

easter eggsSee the 2014 Easter Egg Hunt & Pancake Breakfast Flyer for all the details.

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Tricky Tray Ticket Order form

Night-of-Broadway-LogoFor those of you who don’t know, the Tricky Tray is one of our school’s largest fundraisers.  This year it is held on Friday, April 25th at 6:30.  It is a large raffle with prizes ranging from $25/$30 to $400+ and even priceless prizes like a parking spot in the school’s parking lot.  There are about 150-200 prizes.
Please complete the 2014 Tricky Tray Ticket Order Form and  return it as early as Tuesday morning.  If you want to reserve a whole table, you need 10 names at registration with a check for the total amount. Ticket sales are on a first come first served basis.
The evening is a lot of fun.  Tables usually coordinate who is bringing what food.  People bring complete dinners or just snacks… up to you. Because of insurance you cannot bring alcohol to the event, but there will be a cash bar.  In addition to the raffles, there will be a 50/50 and raffle to win a $1000 gift card to Apple.  There will also be a new game of chance – so you can try your luck at that!!
We are still accepting donations for the grade prize baskets.  Families are being so generous, but we still need more funds to reach our goals.
Please hand your ticket requests in soon as possible.  If you have any questions, please contact me at

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