Browsed by
Month: April 2015

Sign Up Here to Volunteer for the End of the Year Festival

Sign Up Here to Volunteer for the End of the Year Festival

Here is the link to the Sign Up Genius list we are using to coordinate volunteers for the End of the Year Festival. Please take a look and sign up for the times and places you would like to help.

Thank you to all the wonderful families of Parker Woods Montessori, you make this school fantastic.

Amazing Things are Happening at Parker Woods Montessori!

Amazing Things are Happening at Parker Woods Montessori!

Saturday, May 9th, come see and explore what our community is all about from 10:00-12:00!
Then stay for the fun at our End of the Year Celebration from 11:30-4:30!

Open House:
Learn why the Montessori approach to learning is the perfect choice for you!
Meet our talented teachers, staff and students!
Explore our many school activities, programs and special classes.

End of Year Celebration:
Community gathering and celebration of our third year in Northside!
Enjoy free burgers/veggie burgers and delectable pot luck sides provided by our amazing families!
Create Mother’s Day card with WORDPLAY!
HAPPEN, Inc. will join us for creative activities!

“Fun”draising activities to benefit future educational experiences for our PWM children include:
Silent Auction items including an XBOX 360!!
Scholastic Book Fair
Bouncy Houses!!
Skateboard Demonstrations and Lessons
Games for ages 5 to 12
Gift Basket Raffles
A gently used children’s book sale

Second Annual Spring Fundraiser

Second Annual Spring Fundraiser

Dear Parents,

We started the year off with the Walkathon Fundraiser, which has provided essential funding for field trips and programs, which are complementing classroom studies and providing our children with wonderful opportunities to experience and explore new places and ideas.

Now, Parker Woods Montessori PTO is excited to kick off our Second Annual Spring Fundraiser during the weeks of April 27th-May 1st to support our Specials classes: Art, Music, and Gym and create a fund for Montessori materials.  Our goal is to raise $2,000. With just $5 per student, we can reach our goal!!

Did you know that the school district provides almost no funding for art, music, or gym materials or supplies?  Our fundraising goal for the Special’s program is $1,600.  That amount would allow our art teacher, Ms. Nall, to purchase paints, drawing paper and notebooks, markers, fabrics, wood, and various adhesives.  These resources would allow our children to explore a wide variety of art forms, materials, and techniques and some student artists could even participate with Ms. Nall in Northside Art Shows.  Our music teacher, Ms. Thomas, could buy 8 new music programs with instructional music books and interactive CDs.  And our Gym teacher, Ms. Austin, could buy new tennis rackets and replace other damaged equipment.

In our children’s regular classrooms, it can be very expensive to purchase or replace Montessori materials.  Our goal is to create a fund, starting with $400 this year, to provide resources for teachers who need to replace or purchase new Montessori materials.

We suggest donations of $5-$10, but every little bit helps! Here are the details:

Submitting Donations:  You may submit donations three ways:

  • Online:  Donate tab on Parker Woods PTO website:  (right side)

  • Cash

  • Personal Check or Money Order made out to Parker Woods Montessori Foundation.

*Due to regulations, cash, checks, and Money Orders CANNOT be sent in with students nor be handled by teachers or staff.  The PTO will have volunteers accepting donations (directly from the hands of parents) at drop off and pick up from April 27th-May 1st.  There will be prizes!

All donations are tax deductible.  You can find receipt forms in the main office.


Parker Woods Parent-Teacher-Organization

The Spring Book Fair is Coming

The Spring Book Fair is Coming

The whole school is excited about our upcoming Book Fair. An amazing selection of books is headed our way!

At the Book Fair you will find the latest and finest titles for kids, as well as books of interest to parents, and, you can contribute books to your child’s classroom library. The Book Fair is a great way to get everyone excited about reading.

Here’s a brief video that highlights the big dreams that can be realized through family reading:

See you at the Book Fair!

Visit the Parker Woods Montessori Book Fair Homepage Online 

Download the Scholastic Book Fair Mobile App


This Friday, April 18th, is the last day to register for Flying Pig!

This Friday, April 18th, is the last day to register for Flying Pig!

I wanted to give you all a quick update on the progress of the Parker Woods Montessori Flying Pig Kids Marathon Team! The students have all been working so hard these past months walking, running and skipping their way to 26 miles and the end is in sight! The Flying Pig Kids’ Marathon 26th Mile Event is almost here. This special event takes place Saturday, May 2nd at 12:00pm. Students can complete the 26th mile of their incremental marathon on the actual Flying Pig Marathon Course. It costs 10$ and the perks include a t-shirt, finisher’s medal and a huge cheering crowd to celebrate the accomplishment!

This Friday, April 18th is the last day to register!!

You can register online at Be sure to select Parker Woods Montessori as our school in the drop-down menu, even if you’re a parent or non-student who is part of our group. Parents who would like to run with their children need to register as well. Paper registration forms are available in the office. You can give the paper forms to me directly or put them in the PTO mailbox. If you are registering for this event could you please let me know via email, phone or text so I can be sure everyone is accounted for?

If you would like to participate in the 26th mile event downtown but $10 is too great a financial burden you are still able to participate! The Flying Pig has a scholarship fund for students called Pig Pals, just fill out the paper registration form and check the box that says Pig Pal. We want to be sure that everyone who wants to can be involved!

Any student who registers will receive a t-shirt and finisher’s medal. Those who can’t attend the downtown event can pick up their perks at a later date. We are discussing having a finishing line ceremony at Parker Woods Montessori on Saturday, May 9th before the End of the Year Picnic.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me (Kate Demske) with questions, suggestions, concerns or brilliant ideas! My email is

Here is the link to the Flying Pig FAQ

We will continue having our Tuesday Pig Day from 4:00 – 4:30 in the gym every Tuesday this month. We’d love to have you join us for a few laps!


2014-15 School Climate Parent Survey

2014-15 School Climate Parent Survey

Click here to take the CPS parent survey for this school year.

Here is a word from CPS about the survey:

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Every parent and guardian has a voice in Cincinnati Public Schools’ ongoing pursuit of educational excellence. Today we are asking for your feedback about the individual school your youngest child attends, focusing on critical school issues such as instruction, communication and school services.

As you answer each of the following questions, please think carefully and critically about your school. Your responses should reflect your views about your YOUNGEST child’s school only. If you have more than one child currently enrolled in CPS, you may visit our website to take the survey again for another school.

This survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. All of your responses will be treated in a confidential manner. Since data will be viewed on a collective level only, reports will not identify individuals. Therefore, no one in the district will know whether you have participated unless you identify yourself in the space for open-ended comments.

Engaging in an ongoing dialogue is critical as we work together to provide our students with the best possible education. Your responses will help the district make decisions to improve education for all students. After the survey closes, we will report the findings publicly, sharing what we have learned and what specific changes you may anticipate as a result of the feedback collected.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Cincinnati Public Schools


We Need Volunteers for the Garden Kick-Off Event!

We Need Volunteers for the Garden Kick-Off Event!


It’s finally happening!

Parker Woods Montessori, with help from The American Heart Association, is celebrating the inaugural Planting Day for its newly-named garden — The Koster Montessori Learning Garden — on Monday May 11. It is the city’s first official teaching garden.

Events include building the garden boxes, moving soil, planting, and various learning stations as created by The American Hearth Association. We are looking for volunteers who can help the kids build the boxes and plant, and also manage the “learning stations.” The American Heart Association will provide all the needed materials and set up the stations.

Volunteers check-in at 9:00 am.
They learn about the activities at their stations.
They can attend the Opening Ceremony in the gym from 10:00-10:30.
Learning stations are in operation after that for the rest of the day with a break for lunch.
Clean up is from 2:45 to 3:15.

Lunch will be provided.

We can schedule HALF-DAY shifts also. Please contact if you are interested in volunteering. Let’s make the first official garden event a success!

Parker Woods Montessori students get their hands dirty, but mom would approve

Parker Woods Montessori students get their hands dirty, but mom would approve


Planting gardens improves kid’s attitudes toward fruits and vegetables

Parker Woods Montessori is building and planting an American Heart Association Teaching Garden called The Koster Montessori Learning Garden as part of the association’s healthy living platform aimed to build healthy bodies and minds. The students, spanning from pre-schoolers to sixth graders, will spend a day building and filling planter boxes, provided by the American Heart Association and Teaching Garden sponsor, Cincinnati Public Schools. The goal is to educate kids on health and wellness and get them eating healthier; and Teaching Gardens are proven to do just that.

The day will begin with an Opening Ceremony featuring the Cincinnati Public Schools volunteer committee, and leadership from both the school and association. Following the ceremony students will spend the day building and filling the planters, and also applying a wide variety of curriculum, provided by the association, as they rotate through various stations. Children will apply:

  • math and science as they construct and fill the planters with soil
  • health and nutrition when they participate in vegetable and one-bite salsa tasting with voting for both
  • English and art as they write or draw what the Teaching Garden means to them and
  • physical education as all students participate in the school’s annual Jump Rope for Heart event/station.

Throughout the summer, families from the school, the Northside community and the Parker Woods Montessori PTO’s Green & Healthy Committee will maintain and harvest the produce to be sent home with the school’s families. Excess produce will be shared with local food banks. Numerous studies have shown that participation in school garden programs can have a positive impact on student’s consumption of fruits and vegetables.


Plant Day – Monday, May 11, 2015 (9:30 – 2:30pm)

10:00-10:30am – Opening ceremonies
10:30-11:30am – Dixie cup planting (3-6 year olds)
10:30-noon – Build boxes, fill w/ soil, stations (10-12 year olds)
12-12:45pm – Lunch break
12:45-2:15 – Planting and stations (6-9 year olds)


Parker Woods Montessori
4370 Beech Hill Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45223


Childhood obesity is an epidemic putting children at great risk for heart disease and stroke, our nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. The statistics are alarming:

  • Nearly one in three American children are overweight or obese.
  • French fries are the most common source of vegetables consumed by children and make up one-fourth of their vegetable intake. Juice, which may lack important fiber found in whole fruits, accounts for 40 percent of children’s daily fruit intake.
  • Currently, less than one percent of the adult population and nearly no children ages 12-19 are in ideal heart-health, in large part due to the lack of a healthy diet.

If the childhood obesity trend is not reversed, experts predict that this generation will be the first to live shorter lives than their parents. To make progress in its mission to improve the health of all Americans and reduce cardiovascular mortalities, the American Heart Association must continue to create and manage programs that combat this epidemic. With the Teaching Gardens and partnerships with organizations such as the garden’s sponsor the organization can begin to reverse the childhood obesity trend.

For more information about the Teaching Garden program, or to find out how you can contribute to school’s gardening efforts, call 513-281-4048 or email



1. What is the American Heart Association Teaching Gardens program?

Teaching Gardens is a school garden program designed for elementary school students. The program includes a curriculum that provides integrated holistic garden-related classroom lessons and activities for teaching nutrition, math, science, and language arts.
The program provides a real-life laboratory where students learn how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest crops and ultimately understand the value of good eating habits. It encompasses a core belief that when you educate children about nutritional choices and challenge them to make small changes to improve their health, they will teach their families and others.

2. Why did the American Heart Association decide to bring Teaching Gardens to schools across the country?

Teaching Gardens are designed to encourage healthy diets in young children and to help combat childhood obesity. Nearly one in three children and adolescents in the U.S. is overweight or obese.

There is significant research showing the health benefits of gardening and educational programs. Studies show garden-based nutritional intervention programs may increase fruit and vegetable intake among youth, as well as the willingness among younger children to try fruits and vegetables. In one study, adults with a household member who participated in a community garden consumed fruits and vegetables 1.4 more times per day than those who did not participate. And they were 3.5 times more likely to consume fruits and vegetables at least five times daily.

3. Who founded the Teaching Gardens program?

Noted health activist Kelly Meyer founded the program in 2010 out of concern for America’s childhood obesity crisis. She now works as a volunteer in partnership with the association as we take the program nationwide.

4. What does the American Heart Association provide to the schools?

We typically provide 6-8 raised plant beds. Under some circumstances, a custom layout with a maximum of 10 beds will be created by the vendor. We also provide a printed curriculum, 10 raised bed planters, seeds, soil, hose, water nozzle, shovels, rakes, buckets, hand trowels, hand cultivators, gardening gloves, and a pruner.

5. Is there a uniform way schools must set up the program?

No. Each school is unique, so each program will be, too. Some schools may decide to let each grade “own” part of the garden, while other schools may choose to only involve certain grades or classrooms. While the hope is for every student to engage in the program, some schools may have to make decisions based on what works best for them. Schools may assign a certain number of boxes by grade or class, or delegate specific roles and responsibilities. For example, first grade might be in charge of watering, third grade does the weeding, etc. This flexibility allows schools to make their gardens truly their own.

6. How can an entire grade work on the gardens at the same time? Is it truly hands-on learning for all kids?

Schools have room to set things up flexibly to teach all kids. Because not all activities take place physically inside the garden, and because the garden can be shared over certain periods of time, all kids could be involved if that’s the best approach for a school.

7. Who takes care of the gardens during the summer when school is out?

Each school designates a School Garden Committee and School Garden Champion who are responsible making a summer watering and maintenance schedule and delegating tasks. Schools also can empty their planters of everything except soil before summer break and re-plant in the fall.

8. How long does a school participate in the program?

Schools must sign on for at least t two years. Before the second year is up, each school must attend a renewal/evaluation meeting to confirm the next year’s participation. The beds and gardening equipment should last for at least five years.

9. How do we ensure gardens thrive for at least two years? How are they funded after that?

Schools in the program must commit to making the garden an integrated part of daily school life and:

  • Maintain a thriving garden for a minimum of two years,
  • Integrate cross-curricular lesson plans and the garden into class activities on a regular basis so the garden becomes a part of the school day. They also must integrate lesson plans that reinforce nutrition education
  • Designate a member of the school’s faculty or administration to serve as the school’s Garden Champion. This person is the primary point of contact with the American Heart Association liaison.
  • Host plant day, harvest day and replant celebrations to create awareness of and accountability for the garden
  • Establish a Teaching Garden Committee with representatives from the school staff, student body and community members.

After the first year of the program, costs to maintain a garden beyond are very limited. The costs may include seeds and seedlings or equipment repair and replacement. Ideas for fundraising or seeking local in-kind donations to support the garden are included in the School Garden Manual.

What quality control measures are in place?

Schools agree in the Letter of Commitment to participate in evaluation activities, including sharing feedback, photos and videos.

Adopt-A-Class is Looking for Volunteers

Adopt-A-Class is Looking for Volunteers

Adopt A Class is a group mentoring experience that connects businesses and civic groups with students, inspiring a corporate culture of teamwork and philanthropy and hope and a future vision of what is possible for the youth in our community.

Why Mentor?

AAC mentors impact students in their community by being positive role models and supporting the development of practical and social skills in their student mentees. AAC mentors, in return, grow and connect with fellow colleagues through this group volunteer experience while transforming lives and strengthening their community.

Interesting In Becoming A Mentor or Learning More?

Adopt-A-Class is always looking for new organizations and companies to volunteer to work with kids.

Apple Street Market — An Exciting, New Approach to Closing the Grocery Gap

Apple Street Market — An Exciting, New Approach to Closing the Grocery Gap

The grocery business is tough. Large corporate competitors, small profit margins, expensive start up needs and many other factors contribute to the challenges. Apple Street Market faces these challenges with a sustainable, new approach to business development and a vision driven by consumers, workers, and communities.

The North Side store will be the first store in chain of multi-stake holder union cooperative grocery stores in Cincinnati area. Located in neighborhoods with low food access, these stores will offer quality, affordable products.

Stores will be developed with input from the families and individuals who would shop there. This type of business would create family sustaining jobs for residents and help insure the commitment and success of a neighborhood grocery.

Download (PDF, 3.07MB)

Celebrate Your Love for Northside at Lovefest 2015

Celebrate Your Love for Northside at Lovefest 2015


Saturday, April 11th 2015 | 12-5:30PM
$10 in advance | $12 at the door (youth 18 and under free)
Pallet23 | 3932 Spring Grove Ave | Cincinnati 45223

Lovefest is an annual community event showcasing the people, organizations and businesses that make up the Northside Neighborhood. From artists and musicians, to community organizers and developers, to the variety of eclectic retail establishments and restaurants.