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Category: Green & Healthy Committee

Girls on the Run is coming to Parker Woods Montessori!!!

Girls on the Run is coming to Parker Woods Montessori!!!

Girls on the Run is coming to Parker Woods Montessori!!! 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade girls – please look for information that will be coming home this week with information about the program and how to register! Be sure not to miss it, because online registration is August 20th-29th!

Girls on the Run is an after school program like no other! Twice per week for 10 weeks, girls will have fun, make friends, increase their physical activity levels and learn important life skills. Trained and caring coaches lead 3 – 5 grade girls through interactive lessons and running activities. The season ends with a noncompetitive 5K event.Participating in Girls on the Run transforms girls’ lives by helping them increase their self-confidence, develop healthy relationships, and feel good about themselves, inside and out.

Contact Emma Chambers at for more information.

Summer Garden Care

Summer Garden Care

Please help support the growing (and overgrowing !) of the Koster Learning Garden at Parker Woods Montessori.

We need a person to water each week, and a back up person in case volunteer #1 needs assistance.

We recommend you sign up for two weeks: one as main watering volunteer, and one as back up.

Watering may involve a commitment of one hour or two – three times a week, depending on the weather. A sprinkler will be available so that volunteers may multi-task (read, play, weed, walk, etc).

Judy will contact you with the combo number for the lock to the shed, and give you directions for turning on the water valve.

Here is the sign up link:

If you prefer NOT to log into Sign Up Genius, please email Judy Ganance and she will gladly sign you up:

We need volunteers starting Monday, June 13th, so we need help immediately 🙂

Open Positions!

Open Positions!

Parker Woods Montessori Parents and Families,

The PWM PTO is looking to fill a few key leadership positions. These positions currently have volunteers, but they are looking for backup help or an apprentice to take over for next year. Please read the description and reach out if you feel this is a way you could help improve your child’s educational experience! You can respond to for more information.

TREASURER / ACCOUNTANT: Our Treasurer has been maintaining and cleaning up our records, but due to a tight schedule is not able to be as involved as he was in the past. We are looking for someone with accounting experience who can help organize the records, provide public accountability, breakdown the budget into more specific fundraising goals and maintain the paperwork necessary for our non-profit status. Time commitment: 1-2 monthly hour long meetings, consistent email responses and online presence.

SECRETARY: Our secretary has been wonderful, but she is not always able to attend every meeting. We are looking to support her with an assistant who can alternate note taking and transcribing notes online. Time Commitment: 1-2 monthly meetings, periodic email correspondence.

PRESIDENT/VICE PRESIDENT: Our co-Presidents have been working hard to organize and grow the PTO and are ready to share the experience with new leadership. The individual committees have become more stable, but we continue to search out fresh ideas and approaches on how to grow and maintain our volunteer base. This position does not need to be too time consuming, but requires consistent communication and involvement. Please respond for more details on these positions.

Thank you,

Parker Woods Montessori PTO

Come Help in the Garden!

Come Help in the Garden!

Please join the Green & Healthy Committee in helping prepare the Parker Woods Montessori garden for winter on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, October 27th, 4:00 PM
  • Friday, October 28th, 4:00 PM
  • Saturday, October 31st, 11:00 AM

We will have coffee, eggs, and fruit on Saturday, so please RSVP for Saturday by sending an email message to

These work days are for cleaning the gardens and preparing them for cover crop or fresh native starts and putting certain beds to bed for the winter. We hope to get a compost built from pallets, too.

New PTO Board Members and Committee Chairs

New PTO Board Members and Committee Chairs

Thank you to everyone who attended the September PTO meeting. Here are the names of the people who have volunteered to serve on our PTO board and chair each PTO committee. Please reach out to any of the board members or committee chairs if you have any questions, or you would like to offer your time and talents to make a difference for Parker Woods Montessori!

Angie Asselin
Missy Maxfield

Kevin Maxfield

Angie Jones
Elsie Saffron

Vice President

Brian Bachmeyer
Joy Patton
Mark Patton
Rachel Morgan
Valerie Taylore
Will Brumfield

Caleana Colvard
Milene Donlin

Green and Healthy
Ellil Rose

Parent Academic Involvement
Brianna Leavitt-Alcantara
Nuria Lopez-Ortega

New School Year Updates

New School Year Updates

Hello everyone!

I wanted to share what we discussed at our informal gathering last Thursday. Here are a few of the main topics we chatted about.


Several people raised questions as to why we do so many fundraising efforts each year and where the money goes. We discussed how our school has to spread its budget further than other schools due to the number of education professionals (teachers and assistant teachers) in the building, so we parents work to make up the difference for supplies and enrichment activities. It was clear that this information needs to be the focus as we go forward raising money for this year. I made sure I discussed this point with all the families who spoke with us on Saturday at orientation.

Music programs

There have been many parents expressing confusion about how and when the band program is operated at Parker Woods. We agreed we should look into the logistics of the program to share with all parents.
We discussed reaching out to the community for an instrument drive.
We also decided to ask Ms.Thomas about a recorder program for the music special.

Chairs and board members

At this time we are looking for an apprentice Treasury, Vice President, Fundraising chair, Green and Healthy co-chair and other support volunteers for the 2015-2016 school year.

Northside Learns resource manual

The Northside Community Council Education Committee helped create a community resource manual for all three elementary schools in Northside. This manual will help each school identify tutors, education partners, volunteers and sponsors for the upcoming school year. We will use some of this information to update the PTO Parent Resource Guide for this year.

Ways to open up to new members

We brainstormed on ways to make our PTO more appealing and easier to plug into for new members. We discussed breaking up the seating for meetings in different ways (by age groups, by committees, etc), having name tags, offering quarterly raffles/door prizes, and having parent info sessions during movie nights.

Finally we reviewed the bylaws and discussed pros and cons to updating our bylaws and PTO structure.

I also wanted to share that Missy Maxfield and I had some great responses during the New Family Orientation on Saturday! We will be reaching out this week to all of the families who signed up, and I am confident we will be seeing some fresh faces getting involved in our efforts this year!

Thank you for all you all do to make our school the best it can be!

Angie Asselin
PWM PTO Co-President

Volunteer Thank-You for Caring for the Koster Montessori Teaching Garden

Volunteer Thank-You for Caring for the Koster Montessori Teaching Garden

The Green & Healthy Committee would like to thank the following PTO and community members who took on a week or more of watering, weeding and harvesting in the Koster Montessori Teaching Garden over the summer:

Nuria Lopez
Michelle Markert
Jenifer Jackson
Judy Ganance
Brian Jackson
Michele Kinkele
Anna Taylor
Rian Keller
and Bill Berger who committed to watering all of the new trees.

Without your care the garden could not have succeeded. Thanks!

New Trees are Taking Root at Parker Woods Montessori

New Trees are Taking Root at Parker Woods Montessori

Hello Parker Woods Montessori parents and PTO members:

The organization Taking Root is most graciously gifting our school at least 10 trees plus mulch and water bags. They are also bringing some volunteers to help plant them but they need help from us as well.

***Planting Day is Saturday June 27, 9:00 – 2:00 p.m.***

Planting new trees, trimming the live trees and weeding the grounds are the goals for the day. Once the new trees are in, Bill Berger has graciously committed to watering them.

An arborist from Natorps walked the school and made recommendations for the trees to be planted, expert consideration for the beautification of our school that will permanently impact the grounds of Parker Woods Montessori! Any help will be greatly appreciated, for all or part of the day. Please let me know if you would like to help. Thanks!

Sincere Regards,

Brook Agliata
Parker Woods Montessori PTO
Green & Healthy Committee Chair

Summer Care of the Teaching Garden

Summer Care of the Teaching Garden

Click here to volunteer for summer care of the Teaching Garden at Parker Woods Montessori.

Garden watering and tending is for a one-week block. Water the veggie boxes using the drip irrigation system; weed as necessary; harvest as necessary. The four vegetable boxes by the fence can be watered with watering cans.

Instructions to follow for getting the water key to turn on the water faucet and for the keys to the tool shed. We’ll let you know what to do with the harvested vegetables; we are still working that out too.

Please contact me at prior to your week if you have questions or concerns. Thank you so much!

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!


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.

How far is a mile?

How far is a mile?

One mile is 5,280 feet

That would be:

20 laps around the gym.
17 laps around the preschool playground
10 laps around the big playground
5 laps around the back field
4 laps around the school
About 2,500 steps

Here are a few other places to find a mile:

1 Mile walks

Hoffner Park: Three times around the loop path or twice around the sidewalk perimeter
Jergen’s Park: 10 loops around the inside path equals 1 mile.
Purple People Bridge: From one end of the Purple People Bridge to the other and back again.
Zoo: Make one big loop inside the zoo plus a small loop around Swan Lake

1/2 Mile Walks

Parker Woods Montessori: From the front door down Langland across to Beech Hill right on Pullan right on Langland back to Parker Woods
Parker Woods Montessori: From the front door go across the parking lot to the stairs to the woods, go down the stairs and follow the trail until you get to the concrete path, turn right and go up the path, at the top turn right across the grass to return to the school.

Want more of a challenge?

The Mill Creek Greenway Trail is a nice paved (wheel chair accessible) path. It measures 1.25 miles from one end to the other.
Winton Woods: The Harbor Trail is a 1.7 mile loop that is paved and wheelchair accessible
Spring Grove Cemetery has a well marked 3.1 mile (5k) route.

Want to try something different? These exercises are equal to one mile!

8 minutes of Jump Rope
8 minutes of Jumping Jacks
12 minutes of Basketball
12 minutes of Swimming
12 minutes of Soccer
14 minutes of Bicycling
15 minutes of Football
15 minutes of Rowing
15 minutes of Dancing
20 minutes of Aerobics
22 minutes of Yoga
40 minutes of Gardening


The Cincinnati Flying Pig Kids’ Marathon & 26th Mile Event

The Cincinnati Flying Pig Kids’ Marathon & 26th Mile Event

The Parker Woods Montessori PTO wants you to find your inner pig and be a part of our team for The Cincinnati Flying Pig Kids’ Marathon & 26th Mile Event

The Flying Pig Kids’ Marathon is a great opportunity for kids and their adult fitness buddies. In celebration of the 17th annual Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon to be run in May, we would like to promote walking/jogging and/or running for fitness and fun. By exercising together with kids, you set a great example, have quality time together, and help each other set and reach goals. You will also learn what it means to cover the distance of a marathon.

This program is designed for children ages 5-12 years old along with their fitness buddies. IT IS NOT A RACE!

Using the Hog Log, you can begin now and walk, jog or wheelchair the distance of a marathon, in small increments, at your own pace. Always exercise in a safe area and wear appropriate clothes and shoes.

We’re sending home Hog Logs and a permission slip. Please take some time to read through it. You can use the kid friendly marathon map and log to follow your progress on the Flying Pig course and keep track of all the miles, and smart nutrition & reading choices made in the coming months.

As part of this program we are going to start a Tuesday Pig Day after-school group for kids and their parents/guardians that will meet in the gym from 4 – 4:30 starting Tuesday, March 10. This is a great opportunity for you and your child to run/walk together or for you to cheer them on! Please sign the permission slip if you would like your child to participate in this fun program.

Click here for a copy of the permission slip.

You also have an exciting opportunity to be part of the real Flying Pig Marathon by finishing your 26th marathon mile on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 during the Flying Pig Kids’ Marathon 26th Mile event at Cincinnati’s Riverfront. The kids will cover their final mile on the actual Flying Pig Marathon course and cross the real “Finish Swine.” They get a finishers shirt, a marathon medal and all the goodies of the finish celebration ($10 registration).

More information about how to register as part of the PWM team will be coming soon. Have questions? Want to get involved? email or call/text Kate (513) 706-55401.

We look forward to see you at the next PTO meeting Wednesday, March 18th at 6pm

Be Smart, Eat Well & Move More!