Week of April 16, 2021

PTA News & Updates

April 16, 2021


Upcoming Dates:

April 19-20, 26-27: Takeout for PEP @ Gyros Planet

April 29:  Orrington Dinner and a Movie w/ Siam Splendour!

May 3-7:  Teacher Appreciation Week

May 12:  Virtual Talent Show submissions DUE

May 18:  Orrington PTA Meeting


All PTA information, including past and current newsletters, can be found on our our website.  Please check out the Orrington PTA Welcome Packet to meet the Exec Board and to learn more about the basic goals, functions and activities of the PTA. 


Teacher appreciation week is nearly here -- may 3-7

Help us celebrate and thank our teachers after a very unique year.  We will be creating a virtual “Thank You” video of original student cards and artwork like we did last year, and collecting donations to be shared (in the form of gift cards) across the whole Orrington teaching and staff community.  We encourage all families who plan to give to a teacher/staff member to participate in the communal gift—it keeps gifting equitable for everyone. 

Pictures of student cards and artwork (your student can be in the picture holding their creation!) can be submitted to info@orringtonpta.org.  Please include your child’s name, grade and teacher’s name in your email subject.  Children can thank multiple people if they’d like—specials’ teachers, teaching assistants, learning specialists and all the people who keep Orrington going strong.  For a complete list of Orrington teachers and staff, visit the Orrington School website HEREPlease send pictures by May 1st.

Monetary contributions to teacher/staff gift cards can be made in several ways: write a check and send to school (with TAW in the memo), send a Zelle to info@orringtonpta.org (with TAW in the memo) or pay with a credit card at square and choose “Teacher Appreciation Week”. Please send contributions by May 5th.  


orrington equity project listening sessions continue this weekend

Listening sessions for families of color with ETHS teacher Corey Winchester will take place this weekend and next via Zoom.  Participating families have connected with this process through their teachers and/or the administration.  If you need information or have any questions, please reach out to your teacher, Dr. Plaza, or info@orringtonpta.org for help. 

The Orrington teachers, administration, and PTA collaboration with Corey Winchester began this winter.  Together we are working to create a space that is welcoming and affirming for all students.  The first part of this work involves centering the well-being of families who have been historically marginalized by our society and our schools.  At some point, all families will have an opportunity to participate--please stay tuned for information on future listening sessions.  To learn more about the project, please read Corey Winchester’s letter to the Orrington community.


pta nominating committee for executive board volunteers for 2021-22

The Orrington PTA Nominating Committee (Clare Scane, Kristi Raftery, Amy Hodgman, Kiera Kelly and Kirsten Everspaugh) is excited to announce that it is soliciting nominations  for new Officers to join the Executive Board for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year. There are open positions available for anyone interested in adding their voice to our dynamic community! Take advantage of nationally renowned equity training offered to Executive Board members, opportunities to impact school culture, and the chance to make Orrington a place where all students can thrive!  No one is more qualified—these roles are open to all members of the Orrington community! If you think you might want to volunteer for the PTA in any capacity, the committee would love to hear from you!  All parents and guardians can participate, and we are always excited to have new volunteers.  Please email info@orringtonpta.org to learn more or fill out this form to indicate your interest.


dinner and a movie w/ siam splendor on 4/29 - rsvp open!

Concerning Foster Take a night off cooking, support an Orrington family business, and learn some Evanston history!   Phone in your order to Siam Splendour for a delicious dinner on 4/29, and settle in to learn more about why Evanston’s school attendance boundaries became such a charged issue through a streamed viewing of “Concerning Foster,” a Mudlark original play about Evanston’s children and the closing of the 5th Ward school.  Siam Splendour, owned by the Chantarangkul family, will generously offer Orrington families a 15% discount on phone orders (4/29 only).   Please RSVP on the google form HERE to receive the video link.


virtual talent show is back

virtual talent show poster We are so excited to continue the Orrington Talent Show virtually again in 2021.  Sign-up forms will be made available soon but start planning and rehearsing your act now.  Remember, each act can be no longer than 60 seconds (even if it’s a group act!), and children may perform in only one act. We can't wait to see what this year's talent has in store!

Video submissions will be due no later than May 12th.  Instructions to submit videos will be in next week’s newsletter.  A final “Talent Show” production will be posted as an unlisted video on the Orrington PTA’s YouTube Channel at the end of May, so we can all see our Orrington students SHINE!


honor your favorite teachers! Teacher appreciation week is may 3-7

honor a teacher Foundation 65’s Honor a Teacher program allows us to say thank you to educators who have been working so hard for all of our children this year. 

Educators who are recognized with a donation in their honor will receive a digital card from Foundation 65, including your name and a personal note.

*Your gift will support Foundation 65, an independent grantmaking organization that invests in educator-led initiatives to support educational equity through literacy and arts in a child’s foundational years. 
Go to www.foundation65.org/honor-a-teacher to make your gift and craft your personal note today. *Gifts must be received by April 23rd in order to send a personal note. The amount of the gift will not be shared publicly with the teacher.



fundraising for Pep - gyros planet and antiracist af gear

Please support PEP’s fundraising and some great Evanston businesses. Gyros Planet will donate 10% of all sales on 4/19-20 and 4/26-27 to PEP One Fund.  AntiRacist AF will donate 50% of profits from “PEP Fundraiser” items on their website.   Have a business and would like to participate in supporting PEP?  Please reach out to D65pepfundraising@gmail.com.

gyros for everybody!


summer theater and social skills program for middle school/oder elem students

The Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA) is hosting Bard House: A Co-creation Theater Program this summer. The program is geared toward middle-schoolers, though a session may also be offered for late-elementary students (inquire if interested).

You will realize your artistic potential as performers, writers, designers, or managers of a show that YOU create TOGETHER. Join our creative arts therapists for a fun summer experience designed to help you:

  • Grow Self-Confidence
  • Improve Social Skills
  • Practice Problem Solving
  • and Develop Leadership Abilities

Compliant with CDC guidelines including masks and social distancing. Maximum 8 participants per pod.

Date: Session 1: July 19th – 30th (Monday – Friday) OR Session 2: August 2nd – 13th (Monday – Friday)

Time: 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Price: $550 per session. Financial aid is available.

Contact CreativeGroups@ITAChicago.org to register.


open leadership positions in the pta equity project (pep)

District leaders, PTA leaders, PEP members and members of District 65 community:

The PTA Equity Project ensures that students across Evanston/Skokie District 65 have more equitable access to PTA resources through the PEP Fund. We are excited to announce that PEP is looking for leaders to support and build on this important work in the years to come.  PEP is seeking candidates for the following six positions. Please consider submitting your own statement of interest via this link, encouraging someone else to submit, and sharing this opportunity with your networks.


2 Co-Chairs: Lead the strategy and planning for all PEP initiatives including but not limited to the PEP Fund. 

2 Financial Co-Chairs: Lead the financial planning and execution for all PEP initiatives including the PEP Fund. 

Communications Chair: Lead a small team in the strategy and execution for all communication related to PEP initiatives. 

Development Chair: Lead a small team in the strategy and planning for all of the PEP fundraising including support to individual D65 schools. 


This is an exciting time for our community and PEP.  We hope you take a look (Link) at the detailed job descriptions and consider being a leader for PEP. Additionally, please fill out this Statement of Interest Form. Please reach out to our Nominating Committee if you are interested: email ptaequityproject@gmail.com or submit your Statement of Interest Form.


Visit the PEP website to learn more about PEP and how the PEP Fund is equitably distributing PTA funds across the district so that all students can access important enrichment and community-building opportunities that PTAs provide, regardless of the school they attend.


Thank you,

Molly Rouch, Claire Marcy, Lish Aiken, Tracy Olasimbo

PEP Nominating Committee


orrington fundraising update

Orrington Fundraising Our Read-a-Thon got us off to a great start (about $13,000!) but there is work ahead of us as we aim for our $43,000 target for PEP One Fund by June 1st.  All the money we raise at Orrington helps ensure that we are able to continue offering PTA enrichments and support at our school while also enabling all children in our community to experience equitable PTA programming at their schools.

To achieve this goal, one that was broadly and enthusiastically backed by Orrington families, we need your help!  We will continue to collect donations, and will hold future fundraising events this spring.  Click HERE to see all the ways you can make a contribution at ANY time!  

Together, we can hit our target and help ALL Evanston schools thrive!


Orrington's directory updated with new class assignments!

Have you been wondering how to connect to other Orrington Families and are navigating a new class of students?  Our school-wide directory, AtoZ Connect, has been updated with the current classroom information.  Just select the teacher and then see family contact information for all students in the classroom.  If you have not registered please visit AtoZConnect to sign up using whatever information you are comfortable sharing--it’s never too late to get connected!  

Questions or concerns about the directory?  Please contact Sonia Kinra at orringtonelementarydirectory@gmail.com


calling all minecraft and among us players!

Minecraft Looking for ways to keep your child connected to Orrington friends after school? The PTA has set up Minecraft servers and has many other suggestions on how to set up virtual playdates.   Click HERE for some ideas for virtual gatherings AND for information about our NEW Minecraft servers just for the Orrington Community!  

Please email info@orringtonpta.org or use this form if you have additional virtual community building ideas you would like to share with our community.




still (always) seeking volunteers!

We are still looking for some fun-loving caregivers who would like to be Community Connectors for first grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade!

If you are interested in volunteering as a Community Connector (or in any capacity) please enter your information HERE and someone will reach out to discuss this or other current open PTA POSITIONS you have interest in.  The 2020-21 school year will be like no other and we need volunteers more than ever to help us build community during this uncertain time.