jhms ptsa newsletter

The President’s Message
Kate Morfa Miller
Welcome back to school! This is our very first digital edition of the Jackson Heights Paw
Prints! How exciting is that? 2014-2015 sees us joining the digital age and reducing our
carbon footprint. With this new medium, we are able to reach the majority of the parents
at our school and we are also readily accessible. One of our goals as a PTSA is to be
available for questions and to keep everyone informed of volunteer opportunities
available to you.
We know how busy everyone has been getting back into the routine and your Jackson
Heights PTSA has been busy as well. Over the summer your PTSA organized a very
successful Back to School teacher lunch and a Schedule Pick Up/Supply Sale Day that for
the very first time took credit and debit cards! Of course, we cannot do any of this
without you, our volunteers. PTSA is instrumental in keeping Jackson Heights running
smoothly so please become a registered Dividend by clicking this link today.
Speaking of Dividends, it was wonderful to see so many of you at our Dividend Breakfast
on the 18th. Everyone that came out enjoyed fresh brewed coffee and delicious donuts
from The Donut King. We also enjoyed a personalized tour of the school and the
construction area given by Mrs. Mansur-Blythe. Our next big family fun night program
will involve the Harlem Wizards and will be in February of 2015. We will need many
hands to make it tons of fun for the kids so if you are interested in any aspect of planning
for what is sure to be a great event, please contact me at kate.morfa.miller@gmail.com or
Thank so you much and I look forward to hearing from many of you.
Red Ribbon Week
October 23rd - 31st.
This year's theme is:
"Love Yourself. Be Drug Free."
Wednesday, October 29th is wear
red day. Please wear a red shirt
to support being drug free. On
that day during lunch, we will have
a special treat for all as you
pledge to be drug free. We will be
sponsoring a poster contest in
which prizes will be awarded to
1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Stay tuned
for further details. Want to win an
school? Enter the Red Ribbon
Photo Contest. It's easy, it's fun
www.redribbon.org for all the
Hi Bobcats! It is that time of year again
where we start thinking about the
Reflections art contest. This year the
theme is, “The World Would Be a
Better Place If … ” We encourage all
students to reflect on the theme, create
and original work and be recognized!
The categories are, dance choreography,
photography, film production, visual
arts, musical composition and literature.
We also are entering our second year of
having a Special Artists category. Entry
forms will be in the front office this
Please bring your submissions to the
main office by Tuesday, November 11th.
We will then have local artists and
professionals judge the entries. Official
rules can be downloaded from the
Florida PTA website:
http://www.floridapta.org/ (Reflections
is under the At School tab) Contact your
committee chair, Caryn Dahm,
design@caryndahm.com if you have any
questions. Thanks and get busy creating!
Become a Reading Mentor!
The Jackson Heights Middle School administration is
continuing a Seminole County Dividend volunteer program
in their ongoing efforts to improve students’ reading
comprehension by reading books aloud to them.
We are looking for volunteers who can come in one or more
times a week for
30-minute segments in the morning before school (8:309:00am). As consistency is important for the success of the
program, you will be assigned to a specific student with whom
you will follow through to the end of the school year in May.
This is a wonderful volunteer opportunity in several ways:
There is no advance preparation or “homework”
Materials will be provided and can be stored at school
(No need to bring anything with you except your smile.)
There are no “teaching” or presentation skills needed,
just gentle words of encouragement
Our school reading coach is available for questions and
ongoing support throughout the year
What a way to start your day – by helping someone
become more successful in life!
As with any other learned skill, reading proficiency requires
practice, practice and more practice. That’s the valuable
opportunity you would be providing. Students also benefit
from the fact that they feel important enough that someone
shows up, just for them, every week. Self-confidence is a
terrific springboard for learning and accomplishment.
Volunteer programs have tremendous benefits for both the
students and the volunteers. If you would like to help a child
develop a skill that will help him or her succeed in life or you
have further questions about the program, please call our
volunteer coordinator, Connie O’Hanlon at (407) 492-3212.
Please feel free to pass along this information to a neighbor,
friend or relative who may be a retiree. We look forward to
hearing from you!
Best Regards,
Connie O’Hanlon
JHMS Reading Mentors Volunteer Coordinator
SCPS Dividend of the Year 2006
Region 3, Florida Volunteer of the Year 2007
Bobcat Bistro
Reading for fun at JHMS
Have your students visited the Bobcat Bistro yet?
We’ve started our 7th year at the Bistro, a program
designed to encourage students to read for fun in a
social atmosphere. It’s FREE on Wednesday mornings
from 8:30-bell in the cafeteria. Bring your own
book/e-reader or select from a large selection of books,
magazines & word games. Some of our regular titles
include Sports Illustrated, Girls’ Life/Boys Life, J-14
(teen stars), Car mags, ESPN, & American Girl. We
also have Marvel comic books, Manga books,
mysteries, sci-fi, adventure, and non-fiction books
(Ripley’s Believe it or Not!) to read at varying reading
levels. This is a great opportunity for struggling
readers to discover materials and titles that encourage
them to read more often! Students may borrow
paperback and hardback books at no charge.
It’s a great way to socialize with friends before school
starts. Students who come to sit and read are served hot
cocoa, homemade pumpkin-chocolate-chip muffins
and bananas.
Please encourage your student to come join us on
Wednesday mornings. If it is possible, consider
bringing bus riders in early on Wednesdays. (Due to
the nature of sipping hot drinks, cocoa is only served
until 9:00 a.m.)
Bobcat Bistro is free to our students because of the
generous financial support of the Oviedo Woman’s
Club, “12 Women Who Care” (a local philanthropic
group), the JHMS PTSA and the enthusiastic support
from our principal, Mrs. Mansur-Blythe, who is always
ready to encourage students to read. Thanks, guys!
You’re the best. 
Connie O’Hanlon
FEBRUARY 19, 2015
7:00 PM
Oviedo High School
PTSA is hosting a fantastic
family event.
The Harlem Wizards vs JHMS Faculty/Staff
Basketball Game
You, as a parent, are your child’s first teacher. As their first teacher and most
important role model, here are some tips for encouraging reading and building
literacy at home:
Set aside time each day to read together.
(Middle schoolers are not too old to be read to.)
Leave books and other reading materials, like magazine or newspaper articles, in their
rooms to enjoy alone. Attach a note like, “I thought you would enjoy this article.”
Purchase magazine subscriptions for your student in a subject matter they enjoy. (They love
getting their own mail and magazines are great for engaging readers.)
Talk about books they are reading -- read the inside jacket or information on the back of the
book. Ask them to predict what the story will be about, and ask whether they have read
similar stories and how they might compare. When they finish, ask about their thoughts on
the book and whether they would recommend it to others.
Discuss how events in a book or story are similar to events that have happened in your life.
Play “Stump the Parent” -- Read a passage together and have them ask you questions from
the text to check on your comprehension of the material. Let them see you going back into
the text for answers.
Require a set time period of daily reading, and/or homework completion before the TV or
game console comes on.
Purchase or check out books that are in your child’s area of interest. For example, there
are fiction books about “gamers” and “Manga” style comic books that are growing in
popularity because of their high-action content. If they like it, they are more likely to read it!
Read aloud to each other. It’s OK if you feel uncomfortable reading aloud as an adult –
many people do. Let your student see that you struggle, too. You’ll both improve, and they
will notice that practice equals improvement.
10. Look up words in the dictionary online or in a book. Let your kids know that you have to
look up words, too!
~ Happy Reading! ~