The Muir Messenger is a weekly communication from John Muir PTO

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Read on for a recap from outgoing president Kathleen Spencer, and a word of thanks from outgoing newsletter editor Laura Bird. Can you help water our Muir garden over the summer? Do you want to order school supplies for September? Details below.

The Muir Messenger | May 28, 2018

Hello Muir families,

As we wrap up another year at John Muir Elementary, I’d like to thank our volunteers and committees who have accomplished some wonderful things this year. This includes families and staff who joined us at events like Muireka and Family Fun Night, and to everyone who donated time and food during our recent staff appreciation week. Everyone enjoyed their treats - and we enjoyed seeing smiles on their faces! 

Our biggest accomplishment this year was to fully fund new playground equipment to replace play structures that had seen better days. The new structures have provided great joy to our students and neighborhood families. You can see many happy faces every day of the week on the new teeter totter and slides. Thanks to the hard work of the playground fundraising committee, the generosity of community donors, and volunteers who assembled equipment and spread mulch, Muir students are able to play on the equipment for the remainder of the school year! We also have plans to improve the school grounds to carry out outdoor classroom activities in the school garden.

This year, Muir Pride, our no-sales direct fundraising campaign, brought in enough money to support many programs for our school community, such as the Book Bowl, the school garden, Muireka, crossing guard field trip, yearbook, school directory and Family Fun Night - just to name a few!

Along with providing classroom teachers with stipends, we also awarded $200 each month to classrooms and grades for a variety of activities. A list of grants was featured in a previous newsletter, but highlights include providing funds for the 5th grade to see the Freedom Riders at the Overture Center, funding new technology tools in a kindergarten class, and purchasing sketchbooks for a collaborative art project, supplies for kindness posters, and items for a gardening/beautification project.

Our PTO also supported joint activities with the school such as the Back-to-School Barbecue, Read Your Heart Out, and the multicultural fair - truly forging a connecting between school and families. Our school gardener-in-residence and coordinator have kept the garden beautiful and the Muir community engaged with this amazing outdoor space. They have brought in regular volunteers and developed a gardening curriculum for Muir teachers. They truly help our students grow.    

We have a lot planned for the beginning of the 2018-19 school year to get families active and involved in our community. Watch for news about kindergarten playdates for children entering Muir. We will also plan another Back-to-School Barbecue with food and games to kick off the school year!

There are numerous ways you can support us next year. Here are just a few to get you excited:

  • Select "John Muir School Association." Every single purchase contributes to John Muir PTO when you purchase via our page.
  • Box Tops. Every little bit helps! The Muir PTO receives around $1,000 a year from our Box Top collection. There is also an app to boost your Box Tops contribution.
  • Scholastic Book Fair. We hold two book fairs a year and bring in over $1,000 for the Muir community. Our book fair in November is the perfect time to pick up holiday gifts and our spring book fair is a great opportunity to replenish your summer reading bookshelf. Muir teachers also submit book wish lists for their classrooms.
  • Teacher wish lists. Every year, our teachers submit a wish-list of supplies for their classrooms. Consider donating some supplies, books, or snacks to your child’s teachers.
  • Attend a meeting or volunteer for a project! Attend a Muir PTO meeting, usually the second Tuesday of every month, to propose activities or volunteer for ongoing initiatives. There are also a lot of ongoing events and initiatives that could use your help.

As the school year winds down, the PTO would like to extend an extra special thank-you to all the parent volunteers of 5th grade students who will be moving on next year. You know who you are! You have done so much for our school community and you'll be deeply missed. Please take that incredible Muir spirit with you wherever your child attends middle school.  

Thank you and have a great summer,

Kathleen Spencer, President,
Traci Janikowski & Scott Wildman, Co-Vice Presidents,
Lennie Marcott, Secretary,
Andrea Southgate, Treasurer,  


Monday, May 28. Happy Memorial Day.

Friday, June 1. Keep clipping Box Tops and sending them in with your child (in a baggie or envelope labeled with your child's teacher's name). 

Friday, June 1, 2:30pm.

Monday, June 4.

Tuesday, June 5, 2:15pm.

Wednesday, June 6 deadline.

Thursday, June 7. Graduating JMM seniors come back to visit their old stomping grounds.

Friday, June 8

Friday, June 8
A heartfelt thanks from your outgoing newsletter editor
While watching my son, Owen, cross the finish line at the Muir Mile, I realized that I, too, am crossing a finish line of my own. For nine years, I have appreciated and contributed to this vibrant Muir community, and it's time for me to say goodbye. Thank you, teachers and staff and PTO, for giving my three children a warm and inclusive community in which to learn and grow - and for giving me countless ways to get involved and make a difference. In particular, I'm proud to have developed this new version of The Muir Messenger, launching it in August 2015 and refining it along the way. I hope my efforts leave a legacy at this place I love so much.

In gratitude,
Laura Bird
Mom of Owen (5th grade), Caroline (8th grade), and Jane (8th grade)
Congratulations to Owen - and to all the graduating 5th graders and their (emotional) parents. 
Water our Muir garden this summer! Please help us hydrate our plants. It's easy. Turn on the system for an hour and remember to turn it off. Unless it is unusually hot and dry, expect to visit Muir one time per week to turn on the drip irrigation in the vegetable garden and the sprinkler in the butterfly garden at the front of the school. No heavy lifting required, but please pull a few weeds... the plants will be happier! Harvest something for your dinner table. Shifts are from Saturday morning to Friday evening. Please sign up HERE. Thanks.

Do you want to order school supplies for next year? Click HERE. Select the kit needed for the 2018-19 school year. Enter your student's information. Follow prompts to check out. It's that easy! Orders placed by June 15 will ship to school for FREE. After June 15, orders will ship to home or office with standard shipping rates. The last day to order before school starts is July 21.
800-871-8546 (phone orders accepted M-F 9am-3:30pm)  

A big hurrah to all the volunteers who helped out with the Muir Mile last week, especially those from J.H. Findorff & Son Inc (dressed in the fluorescent yellow vests and shirts). It was a hot and humid day, but our runners and walkers did a stellar job. Kudos to all.
We have a new addition to our teacher wish list: Ms. Reeder would love some new or used rugs for her reading corner. Thanks for any help!
Copyright © 2018 Muir Elementary, All rights reserved.

Muir's office: 608-663-8170
Muir's safe arrival line (call and leave a message if your child is sick or running late): 608-663-8173 
Muir's wish list for teachers: visit 
Friend John Muir PTO: visit so you can get up-to-date info on PTO news and events

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Laura Bird, Editor


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Muir Elementary · 6602 Inner Drive · Madison, Wi 53705 · USA

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