MUSTANG MINUTES – October and November 2018

 

As we reflect on the season of the giving this past fall, we are grateful for the support of the Gwynedd Mercy Community.  Homecoming was a celebration of the GMA community.  It was a great day on campus that concluded with a Family Liturgy.  This spirit carried through to our November activities, many which were coordinated by the Mercy Connections Team.

OCTOBER

HOMECOMING

Homecoming kicked off with a Pep Rally on October 5th.  The fun continued October 6th with contests for the GMA fall teams and a Family Liturgy celebrated by Rev Robert M. Gross of Saint Helena.  Homecoming truly highlights the strength of our community with the faculty, alumni, students and their families spending time together.  The dunk tank was a hit again this year.  A special thank you to our dedicated faculty members who volunteered to take turns in the dunk tank on a chilly day.  We also appreciate the faculty members who volunteered their time with face painting and other jobs to make the day a success.  A huge thank you to the Facilities and Sports Liaison Team their hard work planning the Homecoming events.

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BRIAR BUSH

The Briar Bush Nature Center returned this fall to present a special program for the kindergarteners called Lenape Living. The students about the Native American history in our region and had a wonderful time.  They leaned traditional methods of hunting and gathering and played Native American games.  The Enrichment Team planned this visit for the kindergarteners.

OPEN HOUSE

October 24, GMA sponsored an open house to introduce our school to prospective families.  Representatives from the Membership Committee were on hand to answer questions from prospective parents.

CONFERENCE NIGHT MEALS

The Social Committee coordinated faculty dinners during fall conferences on October 29th and 30th.  The meals are for the convenience of the teachers on conference days when they are at school for up to 13 hours.  The dinners are a small way for GMA parents to show their appreciation to the faculty.  Thank you to the Social Programs Team for planning for these meals.

WALNUT STREET THEATER ANTI BULLYING

The Walnut Street Theater presented two shows to the GMA students.  The first for grades K-3 focused on Bullysaurus and how his negative behavior impacted his classmates.  The presentation for grades 4-8 focused on finding your people.  Both themes tied back to the Witness to Mercy campaign.  Thank you to the Enrichment Program Team for planning this presentation.

NOVEMBER

MERCY CONNECTIONS

Starting last year, Mercy Connections strengthened its relationship with the GMA Parents’ Org.  Led by Mrs. Krissy Gonnella in coordination with Liz Sher, Director of Mission and Religious Formation, the Parents’ Org Mercy Connections Team is consistently offering volunteer option to GMA students and families. Recently, the Mercy Connections team and Ms. Sher offered the following wonderful opportunities to students and their families to keep Mercy Actions as part of their education.  They planned Trick or Treating at Silver Stream, a 7th Grade Retreat to Cranalieth Spiritual Center, multiple visits to Cradles to Crayons, a Food Drive for the parish of St. Vincent in Germantown and Caroling at Spring House Estates.  Thank you to Ms. Liz Sher and the Mercy Connections Team for making these opportunities possible.

RECONCILIATION

On November 14th, the 2nd grade students received the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  It was a special night for the students and their parents.  The Social Programs Team decorated the gallery and provided refreshments after the Reconciliation.

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K-3 AUTHOR VISIT

Parents Org coordinated a visiting for author and illustrator Timothy Young to visit grades K-3 on November 26th.  The students were engaged in a discussion about writing and illustrating books.  Mr. Young wrote If You Give the Puffin a Muffin and illustrated Am I BIG Enough?  Thank you to the Enrichment Programs Team for planning the visit.

FUNDRAISING

The Yankee Candle sale has raised over $3,000 for programming for our students.  Please keep in mind that all orders through January 9th will benefit Gwynedd Mercy Academy with 40% of proceeds going directly to GMA. A special thank you to Mrs. Amy Bogansky for making this fundraiser a success.

Back by popular demand, Parents’ Org sold a new edition of the beautiful Kitty Kelly ornaments during the Christmas holiday season.  This year’s edition commemorated the favorite GMA tradition of a “Great Day in Bethlehem.”  The ornaments are $28 and can be still be ordered online.  Please visit this link to order an ornament so you can pack it away with your decorations for next year: https://www.gmaelem.org/campus-life/parents-organization/gma-kitty-keller-christmas-ornament-sale

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Every year the GMA Faculty and Staff collects winter coats for those in need.  This year, they collected 73 new coats for the preschool children at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries.  This a wonderful example of the faculty and staff leading by example to Make Mercy Real.

COMMENTS OR QUESTION?

Please feel free to email us at parentsorg@gmaelem.org.

Important Dates &Upcoming Events:

January 21 Mercy Connections Service Activities

January 25 Trivia Night

Week of January 28th – Catholic Schools Week

January 31 STEM Night for Current Families and Open House for Prospective Families

February 5 and 7 – Progress Report Conferences

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Mustang Minutes – September 2018

Fall is here! A new school year always brings renewed energy and excitement and the Parents’ Org was happy to get straight to work!

Book Day

Parents’ Org organized special treats of ice cream and soft pretzels for students while Parents’ Org representatives were on hand to answer questions on Book Day.  Thank you to Mrs. Molly Dupee and the Social Team for coordinating this welcoming event for all GMA families.

STEAM Robotics Enrichment Assembly

To help kick off the school year, the Enrichment Team planned an assembly for students! Robots helped students learn about sensor circuits and how programming impacts the balance of robots.  The students even watched an 8th grader demonstrate his skills on a hoverboard!  Thank you to Mrs. Missy Duckwitz and the Enrichment team for planning this special activity.

Mercy Day

While GMA students celebrated the legacy of Sister Catherine McAuley and tallied collections as part of “Dollars for Peru,” the Parents’ Org executive team and our families showed their gratitude to our teachers by providing a special Mercy Day “grab and go” breakfast.

Library Donation

As the GMA library continues to enhance its available literary options for students, Parents’ Org proudly donated $1,000 for new library books.  Thanks to the ongoing support of our GMA families, the library continually improves to benefit all of our students.

Fall Fundraiser

Parents’ Org fundraising efforts help support our enrichment activities as well as social events.  Find the perfect holiday gift in the Yankee Candle catalog or online! Order forms are due by October 15th.  Forty percent of all sales support the Parents’ Org; more details can be found in recent Mercy Memos.

The 2018 holidays will be here before we know it! Back by popular demand, Parents’ Org will be selling a new edition of the beautiful Kitty Kelly ornaments.  This year’s custom design will commemorate the favorite GMA tradition of a “Great Day in Bethlehem.”  Orders can be placed by e-mailing Kathleen Hannan at bkhannan@verizon.net or purchased at upcoming school events.  The ornaments are $28 and can be purchased with cash or check (made out to Gwynedd Mercy Academy Elementary).

Important Dates &Upcoming Events:

  • Sat, 10/6: Homecoming* & Family Liturgy
  • Fri, 10/12: No School for Students (In-Service Day)
  • Mon, 10/15: Yankee Candle order due*
  • Thurs, 10/18: Muffins with Mom @ 7:30 AM; Living Rosary to follow
  • Mon, 10/22: Winter uniform begins
  • Weds, 10/24: Open House – spread the word!*
  • Thurs, 10/25: Trunk or Treat
  • Mon, 10/29 & Tues, 10/30: Parent/Teacher Conferences (Parents’ Org provides dinner for teachers!*)
  • Weds, 10/31: Walnut Street Theater Anti-Bullying Program*
  • Thurs, 11/1 & Fri, 11/2: No School (All Saints Day / School Holiday)
  • Sat, 11/10: GMA Loves the 80’s Auction!
  • Weds, 11/14: Picture Day

      *Parents’ Org event

 

Mustang Minutes 2018-2019

WELCOME TO MUSTANG MINUTES!

On behalf of Kathleen Hannan, and the entire Parents’ Org team – welcome to the 2018-2019 Blog!

Here is an overview of the parent representatives on Parents’ Org for this year:

President Kathleen Hannan (bkhannan@verizon.net)

Treasurer Michele Porreca

Secretary Julie Cawley

Communications – Heather Hoover, Beth DeLuca, Christina Tuller

Enrichment – Missy Duckwitz, Vicki Bastecki-Perez, Katie-Louise Dawson, Marie McGoldrick

Membership – Melissa Sumner, Christina Lin, Cari Zeleznock

Mercy Connections – Krissy Gonnella, David Smith, Jeanine Naticchione, Melissa Kapur

Sports/Facilities – Amy Bogansky, Amy Fifer, Lindsey Maurath, Adele Mullin, Megan Nicosia, Rebecca Villano

Social – Molly Dupee, Courtney Baran, Marilyn Blaszczynski, Lisa Catalfano, Jenny Galiani, Valerie Mele, Lucirene Pinto, Maia An Welsh

Parents’ Org Overview

Parents' Org Fact Sheet

 

Parents’ Org 2018-2019

Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Parents’ Organization 2018-2019

Why join the GMA Parents’ Organization?

The top reason to participate in the Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Parents’ Org is to support our children! You can help make a difference through enrichment activities and community service opportunities as well as provide ‘welcoming’ hospitality to GMA families.

Click here to indicate your interest in joining the GMA Parents’ Org

If you are interested in volunteering for Parent’s Org, please submit your response by Friday, May 18th.  This year, Parents’ Org is only accepting self-nominations.

What is the GMA Parents’ Organization?

The GMA Parents’ Org works with the GMA Administration and Faculty in planning, organizing, implementing, and providing services/functions that align with our School’s mission.  The Parents’ Org provides students with enhanced experiences above and beyond their classroom education.

 

The Parents’ Org is funded by GMA families by an initial contribution in the beginning of the school year. To increase options offered to the students, the Parents’ Org also fundraises through Family Bingo Night, Trivia Night, Yankee Candle Sales, and Snack Stands.

Please contact Kathleen Hannan, President of the GMA Parents’ Org with any questions.

Communications

  • Facilitate and foster communications among all constituencies.
  • Maintain up-to-date information on the Parents’ Organization Blog.
  • Organize and produce the monthly newsletter.

Enrichment Programs

  • Coordinate programs that enrich the school curriculum.
  • Research and make recommendations for programs to the Board.
  • Arrange for and implement approved programs.

List of Enrichment Events for This Year:

  • Visit by Briar Bush Nature Center for K students
  • Bubble Mania
  • Prismatic Magic
  • Elmwood Park Zoo On Wheels
  • Catholic Schools Week Activities
  • Visiting Author Visit
  • STEM Night
  • Middle School Speakers Series

Membership Programs

  • Extend hospitality to new parents and provide hospitality in support of school functions.
  • Work in collaboration with the Director of Admissions to provide opportunities that welcome families of incoming students into the school community such as Open Houses.
  • Liaise with homeroom parents on school functions to provide consistent and uniform communication for the school community.
  • Serves as Board representative for school functions such as Host Family Project, New Parents’ Liturgy and Reception, Kindergarten Orientation Reception and Teacher Appreciation Luncheon.

Social Programs

  •  Develop social interaction among parents, family, faculty and staff.
  •  Make recommendations for social events to the Board.
  •  Coordinate refreshments and set-up for school social events (see list below).
  •  Collaborate with school and parent volunteers to facilitate social events for school.

List of Social Events:

  • Reconciliation (November) and Holy Communion (May) – coordinate with Third Grade Parents
  • Teacher dinners during Parent-Teacher Conferences (November and February)
  • Great Day at Bethlehem (December)]
  • Trivia Night (January/February)
  • Bingo (March)
  • Grandparents/Special Friends Day

Sports/Facilities 

  • Plan homecoming and coordinate volunteer efforts for the day
  • Coordinates snack stand for various sports throughout the year
  • Coordinates Team Parents
  • Serves as a Liaison to the Girls’ and Boys’ Athletic Directors
  • Work with Athletic Directors to determine best use of funds available for Athletics

Mercy Connections

  • Coordinate with Director of Religious Education to plan Community Service events at school and in our local community.
  • Plan for service events and offer opportunities to GMA students and their families to promote making mercy real.

List of Mercy Connection Events:

  • Mercy Day Celebrations
  • Spring House Estates visits
  • Project HOME dinners
  • Thanksgiving food collection
  • Caroling at Spring House Estates
  • Activities in support of St. Vincent Parish
  • Decorating GMA gym during the holidays and donating trees to families in need
  • Funded $6,000 in scholarships for families in need

Current Parents’ Org Executive Committee and Directors

Executive Committee:

PRINCIPAL – Mrs. Anne Knapke

VICE PRINCIPAL – Mr. Fred Santoro

PRESIDENT – Mrs. Kathleen Hannan

TREASURER – Mrs. Michele Porreca

SECRETARY – Mrs. Julie Cawley

Directors:

ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS – Mrs. Missy Duckwitz

FACILITIES/SPORTS LIAISON – Mrs. Jennifer Mandato

MEMBERSHIP – Mrs. Melissa Sumner

SOCIAL PROGRAMS – Mrs. Molly Dupee

COMMUNICATIONS – Mrs. Heather Hoover

MERCY CONNECTIONS – Mrs. Kristine Gonnella in coordination with Ms. Liz Sher

 

Mustang Minutes – March 2018

As we conclude the Easter holiday, Parents’ Organization hopes the entire Gwynedd- Mercy Academy community had a blessed holiday and enjoyed valuable time with family and friends over the break. Here is a review of the Parents’ Organization events to date in 2018:

January 2018

MLK Day of Service

On Monday, January 15th, Mercy Connections coordinated a service event where GMA students and their families graciously volunteered to make sandwiches that were donated to Manna on Main Street and the Lamb Foundation. Thank you to our Mercy Connection Team, Ms. Liz Sher and Mrs. Krissy Gonnella and the Inter-Faith Housing Alliance for organizing these important activities so that we can continue our mission to make “Mercy Real.”

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Trivia Night

On Friday, January 26th, many GMA parents and faculty members participated in Trivia Night!    Not only does this great Parents’ Org fundraiser give bragging rights for the champions, it supports many valuable events for the students throughout the year!

A special thank you to Mrs. Molly Dupee, Social Program Director and team members including, Mrs. Valerie Mele, Mrs. Jenny Galiani, Mrs. Lisa Catalfano, and Mrs. Christina Tuller for all of your amazing effort and time!

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Prismatic Magic – Catholic Schools Week

In light of this year’s National Catholic Schools’ Week theme, “Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed,” the students were treated to an assembly titled, “Prismatic Magic!”  The show combined science, technology, art, and music…focusing on science to character enrichment to history to culture”.  Thank you to Mrs. Missy Duckwitz and Mrs. Marie McGoldrick for planning this event for the GMA students.  The enrichment activities are the heart of the Parents’ Org mission and these events creating entertaining and meaningful experiences for the GMA students.

February 2018

STEM Night

On Thursday, February 1st, our fabulous STEM night, funded by the Parent’s Org and planned by STEM Director, Mrs. Deb Speese, took place.  Throughout the event, GMA’s STEM program was highlighted; current GMA families met teachers of older grades to learn more about future classes and the curriculum, prospective GMA families were invited to learn about GMA and our STEM program and had the opportunity to meet current families and teachers.

Thank you to Mrs. Missy Duckwitz, Mrs. Christina Lin, Mrs. Marie McGoldrick, Mrs. Melissa Sumner, Mrs. Cari Zeleznock, and the GMA faculty for their time and leadership to make the night a success! Finally, thank you to the many GMA families for coming out to participate in STEM night.

Basketball Quad

The Boys and Girls Varsity and JB basketball teams had back-to-back “Quad” games on February 9th and 10th. All four teams played at home on the same day.  A special thank you to Mrs. Jennifer Mandato and team members, Amy Bogansky, Adele Mullin, and Rebecca Villano for helping to organize the snack stand, which supports various needs for the Athletics program.

To date, the snack sales from the fall sports games and the basketball games have paid for a new GMA tent that will be used for various GMA outdoor events.

Conference Night Dinner for Faculty

During Winter Student Conferences in February, the Social Committee, led by Mrs. Molly Dupee coordinated faculty dinners.  The meals are provided as a convenience to the teachers on conference days (when they are at school for up to 13 hours!) and a small way for GMA parents to show their appreciation to the faculty.

Bingo

Thank you for making Bingo a remarkable success on February 22nd!  Bingo was the Parents’ Org biggest fundraiser of the year.  It was a great night where fun, food, and Bingo were enjoyed by all. Thank you to the many parents and faculty members who dedicated made the evening a wonderful event.  GMA families helped with donations and assembling the raffle baskets, setting up and breaking down the Bingo tables, food organization and sales. It was a massive effort that required many helping hands.  Thank you all!  Thank you also to Mrs. Molly Dupee and her team for overseeing the event.  We would also like to highlight the efforts of Mrs. Dawn Diccianni, Mrs. Tish Jackaman, Mrs. Dana Morrissey, Mrs. Julie Pasceri-Young, Mrs. Melissa Sumner, Mrs. Cari Zeleznock, as well as the entire Parents’ Org team for your time and energy to make the night special.

Bingo is so important to Parents’ Org, as it is Parents’ Org’s largest fundraiser and the only one where children are directly involved .  Last year, Bingo Night funded $6,000 in scholarship donations to CAP (College Assistance Program) at Project HOME.  The donations helped assist funding the college education for four individuals.  Parents’ Org is finalizing the net profits raised that evening and we will share with you the final data.

The Parents’ Org is very mindful of the many generous donations that you have already made and time you have given this school year.  Without you, these fun, meaningful events wouldn’t be possible.  Thank you for making a difference for our children and our community.

Author visit Catalanatto 02.21.18 006Author Visit

The GMA Parents’ Organization sponsored an Author’s visit from well-known children’s author, Peter Catalanotto, on February 21st for all students. He met with the students in three age groupings and give a presentation to inspire creative thought and writing. Mr. Catalanotto has sixteen published children’s books to his credit including Monkey & Robot, Emily’s Art and Ivan the Terrier. Thank you to Mrs. Missy Duckwitz and Mrs. Marie McGoldrick for planning this special visitor to Gwynedd Mercy.

March 2018

Lenten/Spring Service Project for Families 

Mercy Connections hosted Thursday evening dinners for Women of Change in Philadelphia throughout March and they will continue into April. This opportunity provides GMA families the chance to prepare and serve dinners at Women of Change, a transitional housing facility which operates under the auspices of Project H.O.M.E.  located at 21st and Arch Streets in Philadelphia. Women of Change houses 25 residents who participate in recovery-oriented activities with the focus on moving to permanent housing. Thank you to Ms. Liz Sher, Director of Religious Education and Mrs. Melissa Sumner and Mrs. Melissa Kapur for organizing the dinners on behalf of Mercy Connections

Communication Team

I would like to acknowledge the support and time of the wonderful communications team who help me share information with the GMA community – thank you Mrs. Beth DeLuca and Mrs. Traci Jones whose talents are unmatched.  These ladies provide feedback and guidance to the Communication Team at all hours of the day and night to make sure that we are sharing the Parents’ Org updates.  I would also like to acknowledge and thank Mrs. Maura LaGreca for capturing the many wonderful events at GMA and sharing the pictures with our Blog.

Looking Ahead

  • GMA Father-Daughter Dance – Saturday, April 14th
  • Open House for Prospective Families Tuesday, April 18th
  • First Holy Communion – Saturday, May 5th
  • May Procession – Friday, May 11th
  • Elmwood Park Zoo on Wheels – Thursday, June 7th

On behalf of Mrs. Kathleen Hannan and the entire Parents’ Organization, thank you for your tremendous support and generosity throughout the year.

Mustang Minutes – December 2017

GMA Parents’ Organization wishes you and your families a very Merry Christmas.  During this busy and festive time of year, know that your time and support is appreciated! Your continued dedication of your time and talents makes a huge impact on our children’s experience at GMA; thank you!

KItty Keller 2017 006 mergeGMA Holiday Ornaments

It’s not too late! Please support Parents’ Org by purchasing the 2017 Kitty Keller custom GMA Christmas Ornament. This collectible ornament will look beautiful on your tree for many years to come!  The cost of the ornament is $28; money raised from the ornament sale will fund events and improvements throughout the school year for the students. Your support will also help Parents’ Org reach their goal of providing another improvement to the GMA facilities, like the recent addition of the Gaga Pit.  Thank you in advance for your support.  Please click here to purchase an ornament today!

Briar bush visit 005What is the Parents’ Organization Mission?

GMA Parents’ Organization plays a vital and active role in our school community. Throughout the year, the Parents’ Organization plans educational enrichment programs and social events.  Every family contributes to the Parents’ Org when they make their first tuition payment of the year.  These funds contribute towards many enrichment programs and speaker series. Additionally, the GMA Parents’ Organization runs fundraisers throughout the year to pay for programs above and beyond what is initially funded by parents.  These projects include; but, are not limited to scholarship donations and improvements to our facilities that directly benefit the students, such as the Gaga Pit.

Middle School Speakers Series

Parents’ Organization is also currently sponsoring a speakers’ series for our middle schoolers. The guests are coordinated by School Counselor, Mrs. Kristin Fromal.  Most recently, on December 7, 6th through 8th graders enjoyed an event focusing on Building Healthy Relationships. Be sure to sign up your 6-8 grade students for the next event in April.  More details and sign-ups will be available through Mercy Memos.  Thank you Mrs. Fromal!

Maddie Dixon Food Cupboard

The Mercy Connections team―led Ms. Liz Sher, Director of Mission and Religious Formation, and Mrs. Krissy Gonnella―has been extremely busy throughout this holiday season.  On December 8, student volunteers and their families visited the Mattie Dixon Community Cupboard.

Thank you to Ms. Liz Sher for organizing and overseeing this special visit.  Thank you to the many students and their families who took the time during their day off to make a difference! The Mercy Connections Team continues to add activities focusing on volunteering for local charities in the GMA surrounding area—look to the Mercy Memos for upcoming events!

St. Vincent wrapping 003St. Vincent Project

For the 24th year, the GMA community planned activities to add to the Christmas holidays for the families of the St. Vincent de Paul parish in Germantown. The efforts of the St. Vincent project provide gifts for families in St. Vincent de Paul Parish and Christmas Trees with lights to spread holiday cheer.  Seventh and 8th graders made individual contributions in addition to funds raised by bake sales, dress down days, and poinsettia sales coordinated by Student Council and National Junior Honor Society. Thank you to Mrs. Anne Crotty, Mrs. Kathy Foy, and Mrs. Judy O’Neill for guiding Student Council. A special thank you as well to Mrs. Mary Higgins and Mrs. Kate Kroszner who are the National Junior Honor Society moderators.

These many efforts make sure that families in St. Vincent parish have a special Christmas.  Thank you to the entire GMA community for supporting this activity, especially the 7th and 8th graders who picked out gifts for the children and to the parents who volunteered their time to these activities. A special thank you  to the time and dedication of Mrs. Carol Reckner and Mrs. Roseann Bird for planning the event and coordinating the student and parent volunteer activities.

Family Christmas Caroling at Spring House Estates

On December 14, GMA student and their families—led by the Mercy Connections team—spread Christmas cheer to our neighbors at Spring House Estates. Students and their parents stayed after school for hot chocolate, snacks and crafted Christmas cards for the residents. Our students and their families brought so much joy and cheer to the residents by caroling their way through the grounds and halls of Spring House Estates! Over 50 people participated in the event.  A special thank you for the planning efforts of Mrs. Dana Morrissey, Mrs. Jeannine Naticchione, and Mrs. Amy Tyrrell and to the many dedicated volunteers and participants who made this visit a success.

Great Day in Bethlehem

One of the highlights of the year for the GMA community is the Great Day in Bethlehem performance showcasing the talents of the 1st and 8th graders.  To celebrate the hard work of the performers and to enjoy one last time together as a school community before Christmas, Parents’ Org coordinated refreshments at the conclusion of the performance.  Thank you to Mrs. Molly Dupee for coordinating this event.  And thank you to the many volunteers who shared their tasty goodies and who helped setup and cleanup after the event.

In addition to the refreshments, the Parent’s Organization donated the trees and lights used in the performance to the St. Vincent de Paul parish in Germantown.  Thank you to Mrs. Jennifer Mandato, Parents’ Organization Sports and Facilities Liaison, for coordinating the purchase and delivery of the trees.

Looking Ahead – January 2018

MLK Service Project – January 15. Stay tuned for more information on MLK Day service opportunities including the 2nd Annual Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Making. Thank you to the Mercy Connections team for your ongoing dedication!

Trivia Night – January 26. Come enjoy a night of fun and games on at GMA. Who will claim the title of GMA trivia winner this year? Will faculty bring their “A” Game again? Be there!! Registration will be available through Mercy Memos in January. Participants will bring their own food and beverages, while a professional trivia master leads us through a night of fun competition. Brush up on your 80’s music and your WWII historical facts now. Join the fun!

Prismatic Magic: Celebration to kick off Catholic Schools Week – January 29.  Prismatic Magic is a school assembly program provider and high-tech laser show company in one. The assembly will include science and technology to inspire the GMA students.

It is never too late to get involved.  Get your clearances today.  Please email Ms. Sue Stephan at sstephan@gmaelem.org for more information.  Please keep an eye out for future volunteering opportunities.  Volunteer options will continue to be offered for both during the school day and evenings.

On behalf of Mrs. Kathleen Hannan and the entire Parents’ Organization Team Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Thank you for all you do to enhance our children’s GMA experiences.

Mustang Minutes

Welcome to Mustang Minutes-the GMA Parents’ Org blog. Mustang Minutes provides monthly updates recapping past events as well as highlights upcoming events sponsored by the Parents’ Org.

What’s New with Parents’ Org?

New this year, Mrs. Krissy Gonnella is now the Service Liaison to the Parents Org Board, coordinating volunteer opportunities for GMA students and families with Ms. Liz Sher, the Director of Mission and Religious Formation. Most recently, a number of students in grades 6-8 volunteered at the Mattie Dixon Food Cupboard on December 8th. Upcoming service events include Christmas Caroling for residents at Spring House Estates on December 14.  Parents from the Mercy Connections team also helped coordinate the 24th annual Christmas outreach for St. Vincent de Paul in Germantown. Next week, Parents’ Org will donate three Christmas trees with lights to families in the parish.

OCTOBER EVENTS

Open House 002

Open House

The Membership Committee team lead by Mrs. Melissa Sumner was on hand to help with the Open House on October 4th.  The next open house is scheduled for the evening of February 1st.  Please share the date with relatives and neighbors who are interested in GMA.  The 8th grade tour guides demonstrate that GMA is truly shaping tomorrow’s leaders, one student at a time!

 

Homecoming

Homecoming was a special day!! On October 21st, GMA students enjoyed the beautiful day outdoors with their families and friends.  Mrs. Jennifer Mandato and the Facilities/Sports team members worked hard to coordinate the activities.  The fun included a dunk tank, bounce house, and face painting.  The snack stand was a hit with the menu additions of hot dogs and hamburgers.  The GMA community also cheered on the GMA Cross Country, Soccer, and Field Hockey teams.  The day concluded with a special Family Liturgy in the gym, decorated beautifully with mums contributed by the Parents’ Org. Thank you to the many volunteers and dedicated teachers who made the day a success.

Yankee Candle Orders

Thank you to the many GMA families, faculty, and friends who supported the Parents’ Org Yankee Candle fundraiser.  Although the final numbers are not in yet, the fundraiser netted approximately $3,000 in sales to support Parents’ Org activities aimed at enhancing the activities for the students. Thank you to Mrs. Lisa Cataflano for running this fundraiser.

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Bubble Mania

On October 25th, all GMA students enjoyed Bubble Mania: Science, Art & Comedy-an enrichment program sponsored by the GMA Parents’ Organization. Two sessions were held; one for K-4 students and one for 5-8 students.  The kids laughed their way through the presentations and were amazed when a classmate was fully contained within a bubble! Thank you to Mrs. Missy Duckwitz and the Enrichment team for coordinating this fun and educational presentation.

Conference Night Dinner for Faculty

During fall student conferences on October 24th and 26th, the Social Committee, led by Mrs. Molly Dupee, coordinated faculty dinners.  The meals are provided as a convenience to the teachers on conference days (when they are at school for up to 13 hours!) and a small way for GMA parents to show their appreciation to the faculty.

 

NOVEMBER EVENTS

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Reconciliation

On November 9th, the 2nd grade students received the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  It was a special night for the students and their parents.  Mrs. Molly Dupee and the Parents’ Org Social Committee decorated the gallery and provided refreshments after Reconciliation.

Briar Bush Nature Center – Kindergarten Program

Also on November 9th, the Briar Bush Nature Center presented a special program, called Lenape Living, for the Kindergarteners. In past years, the Kinders had a Whale Watch; but, as all good things come to end, the woman who presented the Whale Watch retired.  Mrs. Missy Duckwitz and the Enrichment team found the Briar Bush Nature Center as a replacement.  The students learned a great deal about the Native American history in our region, played Native American games and had a wonderful time.

Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Taking place on November 21, Grandparents and Special Friends Day was a hit!  The new format, designed by Ms. Lindsay Rauch, Director of Curriculum and Student Life, allowed grandparents and special friends to focus more on the GMA classroom experience.  Mrs. Molly Dupee and her team organized the refreshments provided by Parents’ Org for 345 grandparents and special friends who attended this crowd-favorite event!  Thank you to all the volunteers and faculty to who made the visitors feel welcomed.

 KItty Keller 2017 006 merge

GMA Christmas Ornaments

Please support Parents’ Org by purchasing a 2017 Kitty Keller custom GMA Christmas Ornament.  This collectible ornament with look beautiful on your tree for many years to come.  The cost of the ornament is $28.  Money raised by the ornament sale will support Gwynedd Mercy Parents’ Org mission to enhance the GMA experience for our children. Your support will also help Parents’ Org reach their goal of providing another improvement to the GMA facilities at the end of the year, like the recent addition of the Gaga pit.  Thank you in advance for your support.  Please visit this link to purchase an ornament today: https://www.gmaelem.org/page.cfm?p=906&LockSSL=true

 

Looking ahead – DECEMBER EVENTS:

Parents’ Org is also currently sponsoring a speakers’ series for our middle schoolers.  The guests are coordinated by Mrs. Kristin Fromal.   Most recently, 5th through 8th graders enjoyed an event focusing on Building Healthy Relationships. Be sure to sign up your 5-8 grade students for the next event- – through the link in Mercy Memos.

Mercy Connections also coordinated the St. Vincent Project on December 12th.  Seven decorated trees will also be donated to families in need by the Parents’ Org after the Christmas Family Prayer Service on December 19th.

It is never too late to get involved.  Get your clearances today.  Please email Ms. Sue Stephan at sstephan@gmaelem.org for more information.  Please keep an eye out for future volunteering opportunities.  Volunteer options will continue to be offered for both during the school day and evenings.