Welcome To Panther Tracks

News updates and reminders for the coming week and more going forward.

Needed: Pool Volunteers

All Panthers learn to swim! We need help raising funds to ensure swimming lessons can happen at the PBES pool during PE class for all students. Could you join Team Pool to help give, raise, or advocate for the additional $6,000 we need? Please contact Pbes.pta@gmail.com and MaryKathryn.lee@gmail.com to let us know if you can help contact the county or business sponsors, give a matching gift, or any other great ideas. If you are able to give funds in any amount, please consider making a booster donation at our website (https://pineybranchpta.membershiptoolkit.com/packet/26880970). $330 in a gift or business sponsorship will cover lifeguards for one grade for one week. $1,000 will cover lifeguards for the whole school for one week. We have six weeks’ worth to raise.  Thanks in advance to everyone who has offered to help with Team Pool. We can do this!  



GeoBowl Updates, Reminders, and Needs

Congrats to all the kids who completed their GeoBowl packets so far!  Please don't recycle your child's GeoBowl packet yet!  They will need it to study for the quiz and GeoBowl competition. A few reminders:

  • Please encourage your child to complete the GeoBowl packet and participate. We will host a donut party for the class in each grade that has the highest packet completion!
  • Our last Before School Packet Party is this Thursday from 8am-9am in the PBES media center. This is an optional opportunity for students to work on completing their packets, with help from their peers and PTA volunteers.
  • Packets are due to the teacher Feb 1, quizzes will be on Feb 9&10, and the GeoBowl will take place March 29 and 30.
  • Lunch Bunch volunteers will be needed starting the week of February 27. Please stay tuned for details on how to sign up!



Read-a-thon: Book Donations and Volunteers Needed!

Get ready for the Read-A-Thon!  This year's Read-A-Thon will start in February with a Book Swap, followed by 2 weeks for the students to read for as many minutes as possible. Prizes will be awarded to the top classrooms for each grade, and readers will also be eligible for participation recognition and prizes, based on availability. Winners will be announced in late February at a school assembly. 


We need your help! If you (or your friends and neighbors) have any gently used 3rd-5th grade level books that you could donate for the Book Swap, we are collecting in the main entrance of the school. You can also bring your book donations to the PTA’s table at the Kindness Day this Saturday, 1/28, between 10-1.  We want to collect enough to make sure that every PBES student goes home with a book that is new to them (UPDATE: We’ve collected 475 books so far; keep them coming!). If you have too many books to drop at school, reach out and we can make other arrangements. 


We are also looking for volunteers.  We need:

  • 1 volunteer to assist with getting cash and in-kind donations from local business, making phone calls and/or following up in person.  This is about a 2-to-3-hour commitment for a week. 
  • 2-4 volunteers to enter minutes read into a spreadsheet February 18/19 and February 25/26.  This would entail data entry into an existing spreadsheet of each classes' minutes.  We expect it would take 2 hours over a weekend if we can get sufficient volunteers.  
  • 2-4 volunteers to help in person at the school with the Book Swap for part of the day on Friday, February 10th - look out for a sign-up sheet coming out next week.  
  • Please email Leanne Sedowski at leanne_sedowski@hotmail.com or Kristin O'Planick at kristinop@yahoo.com



Needed: Third Grade Snacks

The third grade snack supply has been depleted. Please send in extra snacks for delivery to the main office to be distributed to students who need this for daily third grade snack, as well as for distribution by the counselors to all students who need food support. Nut-free, healthy options requested. 


Delivery Options: Please deliver to the main office between 8:30 am-4:30 pm, or order for direct delivery to the school: PBES, Attn: Third Grade Team & Counseling Team, 7510 Maple Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20192. If you make or order a delivery, please email Sara Lewis and our Equity Team so we can help track needs on this and can thank you for your in-kind contribution (serowe@gmail.com and corey.null@gmail.com). Third grade families: please also remember to send snack for your child daily if possible for you to do so. You can also bring snack donations to the PTA table at the Kindness Day, this Saturday 1/28, from 10-1. 



Day of Service with PBES PTA

The PBES PTA looks forward to celebrating Kindness Day in honor of Tommy Raskin this Saturday 1/28, 10 am – 1 pm at PBES! 


Please drop by and bring your donations to support our school community — see the list of donations needed below.  There will be various kindness activities at Piney Branch Elementary School benefitting local charities that support people as well as animals for you and your children to participate in, collections to support these activities on the day of the event, local businesses offering in-store kindness events, and an online silent auction benefitting the Tommy Raskin Memorial Fund for Humans and Animals https://tommyraskinfund.org.


The PTA has a particular need for new or gently used books for grades 3-5, especially 5th, for our upcoming Readathon.  And we need snack donations for our school counselor and equity team. At our table, please drop by to help make Valentine’s appreciation notes for teachers and staff! Here is the link showing all donations needed and kindness activities for children and adults: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rnpd_ZqKewlvle_ASNDkABIDPhvKt6dlAPb2qL0vX48/edit



Looking Ahead to February PTA Meeting

Save the date now for Tuesday, February 7 at 7 pm. That is the date and time for our next monthly TPES/PBES PTA meeting. Among the topics will be a member vote on the updated PBES PTA bylaws.



Upcoming Dates

This Week

  • Tuesday, January 24: Winter concerts (Beginning Band Group 1 @ 6 p.m.;  Beginning Band Group 2 @ 7 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, January 25: Winter concerts (6:00pm Beginning Strings @ 6 p.m.; Advanced Strings & Advanced Band @ 7 p.m.)
  • Thursday, January 26: GeoBowl school packet party, 8–9 am 
  • Thursday, January 26: Silver Spring International MS hosts 5th grade Parent Information Night @ 6:30 p.m. at SSIMS’ media center (flyer attached)
  • Friday, January 27: No school (professional day)
  • Saturday, January 28: Kindness Day at PBES, 10 am – 1 pm

Next Week/Upcoming Month

  • January 30: Swim units for PE classes begin (flyer attached)


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