Lower School Newsletter, Week of 11/12

Parents, please take a moment to mark your calendars. The following are some important dates that you do not want to miss:
● November 13th – Haiti Shoebox Deadline (Last Day for LS Students to Donate Shoeboxes)
● November 19th – 1st Grade Thanksgiving Program
● November 19th – 2nd Grade Thanksgiving Writing Showcase
● November 19th – 3rd Grade Thanksgiving Presentation
● November 20th – K4, TK, and K-The First Thanksgiving Presentation and Dessert
● November 20th – 4th Grade Thanksgiving Feast
● November 23rd – 27th – No School – Student/Teacher Holiday – Thanksgiving Break
● December 1st – Parent Association Meeting 8:15AM (Faith Hall)
● December 15th – 2nd Quarter AR Deadline
● December 15th – Kindergarten Polar Express Day
● December 16th & 17th – Alternative Lunch for K4-5th Grade and Christmas Program Rehearsal
● December 16th – Classroom Christmas Parties
● December 18th – All School Christmas Program 10:00AM (Worship Center)


The following is a list of chapel dates and times for November and December:
● November 19th – No Chapel Presentation Due to Classroom Thanksgiving Activities
● December 3rd – K4-5th Grade Chapel 8:45-9:25AM (Faith Hall) Mrs. Diehl’s Classroom Presentation
● December 10th – K4-6th Grade Christmas Chapel 8:45-9:25 (Faith Hall)


These last two months of 2015 will be busy ones for all of our students, teachers, and parents and it is very easy to get so focused on all that needs to be done that we can miss out on opportunities around us. Mrs. Whitaker has written a very timely devotion for us focused on looking for opportunities to be generous. Our hope is that your family can carve out some time to go through this devotion together and that it would be a blessing to you all.
November Generosity Devotion 1

It’s not too late to send in your shoeboxes for our Haiti Shoebox Drive. Our goal this year is to have 500 packed shoeboxes for Lower School. The deadline for bringing in shoeboxes is November 13th but we can accept them up until the 16th. Please use the following link to pay $7 per box to cover the shipping:
Thank you for partnering with us to make this a successful service project.

We are going to have so many shoeboxes this year that we will need a ton of volunteers to get them all packed and ready to sent to Haiti. If you would like to volunteer to help with this service project, please sign up using the link below:­shoeboxes

I wanted to share a couple of pictures with you as we wrap up this mission opportunity in Lower School. I was thrilled to see the Miller Family (Hadley in 5th grade and Harrison in 6th grade) carrying their boxes across carline the first week of our shoebox drive. Mrs. Kristen Tate (mother to Addison in 3rd grade and Carter in 7th grade) worked with her Bible study on this project. Women from all denominations and 3 different churches in Celebration put together 10 shoe boxes (so far) and this batch is ready to bring to school! There is really nothing like Christian community in action!
Haiti Shoebox Drive 2 Haiti Shoebox Drive
Thank you again for the opportunity to partner with you this year!


3rd Grade Magic Kingdom Field Trip
Third grade went to the Magic Kingdom for a Social Studies field trip. They attended the Discovering American History behind the scenes tour. What a fun time! The students went behind the scenes and got up front and personal with the Presidents of the United States. They learned about wagon travel and the California Gold Rush. They even experienced what riding in a gold miner’s car was like – well the fun kind of gold miner’s car (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad). Students learned about women who influenced American history, and the tour concluded with 13 rings of the “Liberty Bell” Everyone had a wonderful “Disney Day”!
3rd Grade Disney 7 3rd Grade Disney 5 3rd Grade Disney 4 3rd Grade Disney 3 3rd Grade Disney 2 3rd Grade Disney 1


Second Quarter Reading Incentives
K4-2nd Grade-Be a Smart Cookie, READ!
Research proves that the amount of time that students are engaged in independent reading correlates directly to growth in vocabulary, reading comprehension, and fluency. There is also research supporting the premise that students who read independently become better readers and score higher on achievement tests across all subject areas. At TFA, we strive to develop the love of reading in all of our students. To help foster that love of reading, the TFA library is excited to announce our 2nd quarter reading incentive program for our K4-2nd grade students!


The Be a Smart Cookie, Read! Incentive Program will last from November 2-December 18.
Each week, students can fill out a Be a Smart Cookie, READ! reading record form. Students can read the books themselves, or the books may be read to them. Completed reading records (records with at least 10 books) should be turned in during the student’s regular library time each week in order to receive a special prize! A few prizes are edible, so please let the library staff or your child’s teacher know if you do not wish for your child to choose an edible prize.

If you have any questions, please see Mrs. Whitaker or Mrs. DeBoom in the library. To print off extra reading records, please use the link on the Library webpage or click below. We are excited to see how many books our youngest readers can read during the second quarter!!!
Be a Smart Cookie Reading Record


3rd-6th Grade-Sunshine Store
Reading is an essential part of a quality education. The TFA library wants to encourage reading for all of our students. We are introducing a reading incentive program for grades 3-6 based on the Sunshine State Young Readers Award reading list (see below). Students are allowed to read below their AR level for this promotion. These books are chosen by librarians from around the state of Florida. Please be aware that content may be too intense for some students. Titles marked with an asterisk below may be too scary for your child. Please make sure you are always aware of what your child is reading. After reading and passing the AR test for a SSYRA book, students will receive a small prize from the “Sunshine Store” during their class library time. Most items will not be edible but there will be some edible prizes. If your child has an allergy or you would prefer that they not choose an edible treat, please let the library staff or your child’s teacher know. We will be displaying each student’s name as part of the Sunshine State library display. This promotion will end January 8. Students must take the test by the end of that day. We hope your student finds a new favorite while they explore new authors and genres during this promotion. Please see Mrs Whitaker or Mrs. DeBoom if you have any questions.


Click the links for the lists on the Library website:
3rd-5th Grade List:

6th-8th Grade List:

Fifth graders will be allowed to check out books on the 6-8 title list. If you do not wish your 5th grader to read books on the 6-8 list, please let the library staff or your child’s teacher know your wishes.

Save the Date
1st Annual TFA Father Daughter Dance
“Winter Wonderland”
Grades 1 – 6
Friday, February 19th, 2015
Country Club of Orlando
More information will follow but mark your calendars for this special date.


School Pictures – Haven’t Ordered As Yet?
Don’t miss this year’s school picture!
a. Go to
b. Log in with your Portrait ID and Access Code located in your picture package

To redeem your complimentary digital SmileSafe card, click HERE. Parent/Guardian, how was this year’s school picture experience? Take survey.


Parent Association Meeting Dates
The mission of the Parent Association at The First Academy is to recruit, train and motivate volunteers who are dedicated to assisting The First Academy in the fulfillment of its mission and vision. All parent volunteers must submit a background check before being allowed to volunteer. Please click HERE to submit your information for a free background check. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 1st at 8:15AM in Faith Hall. Please mark your calendar, we look forward to seeing you there!


Parent Volunteer Background Check
If you are a new parent and would like to volunteer in your child(ren)’s classroom(s) or chaperone field trips please click HERE to submit your information for a free background check. Approvals take a few weeks so plan ahead! All parents must have a completed background check before volunteering or chaperoning a field trip.


TFA Calendar Link
The TFA Calendar is a wonderful way of finding the dates of upcoming events. Please click HERE to access the TFA Calendar on our website. We recommend that you subscribe to all relevant calendars so you can keep up with all of the events going on around the school.