Lower School Newsletter, Week of 11/19

Parents, please take a moment to mark your calendars. The following are some important dates that you do not want to miss:

●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 7th – Favorite Coach or Athlete (Give Week)
●December 7th-11th – Give Week
●December 11th – Favorite Athletic Team Dress-up Day (Give Week)
●December 11th – 6th Grade Choir Field Trip (Serenades Assisted Living)
●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)
●December 18th – End of 2nd Quarter/12:15PM Dismissal


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)


I am thrilled to announce the Lower School Shoeboxes for Haiti total . . . drum roll please! Our families donated 682 boxes, which exceeds our goal of 500 significantly. We still are awaiting payment for some of the boxes. If you have not had a chance to pay the $7 per box (covers shipping costs) please use the following link:
You can also use the above link to make a donation to help cover shipping costs.

We want to say a big thank you to the parents volunteers to helped prepare and pack all of the boxes to get them ready for shipping. We appreciate their hard work in supporting this mission opportunity.
Haiti Shoebox 1 Haiti Shoebox 5 Haiti Shoebox 4 Haiti Shoebox 3 Haiti Shoebox 2


I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving next week. Enjoy the time off with family and friends. I am so thankful for our TFA family and for each of you!
Happy Thanksgiving


Mrs. Dowling’s 2nd Grade Chapel Presentation
We were blessed to have Mrs. Dowling’s 2nd grade class share the story of the first Thanksgiving for their chapel presentation last week. The students highlighted important people from this significant time period in the history of our country. They did an excellent job of showcasing the generosity that took place on the first Thanksgiving and looked fantastic in their costumes!
Dowling Chapel 2 Dowling Chapel 3


K4 and 2nd Grade Reading Buddies
Each of our 2nd grade classes have paired up with one of our K4 classes for Reading buddies. Mrs. Dowling is paired up with Mrs. Williams while Mrs. Smith will partner with Mrs. Connell. This is a great opportunity for the 2nd graders to practice their leadership skills while reading to and mentoring their K4 buddies. I know the students are looking forward to this every week!
2nd Grade K4 Reading Buddies.1JPG 2nd Grade K4 Reading Buddies 6 2nd Grade K4 Reading Buddies 5 2nd Grade K4 Reading Buddies 4 2nd Grade K4 Reading Buddies 3 2nd Grade K4 Reading Buddies 2


3rd Grade Flat Stanley Project
Our 3rd grade students finished reading Flat Stanley a couple of weeks ago. In this popular book, Stanley Lambchop wakes up one morning, after a bulletin board falls on him during the night, and now he is only half an inch thick! Amazing things begin happening to him. Stanley gets rolled up, mailed, and flown like a kite. He even gets to help catch two dangerous art thieves. He may be flat, but he’s a hero. As part of this literature unit, each student mailed their own decorated Flat Stanley to a friend or family member around the country to have a new adventure. Check out what some of the classes have received back.
Flat Stanley 1 Flat Stanley 2 Flat Stanley 3 Flat Stanley 4


5th Grade Epcot Field Trip
The 5th-grade class spent the day at Epcot and enjoyed many attractions. Students walked throughout the World Showcase and acquired a passport signature from each country, as well as completed an interview with one native from the country of their choice. As students rode “Soarin”, they were reminded of God’s hand in His beautiful world. “The Land” provided an opportunity to see Technology & Science partner together to grow vegetation. “Spaceship Earth” took the students through the advancement of communication and students were challenged to compare the thinking from a Secular and Biblical worldview relating to how society has changed over the centuries. The weather could not have been better and the students had a blast as they expanded the walls of the classroom into the beautiful outdoor setting of Epcot.
5th Grade Epcot 1 5th Grade Epcot 2 5th Grade Epcot 3 5th Grade Epcot 4


Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls


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 here for links to 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.