Lower School Newsletter, Week of 11/5

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

● November 8th – Admissions Open House for Prospective Parents (2:00PM-4:00PM)
● November 10th – 3rd Grade Field Trip Magic Kingdom
● November 13th – Haiti Shoebox Deadline (Last Day for LS Students to Donate Shoeboxes)
● 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 12th – K4-5th Grade Chapel 8:45AM-9:25AM (Faith Hall) Mrs. Dowling’s Classroom Presentation
● 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)


Our biblical character trait for the month of November and December is Generosity. With the students, we will be defining generosity as “making someone’s day by giving something away.” It’s kind of catchy with the rhyme. I believe this is the perfect time of year to talk about generosity with Thanksgiving and Christmas taking place. We often have extra opportunities to extend our generosity to different causes. Our Haiti Shoebox and the Rise Field House Campaign are both prime examples that are familiar to the students. This is also a great opportunity to remember that we can be generous with more than just our money. Our time and talents are gifts from God that we can use to serve others and glorify Him. We are blessed by many of you who give generously of your time and talents to serve our school. Thank you for that!

Here is something to remember. The one who plants only a little will gather only a little. And the one who plants a lot will father a lot. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give. You shouldn’t give if you don’t want to. You shouldn’t give because you are forced to. God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9: 6-7


Mrs. Gooseman’s 3rd Grade Class-Chapel Presentation
We were blessed to have Mrs. Gooseman’s 3rd grade class close out our Determination character trait with a two-part chapel presentation. The first part of their presentation focused on Christopher Columbus and how he looked to God for determination to complete his challenging task. The students then transitioned to the Top 10 People in the Bible who demonstrated determination. Their list included Queen Esther, Noah, and of course Jesus. Thank you to Mrs. Gooseman’s class for such a meaningful presentation.
Gooseman Chapel


Veterans Day Chapel
We had the honor on Wednesday of celebrating our veterans with a special chapel. The Royal Choir sang “Thank You Soldiers” and the students from our 6th grade Chorus elective narrated a picture book about the history of Veterans Day. Most importantly, we had the opportunity to recognize some of our family members and friends in the audience who have served our country in a branch of the military. Don’t forget to thank a veteran next Wednesday and to stop by and see our display in the Lower School lobby.
Veterans Day Chapel 2 Veterans Day Chapel


Farm Day and Firetrucks in K4
K4 classes enjoyed Farm Day AND a Firetruck visit in ONE DAY! We each got to hold the firehose wearing our Farmer outfits! We went from milking a cow to squirting a hose in just a few excitable hours! Just another fun filled K4 day at TFA!!
Firetruck 1 Firetruck 2 Firetruck 3 Firetruck 4


1st Grade Spooky Science
The 1st grade students were treated to a special science demonstration by our TFA Director of Technology, Mr. Matt Eggert. This was a fantastic series of demonstrations focused around states of matter, the senses, and just plain awesome and gross. Students created ice cream with the help of some liquid nitrogen and created their own orange soda (which happened to be blue). There was smoke galore and oozing pumpkins accompanied by astonishment and wonder! Many thanks to Mr. Eggert (Ava’s Dad) for bringing us this fun experience.
Spooky Science 1 Spooky Science 2 Spooky Science 3 Spooky Science 4 Spooky Science 5 Spooky Science 6


2nd Grade Pumpkin Centers
On Wednesday, October 28th, 2nd graders had a “smashing” good time during Pumpkin Centers! They welcomed many parent volunteers to help with this fun and messy experience! Students made predictions about their pumpkins…Would it float? How many seeds were hidden inside? What is the weight, height and circumference? Then, it was time to cut them open and the counting of the seeds began! One student had over 700 seeds! Students then compared seeds totals with each other and graphed the results. Students enjoyed all the activities so much, they didn’t even notice it was learning disguised as fun!
Pumpkin Centers 1 Pumpkin Centers 2 Pumpkin Centers 3 Pumpkin Centers 4 Pumpkin Centers 5 Pumpkin Centers 6 Pumpkin Centers 7 Pumpkin Centers 8


3rd and 6th Grade Bible Buddies
On Tuesday, November 3rd the 6th grade class launched a new discipleship program called Bible Buddies. Every three weeks the six grade class will mentor and disciple the 3rd grade students in their classrooms by using their own inspired devotions and reflections of His word. This weeks topic was God’s love defines me.
3rd Grade Bible Buddies 1 3rd Grade Bible Buddies 3 3rd Grade Bible Buddies 4 3rd Grade Bible Buddies


Haiti Shoebox Drive
We kicked off our Haiti Shoebox Drive last week in chapel. Our goal this year is to have 500 packed shoeboxes for Lower School. All of the classes have been praying for Haiti each day this week and the teachers went through a sample box with the students so they could see some good ideas for children in Haiti. The deadline for bringing in shoeboxes is November 13th. Please use the following link to pay $7 per box to cover the shipping.

We will be keeping our running total of shoeboxes and updating everyone in the blog each week. 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


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!!!
Insert Be a Smart Cookie Reading Record Here


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.