Cardinal Courier — October 10, 2022

October 10, 2022
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President’s Message #

Dear Abingdon Friends and Families,

I am pleased to share that Abingdon PTA’s tax exemption status has recently been reinstated after over a decade of being revoked. To celebrate this milestone, we will be hosting a community celebration next month: Spirit Night at Chipotle on Columbia Pike. These fundraising activities support our free community-building events (e.g., Trunk or Treat) and educational programs such as the Cardinal Kids Mentoring Program and our School Play. Furthermore, we are delighted to launch our staff grants program to help meet needs for our educators that are not provided for by the school district such as funding for field trips. Living right next door to the nation’s capital affords us a wealth of learning opportunities for our Cardinals to learn and explore.

While our volunteer team generously supports enriching our Cardinals’ classroom experience, another priority is to collectively influence policymakers to best support our students. For example, you may have noticed that Abingdon’s oldest tree in the back playground was recently removed prior to the start of the school year due to heart rot; we have asked our school district to consider providing commercial sail shade coverage for our back (red) playground to make recess more enjoyable during the extremely hot and sunny days. We have also initiated conversations with fellow Arlingon PTAs through the Arlington County Council of PTAs (CCPTA) about how we can best support field trips.

In other news, we are also kindly reminding our school community and neighbors to keep their dogs off school grounds and to be mindful of our student pedestrians; safety is our highest priority. We have asked our county’s Transportation Engineering and Operations Bureau Chief to have an engineer evaluate our limited school signage, and how we can best promote additional signage to remind drivers to slow down in our school zone. We are also fighting food insecurity with the launch of our new snack pantry program, which is available to all students courtesy of a very generous donation. Furthermore, we have been partnering with local neighborhood businesses and organizations on ways we can collaborate together to support the Abingdon family.

As we strengthen our family-school engagement at Abingdon, consider lending your time, skills, and voice. These meaningful conversations that we have at student pick up, or at our PTA meetings, help foster thoughtful considerations and build trust. Together we can be a powerful advocate for our flock.

I hope you will consider staying engaged and connected with us as we continue advocating for our Cardinals: Facebook, Twitter,, WhatsApp groups. Please reach out at [email protected] if you have any questions or comments to share with us. Thank you kindly.

Sharon Burd

P.S. We have nearly doubled our participants with Harris Teeter’s retail rebates program - 99 participants have linked their VIC card to Abingdon.

📅 Save the Dates #

  • Monday, October 10, 2022: No School for Students (Countywide Professional Learning for Staff)
  • Tuesday, October 11, 2022: 7 - 8:30 pm, October General Membership Meeting
  • Wednesday, October 12, 2022: Walk, Bike, & Roll to School
  • Thursday, October 13, 2022, 3 pm: Abingdon Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee Meeting
  • Sunday, October 16, 2022, 10 am - 1 pm & 1 - 4 pm: Outdoor Lab Fall Open House
  • Thursday, October 20, 2022: Early release dismissal at 12:20 pm; Parent-Teacher Conference Day
  • Friday, October 21, 2022: No School for Students; Parent-Teacher Conference Day
  • Thursday, October 20, 2022: Reflections Artwork Due Date
  • Monday, October 24, 2022: Holiday - Diwali
  • Friday, October 28, 2022: Fall Retakes Picture Day
  • Saturday, October 29, 2022, 12 pm - 2 pm: Trunk or Treat
  • Wednesday, November 2, 2022: Spirit Night at Chipotle on Columbia Pike
  • TBD November 2022: Movie Night Collaboration with Abingdon DEI
  • Tuesday, November 8, 2022: Election Day Bake Sale

Note: View and subscribe to the PTA calendar on our website here.

👋 PTA General Membership Virtual Meeting on Tuesday, October 11! #

General Membership Meeting Flyer

Who: Teachers, Parents, Guardians, Students, Community Members
What: October General Membership Virtual Meeting

For security reasons, we do not share Zoom meeting codes on our website. Please subscribe to the email edition of our newsletter to make sure you receive PTA meeting codes.

When: October 11, 2022 - 7:00 PM EST

☝ Reminders: #

  • Dogs are not permitted on school grounds. A student was recently attacked by a dog on the playground; we are hopeful that the student has a quick recovery. We thank the community for your cooperation.
  • Did you lose a water bottle or a shirt? Stop by the Lost & Found next to the front office to pick up your item. Don’t forget to label EVERYTHING (winter jackets, lunch boxes, hats).
  • We thank the community for slowing down and watching for our pedestrians at all schools today and everyday.

📸 Picture Day RETAKES #

Picture Day Retakes are on Friday, October 28. We will share information about how to sign up on Facebook and Twitter.

❤️ Hispanic Heritage Month. #

Hispanic Heritage Month wall

We are proud to support our Abingdon community by honoring our colleagues’ and students’ Hispanic heritage and traditions. Thank you so much, Ms. Branco for the exquisite mural and videos showcasing our beautiful community. We love our Cardinal balloon bouquets.

👻 Trunk or Treat! #

Trunk or Treat flyer

The Abingdon PTA is excited to bring back Trunk or Treat! Kids will dress up in Halloween costumes and collect candy from volunteers who have spookily decorated their cars.

  • When: Saturday, October 29, 2022, 12 PM - 2 PM
  • Where: Abingdon’s parking lot

We are looking for:

  • candy donations to be dropped in Abingdon’s front office or purchased using this Amazon wish list
  • 30 volunteers to decorate their cars and pass out candy from 12 PM - 2 PM
  • volunteers to set up from 11 AM - 12 PM and clean up from 2 PM - 3 PM

If you are able to volunteer, please sign up here.

🐌🌲🐛 Outdoor Lab #

Outdoor Lab flyer

The Outdoor Lab Fall Open House!
Sunday, October 16th
10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 1 - 4 p.m.

Visit the Arlington Outdoor Education Association (AOEA) website for more details. If you or someone you know would like to attend, please register on EventBrite.

  • Abingdon 3rd graders will visit the Outdoor Lab for field trips on February 21 & 22, 2023.
  • Abingdon 5th graders will have their overnight camping trips at the Outdoor Lab on May 1-2 and May 4-5, 2023.
  • In March 2023, APS 4th - 8th graders are able to sign up for Outdoor Lab Summer Camp! Stay tuned to the APS Outdoor Lab webpage for more details.

👩‍💻 Coding Club #

The PTA is launching our first Cardinal Coding Club! Students in 3rd - 5th grade are invited to join us after school on Wednesdays starting in November. We are collaborating with Boolean Girl, a local non-profit, whose mission is to engage students in computer science. Stay tuned for registration information. If you have any questions, reach out to Teresa Valdez-Bain at [email protected].

Cardinal Coding Club: Mixing hands-on coding with interactive play, your young Computer Scientist will learn basic coding principles that allow them to bring stories to life. Using Scratch, a drag-and-drop multimedia programming language designed by MIT, children learn algorithms and programming all while developing and illustrating their own personal stories. Ms. Fisher, Abingdon’s Instructional Technology Coordinator (ITC), will model how to plan, develop, and create a story using Scratch. Even Pixar will be impressed with the final creations!

📱 Student Directory Coming Soon #

The Abingdon PTA is creating an online student directory for the 2022-2023 school year to connect Abingdon families (e.g., arrange playdates or carpools or discuss volunteer opportunities). It will contain information for only those families who have opted in to share such information with the PTA as part of the Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP) that all families complete annually. Only those families who “opt in” will have access to the directory. Review the announcement here.

🎨 Reflections Art Contest #

Reflections flyer

Our PTA is participating in Reflections — a national PTA-sponsored program that encourages students to express themselves artistically. We’re calling all Abingdon students to create visual art or literature reflecting this year’s theme: “Show Your Voice.” Students can create theme-based artwork in the categories of literature (written works) and visual arts (paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints). All artworks will be recognized, celebrated, and judged by Abingdon volunteers by grade-level divisions. A selection of entries will advance to the county-wide competition. We are excited to see your talent! Entries due by Thursday, October 20. More information here.

🚶🚴🛴 Walk, Bike, & Roll to School #

Walk Bike & Roll flyer

You are invited to join us this Wednesday, October 12th for a Walk, Bike, & Roll to School Day! The PTA team — including a special guest — will be giving out stickers and reflective gear to our Cardinals. #APSWalk2SchoolDay!

🫶 Volunteer with Us #

Please complete the PTA’s volunteer form so that we can learn more about your interests, skills, and availability. We would love to match you with a volunteer opportunity or an ongoing role that works for you. Additionally, APS requires that all parents volunteering in the building complete an APS Volunteer Application; submit the application if you have not already done so this year or last school year. To initiate the process, complete the English or Spanish application, and email [email protected]. More info here.

Sign up for our volunteer opportunities:

Lifetouch photos for distribution
  • Picture Day (Retakes) — The PTA needs help making Abingdon’s Picture Day run smoothly on Friday, October 28th. If you are interested in helping, contact [email protected].
  • School Picture Coordinator Assistant — Student photos have arrived! If you have an hour or two to lend to assist with distributing photos, please contact abingdonptapresident[email protected]. We hope to have two volunteers to assist with photo distribution within the next two weeks.

  • Girls on the Run — We are interested in starting Girls on the Run this spring. If you have interest in supporting our students as a coach, please reach out to Ashley Farrugia: [email protected].
  • School Garden — To receive updates about garden volunteer opportunities, please sign up here.
  • Odyssey of the Mind — Would you like to set up OotM at Abingdon? If you’re interested, please reach out to [email protected] by Wednesday, October 12.
  • The Special Education PTA (SEPTA) — We need an Abingdon liaison! If you’re interested in this volunteer opportunity, email [email protected] or visit:
  • PTA Diversity Coordinator — The PTA is looking for a Diversity Coordinator to collaborate with Abingdon’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and Abingdon’s Bilingual Family Liaison. If you are interested, please contact [email protected].
  • Translators — We are looking for volunteers who could translate PTA flyers in the following languages: Mongolian, Amharic, and Arabic. Please contact [email protected] if you can assist with this effort.
  • Trunk or Treat — We need 15 more volunteers to decorate their cars & pass out candy from 12 - 2 pm. We also need volunteers to set up from 11 am - 12 pm and clean up from 2 - 3 pm. If you are able to volunteer, please sign up here.
Clothes to be placed in the Lost & Found
  • Lost & Found Coordinator — We hope to have a tidy Lost & Found where our Cardinals can easily search for their lost belongings. If you would like to assist in this endeavor, reach out to [email protected].

  • Baked Treats for Election Day Bake Sale — We are looking for volunteers who could assist with baking treats, or providing store bought baked goods, that the PTA could sell on election day. If you are interested in helping, contact [email protected].
Snack Pantry flyer

💞 Call for Donations #

  • 🍬 Candy Drive: We are looking for Trunk or Treat candy donations. Please drop off candy in the Abingdon Main Office or purchase it using this Amazon Wish List:
  • Coffee Drive: In appreciation of our exceptional educators, consider dropping off caffeinated k-cup donations to the Abingdon main office (labeled “PTA”) or ship to Abingdon PTA at 3035 S Abingdon Street, Arlington VA 22206.
  • 🍇 Refrigerator. We are looking for an extra fridge or two to be delivered to Abingdon to use for our new snack pantry for all students. We are planning to store fresh produce in it to complement the shelf stable snacks that are provided to all students. If you are able to donate a refrigerator, please contact [email protected].
  • 🦠 Disinfectant Wipes: Abingdon could use some extra disinfectant wipes. If you have extra to share, please drop it off at the Abingdon Main Office.
  • 🧤 Coat Drive: Abingdon is having a coat drive to share the warmth for Abingdon students K-5. We are collecting coats, mittens, hats, gloves, and scarves in the school’s front office. For additional information contact [email protected].

💸 Passive Fundraising #

🙏 Thank you! ¡Gracias! አመሰግናለሁ! Баярлалаа! شكرًا لك ! #

We are impressed with the generosity and selflessness of our volunteers and supporters.

  • Thank you PTA volunteers — Tina, Maureen, McKenna, Courtney — for assisting with the new snack pantry rollout for all of our Cardinals.
  • Rachel and Amanda — Thank you for helping with photocopying/distributing our print communication for backpack mail.
  • Mrs. J. Shaub — A big thank you for repairing Abingdon Cardinal’s mascot feet.
  • Many thanks to our fellow garden friends at Thomas Jefferson Middle School for sharing their tomato and strawberry plants with the Abingdon Community Garden. Our “kindergardeners” and fellow Cardinals truly enjoyed the garden-fresh tomatoes.
  • Shout out to our picture day heroes — Amanda, Tina, Gina, and Long Branch parent Sarah for ensuring picture day went smoothly.
  • Another shout out to our fantastic volunteers for lending their time and energies to help make family science night a huge success.
  • Lastly, a gigantic thank you to the PTA Board — Ashley, Clare, Megan, Dan, Christian, Ken, and Meredith — for their collective tenacity and dedication to Abingdon.

✨ The Abingdon Cardinal loves our school playground! #

The Abingdon Cardinal on the Abingdon playground