February 7, 2024

Good Afternoon JMS families,
During the month of February we are celebrating and promoting Reading with several fun and engaging events. These include our PTO Read-A-Thon, which is well underway, and our week long Read Across America Celebration scheduled for later this month.  
Research indicates that reading with your young child is one of the most important activities you can do to support their development and future success.  Reading aloud exposes children to a wide range of vocabulary and language structures, helping to build their language skills. It introduces them to new words and concepts, expanding their understanding of the world around them. Reading stimulates children's imaginations and critical thinking skills. It encourages them to ask questions, make connections between ideas, and develop problem-solving abilities. It instills a love of learning, familiarizes them with the structure of books, and introduces basic literacy skills such as letter recognition and phonemic awareness. Additionally, it helps improve concentration and focus, laying the foundation for academic success. 
Reading together creates special bonding moments between you and your child. It provides opportunities for cuddling, sharing, and fostering a sense of security and love. Through the characters and stories they encounter, children also learn about emotions, empathy, and social skills.
Perhaps most importantly, reading to your child helps cultivate a life-long love of reading. When children associate reading with positive experiences and feelings of warmth and connection, they are more likely to continue reading independently as they grow older. This sets them on a path to become lifelong learners and avid readers.  While we are celebrating reading this month at JMS, it is a big part of what we do with our students every day. If it isn’t already, I encourage you to make it a cherished part of your daily routine and watch as your child's love of reading and curiosity about the world grow!
100th day of School:  We are quickly approaching the 100th day of school! Each classroom will celebrate this very special day, as it's aligned with our kindergarten and first-grade math learning targets. All year they've been counting the days of school to reach the celebration.   On the 100th day, teachers will facilitate activities and discussions which require students to count, read, find, and move in (literally) a hundred different ways.  Our 100th day event is planned for Friday, February 9th.
Read Across America Week:  During the week of February 19th -23rd, 2024 our students will participate in Read Across America.  Read Across America is an annual reading incentive and awareness program that encourages all students in every school community to celebrate reading aligned with the birthday of adored children's author Theodor Seuss Geisel a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. During Read Across America Week, students and staff are encouraged to “dress up” in celebration of some of our favorite books written by some of our favorite authors!  Below is a list of these themed days as well as some special events planned for these days. 
    • Monday, February 19 - Cape Day!  A Cape! by local Author Illustrator Marty Kelly
Students are encouraged to wear a cape out of household items!  Show your support for our special guest author illustrator Marty Kelly.  Order forms for those who wish to purchase an autographed copy of this book will be sent home on this day.
    • Tuesday, February 20  -  Team Gerald vs. Team Piggie Day!  Elephant and Piggie Series- by Author and Illustrator Mo Willems
Students are encouraged to show their team spirit for your favorite character!  Wear gray if you are Team Gerald or pink if you are Team Piggie. 
    • Wednesday, February 21 - Couch Potato Day! The Couch Potato - by Jory John and Pete Oswald 
Balancing our time and staying active is important, but sometimes we need a break! Students are encouraged to wear comfiest clothes or pajamas because today we are all couch potatoes!
    • Thursday, February 22nd - Socks for Seuss Day! Fox in Socks - by Dr. Seuss
One Sock, Two Socks, Red Socks, Blue Socks! Celebrate Dr. Seuss by wearing your craziest or silliest socks!  Our special Guest, Magic Jim, will be performing a Dr. Seuss inspired Magic Show for all to enjoy! 
    • Friday February 23rd - Book Character Day!  
At JMS, we love to read and learn!  Dress like your favorite book character for our storybook Character Parade to finish out the week.
Kindergarten Registration Kickoff: We are excited to announce our 2024-25 Kindergarten Registration Kickoff Event!  This is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, March 7th, 2024, from 5:30-7:00 pm (Students whose last names begin A-L, 5:30-6:15 pm M-Z, 6:15-7:00 pm) in the JMS Multi-purpose Room.  JMS staff will be on hand to assist parents and guardians with the registration process and to answer any questions. If you have a child who is turning 5 years old by September 30th, 2024 they are eligible to register for Kindergarten for the upcoming 2024-25 school year.
The following documents are required to complete the registration process:
  • Proof of Residency (i.e., home purchase agreement, rental/lease agreement, utility bill, with parent/guardian name and Milford address.)
  • Original Birth Certificate with a raised seal
  • An updated immunization/physical and proof of a scheduled physical within one year of enrollment.
  • Any pertinent Court documents, custodial arrangements, and parenting plans.
Information regarding our before and after-school programs will be available as well.
Kindergarten February Vacation Camp: Jacques is partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley to offer a Kindergarten February Vacation Camp, held at Jacques! We are working together to offer our families access to quality care when school is closed.
The Kindergarten February Vacation Camp will operate from 7:00am - 6:00pm, will be held at Jacques Memorial Elementary School and is available for ALL kindergarteners. To learn more and to register for the Kindergarten February Vacation Camp, CLICK HERE. For any additional questions, please reach out to the Jacques Site Director, Karyn Stone by email, [email protected] or by phone, (603) 801-0459.
Our first-grade families are invited to attend a February Vacation Camp as well, operating from 7:00 am - 6:00pm and hosted at the Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley. To learn more and to register for the First Grade February Vacation Camp, CLICK HERE. For any additional questions, please reach out to the BGC Membership Coordinator, Stacie Salisbury by email, [email protected] or by phone, (603) 672-1002.
Early Release:  Students will be dismissed early on Wednesday, February 21st  at 12:45 after lunch is served.   Please make any changes to your child’s dismissal plan for that day using the Parent Pick-up Patrol app. 
As a reminder, tomorrow evening, Thursday, February 8th, 2024 at 7:00 pm our school district deliberative session will be held in  Milford High School cafeteria.  As citizens of Milford, and parents of children in our public schools,  this is an opportunity for you to have a say and weigh in on important aspects of our town's public education system including the annual operating budget, educator’s contracts and building projects. Please make an effort to attend and have your voice heard! 
Thank you for your continued support and partnership in your child’s education.
Tim O’Connell