February 2013 Friends Meeting Minutes

Friends of Southwest Charter
Meeting Minutes
February 5, 2013

In Attendance: Amie Wexler, Jen Litwin, Krista Rodriguez, Christina Cartwright, Nicki Stewart, Marlene Dorfman, Liz Ward

SW Charter Open House

Open House is Thursday, February 7th at 6:30 pm. Anne has put out a request for volunteers, especially for the older grades. Volunteers are needed to meet and greet with potential families. Amie Wexler and Christina Cartwright may be able to help. It might be fun to have some of the older kids there too.

Data Entry Position

We need someone to enter volunteer hours into the school’s database. This hasn’t been done since June 2012. Last year, we logged over 3000 volunteer hours. It’s an easy job that someone can from home. Marlene has an online computer program called Help Counter that is accessible from home or we can upload the Excel spreadsheet to Google Docs. Krista will see if Ned is willing to do.

Community Life

February 4th and tonight are our Pastini Pastaria restaurant nights.

Our free movie at the Bagdad on January 31st was a success! The Bagdad is even willing to host us again. We’d like to make this an annual free event during conference time, on a regular teaching planning day or in early January when PPS has resumed but we are still on break. We’d also like to continue to tie the movie day into a community service project as we did with this year’s food drive.

Amie was wondering if anyone had contact with Jenny Coleman from the Circuit Bouldering Gym to see if we can get permission for a bouldering day. Jen Litwin will email Jenny and Marlene suggested that Amie and Juli could talk to the manager at the Circuit Gym.

We have another Pizzicato (Hillsdale location) restaurant day on March 12th. Our earlier Pizzicato school pizza day was a success, but because pizza was served at school, it took away from restaurant sales. So, this time we’re doing pre-orders and restaurant orders only. Pre-orders are par-baked and delivered to school for pick-up at 3 pm. Last year, we raised over $700 from Pizzicato sales.

Restaurant night at Fulton Pub is scheduled for Tuesday, June 4th.

We have no fundraising events scheduled for April and May.

We are looking into Hopworks for a restaurant night, but it might not be till September.

The South Portland Neighborhood Association sponsors movie nights during the summer in Carruthers Park. Maybe we can plan some community meet-ups on the nights that movies are scheduled.

Book Drive/Family Reading Night

To help restock our classroom libraries, we’d like to schedule a book drive encouraging our families to donate their gently used books February 14th – 28th.  On February 28th, we’d celebrate with a Family Reading Night event at school. Marlene is checking with the Church to see if there’s a conflict.

Krista discussed how the PTO Today web site recommends having local personalities read aloud at Family Reading Nights. We discussed connections any of us might have to Portland authors. Jen, Nicki and Amie will check with their contacts. If we can’t get local authors to read, it would be fun to have our more dramatic teachers read aloud instead.

We’d keep the event short, about 1 ½ hours from 6 -7:30 pm or 6:30-8 pm.  We would provide light snacks and craft stations.

Krista suggested a couple themes we could use for our event. One was “Opposites”: Kids could wear their clothes backward or inside out, we could serve breakfast foods as snacks, etc. Krista read us a poem from the book Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer as an example of something we might read aloud. She also suggested Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein.

We would encourage kids to bring pillows, bean bags, etc. The craft stations could include bookmark making or a story-builder activity (similar to a Mad Lib) where everyone has 3 minutes to write a part of the same story. We would also provide handouts to families about the importance of reading aloud.

The schedule might look something like this:

  • 6:30 -7 crafts
  • 7- 7:30 readings
  • 7:30 – 8 crafts/snacks

Perhaps we could use Amanda’s room to have read-aloud for the younger children.

Another theme for Family Reading Night could be magic and wizardry.

Future events for April & May:

  • April – Science Night coordinated by Jessica Nichols
  • May –Kickball coordinated by Kenny

March Staff Appreciation

We are planning an extra “we love you” to our staff and teachers before our regular Staff Appreciation Week in May. Each Monday in March, volunteers will provide 2 dozen muffins:

  • March 4:  Krista
  • March 11:  Jen
  • March 18:  Liz

Also, on Friday, March 22nd, we will provide bagel lunch for the last staff meeting before Spring Break.


Christina thanked everyone for doing such a great job with procurement and all the other auction planning that is currently happening.

Harmony is coordinating Sign-up or slot parties. A form for providing details of a sign-up party was distributed.

The Google doc is the best place to see what’s being procured for the auction – especially new prospects. Juli and Sarah are doing a great job keeping this updated.

There are about 9 people working on procurement right now.

We are still seeking donated wine for the auction. Juli is working with a distributor who is considering a sponsorship. If we are unable to secure a wine donor, we can use wine provided by Melody and still make a profit.

Nicki is all set for the liquor license from OLLC. She just needs to get the checks from Anna. We have 2 kegs of beer from Widmer. We need someone to pick up the beer – Teacher Mike’s name was offered.

Nicki will check with the Melody about having an after-party for anyone who wants to stay past the official auction ending time.

On the day of the auction, we’ll need several runners who can pick up food for the volunteers, transport auction items to the Melody, and other jobs as they arise.

If you’re curious to know whether a business has sent in the auction item you were promised, contact Christina. She will have the most current information about what items have been received.

Denise and John are compiling the pre-paddle raise video again this year. We’re using Dropbox to collect photos. Marlene has taken all the pictures off the Shutterfly site and put them on Dropbox. Jen will provide a CD of pictures.

Auction sponsorships are looking good. So far we have Hillside Imports, Hollywood Lighting, Mr. Greenbeans, Cox & Filder Insurance, and Mobile West. We’re up to $2600 for cash sponsorships.

What kinds of items do we still need? Hotel stays, bigger gift certificates, travel miles, etc. to put together into packages.  We discussed sending out a call to the school community via Facebook, newsletter, and maybe a flyer that we’re looking for vacation homes, bigger items, etc.

At the AM Coffee on Thursday, Christina and Nicki will do a little spiel about the auction, procurement, volunteer jobs, etc.

We discussed how to conduct the “paddle-raise” part of the auction. A tagline that Krista came up with is:  “The sky’s the limit when you invest in SW Charter’s future”. We thought it might be fun to have the kids saying “the sky’s the limit” during video we will show before the paddle-raise. We need someone to take video of the kids. Nicki will ask her husband. Marlene suggested setting up video camera during recess to record kids. Amie suggested we paddle-raise for concrete, tangible items, but we’d have to make sure the Board is in agreement with what we’re asking for. It might be good to have 2-3 tangible things that we can focus on during the paddle raise.

Aaron Brittan had a good idea of having a roulette wheel with all the things we need for school – turf, IT, etc. We need to highlight some of the things our auction fundraising has done in years past. Teachers could also be interviewed to see what they need.

Construct the video with old and new, but not too specific and then begin the paddle raise. Unless we have something we know that we can put the money towards.

Set up for the auction at the Melody will begin at 10 am on Friday, March 15th.

Lorien is working on the catalog.

We will be offering advanced purchase of 5 reserved tables to our families. They can purchase a 10 seat table for the price of 9.

We will 2-5 tables set aside for our sponsors.

Advance auction ticket sales and the auction web site go live on Friday.

Other Business

Our food drive was a success! We collected 200 lbs. of food for the Oregon Food Bank!

Next meeting: March 5th 7:00 pm @ SWCS

The February 2013 minutes can also be found here:


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