The Wildchat: 2/14/2023
February 14, 2023
Happy Valentines’ Day!
Whittier needs YOU!
Our Wildcat experience and Whittier community happens because of family volunteers. We’re seeking volunteers for:
- Spring Fling Classroom Bucket Coordinator (1 per class; Classrooms needing volunteers – DiTullio, Worotikan, Leming, Mayo, Richmond, Keener, Provence, SPED)
- Spring Fling Class Art Coordinator (1 per class; Classrooms needing volunteers – O’Leary, Parekh, Paul, Peterson, Richmond, Childers, Provence, Keener, SPED)
- Spring Fling Wine Wall Coordinator: Help collect donations and coordinate a Wine Pull event at this year’s Spring Fling! Contact Spring Fling Co-Chairs, Courtney Sievers and Renee Hartnett, with any questions.
- Spring Fling Emcee: We’re seeking an outgoing personality to help make announcements during the event! Contact Spring Fling Co-Chairs, Courtney Sievers and Renee Hartnett, with any questions.
- After School Program Volunteers: Help with transition care to make our after school programs a reality!
- PTA Budget Committee: We’re still seeking volunteers to join our budget committee! This volunteer role is a time commitment of roughly 3-6 hours and is a great way to get involved for the first time!
- Food Bank Coordinator: Pick-up bags of food at Ballard Food Bank and drop them off at the front office between 8-10am on Thursday for distribution to our families. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- 2023-2024 PTA Positions: Whittier’s PTA plays an important role in providing essential staff and services–and we can’t do it without caregivers like you! We have TEN vital board positions and SEVEN non-board positions we need to fill for next school year. There are positions at lots of time commitments levels, skill sets, and remote/in-person style work. To learn more, contact email@example.com.
- 2/16 (6:30-7:30pm): The Reptile Man Family Night
- 2/21-25: No School – Mid-Winter Break
- 3/3: Massive Monkees Residency Kickoff
- 3/3 (6-8:30pm): Family Dance & Game Night
- 3/8 (7-8pm): “Better Understand the Budget,” a virtual presentation by Principal Watters
- 3/14 (7-9pm): PTA Board Meeting
- 3/21 (7-9pm): PTA Community Meeting
- 3/24: Massive Monkees Assembly
- 4/7: First Fun Friday
Save the Date Spring Fling Fundraiser – Highway to the Wildcat Zone!
First and foremost, SAVE THE DATE MAY 20th for this year’s SPRING FLING FUNDRAISER – Highway to the Wildcat Zone! (Yes, that means this year’s theme is Top Gun!) For those new to Whittier, this is the PTA’s final fundraising effort of the school year, with a goal of raising $40,000 for essential staff and services (and, bonus, a great way to build community)!
Look for tickets to go on-sale in early March, but until then, help ensure this event is a success by:
- Become a Classroom Art Coordinator for your Classroom: Volunteer to organize your kiddos class Art Project to be auctioned off. You do not need to be artistic! You just need to be excited about working with the kids in your classroom and organizing the logistics with their teacher to do so. More details and signup link
- Become a Classroom Bucket Coordinator for your Classroom: Volunteer to help organize and curate a themed bucket with the parents in your kiddos classroom to be auctioned off. More details and signup link
- Donate an item or experience for silent auction: Do you have a vacation spot you would be willing to donate a weekend to, or connections to sporting events, rounds of golf, or new fun ideas to add to the mix? Email Brie Gardner to get your item added.
- Host a Party – Parents, teachers, and community members host parties and set the number of tickets available for would-be attendees to purchase! These are hot items at the event, anywhere from 4 to 20 people pending experience. Mom’s & Margaritas, Wine Tasting & Pairings, sky’s the limit, we’d love some new ideas! Email Sara Lukas if you are interested in hosting a party.
Thanks in advance for your participation! We are excited to make this event happen! Contact Spring Fling Co-Chairs, Courtney Sievers and Renee Hartnett, with any questions.
Virtual Budget Presentation with Principal Watters
We asked and you voted! Our community requested a virtual presentation led by Principal Watters focused on Whittier’s current and forecasted budget. Please join Principal Watters for a presentation and Q&A on Wednesday, March 8 from 7-8pm over Zoom.
Upcoming Budget Vote: March 21
On March 21, the PTA will vote on next school year’s budget. All members of our community will have the opportunity to share their voice during this meeting, but only PTA members are able to vote to approve next year’s proposed budget. If you’d like to share your voice, be sure to attend next month’s community meeting. If you’d like to vote, please become a PTA member today.
What can YOU do to celebrate, learn, and support during Black History Month?
What can YOU do to celebrate BHM?
- Support Black owned businesses in our community! List of restaurants:
- Follow Black authored accounts on social media, like Ibram X. Kendi, Austin Channing Brown, Doyin Richards, and Layla F. Saad.
- Read, watch, listen and learn from black centered media:
- Code Switch: Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race with empathy and humor. We explore how race affects every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, food and everything in between. This podcast makes all of us part of the conversation — because we’re all part of the story.
- 1619: A New York Times audio series on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling.
- 20 African American Books You Must Read During Black History Month
- Remember that many people have multiple marginalized identities. For example, when thinking of ways to support the Black community, don’t just think of Black men. Black women face the stressors of both racism and sexism. And Black people who identify as LGBTQ often experience marginalization at the intersection of racism, homophobia, anti-trans sentiment. Here are a list of Organizations supporting LGTBQ+ people of color that YOU can support too!
- Read with your kids and talk about the topic/book with them! Book list for children’s books
- Visit the Northwest African American Museum
- Watch this video to learn about the history of Redlining and Segregation in Seattle
Attention: Norovirus Spread in Seattle Community
Nationwide, norovirus case positivity rates are the highest they’ve been in at least a year (CDC). This highly contagious virus spreads easily. Here are some tips to help keep your family (and our community) safe:
Preventing the spread of norovirus:
- Norovirus is the most common cause of what people often call “stomach flu,” “24-hour flu,” “stomach bug”, and “food poisoning”. It causes violent vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping for typically around 24 hours, followed by another 1-3 days of feeling gross and lethargic with poor appetite.
- Despite the “flu” moniker, norovirus is completely unrelated to influenza. A flu shot DOES NOT protect you from norovirus, and getting norovirus DOES NOT mean you no longer need a flu shot. Taking antibiotics will not help, as it is a virus and not a bacterium.
- Norovirus is present in the feces, vomit, and saliva of an infected person, and infection occurs when the virus enters the mouth and gets into the stomach–most commonly from food contamination or putting hands in/near mouth. Symptoms usually start 1-3 days after exposure.
- Norovirus is is very tough to kill. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes DO NOT kill norovirus, and it can survive for weeks on surfaces or in clothing.
- The most effective way to control the spread of norovirus is regular, vigorous hand washing with soap and water, and drying thoroughly with paper towels–especially before eating AND after pooping.
- To disinfect surfaces, spray with a bleach solution (5-8% concentration), and leave surfaces wet for 10 minutes. For unbleachable surfaces, saturate with Lysol spray (NOT disposable wipes). Be aware that not all Lysol products are formulated to kill norovirus. Check the label when in doubt.
- Contaminated clothing / bedding should be washed on hot using the longest wash cycle, and dried on hot. If this is not possible, they should be stored in a garbage bag for at least a week after being washed.
- Try to quarantine someone who is actively vomiting to a bathroom or other room that can be easily disinfected floor-to-ceiling. Keep them away from sofas, beds, and other hard-to-disinfect surfaces.
- Children or adults who have been ill with suspected norovirus should stay home for 48 hours after the last bout of vomiting. The virus can be present in feces for weeks after symptoms have resolved, so it’s critical for someone who has recently been ill to be especially diligent about hand washing.
- More information on outbreak prevention here and here (CDC).
Caring for someone with norovirus:
- Usually, a norovirus infection does not require medical attention. However, there is a risk of dehydration from extended vomiting and diarrhea, especially with younger children.
- Wait an hour after the last bout of vomiting to give any liquids, and then start with small sips every 15 minutes. Drinking while the stomach is actively inflamed can exacerbate vomiting.
- If able to keep down liquids, Pedialyte (drinks or popsicles) is better than water for electrolyte replacement.
- If someone is constantly vomiting and unable to keep down any liquids for more than 4 hours, the risk of dehydration is a lot higher, and they should go to the ER and get IV fluids. Also look out for a dry mouth, or crying with no tears, as these are also indicators of dehydration.
- Once vomiting has begun to resolve, smalls cups of warm, clear broth are a great way to start getting nutrients into the body.
- More information on norovirus treatment here (Mayo Clinic).
Ms. Jo’s Food Drive
We’re excited to announce that December’s Drive for Ballard Food Bank, to honor Ms. Jo’s strong belief that all people deserve access to safe and healthy food, raised over $5000. We are so grateful to our community for supporting the Ballard Food Bank and celebrating Ms. Jo’s longstanding fight for food justice.
Fall Fundraising Update
With employer matching still coming in, PTA is excited to announce we’ve reached our Fall Fundraising goal! This fundraising will help support the essential staff, services, and programs for next school year. We’re so excited to round out this year’s fundraising needs with our upcoming Spring Fling event on May 20!
Helping Hands Drive
Thanks to our family’s incredible contributions, we were able to give over $3000 in gift cards to Whittier families in need after December’s Helping Hands Drive. Thank you, Wildcats!
Thank you, Wildcats!