Virtual Red Folder
December 13, 2018

Third Grade Visits Fairmount Water Works

On their field trip last Friday, Third Graders enriched their year-long study of water as a habitat and natural resource. Guides at the Water Works taught them about how Philadelphia’s water supply system began, and the effort the city put into keeping the Schuylkill river clean. Third Graders also got a peek at the current freshwater mussel hatchery onsite. These freshwater mussels are placed back into Philadelphia’s waterways in an effort to revitalize the endangered mussels and improve the health of the river.

Writing Through the Grades

by David Kern

This week I kept my eyes open for some of the writing that is taking place across our campus. Kindergartners practice writing today’s date on the blackboard as part of their morning meeting. They have also composed a brief sentence (story) with pictures:

First Grade had a Publisher’s Party complete with individual readings and popcorn!  The writers’ “party” is held at the end of a writing project.  The first graders produced detailed stories about events in their lives:

I’ve also added a picture of Third Grade writing that is posted in our hallway in the Main Building. Their stories were fiction pieces incorporating a surprise element in the plot:

Entrepreneurs and Climate Activists at the Rainforest Sale

On December 5, Fifth Grade held a Rainforest Sale to help raise money for conservation in the Amazon. During lunch recesses, students exchanged money for food, hair dye, fortunetelling, sports, games, music, a photo booth, and a yard sale. All together they raised $400, which will be donated to the Nature Conservancy. The proceeds will go towards protecting the homes of 50% of the world’s known animal species. Every cent makes a difference!

Fourth Graders Being “Molded” for Greatness

The annual tri-school Mold Symposium is not until January 23, but the Fourth Grade students have already been hard at work. The experiments they set up grew for four consecutive weeks, and needed to be checked weekly.

Fourth Graders learned a lot, and not all of it had to do with mold. They learned that incomplete safety seals (taping petri dishes shut) let fruit flies in, and the flies feasted on many experiments. They also learned a lot about the anatomy and the life cycle of fruit flies!

They learned that some of our molds (Charlie’s powdery green penicillin) could be useful, while others were toxic (Kylee’s fuzzy pink fusarium). At the end of the fourth week Fourth Graders were very careful to dispose of their mold using safe lab practices.

Now, to prepare for the Symposium, Fourth Graders and Kathleen are analyzing their findings. Did students prove their original hypothesis? Did they have unexpected results? Did those results lead to new questions? Knowing what they know now, would they set up their experiment differently if they did it again?

Getting Dressed Up for the Holidays

This week some elves delivered holiday wreaths for our doors, and now it’s up to teachers and students to decorate them. Have a look around campus and see if you can spot all 26!

Next Friday: Wassail & Winter Community Sing

When and where?

  • Wassail (breakfast yummies and hot mulled drinks) at 9:30 am in the Annie H. Wilson Room
  • Winter Community Sing at 10:30 am in the Meetinghouse
  • Students dismissed at 12:00 pm from their classrooms. If you haven’t already, please fill out this form to let the Office know how your child will be getting home.

Extra info:

  • PTO is looking for volunteers to set up and bring food for the Wassail. Interested? Sign up here
  • Call Kelly and Maeve by 12/19 if you need to reserve a parking space for a person with limited mobility.

Everyone’s So Busy!
(and why you need to make time for your financial aid application anyway)

We all want more time in our days. But until one of our kids grows up to invent that, we need to work with what we’ve got. Your deadline: January 7. Why? Because your friendly PMFS Financial Aid Committee begins meeting immediately after, allocating our 2019-20 financial aid budget for returning and new families. And we need a full picture to do that effectively!

So please, don’t delay; go to the School and Student Services (SSS) website ( and complete that application now… well, by January 7 (which is almost the same thing)!

Questions or concerns? As there are only 6 more school days until January 7, we encourage you to reach out now. Please contact Joyce in the Admission Office ( or 610.828.2288 x226).

TOMORROW: Family Fun Movie Night!

Gather all PMFS’ers,
the small and the tall,
for a movie spectacular
sure to enthrall.
Bring pj’s and sleeping bags
and money, too,
for popcorn and brownies
too good to be true.
We’ll start on the dot
at 6 “double 0” clock
with pizza and veggies
and fruit for the lot.
Then at twenty past six,
we’ll get that film rolling.
You can watch, you can craft…
but there will not be bowling.
-Dr. Lember

Join us at 6:00 pm on Friday, Dec. 14 in the Steinbright Gym for Horton Hears a Who!

Wow us with your pajamas (coordinated sets not required), bring a sleeping bag or blanket for family snuggling, and don’t forget a few dollars for popcorn (using our new popcorn machine) and baked treats.

And, help us make the evening a smashing success by volunteering before, during, or after the event. We also need donations of baked goods to ensure all children get a good sugar high. Please use this link to volunteer and to see more ways you can help.

How to Receive Tax Credits for Your Donation to PMFS

Individuals, businesses, and corporations can support PMFS’s Financial Aid program through a mission-driven tax-credit program!

If you are an individual Pennsylvania taxpayer, business, or corporation, you have the opportunity to redirect your state tax liability to Plymouth Meeting Friends School. You will receive a tax credit for a donation made to PMFS that is restricted to Financial Aid through the Friends Education Equity Collaborative (FEEC), a Special Purpose Entity created in 2016 through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC).

You can still participate for the 2018 tax year!

We just received notice last week that PMFS will be able to accept additional FEEC donations this year. Qualified individual taxpayers have the opportunity to take advantage of tax credits to support the Financial Aid program at PMFS. Business owners and corporations may also participate in the FEEC program. 

The deadline is coming up!

PMFS must receive checks and paperwork by December 24 to use 2018 tax dollars and January 10 to use 2019 tax dollars. There is a cap on the total amount of credits that PMFS and FEEC can accept. These credits will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. 

You can learn more about FEEC or the traditional EITC/OSTC tax credit programs on our website, or contact Ralph Henninger of the PMFS Development Office at 610.828.2288.

Admiring Third Grade Art at the Woodmere

David visited the Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill over the weekend to see Third Grade’s art on display. Their artwork, along with works from other schools, will be given to folks who may be in need of some good cheer for the holiday season — a wonderful project with a wonderful result for our students. You can see the exhibition at the Woodmere through December 16.

Time is Running Out to Sign Up for…

Winter Vacation Care
(Sign up by 12/20)
December 27 & 28
January 3 & 4

Winter BtB Classes
(Sign up by 12/21)
View the catalog here
Sign up for classes here

Book Drive for a School in Need

The end of the year is a great time to clean out your kids’ bookshelves! They’re outgrowing books fast, and there may be new books coming as holiday gifts. Building Bridges is collecting gently used (or new!) kids’ books to donate to the Julia DeBurgos Elementary School through January 18. While you’re on campus for the Winter Community Sing, drop off your books outside the Main Office or in the Emerson Lobby. Stay tuned for details about an activity related to our book collection at the MLK Jr Day of Service. Contact Rebecca Heider ( or Trina Berk ( with any questions or to get involved.

Upcoming @PMFS

Friday, Dec 14
Family Fun Movie Night, 6:00 pm in the Gym

Sunday, December 16
Last day to see Third Grade art on display at Woodmere

Thursday, December 20
Meeting for Worship, 8:30-9:00 am — Join us!
6th Grade Visiting Lecturer — David on Tiananmen Square

Friday, December 21
Wassail and Snacks, 9:30 am, Annie H
Winter Community Sing, 10:30 am, Meetinghouse
Early Dismissal & Winter Break begins, 12:00 pm
Dining Out at California Pizza Kitchen, starting after dismissal

Vacation Care will be open on 12/27, 12/28, 1/3 and 1/4.

Monday, January 7
Financial Aid applications due
School re-opens!

Want more info on happenings at school? 
Go to, where you can subscribe to the PMFS Public Calendar.

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