Virtual Red Folder
March 15, 2018
Learning to Trust and Discover Through a Fourth Grade Circus
Congratulations to our Fourth Graders on a brilliant in-house performance for our students and staff as well as visiting classes from The Philadelphia School, Media-Providence Friends School, West Chester Friends School, and Wilmington Friends School.
Every year since 2003, PMFS’ Fourth Grade class, under the direction of Will Starr, has performed in a Circus. From unicycles and silks to tight-rope walking and juggling, the performance is filled with all sorts of traditional circus acts, but the skits go far beyond the basics of that. This year’s production, Believe! tells the story of The Sailor, who is unsure of her own abilities, and lacks the confidence to take risks or stand up for herself. She and her companions embark on a sailing voyage, finding themselves on an island which they slowly realize might not be deserted after all.
The audience becomes aware that there is a mysterious creature who may be experiencing a struggle of its own. The creature reflects The Sailor’s own ambivalence, and is almost the manifestation of her feelings about her own potential. Is the creature something to fear, or is it something to embrace? Should The Sailor steer clear of risk, or push herself to see what she is capable of?
This tension between safety on the edges or immersing oneself in something unknown mirrors the students’ own path to the Fourth Grade Circus. A performance of high caliber, the Fourth Graders are challenged both physically and creatively to stretch beyond their own imaginings, and to banish any fears and doubts about their own abilities. The result is a spectacular show that highlights not only their newly-found skills, but also their journey to the stage. At the heart of Believe! lies a fundamental truth: that the artistry and self-expression of children has a high value, and that this faith in their achievements can be transformative for performers and audience alike.
Evening performances run Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17, 7:00 – 8:15 pm. To purchase tickets ($7), click here to download a copy of the order form. PLEASE NOTE: FRIDAY’S PERFORMANCE IS NEARLY SOLD OUT!
Support the show with this year’s t-shirt; shirts will be on sale at the show!
Support for Student Activism around Gun Violence
On Wednesday, PMFS teachers were led to “stand up for peace,” and in remembrance of victims of gun violence in schools, as they stood in silence at the corner of Germantown and Butler Pikes, while our Sixth Graders and their teachers held a special meeting for worship in their honor.
Friends Council on Education’s Statement of Support: Student Activism around Gun Violence
Plymouth joins 68 other Friends schools across the United States and around the world in support of Student Activism around Violence, as shared by the Friends Council on Education. Please click here to read this statement.
Update from Building Bridges
At our Building Bridges meeting on last week on March 3 we identified some of our goals:
- Bring our values as a Quaker school into the world.
- Give our children opportunities to engage with their larger Philadelphia community.
- Enhance existing service projects to service learning and social justice opportunities.
- Be open to diverse political views and perspectives.
We chose as our specific project to start with: deepening the school’s relationship with Historic Fair Hill, a “peace making green space in North Philadelphia, using the burial ground of human rights activists to carry forward their work for justice and peace through greening, school partnerships, and community events.” Click here for more information on Historic Fair Hill.
Our vision, at least to start, is that we would organize opportunities throughout the year for the school community to engage with Fair Hill in a variety of ways. We have identified two concrete projects for this spring and sketched out some ideas for next year.
Saturday, April 28, 3:00 – 5:00 pm at the Heiders’ house (
Family garden party with Historic Fair Hill to learn more about the community and HFH’s programs there.
Opportunities for involvement include:
- Come to the party!
- Invite your friends.
- Work on promotion.
- Help set up or clean up.
- Contribute refreshments.
Saturday, May 15, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at Fair Hill Burial Ground
Community work day, with a Philadelphia Quaker history tour and taco truck lunch. Kids encouraged.
Opportunities for involvement include:
- Work on promoting the event.
- Drive a carpool from school.
Thursday, March 15
Fifth Grade returns from Mexico
Friday, March 16
Fifth Grade only, no school
Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17
Fourth Grade Circus, 7:00 pm
Click here to reserve tickets
Monday, March 19
Grandparents and Special Friends Day Reservation Form due
Sixth Grade begins Countries Classes
Wednesday, March 21
Open Library, 3:15 – 4:15 pm
Thursday, March 22
Grandparents and Special Friends Day, 8:30 – 11:15 am
Thursday, March 22 – Monday, April 2
Spring Break, no school
Click here for more details on Vacation Care availability
Tuesday, April 3
In-Service Day, no school
Want more info on happenings at school?
Go to pmfs1780.org/calendar, where you can subscribe to the new PMFS Public Calendar.
NEW! ONLINE PMFS Directory and ONLINE Student Information Updates
Spring Break Vacation Care Enrollment
2017-18 At-a-Glance Calendar
2018-19 At-a-Glance Calendar
2017-18 Calendar of Events
2017-18 Virtual Red Folders (from the school year, in one place)
PMFS Facebook Page (Like us!)
Help PMFS While You Shop