The school’s Fall Festival is Saturday. This is one of the biggest fundraisers and best events of the school year – and it’s looking like we’ll finally get some nice, crisp fall weather. Swing by the Payne playground 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Chow down on Frito pies and other treats, buy a pumpkin and decorate it, climb on a fire truck, and meet mascots from the Nationals and D.C. Water. Kids can burn energy in the bounce house and get their faces painted. Bring your friends and neighbors.
Thanks to numerous sponsors, PTSA members already have raised $7,250 for the festival and hope to exceed the $8,000 fundraising goal on Saturday. We’re still looking for volunteer booth workers, bakers and chili makers.
The PTSA board met Tuesday and approved allocating more than $12,000 to fund resources for classrooms, including supplemental books for Kindergarten through fifth grade; science and art supplies; and resources for the deaf and hard of hearing classrooms. The board also approved $5,000 to support the school’s Robotics Team.
MEET THE TEACHER
When it comes to teaching, second grade is the sweet spot for Donita Hubbard, a native of Seat Pleasant, Md. This is her seventh year of teaching (her second at Payne), and despite a one-year detour to kindergarten at Nalle Elementary, second grade is where she wants to be.
Q. Why do you teach second grade?
A. Something about second graders. They’re old enough to self-regulate, but they are still young enough that what I think is super fun and cool, they consider it cool. Being able to talk about plants and extreme weather, and seeing their excitement. I have worked Kindergarten before, and that’s about teaching self-regulation and developing a little person. Second grade is not so much about that, as it is about content, which I prefer.
Q. Are you doing anything different this year?
A. Kind of doing the same thing, in just a bigger way. So, last year we did plants and did one field trip. This year we’re trying to do multiple field trips, so they can get many opportunities and experiences outside of the classroom.
Q. Where do you want to go on field trips that you didn’t go last year?
A. Last year we went to the Anacostia Watershed. This year we’re going to the watershed again. We’ve been to Glen Echo Theater already. We’re hoping to go to the National Arboretum for plants, and we’re going to start extreme weather, so I’m hoping to get a meteorologist to come in, and the Newseum could be good for that.
Q. There seems to be a lot more emphasis on field trips this year, across the school. What’s going on? Why is that?
A. It’s important to remember [children] learn through experiences. In the same way we do as adults, too, they kind of feel their way around in the real world. I can talk about planting a seed, but if I’m actually planting seeds, it makes a difference.
Q. What would you say to first grade and Kindergarten parents to get their kids ready for second grade?
A. If we could come into second grade being independent problem solvers, I think that would propel us. We spend a good deal of the beginning of the year talking about being a good classroom citizen. Most of them know how to do it, but [parents] can have that conversation [with their kids] in the summer. “Make sure you’re being kind and saying kind words and cleaning up after yourself.” I think that would be setting them up for success, behaviorally.
Q. Do you have anything unique hobbies you bring into the classroom?
A. So, I sing. But I don’t full-out belt a song to the kids. But I jokingly play around and sing stuff, and they love it and they’ll start singing randomly with me. I’m like [SINGING] Get your papers! and they’re like I’m gonna get my papers! It’s cute. It works.
JOIN US ON SLACK
Payne has a Slack group, and you’re invited. The app fosters collaboration and communication among Payne parents, staff and the community. Email Carolyn Bowen and she will add you to the group, PayneElementaryDC. Once in, you can join sub groups such as #grants and #greenspace, or connect one-on-one with PTSA board members and parents.
Tim Gordon, the Wildcat librarian, is looking for a volunteer once a week from 1:30-2:30 (any day except Wednesday) to help around the library. Contact Lexi Smith.
MORE IMPORTANT DATES
Saturday: Fall Festival, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Payne.
Oct. 16: PTSA meeting, 6 p.m. in the Auditorium. Principal Byrd will speak.
Oct. 18: Payne Dad’s Happy Hour, 6:30 p.m. at The Brig. Join the Dad’s Happy Hour email group.
Oct. 19: Payne Mom’s Happy Hour, 6 p.m., Ophelia’s Fish House.
Oct. 25-26: No school.
Nov. 8: Literacy Night at Payne.
Nov. 7-9: Scholastic Book Fair. Buy books while earning money for Payne. Interested in volunteering at the fair or helping to coordinate? Email Carolyn Bowen.