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Grey Matters for May 30, 2016; Volume 4, Number 36

posted May 30, 2016, 10:50 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 24, 2016, 5:22 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

At this time last year, I came upon and shared an article that helped me clarify the origins and differences between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, and the focus of each day.  Both are important and share important features (most notably honoring those who serve), and yet still have distinct points of emphasis.  I thought I’d share the article again should some of you also find it helpful and informative.  Along with activities you might have pursued in the spirit of Memorial Day, I hope you and your family also had a chance to decompress a bit, and perhaps enjoyed a slightly less hectic schedule.  Along with finally weeding the backyard and some other house-related tasks (that included but was not limited to four trips to Home Depot), I did have a chance to read a few interesting articles including this one in the Washington Post.  Part of a series called The Screen Age, this particular article takes you inside a current research study that is trying to unpack some of the ways current teenagers’ “digital and daily lives intersect.”  It should be noted (and was prominently done so in the article) that this particular study is heavily funded by companies that have a financial interest in how best to reach this generation (now known as iGen or Gen-Z) from a commercial marketing standpoint.  Commercial interests notwithstanding, what’s explored is still a worthwhile look into this particular topic for parents and curious (or bewildered) bystanders. I also came upon some clever phrases like “tech-laden world” and “generational pivot” that I might borrow in the future.  If you read and enjoy this article, you might want to read some of the other articles that are part of this series, though be forewarned that the Washington Post only lets you read 5 free articles a month!  

Many families consider Memorial Day weekend to be unofficial start of summer and often kick things off with a barbecue of some kind, and reconnect with families and friends.  Knowing this, last week’s edition of Poetry Friday was delivered by Ms. Carter (8 Red Social Studies), and she read Roy Blount Jr.’s (of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me fame) light and fun poem, “Song to Barbecue Sauce.”  Click here to read the poem.  

We are getting very excited about the upcoming Empty Bowls event of Thursday June 2nd from 5:30 to 7:00pm.  7th grade students made hand-crafted ceramic bowls in their art classes and families that participate will get to take home a hand-crafted bowl as a reminder of the vast number of hungry families around the world and right here in our own community. The money raised from this event will be donated to the Acton Community Supper and Acton Food Pantry. This organization helps to feed many hungry families in the greater Acton area. Last year this event helped to raise $1000 for the charity. As another treat, the Select Choir will perform throughout the evening in our outdoor courtyard. This event is also an opportunity for 7th grade students to display other artistic works in a non-competitive, communal environment.

This week we are entering the month of June.  I wanted to provide everyone a quick summary of some important end-of-year school-wide dates and events.  Please note that there may be team-specific activities that are not included in the list below.  

Friday, June 10

7th Grade Dance

Friday, June 17

8th Grade Dance & Celebration

Monday, June 20

Variety Show, Team Activity & Yearbook Signing

Tuesday, June 21

School Field Trips - 7th Grade to Kimball Farm, 8th Grade to Canobie Lake

Wednesday, June 22

Last Day of School - Dismissal at 10:40am; Closing Assembly (Students and Staff Only)

Finally, at the end of every school year, we send off our 8th grade students and wish them well as most of them make their way down the street to the high school, while others join private schools, enroll in Minuteman Tech, or are moving out of Acton or Boxborough.  This year, we are also preparing to bid farewell to three retiring members of the RJ Grey staff, as they also begin new chapters of their lives.  Kerry Byrne (Special Education), Robin Crown (Spanish), and Jean MacDonald (Digital Literacy) are completing distinguished careers as educators.  Celebrating the retirements of our colleagues is always bittersweet; we are happy they’re in a position to pursue other interests, and we’ll also miss them deeply.  If you and/or your children have some fond memories of working with any of these teachers and staff members, I would encourage you to drop them a quick note and join us in thanking them for their years of service to RJ Grey and all of its students.  

High school graduation is this Friday, June 3.  For those RJ Grey families who also have graduating seniors, a big congratulations to your graduate and to you as well.  Enjoy the moment!

Have a great week, everyone.