Books + Art = STEAM

The past couple of weeks, the kids have been creating winter scenes to decorate the library. After being inspired by a winter story, Ms. Fry, our Library Media Assistant, has led each grade in a special art project such as “melting snowmen” and using bubble wrap to make snowy trees.

Tying art to literature encourages students to make text to world connections that boost reading comprehension and are a key component of literacy. As young students manipulate a paintbrush and scissors they improve the fine motor skills they need for writing and keyboarding. By counting pieces they are practicing the basics of math. As they experiment with art materials they are dabbling in science. Sharing community supplies fosters the development of social skills. By focusing on the art process rather than the finished product, I hope to encourage students to manage risk, try new things, accept failure, practice inventiveness, and become creative problem solvers. - Tammy Fry, LMA

Fifth Graders Build a Boat!

Project-Based Learning - Hands On, Minds On
by Tina Quan, fifth grade parent


Fifth graders finished up three weeks with the Wind and Oar Boat School School workshop on-site.  This program was made possible by a grant from the Wind and Oar Boat School and Genentech.  During the program, students rotated between three stations which involved basic boat geometry and blueprint plans, using hand saws and power tools (such as jigsaws and power screwdrivers) and applying mathematical concepts (fractions, units of measurement).  In addition to a full-scale rowboat, students made individual model boats as well.

The finished boat went back to the Wind and Oar Boat School shop to get painted. We can't wait to share the finished product with everyone!

From Wind & Oar Boat School:

Inspiring STEAM learners through hands-on education

Building a wooden boat  from scratch is an innovative and unique platform for exploring  the importance and power of  the acquisition of STEM  and STEAM skills.  Each step in building a wooden boat, from concept and design, to reviewing plans, reading plans, scaling up materials, fitting and shaping parts, mastering hand and power tools, is an opportunity to teach and reinforce the science, technology, engineering and math skills used in the process.

Science is essential, from the physics of hull design, boat weight and displacement, to the botany behind specific wood choices, to the chemistry of paint products, a knowledge of scientific inquiry and principles benefits the design, and function of a wooden boat.

Technology, it’s a broad term, but essential aspect of building a wooden boat, whether it is in the use of hand and power tools or the application of CAD programming to design hull shape, breaking down the essential components of any of these processes is to understand technology.

Engineering…applying the math and science tools to foresee the steps critical to the process of constructing a boat, engineering is building.

Math is essential, from basic measurement, to ratios, and geometric theorems, math assures accuracy and serves as a tool for designing both form and function.

And finally, Art is essential...the elements of design, function and aesthetics are woven together in the building of a wooden boat.  Art arises out of the mastery and application of skills.  Wood, in its essence, a thing of natural beauty, can be transformed in the hands of a master craftsman into a functional object of beauty

Raccoon Write-Off!

Our big fundraiser for the year has kicked off! Yes, the Raccoon Write-Off is back! This year, if every student donates $35, we will easily hit our goal of $20,000 - and Principal Pleau has agreed to let the kids have a Pajama Day if we beat last year's total! You can find more information below and can donate via the button on our website, by submitting a check with the included form, or by donating through your employer’s matching program. Employee matching programs are a great way to help us double our funds! Please let us know if you donate through your employer so that we can track your donation towards our goal. Thanks for all you do!

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Crayola ColorCycle Program

We are excited to announce that Ms. Kamalahasan (Kindergarten) is the Sato ambassador for Crayola's ColorCycle program. This program is a free initiative that recycles old/used markers! Teachers will be collecting old markers from their classrooms and parents can also bring in markers to be recycled! You can send the markers in with your child for him/her to place in their classroom container or you can bring them into the workroom collection bin. 

Thank you for your support with this new program at Sato to make us an eco-cool school - and community!! 

Curious and want to learn more?
Go here:


Raccoon Run!

Dear Sato Families,

First, we'd like to say THANK YOU for all your help this year. Our students have had the opportunity to do a lot of great things, and we enjoy working with you to help make that possible! We hope you are as excited as we are about our upcoming Raccoon Run on Friday, May 25th!

We anticipate that the Raccoon Run will eventually become our primary fundraiser - and hope it will be a way to raise all necessary funds in future years. We had a great start with our Write-Off last September, but unfortunately we did not hit our ultimate fundraising goal. There are still projects we would like to fund this year and we hope to increase our reimbursement funds for the teachers as well! The purpose of a spring fundraiser tied to our fun run is to provide a little boost to finish out this school year and give us a head start going into the next. We are gaining momentum and hope to start next year full STEAM ahead! Thank you all so much for participating in our fundraisers this year! The Write-Off, Dine Outs, Scrip Gift Cards, Bethany Taekwondo Martial Arts Program, Box Tops Drive, and Spirit Wear orders have made all of this possible! *

Ultimately, our goal is to truly make this a FUN run for the students! It is a great way to encourage fitness and outdoor activity as we enter the summer months and to foster a sense of togetherness as we wind down our inaugural year. We are lucky to have a found a great sponsor (Ananthan Ayyasamy from PDXPrime Realtors) who has donated Sato water bottles for all of our students! We can't wait to see those around school and our community this summer! So sign up for PledgeStar, collect pledges from friends and family, and run like you're a raccoon on Friday! (Just kidding! You don't have to run like a raccoon... maybe you can just run with them!)

Parents! Come cheer on your student while they are running! We'll have more info on sign in procedures soon - so check the Facebook page later this week. Make a sign, bring a noisemaker or pom-poms, or just come shout your child's name as they pass. Let's make this a fun family event! Don't forget to sign up for a volunteer shift as well! 

Run times are below:
8:45-9:30am - 3rd grade
9:30-10:15am - 4th grade
10:15-11:00am - 5th grade and EGC
12:45-1:30pm - 1st grade
1:30-2:15pm - Kindergarten
2:15-3:00pm - 2nd grade

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( * The and Scholastic Book Fairs were school run and SECO did not receive money from these fundraisers.)

A Letter From Our Secretary

Dear Sato Families:

What a journey this year has been! I just wanted to take some time to express my gratitude for everyone who has volunteered, helped us get the ball rolling, and offered advice this year as we worked to get our PTO (SECO) up and running! We - a group of women who had almost no idea what they were doing ;-) - have spent countless hours discussing, emailing, and organizing to start this non-profit from the ground up, and honestly, I’m pretty proud of what we were able to accomplish! We could not have done it without the help of so many people, so THANK YOU!

Now, with the end of the school year, the next phase for SECO begins! We’ve done the hard work to put everything in place, but it is now time for a few of us to move on. As such, we have a few positions available on the SECO Board for next year! I know what you’re thinking… “Oh no, that’s not for me” or “You guys seem to have it under control” or “I don’t have much time to help” or even “Doesn’t PTA stand for People To Avoid?” Ha! Hopefully not that last one! Let me say that, personally, joining the SECO Board was very far out of my comfort zone, but I have benefitted so much from putting myself out there and getting to know other parents, and especially the teachers, staff, and principal at Sato. It has made the transition to a new school easier and I’ve felt much more connected to the school during a time where I think most of the parents felt very disconnected. I was able to have a voice this year and could help guide the school toward the community we all want and hope will be strengthened in future years. Building our school community was a main goal for us this year, especially since our school is located so far away from where most of us live. In fact, our school community was so important to us that we decided to name ourselves SECO (Sato Elementary COMMUNITY Organization) instead of Sato PTO, which - let’s face it - is much more fun to say.

That said, building our community is something that requires all of us. I am hopeful that this fantastic group of parents at Sato will continue to answer the call for volunteers for events and programs. You really have made a difference this year! I am also hopeful that some of you will find the time and the desire to join us on the Board for next year. Trust me when I say the hard work is over. We’re in the groove now! We’ve worked to start Sato traditions this year and to streamline the fundraising, funding, and events processes for next year. So we kind of know what we’re doing now. ;-) However, we definitely need more parents to join our team! Talk to your friends and your neighbors and sign up for a board position together. Yes, you can do that! Not sure what position would be a good fit? Nominate yourself for Member-at-Large! Are you terrified of the Fundraising position? Trust me, that’s a team effort and we’ve got your back. By sharing the load, it is easier on all of us.

Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a working parent, please consider joining the SECO Board. It’s a great way to stay connected to your child’s school, make your voice heard, connect with other parents, and help build the community that YOU want to see at Sato. We hope to continue representing the diversity of our school community and welcome parents from all backgrounds. We’d LOVE to have you join us! Elections are Thursday, May 24th at 6:30pm in the Sato Library. See you there!

April Powers

SECO Secretary