PS 321 has a full calendar of enriching events and activities throughout the year, which are powered by our parent volunteers. Read on for more information on each one, and learn how your family can not only attend, but also get involved.
Around the World in 80+ Minutes
Around The World in 80+ Minutes is the Equity & Inclusion Committee’s main event of the year. Families are invited to share and celebrate their culture(s) with the entire school. On this night, children pick up a passport on entry, mark their own origins on a map and set-off to experience a trip “around the world.” The first floor of the school is filled with a multitude of fun activities that are also informative of the cultures and ethnicities represented in our PS 321 community. Parent/family volunteers plan and run each individual activity. Previous year’s events included Indian henna tattoos, Japanese fan-making, Brazilian Capoeira , Australian dot painting, Guatemalan weaving, Iranian calligraphy, Nigerian mask making, Spanish flamenco and World Cup soccer as well as much much more!
This event has been on pause during the pandemic, we hope to be back in person in 2023! We need new co-chairs!
We have an annual arts party fundraiser every year – often in the spring but sometimes in the fall. In a typical year, this event takes place at a 321 parents’ home. This is a fun and intimate fundraiser for the PTA with art raffles, food, surprise performance and more!
Co-Chairs: Shani Ankori, Hillery Stone & SaSaDi Odunsi – we are looking for a new co-chair for 2022!
Our annual coat drive takes place each year the week following Thanksgiving recess. Families donate gently used coats and student and parent volunteers help to sort and deliver to local charities to help keep New York City families warmer through the winter months.
Event Chair: Bonnie Kerker – we need a new co-chair
Election Day Bake Sale
Spend Election Day with friends by volunteering for our Election Day Bake Sale. While school is closed, the polls at PS 321 are open from 6am through 9pm. We need helpers to sell baked goods and/or to bake something delicious for all the hungry voters.
Co-Chairs: Kay Kutzke Davis & Christy Ziegler
Family Arts Night
Bring the family to experience all that PS 321 offers to children in the arts. Sing, dance, paint, and create with your child/children in activities led by 321’s art teachers and Kid’s Club parent-volunteers. There’s something for ALL grade levels and ages.
We hosted a fall fest & crafts day outside in 2021 but hope to be back to our annual Family Arts Nights again in December 2022. We need co-chairs!
Family Math Night
Come play math games with your kids and meet our math leaders! These event is organized by our school teachers and staff.
Family Tech Day
Our first-ever school-wide technology event was in 2014 and has been a huge success ever since! Family Tech Day is full of fun STEM-focused workshops, demonstrations, and maker activities of all kinds, developed by PS 321 teachers, parents, and community partners. Family Tech Day takes place in the spring.
Co-Chairs: Melih Onvural & Par Trivedi
PS 321’s Food Drive has taken place annually for almost 2 decades. For a week in February families donate non-perishable food goods which students help to count (real life math skills!!), sort and then parent volunteers delivery to CHIPS our local food pantry on 4th Ave. 1 in 4 NYC children face food insecurity and that number has without question grown since the start of the pandemic, making this food drive as essential as ever.
Co-Chairs: Robert Swigert, Jessica Pallay, Janna Berke
Green & Healthy Committee
The PS 321 Green&Healthy Mission: Instill everlasting Green&Healthy values in our kids.
At PS 321, we dedicate the entire month of January to embracing Green & Healthy values, culminating with Green & Healthy Night, an evening of fun for the whole family. Green & Healthy night will get you and your kids moving, tasting delicious healthy foods from local restaurants and our very own students, and practicing ways to reduce, reuse and recycle with fun crafts and games. And don’t forget the obstacle course and dance party in the Gym!
Let yourself be inspired by G&H passion in the classroom and around the school. Use the spirit of the new year to eat well, be active and embrace the 3Rs – Reduce Reuse and Recycle – at school and at home. In 2019, we introduced the idea of a 4th R: Refuse. Because the biggest lever in reducing waste is not producing waste. Plastic bags, single serve portions, clamshell and cardboard packaging… refuse, if you can.
Our Green & Healthy committee is made up of parents & staff and meets on a monthly basis to discuss and plan green & healthy initiatives throughout the year as well as tend to Plantville, our school garden.
Co-Chairs: Christina Salvi & Nina Pearlman – We need a new co-chair!
Learning Friends are parents who spend one class period a week (45 minutes) to help a struggling student. Any parent can be a Learning Friend – it just requires a minimal amount of time and a willingness to work one-on-one with a student. Most Learning Friends help their students with reading, writing or math, or often a combination of the three. You may help your student focus on a specific classroom project, or just spend time reading together. Learning Friends work closely with their student’s classroom teacher who will offer ongoing support and guidance. There are breakfast gatherings twice a year where Learning Friends have the opportunity to ask questions and share information. To become a Learning Friend, or if you need more information contact Emma Kostura, the Learning Friends Parent Coordinator. With ongoing school budget cuts and reductions in intervention services, students can really use the extra help from volunteers right now – IT’S REWARDING FOR THE STUDENT AND FOR YOU!
Chair: Emma Kostura
Meet the Writers
Meet the Writers is a beloved program at PS321. For over twenty years, it has brought children’s authors and illustrators to meet with our students. Each grade meets with at least two authors/illustrators a year. The presentations take place in the lobby for a third to a half of the students in the grade. The author/illustrator also stays for lunch with the teachers from that grade.
We rely on parents to host these events. Hosting entails setting up the lobby, greeting and introducing the author and setting up the lunch. For parents who are unable to volunteer during school hours, we also need someone to bake dessert for the lunch.
Co-Chairs: Hanna Neier, Susannah Kohn, Kate Singh, Whitney Matheson
These grade-wide events are a 321 favorite! In a typical year, we host moveable feasts for 2 grades. Parents volunteer to host fellow grade parents for cocktails, dinner or dessert and groups move around to different homes for the evening. It is a great way to meet other parents in your child’s grade and have a delicious evening out!
We are looking for co-chairs for this committee
No Place For Hate Book Club & Author Events
In partnership with Community Bookstore, we are excited to offer PS 321 families thoughtful and stimulating books. The range of topics includes family, ethnicity/race, gender, and ability. You will be able to choose as many books as you like from our great selection of new releases at 20% off the cover price. The NPFH Book Club has provided recommended reading age levels for each book. Please also consider contributing to a scholarship to our teachers’ classrooms. This will encourage and promote diversity with our young readers.
Co-Chairs: Shawn Elgart & Sarah Sampson
Pandamonium is our online Poetry Journal featuring poems from all students in the school written during Poetry Month in the spring. Prior to the pandemic, this was a physical journal that was published in following spring a year after poems had been written. It was a wonderful book that was put together with much love, time and effort as well as cost over the course of the school year. During the spring of 2020, we shifted to an online version that we can publish in the spring just after poems are written. We’d love to have some version of a physical journal again if we have parent volunteers to help create it.
Your child will have their photo taken, and a portion of any purchased photographs comes back to the PS 321 PTA to help fund smaller class sizes, and programs such as art, dance, and chess.
Picture Day Co-Chairs: Letitia Hazell & Sara Lee – we need a new co-chair or two!
Friendraising in PS 321’s Backyard!
These fun events give 321 families the chance to come together and get to know each other at a relaxed picnic in the backyard of the school. We normally host our Welcome Back BBQ Potluck Picnic in September and our Brooklyn Night Potluck Picnic in June.
We are looking for co-chairs for 2022-2023!
A kid and neighborhood favorite, the Spring Carnival transforms our school into a magical wonderland complete with classic carnival games & prizes, bounce houses, local food & home-baked treats, face painting, creative & athletic experiences run by neighborhood pros, and an enormous second-hand book & game sale. We are always looking for new ideas to infuse into this incredibly popular event. Do you juggle, ride a unicycle, perform magic, own a restaurant? Let’s get you involved! Do you like planning large scale events, selling concessions, face painting or braiding hair? We have the job for you. This truly cannot be done without all of us. Click here to learn more about the Spring Carnival and join in the fun!
321 School Store
The PTA Store sells PS 321 merchandise on Family Fridays and at other special events. The Store raises money and enhances our community spirit. Parents help to design, order and sell all merchandise – we have everything from tees & buttons to hoodies & hats.
The PTA has also recently launched an online version of the store which you can find here
PS 321 Shop Co-Chairs: Katie Raynor & Lisa Koper – we need new co-chairs – graphic design & retail experience is a plus!
321 Holiday Shop
SUPPORT THE LOCAL AND CELEBRATE THE HANDMADE
PS 321 has hosted our Stuff Holiday Shop for a number of years. We host up to 100 vendors and usually have a kids craft room sponsored by local camps & art programs. For 2021, we scaled back our event to 60 vendors and still had a fantastic event – we were so happy to welcome makers and shoppers back into the school. This is a large fundraiser for our school. APPLY TO BE A VENDOR for our 2022 Holiday Shop today!
Co-chair: SaSaDi Odunsi – we need new co-chairs for 2022!
One of our annual fundraisers that helps families, teachers & classrooms. Order your school supplies in the spring and have them ready and waiting for you in the fall! Go to https://www.brightschoolkitz.com/ and enter PS 321 to look for the grade your child will be entering in the fall. A small portion of the sales of this fundraiser benefit the PS 321 PTA.
We also add a donation to help supply kits to a neighboring school in need.
We are looking for chairs for this committee for Fall 2023 orders.
School’s Out Summer Camp and After-School Directory
In a typical year, PS 321 PTA hosts a winter camp fair featuring 60+ camps from Brooklyn and beyond. This is a great opportunity for families to check out camps face to face whether you are looking for after school, day or sleep away camps, there are offerings for everyone. We have pivoted to an online directory the past two years but hope to be back in person again in January 2023! Check out the online directory HERE!
School’s Out Co-Chairs: Tara Nussbaum & Sheila Zachman, for more info email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring Gala & Auction
The Spring Gala & Auction is a night to celebrate as a community, and help raise funds that contribute to smaller class sizes and programs such as Chess & Dance. Traditionally held in May, this event is our largest fundraising event of the year. We need a large group of co-chairs to plan and execute the event and many volunteers to help along the way. If you are interested in party planning, have connections for auction items, are great at excel sheets, have a knack for graphics or just want to help decorate on the day, we could use you!
2022 Spring Gala Co-Chairs: Kim Dubon, Liz Stosich, Casey Cooper, Laura Kenney, Amy Tully, SaSaDi Odunsi – We need new co-chairs for 2023
Staff Appreciation Day
Every year, families come together to transform the gym for a spectacular, homemade lunch for our staff! Parents cook, donate, and serve food to our amazing PS 321 teachers, administrators and staff. It’s a fun day and way to say thanks!
We are looking for co-chairs for this event for spring 2023.
Used Book Sale
We shifted our annual book fair in 2019 to a used book sale and it has been a fantastic success! We ask families to donate books the week before and then we set up shop in the lobby for students to shop over the course of a week. This event allows children to shop for books at their reading level with their class, and parents may shop during parent teacher conferences. Parent volunteers help sort books and then help with sales over the course of the week.
Used Book Sale Co-Chairs: Megan McKeever, Katie Raynor & Sarah Sampson – we are looking for more co-chairs
So many more events…
Including Movie Nights, Parents’ Nights Out, Stoop Crawls, Grandparents Day, Kids Art Fundraisers, Staff Band & Neighborhood Classics Concerts, Fall Fest & More.
Our calendar is pretty packed with events throughout the year and we can’t make them happen without parents volunteers to help chair them, serve popcorn & cotton candy and help clean up and put away tables at the end. Please find a place that works for you to volunteer to help and be part of the 321 community!