Spring Cleaning?

While we are all anxiously awaiting Spring here in Chicago, the Owl Way would like to remind you about our annual Shoe Drive.

Every April, in honor of Earth Day, we do a shoe drive to benefit “Share Your Soles”. This non-profit organization collects gently used footwear for children and adults in the most impoverished areas of the world.

Collection will run from April 16th-25th, including at the Earth Fair.

Both adult and child size shoes, in good/clean condition, will be accepted. The best way to recycle is to reuse, so during your spring cleaning, hold on to shoes that can be donated.

Share Your Soles Drop Site

Forget about Cooking on Monday 3/12!

The Owl Way is at it again, helping others with an ALL day Eat-to-Benefit at Garbaldi’s.

Every March, The Owl Way extents a loving wing to support Pencils of Promise. Pencils of Promise, also known as PoP for short, is a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases educational opportunities in the developing world. They believe every child should have equal access to education with a goal of increasing literacy rates.

Last year we were able to raise enough money to educate eight students for a year. Let’s come together and help more children around the world have access to an education.

Stop by Garbaldi’s from 10am to 10 pm on Monday, March 12th and mention “Olive fundraiser”. Twenty percent of your purchase will go to Pencils of Promise. FYI – they deliver too!

Garibaldi March 2018 poster

Valentines for Veterans – Delivered

The Owl Way – would like to thank Mr. Jerry Leland a Marine Veteran & Olive dad for delivering all of the OMS Valentines to the Captain James Lovell VA hospital for our “Valentines for Veterans” project.

Mr. Leland drove through the very snowy conditions on Friday 2/9/18, so that hospitalized veterans would have the cards in time for Valentine’s Day. These colorful and thoughtful Valentine cards will provide these heroes with hope and healing.

Valentine's for Vets delivery

December Pop – Top Collection

The Owl Way wants to remind you to send in your pop tops December 1st through January 8th. This Pop-Top drive benefits the Ronald McDonald House.

What is the Ronald McDonald House? RMHC cares for families of children with complex medical needs by providing comfort, compassion, and a sense of community. RMHC keeps families of hospitalized children together in a “home away from home.”

Please place closed zip lock bags into The Owl Way Mailbox in the commons, which is next to the stage. Collect at Work, Home, community events, even pop top helps to keep families close.

It’s Time to “Warm the Nest” at OMS!

The Owl Way – “Warm the Nest” Coat Drive begins Wednesday, November 1st and ends Tuesday, November 27th.

Please send in child/adult coats & winter gear for our November “Warm the Nest” service project. New or clean gently used items such as coats, snow-pants, boots, mittens, gloves, hats will be accepted. Our partner, Journeys The Road Home and The Community Cares Closet in School District 59 has indicated this as their greatest need right now.

Items can be placed in the large box marked “The Owl Way – Coat Drive” located in the commons. Let’s show how much OMS cares about those in need in our community! Please email Christine Gilbert with any questions.

The Owl Way – October Happenings

This October, the Owl Way has many opportunities to promote kindness and helping others. The Owl Way Week will be October 17th-19th. Have your child wear their OMS spirit wear or Olive colors sometime during that week.

Children will receive a project called “What’s Your Big Idea?” This optional program gives flight to Owl Ideas on how to promote being kind and helping others. The “What’s Your Big Idea” banner will be hung outside the LMC. Plan on viewing the ideas outside the LMC during Open House.

Also this month, staff will teach formal letter writing skills benefiting Operation Gratitude. Completed letters will be shipped to Operations Gratitude and be included in care packages for deployed military.


The Owl Way Salutes Our Community Helpers

The Owl Way formerly known as Character Counts, kicks off September with a Salute to our Community Helpers. This program promotes good character and kindness at all grade levels. The Owl Way implements monthly service initiatives to promote good character traits such as being kind, responsible, honest, fair and helping others. On occasion, this PTA program partners with other clubs such as the Ecology Club and the 5th Grade Service Learning Club, to carry out monthly projects with the help of students, parents and staff. The Owl Way fosters a positive learning environment and breeds a culture of kindness. OMS has a strong tradition of raising global-minded students and is committed to fostering a passion for service learning in tomorrow’s leaders.

End-of-School Gently Used School Supply Drive

Give the gift of learning this summer to the under served in our community. Character Counts is partnering with SCARCE an award-winning environmental education non-profit. They are dedicated to creating sustainable communities and hands-on education programs. Your donations will go directly into the hands of economically struggling school children. Please note that this is a ONE DAY ONLY event. The “End-of-School Gently Used School Supply Drive” will take place on THURSDAY, JUNE 8th from 3:20 – 4:30 pm at Greens Park, near Basketball court. Parents must accompany child donating items to this drive. Collecting gently used: pencils, crayons, markers, notebooks, folders, scissors, paper, pens, glue, books, colored pencils and glue sticks.

Click here for more details.

Warm the Nest Helps in a BIG Way

The results are in for our Warm the Nest event….356 coats & winter wear items for kids and 34 adult items! Our 5th Grade Service Learning Club worked like a well oiled machine over lunch Wednesday to count, sort & bag these items – give these owls a pat on the back for a job well done! Our friends in District 59 (south Arlington Heights) were thrilled to stock their closet with the kids items due to very real & unmet needs within their district. Interventionists within the District will be getting these items in the hands of children in our community who need them immediately. Journeys was grateful for the adult wear they received today too! This month perfectly illustrates how many hands working together can show OMS cares in a big way & we can make a real difference in Arlington Heights!

A quick recap of the Character Counts work to date this year:

In August we raised enough money to create 1,200 meals for nokidhungry.org through our Ice Cream Social at Berry-Yo.

In September we saluted Military parents with huge cards signed by the entire school on the morning announcements. It was an incredibly exciting & moving experience for everyone!

In October we celebrated National Character Counts week with millions of kids around the world. The “Good Character, It’ll Take You Places” banner was created by our kids, hung outside the LMC & generated inspiring conversations. Staff taught formal letter writing skills that were used to participate in Operation Gratitude. Those letters of thanks were embellished by students in our CAP program & delivered to be included in care packages for deployed military.

Our Student Council is taking the lead on our Pop Top Collection to benefit the Ronald McDonald House this month. Send in your pop tops through January 6th.

Wishing you all a warm & joy filled winter break. Please know that the PTA is committed to working with Olive staff to ensure that character building service work is a significant piece of our kids education. Thanks for your support!

Rachael Hooker & Christine Gilbert
Character Counts Co-Chairs

Character Counts in December – Send in Your Pop Tops!

Send in your pop tops through January 6th. Our Student Council leaders are working hard to collect Pop-Tops to benefit the Ronald McDonald House all month long. Our 5th Grade Service Learning Club is wrapping up the Winter Wear Warm the Nest drive & is excited to report back soon! OMS students are working hard each month to show how much they care about our community!

Character Counts In January! Coins for Charity Waters

December Recap:

In the month of December we showed Responsibility through our Pop-Tops collection benefiting the Ronald McDonald House. Students viewed a personal testimony during their lunch hour describing the ways the Ronald McDonald House touched the lives of a family in our Olive community. The photo below shows the amazing results of this campaign! 

January’s Campaign: 

Do you know that 1 in 11 people on our planet do not have access to safe drinking water?  We will show we value Fairness by collecting coins throughout the month of January to benefit Charity Water.  charitywater.org  Students will learn more about the efforts of Charity Water & each classroom has a mason jar to collect coins throughout the month. We will watch the collection grow in a secure location in the main office.

Thank you so much for your support!

Rachael Hooker & Christine Gilbert
Character Counts Co-Chairs

Pop Tabs

Character Counts in November: We Are Caring

October Recap:

We celebrated National Character Counts week with millions of kids around the globe. The “What’s My Superpower” banner created by our kids, hung outside the LMC & generated lots of teachable moments & great conversations among kids. Staff also taught formal letter writing skills for our Operation Gratitude campaign in October. The letters will be embellished by our 5th Grade Service Learning Club & delivered for inclusion with the >150,000 care packages this organization sends to the troops each year.

November: Warm the Nest

This month we have partnered with JOURNEYS The Road Home which provides goods & services to suburban cook county families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. http://www.journeystheroadhome.org We will be collecting gently used adult & kids winter wear (coats, hats, gloves, boots) in support of this agency throughout the month. Students can deliver donations to the Character Counts Mailbox, located to the right of the stage. If the mailbox is full, please instruct students to place items next to the mailbox. We will be managing the donations as they come in & report back to you next month. We are excited to see what we might accomplish as a school community!

Also, if you have leftover candy from Halloween, please consider donating it for our troops overseas. Drop off sites at Beverly Lanes or Glueckert Funeral Home through November 8th. The Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights will pay to ship it in loving memory of LCPL James Bray Stack, USMC. KIA Afghanistan, November 10, 2010.

The feedback from students, staff & our parent community is so encouraging & keeps us really excited about this pilot program. Stay tuned, Pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House is coming in next!

Thanks for your support!

Rachael Hooker & Christine Gilbert
Character Counts Co-Chairs

Character Counts in October! Respect

Last month we saluted our Trustworthy first responders through card signing at recess & invited parent first responders to receive cards on morning announcements.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5mpb_8RP44

This month we show Respect through our participation in Operation Gratitude.  Teachers will provide formal letter writing instruction & our student letters will be included in the 150,000+ care packages this organization sends soldiers overseas each year.  operationgratitude.com

October 19th – 23rd is National Character Counts week. OMS will join millions of kids in dozens of countries to celebrate our shared values. Look for the “Good Character is Our Superpower” worksheet to come home in your child’s backpack later this week.  Please complete together and return by October 16th. You will see our kids strengths celebrated in the hallways at Olive’s Open House on October 22nd.

Character Counts Needs You!
We are looking for donations for several upcoming projects. Donations can be placed in the Character Counts mailbox to the right of the stage.

1)  Patriotic stickers & ribbon for Operation Gratitude.
2)  Valentines stickers, red/white/pink card-stock, heart stampers or other embellishments for our Valentines for Veteran’s program in February. Valentines will be delivered to the Veterans Hospital in Maywood.

3)  Remember to hold onto pop-tops, gently used winter gear & shoes for upcoming drives.

Thanks for your support during this exciting pilot program!

Rachael Hooker & Christine Gilbert

Character Counts Co-Chairs

Character Counts in September!

Our focus this month is on being Trustworthy. We will salute our Trustworthy first responders through outdoor signage along the fence and through card making during recess time. Cards will be presented to OMS first responder parents on the morning announcements.

Going the Extra Mile at Home:

1) Write a personal letter to a family member who is first responder. Tell them about what you are learning at school and how thankful you are for the work they do.
2) When you pull over for a siren, use the opportunity to talk about the importance of Trustworthy protectors in our community.
3) Echo ideas about the importance of being Trustworthy when navigating family conflicts.
4) Bake cookies or do something nice for a first responder you know in your neighborhood. Have your child write a note of thanks.

Cleaning out closets for your growing kids?

Character Counts needs your help! As part of our expanded pilot program, there are a few upcoming events to keep in mind. This November we will “Warm the Nest.” If you have gently used winter wear will be a great service opportunity for your kids! In April we will collect gently used shoes for impoverished people throughout the world by participating in Share Your Soles. Consider holding onto shoes your kids have outgrown & be a part of this event. Details will come as the events near, but we wanted to give a heads up. And please keep collecting aluminum can pop tops for our December collection benefiting Ronald McDonald House.

Character Counts is Calling all Parent Community First Responders!

Are you a firefighter, police officer, EMS worker or other community first responder? If so, Character Counts would like to talk with you. In September the students are celebrating our communities first responders. We are working to assemble these parents to receive thank you cards on the morning announcements October 2 at 9am. Please contact rachael.hooker@gmail.com to be involved & thank you for your service.

Character Counts Corner

We kicked off a full year of Character Counts initiatives by including an optional donation to nokidhungry.org at the Ice Cream Social. We are pleased to announce that we raised money to provide 1,700 meals to the 1 in 5 U.S. children who do not receive adequate food. This month we chose kindness! Each month we target one of the pillars of good character: kind, responsible, respectful, trustworthy, fair, caring and a good citizen. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting pilot program at OMS!