Read to Achieve with the Grizzlies!

rta-ip-web-240Starting next week, Peabody’s 3rd, 4th & 5th graders will get the chance to participate in the Grizzlies’ Read to Achieve program! Here’s the deal…

Each student must:

Every 3rd-5th grader who meets these requirements will get to go to the Memphis Grizzlies Read to Achieve Celebration at FedExForum on April 10, featuring Memphis Grizzlies players, team mascot Grizz, Grizz Girls and other special guests! As an added incentive, students who attend the Celebration will receive a free book to help build your personal library.

Your child will be coming home with a Read to Achieve bookmark on which they’ll need to record the names of the books they read. There’s also a place for you to initial, showing that you know they read the book. And, of course, they can take an Accelerated Reader test on their books, which will count toward their AR point goals!

So, come on, Peabody…let’s Read to Achieve!

*In order to count, a book should be at least 30 pages long, or on your child’s reading level, whichever is higher.

Peabody’s School-Based Decision-Making Council Wants Your Input

Voice-MegaphoneThe School-Based Decision-Making Council is a group of Peabody’s administrators, teachers, staff, parents and community members, who meet several times each school year to discuss issues of importance to our school and students. This year’s council members are: Melanie Nelson (principal), Christopher Jones (professional counselor), Sandra Hamer (PLC coach), Donna Wilkes (general office secretary), Audrey Farmer (teacher and MEA rep), Daniel Flatt (representative of school adopter), Mandy Grisham (parent), and Ginger Spickler (parent).

Mandy  and Ginger  want to represent the parent body well. If you have concerns that you would like the council to address, please submit them via the form below (which will generate an email directly to them). While they cannot guarantee that the SBDMC will be able to address every issue, they’ll do their best to route your concerns to the appropriate people who might be able to help. Anonymous comments cannot be accepted, but if your concern is of a sensitive nature, and you do not wish your name to be brought up in the SBDMC’s discussion, please indicate that in your message, and Mandy or Ginger will handle your concerns accordingly.

Wanted: AR Coaches!

tutoringInterested in helping Peabody students become better readers? Have a little time to offer now and then? Sounds like you’d make a perfect AR Coach!

What is AR? Accelerated Reader is an online reading improvement initiative funded by the Peabody PTA and supported by the Peabody faculty. Students read books, then take quizzes on them to assess comprehension, and earn points toward prizes and recognition! Lots more info about AR at Peabody is here.

AR Coach Role: Your main task will be to read with students and help them through the process of taking a quiz online (instructions on how to pull up quizzes will be available in each classroom). The teacher will pair you with the student(s) she needs you to work with that day.

Sign Up: Please click on our Volunteer Spot page to view all of the open volunteer times. You can sign up for as many spots as you like, whenever your schedule allows. Some of the windows of time are long, but please know you are not committing to staying for the entire block of time — this is just the window that the teacher could use your help. We would ask that you plan on staying for at least 20-30 minutes.

IMPORTANT: You must be a Level II or Level III approved volunteer before serving as an AR Coach. If you were Level II or Level III approved last school year (2012-13), then are this year as well. If you’re not sure, please call or visit the school office and ask them to check the volunteer list for your name. Info on the Volunteer Approval process is here.

Feedback: This is a bit of an experiment in mobilizing classroom volunteers at Peabody, so please feel free to email any comments or questions about how it’s going!


Interested in making a more regular commitment? Consider being a STAR Tutor.

Be a STAR at Peabody!


Have you always dreamed of being a star? Peabody’s STAR tutoring program will give you just the opportunity you’ve been waiting for!

Super Tutors Achieving Results (STARs) work with Peabody’s younger students (mostly 2nd & 3rd graders) who are struggling readers to put them on a path to success. We’re looking for Peabody parents and other community members who are willing to commit at least an hour every other week through the end of April. This level of commitment will allow you to form a bond with the students you’re paired with and really make progress with them. (Not ready for this much commitment? Be an AR Coach!)

Tutoring times are available throughout the school day and until 5:00 p.m. for students in the aftercare program. Volunteers do not need any special teaching experience — you’ll mostly just be providing extra one-on-one reading practice with your student — but a brief training session will be provided to acclimate you to the tutoring experience.

STAR Tutoring in the News: Click here to read more about the program in the LampLighter, Cooper-Young’s community newspaper.


Returning STAR Tutors: Please register here.

New STAR Tutors: If you were NOT a STAR tutor during 2012-13, please follow these instructions to be approved as a Level III volunteer through Shelby County Schools and sign up as a STAR tutor:

1. Come to the Peabody office to obtain a Fingerprint ID Form during the school day (8 am – 3 pm). Fill it out and have Principal Melanie Nelson or Optional Coordinator Deirdre Jones sign it.

2. Call the SCS board (416-7600) for a fingerprinting appointment, and take your driver’s license (or other government-issued photo ID) and social security number to your appointment with you.

3. After being fingerprinted, please fill out the STAR Tutoring online registration form. You will be contacted when your name has cleared the approval process and your students have been assigned.

Thank you!

Have other questions? Email Ginger Spickler, volunteer STAR coordinator.

Stand UP (University for Parents) at Peabody!

Starts Tuesday, September 17th, 2013!

gingerBy Ginger Spickler, Peabody parent

During the 2012-2013 school year, I had the good fortune to work with a brand new program in the Memphis area, called Stand UP (University for Parents). My role was to facilitate a discussion among a group of parents at local elementary schools about how they could best support their children in school. It was a tremendously rewarding experience, not only because I got to meet so many incredible parents who were willing to invest time in becoming the best parents they could be, but also because I learned so much myself!

The most shocking thing that we learned was that in the legacy Memphis City Schools, only about 5% of students are currently graduating college-ready. What is “college-ready”? That means that a student will be able to get into college and start college-level courses — not have to waste time and money on remedial classes covering material they should have learned in high school. Five-percent is a sobering statistic — it means that right now, the odds are not good that many of our Peabody Eagles will be ready for college or career by the time they graduate.

So how can we, as Peabody parents, make sure that not only our own children are going to be college-ready, but that every other Peabody student will be as well? The Stand UP course covers exactly that information in detail.

For example:

  • How to know if your child is on track academically

  • How to have an effective parent-teacher conference (and, yes, you should be having them even if you think everything is going fine!)

  • How to build character traits needed for success in school, like responsibility and self-control

  • How to understand what your child’s TCAP scores really mean for their college-readiness

Stand UP is a 10-week course (including the Intro Meeting on Sept. 10 and Graduation on Nov. 19) that will meet from 6:00-7:30 every Tuesday night at Peabody. Child care and class materials are both free.

As a parent, I know exactly how valuable your time is, and that you can’t take this kind of commitment lightly. However, just as our teachers participate in professional development every year to ensure that they are up to the task of educating our children, I believe that we need to be doing “parental development” so that we, as their first and primary teachers, are ready to support them in the most effective ways possible.


Please Note: We will have a special guest at Peabody’s Stand UP Intro Meeting on Sept. 10 — Jonah Edelman, the co-founder and CEO of Stand for Children. Stand for Children is a non-profit working to ensure that all children in our nation, regardless of their background, graduate from high school prepared for, and with access to, a college education. Mr. Edelman is the son of Marian Wright Edelman, a long-time activist for the rights of children and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund. Let’s show Mr. Edelman that Peabody is a place where parents are committed to the success of every child that walks through our doors!