December News from the Health and Wellness Committee:

This month the focus is on Healthy Holiday Snacks – let’s try adding a few fun and healthy treats to our Prairie Holiday Parties.  

Classroom holiday parties are always a big hit, full of festive crafts, fun games and of course sweet treats.   With the ample opportunities children get this season to eat sugary things, let’s also remember to include some healthy treats.  The classroom parties provide a nice occasion to expose children to good tasting, fun yet healthy treats.  Adding nutritious treats to celebrations can help students develop positive attitudes toward healthy food that will carry into adulthood.  And better yet, research shows that kids actually choose the colorful fruit when offered the choice.

Let’s aim for a 50/50 ratio of healthy to sweet treats and keep it fun.  Some ideas include holiday colored fruit kabobs (green/red apples or grapes), fruit snowmen, use cookie cutters to make seasonal shapes with cheese, popcorn ball snowmen, apples with yogurt dip, granola/yogurt parfaits, pretzels, chips/salsa and trail mix.  Be creative, have fun and enjoy a healthy, happy holiday!





Snowball Project 2011

Ten+ years ago, Prairie Elementary students and parents launched the Snowball Project.  The objective of this project is to provide our students with an opportunity to share their blessings during the holiday season with families in need.  Every year moms-in-need fill out a gift request for each of their children under 16 years old.  (Over 3100 children received gifts through this program last year.)  The mom lists seven gifts (a combination of toys and clothing) that her child either needs or would enjoy.   We also want to recognize these moms during the holidays with a gift card to Target.  The amount suggested for the gift cards is $30 – although any amount will be accepted. 

This year Prairie is adopting 7 families.  (ONE FOR EACH GRADE LEVEL!)


  • 7 Moms = 7 $30.00 Target Gift Cards for the Moms
  • 21 children x 7  NEW gifts per child = 147 gifts in total
  • 7 family meal contributions of $30 per meal

Please discuss this project with your family and decide if you would like to participate.  Kindergarten or First grade students MUST have their permission form returned by Wednesday, Nov. 16 to participate.  (Form is NOT required for 2nd-6th grade students.)

  1. Discuss a price range with your child.  Let them know their spending limits.  Please be specific.
  2. During lunch on Thursday, Nov. 17 and Friday, Nov. 18, students – with their parent’s permission – will be able to choose an ornament with a child’s name and a gift.  Volunteers will guide children to their price range.
  3. Deliver your new, UNWRAPPED gift to your classroom on Mon., Nov. 28 or Tues., Nov. 29, with the ornament securely fastened to the gift.  (Operation Breakthrough encourages the mothers to wrap the gifts, in order to feel more a part of the holiday experience.)
  4. Please visit:  for more information.

Thank you for your generous participation!  Please contact Jamee Friedmann (432-6636) or Jen Benjamin (816-392-0099) if you have questions.

Snowball Project Information/Permission Form



Grandparents Day Help Needed!

We are looking for volunteers to help with Grandparents/Special Adults Day at Prairie on Nov. 7th.  Volunteers are needed to help with set-up, table decorations, check-in, and showing special adults to rooms.  The event will begin at 10:00am and end by 1:00pm, set-up will be at 9:30am.  If you are available to help for the whole event, or even a one-hour shift, please contact Jerri Dawn Pulido at or 913.485.5835.  Thank you in advance for volunteering to help.



Cultural Arts Update

The Cultural Arts committee of the Prairie PTA is pleased to announce Bobbi Sharbutt will be joining Mrs Sloan next week to continue the popular “Artist In Residence” program for this year.  Ms. Sharbutt is a retired SMSD art teacher and will be working with students in 1st-6th grade on clay projects all next week during their normal art classes.  The theme for this year’s Artist in Residence is Monet in Clay.

Programs like the Artist in Residence are funded by PTA through the Cultural Arts committee to bring hands on experiences and enrichment learning to our children.  The 1st grade recently had a program on Tepees from Ernie Miller and the 2nd graders had Owls visit their classroom.  Other upcoming Cultural Arts grants include:

November 15th – The Recycling Show (in coordination with HIP Club) – grades 2-6

December 9th – Chinese Acrobats – all grades

April 23rd – The Magic of Science – all grades

If you would like to know more information about the Cultural Arts committee or to inquire on serving for the 2012-2013 school year please contact Heather Rubesch at  As always your generous donations through support of our Prairie Pride 5K, Prairie Auction Night, etc. fund these unique opportunities for enrichment at our school.