Grout’s Light is Bright: V18

Happy Monday Grout Family,

We’ll say it again, we know this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. Studies show maintaining social connections improves our mental health. In that vein, please find this week’s edition of…

A weekly edition of your PTA + curated news to help keep us all connected during this COVID-19 pandemic, social justice uprising, wildfires, and distance learning. Seriously 2020? Seriously.

Next Week Has Been Exhausting!

I read this elsewhere and thought it was funny…someone already putting it out there before the week even begins!

But. This. Week. Is. Going. To. Be. Fine. 😊 If we keep saying it, it should come true, right? Yes!

Congratulations! It’s officially-officially the first day of school!

Just wanted to take a moment to wish you all good luck. Also, want to take a moment to thank all our teachers who have been working tirelessly to schedule and communicate, setting up Donors Choose projects—going above and beyond. We ALL THANK YOU!


Here’s a few pick-me ups as we all head into tomorrow.

  1. Kindergarten Caregivers: You can cry from the comfort of your own home instead of in the hallway at school.
  2. Morning Dash: Way less stressful in terms of at least getting out the door on time; or maybe that’s just me!
  3. Kids are far more resilient than given credit for. Hugs and smiles help a lot as does a little silliness (now if I could just remind myself to do that!).

Dutch Bros. Buck for Kids Day this Friday, September 18!

Second year in a row and we are grateful to announce this Friday, September 18, every drink sold at the Dutch Bros on Holgate and 26th will send $1 back to your Grout PTA! This year is a hard one with so many typical fundraisers cancelled so we’re hoping for a big day. Save the date and grab a drink. Help us promote on social media too—our Comms. Coord. Kathy Kershaw created some fab graphics posted on FB!

Telephone Tree

Let’s take this telephone tree concept and bring it to Grout. Let’s connect with one another, reach out to someone you may, or may not know and be the school that rallies together. I’ve created a simple form. Click Grout’s Telephone Tree Form to fill out—be sure to check the box that you approve your info being shared within our community, it will not be shared elsewhere. Also, if you have questions, interests or anything please do not hesitate to use the Comments section and we will get back to you. Sept. Update—Let’s do this! It’s still open and will export again this week to connect people.

Grout PTA Secures $5,000 Food Security Grant!

Grout PTA has received confirmation that our grant submitted in July, with only 14% of applicants receiving funding, has made the cut and is on track to secure an additional $5,000 for food security! We are set to partner with Grout School, Grout SUN, (possibly) Katari Park and Groceries for Grout sponsored by Kenilworth Presbyterian Church to disseminate funds and resources. The funding is made possible by TikTok, a short-form video app and PTA Proud National Sponsor. Sept. Update—it has been fabulous to partner with all the above groups and individuals. Our meetings have been productive and we’re currently problem solving some space challenges but confident we will be able to mitigate! Special shout out to our Grout SUN Coordinator, Chelsea Kimura, who works tirelessly behind the scenes on food for families. She is an absolute rock star and we are so lucky to have her at Grout. Big hugs!

Groceries for Grout Every Tuesday from 11:30 am – 1:00 PM

If you need a little extra grocery help now, they are continuing to provide items every Tuesday from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm at Kenilworth Presbyterian Church. Please bring shopping bags and egg cartons. For more information, please contact

Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in your PTA

September 14 at 5:00-6:00 PM PST

Register here for this interactive workshop. I plan to attend to learn how we can use the tools provided to make our Grout PTA more equitable.

Social Justice Uprising

Sharing a great podcast, “Introducing Nice White Parents” a fellow Grout parent sent me; always learning forever growing on this journey!

Grout Teachers Donors Choose Projects in Progress

Several of our Grout teachers have initiated Donors Choose projects, including Ms. Wendy, Online but Learning Together; Mrs. Crouser, Home Supplies Bring Us Together and Ms. Yao’s Color-to-go Kit for Budding Artists. If you can donate, links are provided. If you can’t, please consider supporting by promoting—copy link and share on FB, Instagram, Twitter or by emailing your contacts.


All Teachers Who Were Listed in Our Last Newsletter Have Since Been Fully Funded!

Celebratory thanks to all who helped Ms. Kirk, Hands-on Math and Basics are Essential; Ms. Williams, Art While Apart; Mrs. Hawksford, Diverse Books for Diverse Students; Ms. Karen, Diverse Books for Diverse Kids; Mrs. Crouser, Supplies for Home Learning and Digital Assessment for Distance Learning and Ms. Lindstrom, Student Supplies for Success! Attention TeachersKathy Kershaw is your new direct social media promotional contact. Please email her direct and copy me for newsletter promo.

Grout PTA Kindergartener Connect

Do you have an incoming KG student, or know of a family that has one? Your Grout PTA has created a KG Connect FB group to provide support to KG parents. To find it on FB, search: Grout Kindergarten Connect 20-21. Need some help? Please contact our KG Connect Chair, Jamie Lyle at or at (503) 819-3688.

Grout PTA Board Workshop

We were slated to meet last week but for various scheduling reasons had to postpone. We are reassessing dates for everyone to streamline organization efforts with 3 goals in mind—build relationships, be equity driven and strategically focused.

Grout PTA Parent Communications Platform–Konstella

Konstella is the platform we use to communicate announcements, post volunteer sign-ups and structure committees. It is also where parents can talk with one another in social groups and teachers can create classroom pages asking parents to join and connect. Did you know that this announcement can be translated in over 100 languages? Using your web browser, go to the bottom left-hand corner and click the arrow next to Select Language to choose your native language. Note, typically, we archive parent contacts to remove outgoing 5th grade families and enter all new incoming parents in August. Once we have information from the school, we’ll be able to complete necessary archival tasks.

Summer Thank You Announcements

Special shout out to Principal Denise for being our leader and Grout. We are so lucky to have a passionate, thoughtful and equity-driven leader at the helm. We can only imagine the craziness that has been trying to get this Fall off the ground and I just want to share my thanks for while all that was going on Principal Denise still made time to talk about PTA collaboration.

Welcome Katy Vawter, Assistant Principal

Just wanted welcome you again to Grout! I had the opportunity to virtually meet Katy during our Food Security call a few weeks ago and she’s awesome!


In Closing…

The news of the wildfires across our state this past week have been horrific. For those of you have been bearing this additional mental load this week, on top of everything else, and have been impacted or had family that has been—we’re thinking of you and yours with love. The smoke hangs in the air like ominous reminder of all that has been lost. If you’re looking for ways to help families in need, this is a good site that has information both about the wildfires and how you can help.


I had few people reach out wondering why this Konstella announcement had been silent recently which made me so happy – good to have a few readers (wink-wink)! I’ll share quick as this mama has to get to bed, but my dad was in the hospital. He was scheduled for an exam, but ended up learning his heart was only functioning at 30% and one hospital transfer and 4 bypass open-heart surgery later lent for me turning into a hot mess on the inside trying be okay for my mom on the outside. I knew all the hard data on success rates but when it’s your dad, or a parent, it’s just tough. That and working my butt off on this grad class; kids running around or bored; etc., etc., I had a to take a beat. Good news is he is home and recovering like a champ! I’m much better too. Thanks to the few that knew and shared their support—it meant a lot.


Moving fw – while I missed my intended Saturday drop; I will be shifting this news to every other week just as a heads up.


I’m still praying for us all as we head into this school year—financially, emotionally, politically, and medically. I still think if we are up and ready before our kids it’ll prepare us for a great day and if we adjust our mindset that this is going to work it’ll better for the kids. I don’t have any cute music links this time and I’m so over 2020 it isn’t even funny, but I still believe in the statement…


Let’s turn this pandemic year into the one that brought our Grout Community together like none other.

Parents—we’ve got this. Teachers—we’ve got this. Kids—we’ve got this.


All my love. Text/call me anytime with your questions, comments, or concerns at 602-703-5854.


Xoxo, Jules

Your Grout PTA President



Your Grout PTA

Grout’s Light is Bright: Volume 18

#GroutElementaryStrong #GroutsLightisBright

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