Literacy Coach Lizzie Hetzer has asked the Parent Association to help raise money to purchase books for our youngest students to take home for the summer so they don’t lose the skills they worked so hard to develop during the school year. Please pitch in, and tell your friends and family! Our goal is to raise $3,300 – enough for one full grade, 6 books per child. (Two grades have already been funded!) Just click here

PS 139 teachers at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s institute for the Teaching of Reading

Teachers build and strengthen their knowledge and skills in professional development over the summer in programs like Teachers College Reading institute. The Reading Institute is designed for educators, classroom teachers, school administrators, and curriculum specialists who are committed to turning classrooms into richly literate reading and writing workshops.

During this five-day institute, small and large group sections tackle, headfirst, the following topics and much more: the central role of curriculum development and planning in the teaching of reading, units of study in reading workshop, comprehension strategy instruction, the importance of assessment-based instruction, the role of the read-aloud book, methods of holding our students accountable for doing their best work, helping students grow ideas about literature, and classroom structures that support inquiry and collaboration.

The Reading and Writing Project will offer a day long institute at Teachers College for parents on October 14th. Details on how to sign up will be available at the beginning of the school year.
Jessica Conter, Josephine Sinagra, Renee Garitta, Zach Mack, Joanna Lau. Not pictured: Lauren Schirripa
photo (1)
Timeline made by some of PS 139’s own–focusing on learning about WWI through historical fiction
photo (2)
Photo of one participant’s diligent notes


PS 139 Pride

PS 139 alum, Alice Stern, sent us this photo of a license plate she spotted in Augusta, Maine. Does anyone know an alum or former teacher or staff member living in Maine?

ps139 Maine


Summer reading

This year at P.S. 139 has truly been the “year of the book,” with an investment of almost $100,000 in our classroom libraries! Our kindergarteners got to know “star books” like Corduroy and The Three Billy Goats Gruff by heart. First graders read along in unison as their teachers held Joy Cowley’s entertaining Mrs. Wishy Washy big books in their laps. Second graders got to know characters like James Howe’s Pinky and Rex like friends, while Cam Jansen and Capital Mysteries turned our third graders into detectives. Historical fiction transported our fourth graders to another place and time, and R.J. Palacio’s Wonder deepened our fifth graders’ understandings of difference and empathy. And, with the support of the Parents Association, we purchased beautiful baskets for our classroom libraries to make our collections even more welcoming.


Our last triumph during this “year of the book” is perhaps the most special. P.S. 139 and the Parents Association have provided books for all students in grades 2 and 3, as well as readers reading below level in grade 4 to bring home over the summer–for free!


Taking kids “book shopping” to choose their summer reading was amazing. Some students were literally jumping up and down, while others were hugging. One said “There are so many good books–I don’t know what to choose.” A second grade boy said, “My mom will be so glad you chose me. This is a great honor.” While walking back to a classroom, a third grader asked, “Are we doing this next year, too?”


Students also knew the reason behind summer reading because their teachers had shared a consistent lesson with them in class. It was beautiful to hear children say things like- it’s important because it keeps your brain strong. And: you should read because it makes you smarter. While these may seem like simple statements, these words show that children understand that intelligence is not fixed– that we aren’t smart or not smart– that we can work to get smarter and smarter.


It is so important for students to continue reading over the summer–whether they are reading on their own or being read to by an older friend or family member. If children don’t read over the summer, they can actually experience what we call the “Summer Slide”—a drop in reading achievement. Over a period of several summers, summer reading slide can add up to years of lost progress.


The good news is that you can prevent summer reading slide–and it’s simple! Students who read six books over the summer are less likely to experience a drop in their reading. So please make sure that your child reads over the summer.


Happy Reading!

Lizzie Hetzer, Literacy Coach & the Summer Reading Team


A special thanks to:

-PA members Liz, Susanna, Alexandra, Julie, who organized logistics and campaigned for additional funding!

-Teachers Zach Mack and Josephine Sinagra for helping to organize books.

-Our principal Mary McDonald who provided money for books.

-Teachers Alyna Jacobs and Elena Megalos who helped to take small groups of children to shop for books in room 117- and Alyna for driving out to Long Island to do some shopping!

-Our school aide, Rosa, for helping organize materials.

-Our custodial staff who helped us transport the books.


Fall supply lists

If you want to get a jumpstart this summer and gather school supplies for your child(ren), here are PDFs of supply lists for students going into:

4th grade 

Ms. Sinagra’s 4th grade class

5th grade

3rd grade classes:

Ms. Becker–3/404

Ms. Salzman–3/401

Ms. Regensburger&Ms. Lynch–3/405

2nd grade classes:

Ms. Schiripa & Ms. Wojtas–2/303

Ms. Richards–2/306

More information will be available as teachers provide their supply lists over the course of the summer.

Summer Opportunities for Elementary School Students

NYC Summer Quest: NYC Summer Quest is back for its fourth year, providing a five-week, full-day summer learning program that offers elementary and middle school students fun, hands-on enrichment experiences while strengthening their academic skills and preventing  summer learning loss. For more information, visit NYC Summer Quest.

The DOE has a site listing summer opportunities. For more programs and information, click here.



Summer Meals Program at PS 139

The annual Summer Meals Program will launch on June 27, providing free, healthy breakfast and lunch at hundreds of public schools, pools, parks, New York City Housing Authority complexes, libraries, and other locations around the City. Summer Meals are available to all children 18 and younger—regardless of New York City residency—and no registration, documentation, or ID is required. Download the program’s multilingual flyer. Also, download the free SchoolFood App (for both Apple & Android), an easy way for families to locate Summer Meals. Families can also find locations by visiting, texting “NYCMEALS” to 877-877, or via 311.




Multilingual flyer PDF

2nd and 4th grade Reading/Writing Buddies

Ms. Willeford and Ms. W’s second graders have been buddying up with Ms. Sinagra’s fourth graders for reading and writing. Their classes have been working together to build fluency and expression in reading, and planning and organization in writing. The fourth graders prepared exciting read alouds for the second graders, and the second graders published chapter books with their fourth grade buddies.


Steven listens in as Astrid tries out new strategies for solving tricky words.



Diego teaches Hassan how to include expert words and definitions in his informational writing.



Caliph teaches Raneil how to add labels to his pictures and include diagrams in his chapter book.



Giovanni and Sanjiv read together in fluent and expressive voices.

Supply Closet for Teachers

The P.S. 139 Parents Association and all the teacher volunteers are proud to announce the official opening of the P.S. 139 Teacher Supply Closet!

The Parents Association has designated funds this year to order a number of supplies for classrooms and will help provide funds for the closet every year.

A special thanks to parent, Richard Crawford and the Parents Association for granting this proposal and funding the closet!  It is one of many signs that our fantastic parent community stands in support of the wonderful teachers at P.S. 139!



Teachers unpacking many new supplies and stocking the supply closet


supply yay

At the ribbon cutting–PS 139 Teachers, Principal Mary McDonald, and parent Richard Crawford and future PS 139 student!


School Meals Application

The online School Meals Application will open for the 2015–16 school year on July 1. Families can apply online over the summer, so that they will not need to submit a paper application or form in September. In addition to reducing the number of paper applications or forms, this will also allow the NYCDOE to process applications earlier and enables eligible students to receive their free or reduced price meal benefits as soon as possible. You can download the application form here.