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

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 

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.

African American history with Ms. Madden and her 2nd graders

This year Ms. Maggie Madden’s 2nd grade class has focused on African American history to engage with and confront some of the most significant issues in the world today: social and political inclusion and human and civil rights. They have learned about the challenges African Americans have faced and their long history of resistance and fighting against injustice. They have read about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad; about the influence of Frederick Douglass on the anti-slavery movement globally; about Rosa Parks, her training as an activist, and her stands against segregation; about Martin Luther King and his inspiring leadership for equality.


Their learning has been enriched by numerous trips they have taken to museums in Brooklyn and Manhattan to further explore the important contributions African Americans have made to the city’s development. Examining artifacts, art, and exhibits in the city’s museums has allowed them to more deeply grasp and grapple with the complex history of race relations and the experience of racism in the U.S.


On the steps of the American Museum of Natural History

Students learned about slavery and the Underground Railroad in New York City at the Brooklyn Historical Society, the New York Historical Society, and the African Burial Ground. At the New York Historical Society they learned about the civil rights movement in New York City. At the Museum of Modern Art, they learned about the migration of African Americans from the U.S. south to northern cities through the vivid paintings of Jacob Lawrence, whose parents migrated from the south to Harlem. For details on the the exhibit, which is open until September 7th, visit the MOMA’s website.

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Library of Brooklyn Historical Society                      Writing about MOMA’s Jacob Lawrence exhibit

Next week, Herbert Seignoret, Associate Director of the Seneca Village Project and parent of one of Madden’s students, will visit the class. Mr. Seignoret will lead a workshop about Seneca Village, an African American and Irish immigrant community that existed in an area of what is now Central Park. Students will examine historical documents like newspapers, deeds, letters, and census records to learn methods for historical and archaeological research.

Ms. Madden and her students have worked hard all year and have benefitted from connecting classroom learning with resources from the city’s important historical and cultural institutions. The students have developed critical insight into U.S. history and society through this curriculum.

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Learning about Brooklyn’s agricultural past at the Brooklyn Historical Society

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Museum of Modern Art–Jacob Lawrence Exhibit

Important upcoming dates

The Google calendar at the right side of the website is really helpful tool. It is kept up to date and you can synch it to your own calendar.

Here’s a list of some important upcoming dates–

This Thursday, June 4 is Chancellor’s Day. School is closed and teachers use this day for professional development.

Monday, June 8 is one of two School Leadership Team (SLT) meetings this month. The other is Monday, June 22.

Tuesday, June 9 and Monday, June 15 are half-days. There is no CAMBA on those days.

Tuesday, June 16 is the final Parents Association meeting for the year. There will be an election for executive board positions, so please come to vote.

Wednesday, June 17 is the final Family Fun Day for the year. Visit your child’s classroom between 8:25 and 9:00am to see what they have been learning.

Thursday, June 25 is last day of CAMBA

Friday, June 26 is the last day of school. It is a half day.