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Mantua PTA Programs

Mantua PTA Programs provides opportunities that enrich the lives of our students, families and faculty. We invite you to explore the list of programs and services below and hope you will find activities that interest you and your family! Please contact Dawn Keene, VP of Programs, if you have any questions or ideas. Contact Jen Ross, Volunteer Coordinator, at volunteering@mantuapta.org if you're inspired to help make these programs possible through volunteerism!


Academic Competitions not only encourage students to delve deeper into their favorite subjects, but they facilitate creative team-building activities that ultimately promote resourcefulness, self-confidence, problem solving and leadership. A September informational meeting regarding academic competitions is held in the fall for primarily parents and covers the following academic competitions: AMC-8, Destination Imagination, Future Problem Solvers, Lego League, Mantua Science Fair, Math Counts, National Geographic Bee, National Spelling Bee, Odyssey of the Mind, Science Olympiad and XSTEM 2019. Additional information (including web links) about each of these competitions can be found in our Academic Competitions Summary by clicking HERE. Please sign up HERE to indicate interest in being part of a team through September. Contact this year’s Academic Competition Coordinator, Vanessa Winter Hall, at mantuacompetitions@gmail.com if you have more questions.

The Alert News, published by Mantua PTA, is our school's weekly newsletter that provides information on the latest school and PTA-sponsored activities and events. If you aren't receiving your copy by email, please complete this form so we can add you to our distribution list. Past issues from our current year are found under "Links & Docs" on our home page. Issues from previous schoolyears, dating back to 2002, can be found HERE. A paper copy of the Alert News is sent home via the oldest child’s Tuesday Folder each week for families without email access. Contact Candy Ferrell, PTA volunteer, or Mergie Kakouris in Mantua ES's front office if you need to be added to the paper copy distribution list. PTA chairs and other parents involved in the facilitation of Mantua ES student activities may submit information to be included in the Alert News by using this completing this form. Please note: to allow Mantua ES Administration time to review and approve the newsletter before distribution, newsletter-specific submissions must be received by Friday at 6 p.m. to be included in the following Tuesday's issue.

Mantua PTA Basketball welcomes third through sixth grade students with a wide variety of skill levels and emphasizes teamwork, skill development and sportsmanship. The league, comprised of roughly 300 kids each year, is organized into four divisions: third and fourth grade boys, third and fourth grade girls, fifth and sixth grade boys and fifth and sixth grade girls. Typically, the divisions are broken down further to eight to ten teams, which meet twice a week for a weekday evening practice session and a weekend game--all held in Mantua ES’s gym. Registration opens in early September and updates will be shared with parents through the Alert News. Click HERE to register! Click HERE for more info or email the League Commissioner, Eric Fleming, at commissioner@mantuabasketball.org for more information.

Boy Scouts Troop 1533, chartered by Mantua PTA in September of 1967, follows the principles of a boy-run troop and operates by the patrol method and welcomes fifth through twelfth grade boys. We believe in an environment where scouts can learn and have fun at the same time. Email Bob Lockwood at locknload95@msn.com for more information or click HERE and then “Contact Our Troop” to join.

Chat'n'Chew, our lunchtime book club, welcomes students in the third through sixth grades and meets from December to March once a month. Four books chosen in consultation with the librarian and reading specialists are provided as part of the program. Parent volunteers guide groups of six to eight students through a series of four 45-minute monthly book discussions and activities related to the book. The registration fee is $35. If your child wishes to be placed in a book club group with one of their friends, please list the friend’s name when registering. Contact Kathy Phillips at chatnchew@mantuapta.org for more information. Click HERE to register.

The Community Building Network, a committee of ambassadors each representing his or her culture, helps parents/guardians of every culture become part of Mantua ES’s larger volunteer community and contribute to our school’s rich learning environment through annual events and ongoing services. Heritage Night, for example, celebrates Mantua ES’s cultural diversity and brings families together through food. Translators are another vital part of our outreach efforts. We want every Mantua ES family to feel included and connected—should families need to have a document translated into their native language, our volunteers are here to help! Email Lisa Libby at cbn@mantuapta.org for more information.

Cub Scout Pack 1533, chartered by the Mantua PTA, welcomes first through fifth grade boys. Pack 1533 offers many activities to help unplug boys from electronics and connect them with nature through events like hiking, camping and archery, among others. Pack 1533 is an all-encompassing group that provides outreach to children with special needs and takes pride in the multi-cultural nature of the pack. The family-centered program is ideal for any single-parent household. Email Dan Rene at DRene@levick.com for more information.

The Mantua PTA Student Directory is our printed school directory, which contains phone numbers, addresses and email addresses of many of Mantua ES's families as well as a school telephone directory and other important school information. Parents are asked to update their contact information with the school by October 15 if any changes have occurred. Participation is voluntary, though the majority of parents opt to include their family's information in the directory as it is a key resource for parents, students and faculty throughout the school year. Each PTA member receives one directory with membership. Additional directories may be purchased for $10 each through the PTA Membership and Support form.

Mantua ES's Drama Club provides a wonderful opportunity for third through sixth grade students to cultivate a love for the stage! We are thrilled to partner with DramaWorks for a fifth year as we continue to invest in the growth and development of our drama students! This year we will feature two full length shows again: a musical in the fall and a play in the spring. Students will be immersed in the production process, learning about each aspect of putting on a play. Students interested in acting will audition, rehearse and perform a full-length musical or play for family, friends and fellow students. Fifth and sixth grade students interested in working behind the scenes will work with a technical theater teacher to learn about building sets, designing costumes and making props. Tech students will also work backstage during the play itself, learning about lights, sound and house management. Click HERE for important information regarding our August info meeting. Connect online with fellow thespian-families on our Facebook group page HERE. Email Rebecca Kiessling at drama@mantuapta.org with any additional questions.

Mantua Enrichment, in partnership with Enrichment Matters, seeks to build upon our students' educational foundations by giving them opportunities to explore other areas of learning through a variety of classes offered twice a year each fall and spring. Classes, which are held before or after school and run for a 7 to 9 week session, focus on many areas of interest including art, music, STEM and sports! You can find up-to-date class descriptions and registration information HERE. Watch the Alert News and Tuesday Folders for future announcements. Please contact Mantua Enrichment Coordinators, Heather Hill and Tara Kelly, at enrichment@mantuapta.org with additional questions.

Mantua PTA's closed Facebook group allows parents to build a sense of community with each other online in endless ways by asking questions, sharing information, welcoming new friends, giving thanks and offering help. Click HERE to join our group and stay up to date on the latest at Mantua ES. Send a FB message to our administrator, Jennifer McRobbie at jenn_mcrobbie@hotmail.com for more information.

Mantua PTA hosts a series of Family Fun Nights each year. Admission to the family-oriented, Friday-night activities is generally free, though children must be accompanied by an adult. Past professionally moderated socials include Pokemon Night, Lego Night, Comic Book Night and Magician's Workshop. Other fun evenings on record include a Valentine's Day dance, ice skating and a kids book and toy sale. Email Julie Johnston at familyfunnights@mantuapta.org for more information.

Girl Scouts help girls discover the fun, friendship and power of girls together. Girls grow courageous and strong through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as field trips, sports skill-building clinics, community service projects, cultural exchanges and environmental stewardships. Girl Scouting helps girls develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision-making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills and cooperation with others. Girl Scouts are grouped by age: Daisies (kindergarteners and first graders), Brownies (second and third graders), and Juniors and Cadets (fourth and fifth graders). Email Karen Eldred at karen@endeavorwest.com for more information about Daisies. Email Tina Cariola at tinawojo@yahoo.com for more information about Brownies. Email Susanne Fitch at swunner@yahoo.com for more information about Juniors.

Learn a world language at Mantua through Global Plus! Mantua PTA offers extracurricular world language classes through FCPS's GLOBAL PLUS Language Program. The goal of the program is to offer high quality language classes focusing on communication to elementary students when they are at the optimal age for language acquisition. Mantua students are invited to enroll in one-hour language classes held before or after school in one 20-week session starting in October. We are offering Chinese for fourth through sixth graders, Spanish for first through third graders, and German for fourth through sixth graders. Keep an eye on the Alert News for more details! Click HERE for the Global Plus website. Email Susanne Fitch at globalplus@mantuapta.org for more information.

Mantua PTA's Hospitality Committee hosts numerous events each year, like our Welcome Back Breakfast for teachers and staff that kicks off the new school year and May's Teacher Appreciation Luncheon when we thank teachers for all of their hard work. The committee also supplies refreshments for PTA meetings. Food donations are always welcome! Email Tre Krupnik at hospitality@mantuapta.org for more information.

Join Kids Care Club and help others in your community! Starting the first Wednesday in October, the club meets after school to make blankets and care packages for needy children; make surprises for our teachers; make and hang signs for school events; host a year-end Food Drive; and organize the school’s “Lost and Found”. KCC meets the first Wednesday of each month from 4:05 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.; two parent volunteers will be required at each meeting and parents will periodically be asked to donate materials. Click HERE to sign up. Please email Denise Gavilan at kcc@mantuapta.org for more information.

Our Mantua Courtyard Garden volunteers are planting a colonial garden! Our goal is to work directly with fourth grade teachers and students on this project, which involves researching the plants grown, where the gardens were located, how they were constructed and the ways produce was used. Students will be involved in plant selection and seeding and eventually planting and maintaining the garden. We hope this will be an ongoing part of the fourth grade curriculum. If possible, we would like students from other grades to assist with soil testing and amending before the garden is planted and we are reaching out to bring all grade levels into this ever-expanding outdoor classroom. We are also hosting our first annual plant sale at the Spring Fling, where we will sell a variety of annual and perennial plants, many from our own pollinator garden. We will also be offering a selection of high quality seeds. All proceeds will be used to maintain and improve this great outdoor space for our students. Email Christine Clifford at houseverde@verizon.net or Kati Hesford at kati.hesford@gmail.com for more information about the Mantua Courtyard Garden. We are always looking for volunteers!

Mantua PTA's New Family Welcome Committee seeks to help new families settle into Mantua ES and the local area by distributing a helpful information packets and offering to match newcomers with “veteran” Mantua ES families who have children of similar ages and interests. The committee plans several "Meet & Greets" during the summer to give new students a chance to mingle and make new friends! Contact Heather Hill at welcome@mantuapta.org for more information.

Mantua PTA sponsors Parent Education Seminars, a series of talks covering a range of educational and parenting topics. Past speakers include child development authors and experts on relieving homework struggles and building resiliency. All Mantua staff and parents are invited to join us for our first seminar of the year, an 8-hour youth mental health first aid certification class. More details can be found HERE. If you have ideas for speakers or topics, or for more information, email Kathy Phillips at kathyphysics@hotmail.com for more information.

Mantua's new Photography Club invites students interested in photography to participate in a regularly occurring afterschool class to learn basics like composition and depth of field. Students will bring their newly acquired skills with them to photograph assigned school events and then contribute their work to the Mantua Yearbook. Please click HERE if you are interested in participating.

Mantua ES’s Raccoon Runners is a positive youth development program for third through sixth graders empowering them to be true to themselves through lessons in positive body image, health and nutrition and social awareness. Our Raccoon Runners, separated by boys and girls, are strengthened through various fitness activities while training for a 5K run. Raccoon Runners will participate in the Mantua Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning and the Mantua Raccoon Run in the spring. Click HERE to register for the girls' team. Click HERE to register for the boys' team. Email Amy Smith at raccoonrunners@mantuapta.org for more information.

The National PTA Reflections program is designed to enhance arts education by providing an opportunity for students to explore their artistic talents and receive positive recognition for their efforts. The program has six arts categories (dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography and visual arts) that students may choose to express their reflections on the 2017-18 theme, Within Reach! Click HERE for program FAQs. Contact Karen Cheng at reflections@mantuapta.org if you have questions about Reflections.

School Spirit Displays are a service Mantua PTA provides to the school to welcome visitors and highlight special events. Our team of volunteers provides potted plants and flowers, seasonal items and various other creative décor to lift our school spirit! Volunteers are always welcome! Email Tricia Murphy at tricia.f.murphy@gmail.com for more information.

Take Home Reading is a K-1 reading program that takes place on campus just outside each classroom. Volunteers work one-on-one with students (spending about about 5-10 minutes with each) to help foster an excitement about reading while improving skills. Appropriate reading-level books are provided at each station, and teachers note, in advance, each student's current level. Mantua ES's reading specialist, Ms. Grice, has compiled the following helpful documents for Take Home Reading volunteers: Welcome Take Home Reading Volunteers, Parent Volunteer Guidelines and Tips for Reading with Students during THR Time. If you have not heard from your classroom's Take Home Reading Coordinator, email Kristina Clarke at thr@mantuapta.org for more information.

The Mantua ES Talent Show provides an opportunity for students to showcase their various talents, from singing to dancing, and performing magic to demonstrating martial arts. All students will be accepted provided the act is under two minutes in length and does not have any objectionable content. Click HERE to submit an act! Email Althea Bryson at talentshow@mantuapta.org for more information.

The Mantua PTA Wish Fund, made possible by the generous support of Mantua ES families, community supporters, faculty and staff, is an internal grant-awarding program that seeks to fund projects of impact for our elementary school. Click HERE for more information.