Clifford Students’ Masterpieces on Display Downtown!

Enjoy this vision of artwork — in the section dedicated to Clifford Elementary School — in the Children’s Room at Redwood City’s Main Library downtown.

Thanks to Art in Action volunteers and the art show coordinator for making things happen.


For more visuals of our kids’ beautiful artwork, start with this post promoting recent artwork at Peet’s in San Carlos (and look for internal links).


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Fall Fundraiser Wrap-Up: And Keep Shopping Online!

cool duck

Thank you to all the Clifford families who participated in the fundraiser.

The great news is that we are currently at $34,000 — getting closer to our $40,000 goal.

Mrs. Wilkerson’s class had the best participation, and Lauren Squire from Mrs Defouw’s 5th Grade class had the greatest number of sales. Orders and tangible prizes will be delivered on Friday, November 14th. Parents, please plan to walk in after school that day to pick up your child and help carry home all the goods!!

If you are available to help organize all the goods on Thursday, Nov. 13th or Friday November 14, please contact Julie Ulrich at or Susan Leathers at

More good news:

Clifford families can continue to shop online through the end of the year. So keep those shopping carts active! You will find beautiful wrapping paper, jewelry, tote bags, magazines, personalized products, photo books, and more.

See link below.

You will first be asked to enter your student’s name, and then you will land on the Clifford-specific page, and you can start shopping.

All your help directly supports the PTO in its quest to raise money for important programs at our school, such as P.E., Art-in Action, field trips, and science.

Thank you for your support.

Note: After clicking the button below, you shouldn’t have to enter any additional info beyond your student’s name, while shopping, but if you are prompted for the Clifford ID, it’s 3756228.



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Pumpkin Sale: Oct 24

Mark your calendars!

A fun pumpkin sale is happening outside the school office on Friday, October 24, 2014, after school.

Support your school and buy some pumpkins — all kinds of sizes!


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Clifford Students’ Artwork on Show at Peet’s

Clifford students’ new Art in Action masterpieces are adorning the walls at Peet’s Coffee (on Laurel St in San Carols) now!


Please stop by and enjoy the artwork while sipping a cup of your favorite drink!


The Art in Action program is still looking for parent volunteers to teach fun art projects — and for assistants in class — especially for 5th and 3rd grade students.

Please contact Kay at if you are interested in helping out.


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Upcoming PTO Meeting: October 16


We want you all to come to our October PTO meeting.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • When: Thursday, October 16, 2014
  • Time: 7PM
  • Where: Library
  • Kids welcome: Yes!
  • Light dinner served: Yes!

We will have a packed agenda, so come join us and learn about all the great things that are happening at our great school.

Click here for the Agenda (PDF).

If you haven’t already, sign up here for the PTO Newsletter (sent via email).

For last month’s minutes — to be approved at this meeting — view the PDF here. Scroll down until you find the heading Scheduled Meetings.

P.S. Do you like the image at the top of this post? You can buy this fabulous car magnet (available at the PTO meeting, October 16). Click here for the magnet’s specifications.

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Fri October 3rd is Movie Night: Frozen



Forget about Netflix or HBO on a weekend night! It’s time for Clifford Flicks!

Come on down to the Clifford campus on Friday night, October 3, 2014.

Thanks to some Clifford parents’ thoughtful planning, the Disney hit, Frozen (two Academy Awards!), will be playing, larger than life, in the MUB/gym!

  • 6PM to 8PM
  • $5 at-the-door (per family) donation encouraged
  • Food, drink & snacks available for purchase
  • Bring your blankies, pillows & other items to get cozy and enjoy the movie.

See you there.


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Clifford Frog Pond is a Certified Wildlife Habitat

The writing's on the wall: a photo of the official certificate in the Clifford School office

The writing’s on the wall: a photo of the official certificate in the Clifford School office

We are absolutely thrilled to report this exciting news — in case you haven’t heard by now!

Over a year after breaking ground, the Clifford School Watershed Sanctuary has officially been certified as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. The marshy area to the west of the Middle School lawn is better known to the Clifford community as the “Clifford Frog Pond,” home to a tiny native frog called Pseudacris sierrae, or the Pacific Chorus Frog.

Every year, the pond fills with tadpoles in the small amount of water — usually just a couple of inches — that accumulates during the rainy season, despite the severe drought hitting California right now.

This tiny native frog is called Pseudacris sierrae, or the Pacific Chorus Frog.

This tiny native frog is called Pseudacris sierrae, or the Pacific Chorus Frog.

Dreaming Things Up & Making Things Happen

Thanks to the vision of Gwen Minor, Middle School teacher at Clifford School, students, teachers, and parents worked together to revitalize the Clifford Frog Pond in the upper yard as a respected habitat and learning environment. This huge project started during the 2012-2013 school year. The non-native pampas grasses were removed in December 2012. Then, with some fundraising, community support, and lots of hard work, the landscape plan was executed in March and April 2013.

Kudos to Clifford’s Middle School students for a thorough clean-up job of the area — removing all the garbage that had piled up.

On the fundraising side, we received a $3,000 grant from the San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program.

Clifford students themselves raised close to a whopping $5,000 in a fun-filled fundraiser, complete with leap-frog contest and froggy green bake sale.

Habit Profile

The pond habitat includes a redwood observation deck, a stepping stone walkway, and a small footbridge. The redwood observation deck next to the pond provides students a sturdy footing from which they can witness “real life science” as nature unfolds.

The stepping stone walkway has 12 concrete steps engraved with messages from the donors who helped sponsor the bridge. It leads to a small wooden bridge that serves both to provide an additional viewing spot for spotting tadpoles and other wildlife. A short wooden and cable fence protects the area.

Areas certified as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation provide for five basic needs: water, food, cover, a setting to raise young wildlife, and freedom from chemical treatments, such as pesticides. Having a Wildlife Habitat directly on the campus not only provides Clifford students with the opportunity to experience the amphibian life cycle, but also teaches students the importance of ensuring healthy and safe environments for the animals and plants that surround us.

–Estelle Weyl

Here's how the Frog Pond looked after the first rain of the season (December)--before construction began.

Here’s how the Frog Pond looked after the first rain of the season (December)–before construction began.


It takes a village: We are immensely grateful to the following people who made the Frog Pond happen. We thank you for your generosity with your donations, your time volunteering, your energy, and for seeing things through.

Gwen Minor: The Frog Pond project champion! Your vision, passion, planning, getting students excited and involved — your evangelism.

Lorraine Akemann: Your incredible management of the entire project, from start to finish, including  your assistance with the removal of non-native pampas grasses from the area. This project could not have succeeded without your tireless efforts.

Jeff & Lisa Adasiewicz, Evolution Construction Inc: Your kindness with all your donated resources and huge amount of time “on the job,” including building the deck and installing the posts.

Sione Unga & Michelle Clark, Sione’s Concrete Construction: Your donation of all the poured concrete.

Rick Thall & family: Your valuable assistance in paying special attention to the environment and natural habitat, ensuring that the materials were frog-friendly, your planning and architectural expertise, your design for the redwood observation deck and surrounding landscape, along with the string wire fencing.

Lorraine Akemann & Lisa Adasiewicz, with help from Sione Unga, Michelle Clark, and family: These parents kindly organized a hand-print stepping stone fundraiser that drew family donors on a weekend.

Derek Overbey: For acting as technical liaison and for his assistance with the pampas grass removal.

Don Dias, RCSD Facilities, and Clifford Custodians: We appreciate your assistance along the way.

The Clifford School PTO supported this tremendous project every step of the way, and the PTO also paid for all the following: column bases for the fence and deck, cement, fence and deck hardware, lumber and related supplies for the observation deck, posts, labor costs for carpenters/crew and construction.

Lastly, thank you to a host of additional Clifford parents — not named here — who helped in all kinds of different ways: donating time, money, resources, expertise, writing & photography skills, and more.

Thank you.

Finally, for some wonderful photos, additional details about the phases of the project, and more, check out the blog, Clifford Frog Pond.



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Art in Action: Your Students are Ready for Action

New_AinA_logoThe Art in Action lesson sign-up sheet, 1st Grade through 5th Grade, for 2014-2015, is now available here!

Kindergarten parents, along with parents in Middle School, are also invited to volunteer!

Students LOVE art class! They ADORE Art in Action. Let’s make it happen!

For more information about how to volunteer in class, please contact Kay Rim at

Art in Action Coordinators: Contact information

Kay Rim (Volunteer coordinator):
Rachel Winmil (Art supply coordinator):
Sajana Sagar (Art show & Clay coordinator):

Thank you.

Delightful characters: 1st Grade students sculpted sea creatures using clay

Delightful characters: 1st Grade students sculpted sea creatures using clay


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Box Tops ‘R’ Us!

thClifford families:

Help us earn money for our school by collecting “box tops,” October 1st through October 24.

If you’re not familiar with box tops, these are special logos, found on the packaging for hundreds of products from your grocery store (e.g. cereal boxes, Ziploc boxes). You need to carefully cut out these box tops and send into school.

Watch out for expired box top dates (expiry dates are indicated on the packaging).

Classes will earn cool prizes for the most box tops collected.

Start collecting now.

Questions? Want to help? Contact Keisha


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Clifford School Garden: Fruits of our Harvest

How does your garden grow?!

Throughout the year, Clifford students plant various varieties of vegetables, flowers, and fruit.

2013-09-20 15.41.31Thanks to a number of parent volunteers, children visit the Clifford School Garden (located behind the K-2 row of classrooms) frequently. They learn about all about the planting & growing process–from planting the seeds to harvesting the goodies!

We offer garden sales at Clifford school regularly! Come back to this web site and/or keep an eye out on the campus for fliers about upcoming garden sales!

2013-09-20 15.14.41


For more information, contact: Chris Artea,


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