Thurston PTO

Annual Events

  • For reimbursements please use the request for reimbursement form

    The Thurston PTO sponsors a number of fun events throughout the school year intended to strengthen our Thurston community.

    Back-to-School Kickoff - August 31

    The Back to School Kickoff is a celebration of the upcoming school year. On this evening, families are presented with Back to School packets which includes the long-awaited classroom placement. The kickoff provides students with the opportunity to meet their new teacher and classmates.

    Picture Day - September

    All students will have their pictures taken for the yearbook and class photo. There is no charge for students to take pictures. If you choose to order pictures however, there are a variety of packages available for purchase.

    OHMHA Fall Festival - September

    This neighborhood festival is organized by the Orchard Hills/Maplewood Homeowners Association (OHMHA). While not officially a Thurston event, many Thurston families participate in this celebration that takes place by the Thurston Nature Center (TNC) near the Orchard Hills Athletic Club (OHAC) Pool. This event hosts wildlife demonstrations and musical entertainment including performances by the Thurston school choirs. Activities, games and refreshments are available.

    Curriculum Night - September

    During this event parents will have an opportunity to learn about their child’s grade level curriculum, as well as classroom activities for the school year. Teachers will give a brief presentation, distribute educational resources, and answer questions. Parents will also sign up for the first parent-teacher conference of the school year.

    Heron Harvest Festival - October.

    The Heron Harvest Festival is an exciting night out for the grown-ups! Prepare to indulge yourself as Thurston is transformed into a venue providing an evening full of great food, exciting games, spirits and silent auctions. The funds raised from the festivities will go towards supporting the many clubs and programs at Thurston. Some items planned to be auctioned this year include bed and breakfast getaways, professional and college sporting tickets, one week stays at Orlando’s Liki Tiki Village (some including a 4-pack of park hopper tickets to any Disney World theme park), spa treatments, and dinner for two at local restaurants. It is sure to be a night to remember! Tickets will go on sale at the beginning of the school year.

    Halloween Parade - October .

    On Halloween, students are welcome to bring costumes to school and participate in an all-school parade. The costumes must be non-scary. No make-up is allowed, and the costume must be able to be worn over the child’s clothes. Parents are invited to line the route outside and take pictures. If families object to their children’s participation, there will be an alternate activity in the library.

    Fun Run Turkey Trot - November

    Fun Run One of the main school fundraisers of the year, the Turkey Trot Fun Run will combine two long-standing traditions at Thurston: the fun of the Turkey Trot and the fundraising of the Fun Run. Students will collect pledges for their run/walk through a one-mile course that traverses the Thurston school grounds and parts of the Thurston Nature Center and surrounding neighborhood. All students participate in the fun of the run, regardless of pledges received. There will also be incentives for participation given to individuals and classrooms. This event occurs during the school day and involves many parent volunteers. It's a great way to come together as a community and give thanks for all that we do for each other. Keep your eyes open for the Fun Run Kick Off at the end of October. Those interested in volunteering can contact Jamie Tomasello at She will help you find your place to give back.

    Science Fair

    Students display and present a science experiment/ project on a display board in their classroom during this evening event. While 3rd through 5th grade are required to participate, grades K through 2 are welcome to participate as well. This event is in conjunction with the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Expo, an expo of student demonstrations/ experiments to showcase their STEM expertise.

    Winter Carnival - February

    Thurston families enjoy an indoor carnival in the evening with activities, games and prizes. Classrooms throughout the school are converted into game/activity rooms, and students have the opportunity to play games and win prizes. Some of the fun activities include a balloon artist, a cake walk (where students can win a cake or baked treat), face painting, raffles and food for sale.

    New Book Sale

    The Scholastic Book Fair is traditionally held on the same night as the Carnival. Working together with our Media Specialist, we will transform our library into a lively bookstore. The prices are the same as you would pay at the store and a percentage of sales are used to purchase library books. The books we sell are handpicked by the school librarian for children up through 5th grade.

    NAAPID (National African American Parent Involvement Day) - February 12

    National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) is a national observance day designed to open up dialogue amongst teachers, parents, and students. The goal of NAAPID is to have a more conducive learning environment for African-American students from kindergarten through college. NAAPID is the brainchild of the late Mr. Joseph Dulin, an insightful Ann Arbor, Michigan principal, who decided to concretize his Million Man March pledge by encouraging parents to visibly demonstrate support of their children’s education on this day. At Thurston, we value the parent involvement made by all of our families. The goals of NAAPID are pertinent to every family, as the Thurston community is strong and filled with involvement, activism, and support.

    Talent Show - February

    Students are invited to audition and showcase their talents in this all-school event. Together with our music teacher, our principal Ms. Natasha York, selects featured acts for the show. There are several rehearsals the week of the performance, and acts are strictly held to two minutes. Performances typically take place during the school day. Parents are welcome to attend. In the past, students have danced, performed skits, magic tricks, jokes, played instruments, jumped rope, done gymnastics, and even demonstrated the Chinese yoyo.

    Spring Pictures - March

    A professional photographer comes to Thurston in the spring to take pictures of the students. Families will receive a photo proof but are under no obligation to purchase pictures

    Earth Week - April

    During this exciting week, many “green” activities will happen at Thurston! Each grade is assigned a special project to complete. Past projects include making a butterfly trail that moves through eight different habitats in our own backyard, studying the water quality of the Thurston Pond, collecting and identifying invertebrates in the Thurston Pond and then discussing how this reflects the health of the water, and identifying trees in the nature center and computing how much water each species absorbs in a year.

    International Night - May

    Thurston’s International Night is a school year favorite! It is a great celebration of the many countries, heritages and cultures at Thurston

    The program begins in the multi-purpose room (MPR) where everyone gathers to watch the eagerly anticipated performances from all over the world. During this time, students showcase their culture, and amazingly choreographed routines on stage. Performers take great pride in sharing their heritage and are often viewed as celebrities of the night.

    The next phase of the program includes a journey across the world, as families have the opportunity to visit classrooms, each representing a different country. Most rooms are filled with native artifacts, display boards, traditional music, and delicious foods to eat. Students receive “passports” which are stamped after they answer a question about each country. These passports are a great way to engage the children, and also make fantastic souvenirs. Wonderful aromas permeate the hallways with foods from all over the world, so do come hungry! This event is always completely FREE to attend.

    Volunteers do many things from making food that originates from their native country, setting up displays about their cultural heritage, to helping students perform dances, musical numbers, or other arts related to their native country. Everyone is welcome!

    Field Day - May

    Every spring we have a Field Day for the students during the school day. Field Day is a great opportunity for students to enjoy teamwork and fun outdoor games. All students participate in fun events such as, tug-of-war, slip-n-slide, soccer relay, water balloon toss, etc. Our physical education teacher plans and organizes the events.

    The Snow Cone Social and Used Book Sale - June

    Enjoy an evening outdoors where students can participate in a variety of games and activities, face painting, bubbles, hand-made snow cones, and a delicious assortment of food from locally owned businesses. The Snow Cone Social is a great time for parents to connect with other families and reflect on the school year. All games and activities are free; snow cones and other food are available for purchase.

    The Used Book Sale The used book sale is held on the same night as the Snow Cone Social. It fills the entire MPR with books of all genres, for all ages. Books are donated by Thurston families, as well as members of the community. Families and community members look forward to sifting through the plethora of reasonably priced books. Students are traditionally given a free book coupon and have the opportunity to select a book before the sale opens to the public.

    End of School Year Clap Out - June

    The last day of school is an exciting time for students and parents. Each year on the last day school, students are greeted by cheering families outside the building after half-day dismissal. Families and friends are encouraged to congratulate students and take pictures with classmates and teachers. Details on the last day dismissal procedures are given during the last weeks of school.

    Walk to School Days 2018/19

    walk to school Walk to School Days occur approximately once a month throughout the school year. Scheduled walk to school days are posted on the school calendar, and reminders are included in the weekly school newsletter. On these days we encourage as many students as possible to walk or bike to school (parents, too!). If you live outside the Thurston area but would still like to participate, you may drive to one of the neighborhood remote locations (four to choose from), and walk with your child(ren) from there. Your child will receive a small token or treat in the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) once he or she arrives at school.

    In October only, we recognize International Walk to School Day and Thurston hopes to have EVERY STUDENT walk or bike to school on this day. On this particular day, the parking lot and drop-off lanes are closed. We will have volunteers at the remote locations (four to choose from) where families who live outside the Thurston Neighborhood may drop off their children and provide a short walk to school.

    PTO Meeting Schedule

    PTO meets everyone 3rd Tuesday of the month or otherwise noted. Childcare will be provided for school age children, younger children are welcome to stay with their parents during the meeting. Dinner will be provided.

    Each year, PTO is able to provide funding for field trips, classroom supplies, an extended science curriculum, literacy resources, curriculum enhancements, and much more. This would not be possible without the contributions and support of our Thurston Community. The PTO is made up of a board of directors who play a pivotal role in the execution of the organization's mission.