2019 Read-A-Thon!

Our annual fundraiser, Read-A-Thon, started yesterday! The official reading days are from February 19-March 4. SES students received all of their information packets and bookmarks on February 19.

To make a pledge click here.

We have lots of amazing prizes for top fundraisers and top readers, plus TONS of exciting activities planned for the students. Here is the list:

  • Tuesday, February 19: Read-A-Thon kick-off
    Author and illustrator Vera Brosgol presented to students in grades 1-8, answered questions and signed their books.
  • Friday, February 22: Pajama Read-in Event
    Wear pajamas to school and spend recess reading in the auditorium. 
  • Monday, March 4: FINAL READING DAY, and the wildly popular dress like a book character day.

We’ll also have ongoing events and reading prizes throughout Read-A-Thon, including: House Cup, Got Caught Reading and Locker Library.

A very important reminder: We measure reading for this event in UNITS, NOT MINUTES.

  • Grades K-2: 10 minutes of reading = 1 unit
  • Grades 3-8: 20 minutes of reading = 1 unit

Please feel free to contact me with questions at

Let’s get reading! Cheers,
Leslie Lothamer

General Interest

Award winning author/illustrator, Vera Brosgol, to speak and sign books at READ-A-THON kickoff event!

Vera Brosgol is an Eisner Award and Harvey Award winning graphic novel illustrator. And she is coming to speak at our READ-A-THON kickoff event on February 19th.
She will be signing books at the end of her presentation. If your child would like to get one of her books and get it personally signed you can order below. All books ordered will be given to students who purchased on the day of the event. 



Leave Me Alone

(order below)

A 2017 Caldecott Honor Book that The New York Times calls “both classic and ultracontemporary,” Leave Me Alone! is an epic tale about one grandmother, a giant sack of yarn, and her ultimate quest to finish her knitting.

One day, a grandmother shouts, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” and leaves her tiny home and her very big family to journey to the moon and beyond to find peace and quiet to finish her knitting. Along the way, she encounters ravenous bears, obnoxious goats, and even hordes of aliens! But nothing stops grandma from accomplishing her goal―knitting sweaters for her many grandchildren to keep them warm and toasty for the coming winter.

Vera Brosgol’s slyly clever and unexpectedly funny modern folktale is certain to warm even the coldest of hearts.

A 2017 Caldecott Honor Book
A New York Times Notable Children’s Book
A National Public Radio Best Book of 2016
A Horn Book Best Book of 2016
A Huffington Post Best Picture Book of 2016

Be Prepared

(order below)

“Beautifully drawn, brutally funny, brilliantly honest. Vera is such a good cartoonist I almost can’t stand it.” ―Raina Telgemeier, author of Smile

In Be Prepared, all Vera wants to do is fit in―but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there’s one summer camp in her price range―Russian summer camp.

Vera is sure she’s found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the “cool girl” drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!

New York Times Book Reiview Notable Children’s Book of 2018
Boston Globe Best Children’s Book of 2018
Selected as the Best Graphic Novel of 2018 by Parents Magazine

Anya’s Ghost

(order below)

“Anya’s Ghost is a masterpiece, of YA literature and of comics.” ―Neil Gaiman

Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “forever” part . . . 
Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century. 
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend―even a ghost―is just what she needs. 
Or so she thinks. 
Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut graphic novel from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

This title has Common Core connections.

A 2011 Kirkus Best Teen Book of the Year 
School Library Journal Best Fiction Book of 2011
Horn Book Best Fiction Book of 2011
Winner of the 2012 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Young Adults


Any questions please email Leslie Lothamer at

To learn more about Vera Brosgol, please go to her website.

General Interest

Payment for Spring Musical Participants

If you are signed up for the musical, now it is time to pay so we can buy snacks and get this thing off the ground! 
Here is the online form to make the payment quickly and easily. If you’d rather pay by check or cash please bring it to the next rehearsal.

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Any questions please go to  Musical FAQ to see more info and if you don’t see what you are looking for there email Caitlin Quinn at


Saturday and Sunday, January 5-6: SES tree recycling

It is that time of year for the annual Sunnyside Environmental School (SES) Holiday/Christmas Tree Recycling Event with all monies raised benefiting the school’s Go FUND. The goal of Go FUND is to ensure that all students, regardless of financial resources, are able to fully participate in our curriculum-based overnight field trips. SES middle-schoolers earn community service credits by working on event logistics, our neighbors feel welcomed on the school grounds, and we provide a valuable service — including eastside tree pickup whether in the rain, hail, snow or sun.  

In the spirit of recycling and a ‘circular economy,’ a local resource, Honl Tree Care, turns the trees into mulch chips, helping keep the perimeter school gardens well tended.

We offer both drop-off and pickup options and encourage early reservations via email or online. For residents who bring their trees to the school, we will have complimentary coffee, tea and hot cocoa. Invite your neighbors and help us promote the benefit! 

Click here to print a flyer and click here for a Facebook event to share.

Event hours and dates:  Saturday Jan. 5 and Sunday Jan. 6 from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Drop-off service: Just bring your trees to Sunnyside Environmental School; 3421 SE Salmon St, Portland OR 97214 on event weekend; drop-off in the asphalt area just behind the school bldg. Follow signs onsite. Requested donation is $ 5.

Pick-up service:  Online or email reservation deadline is Thurs, 1/3/19 at 1pm. Available to eastside PDX residents with advance reservations. Requested donation is $ 10. You can make a reservation for tree pickup HERE.  Alternatively, you can email: and make sure to include requested day, name, full address, contact #, and any special instructions. We ask that residents leave trees on a porch or nearby area no later than 9:00am on pickup day.

We prefer donations be made via direct PayPal link at: Cash or checks made payable to SES PTSA are also acceptable.  

Key Contact persons:   Matt Pozos, and Jeff Skoke,

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After School

REGISTER NOW for SES spring musical: The Upstanders

Caitlin and Mo are back with an ALL-NEW, original (and relevant) musical for any and all students in grades K-5. (Grades 6-8 are able to help out in the crew). 


All rehearsals for the musical this year will be held on Wednesdays after school, from 3:15-5:15pm. The performances will take place Friday, March 8 at 6:30pm, and Saturday, March 9 at 3pm and 6:30pm

Please go to  Musical FAQ to see more info and if you don’t see what you are looking for there email Caitlin Quinn at

General Interest

As Fortnite blows up, parents need to up their game

Hello parents,

I am a counselor here at SES and realize how difficult it can be to raise a kid these days. I will be sharing articles from time to time and hope you find them helpful.

Today I’d like to share, As “Fortnite” Blows Up, Parents Need to Up Their Game. A new survey confirms what most parents already know: Kids are going crazy for “Fortnite.” Here are some practical tips to manage it.

~Ashley Bevan, SES counselor


Fall Musical ticket are on-sale NOW!

Come celebrate the holiday season with the Sunnyside Drama club!

Our newest original production is “Home for the Holi daydies”, a quirky murder mystery that’s part farce, part musical, and entirely entertaining. When the seven Decima sisters and their families – complete with wacky aunts, angsty teens, and feuding relatives – gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, it seems that a bit of family drama is all that’s on the menu. However, when the evening takes a murderous turn, the family is thrown into a whirlwind of accusations. Will they learn to slow down, think deeper, and resist jumping to conclusions? Or will their fears and prejudices push them to take drastic action?

There will be three shows:

  • Friday November 30th at 6:30 pm
  • Saturday December 1st at 3:00 pm
  • Saturday December 1st at 6:30 pm

This musical is appropriate for all ages. Tickets are just $5 and can be purchased at the door (if available) or online below.

Pick up your tickets at the ticket table right before the show!

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