There's Magic In Them Woods

By Amy & Nate Swisher, outdoor enthusiasts and Hannah parents

Fall and winter on the North Shore are exciting times to get outside and enjoy nature! Taking as little as 15-20 minutes a day to get outside for a quick walk as a family can help boost your immune system, soak up some natural vitamin D, improve mood and re-immerse your senses in the natural environment. Join up with one of the walking school buses on the way to Hannah in the morning, take a trip to the local beach or playground, or walk around Kelleher Pond. 

We are so lucky to live in such a gorgeous community - head on out and enjoy it! Here are some of our favorite go-to spots for longer local walks:

  • Red Rocks Conservation Area, Gloucester - Short easy hike with incredible ocean views. Fall foliage is sure to be spectacular on an afternoon hike right now! This could be a fast-paced hour round trip, or stroll and explore as you reach the summit, spending a few hours easily.  Be warned, the first section parallels 128 south for roughly a 1/4 mile and is less than tranquil, but as the trail breaks away it feels amazingly wild. Take exit 14, go under the highway and parking lot is immediately on left.

  • Endicott Park, Danvers - Two unique hiking trails wait for your discovery at Endicott Park. If you're not up for a hike, it's a super kid friendly place to let them run wild in the playground, visit the animals at the barn and pasture, fish in the pond, or explore the new Nature Center. Parking fee on weekends and holidays ($3 for nonresidents) and limited Nature Center hours on Wednesday and Saturday. But if the Rangers aren't busy they're always happy to let you in and show you around. Tell them Nate said to give you the VIP tour, snake handling and all. Restrooms and warm visitors center open every day of the year, 9 a.m. to sunset.

  • Long Hill, Beverly - Federal-style mansion surrounded by lush gardens with walking paths. A popular 1.2-mile main loop trail – great for families – passes through quintessentially New England woodlands dotted by vernal pools and imposing boulders. Free access to all. Dogs welcome.

Get Down at Hannah's Fall Festival

Whether you bus-stop or hustle or cabbage patch, krunk or salsa or swing, cha-cha slide or samba or step . . . there’s a place for you, out on the dance floor.

Celebrate the changing of the seasons by shaking your groove thing at The Fall Festival and Dance Party on October 19 from 6-8 p.m. in the Hannah Elementary Gymnasium.

This popular event will feature a scavenger hunt and other games, face painting, photo booth, baked goods for sale, and more. Our DJ will count down the top 5 favorite songs as voted on by Hannah students. Will your favorite song reign supreme? Join us to find out.

Children are encouraged to wear orange and black attire but please, no costumes.

We need volunteers! If you’re interested in helping out, please email Michelle Pouliot.

Healthy Eating From Farm to Lunchbox

By Abigail Sykes, MS, RDN, and Hannah mom

Fall in New England is an exciting time full of lots of local, fresh produce. Apples, pumpkin, winter squash, cranberries, brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, and kale are just a few of the things available right now.

Although many of the seasonal farmer’s markets are ending for the year, there are still several places to buy local food, including local farms and fall/winter farmers markets. Other sites, such as Farmers to You, allow you to purchase local food throughout the year. The MassGrown and Fresher! website has lots of information on local farms, farmers markets, seasonal crops, and agricultural activities.

So how do you pack a lunch that is fun, easy, and will help your child get the energy they need throughout the day? As a general guide when packing lunches, aim for at least 3 of the 5 food groups (fruit, vegetables, grains, protein, dairy) to help ensure you have a balanced meal. Eating a protein and/or fat with a carbohydrate, such as cheese stick and crackers or carrots and hummus, helps your child stay full and energized longer.

For more lunch ideas, check out Registered Dietitian Jill Castle’s Love your Lunchbox.

In Spring 2018, Hannah Elementary piloted a hands-on nutrition and health education program called Hooray for Health for 1st and 4th graders. This year, thanks to funding from the Beverly Education Grant Foundation and the Hannah PTO, we will expand the program to the entire school.

During this fun, interactive program students explore new foods, learn about body systems, and understand the connection between healthy foods and healthy bodies. Be on the lookout for special Hooray for Health related events for students, parents/caregivers, and families at different times throughout the year.

Hello, world!

This is the Hannah PTO blog. Here, we will post relevant material that promotes an event (i.e., “Mrs. Brown’s Recommended Playlist for the Fall Frolic,” “Britta and Ali’s Tips for Rocking the Walking Schoolbus”), ties into current events (i.e., holiday recipes from the kitchen staff, reports on School Committee developments), or is otherwise of interest to the Hannah community (English-as-a-second-language resources, “Mrs Howell’s favorite snacks at the new Whole Foods”).

Posts will feature tags so that users can sort by topic or grade.