West Ridge Reflections

December 14, 2017

West Ridge Middle School


Adopt-a-Family Collection Day



Dear Parents,

I want to take this time to thank you, our students, our volunteers, and our staff for making the Adopt-A-Family program such a success this year. We were able to provide for 50 families in the Kealing and Crockett school communities and make their holidays a little brighter.

We have talked extensively this year about the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) for our students and the Adopt-A-Family program embraces many of those skills. The five competencies of SEL are: self-awareness; social awareness; responsible decision-making; self-management; and, relationship skills. The critical attributes and skills of those competencies include: empathy; perspective taking; appreciating diversity; teamwork; and, goal setting just to name a few.

In case your child hasn't come home and shared how this works on our campus, let me briefly describe the process for you. Once the families are identified, each advisory names two representatives for their class. The student reps lead the efforts with their advisory classes. They get together to plan the event and brainstorm how to engage their fellow students. Our teachers share stories of families in similar circumstances to the ones we serve and we help our students understand the impact of their giving. It truly becomes an amazing teaching and learning opportunity for us all!

We wouldn't have been able to do this without the contributions of Marti Stary who started this program at WRMS, Diane Dealy's coordination of absolutely everything, and Amy Lowrey, Leslie Beasley, Peggy McDonell, our Wildcat Booster Club chairs for this event. A big thank you to each of them!!

Thanks to each of you for donating to this worthy cause and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!




It is impossible to put a value on the generosity and kindness displayed over the last couple of weeks.  We cannot thank you enough for making this year's Adopt-a-Family Project successful beyond measure.


From November 28th through December 6th, your children...

  • Attended meetings
  • Planned and executed hot chocolate and bake sales EVERY DAY
  • Held car rallies
  • Teamed with their Wildcat Time classes to adopt & serve 52 families (240 people!)
  • Shopped for gifts and gift cards
  • Filled all of our Cafeteria tables (& then some!) with gifts for EVERY family
  • Raised $20K (WOW!!!!) to buy gift cards and essential items (food, toiletries...)
  • Displayed more empathy and love than you can imagine!!!


Last Wednesday was Collection Day.  Thanks to you and your Wildcats, children have towels for bathing, sheets to sleep on, and blankets to keep them warm at night.  Several families now have pots and pans to cook in, dishes to eat from, silverware to eat with...and food to eat. Children who wouldn't otherwise have toys to open Christmas morning will now unwrap Barbies, trucks, sketch pads, games, books and more.  One family has an electronic tablet to share. Another has a TV and DVD player to have family movie nights.  And the list goes on and on.


The Parent Support Specialists at the two schools we support couldn't express how totally overwhelmed and grateful the receiving families were at their campuses as they experienced the generosity and kindness of others who do not even know them or their families. Many burst into tears full of emotion, and several wrote notes that will be delivered next week. They are thankful beyond words.  What a gift it is to give!


This holiday season is surely to be a glorious one for these children and their parents.  And ours a little brighter by knowing we truly made a difference in so many lives.


THANK YOU -  and may you and yours have the happiest of holidays.



December is a busy month, including all of our Wildcat Club activities! 


8th Grade Career Day was another HUGE success!  Last Friday, with 41 presenters at 39 stations, filling both gyms, it was by far the BIGGEST career fair that we've ever had! THANK YOU to Wanda Molinary Knipp for organizing and implementing an amazing Career Day, ALL of our presenters for sharing their passions with our students, and ALL of our volunteers who made this event happen!  Take a look...


Next up? Our Holiday Cookie Exchange for teachers and staff on Wednesday, December 20.  In its 5th year, this fun holiday tradition is anticipated by all WRMS staff!  The Cookie Exchange team will put together beautiful cookie trays along with a gift, on behalf of all the WRMS families, as a token of our appreciation for all that our staff and teachers do.  Your help in donating cookies is GREATLY appreciated.  Click HERE to sign up to bring in some sweet treats!

It's a great day to be a Wildcat!
Aimee Cunningham & Suzanne Newhouse
WRMS Wildcat Club Co-Presidents

Don't Want to Miss a Thing This Year at WRMS?
Join the Wildcat Club on Facebook!





Image: Dan Siegel, author, Unlocking the Adolescent Brain


Book Studies will focus on "The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting" by Brene Brown PhD, LMSW and "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk" by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) focus highlights self-awareness and self-management. Educating teens about the mindfulness research and the benefits of mindfulness is a way to support teens in developing their own mindful practice. Building autonomy, competence, and connection with our kids develops self-reliant, competent and resilient adults.



Thursday - December 14, 2017
3:39 PM - 6:00 PM
Friday - December 15, 2017
All day
Monday - December 18, 2017
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
4:15 PM - 8:00 PM
5:15 PM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday - December 19, 2017
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday - December 20, 2017
All day
7:45 PM - 9:15 PM
Friday - December 22, 2017
All day

9201 Scenic Bluff Drive, Austin, Texas 78733


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