Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Great Falls Read-A-Thon

Dear Great Falls Families,

Get ready to unleash the power of imagination and open the door to exciting adventures! This February, Great Falls Elementary will host a magical Read-A-Thon, where students will embark on a thrilling journey through the land of books. But this epic quest isn't just about conquering pages; it's about fueling a love of learning, enriching young minds, and creating unforgettable memories!

Why Read-A-Thon?

The Read-A-Thon is much more than just a fundraiser. It's a celebration of literacy that will directly benefit our amazing students at Great Falls Elementary. The donations we raise will allow us to:

  • Plan epic end-of-year celebrations: Imagine field days with giant inflatables and fun adventures! The possibilities are endless, and your support will make these dreams a reality.

  • Expand field experiences: From exploring museums and aquariums to visiting local farms, the Read-A-Thon will unlock incredible future field trips that spark curiosity and bring classrooms to life.

  • Go beyond the classroom walls: We believe learning extends far beyond the four walls of a classroom. Through the Read-A-Thon, we can fund guest speakers, author visits, innovative workshops, and much more, bringing the world into our school and igniting a passion for lifelong learning.

How You Can Join the Quest:

Every child at Great Falls is invited to become a Reading Champion! Here's how you can support their journey:

  • Encourage your child to set a reading goal: Whether it's conquering a chapter a day or exploring a favorite genre, help your child set a reading goal that excites them.

  • Gather pledges: Ask friends, family, and neighbors to donate. Let your child track their progress and celebrate their achievements along the way!

  • Spread the word: Share the excitement of the Read-A-Thon with everyone you know! Post on social media, talk to your neighbors and let's make this adventure a community effort.

The Great Falls Read-A-Thon is more than just a fundraiser; it's an investment in our children's future. With your support, we can open doors to a world of wonder, ignite imaginations, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Let's turn the pages together and embark on an epic adventure!

Look for your child’s Read A Thon packet coming home soon, and get started now by registering here: 

Happy reading!

Monday, January 8, 2024

January Update

Dear Great Falls Families,

May this January be filled with warmth, love, new beginnings, and shared happiness. This first snowfall is just the beginning of winter's wonderful world. Let the snow-filled fun begin! 

Dress for Winter: This is a reminder that all students should come to school with appropriate clothing for spending time outside each day. We recommend that students in grades K-5 wear hats, gloves or mittens, boots, and a warm jacket to play outside. K-3 students should also pack snow pants if they plan on playing in the snow and the fields. Those without the proper winter gear will be limited to the blacktop areas when snow is present to keep our students warm and dry. 

School Calendar: 2023 - 2024 Calendar

Monday, January 15th: No School/ Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Wednesday, January 17th: Early Release Day/ Students are dismissed at noon.

Great Falls DECK Day: Thursday, January 18th

Great Falls will be collecting goods for the Maine Needs mini warmth kits. Each grade level will be asked to optionally donate a specific item. Items can be delivered to the main office beginning this week or brought to the GF Winter Family Fun Night on Thursday, January 18th.

Kindergarten: chapstick

Grade 1: hand warmers

Grade 2: mini tissues

Grade 3: mini hand lotion

Grade 4: Dunkin gift cards

Grade 5: bandaids

Thursday, January 18th: Great Falls Winter Family Fun Night 5:30-7:30 p.m. 

During this family and community event, our students will be able to pick up their clay projects. There will be fun activities for all to enjoy including a bouncy obstacle course, winter art projects, read-alouds, face painting, fitness breaks, and a bake sale. Please consider donating baked items for our sale by signing up HERE. We hope to see our Great Falls families at our family fun night!

“Kindness in Clay” Project

K-5 students completed a unique clay project during their art class with Mrs. Rimkunas and Mrs. Burton. Our “Kindness in Clay” project is based loosely on “The Empty Bowl Project” which is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger. The basic premise is simple: students create handcrafted pieces that they keep as a reminder of all the empty bowls and bellies in the world. The money raised is always donated to an organization working to end hunger and food insecurity. With that in mind, Great Falls will be donating 50% of donations to the Gorham Food Pantry and 50% of donations to future Great Falls projects of kindness within our school community. Please support our acts of kindness by donating any amount to purchase your student’s clay project.  The donation form is found HERE. All students will receive their projects to take, regardless of donation. Project pick-up will take place at the Great Falls Winter Family Fun Night on January 18th.

Winter NWEA Testing: NWEA-MAPS Tests (Northwest Educational Association - Measures of Academic Progress) is our district’s universal screening tool and recently adopted state-level assessment. The NWEA assessments will be conducted throughout the month of January in grades K-5. It is necessary for us to gather this data point to inform Response to Intervention supports and classroom instruction. The assessments are aligned to Maine Standards and allow us to collect longitudinal data. As always, your child’s classroom teacher is the best resource to keep you informed about how your child is progressing during this academic year. 

The most important information regarding our school community can also be found in the Great Falls News from the Office which will be emailed to families every Thursday. We hope to keep families updated with the latest information and school events. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at any time at or Wishing you all a year filled with the magic of learning, the strength of kindness, and the radiant glow of happiness. Happy New Year, everyone!


Becky Fortier and Deanna Etienne

Great Falls Administrators