Dear Portola Families,

With so many celebrations happening in the month of February, we encourage you to build connections with each other, no matter the skin color, cultural background, or age. Ask someone about their culture or do some of your own research. What can you celebrate or share with your family?

A few things being celebrated in February:

Black History Month

Chinese New Year (Year of the Tiger started February 1)

Groundhog Day (February 2)

Valentine's Day (February 14)

President's Day Weekend (No school February 18 through February 21)

Two's Day - just for fun (February 22, 2022 at 2:22)

Flag Day - Mexico (February 24)

Family Activity: Create a "Things I Love About Our Family" Jar. Keep slips of paper and a pencil beside the jar. Help the younger kids write down or draw pictures of things they love about their family, too. Choose a day each week to read through the new notes in the jar. 

Movement: The Tiger Pose is a fun one to celebrate Chinese New Year or to just act like a tiger! Check out this video:

Bonus Movement: Feel free to join Portola parent, Julie Manuel, on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. for a FREE yoga session via Zoom at this link

Questions? Send us an email at


Your Portola Care Coordinators (Jessica Carillo, Julie Manuel, & Stephanie Rutgers


Happy New Year to our Portola Panda Community! We're off and running in 2022. What an interesting year already.

Family Activity: An activity sheet (My Goals for 2022) is attached to this email for your family to write (or draw for the littles) some simple objectives or goals for 2022. Each family member can work on their own sheet or fill one out as a family. Talk about areas where you think you could improve, why you want to improve, and steps you can take to reach your goal. Accomplishing a goal, however big or small, feels so good.

Easy Pose: This is the cross legged sitting pose to get started in channeling your calm, bringing awareness inwards, and allowing a moment for thought and reflection. Sit up nice and tall with legs crossed. Rest hands on the knees, palms facing up. Relax the shoulders down away from your ears. Relax the lower body while maintaining upright posture. Close your eyes and breathe. 


Bonus- Feel free to join Portola parent, Julie Manuel, on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. for a FREE yoga session via Zoom at this link

Rainy Day Gear: As the rains continue to fill up our water reservoirs, please let us know if you have any kind of rain gear to donate to other Portola students (i.e. dark blue raincoat -size 6/female, black rain boots - size 12). We'll post it on the Portola PTA website, under the "Useful Info" drop down. For families who would like to receive a specific posted donation for needed items, simply email us at to arrange for the item to be given to the student to take home. This is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Questions? Send us an email at

Warmest wishes for the year ahead!

Your Portola Care Coordinators (Jessica Carrillo, Julie Manuel, and Stephanie Rutgers)

December 2021

‘Tis the season to embrace winter, which is so pleasant where we live, and enjoy the holidays in good health as 2021 comes to a close. Please welcome Jessica Carrillo to Portola's Care Committee who is full of thoughtful ideas to pass along to you.

Questions or needs (food/clothing/school-related)? Please email us at

Warmest wishes,

Portola's Care Coordinators

November 2021

Happy November from the Care Coordinating Committee of Portola Elementary PTA. We have provided a few suggestions of ways to show GRATITUDE this month.

Sample letter to show gratitude for donors

October 2021

Hello from the Care Coordinating Committee of Portola Elementary PTA. During these challenging times, we would like to offer simple resources to enhance the state of our mind, body, and soul and support each other in our special community. We know that everyone is inundated by emails and information but hopefully there will be useful tools for your family.

To better support our Portola community, you are welcome to submit a very quick survey (two minutes max) to confidentially share your needs regarding FOOD, SCHOOL SUPPLIES, and CLOTHING so that your Portola student can be successful.

As we enter the fall season, we would like to share this October tip that the entire family can do to improve balance, focus, and concentration. We invite you to turn a new leaf and try the Tree Pose (see image) or video for a video demonstration.

As a community, we can help each other in very simple and meaningful ways. If you have a specific need that would make a difference for your student’s success at Portola, please email Also let us know if you would like to be a part of the Care Committee.


Care Coordinators

Julie Manuel and Stephanie Rutgers