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Messages from Mr. Shillings

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Thank you to our families for your continued support of our school! You all make Underwood an amazing place to work and serve our community!


New Year

Every year I have shared with our students my personal goals for the year. Last year I had two work goals and one fun goal. My two work goals were to read at least 25 work related books (leadership and education focused) and to increase my blogging to a minimum of one blog post a month (not including the parent blogs). I reached my reading goal but I am still working on the writing goal. My fun goal was to run average of 3 miles a day for the year, and at the end of the year I had ran 1102 miles which is approximately 3.1 miles a day. This year my goal is to focus on being better at a different item each month. This month I am focused on being better about taking time to pause and reflect during the day, and so far I have been successful.


Staff Giving Back to our Community

Underwood Staff Giving Back: As part of our Wellness Committee’s efforts, our staff chose different ways to give back to the community in December. We were able to give senior citizens hand-written cards, books to students, and donations of clothing and food. Here are a few photos --


Reading with senior citizens

Clothes Drive

Inter-faith Food Drive

Animal Shelter

Read and Feed Book Drive

Center for Active Adults

Note in the Pocket  


Foundation Gala

Save the date for the Underwood Elementary’s Foundation Gala. It is March 1st at 7:00 at Whitaker & Atlantic. This is our annual fundraising night to support the Foundation in its effort to provide funds to secure staff members to protect the integrity of the school and maintain our programming at current levels.


Spirit Nights

PTA has a couple of spirit nights coming up...mark your calendars:

January 24th at United Skates from 6-8:30pm

February 19th at Chipotle at Townridge Shopping Center from 4-8pm



Reading Guides Program

Are you looking for a rewarding way to volunteer and make a difference in a child’s life in the new year?  Do you have 30 minutes a week to read with a child in grades K-2? If the answers are yes, then you would be perfect for our Reading Guides Program here at Underwood!   To get started, please contact Mita Basak at with the days and times you are available and Mita will match you with a student in grades K-2.   All you need to do is register as a volunteer and watch a short video created by Ms. Keith, our literacy teacher, to help you get started.   


Playground renovation

The Underwood staff and PTA have been working to find a playground design consulting firm. At last week’s PTA board meeting it was approved to hire CLH to assist in planning our playground update. At our Winter Carnival on February 2nd from 12-2pm there will be two representatives from the company to gain feedback from our families and students on ideas of what they would like to see on our playground. Our hope is to make a 2-3 year plan to renovate our playground space and field.


Play 60 Grant

Thanks to the Wellness Committee we just received a Fuel Up to Play 60 grant for $4,000. Half will be spent on farm to school activities and the other will be spent on a recess refresh with work on the playground.


School Garden

We have cleaned out the green house in the garden and plan to repair the sliding door. Please do not place any additional containers in this area including boxes, buckets, milk jugs, etc. I found wasp nests in just about every empty container being stored in the greenhouse. Thank you!



Readvolution was a huge success!  Underwood met the required number of books read- 2020 books!  We also had 72 students reach the goal of reading 800 minutes!!  Way to go!! These students received 2 tickets to the Carolina Hurricanes game.


Wake Up and Read

Parents, please check your child’s bookshelf for any books they may have outgrown!  Wake County has kicked off it’s annual “Wake-Up and Read” campaign. This annual collection supports students at 13 schools and various daycares around the county.  The goal is to provide ten books to each child! Join Underwood by bringing in at least one gently used book (it can be new) that would be suitable for a child/children from birth to age 12.  The book drop-off is at the front of the office. The campaign will end on February 15th!