For many children, school is the first experience in being part of a community that extends beyond family. This means that schools play an important role in teaching students about being part of a healthy and caring community–one that is personal, welcoming, understanding, supportive, inclusive, safe, and respectful.
As adults, we know that being an active part of the school community is not easy. It means taking time out of busy schedules. It means stepping out of our comfort zones and familiar routines. It means building relationships with others. If we are willing to do this, however, we can help model for our children what it means to work together to create a healthy community that connects school life to home life, and that can have a very powerful and positive impact for children, families, and communities.
I encourage parents to find out more about the many ways they can be involved in the work of building community at our school. Here are just a few of the possibilities:
Open Art Studio
Our art teacher, Catherine Karp, opens the art studio every Thursday, from 8:40-10:00 a.m., just for parents. It is an opportunity to work on self-guided creative projects, socialize, and develop new friendships.
Monday Morning Meeting
Join other parents and Head of School for coffee and conversation before Monday morning meeting, in the art studio. Then go right into the Monday Morning Meeting at 9:00 am. It’s an opportunity to be involved and see what’s happening in your child’s school. And it also helps your child see you participating in the school’s activities and the educational journey.
Cultural Heritage Festival and other events sponsored by the Parents’ Association
Please join us tonight, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., for the annual Cultural Heritage Festival. This enriching annual event shows the benefits of being part of a community that represents many different cultures. So much of a child’s sense of identity comes from being part of a community that is safe, welcoming, and affirming of many different cultures. Other events on the calendar include Oaktoberfest, the Giving Tree, and the End-of-Year Picnic.
Planned by middle school students, the Otter Lodge happens two or three times a year and includes performances, food, games, and other activities that are fun for all families. The fact that these events are planned by our oldest students, not the adults, makes the Otter Lodge particularly unique and child-centered.
Oak Meadow typically hosts two restaurant Dine-Outs a year. This is an opportunity to socialize and eat out with other families, off-campus. New friendships are often formed over sharing a meal. Our next Dine-Out is February 11 at Bamboo Asian Restaurant in Westford. Please consider joining us.
Graduation is open to the entire community, not just the families of our 8th grade graduates. This event helps all families better understand the culmination of an Oak Meadow education and share in celebrating the success of our students as they prepare for their next experience in high school.