Posted on April 29, 2017
We have had a few visitors recently, giving us a glimpse of what's to come as we head towards the end of the school year for Leavetaking (our elementary graduation) and opportunities in high school.
Ms. Rivera, our school counselor, shared with students the story of the 12 Gifts, explaining how at the Leavetaking Ceremony Ms. Jenkins and Ms. McKay will read the same story that describes how each child is born with special gifts they can employ. Ms. Rivera also shared how one of her teachers encouraged her to create a gnome, using it as an opportunity to reflect on her own strengths and the strength of the community around her. Similar to the history and motivations of a sewing circle, the act of creating provides the time and space for participates to learn 1) when to ask for help, 2) when to offer help, and 3) a chance to check-in with oneself. The children were tasked with these three items, with the third item to check-in and think about which gift or character trait they will be bringing forward with them to middle school.
The students have been more than enthusiastic about creating their gnomes, surprising me with their love for creative expressions through felt and thread. By making them, they continue a long-held tradition at the Elementary.
Mr. Wiesner's Amnesty International students also recently visited to share a little history of Amnesty, educate students on some of the topics they are passionate about, and give students a chance to work in small groups to discuss human rights they deem essential. The passion with which the high school students presented resulted in deep conversations about the right to free speech, to education, and to healthcare. Having our high school students model their gifts of strength, courage, compassion, and hope gives our elementary students a guide for how they may apply their gifts as they move beyond our elementary campus.