Dear School #5 Families,
The fall days are becoming crisper and each morning hints of the winter that will soon be upon us. With the holiday season just around the corner we will seize the opportunity to emphasize gratitude, empathy and of course, choosing kindness. This year’s theme has already taken root in our school community. Each day, I hear stories of and witness kind acts by students and adults alike. Undoubtedly, kindness with our words and actions lifts spirits and fosters a caring community.
At School #5, we are providing our students with opportunities to read and talk about kindness in order to help us nurture this trait. The December school-wide read aloud, The Can Man by Laura E. Williams, tells the story of a homeless man who collects cans for everyday survival and a young boy who learns much from him. This book will also help us launch our kindness efforts, from collecting toys to canned goods, turkeys and supermarket cards. This year, our fundraising efforts will include an organization called Honor Flight. This organization flies veterans, who have not had the ability to travel themselves, to Washington D.C. to see the memorials built in honor of their service. We were introduced to this organization by one of our parents and a special veteran named George, who recently went on an Honor Flight. Our fifth and sixth graders were invited to write letters thanking him for his service to our country. I look forward to sharing even more about our plans for this year’s theme, Choose Kind. After all, teaching compassion and kindness is a vital part of our mission toward teaching the whole child.
The learning energy in our school is palpable! Take a peek in classrooms and you will see authors at work. Our new process writing initiative has each grade level immersed in a study of a specific genre. Students are analyzing writing craft in beautiful texts and applying this craft to their own pieces. We cannot wait to share their published work with you! Independent reading is in focus. In fact, you may have heard of Reading Madness, a competition that has our older students clamoring for every minute to read; they just can’t get their noses out of books. Engaging and hands on lessons are taking place in math, science and social studies. Sign up for my Remind and for the Twitter handle @OSchool5 to get glimpses of the teaching and learning happening at School #5.
Finally, I’d like to thank our amazing PTA who have been busy bees doing their own kind work. In fact, they recently surprised our staff with a specially decorated faculty room; a most thoughtful and kind act.
It is clear that at School #5 big hearts and curious minds abound! For these reasons and so many others, I am grateful to be a part of this school and the education of your children. On behalf of my staff, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season filled with family, gratitude and kindness.