Though the weather was mild and sunny on Saturday afternoon, dozens of students and families in Airport Heights made their way back to school. They gathered for fun activities, cooperative games and creative projects.
Leah Babcock was impressed with the turnout. She operated a family portrait station in a hallway. It was all part of Dream Big Saturday, a series of once-a-month events that the school began this year, started by principal Mike Webb. Each month, the school focuses on a different topic. Past Saturdays have concentrated on science, giving to others, or certain careers. On Saturday, teachers worked with the themes of the social and emotional learning curriculum.
School counselor Christy Jordan welcomed them at the front door and directed them to different stations. Fourth grade teacher Kathy Gustafson said staff hosted conversations about how to improve family communication. The staff hoped the event would be a way families would feel connected to their neighborhood school. "We want families to know what it is we do and what they can do at home," Babcock said.
Before the families assembled in front of a white sheet that was held to a school wall with masking tape, Babcock had students pick up a sign that denoted when they would graduate from high school. I made a few pictures of my own. When Babcock sends prints home with the students, she said, she hopes it will be a constant reminder of an important goal. Families lined up for the chance to huddle together around an event that might be 12 years off.
Babcock was impressed with the reception to her photo portrait station. She drained the battery on one camera as families patiently waited their turn. "I'm thrilled," she said. "The place is filled up."