This past week, along with members of my school staff, I spent an evening scooping and serving gormet ice cream at the Marble Slab Creamery. I was lucky enough to be one of what our parent council dubbed “celebrity scoopers”, with 25% of the evening take to be donated back to our new school playground initiative. In the week leading up to the event a great deal of interest developed as notices were sent home and students announced it over the PA system. It was such a unique fundraiser that even the local radio station was happy to promote it periodically throughout the week.
When 4:00 p.m. arrived on Thursday I was not surprised to see a great many parents being hand led to the door of the ice cream shop by lip smacking children who were more than happy to do their part in this important fundraising endeavor. I thought, “Well done parent council. This is going to raise some good funds.” But I soon realized there was a lot more going on that night.
Throughout the 4 hours positive energy filled the air. Staff laughed and joked together as they honed the craft of scooping tasty ice cream sensations. Students beamed with pride and excitement, calling out the names of their teachers upon entering. Parents and other family members welcomed the opportunity to see the school staff in a different light with many smiles and nods being handed out. Other members of the community who stopped by got to see all of this interaction going on and by 7:00 p.m. a large group had formed on the sidewalk outside the Creamery. The evening was a resounding success and a great example of community spirit and relationship building, not to mention that nearly $1000 was raised toward the playground.
Events such as these are an important part of the education transformation process. By bringing the entire school community together we provide a platform for relationship building. When trust is built through relationship we are better able to enlist others in joining us on a journey; and those of us involved in education are entering the journey of a lifetime. We can’t go it alone. We need the support of students, teachers, parents, and our community.
So as we continue to venture down that path let’s not forget to bring our people together, for no particular reason other than to get to know one another a little bit better.