In the last week of their school year, students from Earle and Goodlow Elementary Schools took advantage of mild summer weather and met at Lindblom Park for an afternoon of games, sports, and team-building exercises that will help them come together as one student body.
“The message we tried to get across was that it’s not you against us,” said Earle Principal Ketesha Melendez. “We’re all on the same team.”
The staff and parents who organized the event worked hard to weave that sentiment into a series of team sports, ensuring that every team had an equal number of players from each school.
“It was exactly what we hoped would happen,” said Principal Melendez. “Very quickly, it was hard to tell which students were from what school, and the kids all got along very well.”
The event gave parents from Earle and Goodlow the opportunity to meet as well, which was important to Principal Melendez, who spoke extensively with each student’s family.
“Parents from both schools helped to organize this event, which gave them the chance to get to know each other and encourage other parents to become involved with the transition process,” she said.
Other highlights of this cultural integration event included face-painting, jewelry making, board games, jump rope, and plenty of time on the playground. The students were also treated to a dynamic performance by the legendary Jesse White Tumblers, who proved a huge hit among everyone in attendance.
After all of the day’s activities, the students enjoyed a picnic together – one in which the adults were again careful to seat Earle students alongside those from Goodlow.
“They weren’t allowed to just go off and form their own groups,” said Principal Melendez, “because the point of the day was for the students to get to know each other. But there was no problem making that happen – the kids were happy to sit together and genuinely seemed to enjoy the time they spent with one another, which is a good sign for the coming school year.”