Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Spring Carnival at Prince

School's nearly finished for the year.  Though many of the students will continue through summer school, last week's Spring Carnival was a way for the teachers to thank the students for being the very special learners they are, each and every one of them. 
Donna, GRIN volunteer, staying ahead of the hungry hordes.
The teachers planned the booths and the set-up and the decorations with the help of the overworked PTO president. LeAnn.

In addition to teaching us how to use the popcorn machine - pouring the butter+oil grease from that big yellow container was not as easy as it might seem to be - LeAnn could be found looking for masking tape or scissors or reassuring one of her own children that she'd be right there for him, as soon as she finished.....

Parent volunteers are the reasons that public schools can stay in business. 

Our original plan was to supervise college students as they decorated the courtyard and the playground and the cafeteria.  Waking to a completely cloudy sky and a frantic We might have to cancel it all email from Kenda, teacher-in-charge-extraordinaire, I put the volunteers on alert.  Chicago Gal and her husband wouldn't be able to come later in the afternoon; the fact that we couldn't get into the cafeteria until 2:30 took them out of the line-up.  We'd been hoping to catch up with one another as we watched the 20-somethings climb ladders and wield staplers; that wasn't going to happen.  We sighed.

By noon, the sun was blazing, the breeze was blowing, and the clouds had disappeared.  A perfect Goldilocks day - not too hot nor too cold but just right.  The decorations would be minimal, althought the installer could not have had a bigger smile.

I'm not sure that anyone noticed that there were crepe paper streamers fluttering near the booths. 

I am sure that we 4 women in the popcorn and nachos emporium enjoyed our interactions with the happiest decorator we've ever encountered.

There were as many dads and older brothers and uncles as there were moms at this event.  I know for sure that was never true at my kids' after-school carnivals. 
Of course, that's not to say that the moms weren't out in full force, too. 

Watching them keep tabs on infants and toddlers and grade schoolers, balancing on that fine line between giving the kids the freedom they want while making sure that they are safe, I was alternately in second grade or parenting kids who were.  There are some feelings that just never go away, it seems.  

There was a local classic rock cover band, the Allied Bombers.     

Their music didn't speak to the kids I queried about it..... all but one.
She stopped, tilted her head and listened, smiled in recognition and said, "Yeah, kinda."
I asked if it was her parents' music and, shyly, somewhat abashedly, she shook her head and said ,"No, actually, my grandparents'"
Looking around at those who chose to stop and listen, I saw that she was right.
No matter.
We were having a great time.
And so were the kids, including this friend from Ms. Levine's kindergarten.
"Hi, Suzi!" never sounded so sweet.


  1. I always love reading and seeing the outings for GRIN. I know what you mean about dads and brothers joining in too. Hubby was a chaperone on my seven year-old's field trip to the National Zoo. My daughter was beaming having her daddy there. Hubby does girl scouts too; since I deal with our toddler most of the time. I love the fact that dad's are more involved than when I was a kid. It's a whole new world. ;)

    Have to laugh at the grandparents music comment. I'm wondering what type of music they were playing 'cause it looks like a band that my be more mainstream. Or is it we are just so behind the times and music evolves so quickly?

    Thanks for sharing the GRIN event with us.


    Megan xxx

  2. The band started out with The Doors. The lead singer's not Jim Morrison(too young for all the angst!) but he's got potential. All the adults were singing along and happy. For the kids, I'm afraid it was just background noise.

    SO glad you like the GRIN posts... I often wonder if they are too self-serving.

  3. You make my heart so happy! Thank you, Suzi and GRIN for all you do for our kids at Prince and AMS. We love you all!

  4. You are welcome, Mrs. Wall's 5th grade! We look forward to more events in the fall <3
    a/b (Suzi)

  5. OK, the Doors were even before my time. LOL.

    Please excuse my typos above too.

  6. As the girl buying nachos said: Grandparents!

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