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Read-A-Thon is in Full Swing!

Greetings Parents and Community Members! This past week we saw another slew of exciting activities taking place at Brandon, including our Scholastic Book Fair, a visit from the Atlanta Opera, Counselor Appreciation, the Tall and Small Ball and, of course, it all culminated with the kickoff of our annual Read-A-Thon! This is the first year I’ve ever experienced anything like this. The fact that we have an entire week dedicated to reading and raising money for our school excites me in so many different ways! Not only is reading so important for our children, but also these types of initiatives fall directly in line with what we are trying to accomplish as a school and as indicated within our schoolwide priorities set forth in our newly-approved strategic plan. The kickoff to Read-A-Thon was absolutely unbelievable! We held two assemblies at each campus, and visiting illustrator Michael White made it all worthwhile with his humor, loveable personality and live visual art demonstrations. I can say from experience that it is not always easy to capture and hold the attention of 500 elementary school students, but he had no problem doing so, going well over his allotted time to give students the best idea of what it takes to be a children’s book illustrator. As they hung on to his every word and airbrush stroke, he left our students with three important notes: keep drawing; put your name on everything (it could make you famous); and always READ. We are so lucky to have such great parents and a PTA that supports our students and staff with amazing programs like this!

While schoolwide activities were at an all-time high last week, I want to highlight some of the great things our teachers and students are doing within the classroom. This past week:

  • Our Jr. Beta Club packed and assembled boxes for APS’ “Homeless At Heart” campaign. 52 boxes were completed at just the Main Campus!
  • Ms. Harron’s 5th grade class has been rocking ALL year, but this week they demonstrated amazing academic ownership by solving complex fraction word problems in math AND discovering the microscopic world of cells as they continued to drill down on both math and science standards!
  • 4th grade French students continue to show proficiency as they read aloud in their book study within Madame Darlis’ class.
  • Mr. Carr’s Kindergarten art class re-created Claude Monet’s waterlilies and they are beautiful!
  • Senora Estrada’s DLI Kindergarten classes are having full-on conversations in Spanish just 6 months into the school year. How amazing is that?!?!
  • In an awesome extension activity, Ms. Kendall’s 3rd grade class, after learning the history and science behind catapults, created their very own catapult game. Love the creativity!
  • This past weekend was no excuse not to be in school either, as another installment of our ESOL Saturday School took place at main campus thanks to Ms. Bull, Dr. Porter, and Dr. Strickland’s guidance while, simultaneously, Mr. Freeman conducted service projects at the Primary center. Dedicated students and teachers for sure!
  • And, of course, everywhere I turn there are students learning, engaging in positive social relationships and, of course, READING as much as they can to earn as many minutes as possible while fundraising for a great cause!

While we are moving into a nice break for our students and staff next week, know that we will be here working hard and planning out all of the great things that happen each day at our school. Our teachers have two full days of Professional Learning on Monday and Tuesday, with an emphasis on International Baccalaureate training with our IB coordinator, Mr. DeCarlo. I will be working all week, finalizing our budget for the 19/20 school year, working on staffing and hiring, and also creating a schedule that is going to continue to maximize and build on the amazing strengths of our students and staff. While the work is tough, it’s as rewarding as ever! Take this time to spend with your kids, play outside, volunteer in the community and, of course, READ!

Until next time,
j

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