The boys, now all first graders from our four partner schools in Harlem, were so excited to see each other that they hugged and huddled for the first 15 minutes. After settling in, the boys met with their teachers, Mrs. Sanchez and Mrs. Patterson, in the Omega classroom for a morning of reading, music with Mr. Bell, and for sports with Coach Roman.
During the reading session, Ms. Kaplan, Saint David's Reading Specialist and Horizons Summer Reading Teacher, assessed all the boys, evaluating their progress since last summer. Pre- and post-testing of fundamental academic skills is an important component of our Horizons program. While the boys were with their teachers, Horizons' parents met in the Smith Room. Their day began with a highly interactive introductory session led by current Saint David's parent, Kavita Dolan. Beginning to build a strong parent network "parent community" was one of the important goals of our first Reunion Day.
Parents were then treated to two excellent speakers: Melissa Roessler (Saint David's 4th grade mom; and certified nutritionist), who talked with Horizons' parents about the Art of Eating, and Kim Davidson, Saint David's Head of Lower School, who spoke about the Importance of Reading to children and Approaches to Reading--presenting parents with a range of effective strategies they could try out themselves.
Five Saint David’s Upper School boys volunteered to help make the day a success (Julian Anderson, Skakel McCooey, Eric Wu, Tyler Holder and Thomas Harvey). This is a community-wide effort. Pictured above is one of our 7th grade volunteers, donating a Saturday morning to the program.
Pizza was ordered for all and Chef Josh, who provided the food this summer, set up a 'make your own ice cream sundaes table' for dessert. Parents and boys were thrilled.
Former Saint David's parent, Jill Lampe, Horizons' official volunteer photographer, captured the day on film.
Reunion Day ended with parents happily signing their re-registration forms for the Summer of 2013 and left feeling very much a part of the new and exciting Horizons Community at Saint David’s.
Overall, Reunion Day was a complete community event with former parents, current parents, current boys, alums, teachers, and administrators all pitching in. It was a huge success!
Horizons would not be where it is today without the guidance and leadership of the program's executive director, Julie Sykes.
Planning is now fully underway for the summer of 2013. We will be doubling the size of the program as we bring 15-17 new rising first grade boys into the program.
If you are interested in learning more, please visit the Horizons' homepage.