December Days in Lower School

04 Dec

It was wonderful to be back together at school after our Thanksgiving Break. Students were happy to be back at school and full of conversation about their family adventures over the break.  Everyone must have eaten plenty of turkey and other delicious food because our students looked taller than when they left school on Tuesday afternoon!

Before we went on Thanksgiving Break, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving Feast last week that included the entire school. Lower and Upper School buddies were seated together, and teachers and staff sat at tables with the students. We filled 20 tables and the oldest Upper Schooler and oldest Lower Schooler at each table were our waiters. Each Lower School grade brought something to our feast. Kindergartners made turkey signs for each table so that everyone knew which table was theirs; first and fourth graders made butter; second graders worked together to make loaves of cranberry pumpkin bread; third and fourth graders assembled an elaborate fruit salad; and fifth graders made popcorn. I made creamed spinach, a Lower School tradition. Turkey, stuffing, squash, and mashed potatoes rounded out the meal and apple crisp completed our feast. It was a fine meal and a fitting way to mark Thanksgiving. Before we sat down to our lunch, the Appleseed Chorus, with Mrs. Schlesinger, sang our grace in the form of the song, Come Ye Faithful, and then the Upper School captains read the Governor’s Proclamation. Between the meal and the dessert, we heard Thanksgiving reflections from Mrs. Stover, and then we enjoyed hearing Dona Nobis Pacem soar through the dining hall. The girls in the Upper School American Music Ensemble sang the soprano part from one side of the dining hall, while the boys from that chorus sang the bass part from across the room, all led by Mrs. Schlesinger. After our feast, students in kindergarten through third grade enjoyed each grade’s presentations about thankfulness in the Marshall Library. Tuesday’s events reinforced Applewild’s belief in the importance of community and I believe Lower Schoolers loved the day. I know that I did!

We are now in the midst of the Holiday Season and, while this is a happy and exciting time, it can also be exhausting and overwhelming for children (and adults!). This season can be filled to overflowing and can zoom by in the blink of an eye. Maintaining regular bedtimes and a steady routine are helpful all around. This is a good time to slow down a little and reflect on all the wonderful elements of our Applewild days.

Cold weather is beginning to settle in and we can hope that soon snow will arrive. One of the important parts of our day is recess, and our children look forward to getting outdoors and playing with their friends. Warm jackets, mittens or gloves, hats or hoods, boots and snow pants will be required for maximum fun in winter.

We are preparing for our upcoming concert and students are getting excited to share their pieces with you. The students across the grades have been polishing their songs and instrumental pieces in anticipation of our Annual Winter Concert.

During this season of giving, we are serving our community in various, planned ways during these next two weeks. The second graders will entertain their Highlands Grandfriends with holiday music on Wednesday, December 9, and our ARC buddies meet with their buddies for a craft and snack on Thursday, December 10, and they will return to Applewild to attend our Friday morning Winter Concert. Also, we are collecting canned or packaged food for our neighbors at the United Neighborhood Center in Fitchburg. If you would like to participate in this initiative, please send your items in with your child, and he or she will place your contributions under our Giving Tree in the Stone Family Dining Hall. It is heartwarming to see the pride and care with which the children unpack their bags and place food items under the tree. Your children love to help others!

I hope that you and your families enjoy warm, joyous, and healthy holidays and have a relaxing, renewing Winter Break.

Tally Lent
Head of Lower School