It is spring on the hill and we are quickly seeing winter fade into a memory. Spring break is but a few short days away, and it is a very busy time at Applewild. I hope that the break is restful and relaxing, and that it offers you a chance to rejuvenate after the winter.
As one walks through Applewild, evidence is everywhere of engagement and learning. At Applewild we place great value on the process of learning. This is not, however, to say that the culmination of the process is not important, as I believe that strong processes can and do lead to a strong outcome. This is happening throughout Applewild, beginning in our preschool and continuing through eighth grade and leads not only to great knowledge and the ability to think, but also a deeper engagement in and love for learning itself.
Once again, Applewild 8th grade students made us proud at History Day. Under the guidance of Todd Goodwin and Bob Jones, students choose a person or event in history related to a particular theme and then take a deep dive into the research. After extensive analysis and evaluation of materials from a variety of sources, students prepare and present their original work through websites, performances, documentaries, and exhibits at local, state, and national competitions. The local History Day competition took place last weekend, and this year’s theme is Exploration, Encounter and Exchange in History. All of our 8th students presented well and all earned either a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place to go to State History Day in April or a special award in recognition of some facet of their research. Two Applewild Alumni also placed in the competition. Congratulations to all, and good luck to those moving on to the state competition in April.
The Lower School theme this year is Heroes, and over the past week we have had two wonderful opportunities to explore this idea more deeply. The Marshall Fund Residency sponsored the Story Pirates this week. The Story Pirates are a group of artists, writers, and performers who have spent the week working with our students to explore the topic and write, either individually or as a class, about heroes. The residency culminated with the Pirates performing student work on Friday, followed by a Parent Association sponsored lunch of hero sandwiches. It was a fun week and a great learning experience.
Last Friday morning Applewild welcomed Alyssa Loring and her mother, Pam Loring, to speak to our students in an all-school assembly. Alyssa’s sister, Brittany Loring, was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing. Alyssa shared Brittany’s story with our students, and her presentation emphasized that heroes come in all kinds and that good can come out of tragic events. When the bombing occurred, Applewild reached out to the family and offered support in any way the family needed, including cards and well wishes. Brittany is currently doing very well and she has created The Brittany Fund for Trauma and Recovery. (https://brittanyfund.org/). Each year, the fund sponsors a road race and this year the race, the Boston Strong 2.62 Mile Walk and 5K run, is going to be hosted from Applewild. There will also be a very short fun run for children around the Crocker circle. The race will take place on Saturday, April 9 starting at the Crocker Building and will be run through Fitchburg.
The admission season is in full swing and we have wonderful families and terrific students who have applied to attend Applewild next year. We have thoroughly enjoyed meeting them and getting to know them through classroom visits and we look forward to welcoming many of them next year. Our next Admissions Open House is Saturday, April 2 from 10-12.
All my best,
Head of School