Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So thankful for Katie's School

I have spoken about Ethan's school before. We are so grateful to have been placed there as well as with a wonderful teacher that has allowed him to continue to progress towards his potential. I have never really posted about how wonderful Katie's school is. Today, is a good day to post about how thankful we are for this wonderful school community that we happened upon over two years ago.

By a weird set of circumstances, (which is our life) we happened to walk into a temple in our city which is well known for it's excellent preschool. Marc went in while I stayed in the car with a sleeping Katie. Ethan was not yet a part of our family. I asked him to get some info on the preschool while he was in there and when he walked out he looked happy and excited. While talking to the director of the school and after realizing that they are both from New Jersey, he found that she was the best friend to his cousin Gayle in New Jersey. We had heard about Gayle's best friend so many times and here we happened upon her at this preschool...such a small world and such an amazing feeling of "beshert" (The Hebrew word for destiny) Not only was this a highly rated school but a very close family friend oversees it. How much better can it really get?

Katie started just a couple of months later, at age 2 1/2, just after we adopted Ethan. It was perfect timing, as Katie needed something of her own while Mommy and Daddy forged a bond with her new brother. She took to her new school so beautifully and we have been blessed with wonderful teachers throughout her time there. Katie is now in Pre-Kindergarten and is excelling. We are so grateful. The school staff and community have embraced us as if we are family and we work very hard to assist them in all of their endeavors. It is a beautiful marriage and it works.

Today will illustrate why this school is so special to us. Instead of the traditional Thanksgiving Party, which has been done time and again; the story of which is hard for children to identify with at this young age, the school decided to have a multi-cultural celebration celebrating the diversity of it's families. Their reasoning was aren't we all pilgrims to this country unless we are native American? Shouldn't we instill pride in the fact that we all are so beautifully different and so amazingly the same? I loved the idea as did Marc.

So today, off we went with our beautiful daughter who was born in China. She was adorned in a beautiful red dress that we purchased for her there and we brought a couple of artifacts that were also purchased there that have significance to us and could be displayed. We also brought in a Chinese Rice dish to share with the group. We dropped Katie at her class and her pride was shining through for all to see. The great thing was that she was able to experience that pride with so many different children that have backgrounds that cover the globe. After we set up the social hall, we got to watch the children walk in and the excitement was palpable as they found their families and got to check out all of their friends finery. Then they got to sample a variety of very tasty foods from those countries and sing wonderful songs.

It was all possible and absolutely wonderful because of the leadership in the school and the dedicated staff and parents that carried it off.

Later, when Katie came home and she opened up her backpack and there was her report card. The following comments brought us a great deal of pride.

"Katie is a sweet, kind and cooperative child who is very mature for her age. She has adjusted well to Pre-K. Her verbal and motor skills are good and she knows all of her letters and most of her numbers in 4 languages! During class discussions she raises her hand and patiently waits her turn. She is not only at ease with her adoption and her Chinese heritage, she is proud of them and enjoys teaching the class the numbers in Chinese. She is a joy to have in class."

We could not be any prouder of her or her school. We love how they have embraced our daughter and all of the facets of her life. As Katie faces life as a member of a minority race, I am so gratified that the school is on the same page as we are in setting the bar for her sense of self. There is nothing in my estimation that is more important than that!

Here are a few pictures from today's festivities.


Katie's contribution on the table




Here comes the children










The nontraditional Marc in the traditional head dress of Trinidad



dawn said...

What a fabulous way to celebrate Thanksgiving and I love that Katie is so very proud.

P.S. So glad your hubby is up to his old tricks. Is it any wonder that "E" man is such a mischief maker he is learning from a pro. Good luck Lori you are gonna need it.

Tammie said...

The preschool that Katie Starr goes to is wonderful. When I toured the school for Erin, I saw so many positive things happening in the classes. I'm so happy that you guys are enjoying your time there.

Vivian M said...

What a wonderful school, indeed!

Donna said...

Marc cracks me up!


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