October Message from Deb Green

PIC child in straw

Starting New Traditions

After attending this year’s fall potlucks, I continue to be in awe of the wonderful traditions that have been established at PIC, potlucks being primary among them. I have been told that our summer traditions of Watermelon Wednesday, Lemonade Lull, and the Spoil-Your-Supper Ice Cream Social are remembered by PIC alum long after they leave PIC.

The uniting thread of all PIC “traditions” is the idea of building a strong community of children, families and staff. With that in mind, we reorganized our summer cookouts, historically three separate events divided by age group, and brought everyone together at one family-packed All-PIC Picnic this past summer.

We want all of our traditions to be inclusive of all the members of our community. In looking at traditions from a diversity and inclusiveness perspective, we realize that when we celebrate specific holidays, we are often excluding members of our own community.

With this in mind, we gave some thought to our annual Halloween parade. We are aware that a number of our families and staff do not celebrate Halloween, for reasons ranging from religious associations to the focus on candy and/or costumes. We brainstormed ways we could celebrate at this time of year, but in a different way.

We re-envisioned our traditional parade as the newly crafted Fall Family Festival, which will take place on Friday, October 31. In subsequent years we will continue to host the event the Friday before Halloween.

Here are the highlights:

  • All of our Early Learning families are invited to join us for the Festival from 9:30 - 11:00 am on the Magic Circle Nature Playground. Imagine a circle of activity stations set up by each classroom where children and grown-ups engage in fall frolics together—leaf drawings, hayrides, ring toss, etc. Our hope is that each child will have a family member or special friend to share the morning.
  • We ask that each family send in an over-sized white t-shirt to their child’s classroom—one that can fit over a jacket if needed. The children will decorate their shirts in their classrooms and we ask that children do not come to PIC in costumes from home.
  • As the event approaches, we will ask for volunteers to help at the activity stations and to bring in some fall-themed snacks for our buffet table.

In talking about our proposed new Fall Family Festival at the recent potlucks, we received great feedback from both teachers and families. While surely some will find changes to any particular holiday celebration difficult, we do hope that everyone upholds our ultimate goal of the celebration being about respect, inclusion, and community building.

I hope to see you on the 31st! Think beautiful, sunny day with a bit of a chill in the air...is that too much to ask?