December 22, 2015
The holiday season brings with it the opportunity to reflect on the many riches in our lives and to give of ourselves to others. Our teachers and administrators provide opportunities for our students to give to others in their community not only at this time of year but throughout the year. Several schools, with help from their parent organizations, have sponsored giving programs to support families in need. They have provided warm clothing for children and helped to stock our local foodbanks. Most recently our staff and students have provided gifts to help make the holidays bright for children, families, and our seniors.
Special giving programs in our schools have included:
Vinton School kindergarteners brought holiday cheer to residents of Mansfield Rehabilitation and Nursing Center by sharing songs and treats.
Students at Southeast School dressed in pajamas for a day to raise awareness of children in hospitals who spend their whole day in pajamas. Students and staff made a donation to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) on Pajama Day raising more than $500.
At Goodwin School grade four students created “Bedtime Bundles” for children at CCMC providing pajamas, stuffed animals, and books in each bundle.
Middle school students made holiday cards to offer appreciation to those in our community who give to others such as our police officers and members of our senior center as part of their “Kindness … Pass it On” initiative. They also held a “Pennies for Warmth” fundraiser for the WAIM Emergency Fuel Bank.
Through these experiences our children learn how members of a community work together to support each other and feel the joy that comes from giving.
Our schools also benefit when the whole community is involved in the work of creating and sustaining a great educational system. Schools are a reflection of the community in which they reside and are shaped by the values and beliefs of the community members. After an exciting fall in which I came to understand a great deal about our schools and the town of Mansfield, my attention is moving on to considering the future. Working with the Board of Education and our staff, it is time to plan the next level of work for our school system. As we chart this course for the future, there will be opportunities for members of the community to participate in the process, to lend their voice, and hopefully, feel the satisfaction that comes from giving back as well.
Wishing you a joyful New Year!
Kelly M. Lyman
Superintendent of Schools