My Grandmother baked cinnamon buns; each year, she would begin the arduous process early Christmas Eve afternoon. Her table and face covered in flour, she would mix and then nurture the dough all afternoon. (Often with the help of my brother, Lance who inherited her gift as a baker.) The first batch wouldn’t come out of the oven until 7 or 8pm. With the stars bright outside, the rest of us would burst into her kitchen bundled up from head to toe having braved the cold December air walking from our home a few blocks away. We would shed our layers and drop into her creaky kitchen table chairs. Hot cocoa was served with whipped cream first and then, the cinnamon buns would appear in front of us to devour.
Lately, our early learning community has a lot of the same magic of the cinnamon buns. Like the treats, lots of great ingredients are coming together, all for the sake of Central Falls youngest learners. We began kneading in September and by last month officers were voted onto our Parent Advisory Council. Zuleyka Negron (President,) Melanie Hernandez (Vice President,) Mirna Morales (Treasurer) and Carmen Perez (Secretary) are busy meeting with other parents to support our children and school communities. Many hands make light work. The Parent Advisory Council is already working to organize a Day of Cultural Celebration in April; Painting Party evenings in the winter at both Captain Hunt and Robertson Schools to begin to improve our school environment; and lastly, Fund Raising Baskets in order to raise dollars for trips and special visitors/events for our kids. Adding their talents to this baking endeavor, the teachers at Captain Hunt have worked diligently to achieve a Brightstars score of 3, an evaluation tool for early leaning educational environments. This represents lots of hard work across 10 standards of quality with a strong emphasis on family engagement and curriculum. Kindergarten teachers at both Captain Hunt and MI Robertson Schools have been working to, not only utilize literacy data to inform instruction more effectively, but also to work together with our families to help our learners to be and feel as successful as possible as emerging readers. As we continue to prepare our pastry throughout the year, we can watch it rise (through learning new ideas,) we can bake it (by reinforcing the concepts we have learned,) then put on the icing (the multiple kinds of enrichment opportunities we offer,) and sit back and enjoy the treat at the end of the year (bright little learners who have developed a real love of learning!) Help us make it a reality.
It is hard to describe how wonderful Grammy’s cinnamon buns were. Honestly though, as yummy as they were, I don’t know if it was about the cinnamon buns themselves or the way that Grammy made each one of us feel as we sat at her table. As we welcome December, thank you from the bottom of my heart for working together with the teachers, staff and I to grow our school community, for helping us to grow our schools together and especially for being at the table.
Warm Holiday Blessings,
Beth Tanner, MS Ed,