June is always my hardest month. The end of school is rough. There are so many activities to plan, coordinate, supervise, or attend, it seems like I'm at the kids' school every day. Add Father's Day and my son's birthday into the mix, and it makes for one busy and stressful month. (Especially when my son forgets to hand out the birthday party invitations and the party is less than a week away. I'm trying to remind myself that it's not the end of the world, while simultaneously picturing a lonely and forlorn little boy, all alone at his own party.)
Today was "College Field Day." Our school is called the "No Excuses University," meaning there is no excuse for not being ready for college, academically, financially, whatever. We are a low-income school with lots of recent immigrants, so for many kids, there is no family history of going to college, and little emphasis at home on education. Our philosophy is that every child can and will work and learn and take responsibility for his or her own future. Our school has been incredibly successful at teaching at-risk kids--so successful, in fact, that our test scores are among the highest in the state, and we regularly have visitors from all over the world to tour our school and learn about our program. We were recently featured in a book about turning around failing schools (sorry, the link is currently missing from the school website, which is under construction). There are even eight other schools that have instituted our program so far and re-named themselves "No Excuses Universities." Not bad for only a few years.
In that vein, almost every activity we have ties into the college readiness theme. Each of our classrooms adopts a particular college, wears that school's colors, has that school's banner on its door, cheers for its sports teams, etc. Today, the kids got to compete in several exciting events for their schools' honor, including:
Potato dropping...uh, relays...
And my personal favorite, tricycle racing.
I logged laps for the Jog-A-Thon, handed out water, and supervised the injured. It was my fifth school event for the week. Next week should be easier. I only have to help pack up thirty years of PTA files, supplies, costumes, property, and junk for storage while the school is being remodeled over the summer. How hard could it be?