Strengthening the spirit of community-building during COVID
There are many iconic events at our school that are simply part of the school’s culture. During my first year at Oak Meadow, I remember being so impressed with the way that students planned and directed the event called “Otter Lodge,” which is made up of performances volunteered by the students themselves. Another favorite of mine is the Cultural Heritage Festival, which involves school families joining together in a wonderful celebration of food, dancing, singing, storytelling, all representing the diverse cultures of our school families.
When COVID curtailed live events like this, members of our school community stepped up to make sure that these and other events would continue, even if this meant reimagining new ways for these events to be possible.
I truly marvel at the creativity and resilience of school community members who are already actively involved in making this happen. Tonight, the first ever “Virtual Otter Lodge” will take place at 6:30pm. In keeping with the tradition, this event has been completely reconceived by the middle school students themselves. They have invited students across the school to submit video performances, and the results of this will be featured tonight. Please join us by clicking on this link at 6:30pm tonight.
Similarly, a group of parents, teachers, and staff members have been meeting to reimagine the Cultural Heritage Festival. As always, there will be the important food component, but this year school families will experience the variety of traditional foods representing the cultural heritage of our school families through the creation of a Cultural Heritage Cookbook. The whole community will be able to experience making these recipes in their homes as well as gathering online on February 26 with other families to share in a variety of performances. It would be wonderful to see all of our school families take part in this unique celebration this year. Children love to help with cooking, and there may be nothing that is more powerful to bring us together than the experience of enjoying fine cuisine with friends and community members. You can join the effort right now by adding a recipe to the cookbook by clicking on this link.
We are all eager to return to a time when we can meet together in person. It seems unlikely that the restrictions imposed by COVID will end anytime soon, however, let’s resolve to strengthen the spirit of community-building together by sharing personal and family stories, embracing new ways to enjoy spending time together, creating ways to care for one another, and organizing efforts to be of service to our community and our world. That’s the beautiful spirit of our school community that endures even in times of challenge.