During a committee meeting, Danielle and I were asked how the year is going. We reported that things are going well on many fronts, including our new flooring, our fabulous climbing structure, and the fact that at the start of the year everyone working here was a returning staff member. As the conversation continued, we added a most important part of this year’s success…the APA.
Three years ago, the pandemic shut down more than the school. It brought a sudden halt to the Seed’s parent organization (APA), which was our major support system for the teachers, that also helped coordinate many school events, including the Halloween carnival. Once we re-opened after a five-month shut-down, we were able to allow staff and children in the building for almost a year, but parent presence on campus was greatly restricted. For a couple years, the APA was a loosely formed group of room reps who supported the classrooms in ways that could be done remotely (with the exception of the occasional times they came in after hours to decorate classroom doors).
Last spring the APA came to life again, starting with some smaller preliminary meetings, and eventually larger ones. Two enthusiastic parents, Elena and Anastasia, emerged as co-chairs of the group, and they’ve been going strong ever since. They’ve organized committees, established a calendar of events, and even tackled the APA closet this past week. Their enthusiasm is incredible, and their committees have been visibly productive. For example, a cheerful parent stepped into the office this week and handed one of our staff a birthday card. I found out later that this gesture is part of an APA program to honor each staff birthday as it arises. Another service in place is a pick-up process for library books on relevant topics, such as food and gardening.
Another committee that has been hugely active is the garden club. They have completely transformed each classroom’s outdoor area. Raised beds have been added to all classrooms that didn’t have them previously. New soil has been added, and some classes have had parents in to help out with planting. We’re all tremendously appreciative of this support.
You’ll also notice the newly decorated bulletin board near the water bottle filling station by the office. The APA requested bulletin board space to honor different cultures in our community as their month of celebration occurs. The current theme is Hispanic Heritage month, and includes brief information about significant Hispanic leaders, artists, scientists, activists, writers, etc. Stay tuned for future displays, as well as APA news in general.
As all the visible APA activities are popping up, there are also noteworthy behind-the-scenes deeds happening. Most recently, our APA leaders took on the APA closet, adjacent to the multipurpose room. It’s a space that’s been a receptacle in the past three years for items that needed to be removed from classrooms during the pandemic (e.g. dress-up clothes), equipment from the Halloween carnival (envision plastic black cauldrons and orange pumpkins), and materials for events, such as tie-dye/tile painting day. Slowly, but surely, all of the nooks and crannies of the Seed are being refreshed by the APA. Their emphasis on family involvement, community building, and inclusion is sure to make this one of the Seed’s best years ever, in large part due to the impressive contributions of our Seed parents.