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Fab Families: Building Connections!

By:  Dr. Amy Beck

 

Our theme for the 2016-2017 school year is:  Be the reason someone smiles today!  This has been a wonderful challenge for each of us (parents, students, support staff, teachers, administrators, etc.) to follow and strive to uphold throughout the school year.   Indeed, one of the primary goals of our staff this year is to develop and strengthen relationships with students and others in our school community.  To help us meet this goal, this year we have started a new initiative in our building called “Fab Families!”  The staff and students have both thoroughly enjoyed this.  

 

To start this program, the students were divided into multi-age groups.   Almost every adult in the building is a Fab Family Leader.  (Adults who are not assigned to be a Fab Family Leader are definitely helping in other ways, too!).  Fab Family Teachers generally take their families to their classrooms, others Fab Family Leaders may need to use ‘extra’ rooms such as a corner of the gym, the teacher workroom, extra classrooms, conference room etc.  We have a designated place in our building for each Fab Family.

 

The goals of our Fab Families are the following:

  • Give each student another adult contact that remains constant throughout his/her years at the school

  • Develop strong relationships with others in our school community

  • Encourage all children to become mentors

  • Build school pride

  • Build self-esteem

  • Build leadership skills

  • Provide character development instruction in small group setting

  • Have fun!

 

Thus far, we have had four Fab Family Gatherings and we still have three more planned for the remainder of the year.  Below describes the highlights of each Fab Family Gathering!  

 

September:  We had our Fab Family Kick-Off.  All the students and staff met in the gym and Fab Families were introduced.  Then, the families took a “family portrait” that has been displayed in the main hallway of our school.  Fab Families spent time learning their family members’ names and getting to know one another!

 

October:  During this month’s meeting, we had lots of fun with our Fab Families.  We played a couple of games, “Human Knot” and “Kagan Balloon Game.” The reason why we played games is because families must have TEAM WORK and should have FUN!  There was lots of laughter and friendly competition.  Additionally, family members shared some of their favorite fall activities to do with their home families and these were displayed on the Family Trees in the hallway.  We also enjoyed a yummy snack.

 

November:  Our theme for November was “Be Thankful for Our Community!”  We discussed community workers and how they make our community a better place. Fab Family members worked in cooperative groups and completed graphic organizers that focused on a different businesses / public services in Seneca and surrounding areas.  These were then shared with the business owners so they know that we appreciate them.  We also ate sack lunches with our Fab Family members and enjoyed spending time visiting with one another.

 

January:  Our theme for January was “Thankful for Kansas!” With our family members, we discussed everything related to Kansas (weather, sports, farmers, symbols, Wizard of Oz, etc.).  Then, the students decorated placemats that represented Kansas.  Families worked in pairs and small groups while doing this activity to encourage conversation and teamwork.  The placemats then were distributed to the local care homes so the students did their best work!  Plus, family members played a fun indoor game of “Snowball!”  

 

We have three more Fab Family Gathering scheduled for this year in February, April and May.  We look forward to continuing to develop connections & have more fun!

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