By Laura Almaraz
Parents and children prepared for the new school year as they participated in fun activities and met with school teachers during the 15th Annual First Day of School Holiday Aug. 5 at the White Sands School.
The event welcomed students back to school and emphasized the importance of parent participation during the school year.
“We want you in the school house. We want you in the classrooms,” White Sands School Principal Thomas Bulger said to parents. “It’s so gratifying to me that we know we have a community that is so supportive of White Sands School. We are very excited about a new year.”
Bulger introduced the school staff and teachers during the opening ceremony. After the ceremony, children and parents visited their classrooms to become acquainted with their instructors.
Fifth grade teacher Bella Martinez said she likes to welcome parents to the First Day of School Holiday because it gives her a chance to encourage collaboration between herself and the parents.
“A parent is a child’s first teacher. We need to work together to build (the child’s) education. We need you to be home as a parent saying, ‘please do your homework.’ I like to let parents know I want them to participate and this is the opportunity to let them know,” Martinez said.
Martinez also gave some of her students a brief overview of their first day as she welcomed them to her class.
“It helps alleviate their fear. I had two children terrified of coming in to the fifth grade. This was the opportunity to say hello and it’ll be okay. It takes the scary face that they’ve been imagining all summer away,” Martinez said.
Rebecca Carroll and her husband took their daughter Evelyn to meet her first grade teacher. This is Carroll’s second year on the installation and the second time she has attended the First Day of School Holiday.
“It’s important (to attend) to get to know the school and get the kids ready. It’s important to know different programs that are going to be available during the school year,” Carroll said.
Evelyn said she is ready to start the school year and liked the event because she was able to see her friends.
After meeting with teachers and getting their school schedules, children and parents lined up at booths to receive information about different programs and activities. They also received school supplies provided by Child Youth and School Services.
The first day of school for elementary and middle school students is Aug. 11. Instruction for kindergarten students will begin Aug. 12. Parents are welcome to attend an orientation meeting for kindergarten students Aug. 11.