This has been a fantastic week of community with the Festival of Books. From the opening book talk on Monday to the last frantic moments of buying just one more book on Thursday, it has been a great week.
Some of my favorite moments included children in pajamas excitedly learning who their mystery reader was, teachers buying gift books for fellow teachers, seeing the wide eyes of our students the first time they saw the library transformed into the festival, and watching parents already loaded down with an armful of books as their children try to stack just one more onto the pile. Such excitement over books, reading, and stories is such a hallmark of Country School.
On Thursday, I traveled into Manhattan for an alumni gathering. I told the 40-50 alumni present about everything happening on campus, from the all-school photo on Wednesday to the 9th grade vs. faculty soccer game today and, of course, the Festival of Books. The alumni regaled me with stories of their time at Frogtown and Ponus. While they all have sharp memories of events and activities, they chose to linger more on the feelings they keep of their time here – warmth, great relationships, joy of learning, support, and care. As I think about it, all of those qualities are behind so much of what we do, and I am sure that our own students will have the same feelings about some of the great community events of this week.
The Festival of Books could not have been possible if not for the many hours of volunteers in all aspects of the event. From setup and breakdown, to special events like PJs & Pizza, from the Logo Store and the continual ordering and stocking and resupplying of the shelves to the cashiers and beyond, dozens of people worked hundreds of hours to make this wonderful event possible. It was truly a team effort which underscored the importance of the power of community. On behalf of everyone here at Country School, I thank all who were involved in making this happen and especially thank our amazing co-chairs Jen Kline, Becky Palmer, and Lauren Ryder, without whose leadership and incredible effort and dedication, the Festival simply would not have happened. Thank you for everything.