Friday, December 16, 2011

Karen and Halley's New Year's resolutions

Happy holidays, Team Seabury!

With only two weeks to go until 2012, we thought it apt to write a list of New Year's resolutions that we can all take part in. Without further ado, here are Karen and Halley's New Year's resolutions for 2012.

For us: 
Update the Seabury logo by the end of the school year
Keep spreading the Team Seabury love through social media
Have the most successful auction ever
Get better sweaters
Stop making cheesy photo montages online

For you:
Identify and recruit one Seabury mission fit family
Volunteer to work a festival, staff a committee or help at the auction
Spruce up Seabury – come man a blower, grab a rake and let’s clean up
Invite friends to join your table at this year’s the Magic of Learning auction
Work on procuring some of the items on this list.
Surprise your classroom teacher with a thank you note
Return your re-enrollment contract by the deadline

For teachers:
Roll up their sleeves alongside parents to work on committees, generate referrals and help market Seabury
Recognize the hard work of parents and thank them profusely for the gift of their children and their confidence in you

For Team Seabury:
Be free with compliments and look for the good in everyone
Wear your Seabury gear out and about
Schedule family “hang-out” time
Read a book on gifted education
Get your teeth whitened
Go to the gym
Spend fewer hours watching Keeping up with the Kardashians
Read to your child
Tell Joslyn how much you appreciate all she does
Attend the annual State of Seabury update at the lower school on Jan. 26
Go outside more often

Happy holidays from Seabury School

It was the end of the day and children were heading out of their classrooms to go home. As I was rushing around my office trying to wrap up my day, a first grader walked in and said he wanted to talk to me about something important.

“Mrs. Wollum, I was thinking we could do a coin drive, and that kids could collect money for the food bank to help people who are hungry. Could we start tomorrow?”

Talk about a way to melt the head of school’s heart!

As the holidays approach and the year draws to a close, one of the things I am most grateful for is the opportunity to be part of a school whose students love to serve. Whether it’s helping a friend feel better when he’s skinned a knee on the playground or taking part in a community service project like the Pierce County Hunger Walk, our students want to make a difference.

This first grader went door-to-door in his
neighborhood to collect this food!
The student and his family participated in this fall’s Hunger Walk as part of Team Seabury. Several weeks later, his class took a field trip to visit one of the local food banks to see an example of how the money they had raised had helped families in our area. They heard about the people the food bank helps, and about how the numbers of families, especially families with working parents and children, have increased during the difficult economy. They also saw empty shelves where there wasn’t enough food to meet all the needs. When they got back to school, the children immediately decided we needed to do a school-wide food drive to provide more help – an initiative that was supported by their teacher and so our November food drive began. Our first graders made posters, talked with classes, went door to door in their neighborhoods, tracked and graphed donations every day and ended up bringing in nearly 900 items. It was incredible. But it is clear from my first grade friend’s visit yesterday that we aren’t done yet!

A December service project was also student led this year. Inspired by a project her family supports every year, and seeing through the food drive what can happen when you involve your friends, a third grade student asked if she could ask our students to help her gather toys and coats for Allen A.M.E.’s Christmas House. This was another student led project – our staff just made the time and space for her to work with her friends to make it happen. And as a result, her family filled their car – twice – with donations for needy families in our community.

Service has become part of Seabury’s program across all our grade levels. Fostering our children’s desire to serve and providing opportunities for them to see that they can make a real difference in their community are important parts of Seabury’s program – and play key roles in the social-emotional development of our children. But it is times like this when we see our children take these lessons to heart that light up our days.

We often hear that gifted children have the potential to make a difference in the world. I believe that is true. But ultimately, the choices they will make in their lives and the work they will do as adults will be determined not just by their potential, but by the opportunities they have had to be inspired, to be challenged, to think deeply, to wonder, and to serve. When we provide children with opportunities to experience what is possible when we care and are willing to work together, and give them a chance to ‘try on” what it feels like to be involved in meaningful ways, they are inspired and want to do more. When we introduce them to those in their community who are using their gifts to inspire and lead and create positive change, they put a face on what is possible. The choice will be our children’s, ultimately. But if they have positive experiences in leading and serving as children and young adults, how much more likely will they be to continue to seek opportunities to serve as they grow up? It is exciting to consider.

So as we get ready to say goodbye for our winter break, I will be thinking about my first grade friend. And my third grade friend. And all our children. I am grateful to be part of their lives. And I am hopeful about our future. Because they are not only going to be great leaders and servants in the future - they are leaders and servants right now!

Happy Holidays!!

-- Sandi Wollum, Head of School

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gifted education educator, advocate to visit Tacoma

Where: Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, Commerce Room
When: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, 7 p.m.
How much: Suggested donation $10-15

TACOMA, WA, February 15, 2012: Seabury School is pleased to announce a visit from Dr. Jim Delisle, Ph.D., a respected educator and advocate in the field of gifted education.

Dr. Delisle, a nationally recognized expert on gifted education, will be speaking on "Parenting precocious kids: understanding the ups and downs of growing up gifted" This seminar will appeal to parents and educators alike, and is the second in a new series of annual gifted education seminars hosted by Seabury School.

The event will be held in the Commerce Room of the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center at 7 p.m., Wednesday, February 15. Pre-registration is encouraged for this event, with a suggested donation of $15. There will be a limited number of walk-up spaces available.

Dr. Delisle has taught gifted children and those who work on their behalf for more than 30 years. He recently retired from Kent State University after 25 years of service as a professor of special education. The author of more than 250 articles and 16 books, Dr. Delisle's work has been translated into multiple languages and has been featured in both professional journals and in popular media such as The New York Times and on Oprah! A frequent presenter throughout the U.S., he has also addressed audiences in nations as diverse as England, Greece, China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Founded in 1989, Seabury is the only independent school in the South Puget Sound with a program specifically designed for intellectually advanced children. Children from Tacoma, Federal Way, Kent, Auburn, Gig Harbor, Puyallup and throughout the South Puget Sound region come to Seabury for its personalized approach to education and emphasis on the development of creative and analytical thinking skills. Seabury is a member of the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools (PNAIS) and the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC).

Seabury School challenges gifted children in a community that cherishes each individual and fosters a love of learning, discovery and creativity.