Family Day, February 2016: Kindness, Creativity & Unity

By McKaylee Smith, 12th grade 
Black History Month. Teacher Appreciation. Kindness. Creativity. Unity.

This month, I had the privilege of planning Imagine’s Family Day with Cheyenne Ellis and Mrs. Katelyn Mark. The day was a success, and I’m ecstatic that our goals and many hours of coordination paid off to bring Imagine’s students together.

Why was this Family Day student-led?
Cheyenne and I were given the opportunity to plan Family Day for our CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) project, which is a graduation requirement for all Diploma Programme students. Cheyenne and I hoped to include student feedback from PYP, MYP, and DP students in organizing the day’s activities. By providing a student perspective, we wanted to meet the Family Groups’ needs.
What went into planning Family Day?
We had about two weeks to plan 70 minutes’ worth of fun, but we were definitely busy. To begin with, Cheyenne and I needed to plan activities that matched the predetermined theme of the day, which was “Creative Kindness.” Additionally, Teacher Appreciation Week, Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, and Unity Day were all occurring at the time as Family Day. We wanted to include an element of each of these in our activities while still making the day fun for kindergarteners and seniors alike.
What activities were planned?
A fun ice-breaker game (Four Corners) was scheduled to make younger students more comfortable with their Family Groups, which hadn’t met in several months. Next, because the theme for the day was “Creative Kindness”, students watched “Color Your World with Kindness” and made a colorful link for the school-wide Kindness Chain (pictured), which represents the chain reaction that kind actions create. After this craft, a Valentine’s Day Game was played, encouraging students to move around and interact with each other. An homage to Black History Month through a “I Have, Who Has?” game followed, in which older students and younger students worked together to learn about famous African Americans. A fun and fast-paced “Left, Right” game was next to reengage students, and finally, students made Valentine’s Day cards for their teachers. Somewhere in their schedule, Family Groups briefly visited the MPR for a Family Group photo.
What was the hardest part?
The hardest part of planning was coordinating schedules. Ten schedules were created- one for every five groups- to facilitate Family Group photos, which were taken in the MPR. Rearranging each schedule’s activities to accommodate a fifteen-minute break for photos took hours upon hours, as did cutting the paper strips for our Kindness Chain, the colored paper for Valentines, and the Black History Month game cards. Sorting and distributing markers, schedules, rosters, and paper was another time-consuming process.
How did Family Day go?
I was so nervous on Family Day! Cheyenne and I spent nearly the entire time walking between classrooms to remind teachers of their dismissal time. That part went smoothly. I was most worried about the wait time for photos in the MPR, which was designed to be 5 minutes. While the line did become very long midway through the day, much to my chagrin, the longest any Family Group waited was 10 minutes. I would say Family Day was successful- PYP, MYP, and DP students were able to meet, interact, play fun games, and learn meaningful lessons. That’s really what Family Day was about.
Thanks to counselors Katelyn Mark and Julee Smith for their help in planning Family Day!

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