My kids go to a school that has been in continuous operation since 1883. This historic little red school house was actually yellow when they first built it. These days, it serves as the kindergarten classroom. Over the years it has seen countless children pass through it’s doors, and more than its share of mothers crying as they leave their children on the first day of school. Some cry out of nostalgia, a few from separation anxiety, and others for joy and anticipation of a few hours of peace at last 🙂
The little red school house is the backdrop for everything we do at Ballard School. Every morning students in K-6th grade gather around the flag to say the Pledge of Allegiance while two students raise the flag and another two ring the bell in the tower. Some days, this simple ceremony can bring tears to my eyes. Especially now, as my son nears the end of his time on this campus.
This past weekend we gathered together for a fundraiser, a day of old-fashioned fun that included sack races, tug o’ war, pie throwing and the largest game of musical chairs you’ll ever see. It took weeks of work for parents to coordinate, plan, decorate, advertise, sell tickets and procure auction items. But in the end, we raised more than $50,000 to help the PTA pay for field trips, special assemblies, computer maintenance and a music program for our students. Keep in mind this is a school with only 118 students. Maybe since we only do this big fundraiser every three years or so, people are more willing to spend money to benefit their kids.
As for the kids, the Jamboree is just a day of fun. A happy memory of cotton candy and barbecue, games and friends, music and celebration. Hopefully, as they grow older and move away from our small community, they can look back fondly on days like this and appreciate how lucky they were to grow up in the little town of Solvang.