Building gingerbread homes, and community, at W.B. Goodwin

Principal Natasha Jones and the staff at W.B. Goodwin Elementary School (WBGES) are continuing to build on an established, positive relationship with the school community. They hosted the second annual “Gingerbread with the Principal” December 11, 2019.

About 50 families attended the event to hear Jones speak about building upon a foundation of learners, and how parents can get involved. This is Jones’ second year as the principal at WBGES, and she wants to make it clear her door is always open to speak with parents. She encourages creative thinking and welcomes ideas to make Goodwin a better place. She would like to see parents come up with events involving our students and take the lead on preparation and follow through.

“We can’t do this without you. This is a partnership between home and school,” explained Jones. “We are getting ready to build a better Goodwin. Every house has a good foundation. Today, you are going to build a gingerbread house to represent our school in your vision of the future. How do you want your house to look?”

On the day of the event, the cafeteria was filled with music and fun. As families made their gingerbread houses, Principal Jones discussed what they (the houses) symbolized for her: the milk cartons represent the foundation of our school; the graham crackers are the framework-students, parents, faculty, and staff working together to build that sense of community; the icing is what holds the school community together; and the special treats are the talents that everyone brings to the table. The parents and families that attended had a great time, and at the same time, understood the underlying message. Seeing parents having a good time and talking about how they can help the school made the effort worthwhile.

“I am here because I want to support my sons and Ms. Jones,” said Michelle Oliver, a parent of two children at the school. “Whether my kids are here or not, I support the efforts made for the children of our community. And, I was here last year, and it was a lot of fun!”

“All of my children attended this school,” added Cherese Belin, a long time parent and supporter of Goodwin. “I am here to support my daughter today. They do a great job here at this school. It’s the people that make a school and this school is special.”

There was also a contest to honor the best gingerbread houses. More than 40 houses were constructed, so the staff had a tough time deciding on the winners. However, three stood out among the rest: Lataisha Brown won first place, while Cristelto Gonzalez and Monique Levine finished in second and third place, respectively. All three parents received gift cards and prizes.

“I want to reiterate the importance of getting involved and I ask parents to get creative, volunteer, and stay in touch,” explained Jones. “If you have ideas, bring them to me and we will work together on it.”

For more information about “Gingerbread with the Principal” or how to support WBGES, contact Natasha Jones at (843) 767-5911.

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