While the musical talents and dance moves deserve a post of their own, there is another aspect of the preparations that I believe to be the most impressive. On the outside, this week of preparations has been dedicated to perfecting choreography and practicing the tunes. Behind the scenes though, this week has provided the time and means to foster the sense of community at PDS. Throughout all of the practices, there has been an overwhelming feeling of support and encouragement. Whether it be by cheering loudly or listening attentively, the students have been models of respect and camaraderie. The teachers and administration have shown their support by helping with practices, delivering “happy grams”, and bringing many laughs and smiles with their dance moves. But it extends well beyond the students and teachers. Every staff member on campus is dedicated to the success of the event and it is apparent in their willingness to stay late, complete tedious tasks, and the countless hours spent making the campus beautiful. The excitement for Grandparents’ Day is contagious, and so is the eagerness to contribute.
Many schools, teams, business, and even communities themselves struggle with how to cultive a sense of togetherness. It is not an easy task, as there is no one way to do it. I have been inside many conversations with people struggling to identify what is not working, where the missing piece is, and what the next step is. So what is it about this week at PDS that makes their efforts to cultivate community a success? First, every member is invested because they are valued and appreciated. Also,the time spent together as a school has been filled with laughter, encouragement, and celebration of the little victories. The determining factor though, is that the common goal is a selfless one. From the students to the administration, every member of the PDS community is dedicated to making Grandparents a success- not because it benefits them but because it brings joy to others.