Personal Project Day

The last few weeks we have turned our lens inward to focus on the importance of project work here at Parker. From professional development to classroom examples both large and small, we have analyzed and illustrated how project work exemplifies our mission and values as a progressive school. 
This past Monday, we set aside a day in our schedule with the aspirational goal of nurturing and facilitating personal creative endeavors across our community. Families and faculty who wished to participate were invited to join us in devoting time in their day to pursue interest-led personal projects that would bring them joy, discovery, and that all-important sense of accomplishment. 
Today, we would like to showcase several of the many wonderful projects that faculty and families shared with us from their days. We are so grateful to our community for their support in workshopping this new idea, and we look forward to future opportunities to evolve and engage our collective creativities and passions.

“​​Holland (Kindergarten) chose to clean up trash and plant seeds because he wants to be an environmentalist in Alaska when he grows up!”
“Back in January, I had a personal project weekend and quilted in a real studio (not my usual attic). For Parker’s dedicated project day, Lucy, Maren, and Savannah (Parker 5th grade) made bubble tea while I ran our homemade maple syrup evaporator.” ~Debbie Hoffman, 1-2 Teacher
“Today we (Clare, PreK 3-4) worked on a family tree!”
“For personal project day, Jackson (4th grade) and Will (PreK 4) worked on a solar system model and a hydraulics project.”

“I spent the first half of the day in my studio, and then I made it over to Jiminy Peak to get some skiing in on the first day of spring!” ~Claire, Art Teacher
“For Personal Project Day, Finn (3rd grade) is reading a book that is a favorite for him and his grandfather, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse. His grandfather has been sick recently, so Finn is recording himself reading the book aloud in sections that he will send once per day over the next several days.”

“For Rowan’s (PreK 3) personal project yesterday, she decided to draw a giraffe, then used painted cotton balls to make it a more 3D giraffe. This was all her idea, and we thought it was pretty cool! Thanks for giving her the chance to be creative!”
“We boiled sap of course, and built a bunny hutch!” ~Matt and Katie Thornton, Director of Admissions and Director of Wellness & SEL
“There was a lot of chicken fashion-wear sewing, finger board molding, and absorbing the sun with gratitude for friends in my parts.” ~Cheryl O’Donnell, Kindergarten Teacher
“Priya (6th grade) and I began the day sorting books to ship to schoolchildren near my husband’s village in Guyana. We then hit our local amazing independent bookstore, Battenkill Books, for a new Independent Reading Project book.” ~Jen Baker, Spanish Teacher
“Kullyn (PreK 3-4) worked on our plantable flower cards and a paper mache solar system project.”
“I spent my morning in fiber heaven finishing socks and mending, and then I enjoyed a solo hike on this sunny day.” ~Leigh Augustine, PreK 3 Teacher
“I spent my day in the studio – it was so nice to have daytime light! This is a work in progress.” ~Michele Ridgeway, PreK 4 Teacher
“I took a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to be inspired by all the amazing artwork! I am so grateful to everyone who joined us in making this day meaningful by pursuing an interest or passion or creating something purposeful.” ~Jennifer Gresens, Head of School