Latest Family Night Builds on ‘K-8 Feel’

Esperanza Mercado makes designs with daughter, Yra, 5

My’Angel Westbrook practiced blowing into a tuba, pursing her lips just right after receiving instruction from band teacher Jake Castillo, and declared she just might want to join band. “I want to play the drums and the flute,” said the Godwin Heights Middle School fifth-grader.

Families came together recently as the school became a showcase of fun activities for a K-8 Family Night focused on electives. Children bounced balloons, shot hoops and skipped rope in the gymnasium, dabbled with paint in the art room, and used technology in the computer lab.

Noah Houck, a West Godwin first-grader, gets ready to bowl in the gymnasium

The district’s kindergarten-through-eighth grade event was one of several family nights hosted each year to highlight teaching and learning. Events are collaborative across grade levels, buildings and content areas to enhance effectiveness, said Michelle Krynicki, director of instruction. Other focuses have been math and science.

Middle School Principal Rinard Pugh said it’s been very helpful to develop a “K-8 feel” to the elementary and middle school buildings. The evening highlighted non-core content areas of learning.

“It’s a fun way to get parents and kids in here and just have fun,” Pugh said. “This could be a really good way to get students involved in extracurriculars, to spark that interest.”

Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2013. Read Erin's full bio

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