September 26, 2017

Community Unity Day aims to bring elementary students, families together

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STANDISH — Due to restructuring, all Standish-Sterling students in first through sixth grades will attend school in the same building rather than separate elementaries this year, and an Aug. 25 event aims to begin to bring children and families together.

Community Unity Day, scheduled for 3-7 p.m. Aug. 25, is being hosted by the Standish-Sterling Central Elementary Parent-Teachers for Kids. PTK Secretary Shara Klenk said there will be various activities and attractions for students outside of the school and an open house in the central elementary, formerly Standish-Sterling Middle School. Klenk said since the separate elementary PTKs consolidated, they have heard many concerns and want to bring the community together.

“We hear negative and positive from both sides, and this just lets everybody know that we’re working together and we need to work together to make it positive for our children too,” she said.

With kindergarten and Young Fives students attending class at Sterling Elementary — Standish Elementary was closed as part of the consolidation — Klenk said there are concerns those students will be left out of activities and events.

“There are still a lot of concerns that people don’t want the Sterling Elementary kindergartners and Young Fives left out of everything,” she said. “So we need to make sure we keep them involved in everything that we do. There are concerns about bus routes. Kids can’t walk to either location, so where’s the bus routes? There is a lot of information still out there.”

Activities available for children include a bounce house, petting zoo, face-painting and balloon animals. Free food will also be available, Klenk said. She said while it is hosted by the PTK, the community at large is welcome to attend.

“Maybe they don’t have kids in the school, but they want to see it,” she said. “It gives everyone a chance to get a preview and find out what the PTK is all about. We’ll let them know what we’ve spent their money on in previous years.”

Some teachers may be present during the event, but Klenk said the PTK didn’t feel it necessary to make it mandatory for teachers.

“Since orientation is (Aug. 29-30), we didn’t say, ‘Hey, you have to come,’ because they already have so much going on with getting their classrooms ready,” she said. “Most of the teachers have a huge task to get their classrooms ready. It’s a lot of work.”

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