Community in Assemblies

By Kim Barnes, Head of Early Childhood

“Picture if you will a three-year-old girl grabbing hold of her Elmo doll and saying ‘I want to go home. ‘ Little did she know she was already home.”
At Greenhill School, we strive to strike a balance between the individual and the community. One of the regular routines of each division which leads to community has to do with assemblies and this sense of community frequently comes from individuals.

For example, in preschool, it’s quite a sight to gaze upon a sea of four, five, and six year olds as they watch classmates parading across the makeshift stage one-by-one to enact “their” part of a well-known story. Classes in awe of one another and eagerly awaiting their turn to act in an upcoming week break into spontaneous applause as the hedgehog, bear, owls, Baba, Nikki, and others take a bow.

Then there’s the Lower School Monday Morning Assemblies and Core Principles Assemblies. Starting off the week with 350+ voices in song and individuals being noted for acts of kindness as fourth graders get a taste of leadership through oral communication sets the week right. Core Principles Assemblies held on Late Start days find small groups of fourth graders bringing in their individual thoughts and ideas about a particular subject (such as What’s Bugging You?”) via a skit.

Of course, in the Middle, the gathering of all students is a Community Time Assembly. These gatherings are led by students from Student Forum or Character Council. Each assembly is unique but may include performances, demonstrations, recognitions, words of wisdom, and a bit of humor – all from individuals contributing and helping to form the community.

The title, C Day Assemblies, speak for itself in Upper School for you “C” everyone in Assembly that Day. And… this brings us back to the quote that began this piece from a young woman who has now been at Greenhill School for five/sixths of her life. Sharing and celebration of individual stories is strong during these assemblies. Finding your individual place amongst the community is important and relating to other’s will only strengthen one’s own story.

The idea for the theme of this particular entry came from Allie Woodson’s C day Assembly Speech in December on her 18th birthday. Thank you, Allie, for the risk-taking you demonstrated as you shared your thoughts and feelings about your Greenhill journey from Level 1 through Senior year with your upper school colleagues (some of whom also share each of those fifteen years with you), your teachers (current and former), and administrators.

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