Last Friday, Nathan Hale-Ray Middle school students celebrated "First Day," an annual event where students, parents, faculty and community members come together to ease back into the school year with a fun, first school day. This year, the event was held on the fourth day due to the start of the school year being delayed by Tropical Storm Irene.
"First Day" is a day-long event where students attend the festivities by grade. Students head to the cafeteria where they are greeted with a welcome speech by Principal Jason Peacock. Mr. Peacock is followed by words of wisdom for the school year from esteemed guests that include the assistant principal, superintendent of schools and the East Haddam First Selectman. (see video)
The speeches were followed by a trivia game, led by Principal Peacock. Then, the students headed outside to the courtyard where they were greeted by music and a host of tables with giveaways and sign-up sheets. (see video)
Parents and community members are invited to attend the event and it is a way to "draw volunteers" as well as provide the middle school kids with a comfortable setting to meet up with old friends and mingle with new ones.
Mike Gilroy, Director of the East Haddam Free Public Library, said that it's "important for the library to be a part of the community and there is nothing better than supporting back to school."
Tiffany Quinn, the director of East Haddam Parks and Recreation, was handing out flyers on the department's upcoming activities.
"This is a great way for middle school students to meet various organizations in town and for parents to have that opportunity as well," she said.
Students attending the events said it was "the best part of the school year" and "it's more fun than being in class." They declined to be on camera.
Participants in the event included:
- East Haddam Department
- Middle School Cross-Country team
- MPAC (Middle School Principal Advisory Committee), which had several tables including a Walkathon sign-up, the Social Committee, Dance Committee, Book Fair and the school store.