Beasley Community Day Nourishes Joy, Service, and Fun

Last Friday, MICDS Lower School was buzzing with activity for the annual Beasley Community Day. Junior Kindergarteners through fourth-grade students rotated through a variety of activities that fostered joy, compassion, thoughtfulness, knowledge, and friendship. It’s not every day you get to plant a garden, paint a mural, learn coding, give to a food pantry, and glide through obstacle courses. Oh, what fun our youngest Rams had!

Kids Heart Challenge Raises Almost $30,000 for American Heart Association

Much to their delight, Beasley students ran, jumped, and climbed through the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge, a challenge that has been conducted at MICDS for an impressive 34 years! Their hearts were pumping as they raced in the 100-meter-long obstacle course. They ran laps around the track, jumped rope, and hula hooped. To top it off, the challenge raised about $29,400 in the name of fighting heart disease and stroke. “The American Heart Association and MICDS would like to thank all MICDS students and families for their very generous donations,” said Sue Orlando, Lower School PE Teacher. Way to go, Rams!

Art Murals and Kindness Rocks Brighten Beasley

A popular, favorite activity in the Lower School is creating kindness rocks which was, of course, part of Beasley Community Day. Students painted various rocks with positive, loving, and kind messages so that others will feel joy when they see the rocks. At a later date, the kindness rocks will be “planted” or laid along the ground for all to smile upon seeing.

In addition to the kindness rocks, Lower School artists painted two bright murals which will soon adorn the Beasley halls. “One mural has a reading theme with two children reading books in a tree surrounded by letters falling out of the books,” said Lower School Visual Arts Teacher Sarah Garner. “The other mural is very whimsical and filled with imagination. Two friends are sailing a boat into the clouds where you find an octopus and a whale swimming in the clouds and rainbows. The mural continues on with another friend in a hot air balloon over a colorful city.” Be sure to check out these masterpieces the next time you’re in the Beasley hallways!

Creating a Monarch Waystation in the Beasley Garden

Lower Schoolers got their hands dirty and planted in the Beasley Garden. “Ornamental grasses were removed in a 12×14 foot section to create our very first Beasley Monarch Waystation,” said Laura Pupillo, Lower School Science Teacher. What is a monarch waystation? According to, it’s a “place that provides resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration.” The resources needed are milkweed and nectar from flowers. Pupillo shared that the area was full of common milkweed but lacked good pollinator plants.

Second graders answered this need by researching what plants monarchs like and planning the waystation. “In the end, we planted 40 Missouri native plants and 40 annual Zinnia seeds,” Pupillo tallied. Some of the plants are Missouri coneflower, beebalm, rose milkweed, coreopsis, New England aster, and many more. We can’t wait to watch these plants grow and help monarchs thrive!

Constructing Birthday Bags for a Food Pantry

For a fun community service component, students created “birthday bags” for a local food pantry. A birthday bag is a party bag filled with cake mix, vegetable oil, icing, candles, and homemade birthday cards. These will be given to families in need who have birthdays to celebrate.

Scratch Computer Games

Earlier in the school year, students made two Scratch games. Scratch is a computer programming environment that uses block coding. On Community Day, students formed teams to brainstorm and design an original program to ultimately build as a cooperative group. In one group, Lower School Coordinator of Instructional Technology Greg Stevens listened as each person in the group shared an idea for a game that emphasized the importance of food. After each person shared their idea, Project Manager Ashna J. ’30 said “All our ideas can fit together.”

To prepare for the cooperation required to code a collaborative Scratch game, students learned how to make a Scratch Studio and invite collaborators. They are using a “Backpack” in Scratch to move code from one person’s project to another. The team manager is responsible for assembling each person’s code into a single project. Although they started on Community Day, this project will take several class periods to finish.
This project is about much more than block coding. “For me, the collaboration is the most exciting part of this project,” said Stevens. “While the games students are making are related to the Community Day theme of ‘nourish,’ seeing collaboration with students working together, both online and seated together in a circle, is something we haven’t been able to do in two years.” Way to code and collaborate, Beasley students!

Nourishing Activities in the Library

In the Butler-Spencer Lower School Library, the theme of “nourish” continued as students focused on that word once again. First, they read two books together: The House That Jane Built by Tanya Lee Stone and Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt. “These books highlighted positive examples of leadership through service to friends and community—a good fit for our theme of nourishing!” said Thomas Buffington, Lower School Librarian.
What you can do to take care of and nourish the community, each other, ourselves, family, and friends? Next, students pondered this question and wrote notes of kindness on sticky notes. They placed the messages on a poster that will be laminated and hung in the library as a reminder to “nourish.”
What a wonderful Beasley Community Day of kindness, love, togetherness, and, of course, nourishment!