Lower School Community Day Overflows with Creativity and Courage

It was a day of connection and memory-making on Friday, April 28, when all of Beasley Lower School celebrated Community Day! Students enjoyed a variety of activities that allowed them to interact among classes and grade levels, and share a lot of laughter while at it. “The theme for the day was creativity and courage,” said Amy Scheer, Head of Lower School. “We introduced these character education words at an assembly in April, and then we reinforced the meaning of the words during Community Day. We also watched our Fourth Grade Leadership Crew share ways that they are creative and how they use courage to share their creativity in the April assembly. The entire day was a chance to celebrate our students and to be in community together!”

Fourth-Grade Play

In the morning, students enjoyed the fourth-grade play Tale Town and the Story Stealer. Lower & Middle School Drama Teacher Missy Heinemann shared that the play was adapted from Peddler Polly and the Story Stealer, written by Aaron Shepard. The play’s antagonists, Dr. Spellbinder and his Sidekick, plan to steal all of the stories from the townspeople of Tale Town and use them to sell Spellbinder’s new invention, the Spellbinder Storybox. Spellbinder’s evil plan is quickly discovered by the clever Peddler Polly, who outsmarts Dr. Spellbinder and returns all of the stolen stories back to the citizens of Tale Town.

“Our adaptation of the play incorporates a bit of history by introducing the concept of a radio play and how radio actors in the 1930s used their voices and noise-making objects and instruments to draw listeners into the story and spark their imagination through sound,” explains Heinemann. “Throughout the show, audience members hear a variety of sound effects coupled with narration delivered by ‘Radio Actors.’ Also featured in the show are commercials performed by several actors who highlight popular products from the 1930s, including Ovaltine, Wheaties, and Mr. Goodbar. These talented fourth-grade actors will have the opportunity to perform Tale Town and the Story Stealer once more as they welcome family members to the Beasley Studio during several dates in May.” Way to brave the stage for the rest of Beasley, fourth graders!

Team Building Activities

Students also participated in outdoor team-building activities with Thomas Buffington, Lower School Librarian, behind Olson Hall on the open grass. First, students had to line up in age order among their different classes. Then commenced a fun game of chain tag. To play, those who were “it” joined hands and ran together, trying to tag other players. Once a player was tagged, they linked up with the “it” chain and helped tag more Beasley friends.

First-Grade Book Drive & Swap

Friday’s Community Day was also the final day of the First-Grade Book Drive and Swap. Throughout the week, first graders collected books from their classes and fellow Beasley students, which will be donated to an organization called Books for Newborns. The organization, according to its website, “partners with St. Louis area hospitals and social service agencies to provide books and other reading materials to low-income mothers and their families.” Each morning, the classes took turns gathering and counting the books. They marked the number of books that had been collected on a graph in the Beasley hallway. The goal of this year’s book drive was 1,000 books, and students collected a total of 1,018!

Next, for the first time in several years, the “swap” portion of the drive took place. In the first-grade classrooms, books were displayed on the classroom tables. Then, throughout the morning, all Lower School students had the chance to visit the classrooms and pick out one book for themselves to keep.

Seeds of Happiness

Each Lower School class was given Seeds of Happiness, colorful clay pieces with smiles, to share with different spaces and people in different divisions. “In all, we shared 250 seeds to help spread smiles and happiness,” said Sarah Garner, Lower School Visual Arts Teacher. The Beasley students traveled to the Middle and Upper Schools, passing out seeds to the students and teachers in various classrooms. “The goal was to encourage our Lower School students to be brave, share the message of Seeds of Happiness, and also be creative in how they shared their message.” Not only did Lower School students share the seeds, but some students also made cards, notes, heart pillows, and even poems! What a clever way to express courage and creativity!

Fourth Graders Tour Middle School

In the afternoon, fourth graders took a tour of the Middle School with some of our Admission staff. This tour is conducted every year so that our soon-to-be Beasley graduates can get familiar with what life in MICDS Middle School looks like. The almost-Middle Schoolers traveled to each of the grade-level hallways, the Fitness Center, MAC, Makerspace, science labs, dining hall, Freeman Arts Center, the Middle School library, Mary Eliot Chapel, and the Middle School Office. Associate Director of Middle School Admission Kerry Bryan said, “The fourth graders are always very enthusiastic about going on a tour of the Middle School! They have lots of energy!” It was also exciting being able to offer this same tour to rising fifth-grade parents this year, which hadn’t been done since before the pandemic.

SK Plants Sunflowers

Senior Kindergarteners enjoyed community building while planting sunflower seeds. “What a great experience it is, digging our hands in the dirt and imagining what our tiny seed will turn into,” said Laura Pupillo, Lower School Science Teacher. The SKers will return in the fall to find their garden lined with sunflowers. “Science and math will be partnering in a thematic week about plants when we return in August, and having these sunflowers to study will enrich our theme experience,” Pupillo added. Currently, they’ve also been studying birds. They have learned that some birds are seed eaters who eat sunflower seeds. Having the sunflowers on campus will help attract birds to their garden. Second graders also got to do some gardening by planting native plants for the expanded monarch waystation in the afternoon. Be sure to watch for the new plants and sunflowers as they grow this spring and summer!

35th Annual Kids Heart Challenge

The annual Kids Heart Challenge rounded out Lower School Community Day in the MAC with a skip, hop, and a ton of running and jumping in support of the American Heart Association. The challenge has now been conducted at MICDS for 35 years! Students raced along an obstacle course with sandbags, zig-zagged through pathways, sprinted through tunnels, leaped over obstacles, and more. They also played jump rope and ran around the MAC, some logging two miles in just the 30-minute timeslot allotted to each group. It was a ton of fun for everyone and all of the activity added up to $18,000 raised to support the AHA. Way to go, Beasley community!

Beasley Sends Off Seniors

At the very end of the day, Lower School students lined the Beasley hallway to cheer the seniors on in the annual Senior Walkthrough, where seniors make a lap through campus on their last day of school to say “so long” to all of MICDS from Lower and Middle School to Upper School. Nothing says “community” quite like the coming together of all Rams in support of one another!

Thank you to all of the Lower School faculty and staff for making Community Day such a fantastic, creative, and fun day as a Ram family!