Monday, August 18, 2008

The Adventure Begins...Day 1 of 180!

Approximately 1,250 students began this year’s adventure with us today. The decorated lobby was filled with live Caribbean music provided by Tropico to greet students as they returned for this year’s Virtual Learning Adventure… Around the World in 180 Days. Tour guides were stationed around the lobby, dining room, front office, and hallways to assist students in getting to class and to encourage parents (some rather teary eyed) to lovingly leave their precious packages in our care. The Media Team hosted a Boo Hoo Breakfast for Kindergarten parents. Most returning CCE students eagerly greeted classmates and met new friends. Students found their classrooms and settled into their seats for our closed circuit T.V. greeting by Principal, Susan T. Phillips.

We continued our tradition with our one WOW factor for the first day based on our theme. Bruce Junek took students on a virtual tour of his 14,000 mile 22 country bicycle tour around the world! His slideshow and conversation with students was fascinating. His story shared captivating information on animals he and his wife encountered, landmarks they visited, activities they participated in, foods they ate, and people they met. Students traveled virtually through pictures of Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Java, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, India, Egypt, Jerusalem, Athens, Austria, and Switzerland.
The students were mesmerized by the sheep farmer with dogs, Pepsi and Cola, by the kangaroos, koalas, kookaburras, and albino peacock, by the monkeys grooming—and the one that came from nowhere to try to groom Tass’ hair, by the rhinos, the penguins, and one man’s pet elephant! There were oows and ahhs when he displayed the magnificent volcanoes and rainforests they hiked. The handmade clothing, gorgeous headdresses, along with traditional attire taught students about the differences in cultures. Bruce and Tass' two year adventure was the highlight of many student’s day and I'm sure the topic of conversation around the kitchen table this evening! And, I’m quite certain that most of them shared that Bruce and Tass even tried fried grasshopper on their journey!
Teachers then diligently went over rituals and routines, read stories, and some classrooms even made their own boomerangs and kangaroos.

I can't think of a more perfect way to celebrate Day 1 of our own 180 Day Adventure!

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