“This is the best night of my life ever!” exclaimed 7-year-old Cheyenne Tingen as she exited Harrowgate Elementary School loaded with books, candy, and other treasures she had amassed during the evening. The threat of Hurricane Sandy could not keep 709 students, parents and faculty members from participating in Family Adventure Night: Under the Sea on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 at Harrowgate Elementary School.
Students and parents followed a treasure map through the school that had been transformed into an underwater paradise of blue lights, fish and other sea creatures hanging from the ceilings, and a giant shark mouth that they had to walk through as they sought out Neptune’s lost treasure. Many students chose to dress in disguise so that Neptune would not know that mere mortals were stealing his treasure! Along the way, they participated in mathematics, reading, science, and social studies activities taught by Harrowgate teachers. At each stop, parents received educational games to play with their children at home. Every game was especially designed to reinforce critical academic concepts needed for success on the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. Families were also treated to a free hotdog, baked beans, chips, drink and desert dinner.
Captain Fred Scott (principal) and First Mate Jana Kline (assistant principal) oversaw the evening. “The parents were overwhelmingly appreciative,” reported Scott. “I saw active participation at every session with parents engaged as much as the students. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the excellent turnout and support of our parents.” Kline, who was experiencing her first Family Adventure Night, stated, “This is the most academically enriching event that I have ever witnessed, either as a parent myself or as an educator. The quality of information and materials, as well as the level of enthusiasm from parents, students, and teachers alike is truly amazing!”
Governor Bob McDonnell has declared November 2012 as Family Involvement In Education Month, urging all parents, educators and citizens to join him in recognition of the importance of parental involvement in their children’s schools, lives and in the education community.