Saturday, March 26, 2011

Social Leadership: What a Cool Idea for the Youngsters

Just got done with a six-miler. Sweaty buzz right now. Nice.

Yesterday was a good day. Keith had the day off, after representing his computer software company as a judge for two days at the state science fair. He helped organize that, plus gave away a big scholarship to a grateful teen. Anyway, it was nice to have him around. We took some time to talk about plans for Spring Break. Jane will be heading to California with her school orchestra for the majority of the week vacation. After sticking around here "spring cleaning" every year, I thought it would be fun to take off somewhere. We toyed around with going down to the southern part of the state where it's a tad warmer, but looking at fairly inexpensive accommodation prices, we determined it would cost us close to $600 just to stay for 4 nights. Just not worth it. We decided to put it towards our big summer vacation and maybe spend the night in the big city for a little exciting getaway with the kids. Museums, planetarium , swimming in the motel pool...That's all we need.

Keith took me to dinner, too, last night. Macaroni Grill (Italian). We always like that. Especially dunking that yummy, hot bread in some good olive oil and balsamic. I was kind of anxious about finding something to eat- I'm still going strong with my vegan thing. I was interested to know if I'd be tempted with all the meat and fish, and cheesy offerings. I can honestly tell you that I wasn't. All I want, really, are vegetables. That's what I crave. Seriously. I was very satisfied with my big salad, the bread (of course) and my "Make Your Own Pasta" option. Whole wheat penne with a basil tomato sauce, sauteed mushrooms, raw spinach, and roasted whole garlic cloves. It hit the spot, and didn't weigh me down. Can you tell that I'm loving eating this way?

Then we headed off to Eliza's school "Social Leadership Culmination Ball". This has been such a neat tradition in the charter school the our kids have attended for 7-8th grades. Since the beginning of the year, maybe about once a month, a parent committee holds after school classes for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders (This school is very small and has 20 kids per class. One class per grade.) where they learn manners- table and formal meal etiquette, how to make an introduction, engage in social conversation and graces, etc. They also were taught traditional dances like the fox trot, swing, cha-cha, waltz. It's not only has been a wonderful and very educational idea for the kids, but every single kid I know has a great time and has loved the whole experience.

So, last night Eliza got all glitzed up. She looked beautiful and all grown up. (But not too grown up, if you know what I mean.)

A group of moms got together to make the corsages and boutonnieres. The girls had old- fashioned dance cards that were filled out before hand by eager dance partners. The moms also prepared a fancy meal that was served to the kids and their dinner partner. (Chosen by the committee.)

We got there just in time to see the rotating partner waltz. The funnest part was watching the kids (especially Eliza) cutting loose with the "macarena" and to music from "Napolean Dynamite's" assembly dance. Seeing the kids smiling, dancing their hearts out so joyfully was so fun. Keith and were impressed that all the kids made an effort to include everyone. If the girls didn't have a partner, so what? Just dance with another girl. One boy in Eliza's class who has autism was holding back and I loved how Eliza went up to talk to him, and then another girl went up to ask him to dance.

The tradition to end the ball was having the parents dance the waltz with their child. So sweet.

All in all, a very memorable and worthwhile thing these kids get to experience as part of their middle school years. The energy in that hall was fantastic. I think it's something all kids should get to experience.

1 comment:

  1. Eliza looks so beautiful and classy! That was a great activity - remind me of my boarding school days! I wished there were activities like that all over the schools.