Colorado Students Welcome Winter Break Celebrating Inquiry

PEYTON, Colo. – Students at Evans International Elementary School in Colorado Springs, Colo., welcomed winter break with a midday mix of imagination and foolishness.

The students’ teachers provided a pride assembly Dec. 21, the day before their two-week respite, to promote goal setting, creativity and inquiry, according to assistant principal Michelle Slyter.

“The pride assembly combines all the things the International Baccalaureate is all about,” said Slyter. Evans International Elementary School became an IB world school in 2009, about six years after its faculty held their first pride assembly.

The kindergarten-fifth grade school in Falcon School District 49 uses the IB Primary Years Program framework, designed for students aged 3 to 12. IB, a non-profit educational foundation, emphasizes student inquiry, interdisciplinary skills and global citizenry.

Colorado Students Welcome Winter Break Celebrating Inquiry

Colorado Students Welcome Winter Break Celebrating Inquiry

“We’re not too proud to have a little fun,” said music teacher Sarafina Bailey. “We wanted to let the kids have fun, make fools of ourselves and honor our students.”

The students paraded into their school gymnasium dressed as superheroes, an arts and crafts project. Each teacher wore a paper cape that their class decorated to showcase their theme, such as penguins, math stars and the “reading wrappers.”

Following a fifth grade band performance, using violins, violas and a cello, a couple of storybook icons appeared. Bailey, wearing a blonde wig and a white gown, pranced through the audience of children, sparking laughter with third grade teacher Brett Wiltz.

Wiltz sported a green-and-purple costume that mimicked the inquisitive comic book character Riddler, while Bailey’s outfit offered a new look for Wonder Woman. They’re part of a school wellness committee, which spearheaded the day’s assembly.

Colorado Students Welcome Winter Break Celebrating Inquiry

Colorado Students Welcome Winter Break Celebrating Inquiry

After a “Who am I?” game, principal Dustin Horras, dressed in a green-and-yellow elf costume, imparted a less imaginative character. As he muffled unfitting, hasty responses to Bailey’s questions, students jovially tossed “snowballs,” crumbled white paper.

Bailey asked the students who accomplished a goal during their first semester to stand for recognition. Their topics ranged from academic, like improving reading and math skills, to more personal, family-orientated ambitions, said Slyter.

“We’re promoting school spirit and recognizing hard work,” said Slyter, explaining that everyone who reached their goal had participated in a cookie-making party.

Colorado Students Welcome Winter Break Celebrating Inquiry

Colorado Students Welcome Winter Break Celebrating Inquiry

With the students energized by a motivational school music video, Bailey said it’s time to “say hello to the winter holidays, goodbye to school.”

The teachers encouraged roughly five minutes of high-pace dancing, and then finished their assembly with a student-faculty rendition of “Jingle Bells.”

“There were a lot of smiling faces,” said Bailey, while folding chairs after the pride assembly. “They liked seeing their teachers having a good time.

“Our kids are very creative, very expressive and they love the opportunity to perform and participate in something special,” she said.

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