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Notes from the Field: Celebrating and Building School Community

January 5, 2017

In our new Notes from the Field series, we share stories from Learning Leaders program staff who train and support volunteers in over 300 schools throughout NYC. This edition comes from Felicia Wilson-Ocasio, Director of Educational Services for the Bronx and Queens.

On Friday Dec 23rd I was honored to participate in PS 112 D4’s wonderful holiday celebration for their volunteers on the last day of school. New Learning Leaders volunteers got their badges and celebrated the holidays with returning volunteers. They ate great food and shared the holiday traditions they would have with their families over the break. It was great to hear that since meeting each other at the Learning Leaders volunteer training, several parents have connected outside of the school to do things with their children. Although the principal Ms. Reiter was out of the building, she called to wish everyone a happy holiday.

A big thanks to the Parent Coordinator Sualithy Rosario and the PTA for organizing this holiday event! Sualithy was a Learning Leaders volunteer who took over the position after long-time Parent Coordinator Diana Martinez was promoted.

At the holiday celebration the volunteers got to experience Spanish Christmas carols when the students from PS 112 and PS 204 next door did a parranda (a version of Christmas caroling) around the school. Parrandas are done in Puerto Rico and some Latin American countries. A parranda is when a small group of friends gathers to do typical Spanish holiday songs and celebrate at different homes. Most members of the group will play some sort of instrument, either guitars, tamborines, the guiro, maracas, or palitos, and they all sing.