Third Grade Hosts Family Connections Night
Each June, as the school year winds down, AFS third graders welcome friends and family members to Family Connections Night, a powerful evening of sharing of personal stories of struggle and success.
The children prepare months in advance for this special night. They select one living relative to research and write about, communicating with that person over a period of months, gathering nuggets of information -- anecdotes, facts, untold stories, unsung heroes -- to add to their one-of-a-kind biographies. They also create family timelines that go back several generations and gather photos and other artifacts to support their stories.
This year, visitors learned of a freed slave who refused to pass her master's surname on to her family. Instead, she replaced it with "Grant", the surname of the U.S. president in office at that time. Another child pointed to a rocking horse, passed down through the generations, created from an old oak on the family farm that had been destroyed by lightening. Every family member was provided with wood from the tree and encouraged to create something from it. Yet another story told of a brave grandmother who managed to purchase her own home and receive a college degree while raising five children alone.
After presenting their trifold displays and answering questions from visitors, the children and their families broke into small groups where the students read aloud their biographies. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a potluck dinner where the conversation continued well into the evening.