News and Tribune

Education/Schools

March 21, 2014

Family focused: Hazelwood’s We Are Family Night brings parents, students, school together

NEW ALBANY — After teaching them for a full day and getting ready to release them for spring break, Hazelwood Middle School invited students and their families to just hang out Thursday night.

For the third time this year, the school hosted its We Are Family Night. Though a topic of awareness is usually associated with it, principal Jessica Waters said they mostly want to give families time to be families.

“We pride ourselves on having a family atmosphere here,” Waters said. “Sometimes, parents don’t get a chance to come home and spend time with their families or may have questions and not feel comfortable talking to me. It’s easier for them right now because I’m in jeans. But we want to show them that we don’t just educate their kids, we love their kids.”

Allyson Kiesler, a social studies teacher at the school, said the format has changed since last year. Instead of meeting every month, they meet once a quarter. Rather than just giving information about what’s coming up at the school, she said they really just want to give families a chance to have time to themselves.

But Waters said since this one was held right before spring break, it was also a chance to make sure students had what they needed at home for the next week.

She said in a school where more than three quarters of the student population qualifies for free and reduced lunch, parents were invited to take boxes of non-perishable food.

“Sometimes, school breakfast and lunch may be the only meals [students] get,” Waters said.

She said one of the teachers got a lot of donations from their church.

Burger King donates food and teachers raise money to help fund each of the events, as well as chipping in themselves.

But Kiesler said after everyone gets a hamburger or hot dog, the school doesn’t keep the leftovers. Families get to take home whatever is left.

Jennifer Kennedy, a parent at the school, said she likes the fact that Hazelwood staff care so much about getting families involved on campus.

“I think it’s great,” Kennedy said. “We’ve never been to a school that’s so family-oriented. It’s really nice, they try to do as much as they can for families.”

But this time, the school was also asking for a hand from families.

The school’s annual Hazelwood Gives a Day event is just three weeks away. Families come out to help clean up the campus on a Saturday and plant flowers.

Waters said she’s glad Kiesler spearheaded the idea.

“Allyson started this about three years ago because the building looked pretty institutionalized,” Waters said. “So getting some help to beautify the grounds really does a lot for us.”

Kiesler said they’ve got a few donors on the list for this year’s program, but they’re hoping for more help from businesses and organizations. She said they still need more perennials to plant around campus. She said the school will accept monetary donations, but would also like families to put in some time.

Waters said about 30 families usually show up to help out with Hazelwood Gives a Day.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Education/Schools
LOCAL MAGAZINES
Easter 2014 photos


Click on any photo to purchase it.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.