by Head Librarian Fran Mellin
Most Friday mornings at 7:00 a.m., you’ll find me, along with Emeric Viani, Kavita Mundra, Kwame Cobblah, and Liza Waters, around the table of Pike’s conference room. Brimming with enthusiasm, we excitedly share updates and new ideas as we plan a special day of learning for our students. You may be wondering how the idea of Pike Fest came about. Here’s a glimpse behind the scenes…
As members of Pike’s Inclusion Council, we are passionate about building community, celebrating identity and inclusivity, and developing culturally responsive teaching. So when we learned about the Fenn School’s Cultural Arts Festival, a long-standing tradition there, our first reaction was, “Wow! How can we create a celebration day like this at Pike?”
Rolling up our sleeves, we got to work. Investigating the school’s history, we were inspired by our founder, Cynthia Pike, and her vision of passionate, lifelong learning. Reading our mission and values statements, we realized that this day of celebration would bring them to life in a unique way. The idea of creating a day of experiential learning, outside of the regular school routine, captured our imagination.
Laptops, iPads, (and coffee!) at the ready, we tackled the first round of planning. What would this day look like? We envisioned a series of workshops for students, focusing on aspects of cultures and identities that make up our Pike community. Faculty and staff members, as well as parents, would be invited to share cultural traditions, arts activities, or other passions, giving students an opportunity to learn from different adults. It was also important to us that the entire student body begin and end the day together in community assemblies, giving the day a special feel from start to finish.
We are fortunate and grateful that so many in our community have shared our enthusiasm. The administrative team, our communications team, the Office of Community Life, our kitchen staff, and the Parents Association leadership have all contributed many great ideas. Our faculty colleagues and parent volunteers have signed up to lead workshops like Asian American Activism, Hand Games Around the World, Balinese Gamelan Music, and Hip Hop as an African-American Tradition.
As we dive into the final stages of planning Pike Fest, we are even more energized! We can’t wait to see how this day of celebrating our creative spirit and appreciating our differences and similarities will unfold.
The Pike School is an independent, coed, day school for Pre-K through ninth grade in Andover, Massachusetts. Visit pikeschool.org to learn more about Pike – and visit our blog for more thought leadership. To learn more about admission to The Pike School, visit our Admission