Features 2002

Hobby Day revisited

... the whole school is involved

by Russ Priestley

Some of you readers may recall my writing about Hobby Day one year ago. Click here to read! Bear with me because all of the cast has changed. Each year in February or March, this day is celebrated at just one of the many elementary schools in Melrose, Massachusetts.

Courtney Hall, Dogs, w/ Colleen Kelly, Dog Objects

Parents and teachers of the Winthrop School (Grades K to 5) were, at first, planning a Career Day to involve the whole school. But at those ages, who can know what to plan for a career? They devised the innovative idea of having a Hobby Day instead, and restricting the exhibitors to the fifth grade. There was not room enough for all students to display their hobby material.

Jackie Cunniffe, Stuffed Animals

Tim Morris, Watercolor Painting

The procedure is to have every fifth grader who chooses, to show his or her hobby on the tables set up in the Auditorium. The ones who display are seated behind to answer all questions posed. To get all others involved, the fourth graders act as escorts for the younger ones. On a planned and timed schedule, the lower grades are given the chance to roam, under the guidance of the fourth graders. Some of those displaying, offer a prize to be awarded to a lucky viewer in a drawing. Salesmanship already.

There is a wide range of hobbies shown... collectables include: Sport Cards, Coins, Stuffed Animals, Beanie Babies, Comic Books, Legos, Original Art, Dogs, and Dolls, to name a few. Two girls were displaying, at this young age, the trophies they had won. And one girl, Katie Murphy, her Princess Diana Memorabilia.

All of the pupils are provided with name tags and a printed program... big factors in their getting to know their school mates.

Of course, the fourth graders are looking forward to their next year when they will be the exhibitors. An incentive "hook" in all this is that the exhibitors are rewarded with hot pizza, home-baked cookies and soft drinks at lunch time... paid for by the PTO.

Three students, from top,left: Jade Longuemare, Seashells. Sean Silverman, Sports Cards. Brendan Molyneaux, Legos. (right) Greg Porcaro, Pogs. (All photos,courtesy of Mrs. Joanne Hall)

The Planning Committee is headed by Mrs. Barbara Simko and assisted by other parents, all under the supervision of Principal Robert Arciero. How do I know all about this? Since I taught a cartoon class for ten years in the elementary schools, I am invited each year to show kids how to draw cartoons. Another adult, Joanna Palmer, demonstrated her talent with Rug Hooking. Other adults have participated in the past, but fade out when their own children go to the higher grades. I am the only adult who returns each year. Why? I enjoy it ...to be working with these eager kids.

May 3, 2002

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