The Mount Vernon community strives to appreciate the qualities that distinguish us from one another, while discovering the common ground that binds us.
In Lower School, students are encouraged to celebrate each other’s differences, as they develop the skills needed to navigate the fact that what makes each of us unique is what makes us special. From our variety of skin tones to hair color and height, and from an individual’s likes and dislikes, being aware of distinction leads students on a journey to connect, be empathetic, and live out what we know to be true – that relationships are foundational to learning.
During the first month of school, students in Kindergarten and Grade 3 acknowledged and celebrated their unique identities through a variety of hands-on projects.
In Kindergarten, students have focused on a single student every day, to learn more about each other, through an activity called “Name of the Day”. For each student, the class discusses the name, dissecting to determine what the consonants are, which vowels are included, how many letters are there, are letters doubled up, etc. – and their interests – three things that make their heart happy. They finish up by having each child draw a portrait of the Name of the Day student. All of the pictures are compiled and they receive a Name of the Day book, showcasing how they are viewed and celebrated by their classmates.
When students color their picture, they also are able to choose their True Me color to represent how we view ourselves. Head of Kindergarten Addy King shares, “The kids have loved the color names like ‘toast’ and ‘redwood’. It has been such a great month!”
For what’s become a tradition in Grade 2, students take pictures and write about their Best Part of Me. Showcasing their smile, their ears, their legs, their nose, their hands, and why.
In Grade 3, students in each homeroom discussed what makes Mount Vernon such a special place to both learn and play. After discussing what makes the School unique, they extended their wonder to “Why do you belong at MV?”
Students reflected on what they love about the School and what character traits they contribute as a valued Mustang. Head of Grade 3 Sarah Wright shared, “We wanted to give students an opportunity to explore every facet of our learning environment – relationships, academics, connections, PlayMaker, sports, arts, etc., while also allowing them to showcase who they are.”
“Anchored in Christian values – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – relationships at Mount Vernon are foundational to learning.” While we all contribute so much individually, at Mount Vernon we know that at the end of the day, we are truly better together.