Each month Bridgeway’s Parent Teacher Organization organizes a fun family event. Events vary each month. Past events include bowling, Christmas caroling, pumpkin carving, service projects, ice skating, potlucks, miniature golfing and other activities that bring Bridgeway families together. These activities are optional, but serve as great bonding experiences for our families.
We strongly believe in real world exposure to enhance our classroom learning activities. We research local businesses and community resources thoroughly to bring a diverse set of experiences to our students. For example, our intermediate students went to a Mexican restaurant where we had prearranged the servers to only speak Spanish to them. They were able to practice their Spanish speaking skills in an authentic way. Following the lunch, they headed to the nearby bowling alley to practice keeping their bowling scores on paper, using math skills they had learned in class. Another example is our primary students’ annual community field trip where they take the city bus from our school to downtown Bellingham. Each year, 3 local businesses are chosen for the students to visit. Past tours have included People’s Bank, the Police Station, Rocket Donuts and the library.
Seattle Children’s Theatre, Ferndale Food Bank, Mount Baker Theatre, Outback Kangaroo Farm, fire station, local parks, Mallard’s Ice Cream, WWU Planetarium, WWU Outdoor Sculpture Tour, Sehome Hill Arboretum, WWU Performing Arts Center, Stoney Ridge Farm, North Coast Gymnastics are just some of the places where our students have taken their learning outside the walls of our school. The list is too long to share but on average, students typically have about 2 field trips a month.
We like to take our students out into the community and we aim to bring the community into our school as well. Guest speakers have included forester, city bus driver, a spinner/weaver, quilters, organist and even an Iditarod musher who Skyped with us.
Each month, we have a Books and Breakfast event where we have a guest reader and the students perform readers’ theater. Families enjoy the performances as they eat a potluck breakfast. Former guest readers have included a karate instructor, a firefighter, a war veteran, various authors, Ferndale’s mayor and a sign language interpreter. The goal of Books and Breakfast is for the kids to see that reading is something grown ups do – especially heroes they look up to. Also, this is an opportunity for them to perform with their reading skills – giving a real sense of purpose for practicing and improving their reading.
Three times a year, we have a Brown Bag Lunch Day where families are invited to join us for lunch. In November, we have our Dads’ Lunch; in February, we have our Grandparents’ Lunch and each May we have our Moms’ Lunch. Families are always welcome to join us at lunch time but these special lunches are set aside with some extra time with an opportunity for our students to share their learning with loved ones.
Each spring we hold our annual auction/dinner. This is our one fundraiser that we hold each year. All families unite to create a special kid-friendly evening where we get to celebrate our school and raise funds to support our school’s future endeavors.