Children at got to see their principal in a super hip outfit Thursday, including a fringed vest, and red-white-and blue striped bell bottoms. They also danced with their teachers to the disco classic YMCA and learned about board games their parents used to play – like Battle Ship and Sorry.
It was all part of a ‘70s assembly to commemorate the passing years of their school. Parkview (home of the Pandas) and the assembly was one of five different events the children will take part in, to pay tribute to each decade that their school has been operating.
“It’s not only educational for the kids, but it builds their sense of community, and makes them proud of their school. I think when kids feel proud of their school they want to come to school, and it makes them better learners,” said Principal Christopher Getchell.
Earlier this year, the children learned about the ‘60s, which included dancing to the Twist. They also got to meet and ask questions to Parkview alumni from that era, including two former principals, John Kent (1961 – 63) and Alden Randall (1963 – 83).
This month, they met alumni from the ‘70s, which included parents of some of the current students, two teachers from the – Steven Circe and John Visnauskis, and some of their own teachers. They learned that their school only served five lunches in that era, and kids wore Converse sneakers, just like today.
“Everything old can be new again,” said Kindergarten teacher Shiela Dever-David, who dressed up as Marcia Brady, with long, blond pigtails.
The students viewed a movie about board games, produced by Vivian Copobianca’s second grade class. The movie showed the kids playing popular ‘70s games, including Hungry Hippo, Battle Ship, Ker Plunk, and Sorry, with an explanation of the rules. First grade student Ryan Lemay said that was his favorite part.
“I liked that they showed all the toys. I still have Hungry Hippo,” he said.
Students in other classes outlined the historical highlights of the decade. They conveyed that there were three presidents in that decade, and that the Northeast got blasted by a monstrous blizzard in 1978. Classes also sang songs from Sesame Street and held up signs of popular ‘70s sayings, such as “What’s Up Doc,” “Sock it to me,” and “Can you dig it?”
The finale included a “fashion show,” which showed old pictures of the teachers in the ‘70s, projected on a large screen. Kids viewed their teachers in old prom gowns, plaid bell bottoms, and bridal dresses, and did a great job identifying who they were.
The assemblies will continue through June, with the next one focusing on the 1980s, in February. Former alumni who are interested in attending are encouraged to either call or email Principal Getchell, so they can participate as well.
“Once a Panda, always a Panda,” the principal told the alumni.