A few weeks back, during a PA sponsored virtual presentation with guest speaker Charles Vogl, he talked about the power of the invitation. He even had us reflect on past invitations we both received and gave. In each, we experienced how the invitation increased our sense of belonging. When we explicitly invite someone to an event they know that their particular presence is desired. They feel that they belong. Even if the invitee is unable to attend, they know that there is a spot for them.
Throughout this year we have had students and faculty/staff on campus. As we all know, it has made a huge difference in learning, relationships, and meaningfulness. Unfortunately, while it has taken longer to have events on campus that include parents and guardians, that has changed in the last couple of months. We have had performances with live audiences, games with adult attendance, orientations on campus that included new students and families, and a variety of smaller gatherings to allow people to socialize with one another, and in some instances, meet one another in person for the first time. We are rebuilding our community. Personally, I’ve loved the fact that once again I can have the 3-5 minute conversations in passing with parents and guardians.
As we move into the final weeks of the school year, in a slight riff of what Charles shared with us, I want to invite you to attend as many events that are of interest to you. Take a look at “The Month Ahead,” and regardless of the age or interests of your child, add a few to your calendar. I encourage you to stray outside of your proverbial lane. If you are a Lower School parent or guardian, consider attending the Middle School dance performance. Regardless of your race or ethnicity, consider attending one of the affinity group, end-of-the-year events where seniors are celebrated and new students and their families are welcomed. Even though it is virtual, attend the PA Speaker Series on Monday night to learn how to help teens make better decisions. If you are a Lower School parent/guardian, stop by morning flag to see the school in action and to mingle with other parents and guardians–and, of course, to see your own child with their peers.
I know that the above requires time and, in some cases, stretching of your comfort zone. And while this is not the same as a personal invite, please know that we want you on campus as much as possible during these last few weeks.
Have a great weekend, and get out those calendars!