Dear Bates Families, The weeks before winter break are always full of excitement and anticipation.  The highlight this year for the Bates School was our Magnificent Day of Play on December 10.  It was amazing to see our students so engaged in creating projects such as arcade games, robots, mini-golf courses, play spaces, cardboard pets and even a nearly life-size cardboard cow.   In every classroom students worked collaboratively and learned from one another.  They challenged themselves and persevered in the face of obstacles.  They proudly shared their creations and reflected on the experience, noting how much they learned on this day of play.  It was truly magnificent and inspiring.  Thank you to all who made the Magnificent Day of Play a success.  Thank you to every family who brought in cardboard and other supplies, volunteered to help in classrooms and helped to clean up.  Thank you to fourth grade teacher Jennifer DiStefano, who first shared the Caine’s Arcade video with the Bates faculty in September.  Thank you to Bates parents Kate Staehly and Nancy Braun and the Bates PTO.  As the idea of a Bates day of play began to take shape, Kate and Nancy eagerly joined the planning team.  With a generous grant from the PTO, they helped to purchase supplies and on the day of play they helped provision every child with the appropriate tools for their creations.  Thank you to our amazing custodians Al Martignetti and Roger Parmigiane, who recycled all the leftovers and made our classrooms spotless once again.  Finally, thank you to the Bates teachers and staff who inspired and supported each and every child and encouraged them to plan, to try and try again and to be proud of their efforts.    On Tuesday, December 23 at 2:15 p.m. we will gather for another Community Meeting, where we will sing a few songs together and highlight one of the values we share as a community: giving to others.  We invite families to join us; however, there will be limited seating so those in attendance should expect to stand or sit on the floor.  I hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday season.   We look forward to seeing all of you in the New Year. Best wishes, Toni Jolley

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