My grandmother had a row of peony bushes in yard. Each June, the pink and white blooms made her yard smell like the best flower shop ever. Sometimes, around dusk, on humid June evenings, I would walk with her as she used her big scissors to clip a few blossoms and then, brought them inside to wash. At the kitchen sink, she would gently wash the bugs from the flowers and put them in a vase. We were always 'end of the day' sweaty by that time but the flowers were so beautiful and fragrant that they put a rosy glow on the world. If I think about those moments, I can smell the peonies even now. It was magic.
As I look back on this year with the children, families, faculty and staff of Robertson School and Captain Hunt Early Learning Center, I truly feel so blessed and honored to have been gifted with the 'magic' of the last year. My heart is full of memories; of the amazing children and their joy in learning, of dedicated teachers & staff and all of the progress that we made together as a community. I am proud that 76 percent of the Kindergartners at Robertson School met their end of the year DRA2 reading benchmark surpassing last year's 64 percent. I am also 'tickled pink' that more than 70 percent of the PreK students at Captain Hunt have met their end of the year benchmark for learning letters and sounds. (Again, exceeding last year's end of the year data of 40 percent of the students learning 10-20 letters and sounds.) More importantly though, I feel so very grateful for the opportunity to spend the last year as part of the early learning community in Central Falls. The children, their families, the teachers and staff have absolutely left an indelible impression on my heart.
Last night, I googled the meaning of peonies. They are said to gift 'prosperity.' I wish that I had one of my grandmother's peonies to gift each child, parent and educator at our schools. In this way, I could take the fullness and love that I have experienced this year and shower it back on all who have touched my spirit this year. I am truly grateful.
With Much Gratitude and Many Peonies,
Beth Tanner, MS Ed,