Community Comes Together at the Spring Fair

There is no shortage of events throughout the year at Corlears. From guest speakers hosting lectures to the annual auction, Corlears families have a multitude of opportunities to connect with one another both inside and outside of the school walls. The annual Spring Fair, however, is something entirely different. Not only is it one of the most anticipated events of the year, but the day in and of itself is a manifestation of the community spirit here at Corlears. An afternoon of fun for students takes place in a school that has been transformed into a kid’s dream come true - complete with crafts, balloons and face painting. Completely parent run and supported, the spirit of the Corlears Community comes alive during this vibrant and joyous celebration that we call the Spring Fair.

Students and parents alike look forward to the this event each year. As each child passes by the elaborately decorated bulletin board advertising Spring Fair, the excitement is palpable. “If only the parents could have seen the excitement and sheer joy from the children as they saw us putting up the bulletin board. Many of them commented that they cannot wait for the Spring Fair and that it is one of the best days of the year,” say Karen Gorman and Sherry Tenorio, PA co-chairs. Corlears Parent, David Ige, who has also been involved in the planning of the event agrees, saying that the “Spring Fair is one of our favorite events! A carefree environment where parents and the kids come together for mirth and merriment.” Organized in full by parents, the success of the event each year is especially significant. As David states, “the best part about the Corlears Community putting in personal efforts, [is that] the fair gets a homegrown feel to it and the message it sends to participants becomes authentic.” That message is one of genuine care and support of a school that serves as a sacred space for children and parents to learn and grow together.

Beyond celebrating current families, the Spring Fair also serves as a venue for welcoming new students and their parents into the Corlears community. This is where the Buddy Families* will meet for the first time. Last year, the Zakrockis were a new family that participated in the Buddy Family program. Father Ian says “one of the things that really sold my wife and I on Corlears was the friendliness, openness and warmth of the welcome we received the first time we visited the school.  We also loved having a buddy family to help us ease into the new world of school for our son when he started in Charles and Betty’s class last year. “ This year, Ian is giving back by taking charge of the program. Understanding the importance of making this connection, he says that “it can be daunting to join a new community, and having a buddy to help navigate it makes all the difference.” Karen agrees, reflecting on her own experience she says: “we were a ‘new’ family... this was our first entrance to school with our 2-year old twin girls, Ciara and Eva. We were greeted so warmly at the fair and felt very welcome. Our girls loved the day, met new friends they still see today, and it created a tradition.” Today Karen, along with the Spring Fair committee**, carry on that tradition through the planning and execution of the event.

The success of the Spring Fair is all thanks to the dedicated parents of Corlears. From fliers to decor to the lobby display, every detail is executed by parent volunteers.  Sherry and Karen reflect on the process saying  “while planning, organizing and running the Spring Fair is a time commitment, we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to work with such talented parents!We benefit from getting to better know the parents in the community, and the fair and children benefit from a fun-filled day organized, executed (and cleaned up!) solely by the parents in the community. It's this spirit of volunteering that makes the Spring Fair so special.”***  While all of the hard work for the event is put in by the adults of Corlears, the result, of course, is all about the kids. The pictures (right and below) say it all! Karen and Sherry agree, “...it is one of the best days of the year. The kids love the fair and we love putting it on for them!”

Beyond the crafts and decorations, it is the involvement of the community that makes the Spring Fair so meaningful and special for everyone that attends. New and current families have a unique opportunity to connect while students enjoy a day of fun that is dedicated to them.  As Karen simply states “it's a special celebration of our community.”

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*You can still volunteer to be a buddy family! Ian says “ If you haven’t yet volunteered to be a buddy to a new Corlears family, please see me – there are still opportunities to participate!”

**Committee Members include:

Jann Parish and Vesna Straser: spring Fair co-chairs

Lisa Fireman- lobby display

David Ige- balloon decor and honorary co-chair

Stephane Elbaz- spring Fair poster, program, and fliers

And thank you to all who have signed up to help! *** There are still opportunities to volunteer for the Spring Fair! Sign up sheets are available in the lobby.