PIQUA — Students and staff at Piqua Central Intermediate School got in the holiday spirit this week with a special formal dining event, connecting students and adults through a “sleigh the day” theme.
“You get to know the kids on a personal basis,” Betsey Johns, fourth grade language arts teacher, said.
The students dress up nicely, Johns said. A formal dining committee at the school also decorated the cafeteria, and their theme of “sleigh the day” celebrated the holiday and winter season with festive tablecloths and Christmas lights strung along the wall.
Employees in the cafeteria also made a home-cooked meal for students and staff to eat together. The meal provided an opportunity to expose students to different kinds of food that they might not have had before.
“They’ve never seen these kinds of potatoes before,” John said about some of the students.
Students, faculty, and staff also spent time with each other, sharing the meal and going to recess together. The informal setting gave the teachers the opportunity to talk to students about topics outside of their classroom lessons, like simple questions about family and holiday traditions that the kids have.
“The kids really love it,” Johns said. “I think they like the interaction with their teachers.”
“It’s fun,” Polly Leasure, fourth and fifth grade language arts teacher, said. “You can just talk to them about what’s going on in their life.”
Students enjoyed the formal dining event as well, as it also gave them a chance to eat with different friends.
“My favorite part is when we don’t have to sit at separate tables, and you can sit with your friends,” fourth grader Ava Werst said, to which fourth grader Grace Harshbarger added, “I like to sit with Ava,” while giving Werst a hug.
For fourth graders Benjamin Thompson, he liked the whole experience, saying his favorite was “being able to sit with friends and talk with them and have a delicious lunch.”
Principal Josh Kauffman also joined in the formal dining festivities, interacting with students and staff. “I think it’s going really well,” Kauffman said. “I think the kids really enjoy the special meal that they get.”
Kauffman noted the holiday meal and the special fellowship with their teachers, saying “It seems like the formal dining committee and events get bigger … and more special for students.”
Kauffman said that the event promotes the good behavior that they encourage at the school through the “Indian way.”
“It’s definitely something unique that happens here,” he said.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336