Submitted by Michele Ouellette, Lead Teacher for Student Life, HKIMS.
(Feb. 5, 2022) — The start of a new year leads many of us to consider our hopes, dreams and goals for the future. This is no different for the staff and students of Haddam-Killingworth Intermediate and Middle Schools (HKIMS), who recently devoted time during their Advisory and Second Step lessons to create luminarias to display their hopes and dreams for 2022.
The idea for Luminarias of Hope was brought to us last year by our wonderful PTO. Last year’s luminaria display was so moving that our students requested that we make it an annual project to help us thoughtfully begin each New Year. This project ties nicely into our Advisory and Second Step programs where we dedicate time to social and emotional learning.
Wishes for unity and world peace; an end to the Corona Virus; accepting others for who they are; good health for friends and family; and improvement in basketball skills, are some examples of the many hopes, dreams and wishes expressed by our students. Upon completion, the luminaria bags were illuminated with tea-lights and set-up in the auditorium for socially distanced viewing. Students and staff walked the luminaria path in silence, taking in their classmates’ and teachers’ hopes and dreams. Families of students were invited in after school to view the display as well.
After stopping by during the day to take pictures of the display for the yearbook, Nicole Harlow, an Intermediate School parent, had this to say: ” I returned tonight so my family of four could walk through together and was again struck by the sometimes tender, sometimes heart-wrenching and sometimes childishly innocent messages written on the paper bags. I’m so proud of all the students (and staff) for opening the windows of their hearts and minds and allowing their peers and families to look in. What a wonderful way to encourage self-expression—for all those who wrote those earnest messages of hope—and to nurture a feeling of community—for those attending school and for the families who came in the evening! Thank You!”
Our sincerest appreciation to the wonderful HKIMS PTO for funding this project.
Photos by Michele Ouellette.