LEHMAN TWP. - An Academic Fair held at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School brought students, parents and staff together to celebrate a diversity of disciplines and provide opportunity to benefit the community.
Principal Donny James said the event had originated as a science fair but transitioned into an academic fair several years ago.
“All the work is done in school,” he said. “Our students are so excited to show their parents what they have done. The parents are seeing it for the very first time tonight.”
A favorite activity of attendees is a community oriented event sponsored by the second grade, but open to students of any grade.
This year a dance marathon event raised money for the summer food program, providing meals for students of the district.
“I’m so happy that I could participate because it really helps students who don’t have enough,” said Jace Hynick.
Hynick became more serious and said, “And I know that I have so much.”
Hynick also participated in the fifth-grade’s academic project “geometric city,” crafting a series of buildings using paper in a variety of colors.
“I think that we learned about architecture, I do,” said Hynick, “and about construction.”
Hynick’s mother, Reagan Hynick, a second-grade teacher at the school, said she couldn’t be more proud of the students and fellow teachers who worked to make the dance marathon a reality, aware that money made from the event would ultimately benefit students of the district through the summer food program.
She also credited upperclassmen with being willing to provide assistance to younger students during the fair and at other times during the year.
Courtney Richards and Morgan Rogers, seniors at Lake-Lehman Junior/Senior High School, said they enjoyed helping at the event and were looking forward to also helping at the summer food program.
“Its nice to give one day a week to help others,” said Richards. “And there are children that are really in need.”
For fourth-graders Sage Morgan and Lily Velez, the evening was all about friendship.
The two proudly stood in front of a house they had crafted from construction paper reflecting their class’s project theme, the novel “Because of Winn Dixie.”
The two, who also worked together on their fair project last year, took time to explain each part of the house from the spider webs to the pumpkin to the cat to the unruly vegetation which lined the yard.
“This is Gloria Dump’s house,” said Morgan. “She’s a character from the book.”
A music appreciation event held during the fair provided students opportunity to become familiar with musical instruments and to consider joining the school’s marching band.
Parent Tracey McGurk, band sponsor committee, was on hand to share information about the band and the opportunities it provided.
McGurk, who was also a band member as a high school student and exuded enthusiasm, said members of the band have opportunities to travel, compete and prepare for the senior high band.
Jennifer Shepherd, a member of the PTO who carefully put together about 10 gift baskets filled with everything from toys to picnic items to gift cards, said time spent assisting in school activities is well spent.
Shepherd said her daughter, Grace,a third-grader, enjoys goping to school.
“We love it here,” she said. “We’re a family.”