Halfway through the first week of school, Urban Initiatives already has made its mark on the new school year, helping our partners to meet the challenges of the new year. otis world language academy, a long tIME Urban initiatives partner for all three programs, has an interesting challenge this year. As a welcoming school, otis is now home tO many new faces. urban initiatives recess team And otis teamed up to host a welcoming day for all the students and staff in preparation for the 2013-14 school year.
In late spring, Peabody Elementary in West Town was announced to be closed and would be merging with Otis Elementary. And so began the mission for Otis to create a new single team from two different schools. Luckily, Otis has had a long relationship with Urban Initiatives, and the new REC Coordinator Coach Dave as well as the Work to Play staff led by Coach Cris were set to make sure of it.
The day opened with an address by Otis principal, Mr. Sanchez, welcoming all the new students, parents and staff to the Otis family and encouraging the current students and teachers to reach out and make the transition as easy and friendly as possible, but also to have fun!
Right off the bat (get it?), the staff vs. student softball game began. The new Otis family staff got together and took the field to face off against the new look Otis Owls! And thanks to some new big hitters and great fielding from the teachers, the staff escaped with a narrow victory over the students—we can all expect a rematch very soon.
Throughout the day, Urban Initiatives hosted soccer drills and brought healthy snacks to fuel all the attendants on a hot day filled with games, face painting, giant beach ball volleyball, a moon bounce, and of course, for everyone’s viewing pleasure, a dunk tank—loaded with staff ready to be dunked and children perhaps a little too eager to knock their teachers into a tank of cold water.
Anyone that has entered through the doors of Otis World Language Academy for more than a day can tell you that the students and staff at Otis are like family. So when, Assistant Principal, Mrs. Caraballo, the altruistic mother of Otis, took her place on top of the dunk tank, the crowd of 200+ people of students, staff, and parents that were gathered around for the inaugural Otis Elementary Welcoming Day, erupted in applause.
The children waited in long lines, all hoping to be one that would be able to go home that night and tell their friends and family that he/she was the one dunked their assistant principal.
The day was hot. The water was cold. The crowd was anxious and smiling. And there, shaking her head, sat Mrs. Caraballo, nervous, but with a giant smile on her face and a fist raised in the air, shouting, “Go Otis!” before plummeting into a tank of cold water, creating the loudest cheer of the day.
And so, on that final Friday before school was officially in session, the students and staff at Otis Elementary, new and old, gathered together as one big family of Otis Owls in celebration and preparation for the upcoming school year and for all the new memories and opportunities for fun and learning this year! Here we go!
Go Otis Owls! Hoot!