End of Year Letter from Principal Makela

Dear Madera Family,

As the school year comes to a close, our minds and hearts are filled to the brim. It’s been a great year! What a school! Together we’ve learned much and shared experiences that will long remain with us in the years to come. The strength of our community and wholehearted passion to make our school a wonderful place of learning for our children primarily but for all of us makes Madera truly a special place.

Special thanks to all of you who have contributed in ways small, large and unimaginable! Copying for Blue Folders, filling those folders, working in the library or computer lab, driving on field trips, helping with school pictures, providing food and/or organizing lunches for teachers, organizing events, working at these events, showing up to support your children, helping in the garden, serving on committees, sharing your talents, helping with traffic, picking up trash, sweeping the door mats, hosting late night meetings, brainstorming the “what ifs”… supporting our work in countless ways and providing the resources to do what we dream and know is good for children. Thanks for getting your kids to school on time each day, for kind notes of encouragement that mean so much, for sending your kids with healthy lunches obviously packed with love, for making sure homework gets done… and turned in. Thank you for providing rich and engaging, well-rounded experiences for your children and knowing that education is about joy, wonder and fostering curiosity, along with the development of social skills so needed to succeed. For these, and a million other things, we are truly grateful.

Recently, I’ve been reading a bit about play-based learning and how play contributes significantly to brain growth and development. My summer reading list includes a book entitled, Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv. This book describes what he calls Nature Deficit Disorder and the positive benefits of outdoor exploration on children’s physical and emotional health. Let me know if you’d like to join me in reading this book and discussing it. With enough interest, I can order copies at a substantially discounted rate for all of us. If you’re interested, send me an email. Regardless, may your summer be filled with play, exploration, and lots of time spent outdoors. This is a great way to learn and we live in an amazing place for it, don’t we?!

To those of you who are leaving us for new places and adventures, we wish you all the best. Congratulations to our very capable 6th graders who are onto a new stage in their academic career! And, well-wishes, albeit with saddened hearts, to Ms. Gay, Ms. Best, and Ms. King, as you move to new positions within the district. You’ve been a gift to us this year and will undoubtedly be a great asset to your new schools.

For your calendaring pleasure, the first day of school begins on August 20 (yes, very early). Back-to-School Night is September 12.

Until then, enjoy a restful and replenishing summer with your families!

Most sincerely,

Alison Makela