January 21, 2020
Lower School Students, Building Connections through “Building Buddies”
Picture ID: 4th-grader Bo Tolbert and kindergartener Josiah Chandler
The beginning of the 2019-2020 Prince Avenue school year brought many changes around campus, but one of the most significant was the demolition of the cottages that had previously served as lower school classrooms. Removing the cottages was a big step forward in the future development of additional classroom space but also required the relocation of eight lower school classrooms to the church building.
While the administration had many logistical concerns to consider during this transition, Lower School Principal Becky Callaway had concerns about the students. She was worried that the pre-kindergarten through first-grade classes would feel isolated from the older classes in the main building. “During the summer, every time I would think about that possibility, I would try to get creative in coming up with some way to ensure that such a thing did not happen.”
Mrs. Callaway’s creative solution has been the implementation of “Building Buddies”. Each month, a class in the church building is paired with a class in the main building. The two teachers collaborate to decide on an activity for their students to do together. The time is meant to be relaxing and relational with very little stress involved in the planning and implementation of the activity. Some Building Buddy times have included reading, drawing book illustrations, kickball, painting pumpkins, and seasonal snacks.
Building Buddies is a continuation of one of the unique aspects of PACS. Having all grade levels on one campus allows for a culture of mentorship between older and younger students. Building Buddies has also had an additional positive outcome for teachers. Mrs. Callaway explains, “One of the by-products of having classes get together in this way is that teachers who might not otherwise have a reason to get to know one another are spending time together. The program has turned out to be a great success for all involved.”
4th-grader Rowen Hudson Kindergartener Skylar Carbine &
& kindergartener Arthur White 4th-grader Josie Smith