Traditions are important. They unite students with a sense of belonging and shared responsibility to one another. They create a community of students, teachers, parents, grandparents, alumni and friends of the school in which all are valued and all have a vital role to play. Traditions unite people in mind and spirit, and this unity translates into pride in one’s school and, equally important, in one’s self. At Tenacre we have a number of special events that take place annually.
Annual School Theme
Each year, Grade Five students, with assistance from the faculty, choose a school-wide theme that will be integrated the following year, when they are sixth graders. A tradition that started in 1995, themes usually focus on a character or moral issue such as respect, friendship, honesty, courage and leadership. The School Theme for 2015-2016 is Resilience.
Teachers and students alike find various ways to weave this theme into classrooms, assemblies, and extracurricular activities. Sixth grade students are expected to serve as role models and leaders in exhibiting the positive qualities of this theme. In addition, an individual who embodies the current theme is invited to speak with students in the upper grades. This year, Roz Savage, the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, spoke to fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. Her journeys were amazing examples of resilience.Assemblies
Assemblies bring everyone at Tenacre together and help build unity and school pride. Three days a week, Grades 1-6 come together for a morning assembly. Two of these days either a staff member or a class will run the assembly and perform a skit, read, play a musical instrument, or share slides of a favorite place or past-time. The third assembly each week is a time for announcements and singing songs from the Tenacre songbook. Each assembly begins with the pledge of allegiance, followed by student or staff announcements.
Through these assemblies, students learn about public speaking and learn to be comfortable in front of an audience. It is also a nice time for the various grades to gather together. In addition to these weekly assemblies, the TPA (Tenacre Parents' Association) sponsors several assemblies each year that enhance the curriculum. We have had African American and Native American storytellers, dancers from different countries, puppet shows, and science-based shows.
Community Service plays an important role at Tenacre throughout the school year. Parents and faculty work collaboratively to support student participation in projects that are relevant and appropriate to the children’s developmental stages. This serves to enhance the home/school partnership while supporting organizations that are a part of our community. Beginning in sixth grade, students engage in service learning opportunites off campus, giving them the chance to be involved in service projects in an even more direct, hands-on way way. Recent Community Service projects include: monthly food drives supporting The Wellesley Food Pantry, collection of canned goods in support of A Place to Turn, student and parent volunteering at Cradles to Crayons, the donation of craft supplies and student made fleece blankets to Horizons for Homeless, activity boxes packed and delivered to pediatric cancer patients at Children's Hospital through the Jared Box Project, personal products and letters of thanks sent to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. a Tenacre-sponsored water table at The Boston Marathon to Benefit Dana Farber/Children's Hospital and the Annual Red Cross Blood Drive.
Apple Pie Run
The Apple Pie Run is a one- or two-mile fun run held on a Saturday in October. Each participant can run or walk a one- or two-mile loop around campus. The finish line for this family event is in Tenacre's apple orchard. At the end of the race, each participant receives his/her time and an apple pie to take home (donated by Roche Brothers). Money raised from entrance fees is used to support the Physical Education program, and leftover pies are given to a local food pantry.
December Celebration and Candles of All Colors
In December, students sing in a holiday performance. Children in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade participate in Candles of All Colors, which describes the many ways candles are used for celebrations during the month of December. Their performance usually takes place the first week in December. Children in grades three through six participate in December Celebration, which incorporates songs, dances and readings honoring Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and other family traditions. Performances take place the third week in December.
In the spring, all students eagerly anticipate Orchard Day, a Tenacre tradition since 1952. Each spring, when the apple blossoms are at their peak in the Phyllis Scoboria Orchard, students in Grades 1-5 prepare a skit or poem that honors the sixth graders and says “good-bye” to them. Each sixth grader is presented a gift by the school. The first grade plants its class apple tree, and the entire school joins in the singing of the Tenacre Song. This very special tradition brings the school together in a symbolic way to remind future generations of those who came before them. Orchard Day is a special event for children and staff.