Last Wednesday, I grabbed a lunch favorite (Pizza Mondo!) and headed out of the lunchroom to get some work done in my office. I had many things on my mind as we all do at this time of year. Even though I had much to do, an Upper School student invited me to sit with her and I couldn't resist. The emails would have to wait. I sat down to join her for lunch and she invited me to come and listen to her read aloud the book The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg in the 4th/5th-grade classroom the following week. If you have read the story, you know it is magical. The fact that I had been invited to take part in this magic was all the invitation I needed.
While the story was being read, the students were enraptured. Maybe it was the story itself, which is simply about the celebration of childhood wonder and imagination? Or maybe it was that 4th and 5th graders are right on the cusp of questioning the magic of the holidays and their beliefs in general? Or maybe, just maybe, the oldest students in the Lower School were reminded of the magic that even older students and us adults still hold so dear to our hearts?
These memories aren't built at just any old school. I was reminded how special and magical our school really is. At what other schools can you sit down to lunch with a teenager one day and the next week reap the benefits of the wisdom and magic that unfolds? Cascades Academy is truly special and we are forever grateful for the relationships and love that permeates in our PK-12 school. The magic is very much alive!
"The bell still rings for those who truly believe."
-Chris Van Allsburg in The Polar Express
-Natalie Wilhelm, Lower School Head