What do spaghetti, estimating, and community have in common?
They are all hallmarks of a much-loved Maple Dene Elementary School tradition! Last Friday, March 18, families, friends, and alumni gathered to share a wonderful Italian feast prepared by Chef Maria and the Maple Dene students, who worked hard all morning turning out handmade pasta noodles amidst flour-dusted faces smiling in excitement. Mounds of noodles, oodles of scrumptious sauce, and baskets of garlic bread were eagerly and happily consumed, and the school was alive with conversations and laughter.
Afterwards, students gathered in groups to test their knowledge of geometry on a mystery building (hint: designed and built by one of the first presidents of the United States, and located in Virginia). Parents were challenged with a map-reading activity, trying to deduce how many hours of daylight occur at specific times in the year (congratulations to our alumni, James Gilles, who volunteered the crucial clue!).
The evening ended with a skill well-honed by the Maple Dene community — estimating. At stake were enormous jars of pretzels, animal crackers, and — a personal favorite of the younger set — cheese puffs. It was a close contest, but thanks to some amazing calculations from The Crickets, (the Kindergarten and First Grade students) three winners were awarded their respective prizes for “using their noodle.”
It’s always bittersweet to see community evenings draw to a close, but as the laughter faded into the night, people headed home with the realization that another round of Maple Dene memories had just been made.