FLINT TWP. — “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
A quote attributed to the always upbeat Dr. Seuss set the tone for the final days of school at Woodland Elementary on Beveridge Ave, which is closing this week.
The quote was brought to the attention of Woodland’s staff by a parent, Audrey Pelkey, who with her daughter inscribed it on bookmarks they made for teachers, said Laura Hall, a music teacher and organizer of a fun Finale held last week on the spacious, wooded grounds behind the school.
The staff thought it only fitting to pass the heartening sentiment on to the rest of the student body. With help from the Parent/Teacher Council (PTC), the slogan was printed on the backs of T-shirts and distributed as a keepsake to every child and staff member. The front of the black shirts bears the name of the school and the dates of its existence —1955-2012 — superimposed over the number 55.
With five days to go before the 55- year old school joins the Carman- Ainsworth history books, the faculty and PTC threw the fun Finale celebration to give the students one last good memory to take away.
Many of the children wore their new T-shirts as they participated in the carnival games, water games, Karaoke, face painting and bounce houses provided for their amusement. They were moved in groups from station to station to ensure that everyone had a chance to enjoy everything.
Rain threatened, but no formal ceremony or maudlin speeches took place to cloud the day.
“We wanted to make it a fun day for the children to remember,’’ Hall said.
Board of education member, Ann Saunders, was among school officials who stopped by during the day, Hall said. Saunders was Woodland’s PTC president for many years. Her children and a grandchild attended the school.
At the end of the Finale Day celebration, each Woodland student received a gift bag of prizes and mementos, Hall said.
In the fall, they will attend one of the other elementary schools in the district. The Woodland building will be repurposed to house the Atlantis Alternative High School, a shared program with the Bendle School District, that is currently located on Eldon Baker Drive off Dort Highway in Flint.