On Thursday, November 20th, 2014, Near West Side CDC partnered with Brown Elementary School and James Jordan Foundation to host a Family Night at Brown School. Many Brown students and over 30 families came out for the early holiday festivities. With a strong focus on parent engagement, the event offered family activities such as creating holiday centerpieces for Thanksgiving (as seen in picture) and family cooking recipes, in which the families were given some hands on experience, from a Common Threads chef, in creating meals from a desired recipe, as a family.
After the family activities, families were escorted to the gym where the Brown School Dance Team presented an elegant holiday performance, which earned a standing ovation from their parents and families. “More than anything, this is about continuing to become a community. And this is what our families need,” Principal Sadler said as she addressed the congregation.
The highlight amongst all events on the night was Common Threads and Brown students creating AND serving their families with a scrumptious pre-holiday meal of turkey, dressing, greens, and macaroni. The desert menu was just as tasty, with double chocolate cake, cheesecake, and peach cobbler being the options. Praises were given to the students who were so eager to serve their families. “You all have done such a beautiful job today”, said one parent while being served. Many of the student’s faces displayed appreciative smiles for their hard work. But what showed even more appreciation was the video of the participating Brown students on ‘Why we are thankful’, shown during the meal. As everyone enjoyed their meal, many families interacted with each other, learning of other families within their neighborhood. On this night, the teachers, families, students, and all participating organizations made a great display of what it means to be a community.