Latin School of Chicago

Annual Report 2016-2017 Stories

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37 ANNUAL REPORT 2016-2017 A Passion for Service A wareness, Action, Empathy." This is Latin's service learning motto, and these traits very appropriately describe Amanda Schirmacher, a fourth grade teacher in the lower school. Amanda, who is also the mom of two Latin students, chairs the Service Leadership Committee on the Parent Association organizing service events, while also giving families a chance to socialize and meet other Latin families. Amanda manages a team of volunteers at all division levels. Some of the events are off-campus and are specifically for the parents. For example, at Care For Real in Edgewater, parents can help unload, sort and stock the food tables and pantry; and assist clients in selecting grocery items or clothing they need. Other events are held on campus with parents and students coming together for a particular project or craft. "The kids love it when they can make something," said Amanda and noted that even the youngest students can participate. Recently, parents worked together to make fleece blankets and package toiletry kits for families in need that were distributed to local shelters. "My goal is to provide more on-campus activities where the students and their parents can work together. It's really important to get the junior and senior kindergarteners involved." Besides the Service Leadership Committee, last year Amanda took over organizing the Mabel Slade Vickery Undernighter. The Undernighter is a fun-filled themed evening at school, and an auction item available to the second, third and fourth grades at Latin's biennial Gala. This year, the item brought in a whopping $50,000 for support of Latin's students and programs. Students enjoyed games and activities including a feast at long tables decorated in blue and orange, funny crystal ball readings ("You will have a pimple on your nose on graduation day"), creative and useful "potions," and a swim in the pool decorated with glow sticks. Of course, it takes a team of dedicated teachers many hours to create such an engaging experience including ordering supplies, making decorations, and planning meals, activities and games. Amanda was amazed by the unprecedented response from parents. "I was really taken aback by the amount [the Undernighter] went for. It shows that the parents really value and have faith in Latin teachers, since the entire event is run by the teachers," she said. Amanda has committed to leading the Mabel Slade Vickery Undernighter in future years, and we can't wait to see what she comes up with next. "

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