Diggs-Latham Elementary Celebrates Its 10th Birthday
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By Amanda Gordon
Diggs-Latham Elementary School
SEPTEMBER 3, 2020 – Diggs-Latham Elementary A+ Magnet School for Arts Integration and Performance recently celebrated its 10th year of learning on August 25.
Diggs-Latham, a school merger of Jefferson Davis Diggs Elementary School and Rowland Hill Latham Elementary School, opened its doors to students in 2010. As two separate schools joined to create a new school, Diggs-Latham, the rich history of each school set a foundation for building a new school family with its own traditions.
"It is hard to believe our school is already 10 years old!” said Amanda Gordon, who teaches art and serves as the school’s Magnet Coordinator.
“I was previously at Latham and now have been teaching at Diggs-Latham since it opened. Working here and teaching multiple generations of families and being active in the Arts Magnet Program has definitely created a deep sense of a school family and a strong learning community. As a Specialist who teaches all students and all grade levels as well as serves as the Magnet Coordinator, after 17 years, I have taught between 2,500 to 3,000 students."
"Over these 10 years, we have watched students grow up from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. We have planned Multicultural Fairs, Black History Celebrations, Art Exhibits, Plays, Musicals, Performances and much more.
“So, even though we are engaged in remote learning, we knew we had to celebrate our 10th anniversary and find fun ways to celebrate virtually. Since we are an elementary school, celebrating our school's ‘birthday’ sounded more fun for smaller children."
For "Birthday Week," students, parents and staff participated in daily activities. On Monday, we kicked off our Birthday Card Design project. Students were invited to decorate, create or design a potential birthday card for the school as an Art and Writing integration.
On Tuesday, which was the actual anniversary of the original first day of school for Diggs-Latham, the school family dressed for the occasion and decorated their learning space. Staff and students sat out birthday bags, held balloons, wore birthday ribbons, hung banners, and more.
On Wednesday evening, we celebrated with a Twitter Party. Teachers and parents responded to tweets, posted gifs, and answered trivia questions about the school's history.
On Thursday, we wore black and orange, our school colors, to show our Tiger Pride.
For FLEX Friday, students finished birthday card designs and submitted other art assignments for the week. During art classes, students reviewed the Art Elements and integrated geometry by designing a potential birthday cake for the school.
Teacher assistant Denise Warheit was one of the first staff members to share her excitement for the birthday celebration.
"I'm ready!" she exclaimed as she shared her learning space.
Warheit created a backdrop of Tiger Paws to use during her remote learning sessions with her class.
Maria LaLlave, a language facilitator at our school who also has a daughter in kindergarten, shared her thoughts about our 10th Birthday Celebration after being such an active member in the activities.
"Since 2012, I'd say there isn't much more fun to have than showing off your Tiger Pride! There is a joy amongst the school family and community in camaraderie that brings about a great sense of morale.”
“School events bring fun, excitement, and anticipation. During this time of remote learning, I am elated to see Tigers stepping up and stepping out in continuation of participating in events such as the 10th birthday celebration. These opportunities give Tigers the chance to exude their pride and originality. We are #TigerNation strong! I am a truly proud staff member and parent."
Birthday week was an exciting time to reflect on the history of our school and reminisce on all we have accomplished over the years. We posted photos from events that were held the first year as well as pictures during construction and the school dedication ceremony. Staff and students who have been at the school for a while introduced new faculty, staff and students to our school culture, themes, history, and style of celebrating.