Family Day is an annual TFFT tradition. It offers a rare chance for all scholars, staff, and guardians to come together to talk, play, review, connect and wrap up the year. This year we met a local fun park and reception facility, where scholars were able to play and swim while staff and guardians discussed important topics about TFFT Programs. The number of parents and guardians who attended the event this year was higher compared to last year.
It was lovely to see many excited faces as scholars young and old played amongst the jumpy castle, swings, round-a-bouts, swimming pool, and rocking horses. The older scholars tended to be in groups chatting and sitting, while the younger ones ran from one exciting game to another barely catching their breath. The new scholars for 2017 were shy at the start, but slowly became more at ease as they made friends on the swings. Some staff sat back and looked on from a distance, while others hovered around like “helicopter mothers” concerned that an exuberant child might jump too high or be a little too careless around the younger ones. But in the end, all enjoyed, no tears were shed, and everyone got on well with everyone else.
Other staff members were assigned work with the guardians. Stephen completed paperwork and contracts, spoke of parent engagement with schools, TFFT’s Scholarship Program, and how parents can support their child’s academic achievements. Hedwiga spoke to the guardians about the opportunities of the Livelihood Initiatives and health issues faced by students throughout the year that our Psychosocial & Health Program provides support for.
Family Day was a great welcome to the five new scholars and the families who will join our program in 2017. These scholars’ parents received lots of information, and they were all able to meet everyone in an informal and fun way. Newly trained mentors met their mentees so that those starting in a new school next year will know a familiar face.
Eating together was a pleasant experience too. Little children sat with their grandmothers, older children were in their well- established groups, and staff mixed with everyone. Some scholars stuck with their fellow-school mates, while others in the program for a number of years loved the opportunity to meet up with old friends from the past. Some scholars were so happy to be reunited with their family members that they rarely strayed from their sides.
TFFT also recognized scholars that had excelled academically and socially on this special day. Certificates were given out for special achievement as well as participation in TFFT training programs. Special recognition was also given out to parents who have over the past year had shown a great commitment to their child’s progress.
This year’s Family Day was a great success. Work was completed, fun was had, plans were made, and people were connected. We all now look forward to working together in 2017.