Kindergartners celebrated the things that make them unique during King-Murphy Elementary School’s annual Unique Tea on Sept. 25.
The students in Paulyne Fischer’s and Beth Schwecke’s classes wore uniquely decorated hats made out of paper bags to the event and stood one by one in front of the group while an adult friend — usually a parent or grandparent — told three things that made each child special.
The presentations also allowed children and parents to get to know the other children in the classes. They learned that some were funny, others liked to sing and dance, some were artistic, one liked to do magic tricks, another was fluent in German, and still others participated in gymnastics, soccer and karate.
The message was that each child is different, yet all are part of the King-Murphy Elementary community.
This was the fifth year for the Unique Tea, which is part of a unit in which kindergartners learn about how everyone is different, whether it’s different physical characteristics or different families.
It is one component of the school’s International Baccalaureate curriculum called Who We Are, in which elementary school children learn about human relationships.
They learn that even though people are different, they can still resolve conflicts peacefully, Schwecke said.
Interestingly, there’s no tea involved in the Unique Tea, though there is lemonade and a dessert of Jell-o, whipped cream and sprinkles that the children made and served to the adults.
Parent Stacy York, who spoke to the group about her son Sage, was pleased with the program.
“It’s such a wonderful thing,” she said. “What a great self-esteem-building project.”
“I learned a lot about your classmates,” she told Sage.
Cri Boratenski, who spoke about his son Caydan, called the event a good opportunity for parents and grandparents to talk about their children and grandchildren.
“It’s important that we convey what we think makes them special,” Boratenski said.
Parent Kristin Allen, who spoke about her daughter Josie, added: “It celebrates their differences, and helps all of us appreciate everyone’s uniqueness.”