A cool breeze swept across the vibrant green trees shading the area. It blew past the multicolored playground equipment, hit the ocean-themed background where children and parents eagerly posed, and finally billowed out as it crossed the blue and white bouncy castle, where the kids playing on it eagerly jumped up and down.
The mood was light, and the day’s intention heartfelt. This was the Innovative Learning Center’s annual Family Day, where the parents of the children at the Essential Learning Group came in to celebrate all that their children had accomplished that year.
On one table, a teacher painted a child’s hand. The child watched intently as the teacher skillfully coated his skin in a multitude of colors.
A minute later, the same child narrowed his eyes in concentration as he held a plastic fishing pole in his hand. Slowly but surely, he guided the rod to its final destination: a plastic basin filled with water and rubber ducks skimming the surface.
One of the highlights of Family Day came when a group of ILC kids gave a magnificent performance to the parents and teachers. Our Academic and Teen programs, as well as those from our Life Skills Program stood in front of the playground, ready to bedazzle the crowd. The audience members raised their cameras as the actors moved across the “stage” with elegance and grace, and occasionally, someone had to lower their camera to control his or her laughter. At the end of the show, the actors bowed in unison, and the crowd erupted into applause.
The library was packed with artwork. The shelves were lined with plates designed to look like cows, while the pool table had drawings of dinosaurs scattered across. The reptiles were colorful, with thin strips of paper sticking out as legs, and glass eyes placed above their mouths.
The parents each brought a dish from their home country and our very own ELG cooks truly outdid themselves, whipping up fresh salsa, chicken, fruits and vegetables, sausages, dumplings, casseroles, and much more to fill hungry stomachs. People crowded around the serving tables, eagerly scooping up platefuls of food while the chefs stood back, smiling, admiring their handiwork.
The Essential Learning Group would like to give thanks to all the parents that came out to Family Day to offer their support to their hardworking and beautiful children! From the creative genius of the art works exhibited to the pictures and memories snapped at the photo booth, this day will surely stick in the minds of those fortunate enough to be there. This Family Day showed why the Essential Learning Group is such a warm community and so highly respected as a special education center in China.