January 10, 2019

Dear Harbor Families,

On the first day back to school after the winter break, there was an energetic buzz in the building. Not only were teachers and students reconnecting and sharing stories of winter break adventures, we were all eagerly anticipating the airing of “Calvin’s show”. I was texting with Andrea, who was at the WUSA Channel 9 studio with Calvin and a few other Harbor friends, waiting to participate as the studio audience. As students arrived, teachers were poised and ready to gather everyone to view it live together. At 8:52, Andrea received news that our piece would be airing at around 9:05, and we all jumped into action. By 9:04, students were gathered together in front of an old-fashioned TV, borrowed from St. George’s Church. We were connected with good ol’ rabbit ears, which, seemingly just for dramatic effect, had to be positioned just right for the “snow” (remember that?) to dissipate and the picture to become clear.

Laughter, joy, and smiles erupted as Calvin took center stage on Great Day Washington, and our gracious host and friend Markette Sheppard highlighted the benefits of having a dog in school. Harbor teachers, students, and parents talked about how the learning experience is enhanced by Calvin’s good-natured friendship. Those two minutes seemed to last much longer as they delighted each one of us, mostly because the story reinforces what we know to be true, from research and from our years of experience in education - that social and emotional learning, connection with others, and a mindful approach are vital to learning in all stages, and particularly in the early childhood years. I think Markette and her crew did a masterful job in portraying one aspect of the unique experience that Harbor provides to students.

And so, on the second morning of school, our community’s collective positive energy remained palpable. “Did you see? 1600 views on Facebook so far!” Well, as of the time of the sending of this Harbor Highlights, there have been 2700 views of the video (of course, there’s no telling how many of those are faculty and staff- did I mention we are excited?). We are all so grateful to Markette and her crew for the opportunity and hard work to produce our piece, to Andrea for her excellent choice in rescue dogs, and the the idea that a school dog could benefit us all - and of course to Calvin for making our school a better place to learn every day.

Just in case you haven’t yet seen or shared our story, here is the link once more!

WUSA’s website

Wishing all of this Harbor community a wonderful 2019. I have a feeling it’s going to be a GREAT one.

Warm regards,

Harbor School