Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Crestmont celebrates its community with an event called “Stone Soup.” The event is based on a story of the same title, in which hungry strangers trick others into believing that soup can be made from a stone. As the pot of water boils with the stone in it, they urge others to add more and more ingredients until the soup is a feast “fit for a king.” In the story, the characters learn that by sharing, a community can turn rocks into gold (or delicious soup!). At Crestmont, the entire community, including students, participates in making the meal and then celebrates with a festive feast.
Family Camping Trip
At the school-wide camping trip, held each fall, the Crestmont community gathers together its tents, flashlights, sleeping bags and S’more’s ingredients and heads into the woods. This is a great opportunity to get to know other families in our community and enjoy nature with our entire family. The camping trip takes place over two days in a Bay Area campground.
Flea Markets are one of Crestmont’s most original school-wide events and are incorporated into the school day three times a year. At each flea market, the entire student body – kindergartens through middle schoolers – set up booths on the play yard to sell handmade items. The event teaches students how commerce works, from exploring the costs of making items compared to expected profits, to figuring out what their fellow students might be interested in. The offerings are diverse and creative, ranging from simple (cookies) to elaborate (original hand-bound storybooks). They have included handmade sculptures, tie-dyed socks, homemade rosewater, surprise eggs, snow globes, hot chocolate, jello creations, homemade burritos, and even a pie-in-the-face center, to name but a few. At the end of the market, each class counts the dollars (and nickels and quarters) it made, and then votes on a charity or community activity it will donate the money to. These are often causes that are related to their curriculum, including the Marine Mammal Center, Coalition of Immokalee Workers (C.I.W.) to support their fight for farmworker justice, Urban Tilth, and Christmas in Richmond.
In February, the Snow Trip is a fun and adventurous all-school tradition held in South Lake Tahoe, where we rent an entire lodge at an affordable Tahoe resort. School closes on the Friday before the trip so families have a chance to get up there and begin enjoying the surroundings. Families can sled, ski, snowshoe, hike, build snowmen and more! A few optional, organized activities are available, such as creating a sled trail at the lake, or snow building. On Saturday night there is a potluck at the main lodge. The kids and adults all have a great time on this trip!
Valentine’s Day and Jump Rope for Heart
For Valentine’s Day, we encourage handmade valentines, not store-bought. Children bring one special handmade Valentine or Appreciation Card for their partner pal (a younger or older student from another classroom). If your child celebrates Valentine’s Day, they can also bring handmade valentines for everyone in their class. Partner pals exchange valentines and then do an act of kindness for others on campus, for the school or for the community. Our P.E. teacher arranges an event called Jump Rope for Heart, done on Valentine’s Day as well. The whole school is outside jumping rope, playing hoops, hula hooping and raising money for the American Heart Association.
Our talent show is one of our most creative events. Organized by the middle school students and their teacher, this is a fun event that students in grades 1st middle school can choose to perform in.
Our annual performance takes place on stage at a nearby church and showcases the fabulous skills that students have learned in our music program. Spring Sing is an opportunity for students to perform the wonderful music they have learned throughout the school year for their community. Adult community members are invited to join in a jam session for the last song.
Our annual art exhibit showcases the beautiful art the students made over the school year. On display are sculptures, paintings, drawings, ceramics, photographs and more. Each student is represented and there is an opportunity to write appreciations to the artists for each piece of artwork displayed.
Each class performs a play in the Spring. Drama education address skills in many areas: self-confidence, imagination, public speaking skills, concentration, collaboration and cooperation. Students perform a published play, write their own scripts or perform monologues.
Candy Houses and Festival of Lights
Candy houses and Festival of Lights are time-honored Crestmont traditions that take place on the school site, on a Saturday before our first winter break. It is a lovely way to welcome the winter. Guests and alumni work alongside current students, family, and friends to build and decorate cookie houses. There are tables set with crafts and information about festivals of lights around the world.