Fairmount’s Back to School Bash Honors Two Students and Staff Member

Posted on 08/15/2017
Fairmount’s Back to School Bash honors two students and staff member

To usher in the start of a new school year, Fairmount Elementary held a Back to School Bash on Friday, Aug. 10. Students and families were invited to enjoy food, games, face painting, and a wide variety of activities. It was a fun evening, and one that touched everyone’s hearts, as well.

The bash was highlighted by a ribbon-cutting for a memorial area built to honor two students and a support staff member who passed away last year. One of the two memorials is a remembrance plaque and bush in Fairmount’s memorial area, both were dedicated to Linda Macchia, a custodian at the elementary school. “She was a great custodian and always kept our school in tip-top shape,” said Dr. Tracey McAllister, Assistant Principal at Fairmount.

The other memorial is a Buddy Bench, installed in memory of Jordie and Jada Hines, who passed away in June of last year. Jordie attended third grade at Fairmount, and Jada would have started kindergarten this school year. “Jordie and Jada played with everyone, included everyone, and they were nice to everyone. Choosing to dedicate a spot around our school that’s purpose is to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground fits both children's character and spirit,” said Dr. McAllister. “When a student feels lonely or in need of a friend, they sit on the Buddy Bench. As other students notice, they reach out and encourage them to join in activities and provide support and friendship.”

Gary Donovan, Assistant Chief of Central County Fire and Rescue, and Jeff Finkelstein, Chief of St. Peters Police Department, cut the ribbon. Family members were invited to enter the area and read the memorial bricks. These bricks contained inspirational messages for those who use the bench, and were purchased by students, staff, and various community members.

Students and families took part in various activities, creating a sense of community to celebrate the start of the new school year. Enhancing the fun, students were able purchase whipped cream pies to throw at teachers. “The kids love this one,” said PTO Co-President Tracy Heath. “They purchase whip cream pies and then get to pie whoever is sitting in the chairs!”

Dr. McAllister says nights like these can help build a stronger Fairmount community. “Our hope is for the students, families, and community members to know that if they are ever feeling lonely or like they need a friend, they can sit on Jada and Jordie's Buddy Bench and feel both student's love, support, and friendship, along with feeling the warmth of their hearts and smiles.”

To view photographs of the event, please click here.

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