Community Block Party

Honor the diverse fabric of school communities, student achievements, and bring together teachers and families through celebration.

Photo of Alysha English
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Community Block Parties have always been a classic way to celebrate and honor the unique identity of communities. Beyond a good time, they are a powerful tool for bridging gaps between families and school communities. Schools can often be perceived as fortresses. For many families, the relationship with the school might be limited to parent-teacher conferences or meetings. What if there were more celebratory interactions with school environments? A school wide community block party is an opportunity to reimagine the interactions between family and teachers, while celebrating the incredible resources, knowledge, and accomplishments of students. While working with previous schools and organizations, I was always amazed by how powerful these events were in building bridges. I often connected with families who I'd never had the chance to meet before and it transformed our communication through the remainder of the school year. It's important to note that we were always very intentional about creative invitations. Students wrote notes and personal invitations and phone calls were all made in multiple languages. Inclusive and personal invites were core to the success.  Allowing students and families to lead and take ownership over block party activities is also incredible. Celebrate the assets of family members that might normally be overlooked. Food, activities, games, interactive art stations, live music performances, student-parent dance competitions, open mic, film screenings, field games, knitting circles--whatever it is, every family member and student has something to share! Approach organizing your event with this lens and let the magic unfold. 

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Photo of John Faig
Team

This is a great idea. The Acton Academies use this activity to successfully build community and expose their students to real-world events.

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