The walls of Miner Elementary can’t contain all the fun the students and families want to have. Autumn has seen the Mighty Bears out and about in D.C. for a raft of activities. On Sept. 27, the school’s agriculture partner Cultivate the City hosted a garden party at H Street Farms, on the roof of W.S. Jenks Hardware. Everyone got to munch on garden snacks, kids created some special environmental artwork, and families got a seedling to take home.
At least 54 Miner students, parents, and staff gathered with other Capitol Hill schools Oct. 2 at Lincoln Park for the international Walk to School Day. Their morning march from the park to the campus included Council Member Charles Allen and DDOT Director Jeff Marootian and was aimed at promoting healthy walking and safe walkable neighborhoods.
The Mighty Bears have been hustling on the soccer fields around Washington. The school has two teams that compete in the DC Scores league, with afterschool games every week.
Miner officially launched its Equity Team, an outgrowth of dialogue groups facilitated last spring by the Kindred program, which seeks to address the invisible gap between parents that affects their children in school. Miner’s Equity Team -- made up of diverse parents and staff and led by LaShawn Oliver and David Treat -- will work to ensure that everyone at Miner is represented and every voice is heard.
Miner also created an adult literacy initiative called iRead in October. The group, run by school staff and volunteers, will offer classes to parents looking for help in improving their reading and writing skills, computer skills, producing résumés, and homework assistance.
The school ended the month gearing up for its Oktoberfest party on the 31st and preparing preschoolers for their Book-o-Ween party and parade, featuring book-character-themed costumes.
The Miner Elementary community celebrated the return to school with a flurry of events. On Aug. 24, before students even strapped on their backpacks for the first day, many of them and their parents flocked to the campus for the Welcome Back Community Day, which featured a petting zoo, uniform giveaway, yoga, music, games, and treats like cotton candy and popcorn. Parents of preschool students spent the morning working to beautify the garden beside the Early Childhood Education playground while the little ones enjoyed a play date with their new friends.
The first week of school was marked by a uniform drive and appreciation snacks for teachers provided by the PTO. The school celebrated students’ elders on Sept. 6 with a fun and delicious Grandparents’ Day breakfast. For the official Back to School Night on Sept. 11, Principal Bruce Jackson gave parents an overview of life at Miner and the chance to meet teachers and see the classrooms. The PTO offered even more gratitude toward instructors with a Teacher Appreciation Breakfast on Sept. 20.
Among the biggest and most exciting changes at Miner this year is the construction of a new playground on the northeast side of the campus. When complete in mid-October, it will feature five colorful and innovatively designed structures for climbing, balancing, swinging, sliding, and spinning. In addition to a new soccer/baseball field—to be finished later in the fall—the grounds will include an outdoor classroom accented with raised garden beds.
Miner is looking more full than it has in a long time, as the school has already surpassed its projected enrollment of 372 pupils.
Students and parents are looking forward to Walk to School Day on Oct. 2, when they will gather at Lincoln Park at 7:30 a.m. to make a show of their car-less jaunt to the campus.
In the coming days, the PTO will be rolling out its Bear Paw Fall Fundraiser to local businesses. The fundraising priorities this year include increased technology, field trips, garden programming, staff appreciation, family engagement, community events, and more.
Miner Elementary students try out yoga stretches outside the school during its event-filled Welcome Back Community Day in August.
Miner Elementary students make imaginative paintings with their grandmother at the Grandparents’ Day Breakfast in September.