Addyson Masters on the first day of the 2014-2015 school year.
On the first day of 7th grade, I started a back to school tradition that would carry throughout my entire middle school and high school career. I would host a "back to school breakfast" every year before school on the first day. All the girls in my grade were invited to load up on eggs, muffins, and fruit before taking on another school year. The breakfasts were a great way to reconnect after the summer, and they also helped calm any back to school nerves. It's now been over ten years since I've hosted breakfast on the first day of school, but other similar traditions are still going strong throughout Fort Thomas.
Chalfonte Place residents gathered for an ice cream social on First Day of School Eve, which I've quickly discovered is an important holiday for most parents. The entire street was invited to help send the school-aged residents off right. The ice cream social tradition has been happening for so long that Chalfontians aren't quite sure when or how it first got its start, but it's safe to say that these ice cream socials have been going strong for at least a decade.
Shaun and Jenny Broering have two children attending Highlands High School, and they have now inherited the tradition. According to Jenny Broering, "Everyone looks forward to it, and it's a good send-off for the kids. The kids really enjoy it too." The ice cream social is more than just a time to celebrate the beginning of a new school year. It's also a way for the Chalfonte residents to connect with the kids on the street, and watch them grow from year to year. "Every year we see how the kids have grown, and just seeing the kids grow from year to year is fun for us," said Broering.
On the south side of town, Tower Place has their own long-standing back to school tradition. Jill and James Masters hosted a breakfast before the first day of school for their daughter, Addyson Masters, and approximately 20 students living on Tower Place. The Masters family served up egg casserole, potato casserole, fruit, muffins, and donuts to the kids. I spoke with Jill Masters about the breakfast, and she was quick to note how this breakfast is another example of the close knit nature of the Fort Thomas community. "It's exciting that she's able to grow up in a city where she can make friends that will continue throughout her elementary and high school career," said Masters. Also, it gave her daughter something to look forward to on that first early morning of the year. "It's the only day she gets up bright and early for school," joked Masters.
Second grader Addyson's most memorable aspect of the event was actually after the breakfast concluded. According to Addyson, her favorite part was "when we walked to school after breakfast together. I liked it because I got to walk with all my friends." Addyson also enjoyed presenting her new Woodfill teacher with a shiny, red apple on the first day. The Tower Place breakfast not only provided a great send-off for the children, but also a surprise for some lucky teachers. Tower Place resident Leigh Gorman provided each student with an apple to present to their teacher on their first day.
Do you have any back to school traditions? Share them with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.