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The Impact of Community Connection

On Wednesday, after our weekly e-ssembly, I received an email from a parent who was taken with how we end our virtual gatherings.

She wrote, “[Our daughter] had assembly on in the kitchen and she made us all listen to the very end when everyone signs off. Honestly the sweetest listening to all of the little girls unmute and say thank you and good bye. Adorable. Our morning smile.”

Morning smiles – and really, opportunities to smile and laugh throughout the day – have  taken on new importance.  This parent expressed what I know to be true.

I adore e-ssembly. It is a time to gather with our entire community to celebrate, learn, be informed, and ‘see’ each other. The sign-off touches me every time. Since the very first virtual e-ssembly on March 25, 2020, I have hung on until the end to see who is still on, to share more personal greetings, and to take in the hellos, the goodbyes, and the connections.

This week, our e-ssembly was hosted by our Wellness Committee who reminded the community about what mental health is and why it is important. Maxine and Bella (both ’21) and their committee provided tips and strategies for taking care of ourselves and others, including exercise and connecting with friends and family.

On a personal note, this week it was my Mum’s birthday. While our family are not regular Zoom users, we still decided to spend some time together virtually. While not the same as being in person, it was fun to catch up, to see each other, to laugh and share updates and, most importantly, enable Mum to ‘hang out’ with her kids.

Finally, I am grateful to Juliana Mills, our Communications and Digital Marketing Coordinator who kept the smiles going at the end of the week with her ‘penguin post’ on Friday. It was a good reminder of how resilient we all are- we may fall, but we do get up!

As we wade through this pandemic life, particularly during our current lockdown, I urge all of us, beyond our classes and scheduled meetings, to seek connections that bring us joy, make us laugh, and fill our hearts. Important too, is to consider how we might create them for others.

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