The youngest members of the Milken community were out in force at Family Day on Friday, January 5. The children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews of our administrators, faculty, and staff descended upon the Upper School for a special fun-filled day of exciting interactive activities.
Over 40 youngsters participated in the first ever Family Day held at Milken. There were plenty of activities for them to choose from including photography, origami, story time, 3D design, and printing, just to name a few. Faculty led some sessions while Milken students took the reins on others.
The Margolis Theater was transformed into a fun play space where kids could build with LEGOS, watch movies, learn Israeli Dance moves, and make balloon animals. Our young guests enjoyed breakfast, a pizza lunch, delicious ice cream sundaes, and snacks throughout the day.
At the same time, in the Guerin Family Institute for Advanced Sciences, the kids got hands-on experience with the latest technology. They used 3D modeling software to manipulate shapes that they 3D printed and made name tags with the laser cutter. Robotics students let them drive the off-season robot and helped them build LEGO robots.
Remarked Robotics Manager Stephan Shapiro noted that there were five 3D printers running non-stop, something that the children who attended were thrilled about. “They loved printing things they had created or downloaded,” he pointed out. “I was really happy to see so many kids excited about and having fun with technology. It's a great way to get them interested in STEAM!”
Al Noel Sansolis, Guerin lab manager, agreed that this was a fantastic opportunity for faculty children to get excited about creating something. "It was great to explain to the kids how a 3D printer or laser cutter works, have them come up with an idea, watch them see that idea being made, and witness the awe and satisfaction when they held it their hand," he said.
Family Day was organized by Positive Psychology & Positive Education Coordinator Nick Holton, Director of Experiential Learning Lauren Miller, Upper School Rabbi David Saiger, Director of Operations and Campus Safety Nathan Humphreys, and Events and Logistics Manager Amy Perez Kranz. Their intention was to create a playful day full of positivity and help build relationships between teachers and their students. The day was well received by parents and children alike. They gushed about the variety of activities and how much fun they had.
"My children were looking forward to Family Day all winter break," remarked Assistant Principal for, Grades 11 & 12 Beau Lindsay. “They had a blast exploring the campus, driving around the robot, and most importantly, connecting and playing with our students, which made the day incredibly memorable. My son already asked when the next Family Day is happening.”
“My kids couldn’t hide their excitement as they came barreling through the door of the office after each class to show me their latest masterpieces of paper cranes, shadow photography, balloon animals, 3D pyramids, fidget spinners, and so much more,” said Administrative Assistant Jennifer Dollins.
Miller, one of the organizers, noted that her daughter had an amazing time meeting the students, noting, “They were so warm and welcoming to her, and she had a blast eating challah and playing games.”
As the day unfolded, who could resist beaming at the happy smiling faces of the delighted youngsters as they cavorted around campus enjoying their day at Milken.
"Our students are so good with younger kids, and I think they had fun as well, but I think it is also nice when they see us as parents too,” noted Administrative Assistant to Assistant Principals and Service Learning Department Nancy Barber. “I think my daughter put her finger on the feeling for the day when she said to me, ‘Family is really important in Judaism, isn't it?’ To which I responded, ‘Yes, honey, it is.’”
It was truly a special day with some very special guests. In light of the success of Family Day, there will be another one on the horizon. Stay tuned!