Considering Peabody as an option for your child
By Mandy Grisham
I’ve heard people say it but I chose not to believe it. Carrying around my baby boy close to my body in a sling people would stop to say, “Cherish these days. You will blink, and before you know it, he’ll be starting school!” Blink.
In just a few short days my baby will be starting kindergarten at Peabody Elementary and I am filled with hope about his experience. For me it is more than just sending him to school, but it is seeing a dream come to fruition. Peabody is a great school, and, in many ways, it always has been. Nevertheless, in recent years it has not been the school of choice for most young families in our neighborhood. I am happy to be a part of a great group of Cooper-Youngians and Midtowners who have decided to embrace Peabody and make it the neighborhood school once again.
Over the last three years I have organized five informal education discussions for neighborhood families with toddlers and preschoolers. In the beginning these were a part of my own quest to discover what I desired in my child’s education. However, as my choice became clear, I became impassioned with the desire to help others along in their journey, hoping that they too would find Peabody to be a great option.
Ms. Jones, Peabody’s wonderful principal, has made many positive changes in the school in her three year tenure. I have worked with her personally for those years as the Community Representative on the school’s Leadership Team. From the beginning she has had a vision for Peabody to become the neighborhood school that young families in Cooper-Young dream of sending their children to. She has partnered with the CYCA for the KaBoom! playground grant as well as three annual Chili Cook-Offs. Gradually more Cooper-Young families have chosen Peabody with enthusiastic support. The teachers are amazing. The Optional program is stellar. The variety of clubs and extra-curricular activities offer endless opportunities for students to explore. The list goes on.
I am happy to say that Adam will be classmates with many other Cooper-Young and Midtown kindergarteners, most of whom he has grown up with on the swings of Peabody Park, the parties of the Cooper-Young Parents Network, and the nursery at Neighborhood Church. All of these families have demonstrated extraordinary support for the school, choosing it over other great options such as Downtown, Richland, Grahamwood, Snowden, and Idlewild Elementary Schools, not to mention numerous private schools.
I will probably cry a little bit that first day as I walk Adam to school, but these will be tears of joy and hope. And to the parents who are carrying their babies in the sling or bjorn I say, “Cherish these days. You will blink and before you know it, she’ll be starting school!”