Long Branch Academy Fall Membership Night!
Posted by sebastianbrown on October 28, 2011
Last night we had our first of what we expect to be come a monthly Academy membership night. About 80 families came out for a night of board games, home-cooked food brought by the families themselves, family photos for an academy directory and deeper relationship building with fellow members of the academy.
For a half hour or so folks arrived to the Broad Acres cafeteria and dropped off any food they brought for the group. Mairelin, using a megaphone, welcomed the group and explained the flow for the night. Then she began calling up teams one by one to get food–while waiting families sat at tables according to team and began playing board games as well as informally chatting about issues that have come up concerning the team. Once a team had eaten their food they then lined up in the gymnasium to take individual and team pictures that we hope will eventually make their way into an academy directory.
As folks waited to have their picture taken by volunteer Dre–Americorps member working at the Silver Spring Regional Center–Chris had families write on several message boards asking for feedback around the academy as well what needs folks have beyond soccer. Nearly a dozen parents expressed the need for improved communication between parents on the teams. Because of this, coordinators for the teams huddled last night and agreed we should have another parents’ planning meeting in the next couple weeks to check in around team organization and resolve any issues that have arisen.
While the IMPACT team took the lead in organizing this first academy night, families are excited to really own the one planned for next month. Some ideas they’ve already tossed around are a dance and a parents’ tournament. Last night was mostly social, with little real intentionality to connect folks to outside resources or even to each other except as it related to their teams. These next few weeks will be huge as we work with parents to determine what our plan for the winter will be as well as figure out how best to connect academy parents to the larger Long Branch network as it makes sense.