This morning we headed off on the North East train from Grand Central to Greenwich Connecticut. Stormy skies prevailed but it was much warmer than it has been. Catching trains here is easy and we wound up being earlier than we thought. We were met at the station by the Junior School Librarian from Greenwich Country Day School, Palmer Sloan. As we drove out to the school she pointed out many of the local landmarks – Greenwich is indeed a very beautiful place with huge houses and landscaped gardens, low stone walls running along the side of the road and numerous pretty churches. We arrived at the school which is like something from a story book. All white buildings and emerald green lawns, dotted with oaks and other specimen trees that had been there for many years.
We went for a tour of the Junior School and met some of the children and their teachers. They have a co-teacher in every classroom, generally a young graduate. This is an ideal situation and one I wish more schools in Australia could afford to have.
The students have a half day on Friday which allows for faculty meetings but Palmer had been granted special permission to host a lunch with the Grade 3 students. Numbers swelled to 40 (from the originally anticipated 20). The set up in the library was beautiful with table cloths, flowers, real plates and goblets and the students were perfect guests. I enjoyed being able to talk to them in a more informal setting and the pizza and salad was delicious too.
After lunch Palmer took us on a more extensive tour of the school. We saw their stunning new theatre and rebuilt senior school. It truly is one of the most picture postcard schools I have ever seen. Their staff accommodation is like a village –and a great example of the way that they care for their teachers and faculty members. We then took a drive around the area with Palmer pointing out places of interest. It’s a gorgeous town – but her patch in Old Greenwich is definitely my favourite spot. I had forgotten that it’s so close to the sea – we drove out to one of the parks at the tip of Old Greenwich where there was once a big stone mansion. The old couple who lived there didn’t have any children but they did have a pet bear they used to drive around with them in a convertible. There has to be a story in that!
24 school visits in 33 days, 7 states, 4800 children and 55 talks – it has been incredible to say the least!