Anita DiGregory
Who says school functions have to be all work and no play? On Thursday, September 1, 2016, Thurmont Primary and Thurmont Elementary Schools jointly hosted their Back-to-school Picnic at Thurmont Town Park. All students and their families were invited to attend and to talk with teachers and staff, get information on new programs and clubs, compete for exciting prizes, and have fun with family and friends. Although the skies looked threatening at first, the weather did not keep folks from coming out to share in the food and festivities. Attendance was overwhelming, with approximately five hundred students and family members from Thurmont Primary and Thurmont Elementary joining in on the fun. Brian Mo, WFRE Afternoon Show host, was on hand playing music, entertaining, and offering prizes to lucky participants. Mo, father of Thurmont Primary student Sidney Mo, was happy to offer his services, as he enjoys giving back to such a wonderful community. That attitude of gratitude seemed to be shared by students, families, teachers, and staff alike. With a smile, teachers and staff happily handed out over four hundred hot dogs and countless cupcakes. Meanwhile, Student Support Specialist Kathy Firor disseminated pamphlets that explained to families the importance of one of Thurmont Primary’s newest advantageous developments: receiving school-wide Title I status. As a result of being awarded Title I status for the 2016-2017 school year, Thurmont Primary will be receiving extra federal funding to be utilized for additional staff and/or resources to support student achievement, which includes funds for extended learning opportunities and family involvement events. Some of the exciting family programs they have planned for the year include an informative health night, a Maryland Science Center event, and an entertaining math and literacy night. This exciting news just added to the overwhelming community spirit at the picnic. Everyone seemed very happy to be there and eager to start the year off in such a fun way. Thurmont Elementary Fourth Grade Teacher Kim Stevens was just one of the teachers in attendance. Starting her nineteenth year at the school, she seemed to reflect the general attitude of all of the teachers and staff, stating, “I love the kids and the community is a really tight knit, close community.”
Kelly Welty, secretary at Thurmont Primary, and Valerie Blythe, special education teacher at Thurmont Primary, hand out hot dogs to students and families.
Brian Mo and his son, Sidney Mo, thoroughly enjoy themselves at the back-to-school picnic.

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