Page 18 - FIS World Oct 2019 Web
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  Big Night In, Big Success
Middle school fun is at the center of new events
Warm weather and lots of
fun made for
a perfect Big Night In event at FIS in June
Last spring, FIS introduced the Big Night In for Grade 6–8 students and so far, it’s been a big success.
This recurring event, which was brought to FIS and is coordinated by FIS parent Alex Marciante, is pro- moted as a fun opportunity for middle schoolers to hang out, play sports, dance and be with their friends on campus. But the truth is that it is actually much more than that.
At FIS, very little happens by chance and without thoughtful consideration. Jeff Kalas, Upper School Counselor Grades 6–8, shed a little light on the Big Night In events.“The greatest physical and emotional changes children go through occur at the time of pu- berty,”hesaid.“Therearedevelopmentalmilestones that children need to experience throughout their schooling to mature into healthy adults. The Big Night In is a type of milestone event that helps promote their social and emotional development.”
Children between the ages of 10 to 14 frequently feel too old to be closely supervised, but yet are often also too immature to be set free far beyond the home. FIS acknowledges this and provides the appropri- ate activities, freedom and supervision at Big Night In events. “I feel comfortable because they are safe,” said Trista DiDonato, parent of three FIS students (two of whom are in middle school). She added, “Big Night In is a great environment for students to make good choices.”
The middle school years are a critical time in which students are learning about the importance of mak- ing good choices and being responsible. Grade 7 stu- dent Dimitris is currently the DJ (disk jockey) for the Big Night In events. It’s a major responsibility and he is maturing from the experience. “I am much bet- ter at being a DJ now than last year,” said Dimitris. “I am very proud.”
The Big Night In is a type of milestone event that helps promote students’ social and emotional development.
Daniel Cowan, Upper School Principal Grades 6–8, was instrumental in helping create the Big Night In experience. He said it has been a big success and has actually replaced the traditional seasonal dances. "Big Night In is more popular than dances,” he said. “There are choices of activities and unlike a tradi- tional dance, there is no social pressure.” Grade 7 stu- dent Catie agrees.“It’s much more fun than a dance,” she said. “Kids can dance or do sports or just play."
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