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One of the most highly anticipated moments of a new school year is reuniting with your school community. Saying hi to last year's teachers and high-fiving friends gives you the feeling that you're a part of something! But, what if you’re a brand new school that has to build community from the ground up? That’s the challenge Doby’s Bridge Elementary in Fort Mill, SC, (home of the Dragons) had to face as they started their inaugural school year. With students and teachers pieced together from different elementary schools, this year’s Rock’n Town Live theme all about community was a perfect fit! I caught up with Donna Jackley, a member of the PTO, to hear if the Boosterthon program had an impact on their growing school identity.

Q: How did Doby’s Bridge welcome students and families to a first-year school?

A: The PTO decorated key focal points in our new building with a mix of Welcome Back & Rock'n Town Live messages. We wanted to get our community excited about a new school, new school year, AND all the great energy Boosterthon brings to schools.

Q: Did the Boosterthon team help jumpstart the feeling of community within your school?

A: The excellent team led by Dan Powell, along with Tiger Tim, TRex Taylor and Ana Banana, immediately understood the unique aspects of launching the program in the beginning of the school year at a brand new school. They gave tremendous energy as DJs at our Welcome Back Picnic just before the first day of school, and they did an excellent job working with our entire DBES team to build community through the program.

Blog pic 1Q: Throughout the week, how did you see community within the classrooms?

A: Each day during the team huddles, you could see how excited the students were to be a part of their classroom community. They created fun classroom names decided by student vote and worked together to earn pledges for their class and teachers.

Q: So, your students and teachers are building a community; did parents join in too?

A: Families came out to cheer at our Pep Rally and showed overwhelming support at our Fun Run. I have never seen so many parents show up to a run! They responded strongly to our fundraiser, but more importantly, they showed support for their students and our school by actively participating in Rock'n Town Live.

Nothing says community like a customized golf cart for your elementary school!

Q: Do you think the feeling of community established at the beginning of the school year will continue throughout?

A: We received so many comments about the great time parents had at the event - how much they enjoyed the music, the excitement and energy! Great things will happen at DBES this year, and kicking off with Rock'n Town Live has set the stage for excellence in character and community!

It looks like Doby’s Bridge Elementary is off to a great start! We can't wait to build on the foundation they've already set at next year's Boosterthon program.

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