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Raintree Elementary students start the day in a unique way

Posted: 6:38 AM, Feb 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-12 08:19:13-05

How do you get your morning started?

At Raintree Elementary School, classes start normally with the Pledge of Allegiance and the school’s mission statement.

But then, the real fun begins.

Students, gathered in the school’s gymnasium, get to express themselves with music, singing, and a little bit of physical activity.

It’s called a “Harambee,” and as Raintree Principal Donald Sanders, III explains,  the idea started as a way to bring everyone together in the morning to start the day off right.

“It’s a Swahili term for coming together, and start the day off right and build that culture of family!”

And while many thought the morning “Harambee” would lead to chaos in the classroom, they’ve found that it actually had the opposite effect.

“It translated into kids ready to learn,” says Sanders. “Normally we had a high rate of tardies in the morning. The office was full of kids just coming to school late. Now we rarely have any tardies because the kids want to come to Harambee in the morning.”

So, from 7:45 am to 8:00 am the students come together, greeting the day with all the energy they can muster. And when it’s time to head to class, the students end their “Harambee” with a calming song.