C.K. Burns Third Grader Brayden Cloutier enjoyed digging for the mystery dinosaur and then getting to make the matching dinosaur balloon animal with a friend as his “Someday’ wish. Students at Saco’s Young, Burns and Fairfield schools can make a wish at school that gets accomplished ‘someday’ during the school year. Courtesy Photo

SACO — The “Somedays” project, recently launched by Saco School Department’s Student Empowered Social Emotional Learning team, helps make students’ wishes come true and people in the community can play a part.

A “Someday” is when a student is asked to select something they would like to see happen at school before the end of the year. Students choose something fun and meaningful to them — a wish, idea, or experience — and staff works together to give them a special moment before the end of the school year, school officials said.

The “Somedays” project begins with a lesson in each classroom, when a member of the SESEL team reads the story, “Someday” by Eileen Spinelli, followed by a group discussion on what the word “someday” means. Each student is given a sheet that reads, “Someday at school, I would like to:” and they are asked to fill in a blank space. The only guidelines around “Somedays” are they must be safe and within the school rules. The “Someday” could involve the whole class, a special friend or teacher, or the entire school.

“Students know that their choice might not happen tomorrow or even next week,” said Young School Resiliency Coordinator Adele Lawler. “Yet, they are confident that it will happen ‘Someday’ during this school year. When it does happen, they are excited and eager to share with their peers and family.”

“I love seeing how one student ‘Someday’ brings joy not only to themselves but to all of the other students and adults that get to share the experience with them,” said Burns School Resiliency Coordinator Suzanne Ray. “Seeing existing relationships strengthen or new relationships form is such a rewarding experience.”

C.K. Burns Fourth Grader Angel Luzolo Bambi, center, visits her sisters at Saco Middle School for lunch and a quick tour, a day she will always remember, say organizers of Saco schools’ ‘Someday’ project. Courtesy Photo

Third-grader Brayden Cloutier recalled his dinosaur-themed “Someday.”

“I can’t believe I get to do this at school. This is actually fun!” he said.

Fourth-grader Angel Luzolo Bambi thought visiting her two older sisters for lunch at Saco Middle School — her “Someday” — was “the best.”

Saco School Department was introduced to “Somedays” by working  with a group called Transforming Rural Experience in Education and the Biddeford School Department. “Somedays” help students feel empowered by giving them “voice and choice” as well as helping them connect with teachers, staff, and other students at school, organizers said. Students choose the activity and trust that the school representatives will make it happen. When completed,, a certificate is sent home, so the parents are aware of their child’s “Someday.”

To help make each student’s “Someday” come true, funding is required. The SESEL Team is currently seeking a “Somedays” major sponsor and/or donations to be directed solely to the project. Many “Somedays” are free, like lunch with the principal or an extra recess. Others have a cost associated with them, like teaching their class how to make slime, having a bounce house at school, doing a science experiment, having a popsicle stick monument building competition, or having an animal show at school.

The SESEL Team hopes to reach a fundraising goal of $12,000, which works out to an estimated $10 per student. Team members say sponsorship donations may be made payable to and mailed directly to Saco School Department, Attn: SESEL Team, 90 Beach St., Saco, ME 04072.

Saco School Department’s K-5 SESEL Team includes Resiliency Coordinator Adele Lawler, Counselor Tina Nightingale and Social Worker Emily Thompson at Young School; Resiliency Coordinator Allison Desjardins, Counselor Kristen Brown, Social Worker Jennifer Dondero at Fairfield School; and Resiliency Coordinator Suzanne Ray, Counselors Tricia Welch and Maria Bernard and Social Worker Deb Carroll at C.K. Burns School. For more information, call the school directly and ask for one of the team members.

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