For more than 30 years, children at the Sag Harbor Elementary School have started their days with "morning program" — a spirited schoolwide assembly featuring music, birthday shout-outs, presentations, and news of their peers' achievements. The daily tradition fell by the wayside during the pandemic, but it has now returned in a modified format.
Rotating by grade level, students attend in-person and outdoors whenever possible, and those not in-person have a chance to watch from their classrooms.
Matt Malone, the school's principal, said in an email this week that the children are excited about its return. He explained that the first and second graders had never truly experienced morning program before because of the pandemic, and that the older students appreciate that it's back.
He said that "so much is gained" from the program, including public speaking skills, meeting friends and faculty members, understanding character integrity, and how to be a good audience.
"Morning program has always been about coming together as a school community to start the day," Mr. Malone said. "We have wanted to return to an in-person [program], and this was a great way to achieve that goal -- at least partially."