Parent Volunteers

We love our parent volunteers at Gilman Lower School. I have been reminded of this several times over the past few weeks. During the fall our admission department hosts many visiting days for prospective parents. There are so many special things about Gilman that teachers and administrators love to share, however no one tells the story of our boys’ experiences better than our parent volunteers. Acting as tour guides, some of our devoted parents come every week to escort parents or parent groups around the lower school. I hear them explaining the social studies lesson that inspired the projects on display, expressing their son’s love of art or music class, relating the details of the schedule and lunch program, or answering some of the many questions that come up about what makes an all boys’ school the right choice for their son. Our head of admissions director, Lana Janian, will be the first to tell you- we couldn’t do the admissions process well without our parents!


Last week the Lower School held their annual book swap. Thousands of books (over 6,00!) were donated by our lower school families for the event. The picture below shows an assortment of books ready for organizing into categories. This was a daunting job that took hours of work by parent volunteers. Several moms were at school very early in the morning and stayed late into the afternoon to make sure that books were easy to find for even the most discerning reader. The end result was a library classroom that looked even more like a small bookstore. The boys were thrilled. By the end of the two days, books were picked over and our volunteers were left with the task of boxing hundreds of books for delivery to appreciative donors. Again, a job that is made possible through the generosity of our parent volunteers’ precious time!


Perhaps the most noticeable time commitment by our parent volunteers was evident on Thursday and Friday as I traveled to St. Mary’s City with the fourth grade. Not only did these parents take time off their daily work routine, but they rose to the occasion and rode the bouncy Gilman van, shuffled the boys through multiple tours, and played “parent” to several boys in their care at the hotel- making sure they slept, showered, refrained from the tempting snack bar, and stayed relatively quiet in common areas. I personally enjoyed their banter on the Gilman van and perspective on the boys’ experience. Many thanks to our overnight volunteers!



In summary, Gilman volunteer parents are a special group of committed individuals . They understand the rewards of involvement with the school community and the joys of seeing their son interacting within the school environment. I know that our school would not be the same without their efforts!





I hope that my communication with you each week encourages “talking points” to inspire conversation with your son or sons. Here are some “talking points” based on recent school events.



  • If you are in Kindergarten- Did you like the way your pattern hot air balloon turned out? Did you enjoy creating a straw “house” in the makerspace?
  • If you are in Prep-One- Did you enjoy the book swap? Did you learn where in the world Mrs. Matthews is from the clues she left you?
  • If you are in First Grade- How is your president report coming along? Are you excited for the “Parade of Presidents”?
  • If you are in Second Grade- What did you learn from the recent presentation by Ibrahim’s mom? How many ways have you learned to write numbers in math class? How many books did you get from the book swap?
  • If you are in Third Grade- Who will you be in the Wax Museum? Are you enjoying reading biographies? Did you pick up any biographies in the book swap?
  • If you are in Fourth Grade- What did you find most interesting during your trip to St. Mary’s City? How did the early Maryland colonists calculate their purchases? What did the Native Americans use animals for ? What were the houses of the colonists and early Native Americans like?


  • If you are in Fifth Grade- What is your “door in the wall”? What are you writing about given your recent prompt- “nothing ever happens in Gilman’s Lower School”?

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