A Friendly Game of Football

Football took center stage at Gilman lower school last week. Over half of the boys in grades kindergarten to fifth took part in the varsity football team’s annual “Practice with the Team” event. Despite the unusual September heat, over 160 boys happily sprinted to the field behind dozens of football mentors. The upper school boys couldn’t have been nicer to our little guys as they led them through drills and scrimmages. It made quite the picture as so many boys, both big and small, shared their love of the sport on a sunny afternoon. I tried to capture a few moments below, but it was difficult, as the boys did not stay still for more than a second! One kindergarten boy exclaimed, “This was the best day of my entire life!” Certainly, he is living in the moment and has forgotten those summer vacations, new puppies, etc. However, the excitement he expressed was certainly on the faces of the boys catching footballs and imagining themselves as Gilman’s next football star.

All week football games dominated the fields during recess. It is such a treat to watch our lower school boys orchestrate a touch football game. In a short period of time, they decide teams, quarterbacks, and goal lines so that they can maximize playtime. It is a struggle for them to resist that “last play” when the whistle blows, and yet with two recesses a day, they can usually come right back out and pick up where they left off. As the football frenzy dies down, other games will work their way back- soccer, basketball, four square- but no game seems to inspire more passion that football. Pictured below is an image from the Gilman archives that clearly shows that football traditions here go back a long way.


“Navigating the Waters” was a program started by our director of diversity, Johnnie Foreman, some years ago to give new parents access to information about Gilman. This event, which is run as a panel discussion with time for questions and answers, was held this week. Several new lower school parents attended and joined the discussion. I imagine that hearing not only about the lower school but how the journey unfolds in other divisions must have been informative and interesting. One highlight had to be hearing two of our most involved juniors, Ben and Noah, talk about their experiences going through Gilman. They were appreciative of the opportunities to play football (Noah) and cross country (Ben) and raved about their activities with the Traveling Men, drama, and other clubs, but mainly they spoke of the relationships they developed with teachers and students that sustain them through tough times. Like the football event I wrote about earlier, it was a reminder that we are part of a community at Gilman with much to share and many individuals to support both parents and students.


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 enjoy the assembly this week by science guy “Hazmat”? What did you think of the book The Colors of Us that you read together for social studies?
  • If you are in Prep-One- What are you looking forward to about your field trip to Ladew Gardens this week? What designs did you add to your alligator in art class?


  • If you are in First Grade- Are you enjoying the new playground balls and bouncy balls purchased for your recess pleasure?
  • If you are in Second Grade- Now that you are connected with your parents through SeeSaw, what things are you looking forward to sharing with them? What are you learning about rocks in science class?
  • If you are in Third Grade- Do you think that you can become a perfect person in three days like Milo? What things have you shared on SeeSaw this week?
  • If you are in Fourth Grade- How will you prepare for your first social studies test on early Maryland? Have you read any interesting articles on Newsela?
  • If you are in Fifth Grade- What do you think of the new vocabulary website- Infercabulary? How does it help you remember and learn new vocabulary words?

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