MOUNT VERNON – Benjamin Turner Academy held Benjamin Turner Academy Family Day on Thursday, August 24, 2023. Children and their families visited their new school building. Children played with their friends and got a chance to take a tour of the building with their parents.
Tanganyika Lindner-Brown, assistant principal for pre-K through fourth grade, and Raisa Turner, assistant principal for grades five through eight, led families on the tour of the school.
“I’m super excited to welcome them in,” said Ms. Turner. “They were always pretty much family, just a building away, so now we are going to have them all in one building. Now we can do even more greater things with everyone since we’re going to have a full house in the building. So I’m super excited.”
There were two bounce houses, one with a slide, set up in the gymnasium for children to play on. There was also a face painting station, balloon animals, popcorn and cotton candy. Students had fun running around while their parents got a chance to meet building leadership to learn more about their children’s new school.
“I think it’s a good idea to have this event, especially because of the little children coming into the school,” said Shakia Morgan, mother of Wren Morgan, a first-grade student entering Benjamin Turner Academy, and Janiyah Morgan, a senior at DWSA. “So, it’s a positive thing to introduce them to what the school is going to be like for the year.”
The Mount Vernon Fire Department brought a truck to the event to show children how it works and give them something fun to learn about. The Mount Vernon Police Department Wellness Division and Girl Scouts also came to share their programs with families.
“I know there has been a lot of change all at once,” said Doris Dapaah, the new principal of Benjamin Turner Academy. “Thank you all for coming and participating in our community event. We want to make sure that you see everything as much as possible.”
The assistant principals fielded questions from parents regarding safety, the school’s preparation for new students and accommodations for autistic students. One of these accommodations is a sensory room on the second floor where students can go to calm down if they are overwhelmed.
“I want to thank our parents for coming out to Benjamin Turner Academy Family Day and being so cooperative throughout this process,” said Acting Superintendent Dr. K. Veronica Smith. “I truly believe this will be a successful transition, and I appreciate families working with us to ensure that.”