Welcome Back! – Journey with Me


Doesn’t that clear blue water look inviting?  Our family is not usually a regular “beach” family in the summertime.  We rather prefer the “lake and mountains” vacation.  However, this summer I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Barbados — that picture was my morning view for 5 days.  Breath-taking!

Barbados is a very small island in the Caribbean Sea.  Actually, it is the southeastern most of the Caribbean islands — with the Atlantic Ocean actually bordering its eastern coast.  Our journey there had us taking our car to the airport, a plane to North Carolina, then another plane to the tiny island.  A total of 11 hours from when I pulled out of my driveway, I was looking at this beautiful view.  It’s amazing how quickly we can journey to somewhere completely different on the globe.

The most exciting part of my journey, though, was to see something (or someone) else who had also journeyed to get there.  He looked something like this:

My own underwater camera did not capture an image as clear as the one I’m sharing here.  This is a green sea turtle.  Sea turtles are easily found swimming off the coast of Barbados. I It was a great treat to snorkel and swim with a couple of these fascinating creatures.

As many of you know (one of you even did your independent research on them last year), sea turtles make journeys too.  They migrate hundreds and even thousands of miles to reach their breeding and nesting grounds — often returning to the same beach where they were born.  Scientists still aren’t exactly sure how they know the way, but it is thought that they rely on things like the ocean’s currents, the earth’s magnetic field, and water chemistry.

Like the sea turtles, we are about to embark on a journey together.  It is the new learning journey of the 2019-2020 school year.  There will be exciting and wonderful things to see and do along the way.  Using the theme of “JOURNEYS” as our guide, I look forward to guiding you and exploring together as we go.  Where will this journey take you?  I can’t wait to find out!  Welcome back friends!!

~Mrs. Lenahan

Welcome Back! – Time for a Change

What do you think of when you hear the word, “change“?  Maybe you think about the jingly coins in your pocket, but you probably think about something that is different than it was before.  Some people get nervous about change…. they want to keep things the same way they have always been.

This summer, I spent a lot of time at the Wittel Farm Growing Project in Elizabethtown.  The primary work at the Wittel Farm is growing fresh fruits and vegetables to go directly into the food relief system in Lancaster County to help fight hunger.  My role was to create a Monarch Waystation on the property; a small area of land planted with native milkweeds and nectar plants attractive to Monarch Butterflies.  The goal is to help support this amazing species as they make their stops in PA throughout their migration.


Butterflies go through a magnificent change as they transform from egg to larva to pupa to butterfly.  I considered it a privilege to witness these changes as we raised some Monarchs in our separate mesh-enclosed habitat at home.  My sons and I found ourselves cheering them on as they reached milestones in their growth and transformation.  Did you know that Monarch caterpillars shed their skin (molt) 4 times before finally transforming into their chrysalises?  They need to — if you grew the same rate as a caterpillar, in two weeks you’d be the size of a school bus!


Finally, when metamorphosis is complete, there is a beautifully transformed butterfly.


Like the butterfly, we grow and change too.  I wonder how you will grow and change this school year.  Your body will change as you grow, but so will your brain as you make new connections and learn new things.  Your relationships with others might change as you make new friends and deepen other friendships.  The world around us has changed over the course of history and humans have learned from these changes.  Especially now, in our digital age, some things are changing at a faster rate than ever.

This year, we’ll tie some of our activities and lessons during gifted support time to the theme of change.  Some change is exciting; other times it may make us feel a bit unsure or nervous.  But like the image of the butterfly, change is a natural part of living.  I look forward to cheering you on as you transform and reach milestones this school year!