Community Building [w/MJ Zafis-Garcia & Sabrina Colaianni]

Mar 16, 2021

Hey there,

Today, as a part of our Community Builder series, I'm joined by MJ Zafis-Garcia and Sabrina Colaianni from St. Raphael School in Rockville, MD to chat about the ways that they build community in their school amidst COVID-19!

Sabrina summed it up nicely, "For us, community starts with ideas and ends with people." When it comes to the limits of virtual and socially-distanced events, the most important questions are, what can't we do? What's the workaround? How do we still meet the needs of families?

School traditions are such a huge part of the life of a school, but many schools had to cancel or alter them in order to meet safety regulations.

This past season, Sabrina and MJ were able to think outside the box with their traditions and turned "Breakfast with Santa" into "Drive-By Letters to Santa," for instance.

Another fantastic COVID-friendly event they put on was St. Raphael Iron-Chef Competition, where families signed-up and received a secret ingredients kit (pretzel baking!), the option to order a pizza. This event was a win-win-win, as it ended up being a community-builder, fundraiser, and supported local businesses.

What virtual and socially-distanced events is your school putting on this spring and into the summer? I'd love to hear!

Also, in the spirit of virtual events, join our monthly Small School Leaders Meet-up for a chance to connect with other key figures from small schools around the country. Sign-up here!

Watch our other Community Builder videos: 

Building Community w/Mia Johnstone

The Best COVID-Friendly Event Idea w/Andrea Bateman