LS Assembly Covers Birthdays, Books and Current Events

The September 18 Lower School Assembly provided an opportunity for Assistant Headmaster/Lower School Head Laurie Gruhn to introduce none other than the Panther mascot and a new birthday tradition. As always, the Panther plays a starring role in giving a handshake or high five to Browning boys celebrating birthdays. When September celebrants were recognized that morning, they chose to come forward or not, with shyness setting in for the youngest boys. Regardless, Ms. Gruhn announced each boy’s name, his birthday date, and presented him with a gift. This year the boys received a badge to adhere to a backpack, etc., in lieu of the pencils given last year.

Ms. Gruhn asked the boys to volunteer what they have been reading lately. She requested that they state the author’s name as well. One boy, who had read the entire series of “Magic Tree House” books by Mary Pope Osborne, explained that while he didn’t like the first one, he loved the last one, as it was “full of adventures.”

Another highlight of the morning was hearing from three Grade Four boys who each provided a synopsis of a current event. Perhaps they were partly inspired by Head of Upper School Jim Reynolds’ advice during Opening Assembly on September 8 when he said, “You are the future of this country and the leaders of tomorrow. Become engaged in the world around you.”

The first news item discussed by the fourth graders concerned an accomplishment many Browning boys might relate to based on their own experience with 3-D printers in technology class. Local Motors, a Phoenix, Arizona-based company, recently introduced the electric Strati car, built from a 3-D printer onsite at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. The name of the car means “layers” in Italian, giving a nod to the fact that most 3-D printers work by repeatedly layering and building up material to achieve the final product.

The second item highlighted news that California intends to ban disposable plastic bags. In fact, the state is the first to recently pass a bill banning these bags. If signed into law, grocery and retail stores will be prohibited from providing single-use plastic bags and required to charge at least 10 cents for paper bags, compostable bags and reusable plastic bags. The Browning School’s Green Team has been involved with a similar initiative by New York City Council members.

The final current event discussed at the assembly was Microsoft’s expansion of its video game empire. Microsoft recently paid $2.5 billion for Mojang, the company behind the immensely popular building-block video game Minecraft.

Lower School boys can look forward to many more informative assemblies, including Ms. Warner’s discussion of the ever-popular Composer of the Month. Stay tuned!