SACO, Maine — After the end of a long school week, kids just want to get out of school and have some fun. But at Saco Middle School, kids are now becoming excited to go to school on Fridays.
That’s because teachers and school staff recently launched "Fun Fridays." A new theme is featured every week, and school staff said not only is it fun, but it’s important for kids' social and emotional health.
"You know you’re gonna have a fun day, every day you step out in that hall there’s a new song playing and you know it’s gonna be a fun day," sixth-grader Tyler Jury said.
"On Thursday nights I’ll be really excited to get up and go to school on Fridays," Hayleigh Goldberg, another sixth-grader, added.
Kids are greeted at school with freshly decorated hallways to match the theme of the day, with music blasting and a chance to connect with friends, especially after being away from them during the pandemic.
"I finally get to see my friends after not seeing them for a couple of years and socialize more with people without being home on computers," sixth-grader Kendrick Booker said.
"It’s been a rough couple [of] years with COVID and this is the first real year we’re back without masks," Lisa Hall, a Saco Middle School teacher, said.
Hall and other school staff said getting kids excited to go to school and having fun helps them learn, too.
"I think we know that when kids' social-emotional needs are being met, that’s when the actual academic learning can take place," Saco Middle School Principal Marie Soucy said.
This week's Friday theme was "Career Day," so kids dressed up as what they want to be when they grow up. Teachers and staff decorated the hallway with their hopes and dreams to remind them that their future is bright, while also having fun.
"Friday mornings is kind of like a holiday for them, they come in with a different theme and different lighting and different things hanging from the ceiling," Hall said.
"This is like the best part of the week," sixth-grader Lidya Lizotte said.
And isn’t that what we’re all looking for on Fridays?