P started big school last year. And for the first three levels (nursery, prep and grade 1), there is what you call a fellowship where all the parents and children get together and try (at some level—because it tends to get crazy with the number of people) and get to know one another.
It’s a chance for other parents to get to know their co-parents, for them to get to know the friends of their kids, for them to meet the kids’ teachers in an informal setting and for their kids to get to know the parents of their classmates.
In the past years, I’ve been told that the fellowships at school resembled ginormous birthday parties (imagine sitting on the sidelines and watching your classmates play games only), except there was no birthday celebrant. It consisted of a program, with competitive games, corporate booths that did sampling, loot bags. And each batch wanted to outdo each other.
So last year, the parents group (who was running the fellowships) stepped in and decided to make them more austere. So simple was the way to go. No additional sponsorships for each batch unless that sponsor can give to all the levels (nursery, prep and grade 1—that’s like a whopping 1200 kids!), everyone will have the same snacks provided by the parents group (which was tasked with looking for a good but inexpensive food), and all children will have the same loot bags as well.
Aside from simplicity, another goal was to bring back the real point of the fellowship—not pabonggahan, but to encourage parents to get to know other parents while helping to prepare for the entire event.