Summit Academy Community School – Warren Elementary students were greeted with chalked sidewalk sentiments, snow cone tickets, handshakes from U.S. Army Sergeant Scott Soltis, and supportive smiles from school staff members this morning, for their first day of classes.

Yesterday, Principal Allison Glass and roughly 20 teachers gathered to decorate the sidewalks surrounding the school with chalked greetings for the students. The profusion of rainbows, hearts, and words of encouragement has become a school tradition, now entering its third year.

“It starts the school year off on a positive note,” says Glass. “A lot of our students are visual learners so the bright-colored chalk art is visually appealing and makes the kids feel welcomed and supported.”

Glass says the sidewalk greeting was the first of other welcoming festivities for the school’s roughly 120 students in grades kindergarten through seven.

John Guyer, CEO of Summit Academy Management, which operates the school, joined Glass and her staff to greet students this morning and passed out tickets for students to redeem tomorrow for snow cones.

Sergeant First Class Scott Soltis, who has served in the U.S. Army for the past 18 years, led the school community in the “Pledge of Allegiance.” Originally from Ashtabula, Sergeant Soltis works at the U.S. Army Recruiting Office in Warren.

A visit by snow cone truck Kona Ice will top the week off on a sweet note tomorrow, with a frozen treat for each student.

“It’s a good relationship builder,” says Glass of the snow cone event, which brings students and teachers together in a nonacademic gathering. “It encourages social skills, which is something we push heavily with our students, and also shows them the fun side of school.”

Glass adds that Kona Ice will return to the school on May 29, 2020 to deliver snow cones to the students on their last day of classes.

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