By Kathy Hanson, Assistant Head of School
What is an atrium?
Well, to start, it is an invitation.
The atrium is the centerpiece that invites light, air, and life into the heart of a place. It is, very literally, a greeting of welcome. It beckons without words.
“Please, come inside.”
Last June, when I first walked through the doors of Atrium School, children were all gathered in the atrium space. There was a feeling of openness. The room was full, yet there was somehow room for more. And everyone belonged. I feel the same sense of invitation today and this is hardly news. I have heard many families repeat the same experience: “I walked in and just knew that this was the place for us.” The feeling of welcome touches the heart at once and the extension of welcome reaches out to the whole family.
When the school was first founded on the second floor of a then new Armenian Cultural & Education Center in 1982, Ginny Kahn openly expressed that Atrium School was founded to draw whole families in. The name of Atrium was even inspired by the lovely open space at the Center. This is where you belong. Others have followed her vision. Even now, Atrium’s Head of School Linda Echt ends a tenure that embodies the act of vivid invitation - wholeheartedly welcoming new families, opening the building up (literally) for more, and co-creating a space that warmly greets visitors, families, and new challenges. Soon, in July, Atrium School’s new Head of School, Marshall Carter will do the same. The concept of “atrium” has become fundamental, as we have incorporated this openness and community-focus into the very core of who we are. To each one, the invitation is extended: “Come inside.” I heard the invitation, myself. So have you.