On Sunday, March 19th, Mount Vernon kindergartener Kaia Kollar celebrated her birthday with fellow kindergartners at Mount Vernon’s monthly Build Event.
Kaia has been coming to the MV Build Events all year. She started working on the set for Sense and Sensibility in September by painting some set pieces, as well as a few members of the cast. In October, Kaia worked on the MV lifesize nutcrackers that guarded the entrance of the Middle School during the winter holidays. In November, she sat down and worked on the Gingerbread men that decorated the lower and upper campuses during our week of wonder – otherwise known as Christmas Art Showcases. By far the most petite regular volunteer, Kaia can almost lead the tour of the upper campus at this point. She runs into the building as the day starts, unloading the materials and helping set up the build day. She is the most excited volunteer, checks on her older brother throughout the day, and is always anxious to see what she can help with next.
When her mom asked how she wanted to celebrate her birthday, Laura was not surprised when Kaia asked about a party at the school. Reaching out to the two MVAA Build Ambassadors, Jonathan and Allison Chaffin, the first Mount Vernon Build Day Birthday Party was scheduled for March 19th, when the volunteers would be working on some materials for not only the Middle School but also smaller items for Little Shop of Horrors, seemed like the best fit for Kaia and her friends. Lucky for Mount Vernon, Kaia was willing to wait for her big day.
For presents, the invitation was clear; Kaia wanted parents to “provide one of our most precious gifts – time with each other on a busy weekend sharing our talents with Mount Vernon.” and boy, did the Mount Vernon Community respond. Thirty children could attend the event, bringing along moms and dads. At the same time, the kids worked on a craft for Little Shop of Horrors. Parents worked on the set, building the framework for the stage, roses for the shopkeeper, cleaning and prepping tools, and laughing at the antics of the kids, so excited to show off their unique creations.
While interviewed, Kaia talked about her love of Dance, Mount Vernon, and Build Days. It was clear she couldn’t pick a favorite day. She loved working on the reindeer. But the gingerbread was terrific. Painting senior Miller Woodall, a Sense and Sensibility cast member, was a fond memory. But it was clear coming with her family and sharing this time each month was special.
During this week of impact, we are excited to spotlight a kindergartner who cares so much about Mount Vernon that she gave her birthday to the school. Thank you, Kaia, we can’t wait to see what you do next!