Tue, Mar 24, 2009 - Page 4 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: TAS hosts another successful spring fair

FUN Thousands flocked to the campus bazaar, with more than 80 booths set up to feed and entertain visitors and live performances throughout the day

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

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Taipei American School (TAS) celebrated its 29th annual Spring Fair last Saturday, turning the campus into a bustling bazaar with the tantalizing aroma of barbecue filling the air as thousands joined in the fun.

Jean Liao, a member of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), said that the fair used to draw around 6,000 to 8,000 people from the Tianmu community in Taipei.

“It started out as a fun gathering for the community and a fundraising event for the school,” she said, recalling that on average, the fair brought in more than NT$1.5 million each year.

This year, the fair featured more than 80 booths and sponsors — ranging from gourmet food provided by five-star hotels to an organic farmers' market, airline companies and even an animal adoption center.

TAS students also set up several booths, including the TAS Cancer Society, the Thespian Society, the Orphanage Club and the Student Environmental Alliance.

In addition to treats and fun-filled rides and games, the crowd was entertained by live performances from groups such as the Sweet Voice Choir, the Upper School rocker's band and hula dancers.

One of the performances was an Aboriginal number by the students of Ping-jin Elementary School in Nantou County. Many of these students participate in the school's long-distance English learning program set up by a group of volunteer TAS mothers.

Each year's fair has been special and unique in its own way, but one thing remains the same, TAS superintendent Sharon Hennessy said.

“We always have people who are willing to do the work,” Hennessy said, applauding the parents for their unwavering determination in making the fair a successful event year after year.

This year's fair was not only a celebration of the spirit of TAS, Hennessy said, but was also an occasion for the staff, faculty and parents to rejoice over the stellar review the school received from an international accreditation group — the Western Association of Schools and Colleges — last week when TAS was officially taken off the special “watch” status.

Quoting the association's director, David Brown, who visited Taipei to conduct the week-long evaluation, Hennessy said the evaluators said “a dark cloud has been lifted from TAS.”

“We are extremely pleased with the evaluation and huge credits go to the parents,” Hennessy said.

“We just can't put a dollar and cent on what the PTA has done for the school,” she said, commending the school's parents as the major driving force behind the remarkable change. VIEW THIS PAGE

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