Northside Picture Day Sparks Joy

Celebrating Families on NCDC Picture Day

At most schools, picture day means a quick headshot of each student for the yearbook. However, at Catholic Charities’ Northside Child Development Center (NCDC) it’s been a longstanding tradition to include the whole family!

After the pandemic forced this event to go on hiatus for several years, families were excited to resume this special event. This year, over 30 families made it to picture day for a quick breakfast and fun photoshoot thanks to hard work and skilled organization of Northside staff.

NCDC Picture Day

“It’s Joyful Chaos”

Families began to file into the playroom just before 8:00 a.m., where breakfast and seating was set up. Kids went for the play structure and toys right away, while parents chased behind them holding combs, lotion, tissue, and hair ties. Just after the first family left the playroom with the photographer, an errant ball flew towards the wall and struck the exact place where a fire alarm was mounted!

The sounds of the fire alarm blared from every direction, but one mom and her two sons were unphased and they smiled wide for a few frames. Now wide-awake, the trio returned to the play area where they took some candid photos.

Northside staff worked quickly behind the scenes, showing families around and teasing smiles out of shy kids. A handful of teachers at NCDC were able to join the photoshoot with their own families as well!

NCDC Picture Day

Creating Core Memories

It’s no easy feat to coordinate over thirty family portraits over the course of 3 hours. Anne Parrett, Family Services Coordinator at NCDC, explained that they do it because, “it means the world to the families — to be able to have a family picture taken at no cost, and in a safe and convenient space, is huge and offers a wonderful memory.”

Halfway through the photoshoot, one mother approached Anne and showed her a childhood photo taken with her own parents at NCDC’s Picture Day in the mid-1990’s. Anne emphasized that, “Picture Day at Northside has been a tradition because we like to set a sense of community and family. I wanted to be a part of something great and meaningful — something that the families would remember for a long time. I loved seeing all the families all dressed up and looking nice, it was a beautiful thing.”

Anne Parrett at NCDC Picture Day



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