Latest News


 MacKenzie S. in Ms. Brown's class was the winner of the Friendship Elementary School Wide Spelling Bee with Hannah V. in Ms. Erickson's class a close second place. MacKenzie will go on to compete in the Hall County Spelling Bee held at Blackshear Place Baptist Church on January 29th. We are very proud of all our classroom winners who competed and wish MacKenzie luck as she tries to bring the county spelling bee champion title back to Friendship.


Friday, March 15, 2013

6:30pm, FES Gym 

$10 Participant Fee

(Includes Talent Show T shirt with participants' names on back!)



Best Dance, Best Vocal, Cutest, Most Original, Best Variety,

Best Musical, Best Sports Demo, and Best Comedy


**Please click the link below to read more information and fill out an application.


Last year, all those cookies finally caught up with Santa and he got stuck in a chimney.

At least that was the premise behind an original play put on by fourth- and fifth-grade students at Friendship Elementary School Thursday night.

Music teacher Tara Shaw said she wrote the play after hearing a song written by Teresa Jennings called "Santa’s Getting Fit for Christmas" which was used in the play.

"I was inspired to write the play because we’ve been a wellness school for almost two years. So I just wanted to try to combine Christmas but also involve and educate the students, parents and the community on nutrition and exercise and getting healthy as well — since that’s our goal at the school," Shaw said.

The story follows Santa through the year while he exercises, eats right and incorporates healthy lifestyle changes to improve his overall health. His progress is gradual but by the time Christmas rolls around, he’s fitter than ever.

Nearly 100 students took to the stage to encourage Santa along his weight-loss journey by playing the parts of elves and reindeer.

Shaw said she wasn’t sure what the students would think about the play; however, she was very impressed with not only how the students performed in the play but how they took its message to heart.

"They’ve really taken to the idea and they’ve been really great. We do a lot of music and dancing ... and they’ve all had a great attitude about it and the message. So that has been a real positive response," Shaw said.

Several facts and figures for health were incorporated into the play’s script. Reindeers encouraged Santa to work out for at least 30 minutes while elves taught him what kind of healthy foods he should eat.

Chloe Leetch, a fourth-grade student, played one of the reindeers who had to break the news to Santa that he was just too heavy to pull around.

She said the play helped to teach her and her classmates about healthy habits.

"I think I learned a lot and that it’s really fun and that it’s really good for our school to be doing this," Leetch said.

Dan Jenkins, another fourth-grade student, played the part of "summer Santa."

He said it was hard work memorizing all his lines and the songs, but in the process he learned about ways to be healthier.

"I learned how to exercise more and eat healthy more," Jenkins said.

Shaw said she and the other teachers at the school focus on wellness in their classes. She likes to incorporate a lot of dance and music to give kids a chance to "energize" after being at school all day.

The school is striving to help children live healthier lives in an age where many young people are being diagnosed with weight-related illnesses like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

"We try to make (wellness) the central theme of everything we do. We don’t want to overdo it, but we pay attention to details," Principal Berry Walton said.

He said the school strives to prevent double standards.

Instead of celebrating a classroom achievement with cupcakes or an ice cream party, they may have extra time at recess or a fun activity.

"Our goal is just to begin emphasizing healthier lifestyle choices," Walton said. "We won’t see the benefits now but the children will see them later on. That’s what we’re after long term. We just want to create that understanding and willingness to take better care of yourself. The earlier the start the better."

As for Santa, maybe he’ll forgo the sugarplums and candy canes from now on.

Friendship Elementary School has received the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Bronze award for making changes that promote healthier eating and physical activity for students and staff. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation was founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. This award was granted by the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program, an effort to combat childhood obesity through the implementation of healthy changes within the school environment. Berry Walton, Principal attended the annual Healthy Schools Program Forum in Little Rock, Arkansas to accept the award on behalf of the school.

The award demonstrates our school’s commitment to preventing childhood obesity and to fostering the health of our students and staff. Specifically, our school has implemented energy breaks, morning workouts, after school wellness activities, provided resources for parents, and limited competitive foods.

Every day in the United States, 53 million people go to a school to work or to learn, making America’s schools one of the most important environments in the struggle to reduce childhood obesity. Schools are powerful places to not only teach young people the academic skills they need to succeed, but also healthy life skills. Healthy students learn better, are better able to concentrate on their work, attend school on a regular basis and perform better in class. Because of this, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation launched its Healthy Schools Program in February of 2006 with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Program promotes a comprehensive approach by helping schools improve access to healthier foods, increase physical activity opportunities before, during and after the school day, enhance nutrition education and establish staff wellness programs.

The Healthy Schools Program recognizes schools that succeed in meeting a set of research-based standards that address these areas at the Bronze, Silver and Gold level. To learn more about the Healthy Schools Program and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, visit Any school – public, private or charter – can sign up to receive the support of the Healthy Schools Program at no cost.

To get involved in Friendship’s school wellness council, contact Berry Walton at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


September 2012

Dear Volunteers,

Thank you for volunteering to help the students and teachers at Friendship Elementary! We really appreciate that you have offered your time to assist us in this way.

We need to inform you about some new changes in the Georgia law about reporting suspected child abuse. Anyone who volunteers at an organization that serves children is now mandated to report suspected child abuse to a designated person. It is important that you know the proper protocol in case you encounter this situation.

Per Hall County Schools policy, this training is required before you can continue to volunteer at school. A portion of the training will be completed online and will take approximately 45 minutes. Mr. Walton and Kristi Logan will be training volunteers on two occasions about this new law and how it impacts school volunteers:

  • Fri, Sept 21 at 8:00 am  - FES Research Lab (Room 257)
  • Wed, Sept 26 at 4:00 pm - FES Computer Lab (Room 171)

Please do your best to attend one of these training sessions. We will keep a record of volunteers that complete the training so you will not have to attend another training session at a different Hall County school.

Berry Walton, Principal
Kristi Logan, Counselor
Friendship Elementary School

The FES PTO is holding our 1st Annual Welcome Back Friendship Families at the Buford Corn Maze on Friday, Sept.7 from 6pm-8pm.

Tickets for the corn maze are $8 per person and will be sold in the mornings before school starting Sept 4th through Sept 7th. You can also purchase tickets at the corn maze the night of the event.

We will also be holding an IPAD raffle as part of this event. Tickets are $2 each and will be sent home the week of August 20th. Tickets will also be sold before school the week of Sept 4th-7th and at the night of the event.


Click below for more information on the raffle.


The Muddy Duck Dash is an obstacle race that incorporates multiple barriers that contestants must overcome. The course will twist in and out of the Gainesville State Campus. It is a fun family fitness activity, combining natural obstacles in addition to man made obstacles. This year's Muddy Duck Dash is being held on April 28, 2012 with all proceeds benefitting Friendship Elementary School. Please see the link below for more information and registration.


Muddy Duck Dash

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle would like to welcome everyone to Be Healthy Georgia Day on Saturday, March 10.  This event will kickoff the 2012 Healthy Kids Georgia Week, a week creating awareness to encourage Georgia’s families and kids to live healthier lifestyles.  Be Healthy Georgia Day will begin at 8 am with the Kilometer Kids Fun Run and includes special guest appearances from Georgia’s team mascots in the Nike+ Mascot Trot!  There will be tons of activities for all ages so be sure to register for this FREE event at