School Employs Clown To Ease Anxiety on First Day of School

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A school in Malaysia is trying something new to help calm any anxiety young students may experience on their first day of school: they’ve hired a clown.

SK St. Paul school in the city of Seremban in Malaysia hired a clown to entertain the school’s first-year students as they stroll through the halls of their school for the first time. The hope is that the clown will help to ease any nerves and form a positive association with being at school.

For the past five years, the school has brought in some kind of character, like a superhero or a recognizable figure from a cartoon, but this was the first time the school chose a clown to hand out balloons and make the kids smile and feel comfortable.

“The first day of school is very significant to the children and parents alike,” explains Dr Mahadevan Deva Tata, chairman of the PTA and a former St. Paul student. “Holding such an event is a positive boost to them. We picked out a clown due to its interactive character and he did a good job entertaining the children today.”

“Not only was the clown stationed at the main gate to welcome the Year One students but he also accompanied them to their classes, making them feel at home,” adds Headmaster A. Santhanasamy.

Dr. Mahadevan says the event is in response to parents being far more protective of their kids than in past generations. “They don’t just drop their children off but also stay a while to observe how their children are doing,” he explains.

The PTA chairman adds that the event with a happy clown is just the first in a string of events the school puts on to enhance the educational experience for students. The school also holds assemblies to celebrate the birthdays of both students and teachers. It also celebrates various cultural festivals, like Chinese New Year.

By all accounts, the clown at St. Paul school was quite a hit. It’s hard to tell if this trend will catch on at other schools throughout the world, but it certainly sounds like an idea worth considering to help young children ease into their first day of school.