To help her students learn, Rebecca Graham, a preschool teacher had a June wedding.
It wasn't a real wedding. Graham's actual wedding to Jonathan Weinberg will be in February, out of school bus range in Mexico.
But just before summer vacation, the couple staged a made-for-school ceremony for students.
"Can we come to the wedding?" a girl named Myriam begged. "It'd be a dream come true to see my teacher get married."
Graham's colleagues had an idea. Why not do a student-led project about weddings?
"The students were so excited that we had to do something," Graham said.
She envisioned an event that wouldn't be much more than cupcakes and a few streamers. But the project mushroomed.
"It quickly turned into a monster," she said.
The students brought in pictures of their own family weddings. They discussed wedding traditions across cultures and drew pictures of towering, tiered cakes. They made enough beaded jewelry and paper flowers for a dozen brides.
They crafted invitations. They voted on which dress Graham should wear and graphed the results. They practiced the box step for the wedding dance. Each activity helped meet state benchmarks.
"We've covered almost the whole state curriculum through the wedding project," Graham said. "It's been the best teaching material ever."
The school will roll out a new extracurricular program this fall called "Ray University," which will feature student-driven projects on a variety of themes.