All Elizabeth 5th graders gather to learn teamwork
The annual Fifth Grade Challenge took place Aug. 24 at Casey Jones Park, with high school students helping them learn teamwork and leadership.
Every fifth-grader in Elizabeth School District -- from Legacy Academy, Running Creek and Singing Hills -- gets the chance to meet other kids in their grade and learn to work together with them in their final year before middle school. The day-long events takes place thanks to the work of Dani Varela, EHS attendance clerk, and her small army of sophomores, juniors and seniors. Many of those students were participants in the Challenge just a few years ago, as Varela's efforts stretch across multiple decades.
While it may look like fun and games -- which is great for the elementary school students -- all of the activities are meant to challenge students to find ways to work together. For much of the morning, small teams of students rotate among various stations to find ways to cooperate: "walking" a student in an A-frame connected to several ropes; assembling boards and ropes to transport an "injured" person; moving in unison, one step at a time, on a set of "skis"; and using several "stepping stone" items to move a line of students across a span without stepping anywhere else. After lunch, the students participated in a massive treasure hunt which also required them to work as a team.
More than 40 EHS students helped guide and coach the fifth-graders through each of the activities and demonstrate leadership themselves.