On April 11, the Cougar Connections Club held this year’s Buddy Olympics in the auxiliary gym, supervised by Mrs. Ferro and Ms. Boszko. With many activities led by the student coordinators Sahil Rajwade, Vivam Gandhi, Isabella Marcinkiewicz, the LLD students and their “Buddies” had an amazing day. The goal of this event was to “help bridge the gap between the LLD students and the general education students by integrating the two groups into teams and giving them the opportunity to get to know each other through a series of team building tasks and collaborative activities.”
To begin, the buddies met with their groups to choose a country and create a poster as well as a chant consisting of a cheer and dance. At this time, they participated in ice breakers to become familiar with their interests and lives as a whole. Around 10:00, the groups rotated through many 10 minute stations of games: Disney Guess Who, cup stacking, graham crackers contest, basketball, bowling race, corn hole, and paper airplane making. After all of these fun activities, it was time to feed the hungry stomachs of the students with pizza! Eating in the auxiliary gym together allowed the LLD students and general education students to create lasting friendships and get to know each other more. After eating, the fun continued. A mummy wrap competition tested the patience and precision of our students. Some groups even gave their mummies accessories like bandanas and unicorn horns made of empty toilet paper rolls.
Next, the relay races– three-legged race, egg and spoon race, scooter race, and basketball passes– tested the athleticism and teamwork of our students. These races emphasized the role of a team by forcing them to work together to get timing and execution just right. Learning how to work in a team calls for personal growth and deeper connections. For the last activity, the students went outside in the sunny weather to play with a parachute. The groups seemed to really enjoy getting fresh air!
The Buddy Olympics of 2022 began to wind down and concluded with the awards ceremony, in which we were joined by Cosmo the Cougar, our mascot. At this time, each country performed their chants and showed off the posters they worked hard on. Each student in the LLD program got an award for their outstanding work that day and throughout the school year. Finally, everyone participated in a freeze dance, showing off their moves! This fun-filled day showed the importance of unity and encouraged teamwork of all students in the school community. Personally, I had a great time and look forward to more opportunities to spend more time with the LLD program and their amazing, kind, and spirited students!