Creating the Torch to Pass on at P.S. 130 in the South Bronx

Today’s blog post was written by Julie Anne Garretson, Team Leader at P.S. 130 in the South Bronx. Julie Anne’s team was one of the winners of this year’s brand new Capital One Mini-Grants Program, funding made available by Capital One to support corps member-led innovations to enhance City Year’s Whole School Whole Child service . Thank you to Capital One for making the below event possible.

AS Olympics 3

The sun was out, the skies were clear, and the students could not be more ready to compete in what was about to become the first annual P.S. 130/M.S. 302 After School Olympics! For several weeks prior to the event, they had waited in anticipation as they heard whispers of this exciting event: “An Olympics?” “Will it be anything like the real Olympics?” “Do we at least get to go outside?” When the day finally came, they were ecstatic to find that as promised, they were going to participate in a series of awesome events planned by two fantastic City Year teams!

AS Olympics 1

The event took place on Thursday, April 25th at P.S. 130 Abrams Stevens Hewitt Elementary School, almost as soon as school was dismissed.  Once everyone arrived at P.S. 130, the students were placed on teams that integrated kids from both schools. Of course, not a single team moved until team names were established, such as the “Thunderbirds” and the “Excellents”. As each student was led by a City Year Corps Member, they ventured from activity to activity, where they competed against other teams in events like a three-legged race, an egg-relay, and even a team wheel-barrow race!  While students had the opportunity to earn points for succeeding in a given activity, they also earned points for participation, positivity, and great sportsmanship.  Now if that already doesn’t sound like a blast, the Corps Members also provided the students with some delicious healthy snacks to make sure they remained hydrated and energized throughout the event!

AS Olympics 2

As soon as the event concluded with a closing ceremony, the questions that came from students no longer concerned the details about the event, or what type of Olympics it was, but rather, “When are we doing this again?” Needless to say, the event was a huge success, allowing our students to demonstrate their teamwork and collaboration skills.  Ideally, this event provided the foundations for what is to become a long-lasting partnership between the P.S. 130 and M.S. 302 City Year teams. Thanks to Capital One for making this event a reality!