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The High Five Recess Challenge

Tetherball, 4-Square, Skipping, Wall Ball and other recess games have endured under many different names and variations. The rules are passed on year after year, in schoolyards across the globe.

Elmwood High School is doing its part to keep these games alive with the annual High Five Recess Challenge. Elmwood had been inviting students from its feeder elementary schools—George V, Glenelm, Kent Road, Lord Selkirk and River Elm—to take part in the annual event for the past six years.

Elmwood’s Grade 11 and 12 student leaders explain the rules and referee different recess games at a variety of stations in the school’s two gymnasiums.

The event arose out of a conversation between Phys. Ed. Teacher Nancy Baker and Soleil Gallego, a former Elmwood student.

“We were talking one day about all the games we used to play at recess time,” Ms. Baker said. “We thought it would be an awesome idea to invite elementary students here to learn and play these games.”

Soleil has since graduated from Elmwood and is currently at university studying kinesiology; she has made a point of returning to her high school each year for High Five.

“The high school students remember these games from when they were kids…they get all nostalgic about it,” Ms. Gallego said. “Every school has different rules for these games, so they have to talk and figure out which ones they are going to use.”

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Elmwood student and River Elm alumnus Favour Ugbah has volunteered with the event for several years.

“It’s an opportunity to help out younger kids and interact with them,” he said. “We’re able to show them that Elmwood is a really good school. I actually came to this event six years ago, when I was a student at River Elm. I remember how fun that was, so I wanted to make sure these kids got to have fun too.”

At the end of the afternoon, all of the elementary students got a t-shirt, certificate and healthy snack.

“It’s a nice way for Grade 11 and 12 students to be put in a leadership/mentorship role,” Ms. Baker said. “And for the elementary students, a lot of them will be coming here next year to start Grade 7, so they get to have a great experience at Elmwood.”

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