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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
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.”
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
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.”