Sixth graders throughout the district put their game faces on for Unity Day on May 29 at Shaw Avenue School. The event, now in its third year, encourages students from Clear Stream Avenue, Forest Road and Shaw Avenue schools to build connections with each other through engaging team building activities. It was first started by the district’s physical education department during Valley Stream District 30’s “Let’s Move” initiative.
Sixth graders from all three buildings joined together to form 12 teams and participated in a variety of outdoor activities. Each team was assigned a number and a color of either blue, gold, purple or orange. Students dressed in pinnies to represent their team, as physical education teachers, staff and building administrators from all three schools helped assist to make the event a success.
Students learned the value of teamwork and the importance of sportsmanship as they participated in different stations with their peers. This included engaging in tug-of-war, a sponge relay, a hula hoop game called “You Make It, You Take It,” speed stacks and more. The sixth graders cheered on their teammates as they completed each station and made friends along the way, preparing them for their next journey into middle school.
“The importance of Unity Day is to bring students together, have them participate in team building events, work together and strategize in order to be successful,” said Forest Road physical education teacher Kerry Ann Brady. “The students don’t know one another from the different schools so we were looking for them to get out of their comfort zone and compete in events that incorporate not only sport but also life skills such as conflict resolution, problem-solving, communication and collaboration.”
Next year, the physical education teachers are looking into possibly incorporating technology into the meet-up by having the sixth graders Skype one another to introduce themselves before they meet on Unity Day.