Cougar champions

The first week of November presented many challenges to our team at Horace Cureton Elementary as the shorter school days of the minimum week translated into an extra hour to fill for each day’s after school program. Always up for any challenge, the team was able to put our heads together and plan for a week of fun filled Olympic themed activities.

Not only did we hope to give our kids the chance to have fun and compete, but we also took the opportunity provided by “The First Annual Epic Olympics of Cureton Elementary” to teach our students about Olympic history, culture, and striving for excellence. With these goals in mind, we set out to plan specific activities and lessons for each day of the ceremony.

Corps member Colin Kemp officiates the tug-of-war competition.

Monday, which was our day of culture, saw us get off to a great start. The kids were very excited to participate in the opening ceremony of our very own Olympic games. In front of all of their peers in the after school program, each class proudly walked forward while their theme songs played, displaying their banners and performing cheers to demonstrate their class spirit.

Following their introductions, the students were briefed on several points of Olympic culture before moving to our different stations: Ro Sham Bo relay (to emphasize teamwork), Higher Better Faster Stronger (learning the Olympic motto via a Daft Punk dance workout) and Physical Training (up in the gym working on your fitness).

The next day’s emphasis was placed on athletic competition. The proud cougars of Cureton Elementary took part in sprinting, a potato sack relay race, and tug of war for the opportunity to win points. While we’re discussing the subject, the author would like to point out that he may or may not be the sprinting champion of Cureton Elementary*.

Wednesday’s competition focused on academics. Students played fun and exciting games like math hopscotch, geography funnel ball and monkey bar trivia. This was the last day that the Olympic competitors had a chance to earn points, and by the end of the day, each class was able to recognize two of its students as champions!

Students celebrating after a victorious round of tug-of-war!

Thursday soon arrived and with it came the Final Showdown of the First Annual Olympic Games of Cureton Elementary. Those who weren’t champions nevertheless showed great school spirit as they joined in with the famous Cougar cheerleaders to encourage the competitors.

After the challenges of the atlas stones, the how-low-can-you-go test of the limbo and a scintillating round of salsa steps, it all came down to a round of Jeopardy. It was a close competition to be sure, but at the end of the day, one champion from one stellar class proved victorious (disclaimer: I was really proud of my kids that day.) And even though there could be one champ, all of Cureton celebrated the win and the close of our Olympic games.

* Championship still under review due to accusations that champion was 11 to 12 years too old to compete.

Alejandro Belden, Corps Member CYSJ


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