As a service-learning component to their COU 545 (School Guidance and Evaluation), a group of Marian University school counselor candidates went to The Crossing, an alternative learning school, in downtown Indianapolis. The school counseling candidates provided a Friendsgiving for The Crossing students and their families; which included playing games, eating pizza, and ingesting way too much sugar!
The candidates chose specific games for both entertainment and to emphasize different socioemotional learning experiences. A blindfolded egg race taught the kids about teamwork, trust, and verbal communication. A balloon-popping game and Jeopardy also helped foster teamwork and collaboration, both playful ways for the students to learn and work on skills that could help them in the future.
But for the present, they decided to take a field trip to the parking lot in order to avoid a scrambled eggs’ mess in the classroom! Partners competed against other “teams” and had to work together in a race to get their egg across the finish line first without dropping it. Students, staff, and parents all participated, and it was interesting to see all the different strategies everyone used to succeed. The egg toss game came next and it was a great excuse for everyone to play with the eggs for a bit longer and to finally stop protecting the eggs! In an about-turn, participants smashed the eggs with gusto and enthusiasm. The Marian school counselor candidates were very glad in their decision to utilize the outside venue!
The group traveled back inside for the next activity, a Thanksgiving-themed Jeopardy game. Everyone joined in trying to answer the questions the fastest. Some couldn’t contain their excitement for this competition, jumping out of their seats because the game got very intense. The goofy, fun nature of the game left everyone smiling and giggling.Finally, the night ended with loud balloon pops, both a game and celebration of a successful evening. Even though the event only lasted a few hours, it gave everyone time to relax and enjoy a stress-free night with activities that were simple and fun, but also provided the beneficial ulterior motive to teach about teamwork, collaboration, and communication. Friendsgiving at The Crossing was exciting and entertaining. More importantly, it connected.
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