MILLTOWN, NJ - Olympic spirit was on fire at the borough's Parkview School on February 9 just a few hours before the opening ceremonies kicked off the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Parkview School Principal Eric Sigel led students into the gym carrying a hand-crafted Olympic torch. Students and teachers were decked out bearing the colors of their chosen countries. They all paraded in one class at a time waving flags from Japan, Italy, England, Canada, Switzerland, Austria and of course, the United States. Olympic theme music played in the background as students took their seats in the bleachers, waiting for the Parkview Olympics to begin.
"Back in mid- December, my grade level partner, Amy Klinger and I were talking about the coming months and trying to coming up with a fun activity that we could do with third grade," third grade teacher Leslie Thompson explained. "We remembered that the Olympics were coming up and years ago, we had done a school-wide Olympic activity and thought, why not do something that we could tie into the Olympics."
In addition to creating a large presentation flag to carry in the parade of countries, students also spent time in the days leading up to the Olympics learning a bit about their chosen country.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, the Parkview Olympics got rolling with the school's youngest students; the pre-kindergarten. The pre-kindergarteners got right into the mix with a game of floor hockey as the rest of the school cheered them on with chants and the wave. Next up was the kindergarten who quickly got to work with a baton relay. The five and six year olds carefully crossed back and forth across the gym floor balancing tennis balls on a baton.
First graders took center stage next to participate in an over-and-under relay using nerf soccer balls. Then it was second grade's turn to show off their arms in a puff ball battle. Finally, the school's oldest students, the third graders hit the floor to highlight their quick moving feet in a scooter relay. Before the flame went out on the Olympic fun, all of the teachers took part in a game of basketball knock-out as their students cheered them on.
Of course, Olympic action is just beginning in PyeongChang as Parkview students and the world watches. Just as US athletes will be competing in various events, Parkview students will now move from the high-spirited game competition in the gym to a reading one.
"We have tied everything together using our nightly reading logs," Thompson said of the school-wide Olympics. "Each class will earn a gold, silver or bronze medal each night during the Olympics, based on their classes completion of their reading logs."
All Parkview students must read each evening, even on the weekends. If a class has 100 percent participation in the nightly reading homework, they will be awarded a gold medal. Ninety percent participation earns a silver medal while 80 percent participation receives a bronze medal.
So, far the United States has two gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal. Parkview students are ready to light up their own school-wide medal tracker with some Olympic style reading. Go Parkview!