St. Anne's Episcopal School: Youth Connections

By Jenny Randolph

In keeping with an annual, service-learning tradition, St. Anne’s Episcopal School’s seventh graders invited the Pre-Kindergarten through sixth grade students and staff of Urban Promise in Wilmington to Middletown for their end-of-year field day at St. Anne’s campus.

This event is a highlight for both schools, and the year would not feel complete without it. Although the rain drove them inside this year, the enthusiasm of the students from both schools was scarcely diminished. St. Anne’s was energized by the excitement of welcoming Urban Promise. Was the Class of 2019 excited by this trial run at being the leaders of the school?  Was Urban Promise excited to have new mentors and playmates, new games, a field trip whose purpose was play? Yes!

Both schools share a love of the Lord, a bond that likely helped the children relate and connect with each other. Nervousness melted away once introductions were made, and the gym, the hallways, and the classrooms were filled with God’s love as St. Anne’s seventh graders set up and explained games, then served as coaches, referees, and cheering sections while Urban Promise’s students basked in the attention of their older peers, had fun, played hard, and taught lessons of their own. The seventh graders shared these reflections afterwards:

Some of the leadership qualities I showed are respect, responsibility, kindness, and compassion. They taught me to laugh a lot and that laughter is the best medicine. — Wyatt Boyer

I introduced myself and learned all of their names. I was patient and waited until I had everyone’s attention. Their teachers would talk to the students as though they were equals. I did not see any difference because we were all the same. I taught them new games and they told me about some songs I’ve never heard. — Jamison DeLaine

I showed the quality of perseverance when the Pre-Kers couldn’t quite grasp the concept of a game. Leadership in Urban Promise meant just staying calm and being a leader. —Myles Derabertis

I learned that you have to expect all the possibilities and outcomes of something. — Tighe Horne

I was able to teach the Urban Promise students to work as a team. — Jason Kourpas

Some Urban Promise students showed leadership by being good sports. Even if they won, he or she would act nice to those who lost. ؅— Zach Mozher

We also learned many things from them. We learned to have better communication skills and leadership skills. — Niha Mukkamala

In order to lead my guests I had to make sure that I was very patient. Many of the kids had no clue how to play Pictionary so I had to take some time to explain the rules to them. I also had to use my communication skills to interact with the younger kids. Sometimes, it can be challenging to speak with kindergarteners, especially since they do not understand everything I say. I also had to be extremely generous to the children. I wanted them to have a great time at our school and, in order to achieve my goal, I needed to be kind to all of the children, no matter their age. — Jordan Myrick

We taught them how to play four square, how to connect all of their (Pre-K) scooters into one big chain with some jump rope, and how to go into crab position for crab soccer. However, we did learn many things from them. We learned how to do the “Wakanda Forever” thing from Black Panther, and specifically, one third grader showed me her Michael Jackson dance moves that I tried (and failed) to learn. — Jayson Rivera

Today I showed leadership by serving others. Some examples are serving them lunch, playing games with them, and asking if they wanted a drink. This may seem small, but it was really big for them. — Parks Tolton

I taught that learning can be fun, but we always need a break from learning. The one thing they taught me was how to be independent. —Fadima William

Patience, kindness, service, compassion, teaching, listening, and connecting. We relish this day; may we all carry its lessons in our hearts and into the world, every day.

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