Service Day 2018: Rhea Elementary

5 months ago Triangle 0

Written By Joshua Robe, staff writer

The gym at Rhea Central Elementary School was teeming with youngsters playing dodgeball, duck-duck-goose and sharks and minnows. Interspersed among the laughing kids were a handful of Bryan College students hectically trying—sometimes successfully—to keep the games going smoothly. That’s what Bryan College Service Day 2018 looked like for myself and seven other members of the Bryan men’s soccer program.

As each grade came and went—from fifth grade at 9 a.m. to kindergarten at 1 p.m.—we got a little more exhausted, but we certainly never got bored. The gym instructor and other teachers were happy to take the much-desired rest for a few short hours. “Thanks so much for coming,” they repeated again and again without realizing it was just as fun for us as it was relaxing for them.

It was clear, however, that the ones enjoying it most were the kids. They ran around the duck-duck-goose circle as if trying to catch Usain Bolt, and they hurled dodge-balls as if to knock down North Korean satellites (which it’s quite possible some of the boys were imagining). The only disappointing moment for them was when they were called to return to class. At one point, there were over seventy kids all together playing sharks and minnows in the school yard. It was chaos to say the least, but it was the beautiful chaos of being a child.

One of the highlights for the kids was the English accents of some of the soccer guys. “Are you speaking with a British accent?” one of the 2nd graders excitedly asked Lewis Perkins. “You’re from England?” inquired another eagerly. Excited wonder lit up their eyes as they sprinted off to another game. “I’m quite impressed that they can recognize an English accent in 2nd grade!” Perkins confided in me.

Seeing the kids run and play with their youthful abandon was a wonderful way to spend Service Day. Organizing their games–aka playing with them–brought me back to being a kid again for those few short hours. One of the most touching moments of the day was when the 3rd graders’ time in the gym was up. One of the little girls ran over and wrapped her arms around my knees to say bye. She didn’t say that she’d had fun with words, but none were necessary, I could see it in her eyes.

 

Joshua Robe studies History and Government. He is on the Bryan Men’s Soccer Team and serves as Political Correspondent for the Triangle. In his spare time, he enjoys smiling, reading, language, and milking cows.