Grade 12 is often noted as the best year of High School because of the freedom and independence it offers. At Collingwood, there are many special “grad” privileges that students await for in the years prior, ranging from on-campus parking, off-campus lunch privileges, H block, grad spirit days, and grad clothing. Amongst these privileges, there is one in particular which stands out — Kindie Buddies!
At the beginning of the school year, each grade 12 student is paired up with a kindergarten student who they will have the opportunity to visit multiple times during the school year. Notable activities the buddies participate in include pumpkin carving for Halloween, Santa’s breakfast prior to Christmas, and an Easter egg hunt in the spring. These visits are an opportunity to form a unique bond, with the oldest members who are preparing to leave the hallways of Collingwood and the youngest members who have just begun their Collingwood journey.
The first kindie buddies visit occurred in mid-September when the entire grad class, knowing just their buddy’s name and class, bussed over to Wentworth to meet their kindies for the first time. Although there was no theme for the first visit, it was full of high spirits and laughter as the grads painted and played outside with their kindies. By the end of the visit, all grads were out of breath and energy.
Personally, I can attest to this experience. My kindie buddie Alexa was a ball of energy, to say the least. During the painting activity, Alexa was kicking Alex with one foot and me with another—I’m hoping it was out of excitement. It was clear that she’d much rather be running outside than sitting down as when the teacher announced recess time she was the first one to sprint out of the classrooms. We played multiple games of tag and hide and go seek, and in both cases she outran both Alex and me, leaving us breathless. I must admit there were even points where I was worried for her safety be it while she was sliding backwards off slides or hanging off monkey bars.
The kindie visits really puts things into perspective in the dreaded first term of grade 12, which is not only filled with heavy schoolwork but also imminent application deadlines. During the visit, all the stresses of university and the future was put on pause. Everyone was happy to be where they were and enjoyed the presence of the kindies. Although we may be older and perhaps more knowledgeable than the kindies, there is certainly something worthwhile to learn from them. Through their energy and excitement, the kindies were able to impart their happiness on us and teach us to live in the moment.
It is crazy to think that in thirteen years our kindie buddies will be grads and their own kindie buddies, and who knows where we will be.
By: Lisa Yang