Peer Leaders Host Challenge Day

The+last+activity+of+the+day+was+called%2C+%E2%80%9CI+Have+Your+Back.%E2%80%9D+Pieces+of+thick+folder+covers+were+hung+on+everyone%E2%80%99s+backs.+Everyone+went+around+giving+compliments+and+writing+down+only+nice+things.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Penny+Giamoni%29%0A
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Peer Leaders Host Challenge Day

The last activity of the day was called, “I Have Your Back.” Pieces of thick folder covers were hung on everyone’s backs. Everyone went around giving compliments and writing down only nice things. (Photo courtesy of Penny Giamoni)

The last activity of the day was called, “I Have Your Back.” Pieces of thick folder covers were hung on everyone’s backs. Everyone went around giving compliments and writing down only nice things. (Photo courtesy of Penny Giamoni)

The last activity of the day was called, “I Have Your Back.” Pieces of thick folder covers were hung on everyone’s backs. Everyone went around giving compliments and writing down only nice things. (Photo courtesy of Penny Giamoni)

The last activity of the day was called, “I Have Your Back.” Pieces of thick folder covers were hung on everyone’s backs. Everyone went around giving compliments and writing down only nice things. (Photo courtesy of Penny Giamoni)

Jessica Smith, Editor In Chief

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Peer Leaders hosted their annual Challenge Day in late January, where students from the middle school and Oxford Central Elementary School engaged in a day of activities that taught leadership skills and emotional intelligence.
Once everyone checked in, an ice breaker activity commenced, where the objective was to learn about someone new.
The students were then split into small groups with the Peer Leaders based on the color of their names on their name tags.  This led into the second activity, “The Name Game,” students said their name and something they like that starts with the first initial of their name. For example: “Jamie likes jellybeans.”
“I liked when we got into the smaller groups. We got to know each other more and share our likes and become closer,” said 8th grader Hailey Church.
Regrouping into a large circle, the next game was, “I Want to Know My Neighbor Who” This was to get the students to see similarities in each other and move around.
“Twenty-One” was the next game to be played.  In random order everyone called out the numbers leading up to twenty-one. If two people said the same number, the whole game was reset.
“Playing ‘Twenty-One’ was really funny because everyone kept messing up,” said 8th grader Hannah Romano, “It was one of my favorite parts of the day.”
After lunch, the tone changed a bit to a more serious atmosphere.  “Step into the Circle” was an activity where the Peer Leaders asked a series of questions and if any pertained, participants stepped forward. This was also meant to show the similarities many students share.
Breaking into the small groups one last time, the students had a serious round of “If You Really Knew Me.” In this activity, everyone opened up to each other, shared something deep, and bonded.
Peer Leader Emily Dunlap said, “I thought it went really well and a lot of the kids opened up to the Peer Leaders.”
Two of the three coordinators of the event shared their thoughts of the day.
“I think everyone worked really well together and made the whole day stress-free,” said Peer Leader Alyssa Mendoza.
Paola Benevides agreed.
“Everything went as planned, but it was definitely a different experience from when we attended Challenge Day,” she said, recollecting her own experience from when she was in 8th grade.
Peer Leadership advisor Mrs. Penny Giamoni was thrilled with the outcome of the day as well.
“The Peer Leaders were exceptional role models; the kids were willing to open up in the small groups,” she said. “We learned a lot about each other. I love these kinds of events because you learn so much, whether it be from organizing it or having an impact on someone. You just can’t put a price on that.”