Sportsmanship...a Want or Need

Children can be tough on each other sometimes, so when they are seen encouraging one another despite a recent defeat, it is encouraging. Diane Smith, education director of JA of Alachua County, shared the experiences of two volunteers--Codey Winters and Charlene Polk--who recently taught JA's second grade program: JA Our Community <> ?.

"The students were so excited about the "Sweet-O" activity, making donuts in their groups to see which team could make the most donuts without defects," said Codey. "I assumed the kids would get upset if their team lost. However, while each team was participating, the rest of their class was cheering them on, and giving them nothing but encouragement. They said good job and congratulated each team that did better than the last.

"Another example of good sportsmanship is from Irby Elementary School in Alachua, Fla. JA volunteer Codey went around the room and asked students about the pros and cons of having a new playground.

"One girl responded with, 'I do not think that we should get a new playground,'" said Codey. "She continued by saying there are people in the world who do not have playgrounds. But if we do get a new playground, the old one should be donated to a school that doesn't have one."

Charlene, a first grade class volunteer, remembers holding up a flash card which had the picture of a flower pot on it. The pictures on the flash cards are to get the children to connect the picture with a business in the neighborhood. The flower pot is usually correlated with a flower shop or a garden shop, which is considered a want.One student objected and declared it a need, on the basis that plants provide a green Earth and keep the air pure. The student continued by talking about why people need plants.

"I was really amazed that a first grader would make that correlation," said Charlene. "So I guess in the future I will need to change my thinking when I do that session."

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