Seniors Go Back to Kindergarten

Seniors Go Back to Kindergarten

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Senior year can be highly stressful; between the challenging courses and the college process, what you really need is a break! And what better way to digress from the pressure than go back to where it all began- Kindergarten.

As a way to relieve the seniors and help them reminisce in their final year at ODA, Head of School David Mahler created the Senior-Kindergarten Buddy Program, where each kindergartener is paired with one or two seniors; Mr. Mahler developed the program in 2004 as a Convocation gift to the seniors. Since then, it has been a great way to connect the two classes throughout the year.

This year, the program commenced on Friday, September 13 with the senior-kindergarten picnic. The pairs met for the first time as they enjoyed a lunch provided by the school, and played on the playground at the Siesta Key campus. As the year progresses, the pairs will continue with visits and games to maintain the relationships.

During the picnic, each pairing had a list of questions to answer; such as “what’s your favorite movie” and  “where’s your favorite place to have fun.”

Rj Jansen ’14  said, “I thought it was funny how seniors and kindergarteners had the same favorite movies.”

As the program expects, the seniors and their kindergarten buddies grew relationships.

But an even greater connection was made between Adil Shariff 14′ and his buddy, Catalina Sommers. If her last name sounds familiar, you’re right. She’s the daughter of Upper School history teacher, Mr. Sommers. To add to the celebration, the  buddy picnic was also on her 6th birthday, a second celebration!

Josh Simon ’14 became close to his buddy and said towards the end, “I’m sad to leave my buddy. I don’t want to leave!”

Seniors and their buddies will meet once again as the kindergarteners escort their seniors into Convocation next Friday, September 20!

For many, it’s one of the most memorable moments in the day. Don’t miss it as the seniors guide their smiling buddies through the doors of Thunderdome this Friday.

So sweet!