What happens when you combine a dodgeball tournament and community organizations? You Get in the Game! On Saturday, March 21st we helped the Penns Valley Area School District put on an event to encourage youth to get involved in our community. The idea behind the event came a few months before, when a survey taken by students showed that when community involvement is low, engagement in risky behavior is high. The event was geared for 5th through 12th grade students.
Festivities began with a spirit week the week before the event, and an assembly for the students that gave them the opportunity to ask a panel of community-involved adults about why they think it is important for youth to be involved in our community.
On Saturday, students and families were piling in before the doors were even set to open. Over 320 students registered and the number of people in attendance was at least double that when including families and volunteers. The community showcase involved twenty-seven different organizations that displayed information on tables and spoke with students about their particular organization and how students can get plugged in. It was a wide variety of organizations, including: athletic, educational, conservation, religious, social, and assistance. Students were given a Passport when they registered, and in order to win the large prizes, they had to visit at least 8 organizations, write a fun fact for each, and receive a signature from the representative. At the same time, 35 teams were dodging balls in the gym as the tournament began. If you were in the bleachers, you had to watch out for flying balls so you didn’t take one to the face!
Overall, it was a much more successful event than we could have imagined and according to the students, it was AWESOME! We are looking forward to making this an annual event! It is our hope, that students found a place to get involved in our community and that we will find ways to encourage them to do so throughout the year.
Thank you to everyone who donated all of the amazing food and to everyone who volunteered to make the event happen! Thank you to the school district for including us in this very important endeavor!
Will you GET IN THE GAME?