Fourth-graders overcome obstacles

It was a day built around challenges.

Fourth-graders attending schools in Craig and Maybell spent a school day at Loudy-Simpson Park last week working through challenges. It was one piece of the transition process for fourth-graders beginning classes at Craig Intermediate School (CIS) in the fall. CIS houses fifth- and sixth-graders.

"This is part of our ongoing attempt to get the fourth-graders ready to come to CIS," counselor Tom Nagoda said. "We want to make them feel more comfortable."

Challenge initiatives included moving a marble to another location on a piece of trim and transporting a golf ball on a string connected to a metal ring.

Students had to "think out of the box" to complete the tasks at hand, Ridgeview Elementary School Counselor Susie Clark said.

"They solved things as a team and got to know each other," she said. "It is very similar to life these are all metaphors for the problems and solutions they will encounter in real life. They built skills necessary for problem solving."

The Loudy-Simpson challenge day is just one of the activities school administrators set up to ease the transition from elementary to intermediate school. Fourth-graders are exposed to intermediate school life through school visits, tours of the building and a barbecue held one week before school in the fall. CIS also sends information packets to parents of new students.

"Anytime you try something new you are apprehensive the unknown is staring you in the face. The more you can find out about what's ahead of you, the more comfortable you will be," Nagoda said.

"In life, there are changes at hand for all of us these changes bring out doubts in all of us," Clark said. "This is probably the biggest transition (fourth-graders) will have."

Around 65 students, one class from each elementary school, participated in the day-long activity Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Of the 65, they were split into groups of around 10, which combined students from each school.

As the day progressed, students became more comfortable with one another, Clark said.

"It was successful and the kids did great," Clark said.

School counselors and physical education and art instructors helped put on the event.

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