The school day may have been over, but laughter filled the room at Kennedy Elementary School during one of the first High School Bigs sessions of the 2018-19 academic year.
Elementary students were playing a game of “Go Bananas” with their mentors from nearby Century High School as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters site-based peer mentoring program curriculum. The interactive activity started with students sitting in a circle with one standing in the middle. The student in the center called out to the group, “Go Bananas if you …” followed by something that described their own interests.
If the phrase pertained to other students like “Go Bananas if you love Disney movies” or “Go Bananas if you are the oldest sibling in your family,” the students would have to switch seats with each other. After everyone scrambled to find a seat, the student left standing would go to the center and the game continued. While the objective was to not be left standing, the underlying intent was for the students to get to know each other.
It was a way for students to come out of their shell and bond over shared experiences and hobbies. For instance, when one student exclaimed, “Go Bananas if you went on vacation over break,” it sparked conversation about summer trips and dream vacations.
By the end of multiple rounds of the game, students started to form friendships with each other. They all couldn’t wait for next week’s session together.