The Red Wings’ School Assembly Program made a stop at Bushnell Elementary and Cherry Creek Elementary last week. Michele Stauffer, parent of a student at each school, member of the PTO and hockey fan, set up the visit. “I heard about the program when they did a street hockey event at a Meijer store parking lot that my two older kids participated in.” says Stauffer. She filled out the application last fall and found out in February Bushnell and Cherry Creek were selected. Education and dedication were the focus of the information passed along to students in addition to testing out hockey skills and winning prizes.
Coach Ryan, Coach Sam, and Coach Liz started the program off by asking some Red Wings trivia questions. A correct response was rewarded with a Red Wings themed pencil-case with a few goodies inside. Students knew the name of the arena where games are played, what is thrown on to the ice by fans from time to time, and how many Stanley Cups the Wings have won.
Four students were also selected from the crowd to form a team of two for a puck dribbling race. After showing off their stick handling skills a team was declared the winner. The two teams shook hands to show good sportsmanship at the end of the competition. But all four participants walking away with a Red Wings water bottle.
Education and Dedication
The education component of the assembly encouraged kids to eat healthy, exercise, and do well in school. Using the MyPlate model the importance of eating balanced meals was expressed. Sugary foods may provide what feels like a boost of energy but they actually make a person more sluggish after the short high. Healthy food is what’s needed to stay focused in class in order to be able to learn. Students were encouraged to ask for healthy things to eat.
Going to school and staying in school was an important point which was passed along. The three assembly coaches noted some of the Red Wings players and where they went to college.
Another aspect of education which was passed along involved accepting of everyone. The kids were told about various countries where Red Wings’ players were born. They may look and even talk different but they all play on the same team and cheer each other on. They also work together to practice and become better so they’re ready to play their games.
The final point on education was the importance of exercise. Each day 60 minutes of exercise should be a goal. Exercise doesn’t have to feel like work. Playing outside and participating in a sport are ways to be active and the best part is it’s usually fun!
In order to accomplish the things discussed in the education portion of the assembly the kids also learned about dedication. It’s not always easy to eat healthy, learn, and exercise. The message of continued practice, not giving up, and doing your best was passed along to students.
When Bushnell Elementary principal Erin Walters spoke to wrap up the assembly she mentioned the dedication of students during March is Reading Month asking for a show of hands from those who turned in or are working on weekly reading logs throughout the month.
Shootout: Kids vs Adults
The grand finale of the program was a shootout between students and staff. There was also a surprise visit from Griff from the Grand Rapids Griffins who was placed on the students’ team. They battled. There were good shots and saves on both sides. The kids at Bushnell got the W with a 3-1 score. Mrs. Henige was the only teacher able to hit the back of the net. The competition at Cherry Creek ended in a 1-1 tie due to running out of time. Fourth grade teacher Mr. Audia took on the students there as the goalie.
But there was more! The Red Wings Assembly team announced two goals and two sets of goalie equipment, floor hockey sticks, and balls would be left as a gift from the Wings. Each student also received a folder with information about the organization as well. The fun, interactive, and educational assembly made everyone a winner. When Kyle Stauffer, student at Cherry Creek, was asked why he liked the assembly he answered, “I liked it because I felt like I was involved in the assembly.” His brother Landon answered one of the trivia questions correctly at Bushnell winning a pencil-case. Thanks to the Stauffer family’s love of hockey two schools were able to participate in a cool assembly and receive some new equipment. Best of all the Red Wing’s Assembly Program was free!