Guest Blog by: Craig Christensen
Remember that old television show, Frosty the Snowman? As a child, I was fascinated by that movie and was for a winter or two consumed with the notion that I could build a snowman and bring it to life with a special hat. I raided my parents closet and found hats of many styles and fitted countless snowmen with those hats, but alas, no living snowman.
That was the middle 1970’s. Kids don’t really build snowmen anymore, at least not that I’m aware of, and if they do, the magic of the snowman probably runs out at about the age of 10. I mean, can you imagine asking a 14 year old to go outside in freezing temperatures and build a snowman?
We asked our WEB students to do just that, only we asked them to build snowmen with 8-10 sixth graders.
What a surprise! They came up with a THEME-Positive Community-and excitedly went to work.
They met with their sixth grade buddies, they developed concepts, names for their snowmen, decided who would bring the snow paint and who would bring the carrots for noses and candy for eyes, and I know I heard someone shout, “I’ll bring my mom’s sombrero!”
On the day of the event, it was COLD! So cold, in fact, that the snow wouldn’t pack into suitable snowmen. How sad, I thought-I was really looking forward to seeing this project come together! There
must have been some magic in that old sombrero they found… For when the snow dust cleared, 6th graders
and WEB leaders were improvising! These teams built snow turtles, sunbathing snow people wearing hats that looked like bikinis, snow lumps adorned with jewelry, snow paint, hats (there were lots of hats), tree branches…THE WORKS!
At the end of an hour, students had built a community of what can only be described as “snow
things”. Honestly, I can’t remember one of them that demonstrated the theme of “Positive Community”, but on that day, for that hour, there was most definitely a positive community on that football field. 14 year olds worked hand-in-hand with 11 year olds, and enthusiastically rediscovered the magic and power of the snowman. I can only hope, and I am confident, that the spirit of positive community is alive and well at Whitehall Middle School and that the snowmen too will be back again someday.