Each week when Friday rolls around, the children in Macha know they can expect a different routine from the normal Monday-Thursday program.
About a year ago we discussed ideas of how to create a program that encouraged children to work as a team with kids they wouldn’t otherwise interact with much. Often our activities are geared toward boys or girls specifically, or to particular age groups – and that has its place. However, for Fridays we wanted things to be different. We wanted to come up with an idea that would challenge the ‘separatist’ mindset while encouraging the children to work together, to support each other, no matter their differences in age, size, or gender.
Hence Fantastic Friday began.
Since we started this weekly program, we’ve seen the children embrace the idea and look forward to Fridays. They know that each week a different coach organizes the activities and competitions, as well as the Chapel lesson. Our staff gets creative and enjoys the day almost as much as the children. We do Bible quizzing, hold relay races, play Russian netball, have high jump and discus, go on scavenger hunts, have trash collection competitions…the list goes on and on. If it promotes unity and team work in some way, it is fair game!
By 3PM on Friday, children are lining up ready for the afternoon to begin. It is a joy to see the energy they bring each week, always hoping this will be the week their team will be announced winners! After Chapel, the kids are separated into four different teams led by one of the coaches. They enjoy the day’s competitions and then we gather the children together again, this time for the announcement of who has won the day.
So as the sun sets and the dust settles each Friday here, you will hear a loud cheer rise up in Macha as the day’s results are revealed. Members of the winning team rally around their coach, heading home amidst cheers and high fives, waiting for next week’s edition of Fantastic Friday.
Our hope is that through this weekly effort, we can continue to hammer home the importance of working together and valuing each other’s specific abilities and gifts, of encouraging one another and playing fairly. That big and small-younger and older-boys and girls can play together and complement each other-that teamwork makes the dreamwork and the Body of Christ is vast.
While we know that Fantastic Fridays consists of fun and games, we also know these activities have huge potential in helping our young people learn and understand bigger life lessons, and for us, that is FANTASTIC.