Last Friday, our youngest son was beyond thrilled to receive a special gift from his senior buddy: a #10 Randolph football jersey with his buddy’s name on the back. He wore it with pride to the game on Friday night.
Without question, one of the greatest things about Randolph is the Senior-Kindergarten Buddy relationship. As the father of three boys, my wife and I have lived first-hand the magic of this relationship. Below are just a few lessons we’ve learned . . .
1) We are all connected
The Senior-Kindergarten Buddy relationship is an overt demonstration of being “one school on two campuses.” That connection is obvious. More important, is the connection understood by the seniors when they realize they are role models for our younger students; that the way they carry themselves, how they interact, the fact that they care, and the decisions they make matter to others. Their love of school, or sports, or arts helps to shape the student experience for even our youngest students.
Our oldest son will still recall that his buddy was “a baseball player, and he was good. I want to be like him,” he will say. When one of our middle son’s buddies started to receive multiple accolades and scholarships not only was he proud but he also saw the value of hard work, integrity and treating people the right way.
Perhaps the most poignant moment my wife and I experienced was when our middle son asked if his buddy was in danger because he was going to the United States Military Academy. It matters to him that his friend is safe so he prays for him every night.
Activities are all about having fun. Shouldn’t we all take time to fly a kite? Well, the seniors and kindergarteners do, and some do it a lot better than others. Shouldn’t we enjoy dressing up for Halloween? The seniors do, and the kindergarteners love it. So, I have no doubt that once again our youngest son will have a great time sharing all of these activities with both of his senior buddies. Like the others, he will build relationships for life . . . How awesome is that for a 6-year-old?
3) Relish the moment
Even more symbolic of the growth and confidence kids develop in a year is the confident kindergarteners escorting their senior buddies to the Maypole dance after the closing convocation. It illustrates a great year of learning and relationship-building that all of us will carry with us for a lifetime. I know that I relish those moments and hope that you will also.