NEW KNOXVILLE — Fourth, fifth and sixth-grade students kept busy building a castle, playing soccer and cheering on their teachers in German Jeopardy, among other German-themed activities, Friday morning, as the students participated in German Club Olympics.
The competition, organized each year by the students in German Club, provides an opportunity for the fourth, fifth and sixth-grade students to learn about German culture.
“It provides an assembly for the fourth, fifth and sixth grade,” German Teacher Kathy McClain told the Evening Leader. “It provides a little cultural history. With New Knoxville having a German heritage, it’s something that’s important.”
Throughout the school year, McClain said, German students visit with younger students to begin teaching them about German culture.
“Our German students go down to the first, second and third-grade classrooms to teach the kids some German,” she said, noting there is not enough time to get to the fourth, fifth and sixth-grade classrooms. “German Club Olympics gives them (the fourth, fifth and sixth-grade students) an opportunity to continue to learn some German culture.”
The German Club Olympics are always held on the first Friday of October.
“This week is German-American Week, so that’s why we always hold this on the first Friday of October,” McClain said.
During the German Club Olympics, fourth, fifth and sixth-grade students are split into six teams, according to their class, and each team competes in a series of games that have a significance in German culture. Students in German Club, which is comprised of high school German students, organize and run the German Club Olympics.
“The kids did a lot of work this year,” McClain said. “They did a great job. I have the best kids in the school.”
To run the Olympics, the German students set up for each event and sit amongst the fourth, fifth and sixth-grade students to cheer on their team.
“These kids serve as a model for the younger kids,” McClain said of the German Club students. “With New Knoxville being a K-12 school, we can have good camaraderie.”
McClain added the German students can help set an example of how to be competitive without bullying their peers.
“It was competitive, but it wasn’t bullying,” she said. “It was all good-spirited fun. It’s all positive for those kids in the fourth to sixth grade.”