McCarver Students Skate at Polar Plaza
Thursday, December 19th was one of my favorite days of the 2013 holiday season. I was fortunate enough to spend the day with 60 energetic McCarver Elementary students ice skating at the Polar Plaza rink in Tacoma. The students, who ranged in age, were members of the Peace Makers group at their school and visited the rink on a field trip.
For the majority of these children it was their first time on ice skates and it was thrilling to see their excitement as they hurriedly laced up their skates and made their way out on the ice. Some kids were fearless and sped off within seconds while others were more cautious and slowly made their way around the boards of the rink. I spent hours encouraging the kids, offering them a hand to hold or shoulder to lean on and helping them up if they took a fall. It was so amazing to watch the children as they learned this new skill; how they would help each other and how quickly their confidence grew on their ice skates. One especially memorable moment was when one of the children that I had spent a lot of time skating beside and helping up went skating past me squealing “Look at me…I’m doing it!”
After a couple of hours several of the students were attempting spins or skating backwards and others were linking together to make chains or trains. It was a challenge to get them off the ice to take a break for lunch because they didn’t want to stop skating! When it was time for them to return to school, many of the students thanked us and waved good-bye as they reluctantly took off their skates and returned to the bus. What the McCarver Peace Makers probably didn’t realize was that the volunteers were just as disappointed for the afternoon to end. Living in a culture in which children are often forced to grow up too fast, it was magical to witness them rediscover the joy and wonder of being a kid. More pictures.