As we move into the season of giving thanks, teachers and faculty focus lessons and themes of the month accordingly. For two of our Bloomfield Hills Schools, the P.R.E.P. program and Bowers Academy, students gathered together to celebrate their first-ever Friendsgiving.
“Friendsgiving” is a term used to describe the celebration of Thanksgiving with one’s friends, as opposed to one’s family. True to form, these students are no strangers to each other, as they gather every Friday to work together as part of Bowers Academy’s community service class, Service As Action, and have developed many friendships. Usually the Bowers Academy students travel to P.R.E.P., which is located at the Booth Center. For this event, they wanted to share the fun activities of Bowers Farm, so the two groups gathered at Bowers Academy.
Much planning took place in advance, which the Bowers Academy students accomplished during their Synergy class. Synergy is an elective class that fosters team building, creating connections, service learning, engagement, and physical activity. Together the students prepared and managed the menu, considered appropriate entertainment, and developed a list of activities that would show off the farm.
When the bus of P.R.E.P students arrived, several happy students approached the front doors, excited to see their friends’ school. They found seats around the tables where the students paired up, one from each school, to experience the stations. Emma Robinson, who was decorating sugar cookies, said, “I’m having fun! Bowers is fun!” Others painted fall scenes, colored pumpkin drawings, or played card games and Jenga. Then a few students found their way to the hallway, where they had a blast playing cornhole. Afterwards, the group enjoyed a giant feast, followed by a tractor ride around the farm. Students met several different animals on their way, and even stopped to brush the horse and pet the chickens.
Bowers Academy Social Worker, Julia Hanson, who helped organize the day, said, “We definitely plan to have P.R.E.P. back to Bowers! Our students… enjoyed showing the P.R.E.P. students our space, especially taking them out to the farm to meet and learn about the animals. Hannah Anderson, a Bowers student, did an amazing job leading the group in a ‘Barnyard Dance.’ Bowers students enjoyed taking food orders from the P.R.E.P. students, then serving them for Friendsgiving…(and seeing them) having fun in a different environment.”