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Winter Olympics unite Timber Trail and Buffalo Ridge

Students at TTE and BRE celebrate the end of their Winter Olympics.
(Photo courtesy of Nicole Wight).

Article and photos by Elean Gersack; courtesy photo

On February 27, some incredible students at Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) and Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) schools gathered for a very special Winter Olympics celebration.

Jane Lenz and Niké Oleson lead the special needs classrooms at TTE and BRE, respectively. Together, they joined forces to create an event worthy of these young champions.

Students participated in events like cross-country skiing, big foot bubble wrap stomp, speed skating, target toss, and bobsled race. Before the festivities got underway, students shared thoughts about the most important part of the day: good sportsmanship. Students were heard saying things like “Smile!”, “Awesome Job!”, and “Keep Trying!”

This was not the first time these two classes have been together this year. Lenz reached out to Oleson last summer about creating monthly learning units. By working together, not only do the students have the opportunity to learn and grow, so does the collaboration between the teachers.

In October, the kids practiced safety while walking through the surrounding neighborhoods and also attended the play “Pinkalicious” at the Lone Tree Arts Center where they practiced having good manners while being in an audience. In December, they focused on responsibility while attending a field trip to the Douglas/Elbert Task Force and learned about financial literacy while Christmas shopping for family members.

“The collaboration between the two programs is special because it allows for the students to connect to other students in the community.  Our relationship fosters friendships between schools that will go beyond fifth grade,” said Oleson.

The XXII Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia gave the perfect segue to practice sportsmanship. So they did just that with a pint-sized version of the games, complete with an opening ceremony that included school flags, custom t-shirts and even a torch. In the end, students received gold medals and had a great time. “I liked meeting my new friends and the target game and the bobsled!” said TTE student, Clay.

It takes a lot of wonderful people coming together to make great things possible. “Niké and I are so lucky to have educational assistants who are so amazing and are such an integral part of our programs,” shared Lenz.  

There is definitely no end in sight for these friends coming together. “The kids get so excited to see each other!” said Lenz.

Students pass the torch in the TTE and BRE Winter Olympics on February 27.

It’s all about teamwork! Students had to maneuver giant
wooden planks for the cross country ski event.

Students take part in the Big Foot Bubble Wrap Stomp
(an event created by one of the second grade students).



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