Fridays tend to be a favorite day for most people. But at Salem Schools, it’s even more special. That is the day Lions Unified students at Salem High School visit the other two buildings to spend time with their younger friends.
Lions Unified has been a club since 2016. The club is about acceptance for people who are different. It puts on events to bring people together. The club gives students the chance to make new friends and to meet new people. For the first meeting this year close to 50 people were in attendance.
Angela Phipps, sponsor of Lions Unified, said she tries to do something new every year. The group has hosted track meets in the past for kids and has taken a number of field trips. During COVID-19 the club had to overcome challenges like social distancing. Phipps could not do as much as she wanted during the pandemic and is hoping to do more this year. “Students have been asking to go over there (elementary and middle schools) for the past few years,” she said. “This is the first year that we have been able to do this,”
Senior Sidney Brown said it's a “great opportunity to make the world feel like a more inclusive place for everyone no matter what background. I am very thankful Salem gives this opportunity.”
Brown is one of the students that goes to the elementary school to work with the younger kids. She works with Bri Little and her class. Brown does station work with the kids and helps them with anything they need help with. She enjoys talking to all the students and loves to hear about their days. She hopes to “help the kids feel included.”
SMS teacher Kristi Humphrey’s students hang out with their high school friends every Friday. They go to the gym and play games. Last Friday, the group played a game of volleyball and gaga ball with Blair Thompson’s gym class.
Humphrey said, “I think it is really wonderful and the students really enjoy the high schoolers coming over.” She added that she is very thankful for the high schoolers and calls them “great role models.” She wishes for the older students to be enriched by this experience and hopes that the younger students will have great memories to look back on. “We, as a society, need to be there for everyone to share our gifts and talents.”