Most high school pranks result in reprimands and unpleasant consequences. Not so for this group of high school seniors – they’re being applauded for their “pranks.”
On May 24, the Bruin Class of 2017 at South High School skipped classes and dedicated themselves to activities that benefitted the next generation of Bruin students, for an event known as “Senior P.R.A.N.K. Day” (People Really Appreciate Nice Kids). Now in its sixth year, the day focuses on the connections that the seniors make with K–5 elementary students through fun play activities that reinforce the Six Pillars of Character the elementary students learn and emulate throughout the school year: Responsibility, Citizenship, Respect, Caring, Fairness, and Trustworthiness.
Following a group portrait in the South gymnasium to kick off the event, the 211 seniors attended a short presentation on goals and community service by 2014 South High graduate Cody Hassler, and each wrote a thank you note to a South High faculty member. The seniors then broke up into smaller groups to engage in a variety of activities, including walking to Lewis & Clark or traveling by bus to Clara Barton, Eagles, Ed Clapp, Jefferson, and Lincoln Elementary Schools, where they engaged the K–5 students in a variety of activities in and out of the classroom to work, play, and assist the elementary classroom teachers. Activities ranged from reading aloud to students, to organized physical education activities, to outdoor play time.
One new activity this year was a graduation walk at Lewis & Clark Elementary School. Fifty seniors walked through the halls of Lewis & Clark wearing their graduation caps and gowns, receiving high-fives and congratulations from former teachers and all of the K–5 students lining the hallway to the pre-recorded strains of Pomp and Circumstance, the tradition processional number played during graduation ceremonies. Lewis & Clark teachers reported that they were pleased with this added event and hope that it continues in years to come, and were overheard telling the younger students, “That will be you some day!”
PRANK Day concluded back at South High School with a senior barbecue lunch courtesy of the South High administration, and a celebration event lead by community members Rollie Johnson and Eric Hatch.
South students enjoyed the PRANK Day experience and reported that going back to their former elementary school was one of their favorite parts of the event.