gbss btr volleyball225On Thursday, March 6, the last school day before the March Break, the GBSS community gathered together for an event combining the athletic and the academic.

The annual Staff versus Students Volleyball game, run by the ‘Born to Read Kids-for-Kids Literacy Initiative’, proved to be a success once again. The event is used as a way to raise money and support for the extracurricular group dedicated to promoting literacy to young children.

The event was able to raise around $130, which is enough to purchase books and deliver literacy packages to an entire kindergarten classroom in the community.

Although it is a sporting event, and an event that gets all students out of class to watch the game, it is meant as a fundraiser for the group.

Grade 12-student Jayeden Walker has been involved in the group throughout her entire high school career and highly values its importance.

Born to Read is so important because reading is the foundation of so much in our world today. Reading is so accessible- to all people, groups and ages and that is definitely something we should promote,” she said.

It quickly became clear that although the students may appear to be the most fit, trained and prepared, the teachers make up for that with experience, strength and mental focus. The game was well matched, more than one might imagine.

The student’s team was made up of around 15 students, of various grades, who wished to be a part of the event, most of whom are on one of the schools volleyball teams. They include student council members, and many of the older student body leaders. The staff team included around a dozen staff members, mostly teachers, and also including both the principal and vice-principal.

Both sides had plenty team spirit, unity and a great amount of determination. Cheers, taunts, and intimidation tactics are not aspects that can be foregone even in the light-hearted atmosphere. The teachers chanting their cheer “knowledge is power” was particularly spirited.

One of the most enjoyable viewing pleasures came about watching the audience react when a ball would come flying in their direction. A chaotic shuffle, avoiding impact – the event definitely got everyone involved.

It became obvious that this event is brought about through collective passions of both staff and students.

It is important to have it in the school, as literacy is so important,” Grade 12 Born-to-Read members and the games scorekeepers Kyra Keith and Sarah Wildeman said in a joint statement. “You’d be really surprised by how many families can’t just go out and buy a book. As youth, even with social media and everything, it’s still important to have books, and use that resource,” they commented.

When asking many of the people involved with the event and the school group, it’s clear that although fundraising is a big part of the event, spreading awareness and getting the school involved was really the top priority.

The first game went to the students, winning 25-19. The second game, however, saw the staff come back strong making several impressive plays, and winning the game 25-21.

In the end, the scores and the stats aren’t what the true focus is, however. It doesn’t appear to matter much who won the game, as it is truly the children who will benefit from this initiative who are the real winners.