(Year 4, Week 20)
The heroes did not keep it a secret that they were ready to audition for the exhibition play. They had spent all weekend practicing their lines and really impressed the guide with their ability to know almost the entire script. The heroes who did not want to try out for a part chased around excellence committee for most of the day demanding an answer on if they could sign up for costume design, set design and more.
When the afternoon rolled around heroes lined up waiting for their turn to try out. The competition was hot between the following characters:
Mother, Sebastian and Wise Willa.
Each hero put their heart and soul into the parts. Everyone witnessed their dedication and it was a run for everyone’s money when it was time to count votes. The heroes who won, did so honorably and kindly. The heroes who did not get the parts held their heads high and figured out their next step and what other role they would like to take on.
Not getting a part in a play can feel devastating. When spending so much time working hard to practice lines and memorize hand movements, it can feel defeating by not being chosen. However, it was a huge lesson in humility and picking oneself up again. By the end of the day the heroes had already figured out the spots and parts they wanted to be in and everyone got moving into the direction of working hard to master their parts in The Hodgepodge Forest.
One of the best qualities about Heroes Academy is the transitions between the studio. Every morning, Spark heroes set to venture into Discovery for the following school year, get to come in from 9:-9:25 and work on core skills. They wait patiently by the entrance every morning for their Discovery hero running partner. They are all smiles as they walk in, pick up their computer and get to work.
There are a series of badges that the Spark heroes must get before they are officially welcomed into the studio. For those precious twenty-five minutes they work with their heads down and try to conquer as much as possible. While it is solo work, their running partners sit next to them as a quiet support. A beacon of what is to come. There is great pride in both sets of heroes, the ones helping and the ones being helped.
There are even really special moments, where you can look over and see a Discovery hero teaching them special ways to memorize words, match up letters and add numbers quickly. On Tuesday, one of those moments could be seen. While a hero struggled with addition, their running partner gently guided them and cheered them on, problem by problem. Even though that meant putting their work aside.
While doing well in core skills is important. Heroes Academy can argue that these skills in friendship, kindness and mentorship are ten times as valuable.
On Wednesday, heroes worked diligently all morning. They set a new goal for the session and that was to stay in flow all throughout core skills and collaboration. They thought it would be a good challenge and hopefully earn themselves some money for their end of the session party.
One hero had said, “we need to earn our parties. Just because we go to school here doesn’t mean we automatically get parties.”
Every single hero agreed. Their sense of responsibility truly surpasses the norm of expectations. That sense of responsibility filtered right into the afternoon. Between lunch time and Quest, the Discovery heroes and Adventure heroes were hanging out with one of the guides. In a sequence of unfortunate events, the guide took a tumble. The heroes sprung into action. The Adventure heroes stayed with the younger Discovery heroes and a few charged off to get help from another guide. While this was taking place, a hero grabbed a coat for the guides head and kept repeating,
“everything is fine, you got this!”
After the guide was taken care of, the Discovery heroes marched inside and got right to work on their Quest. They didn’t need a launch and figured out what to do by the tasks they had on hand. The afternoon ended with them running the close and sending a few emails to the guide asking her to put up the challenge on Journey Tracker.
Every day, the heroes work through conflicts. They have deep discussions about what it takes to be responsible and to be a leader. They work out issues, hold meetings, take votes and lean on each other in tough times. When push came to shove, it was the heroes who took care of the guide and handled the situation better then possibly many adults would have. They stayed calm, got back to work and finished the day strong. These are all things that can happen in daily life. Unforeseen accidents. Watching the heroes handle what could have been a very challenging moment, with such ease, just goes to show that one day, as adults, out in the big world, they are going to face their challenges straight on with the utmost confidence.
After a wild week. The heroes needed a little humor and they were beyond excited to keep working on their Writer’s Workshop play challenge.
For launch, the guide set them up in a skit:
Three chairs are set up in a row at the front. Pick one person to sit on the “park bench,” aka the row of chairs. They can pretend to read the newspaper, watch the birds, etc., but they must remain seated on the bench at all times. Select a second person to be the pedestrian. Their job is to embody a character and try to get the park bench occupant to laugh or leave the bench. They are not allowed any physical contact.
If the park bench occupant laughs or leaves the bench, the pedestrian takes their place. They become the park bench occupant and the game starts over. If the pedestrian is able to get the park bench occupant to laugh or leave the bench after an allotted amount of time, a new pedestrian is selected. Do this for about ten minutes.
Needless to say, the heroes had an absolute blast playing the pedestrian and the park bench onlookers:
Their challenge for the day was to practice their parts and to get started on creating blueprints for their play. They were so excited to finally be able to start planning it out. After their daily challenge, the heroes did something surprising. They got back together, as a group, and started playing the game again. Giggles could be heard throughout the studio. Such a beautiful reminder to let kids be kids. To use play as a form of practice and to try, every day, to make someone laugh.
On Friday, the heroes wrapped up their second week of Quest. Their challenge was to make blueprints of their hot air balloon design. They were challenged to make it to scale and use their creativity to imagine something great. Some of their favorite days are making prototypes and building off of the prototypes.
They were so excited to actually watch as their creations were coming to life. Some imagine building big hot air balloons, that can carry their stuffed animals while others want to be able to use their hot air balloons to predict weather patterns. We will see what they come up with, but so far, it is looking pretty magical!
The heroes started off the week with practicing for their parts and going through the audition process. They were so excited to win over their peers and the heroes who took second took it in complete stride. They were all proud of each other and applauded one another over and over. The heroes worked extremely hard to help their Spark running partners in the week. They helped them set goals, were their reading buddies and made sure they understood their math and reading. The Discovery heroes are becoming quite the mentors. The heroes showed true leadership and responsibility by helping out the guide and leading their afternoon discussions and they ended their week in laughter. By participating in a fun little skit, being kids and making each other laugh. This weeks message was truly,
“help out one another and always crack a joke!”