Students at Wilson Elementary School, West Caldwell, had a new reason for liking lunch this year. Each Friday in December, fifth graders at the school participated in a non-athletic, non-academic one-on-one competition—a Connect Four Competition.
Created by principal Scott Keena, the competition is designed to resemble the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, better known as March Madness. Intended to give all students a fair chance at winning a school contest, fifth graders are randomly paired to compete against each other, playing for the best out of three. The winner of each round is then paired against the winner of a different round until the ultimate winner is crowned.
“I wanted to do something fun and give all students a fair chance of winning,” said Keena. “It is voluntary, although usually everybody plays, and it is always fun to see which two students make it to the final round.”
Keena creates a chart similar to that of March madness, writing in the names of each round’s winners. The final round is a series of seven games, with the winner needing to win four out of seven.
This year, Nicholas Malefyt and Haley McNish competed on Dec. 17 for the title of Connect Four Champion. As their peers looked on, wishing them luck and rooting them on, McNish won the competition in four rounds.
“The competition gives the fifth graders something special just for them, and gives the other students something to look forward to,” added Keena. “It is a great way to bring students from different classrooms, different activities, and different interests together.”
This article was provided by Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools.