MSFS Big Buddies Ice Skating with Little Buddies
By Ryoji Watanabe (MSFS 2012)
“I’ve never thought skating was this difficult!” Iftakhar, a young participant in the Big Buddies program exclaimed to his MSFS big buddy while holding hands and trying not to slip. Last Saturday, MSFS students participated in the Big Buddies event at the Sculpture Garden Ice Rink on the National Mall located in downtown Washington, DC. Little buddies were excited once they arrived to the skating rink, some of whom had never skated before. Each little buddy was paired up with a big buddy, who made sure the children would not slip by supporting them on the ice.
Big buddies, little buddies, and Ms. Wendt skating together
Big Buddies is a project in which MSFS students meet on Saturdays with kids from the Marie Reed Elementary School. They meet about three times each semester. Recent events have included taking the little buddies to the Christmas Card Workshop at the National Postal Museum and a trip to the International Spy Museum.
“It is such a wonderful project. It started in 2001, and it still continues after 10 years,” said Ms. Betsy Wendt, a teacher of the Marie Reed Elementary School located in Washington, DC. Just like MSFS students, the little buddies are from different countries such as El Salvador and Bangladesh.
The big buddies also enjoyed the opportunity to take their minds off of the midterm exams and other assignments to spend time with the kids.
Kelly Payton, a second year MSFS student who organized the event on Saturday mentioned, “Big Buddies is a great way to give back to the greater DC community and provide kids with positive role models- plus it is really fun! It is a chance for MSFS students to take a break from all of the serious studying and paper writing that we do and just play!”
The two hours that the buddies spent skating and falling together on this Saturday afternoon became an unforgettable memory.