GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) — At Page High School in Greensboro, student-athletes are getting t-shirts, wristbands, and masks, all urging them to “Get in the Game.”
But not just any game; the game of life.
It’s all to kick off the Get In The Game program, which is designed to empower students to create change in their schools and communities by opening dialogue.
According to Principal Erik Naglee, “We know that our students are our next leaders in this country and, you know, creating that change now and letting them empower them. And as they move on to college and career, our world will become a better place because of that.”
Get in the Game is the brainchild of Wake Forest University Baseball Coach Tom Walter and former player Kevin Jordan. They tell the students their own personal story of Kevin needing a kidney to live. And Coach Walter being the perfect match. But that’s just the beginning of their relationship.
“Before he donated his kidney to me, we had those conversations and that brought us closer,” says Jordan. “And while he was getting tested and to become a donor, we continued in a conversation that didn’t have barriers because we felt close enough to talk about anything.”
Race, relationships, history, and conflict. Deep, sometimes hurtful subjects that so many are afraid to broach.
“It starts with understanding once they understand each other, they feel more confident in talking about issues that they truly have, and they want to address,” Jordan adds. “We want kids to feel compassion for another person, and that takes listening and understanding them and being willing to really engage in the conversations that we that we got them into.”
And it’s those conversations that he believes will initiate change.
“The kids will design this program. They’ll really take control. And they will decide with getting the game really means. We want to guide them and empower them to really take charge and, you know, amplify their voices. Let their voices be heard.”
Page High School is the first public school in the state to bring Get in the Game to its students.
According to Naglee, “We talk all the time about dream big at Page and the “I” in big stands for inclusiveness. So that’s something we’ve been working on for quite a few years, that’s very big to us. And then obviously as part of getting the game, they talk a lot about we move forward together. And obviously, during this time, it’s all about us working together, and moving forward for that one common goal for the betterment of all.”
The program is divided into three seasons with each one addressing specific issues. Jordan says
“The first season is geared towards them, understanding themselves. So, students are allowed to understand themselves, understand others. And second season they’re allowed to learn history together and really understand the history that they weren’t involved in but places us where we are today. And after that in the third season, they come together for a community project. So, they get a chance to act this out, act out the world that they want to live in out in real life.”
A world that can be theirs if they will Get in the Game.