In the New Year the Eliot School has been working hard to continue to support the development and promotion of healthy living. It is important to our community that this mindset maintains a balance of physical wellness, and social emotional skill development. To help us with this work we have enlisted the support of our powerful partners and collaborative community members.

Friday January 12th students in 1st-8th grade gathered at the Nazzaro Center to participate in a BFit assembly, run by the Boston Bruin in partnership with the Police Athletic League. This powerful presentation promoted the importance of living a happy, balanced lifestyle with proper nutrition, physical activity, in addition to perseverance and supporting those around you by being kind and considerate community members.

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This assembly was a perfect segway to this week as we continued to discuss, and challenge students to think about inclusion and kindness. On Tuesday January 16th the Eliot students and faculty welcomed hockey legend Willie O’Ree on stage for their morning assembly. Known as the “Jackie Robinson of Hockey”, Mr. O’Ree shared his story as the first black player in the National Hockey League, and reflected on the challenges that he faced to integrate the game of hockey.

Mr. O’Ree broke social barriers while never giving up on his dreams. His mission for equality and inclusion continues today as the Ambassador of Diversity for the NHL’s “Hockey is for Everyone” program, which encourages students of all races and backgrounds to play the game of hockey. The Eliot students were truly inspired by Mr. O’Ree’s story and humbled to meet such a kind, considerate person and role model. Second grade students presented Mr. O’Ree with our weekly “Shout Out” to express their gratitude for his hard work and dedication for making hockey accessible for everyone today.

On Wednesday afternoon, prior to the Bruins game against the Montreal Canadians, Mr. O’Ree welcomed the Eliot Hockey team to join him in a special celebration in honor of his 60th anniversary from the date Mr. O’Ree played in his first NHL game.

Participants included Our Mayor, Martin J. Walsh, Boston Bruins Foundation Executive Director Bob Sweeney, Delaware North Boston CEO and Boston Bruins Foundation Chairman Charlie Jacob and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

Eliot Students had the opportunity to meet other Boston sports legends like Johnny Bucyk and Bruins President Cam Neely, members of the media and representative from “Hockey Is For Everyone” a youth hockey programs from around the country.

We are looking forward to this summer when the Willie O’Ree Rink will officially be open to the general public.  The rink is located is undergoing a major renovation and eventually this new street hockey court will be named after Mr. O’Ree in recognition of his impact on the game, both on and off the ice.

Upon reflection our students cannot stop talking about the kindness and support that they experienced from each of these opportunities. So many individuals, organizations and programs took the time to show their motivation and investment to promoting their growth, and providing life long lessons in humility, hard work and exercise. We built a lot of memories this week, and look forward to continuing to chase our dreams.

Go Team Eliot!

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