Panthers Hold Annual Willenberg Get-Together For The Holidays
• Long held event brings students together from both campuses.
With Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District’s winter break around the corner, Peninsula High celebrated the holiday season with its annual two-day get-together with Willenberg Special Education Center.
From dance performances to playing games in the gym, this festivity allowed the students of the two schools to share their holiday spirit on the Peninsula campus..
“I got the opportunity to help transform Peninsula High into a festive and fun winter wonderland,” Peninsula senior Lauren Kim said. “Being able to interact and spend the day with students from Willenberg was an incredible experience.”
This marked the 51st year of this Peninsula-Willenberg event, which calls for each school to visit each other’s campus to boost holiday spirit. The long-lasting tradition has allowed the connection between the two schools to further strengthen.
With Service Learning Leadership (SLL) members like Kim, as well as other volunteers, Peninsula students were paired with visiting students from Willenberg to spend the day together on Thursday, Dec. 12.
These pairs engaged in various games in the school gym, visited classrooms and created lasting memories through conversations with one another. During the extended lunch period, the Willenberg friends gave a holiday-themed performance for Peninsula students. The experience intensified Peninsula’s message of inclusion and family, both of which the Willenberg students were welcomed into.
“I was able to create new friendships and cheer on my own buddy when he performed in front of Peninsula students during their lunchtime holiday show,” Kim said.
On Wednesday, Dec. 18, the event continued, with Peninsula’s dance teams, SLL and other student participants traveling to Willenberg’s school in San Pedro to perform sets and bond with individuals there. With all students dressed in holiday gear, Peninsula tied a ribbon of friendship with the students for Willenberg once again.
The bus left for Willenberg at 8 a.m., and performances and activities ran from the time of arrival to 12:30 p.m. Performances were given by Choir, varsity and junior varsity COED Choreo, Song, Cheer, Flags, Intermediate Dance, Choreo Company and Advanced Dance. With the array of performances and students who came out to interact with Willenberg’s student body, the event was not only successful but also memorable.
Now, as the year comes to a close, Peninsula and Willenberg students are excited about the rest of the Holiday season and look forward to meeting each other again.
“It was so heartwarming to see all the Willenberg kids bond with the students at Pen,” senior and SLL member Ashley Kim said. “I am also glad that I was able to take this opportunity to be a part of all the joy and merriment.”