Overstreet students participate in escape room activity

From left to right: Overstreet student Nikolas Gillespie, Nikolas’ father Marcus Gillespie and Overstreet students Andrew Huggins and Jayden Bean participate in an escape room themed activity at Overstreet Friday. (Photo by Charlie Benton, SDN)

Staff Writer

Students at Overstreet Elementary School got to participate in a different sort of English activity Friday.

English-language arts teacher Alexis Bush and her Mississippi State University intern Jackie Ellis, set up a mock escape room scenario. Parents were also invited to participate with their children. In the activity, students went through a series of clues based on theme. From their answers they found a code, which they put into a computer program. If the code was correct, they would move on to the next set of questions.

If they made it through all five sets of questions, they were considered to have escaped.

Ellis decided to get the parents involved to fulfill a requirement in her training. She said the activity not only taught English, but critical thinking skills.

“You have to not only identify the theme, but you have to find the number that corresponds to that letter, and it’s different for each level,” Ellis said. She said the parents were invited in as part of a family literacy day, giving them an opportunity to see what their children were working on in class and visit with them at school.

“(It was) awesome, great family time, great way to interact with your kid and even the other students,” said Marcus Gillespie, father of Overstreet student Nikolas Gillespie.

Gillespie said each of the students in his son’s group contributed something to it.

“Anything to do with my son, I’m pretty much in it,” Gillespie said. “The thing is everything a child’s parent does in a child’s life, they’re going to always remember. The reason why that’s important
is because when he gets older, he can go from what I showed him and what’s there for him, he can do that with his kids.”

Bush said both the students and parents were enjoying the activity.

“Parents are really involved,” Bush said. “Kids are enjoying themselves and have even asked if we can do this more often."