Play Nice: Rival Schools Join Forces to Serve Community

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The historic football game between Gilman and McDonogh has inspired “Play Nice” a new tradition of giving at the two Baltimore private schools.

On Saturday, October 17 and Saturday, October 24 Gilman and McDonogh students will work side-by-side to refurbish playgrounds at Govans Elementary School, Johnston Square Elementary School and Robert Coleman Elementary School.  Along with the service project, students will hold food drives the week before the game.

The project, “Play Nice,” was conceived by McDonogh sophomore Kendall Kurlander who was looking for a constructive way to unite the two schools in honor of the landmark 100th football game. Kendall understands that the schools’ fierce competition belies a deep camaraderie: she is a McDonogh student and her father is a graduate of Gilman.

Students at both schools were as eager as she to help the community. “I didn’t know what to expect from the students, but in the evening [after the project was announced] when I went to check the sign-ups, every spot was filled!” she happily reports. Nearly 100 students have signed-up to participate.

Kendall Kurlander
McDonogh Sophomore Kendall Kurlander

With an assist from Playworks, a nonprofit committed to the power of positive play, upper school students from Gilman and McDonogh will paint playground black tops with a variety of games for kids. Students from both schools will raise money to purchase supplies for the project. The two schools will also hold “stuff-a-bus” campaigns in the week leading up to the 100th game. Students from each school will fill the opposite school’s mini-bus with canned goods and other nonperishable food items for the Maryland Food Bank and the Donald Bentley Food Pantry.

The Gilman-McDonogh football rivalry is the second oldest interscholastic rivalry in Maryland.  The 100th game will be played on Saturday, November 7 at 3:00 p.m. on the McDonogh campus.  The schools expect hundreds to attend.

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