Playing the school blues away

Published 6:03 pm Saturday, June 4, 2011

Second-grader Brandon Connor, right, and his classmates wash out another class in a field day water war at Oakland Elementary School on June 3.

Elementary students enjoy field day

With the last day of school just around the corner, elementary school students are celebrating with the ultimate end-of-the-year tradition — field day.

Many local schools are holding their field days this week before school lets out on June 17.

Creekside Elementary School physical education teacher Erik Johnson has been preparing for field day, which will take place on Friday, all year long by planning events and activities to make the day fun for all the students.

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“It’s a blast,” he said. “I try to make it fun for anyone who shows up.”

Johnson said field day provides a much-needed release for students — and teachers — after a year of hard work and two weeks of Standards of Learning testing.

“With all the pressure that gets put on the kids, I think field day is the best thing for them,” he said. “You can see them become kids again; they aren’t just worker bees.”

He said field day is a way to reward the kids for their hard work.

Johnson has planned activities for students of all athletic levels — both competitive games and games made just for fun.

Additionally, to engage students who love video games, he said there will be an Xbox set up with a dancing game.

“To get them to realize you can take what you do in video games and take it outside, it makes a difference,” Johnson said.

Like Johnson, Hillpoint Elementary School physical education teacher Kellye Sollers said she is excited for Hillpoint’s field day on Tuesday.

She said her goal for field day is for the students to have a good time while staying active.

“It gives them something to look forward to,” she said. “We work these kids all year long. Here’s a way to give back to them.”

Students have been asking her for the past few weeks what she has planned for field day, but she keeps all her plans a secret with the hope the kids don’t decide not to participate in certain events even before field day begins.

Sollers has a multitude of events for the day that all focus on cooperation, teamwork and sportsmanship, such as the buddy walker, in which a group of students stand on wooden planks and must work together to use strings attached to the planks to move in unison.

“I try to build social skills with the activities,” she said. “This is the chance where they really have to interact and work together.”

Both Sollers and Johnson said their favorite part of field day is seeing the students enjoying themselves.

“I just love to see the excitement on the kids’ faces,” Sollers said.

Johnson said he likes seeing the students take it easy and enjoy the day.

“You can just see the stress relief on their faces,” Johnson said. “It’s fun to see them take a deep breath and relax for a while.”