Archive for Thursday, May 11, 2006

Teamwork triumphs at Field Day

May 11, 2006

Jordan Maestas, left, and Tara Dupras, Lansing Intermediate School fourth-graders, try out one of the events at Field Day on Friday, May 5, at Frank Graham Field.

Jordan Maestas, left, and Tara Dupras, Lansing Intermediate School fourth-graders, try out one of the events at Field Day on Friday, May 5, at Frank Graham Field.

It's like the Super Bowl, the World Series and the NCAA tournament all rolled into one. It is where dreams are dashed and playground legends are born.

What was this sporting event of such epic magnitude?

Field Day at Lansing Intermediate School.

Fourth- and fifth-graders each spent half of the school day participating in events such as "Roll Your Boat," "Simon Says" and "Buddy Surfing."

According to fourth-grade teacher Jackie Lamar, Field Day was not a reward for good behavior, just a chance for the children to get exercise in a different way than usual.

Gym teacher Troy Andrews, who oversaw the event, agreed.

"(Field Day) gives the kids the opportunity to come out and play," he said.

The children were split up into teams of approximately 15 students, generally by class. There were 10 stations, and at the end of the events, all of the children played "Tug of War."

While Field Day is a yearly event at Lansing Intermediate, the past two years have been more fun under the helm of Andrews. This year had a theme of "Survivor," with many of the events mimicking ideas from the reality TV show. Last year's theme was "Island Beach Party."

Previous Field Days consisted included more traditional sports, focusing on track and field events.

Andrews came up with most of the ideas on his own, but he also searched the Internet and spoke with other teachers around the state for creative ideas. The events were designed to be a fun way to teach kids about teamwork.

Andrews enlisted the help of the high school Leadership class to set up and run the events. It was a good way for the students to get involved, and also it meant he wouldn't have to ask parents for help, he said.

Megan Osborn, a member of the class, was a little more involved than the rest of her counterparts.

She ran a station where each team would drop a sponge into a bucket of water and pass it down a line in a race. When she first started running the station, many of the students were uninterested in the game, so she allowed the winning team to dump the bucket of water on her head.

Considering the chilly temperature outside, she immediately regretted her move.

"I should not have done that," Osborn said.

Lamar said that the most popular events among the students were "chicken volleyball" and the sponge pass game because the students liked getting wet.

Fourth-grader Graham Porter agreed. "I got wet," he said.

Rebecca Hunter, mother of fourth-grader Cole Hunter, decided to spend the afternoon watching the events.

"I think it's a good release for the kids," Hunter said.

Her favorite event was "Simon Says." She said that she thought it would be a good way to get Cole to do more chores around the house.

"I'm going to try it at home," she said.

Tom Slaughter is a University of Kansas journalism student and will be contributing articles this semester to The Current.

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