Our Field Days are typically 2-3 hours, but on a recent visit to the Providence Englewood Charter School in Chicago, we went all day. In a partnership with the John Buck Company, we were able to host a Field Day for the entire school; kindergarten all the way to eighth grade. John Buck employees came out as incredible volunteers to help run the activity stations, giving kids of all ages someone to play with for a total of six hours.
Yes, six hours of play. Can you believe it?
Each grade had their own time slot, so there was a lot of altering the challenge of each activity to match the age group. Imagine coaching a six year-old in flag football for thirty minutes and then a fourteen-year old right after that. Talk about being energetic!
Getting away from our desks to host Field Days is always exciting. Adding this challenge of a longer day actually made us more passionate. We got to see the different levels of excitement – and appreciation – from different types of kids.
“I’ve never played sports,” one eight-year old girl said nervously as she waited to be set up for flag football. Within minutes, that worry was gone as she carried the football down the field with her team.
It’s a simple exchange: a child tries something new and decides they enjoy it. If we hadn’t been able to engage every single grade, there is a possibility this girl would have never picked up a football by choice. With the expanded Field Day, our net was cast wide enough to make sure every child of the school experienced true physical activity.