Nearly synonymous with the end of the school year, the tradition of field days are widespread across the state and the country. In fact, Northridge Elementary Principal Amy Wells admitted she has never been at a building without a field day.
"I can't imagine not having this day," Wells said.
That was nearly the case this year for both Northridge and Sunset Elementary, as the Newton schools' joint field day at Athletic Park was postponed twice before students got the chance to enjoy all the planned activities Tuesday. While the threat of severe weather forced the previous rescheduling (with ultimately little to worry about), Wells and staff were glad things worked out and they were able to put on the field day.
Elementary students were able to play numerous games at Fischer Field throughout the day, including several relay races, tackling an obstacle course and going head-to-head in tug of war — as well as being treated to snow cones as part of the festivities. While the day was full of fun geared towards the K-4 students from both schools, Wells noted there was still some educational value to take away.
"Sometimes, we think at the end of the year it's a non-learning thing, but really I look around and our kids are learning a lot," Wells said. "I love the sportsmanship they're learning."
While most Newton schools host their field day at their buildings, Wells said having a joint field day at Athletic Park offers a bit more space for the students. Grateful for the venue, Wells said she was also appreciative of staff efforts in organizing the field day, as well as the assistance of the Newton High School students running the events.
Physical education teacher Mario Nava is one such staffer who helped run the field day Tuesday. Like Wells, he sees additional benefits for students besides giving them a day of fun at the end of the school year. The activities stress character traits (i.e. be active, work together, etc.) focused on throughout the school year and it also incentivizes the students for the following year.
"This event is a memory builder. This is one thing to be excited about," Nava said. "...We want to get kids excited and keep motivated during the summer to come back to school. Just building these memories for kids is what it's all about."