Sanders Memorial Elementary School started spring break early with a day of fun in the sun.
More than 700 students spent their day at school playing games, dancing, relay racing, getting their faces painted and slurping down snow cones.
The annual Field Day on March 18 was the last school day before the weeklong spring break started for public schools in Pasco County.
Presley Knouse, 9, got her cheek painted with the letters of her school, SMES. Then, she headed off for a round of tinikling, a dance originated in the Philippines.
Classmates tapped and moved two poles in and out, as Knouse stepped over or in between the poles.
On the basketball court, students tested their skills with an outsized jenga game or zoomed handmade paper planes through the air.
A boom box energized dancers with familiar tunes, old and new. From “Hey Macarena” to “Do the Hokey Pokey,” students got into the rhythm.
On the school’s field, students tested their strength and skills at tug o’ war, relay races, soccer kicks, or football and baseball tosses.
About 70 volunteers, and another dozen or so teachers and staff members, participated. Most volunteers were parents, but about eight employees from the Nike store at Tampa Premium Outlets also helped.
Standing in line, students hopped with excitement as they waited a turn at kicking the soccer ball into a net.
Riya Mendenhall, 5, joined in a tug o’ war.
“You lose sometimes. You win sometimes,” she said.
Sanders Memorial Principal Jason Petry joined in the fun, too. He gave some tips on baseball pitching to 5-year-old Patrick Mize, as the youngster got ready for his wind-up.
“It kind of kicks off their spring break,” Petry said. “They’ve worked hard since the beginning of the year. You kind of need a day like this to celebrate.”
Published March 23, 2016