Image credited to Mark Gossage
Day Creek’s P.E. teachers are scattered throughout the gym, darting around on scooters alongside students and teachers alike. Music plays in the background, but not loud enough to drown out mixed sounds of laughter and frustration that fill the air.
On Wednesday night, Day Creek’s Family Fitness Night took place from 6-7 p.m. For the past eight years, Day Creek has been hosting this night of fun and competition among students and their parents.
“Family Fitness Night is based on the district’s wellness and health goals. (The district puts out) a big list of things that we can do, and each school has to get at least four of those things (done). So this is one of the things that we chose to do, one of them being a kind of family fitness screen-free thing that we’re doing after school,” said Mr. Apodaca, Day Creek’s principal.
But what’s the whole idea?
“The idea is that we’re promoting health and wellness. That we’re getting off our screens, and coming out and having some fun, (as a) community. So, ideally, my hope is that the impact on students and the community is that they get connected with staff in a totally different way,” said Mr. Apodaca.
One of Day Creek’s P.E. teachers, Mr. Nemecek added, “I think it’s a cool way for the kids to come back to school at night and their parents come, and they can interact one night here, doing something that they probably wouldn’t have access to at their house.”
Students could participate in Nine-Square, Team-Walker, Cagematch, or Scooter Hockey with staff and parents.
“Nine-Square (was my favorite activity) because you get to interact with other people and it’s just really fun to see what happens,” said eighth-grader Adriane C.
“(My favorite activity was) the Nine-Squares. It’s fun and I play it with my friends a lot,” said sixth-grader Chance H.
In this popular game, a tall blue 3×3 grid was constructed using PVC pipe, where one person stood under each square. A big, blue inflated ball was given to the person in the center, and they bump it, sloppy volleyball-style, to other people. When the ball fell within the hitter’s square or flew out of bounds, that person was out.
However, Nine-Squares wasn’t the only popular game.
“Cagematch (was my favorite activity). I like doing it (because) it’s really exciting. I feel like (Family Fitness Night is) fun and that more people should come because then it’d be more fun,” said 7th-grader Abigail D.
As entertaining as Family Fitness Night was, the turnout could have been bigger.
“I think one problem is that sometimes it’s the weather. It’s rained the last two years. A lot of times, it’s that the kids have a lot of homework. So, I’d really like to plug for the teachers not giving a lot of homework on Family Fitness Night,” said Mr. Nemecek. Take note, teachers!
This story was originally published on The Day Creek Howl on February 16, 2019.