The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

June 13, 2014

Field Day of Dreams

Students let loose after exams

Thursday, June 12, 2014 — After finishing their EOGs last week, there’s not much  left for students to do but sit back, wait for the scores … and grab the water hose.

Students at Aquadale Elementary School worked off some of that testing tension with water games and field sports at Monday’s field day.

“It’s been a stressful year for them,” Paula Byrd said as she watched her two grandchildren carry leaky pails of water over their heads and race sopping sponges across the basketball court.

“I’m glad they can do this. It lets them wind down a bit.”

The new EOGs (End of Grade tests) this year worried her grandkids Sam and Andrea a little more than normal, she said, but last week they came out of it feeling good.

“The testing went very well,” principal Steve Coats said.

“Most of the kids were here for all the testing days.

“They knew what to expect.”

While scores still have to be verified by the state before they can be released to students and parents, he said he is happy with what he has seen so far.

“They did well,” Coats said.

“Of course there are always [lower scores] to improve and [higher scores] to maintain.”

But field day is just about letting kids be kids, Coats said, before arming himself with a water hose to spray an incoming group of kids.

“That’s what I love most, watching the kids have fun,” Byrd said back with her grandkids.

This is grandson Sam’s last year at Aquadale Elementary.

Byrd has come to field days since he was in kindergarten. She knows his friends and has even taught some of them in Sunday school.

“They grow up too fast,” Byrd said.

“The older I get, the more I miss this stuff.”

Dozens of other parents sat in the shade of buildings, under trees or walked around with their children to soak in the moment as well.

“I’m glad they get a chance to just celebrate,” Le-Anne Russell said as she watched daughter Braxlee leap across the field at the long jump activity.

“Also they get to see all the kids from the other grade levels. During school they don’t really get to do that. I think it’s great they get that chance here.”

Substitute Linda Huntley said this isn’t the first time she has been called in to help on field day and she hopes it is not her last.

“I have a blast,” Huntley said.

“And the kids do, too. They don’t have to sit around in a classroom.”

As a former physical education teacher, she is also glad field day gets kids out and exercising.

“Anything physical is always good,” Huntley said.

For the kids, though, all of the fun seemed to simply mark the beginning of a new season.

As fourth grader Reese Crump got ready to throw his weight into yet another round of tug-of-war, he leaned over to his friends, grinning from ear to ear.

“It already feels like summer,” he said.

To submit story ideas, contact Shannon Beamon at (704) 982-2121 ext. 24 or at

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