Go the Distance Day is full of fun activities for Central kids

Marlys BarkerNevada
Journal Editor
Go the Distance Day is full of fun activities for Central kids

Elementary PE teacher Tori Shahidi couldn’t be more pleased with how this year’s first- through fourth-grade “Go The Distance Day” activities played out last Friday.

Lots of teachers have a big event each year, and this was Shahidi’s. “This is my band concert, chorus concert, art show … it is PE for all day. To me, it’s the way to showcase a snippet of our school year (in PE) and I want it to be amazing for the kids,” she said.

Different from in past years, when events were held at the SCORE Park, this year the field day was held on the practice field across from Gates Hall and on the elementary school grounds.

“Using the Nevada practice field allowed us to be closer to the school, move more efficiently from activity to activity and it worked great by allowing all third- and fourth-graders to be in the same area and all of the first- and second-graders to be in their area,” Shahidi said. Then after lunch, the older kids and younger kids swapped sites. “We even had a rain plan where we would be in the high school if needed,” Shahidi said.

Thankfully they didn’t need that rain plan, as some of the warmest temperatures of the year so far were present that day, along with a hot sun. That warm weather, along with some demanding physical exertion, created lots of red faces and sweat. But the kids looked to be having a great day.

One second-grader, Cash, told the Journal that Go the Distance Day was the best day of school this year. Not a surprising remark when you consider the many activities that were going on. Shahidi had miniature hurdles for hurdle races, a “track” for relay races (which the high school track girls helped with), a camping adventure station, a “day at the beach” activity, portaging canoes, a “laundry day” event, Hungry Human Hippos, MarioKart, Battleship, crazy cars, tricycle races, and Arena-style obstacle course and a climbing wall.

When it came to the activities that tested kids’ strength, Shahidi had to hand it to the staff and members of the Arena (a fitness center in Nevada). “The Arena kicked their buns, but the kiddos loved it. Strength-wise was also the activity to portage the canoes. They’re not light.”

As for life skills, Shahidi said she teased the kids about the laundry relay. “Many had to learn how to work a clothespin!” she said.

She also hoped that life lessons were learned by the third- and fourth-graders, who took part in activities about camping, like putting up a tent, collecting firewood and catching fish for dinner. Then there was that rock wall, which allowed students to challenge themselves at their own level.

“All of the stations had an element of teamwork … whether it was a partner, small group or an entire class,” Shahidi said. “In life, there are other people involved … that’s why it’s so complicated.”

There are a lot of people to thank for the success of the day, starting with elementary principals Kathy Goecke and Joel Fey, who Shahidi said gave her creative freedom to make the day what she wanted.

Also, “all of the teachers and parents who ran the activities — not everyone is used to 25 kids at a time, and in high gear. The maintenance crew marked the field, and Doug (Vaughn) got me everything I needed. Our lunch ladies made lunch go smoothly. My friend Michelle at A Stitch on Time stayed up until 10:30 p.m. fixing my parachute and a scrimmage vest for the day.”

Thanks to Jennifer Olson’s husband for arranging to get four canoes to the field day and to the Arena for running the fantastic obstacle course, which by the way, was second grader Jaden’s favorite event. Thanks to Tim Hansen, director of Nevada Parks and Recreation, for the use of bathrooms and water fountains in Gates Hall, and to everyone who brought in Shahidi’s crazy “need list” items to do all the games. Thank you to Larry Kelly for coming out and tying up the fishing lines, Hungry Human ropes and laundry lines. Thanks to Vicki Spaid in the Central office for typing the forms so everyone knew where to be and when to be there. “I’m sure I’m forgetting someone. I feel like it’s my awards speech.”

Last, but not least, Shahidi thanks her dad, who checked up on her every day to see how things were coming along for the big day. “He was also a PE teacher,” she said.

The most important thing that Shahidi wants from Go the Distance Day is having kids learn to love movement. “It doesn’t have to only be running, lifting weights, being on a ‘dreadmill’ … movement can be fun, and that’s what will keep them moving … fun!”

Another Go the Distance Day happens tomorrow for Central’s kindergarten students. Due to this week’s rain, the event will most likely take place on the Central playground.