FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – What started as a rainy day turned into one of sunshine and fun as parents and teachers gathered May 18 at Mahaffey Middle School for All-star Field Day.
Parents and teachers alike cheered their kids on as they earned medals for competing in a series of sports events.
The All-Star middle school group ran the 50- and 100-yard dash, competed in the standing and running long jump, and took part in the tennis and softball throws.
Staff and parents assisted their All-stars when necessary, but student participation was largely independent and required little assistance.
Time to shine
Mirian Ferrer, an All-star teacher, was excited to see the students get to have their own field day.
“We’ve had it every year with the rest of the community, at Austin Peay or out on the field but they missed it last year because of COVID,” Ferrer said. “This year we’re having it because it builds good sportsmanship for our kids, it helps them to socialize a little bit more and then the other kids in the building also get to know them a little better.”
Michele Hunter, another All-star teacher, said this event is about inclusivity and gives the All-stars their time to shine.
“They’re typically not on any sports team like some of our other students may be, so this is their team, this is their time to show off their skills.” Hunter said, adding the students really look forward to this event.
Parents who were present for the event expressed appreciation for the effort the school staff put into making the event happen.
Laura D’Andria’s 12-year-old son, Seth, won a couple medals and said his favorite event was the 50-yard dash.
“I think it’s exciting because the school is putting in a lot of effort to make sure these kids are included in these events, things they can actually do,” D’Andria said. “And they practice that and work on it.”
Christine Williams came to support her son, Marcus, 12, and said she is happy to see him do something he was excited about.
“It’s important to my son, he’s looking forward to this event,” Williams said. “It’s his first time participating in this event.”
Sharing in the fun
Staff emphasize this was an opportunity not just for the kids but also for the military community.
Carla Heckman, a speech pathologist at Mahaffey, said this was a chance for Families to come together to celebrate their children.
“It’s important for the kids because first, it’s an opportunity for military Families to get together,” Heckman said. “They don’t really have many opportunities like this, so it’s getting to celebrate the kids, giving them an opportunity to engage in the community and just really highlight their strengths and what they’re good at.”
Michelle Brandt, Mahaffey assistant principal, shared in the fun and excitement.
“This is an awesome event for them,” Brandt said. “They’re being able to challenge themselves, have fun and the parents are here supporting them with the staff. It’s just a great experience for them.”