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In preparation for Lura A. White Elementary School’s annual Field Day, which was held on Friday, June 4, each class at the school picked a team name and color, and created a team banner to carry in the parade for the opening ceremonies.

After an introduction by physical education teacher Sue D’Amico, each class recited its special chant.

Dressed in orange and yellow T-shirts, Mrs. Patricia Giannini’s second-grade Lions roared: “We are lions, hear us roar. We are fierce down to our core. We are smart and we are strong. Run with us, you can’t go wrong. We love to sleep out in the sun and chase other animals just for fun. In all the jungle, we’re number one. Now our story is all done. Roar!”

Mrs. Renee Marchand’s Monkeys, a fourth-grade class clad in pink shirts, chattered, “M-O-N-K-E-Y, monkeys, monkeys, are the best!”

First-grade teacher Charlene Shorey’s Team Shorey shouted, “Go Team Shorey Ray, Rah, Rah!” three times. Another first-grade class, Team Martineau responded, “M-A-R-T-I-N-E-A-U Let’s Go!”

“If nothing more, the kids from (my class) can walk away knowing how to spell Martineau,” said Mrs. Courtney Martineau after the event. “It took only 171 days and a fun chant to master.”

Physical education teachers Sue D’Amico and Stephanie Goulette, with the help of many volunteers and the Lura A. White School staff, made the daylong athletic event possible.

The 14 sporting events included a “bucket relay” during which students had to soak, carry, and wring out a sponge, one team member at a time, to fill a small bucket at the finish line; an obstacle course set up with tires, cones and hurdles; Castle Ball in the gym, for which teams set up castles made of hula hoops that the opposing teams attempted to knock down with balls; and, a “string relay” for which the challenge was to quickly move two rings around a circle of string three times.

Other events were the golf ball balance, parachute, Frisbee throw, human bowling, bocce, a rubber chicken toss, a football relay and kickball. Another event, “Buddy Walkers,” was designed to help groups of students coordinate their moves to walk forward on two large planks, with the aid of rope handles.

“What better way to celebrate another school year coming to a close, than spending a beautiful sunny day outside with students indulging in all sorts of activities,” said Martineau. “From bucket relays to human bowling and everything in between, students loved being part of a team and spending a day outside working together.”

“Our favorite event was the football relay,” said Marchand. “We ran through the course forward, backward, and we hopped through the course as well. The children also enjoyed cooling off under the spray of the hose.”

“I thought the whole day was wonderful. The sun was shining and it was a great way to end the week with field day,” said Mrs. Shorey. “The kids seemed to enjoy all of the games; I think human bowling was one of the biggest hits. The chicken game and dance gave the kids a chuckle.

“Ending our day with two rounds of kick ball certainly brought out the competition in everyone, including the teachers. … I can’t thank Sue D’Amico enough for going above and beyond every year and providing our children with a fun filled field day. Let the tradition continue.

D’Amico will leave Lura White to teach full time at the middle school next year.

The good news is that Stephanie Goulette, who has been teaching physical education part time at Lura White, will now be the school’s full-time athletic director.

Perhaps the 2010 annual Lura A. White Field Day experience can best be summed up by a poem penned by Martineau to describe the event:

F – Full of teamwork, sportsmanship, and fun!

I – Individuals working together to complete tasks and activities

E – Excitement and energy throughout the student body

L – LAW students coming together on one field to celebrate the close of another school year

D – Doing various kinesthetic activities from bucket relays to human bowling

D – Dedication to completing each activity to the best of their abilities

A – A big thank you to all of the volunteers who helped to make it special for all students!

Y – Yearly ritual