Stapleton Schools to Completely Phase Out Actual Events from Field Day

field dayStapleton Elementary Schools set a goal back in 2012 to rid field days of any sort of actual sport or competitions. “It was a really big objective for us,” said Bill Roberts PTA member Dawn Walsworth. “Kids were doing lots of running and jumping and throwing. Winners of events were even getting recognized. Things were getting out of hand.” Swigert PTA member Robin Harris also noticed things weren’t moving in the right direction regarding field day. “Too many kids weren’t winning,” said Harris. “Sure, we never had trophies or ribbons, but people who were running the events were recognizing those who were winning, and that just wasn’t a good example for the kids.” The team of six PTA mothers from various Stapleton schools got together to discuss a solution for the increasingly competitive field days. “The first thing we needed to do was get rid of any actual sport-type events,” said Westerly Creek PTA parent Tracey Lembeck. “This couldn’t be done overnight or in a year, so we needed take away one at a time and then replace it with a non-traditional field day activity. For example, we got rid of a relay race and replaced it with a popsicle eating station. And each year, we do that with one or two events. By next year, everything will be a guessing game, or a treat station, or some leisurely activity. We are really excited things have progressed so well.”

Not all parents are enjoying the new format, however. “They had a rock, paper, scisoors station,” complained Isabella Bird parent Ben Andreasen. “This is what field day is? Rock, paper, scissors? Get these kids competing doing actual events.” Adam Shelton, whose child attends Westerly Creek agrees. “Why can’t they do tug of war, obstacle courses, basketball shooting contests, baseball throwing contests, relay races, and so on?” asked Shelton. “There’s nothing ‘field’ about it anymore. The kids are just standing around. It’s really hard to watch.” Some parents are enjoying the changes. “I like that it decreases the chances of getting hurt,” said Bill Roberts parent Brooke Runchey. “I mean, no one is going to get hurt playing rock, paper, scissors.” Molly Greve is pleased winners of contests will no longer be recognized. “I just don’t think winning and losing should be something kids have to deal with at these young ages,” said Greve. “I’ve never seen any kids get upset over it, but let’s just prevent the opportunity for feelings to get hurt.”

The 2018 Stapleton Elementary School field day will be completely void of athletic talent and a competitive nature, thanks to the hard work of the PTA members. “This is something that took a lot of time and dedication,” said Walsworth. “To see how far we have come, to the point of having stations with no winners or losers and no athletic skill whatsoever, is really remarkable.” For a sneak peek at the 2018 field day stations, see below.

2018 Field Day Stations

  • Staring contest:  Blinking allowed, no winners or losers
  • Face painting station: Kids wait in line to have faces painted
  • Walking in a circle (slowly): Kids follow each other walking around a pre-painted circle
  • Clapping/Cheering station: kids stand and cheer for each other for no reason
  • Waving hello/goodbye station: kids wave at each other; no incorrect way to do it
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