Olympic Spirit Comes to Andrew Robinson Elementary | Community Spirit

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Olympic Spirit Comes to Andrew Robinson Elementary
Olympic Spirit Comes to Andrew Robinson Elementary

Olympic Spirit Comes to Andrew Robinson Elementary

Each year Duval County Public elementary schools and middle
schools host their Play Day or Field Day events. Andrew Robinson
Elementary is no different. The end of the school year Physical Education
activities at Andrew Robinson Elementary was highlighted by a Play Day
enjoyed by Pre-K to Second grade classes and the first every Track Olympics
for Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade students. The two day Play Day events
are looked forward to each year by students, faculty and staff.
The excitement through the school was equal to an Olympic Festival
as the students prepared to run events similar to an Olympic Games.
Students in third, fourth and fifth grades participated in events that
ranged from 50m, 100m, 200m, 300m dashes and  relays 4X100m,
4X200m, and 4X400m.

The purpose, as explained by Coach William Jackson is to expose students
to the opportunity to participate in activities they will have a chance to compete
in middle and high school. Coach Jackson, originally from Philadelphia,
participated in Track and Field in high school and college. He had the opportunity
to run in the Penn Relays, Florida Relays and championship races on the East Coast.
Many northern school’s athletic events in elementary and middle school encourage
a high level of competitive spirit, unity, team work and encourages compassion
and empathy when young people compete and are properly coached and trained.

This was the first opportunity many of the students participated at a level of
competition. Rashad a fifth grade student commented that, “this is going to prepare
me for middle and high school track.” The event raised so much excitement that
neighbors from the surrounding community watched from behind the school
gates and nearby homes. Sequia a fourth grade students stated with a wide grin
that one day she would like to compete at the Bob Hayes Track Meet and run
the 200meters and relays.

Several parents that volunteered to help, commented that Physical Education
should be supported more because of the discipline, self-control and concentration
that’s needed when competing. They shared their disappointment with the budget
cutbacks and how it will affect sports and possible scholarships for students.
Mrs. Davis, a parent whose daughter ran, stated that not all students are great
with grades, they are B and C students and sports helps get them (students)
scholarships to get into college.

Anyis and Jabbar  (5th grade students) where “official” Andrew Robinson
Elementary School photographers. They both shared an interest in taking pictures
and enjoyed the opportunity to explore a chance to be photographers during the competition.
The emphasis on competition and non-competitive sports in schools is an ongoing
debate. Studies show students develop an awareness and discipline when they
realize they will be competing nationally and internationally when they enter
college, vocational school, military service, in business and industry.

The students of ARE displayed a compassion for each other striving to do their
best and push themselves applying the established theme of “No Opportunity Wasted”
(NOW)  that has been established this school year. During each event there was
a roar of cheering, displays of support and compassion for classmates.
Promoting a continuous and self-motivating approach to using every opportunity
available to learn and grow academically and socially.

The NOW concept can be seen not only in the track events, but witnessed in
classroom learning, assessments from FAIR (Florida Assessments for Instruction
in Reading), FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) and subject area testing.
The memories the students gained will be with them throughout their school careers
and beyond. Destynii a fourth grade student said that her mom ran track in high school
and now she wants to follow her mom and run. She says her dream now is to go to
the “real” Olympics and win.. This is one of the great things in being a Coach (Coach Jackson),
we can motivate our young people to dream big and achieve big, and not settle for anything
less than their collective best in the classroom and in life. 

William Jackson, M.Edu

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