February 2, 2023
By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA--Collegewood Elementary students practiced how to negotiate with their peers, solve potential conflicts, and stimulate creativity on Thursday.
And, these essential skills were fostered with the gift of playtime, not during structured classroom lessons!
Students had the chance to connect with their school community in unstructured play during Global School Play Day held February 2.
“We’re going all in on this exciting day!” said Principal Rochelle Wolf.
The event launched in 2015 with 75 nations and nearly 2 million children participating around the world.
Collegewood students eagerly joined giant 4-in-a-row, wooden toppling tower, cornhole, ladder toss, bowling, and ping pong games in the amphitheater.
“It’s a perfect day!” exclaimed fifth grade teacher Brandon Kamana while overseeing the action.
“I think it’s awesome to get this opportunity to come out and have unstructured play with different grade levels sharing time together.”
Some students brought in games and athletic equipment (no electronics) from their homes, including fourth grader Amy Ni who dazzled schoolmates with her Chinese yo-yo skills.
“These lawn games are my favorite!” she said.
The school also received a $500 donation of athletic equipment from Go Sports for the special day.
“This is so much fun!” said fifth grader Catherine Lin with a group carefully pulling wooden blocks out of the four-foot-tall tower.
It took skill, strategy, and a little luck stacking the pieces back on top to prevent the game from crashing down.
Out on the upper playground grass, students competed in rousing Dodgeball and Capture the Flag games led by teachers Lori Huckler and Joey Navarro.
In classrooms, students played board games like Battle Ship, Chess, Kerplunk, painted watercolor pictures, and created friendship bracelets.
“Playing with my friends is the best part of the day!” commented fifth grader Arlene Chen.
On the other side of campus, students were doused with colored powder as they ran through a Color Run organized by the Community Club.
The morning of fun and play kicked off with Principal Wolf getting “slimed” by ten students who raised the most money during the school fundraiser.
“Getting slimed by my hard-working students was so much fun!” she said dripping with green goop.
“It really got the kids excited about the rest of the day and I was so happy to do it.”
Several Walnut Valley USD elementary schools including Quail Summit, Vejar, and Westhoff also hosted the Global School Play Day this week.
Collegewood Elementary joined the Global School Play Day with unstructured play, games, crafts, and color run on February 2.